Years ago I exclusively blogged about blogging, and I’ve been getting almost daily questions from new or aspiring bloggers about everything from how much it costs to blog to whether a certain blog design looks good ever since. For a long time I felt weird about it, like I wasn’t knowledgable enough to answer or didn’t have a successful enough blog to be credible. But like…this has basically been my job for three years now, so it’s time to stop acting like I don’t have a credible opinion about blogging and just share my advice ??
Despite wanting to help everyone that emails me become successful and have the perfect blog and answer all their questions, it can get overwhelming to answer long, personalized emails on a daily basis. So instead of writing a three paragraph response to common questions, I’m starting this series, Blogger Thoughts!
I have a lot of general posts about blogging, but I want to use these posts to dive deeper into specific topics and questions. They probably won’t be as long as my traditional posts (since there’s not as much content to cover), but that’ll allow me to write them more often! So of course, if you have any questions you want covered, let me know!
And just a little disclaimer, these are all opinion posts based on my experience blogging. There’s no one “right” way to blog, and you should always gather a variety of sources on a topic to get the best opinion! I’m just adding mine to that pot 🙂
So, first thought: is it worth switching my blog to self-hosted WordPress?
Note: This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure by clicking here.
For some background, I started my blog for free on Blogger four years ago. I stayed on there for about a year until I got my first sponsored post. Then I transferred my blog to self-hosted WordPress using Bluehost as my host. I spent about two years using Bluehost, and at one point they experienced a major downtime on their shared servers which left my blog down for literally months. I didn’t really care at the time because I wasn’t actively blogging, but once I started up again I knew that couldn’t happen again.
So I switched my host to SiteGround a year ago and haven’t had a single problem since.
Should *I* switch my blog to self-hosted WordPress?
Everyone has a different blogging journey and blog goals, which will majorly affect this decision. I usually get this question from bloggers who’ve been blogging for several months, are thinking about making money from their blog (but probably haven’t yet), and see themselves blogging long-term. By “long-term”, I just mean you’re not planning to stop in a few months. You don’t have to be like, “I’m gonna blog full-time for the rest of my life!”, just knowing you kind of want to keep it up is okay.
There’s nothing wrong with blogging on a free platform. You can still make money, work with brands, and be successful. Switching to self-hosted WordPress just gives you more opportunity with what you can do with your blog. You can read about some of those additions here, but a few big ones are that it gives you complete freedom over how your blog looks and allows your blog to easily grow into whatever you want it to be (a shop, a business, a community, literally whatever).
If you’re thinking about switching over, I honestly don’t see a reason not to. Nothing bad will come of it, and if you don’t like it, you can just switch back! The fact that you’re thinking about it means you probably won’t stop thinking about it, and at that point you’re just putting off the inevitable.
One major reason I see bloggers not switching is because they’re afraid of the cost. In some scenarios, yes, it might not be the best idea for you to put money into your blog. But most people can afford to give up one or two Starbucks drinks a month (or the equivalent if you’re not a fan), which is honestly what it costs. Hosting plans start at less than $5 a month, and a domain costs around $10 a year. If this was any other hobby, you wouldn’t hesitate to buy a few things! Like, if you’re getting into painting, would you be like, “no I’m not going to buy this cool color I want” if it’s $5?
Unless you’re really strapped for cash, I don’t see a few dollars a month as “too much” to invest in your blog. Just don’t eat out once and bam, you’ve made back your money.
And no, you don’t have to be making money from your blog to switch! Obviously that would be nice, but there’s no rule saying you have to have x number of sponsorships to be self-hosted. It’s your blog, do whatever you want with it.
Another reason bloggers hesitate to switch is that they’re scared about how to switch. There’s a lot of technical jargon involved with self-hosting, but you honestly don’t have to understand any of that to switch. It’s a good idea to take the time to learn (learning is fun and powerful!), but you don’t have to. At least on SiteGround, all you have to do is sign up for an account, pay, and ask customer service to do the actual transfer. Within a day all your content will be transferred to your “new” blog, and customer service can help you get logged in. I also wrote a tutorial on all this if that helps. So don’t be afraid of that!
If you feel like switching your blog to self-hosted WordPress, just do it. It’s not that expensive, it’s not that hard, and you can always go back if it’s not for you. If you get stuck, just google! All your answers will be there! And if not, email me and I’ll write a post about it! I’m all here for bloggers supporting bloggers so if you want to take that step, I’m supporting you!
Don’t forget to submit any questions you want answered, and if you don’t feel comfortable commenting publicly, feel free to email me!