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Hey, fellow craft bloggers! Have you ever wondered if you’re missing out by sticking to a free blog platform? Well, the truth is, you might be! Free blogs can be limiting, and making the switch to a professional website could seriously up your game. In this post, I’ll reveal some eye-opening reasons why you might be making a mistake by not upgrading, and how you can take action today to transform your online presence. Plus, I’ve got some fantastic resources and recommendations to help you on your journey.
So, let’s get started!
Reasons why free blogging is a mistake
Limited Control and Customization: With a free blog, your design, customization, and functionality options are restricted. Your website’s design and functionality are restricted by the platform’s templates and plugins. A professional website allows you to create a unique, engaging experience tailored to your craft blog and audience. If you’re serious about growing your brand, you need a site that reflects your vision and creativity.
Weak SEO Capabilities: Free blogs usually have limited SEO features, which means you’re not reaching your full potential in search engine rankings. A professional website provides advanced SEO tools that can significantly boost your organic traffic, making it easier for new fans to discover your amazing work.
Lack of Credibility: A free blog comes with a generic domain name and often lacks a professional email address, which can make your blog appear less trustworthy. Upgrading to a professional website gives you a dedicated domain name and email address, boosting your credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of your audience. Think about it, would you trust a business that only has a free blog? Probably not.
No Ownership: To tell you the truth, my biggest concern of all is these free blogging services can shut down and thus, your site without warning.
Lets me tell you the advantages now.
Benefits of Professional Websites
First things first, a professional website gives us full control over our online presence. With a free blog, we’re limited when it comes to design, customization, and functionality. But a professional site lets us create a unique and engaging experience, tailored to our awesome craft blogs and followers. Plus, it leaves a lasting impression on our visitors, which can help increase brand recognition and trust.
Upgrading to a pro website also means better search engine optimization (SEO). Free blogs just don’t have the same SEO capabilities, so we’re less likely to rank high on search engine results pages. Professional sites, on the other hand, come with advanced SEO features that can drive more organic traffic our way.
And let’s not forget about credibility. A professional website gives us a dedicated domain name and email address, making us look even more legit! Free blogs usually end up with a generic domain name (like yourname.wordpress.com), which can look less professional and trustworthy.
Making the Switch
With so many affordable options out there, it’s really easy to get started. You can also get more creative with your design and really make your blog stand out. Here are steps to go about it :
Choose a domain name and trusted hosting provider: First, we need to register a domain name and find a reliable hosting provider. Keep your domain name short, memorable, and related to your craft blog. For hosting, I recommend providers with excellent customer support, fast loading times, and enough storage space and bandwidth.
When I finally decided to upgrade my craft blog back in 2011, the first step was to register a domain name and find a reliable hosting provider. I knew I needed a short, memorable domain name that was related to my craft blog. That’s when I discovered Namecheap.com (One stop for all domain, hosting needs), and I couldn’t be happier with my choice!
As a fellow craft blogger, I can personally vouch for Namecheap’s top-notch services. They catered to my specific needs, ensuring a smooth, hassle-free setup. Since making the switch, I’ve noticed faster loading times, and I have ample storage space and bandwidth to handle my growing blog. Plus, their affordable pricing means I can focus on creating amazing content without breaking the bank.
How Namecheap Benefited Me:
Upgrading to a professional website with Namecheap has been a game-changer for my craft blog. The dedicated domain name and reliable hosting have significantly boosted my credibility, and I’ve seen an increase in organic traffic thanks to better SEO capabilities. I couldn’t have done it without Namecheap.
Robust content management system (CMS):
Next, we need a CMS to easily create, edit, and manage our content. What makes Namecheap even more fantastic is that it’s a one-stop solution for all your WordPress hosting needs too! They offer managed WordPress hosting plans at incredibly affordable prices, tailored to fit the budgets of craft bloggers like us. And guess what? Namecheap even offers a free 30-day trial so you can test out their services without any commitment!
I encourage you to sign up for their EasyWP Starter plan as you begin your journey. This plan is perfect for those who are just starting out, offering all the essential features your craft blog needs. As your blog grows and your requirements change, you can easily scale up to higher-tier plans with more advanced features. Give their free 30-day trial (Click the link for this offer – Claim your free month of EasyWP hosting today!) a go and see the difference for yourself!
If you have an existing blog with high traffic, then its better to opt in for scaled up hosting plan, I would recommend EasyWP Turbo which is suited for this. I stand here with my journey :-). They have promotions going on and you can avail a free domain as well. Click this link for this offer – Namecheap Bundle Deals: FREE domains & 50% off shared hosting!
Lastly, my other suggestion would be to secure a .com domain in addition to your country specific domain (such as .ca, .in, etc). It will ensure global visibility and recognition for your website should you choose to expand the reach. And importantly, grab it while its available else you run into risk of losing it. PLus, its only for .99 cents for that extra peace of mind. (Link : Popular Domains for just 99 Cents at Namecheap!)
Customize your new WordPress website: After setting up your CMS, choose a theme or template that fits your craft blog’s style. Many CMS platforms offer tons of free and premium themes. But thats for another time : -) In my subsequent posts, I’ll be covering how to setup your site on WordPress and multitude of tips and resources to take your craft blog to the next level. There much more exciting coming your way.
Tips for Creating a Professional Website
Make it mobile-friendly: Since most people browse on smartphones and tablets, it’s super important to optimize our sites for mobile devices. This means making sure our sites are responsive and adjust to different screen sizes and orientations.
Optimize for SEO: As I mentioned earlier, SEO is vital for driving organic traffic. Focus on keyword research, on-page optimization (like title tags, meta descriptions, header tags), and off-page optimization (backlinks, social media sharing).
Focus on user experience: A well-designed website should be easy to navigate. Prioritize clear and concise menus, uncluttered layouts, and speedy load times.
To sum up, upgrading from a free blog to a professional website has plenty of benefits, like increased control, better SEO, and enhanced credibility. By following the steps and tips I shared, you can make the switch and create an amazing online presence that helps you and your craft blog stand out.
So, if you’re still on the fence about ditching that free blog, just remember that investing in a professional website is one of the best things you can do for your blog. I know I did and sharing from experiences (with lessons learned hard way 😉 Give it a shot and watch your traffic and engagement soar! Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to building a successful and professional online presence that attracts and engages your craft-loving audience.