Growing Your Blog: Why WordPress?

Have you heard the news?  This Friday, July 5, I will be making the move from Blogger to WordPress!

What does that mean for you?  Mostly just that I’ll have a fun new design {don’t worry, it won’t be TOO different, and you’ll still recognize the color scheme}.  Also, I won’t be able to post any new content between Thursday night when the party goes live until I’m finished making design tweaks and ready to show the new site to the world!  You will still be able to find me at the same place, http://www.oneartsymama.com, and you can expect the same kinds of posts and projects you’re used to.  So why am I switching?  Well, I’m glad you asked!

If you’re a blogger who’s been wondering about making the switch, or even just a reader who’s interested, let me give you a quick overview of the three places/ways a gal can make a blog.

BLOGGER
- Totally free to create and run
- Hosted free by Blogger {Google}
- User-friendly and simple to edit
- You must comply with Blogger guidelines

WORDPRESS.COM
- Free to create and run unless you choose to upgrade to a paid template
- Hosted free by WordPress
- Has the option of adding plug-ins to further customize your site, help with SEO, and more
- You may NOT run ads or do sponsored posts on this platform

WORDPRESS.ORG
- Templates may be free or paid, depending on what you choose
- Self-hosted; you pay a company like GoDaddy, BlueHost, etc. for hosting services
- Fully customizable with plug-ins of all kinds
- You own your own content and may do as you like, as long as you comply with FTC guidelines
- Recommended by many blogging experts, and shows brands you are serious about blogging as a business

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to each platform.  I don’t think there’s a single “right answer” or “one-size-fits-all” choice when it comes to deciding where and how to make your blog.  In my opinion, Blogger is probably the best option for hobbyists who are just getting started and are creating a blog as an outlet or something fun to do on the side.  If, on the other hand, you’re serious about making your blog into a business and dedicating the time and effort it takes to grow a readership of several thousand followers, it’s worth your time to go the WordPress.org route.  I’ve gone back and forth about making the switch for over a year now, and finally decided to close my eyes and jump!

Here are the major reasons why I decided to make the move.

1. I wanted to own my own content and not be at the whim of Google.  I personally know bloggers who have tried to log in to their Blogger sites one day and their accounts were locked because somehow Google flagged them as spam or in violation of a rule.  Most, if not all, of them eventually got their blogs back but not without a lot of hassle and anxiety.

2. I wanted the benefits of certain plug-ins.  I noticed some things my friends on WordPress were able to do with and for their blogs that weren’t available to me…I was jealous, lol!

3. WordPress.org eliminates the need for a photo storage site.  Right now, I pay a subscription fee to Photobucket for hosting the pictures I use.  Once I make the switch, I can do that right on WordPress as part of my own hosting.

4. I can create guest users.  Now, I will be able to give folks who contribute to One Artsy Mama on a semi-regular basis, like Erin who posts her monthly Crafty Chaos projects, their own usernames and passwords.  This way, instead of sending me a typed document and a bazillion huge pictures that I’m supposed to format into a post, she can log in and create the post herself just like I would normally do. She’ll have restricted access, so she can’t go changing things around or deleting things {bahaha, sorry, Erin!}, but she can make any edits she wants to her own posts.  This is what I do when I guest post on sites like Somewhat Simple and Engaged Marriage, and it’s so much easier!

5. The experts told me to.  Recently, I attended an online conference put on by The Blog Workshop and every speaker agreed that bloggers who wanted to make a great impression with brands and really make their blogs their jobs should be self-hosted.  I do know there are some “Big Bloggers” out there who are still on the Blogger platform, so obviously, you can still be successful there too, but I thought the benefits were worth the hassle of switching.

6. The initial investment is worth {in my opinion} the long-term returns.  Honestly, one of my big hang-ups about making the switch was the money.  Initially, I balked at the idea of a hosting fee {which ended up being way smaller than I anticipated}, paying someone to help me, and paying for a theme, but in the long run when I considered the money I’m bringing in and the increase in page views I expect, it’s a wise business investment that wasn’t even as expensive as I thought it would be.

Those are my reasons for packing up and moving this weekend.  Perhaps you’re thinking it’s not the right move for you…and if so, you’re probably right!  But maybe you’re intrigued and think this might be the next step for you and your blogging business.  If so, it’s time to find and talk with someone who knows a lot about this and then hire someone you trust to help you with logistics.  I’m using Laura Summers {I can give you her info if you’re interested}.  Unless you’re a whiz with code, I really recommend getting help.  I thought about trying to do it on my own {and I do know a few people who did successfully move themselves}, but I don’t have all the skills I need and I didn’t want the responsibility.

I hope this helps to give you a better overview of your options and what might be best for you!  As for me, I’m anxiously waiting for Friday and I can’t wait to unveil the “new and improved” One Artsy Mama!

Hugs & Glitter,

 

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11 comments on Growing Your Blog: Why WordPress?

  1. Laura
    July 3, 2013 at 2:48 PM (10 months ago)

    Congrats on the big move Amy! When I started my blog a few months ago, I decided to go straight to a self-hosted wordpress blog, and I am so glad I did. I look forward to being able to comment on your blog directly without having to login through openid. :)

    Reply
  2. Designed by Dawn Nicole
    July 3, 2013 at 3:32 PM (10 months ago)

    Congrats, Amy! I’ve never regretted moving over to WordPress. It rocks! Can’t wait to see the new-ish look! :) Happy 4th of July!

    Reply
  3. Susan@Organized31
    July 3, 2013 at 3:44 PM (10 months ago)

    Thanks for answering the questions I’ve had about “why the switch over to Word Press?” But I am curious, can you give an example of an envy-inspiring plug-in?

    Reply
  4. Emily Thompson
    July 3, 2013 at 4:17 PM (10 months ago)

    fun! cant wait to see the new site!

    Reply
  5. KC Coake
    July 4, 2013 at 1:42 AM (10 months ago)

    I think I’m going to be moving soon too. I just haven’t had the time to put into the research on who I want to use to help me and such and so on. Hope it goes well for you!
    KC

    Reply
  6. Sheena Anderson
    July 4, 2013 at 2:32 AM (10 months ago)

    Good luck with the move! I have my blog on wordpress.com and I have been thinking about moving to self hosting but I haven’t had much time to research and my blog is more of a hobby. I have few readers and I don’t make any money from it. But I would like to grow my blog so it makes me think more about making the switch.

    Reply
  7. Amber *SaltTree*
    July 4, 2013 at 11:55 PM (10 months ago)

    Good luck with the move :) I am still with blogger, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t considered the switch. I hope it goes well for you and I look forward to seeing the sparkling new layout!

    Reply
  8. Mom
    July 5, 2013 at 7:25 PM (10 months ago)

    Looks great

    Reply
  9. Bethany
    July 6, 2013 at 12:14 AM (10 months ago)

    Great post! I am wanting to make the switch soon, but the investment is making it a longer wait than I thought (I am trying to pay for it 100% with my blog earnings). Hopefully soon! Would you recommend paying someone to do if for you?
    Bethany recently posted…Felt Magnet TransportationMy Profile

    Reply
    • dancers4life
      July 6, 2013 at 8:39 AM (10 months ago)

      Yes, Bethany, I definitely recommend hiring someone. I’d have been lost trying to do it all myself!

      Reply

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