Should You Own Your Blog, or Write for Blogging Sites?

I’ve been trying to come up with some time to write on Hubpages, Vocal.Media, or Medium to see if these platforms can make you money. But, I find myself lacking motivation. I think part of this is because owning your blog is far superior, in my opinion.

And since I have five blogs to maintain, I feel my time is better spent keeping content going on those websites.

Still, it’s a topic I am highly interested in.

Today, I’ll break down some of the benefits and drawbacks of owning a blog, and why I prefer to work on my own websites.

7 Benefits of Owning Your Blog

For me, the “pros” definitely outweigh the “cons” when it comes to owning a blog. Mostly because I’ve made far more money blogging than with content I write on other websites.

1. You Can Write Whatever You Want

First, and foremost, you can write whatever you want when you own a website. Whether someone will read it is another story. However, you’re not restricted and can create nearly anything you wish.

As long as you’re not going against the web hosts’ Terms of Service, you can write as much or as little as you’d like spanning almost any niche or industry.

2. Far Fewer Guidelines to Follow

Speaking of Terms of Service, you have fewer guidelines when it comes to creating your own website. For instance, Hubpages unpublished one of my articles simply because I linked back to this blog.

You’re not supposed to link back to anything that is considered self-promotional…even if the link is highly relevant to the piece.

3. Full Control Over the Website

If I want root access to my site’s files or want to edit an HTML or PHP file directly, I can. Most blogging platforms, including free systems like WordPress.com, don’t give you access to the root directory.

I can also change my layout, color scheme, and any plugins, or otherwise modify my site in any way I wish.

4. No Limits to Ways You Monetize the Content

With many free writing platforms, you are restricted in how you can make money from your post. For example, you can’t add affiliate links to articles you write in Hubpages.

From my blogs, I’ve made money through AdSense, sponsored content, supporter donations, and affiliate marketing channels. And soon, I’m adding my own ad serving platform for brands to advertise directly.

5. You Can Make More Money Overall

Because there are no limits to how you can monetize your site, it’s easier to make far more money overall. From affiliates to direct eCommerce, you control how your website generates revenue.

I have blog posts that continue to make me money to this day that I wrote back in 2016! As long as you can draw an audience, you can bring in a decent income.

6. Go Beyond Available Niche Categories

What if the system doesn’t have a niche category you want to write? You don’t have that problem when you own your blog. You can make it any niche you want.

Nowadays, a lot of systems like Vocal.Media have a slew of categories to write in. Still, I prefer being able to come up with anything I want in the hopes to attract an audience.

7. Easier to Market Yourself as a Professional

And lastly, it’s much easier to market yourself as an expert or professional in your field. Even though it takes a great deal of effort, the recognition could be well worth the time.

My personal blog has been growing quite a bit lately, mostly due to the content I created during an experiment a couple of months ago. Still, it’s nice to be recognized by name.

For example, I currently own five of the top 10 search results for my name in Google. Keep in mind, I’m also competing with a very successful lawyer and doctor.

I really should do more, though.

Drawbacks to Owning Your Blog

OK, so, owning a blog isn’t always going to be sunshine and rainbows. In fact, these are some of the biggest drawbacks that I’ve seen turn people off from having a website.

1. Requires a Money to Start

Probably the biggest difference between having a blog and writing for someone else’s is coming up with the money to start. However, it’s not something that will break the bank for most people.

For instance, you can get a blog right now for about $106.20 for the next three years by using something like GreenGeeks web hosting. Yes, this is a shameless promotion, but my point is still valid.

GreenGeeks Web Hosting

In reality, you don’t need to spend more than that to start…as long as you plan on doing all of the work yourself. There are enough free tools you can use to turn a small site into a powerhouse.

2. Takes Longer to Reach an Audience

In the beginning, it will take a long time to reach a target audience. You need to establish yourself as an expert and establish the blog as a great place to get quality content regarding your site’s niche.

How long this takes depends on your topics, the kind of content you create, if you’re adhering to Google’s SEO practices, and if you can keep people reading the articles.

3. Requires More Effort to Market the Site

When you own your blog, you need to do a bit of marketing to reach more readers. Google will only do so much, and you need to get your website in front of as many eyes as possible.

Especially if you want to make money from the blog.

Luckily, there are plenty of free methods to market your blog. It just takes more effort to make sure everyone knows you exist.

4. Creating Constant Content

If you want your website to become popular, you’re going to need a lot of content. And if you set up a regular publishing schedule, it’ll help keep people interested in your blog.

Of course, you can also just write once or twice a month and hope for the best. If you write something awesome, it could drive traffic for years to come.

But if you really want to have a popular and profitable blog, you’re going to need to write a lot of content. That is unless you pay someone to do it for you.

5. Takes Time to Set Up and Maintain

Systems like Hubpages, Vocal.Media, and Medium are already built and ready for you to write. The developers maintain the site as well as all the technical aspects.

All you have to do is create a blog post.

When you own your blog, everything from security to the layout design is your responsibility. It’s not overly difficult, but it will take up a lot of your time to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Why I Prefer Owning a Blog

In reality, I have a lot of reasons why I prefer owning my websites. For me, every point I mentioned earlier is reason enough to keep paying for my blogs every year.

But if I had to pick my top three reasons, they would be:

  • Marketing myself as a professional
  • Absolute website control
  • Making more money

From my blogs, I’ve connected with brands, made money from sponsored posts, networked with my audience, and received quite a few freebies of products I truly love.

I also have people show appreciation while buying me a cup of coffee.

I’m not sure how many people can say that about blogging elsewhere.

Perhaps I’ll come up with an experiment to see what pays more, writing for my blog or using Hubpages. A way to do this would be to track each individual post to see which one brings in the most amount of money.

But, this means writing similar content twice so I can get an accurate read on the value of a piece from a like-minded audience.

Do You Own Your Blog?

I don’t like being told what I can or can’t write. I also don’t like it when the editors at Hubpages feel they can change the piece dramatically so it “fits” what they want to publish.

Although I pay attention to my audience and try to create something they’ll like to read, it’s still 100% my content.

There’s nothing wrong with using blogging platforms. But, there is something to be said about owning your blog and having full control over nearly everything.

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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been a freelance writer since January of 2012. He has completed more than 8,000 jobs for a variety of clients ranging from animals to travel. Currently, he is the Content Marketing Team Lead of GreenGeeks Web Hosting.

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