I yawn when I think about going into high-tech explanations. It’s cool to know some geeky stuff, I reckon. But it’s cooler to fast track to sweet results.
So, I will teach you a little about what self-hosting means when it comes to your WordPress blog, and then give you what I think is a “smart” use of them.
And sooo …
There are two ways to “have a WordPress Blog” by either by “self hosting” it or getting it free (or hosted for you) at the WordPress.com website.
And there are pros and cons to each.
“Self hosting” is simply paying for your own chosen hosting company and then installing WordPress there. For example, you buy hosting at BlueHost.
If you don’t “self host” your WordPress Blog will then reside at WordPress.com and is under their control, which forces a few restrictions on you as they (WordPress.com) want to use all your blogs to grow their site / business (which ends up meaning having more users, lots of content, ad income, service income).
The main reasons I recommend you SELF HOST are:
1. You can use the great themes and plugins to make great looking and super functioning websites.
2. You don’t get ads on your site.
Ads are not cool when you’re trying to make a professional impression on visitors. It makes them go, “Uhh … why is this coach showing me ads about sneakers?”
3 .You are not under stricter terms and conditions.
As mentioned above, since your content is essentially published through WordPress.com, they have certain restrictions and so they can turn your site off or change your theme or other things. Probably a small risk.
4. You can use good analytics.
If you self host you can use better analytics tools out there. This may be a bit advanced for newer coaches, but it’s something you should start getting into right away. The numbers tell if your site is working or not. I’m in love with Google Analytics ;P.
If you choose NOT to self host, you can enjoy the benefits of not having to pay anything (as the base level usage is free), and you can get started blogging in minutes.
If you want to remove ads or you go over the storage limit, then you will be required to start paying.
So again, I recommend self-hosting your WordPress blog.
It can be set up fast. It’ not hard to do. It will cost around $5 a month, you can avoid credibility-lowering ads, and get key client-attraction tools in place.
But that being said, I’m completely open to “doing what works” and …
I can respect that each coach will be in a different place in their business as in …
- Some will fear technology some won’t
- Some have a little to invest, some more, some none
- Some will have a grandiose plan, some will just jump in
- And everything else in between.
So, strategically, I think taking action, trying something out that makes sense, can work OR you can learn from it and improve.
And, since the goal for many is building credibility, sharing information, growing a network, and drumming up new clients – a self-hosted or hosted blog will be ideal depending on your situation.
If you have great content, know your market well, have juicy calls-to-action, and are highly visible, you’ll do well on either self-hosted WordPress or not … but I would give higher results to the self-hosted approach.
So, then who should go for hosted, free, ads littered, functionally limited WordPress Blog?
I’d suggest this person go for the hosted blog:
- The total technophobe
- The coach dying to write articles and post them now
- The coach with zero time for anything else right now
Also, regardless of approach, I’m 100% convinced you should come up with a bigger picture game plan for finding new clients, even the most rudimentary, which should have:
- Some idea of who is an ideal client, any of your past good ones will do, pick one.
- Find some hangouts where these ideal clients are, even a “likely” place.
- Get up the blog, self hosted or not (go for self hosting is again, my suggestion)
- Get your blog content onto it
- Setup ways to stay in touch – an email list is good.
- Send out or setup calls to action – to drum up phone calls.
That is, in short, have a client attraction strategy. A strategy you can tweak and improve.
To speed up your success of your blog (website), get the site strategy, writing advice, tech tips and orderly steps in the book I wrote, The Coaching Website Guide.