WordPress.com Is NOT for Professional Bloggers

WordPress.com is a great starting point for new bloggers. It gives you a taste of WordPress usage without having to pay for hosting, pay for a domain (unless you really want one), or worry about installing plugins or themes. However, for those who are planning to be a professional blogger, WordPress.com just won’t cut it. Allow me to explain.

First, let me define what I mean by a professional blogger. By a “professional blogger” I mean a blogger who places ads on their blog(Google Adsense, Affiliate Links, Sponsored Links/Banners/Ads), receives products for review, or receives money in exchange for blog posts.

Now for the reasons why professional bloggers should not use WordPress.com (at least not the free version). I’m going to save the main reason for last, so bear with me here.

1) No Plug-ins – WordPress.com does not allow you to install any of the thousands of plugins that are available to self-hosted WordPress users. If you think you’ll need the use of plugins, WordPress.com’s free service is not for you. While WordPress.com offers Premium & Business (paid) options, it appears that neither of them allow you to install your own plugins. Professional bloggers need plugins to keep their sites running the way they want them to.

2) Limited Theme Options – FREE WordPress.com has limited theme options and for the best themes available, you’ll have to either pay for the theme or upgrade to Business ($299/year) to get “free” access to those themes. Even then, there are still limited theme options as you are still limited to whatever themes are offered in the Appearance > Themes area.

3) Ads – Free WordPress.com serves up on ads on your blog – ads you won’t get money from. You can get rid of those ads for as little as $99/year.

4) You Can’t Make Money Off Your Blog – This is the biggest reason I can think of that WordPress.com (at least the free version) is not for Professional Bloggers. Free WordPress.com’s terms of service state that you may not receive compensation in any form for any post, banner, button, or link you place on your blog. Simply put, no making money off WordPress.com’s free service.

Now I have not tried WordPress.com’s Premium ($99/year) or Business ($299/year) services because I’ll be honest, I’ve been on self-hosted WordPress for so long, I can’t imagine using WordPress.com’s premium services for any reason. I have so much more control over my blogs than I would on WordPress.com and the descriptions of their premium services really don’t give me confidence as far as having more control over my blogs.

I highly recommend if you are planning on taking your blog to a professional level that you put purchase hosting and run self-hosted WordPress.

Where To Find Nice Templates For Blogger

Everyone starts blogging somewhere. In many cases bloggers start out on free services such as Blogger. Blogger offers a variety of templates that can be used and customized, but what if you want something a little different – maybe something like a cool WordPress theme you saw somewhere?

Well, if you aren’t comfortable with moving from Blogger or willing to move from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress, don’t worry. You can still have very nice templates, often for free, that are based on existing WordPress themes. In fact, some of the Blogger templates available are actually WordPress themes re-coded to work on Blogger. Some of my favorite places to look for themes for Blogger are:

  • NewBloggerThemes.com – I use this one often to find themes for my blog Love, Music, Magic – which I run on Blogger.
  • Blogger Templates – I’ve used this site a few times to find nice templates for my Blogger blogs in the past. They even have a section specifically to find WordPress themes that have been adapted to Blogger templates.

There are other sites, but these are the two I recommend as I’ve used them before. They offer instructions on how to install your new template – NewBloggerThemes in particular has screenshots to show you where to go and what to do. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, you can always search Google, Bing, or your favorite search engine for “Free Blogger Templates.”

Tutorial: Importing From Blogger to Self-Hosted WordPress

If you’ve been planning to make the switch from Blogger to WordPress but have been a bit iffy on the subject because you aren’t sure how to get your posts from Blogger over to WordPress, fret no more. Please note, this is for self-hosted WordPress – meaning you aren’t using an account on WordPress.com. Look under the cut for a photo tutorial on how to import your Blogger blog to WordPress.

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Tutorial: Setting How Google Indexes Your Site

Did you know that Google allows you to set your preference as to how they index your site? Well, if you didn’t, you do now! Google’s Webmaster Tools allows users to set their preference for what URL Google uses to index your site.

Once it’s set, Google will follow any links to your site, regardless of formatting, using the format you set. This means that your URL will appear in Google’s search results the way you want it to – no matter how it is being used on the internet. Your search engine rankings will be based on your URL preference, not how people link to you.

So how do you change your site settings? Easy…I’ll show you after the cut, as this is an image heavy post.  [Read more…]