Last updated on July 19th, 2023
I often get asked, “Should I start a self-hosted blog as a beginner?”
And my answer is always a very loud and clear “Hell Yeah!”. A self-hosted blog is the only way to build a successful online brand around your blog. because it’s flexible, easy, and simple for anyone.
So, if you’re thinking of starting a blog but you’re not sure whether to choose a self-hosted blog or hosted blog, this article is for you.
Are you ready to cut to the chase? Lets drive-in!
Jump ahead to:
What is a Self-Hosted Blog?
If you’re thinking of launching a blog but you’re unsure whether to go choose a self-hosted blog or hosted blog (for free) you can choose between two different setups:
- First, you can start a blog on a free blogging platform, like blogger.com, WordPress.com, or Wix, for example. It’s obviously no cost to do it. But if you’re serious about building a profitable blog to make money, then free platforms have a couple of serious limitations.
- The second option (I use it and other bloggers too) is to start your blog using a self-hosted option. It is where you need to register a domain name and web hosting. The self-hosted option is the only way to make your blog easy with flexible. It’s pretty much sure you can make money from blogging and that you’re in full control over your blog.
On the other hand, with a hosted blog, the blogging platform you’re using owns your content and can completely shut down your blog at any time.
Basically, a Self-hosted blog sounds 100x more complex than it actually is but the truth is, it will only take you only 10 minutes to set up a complete blog.
5 Critical Reasons Why Self-hosted Blog Is Better than a Free
Here are 5 Reasons to start a self hosted blog instead of hosted one:
1. Free Hosted Blogs Cost You More
When my site was on a free blogging platform, I saw so many cool things on other sites that I wanted to add to mine.
Many times, I found I wasn’t able to use certain gadgets or widgets on my blog because– it was SO confusing & frustrating!
The bottom line is, even if you decide to build your first blog on the free or hosted option today, In the future, it will cost you a lot more than you can imagine.
When you decide (and you will) that you need more features for your blog, you’ll need to upgrade your free blog and pay a premium.
Let’s take WordPress.com for example, which firmly allows you to create a blog for free. But when your blog starts growing and requires more features you need to upgrade its business plan to unlock all features.
As you can see WordPress Business plan will cost you $24.92 USD per month. This is what you’ll be paying for most other “free” blogging platforms in the future as well.
But If you host your own blog from the beginning, you’ll only be paying for the price of hosting which is between $2.95 – $3.95 per month.
Be smart and make wise decisions if you really want to make money from blogging.
2. You Can Choose Your Own Domain Name
The most important part of your brand is its name, isn’t it? The name of your blog will also be a part of the website URL or domain name of your blog.
With free or hosted platforms, you’ll always have a URL that includes the name of the platform itself.
With most free blogging platforms, you don’t get to own your own domain name. This means your website or blog address will look something like this:
Very unprofessional-looking! What do you think? That means your audience will understand you’re using a free blogging platform. It just makes your blog less credible and looks like a hobby thing – not professional.
So, How could your blog ever turn into a credible online brand if you’re always carrying the free blogging platform name with your blog?
Trust me, a unique, personal domain name is the only way to make your blog look unique and professional.
It is the only way your brand will stand out from your competition. And your readers will take you more seriously.
With a self-hosted blog, you are able to own your own custom domain name and you’re free to choose whatever URL you wish.
3. You Get more Freedom to Monetize Your Blog
If you decide to go with any free blogging platform sooner or later, you will be frustrated by its limitations.
Because free blogs restrict you from many different ways you could possibly monetize your blog.
For example, with free blogs, you’re not allowed to place ads in your comfortable way. While displaying ads on your blog is one of the best ways to earn passive income from blogging.
With a free platform, you will see ads on your blog but you won’t make a single penny only because you can’t control which ads to display and where and how.
Basically, Free blogging platforms control the ads on your blog so that they can use the ad income to pay for the tools that you can use for free.
On the other hand, self-hosted blogs give you all options and tools you need to show ads to your blog, create your own online store, and build your business without any restrictions.
That’s how all successful bloggers make money from blogging. Even if you don’t plan to become a full-time blogger, you can still make a good side income with a fairly small blog.
In short: Self-hosting your blog will obviously cost you a few dollars, but you’ll get much better tools to earn that money back sooner than you think. You don’t even need a big budget to start and run your blog
Because of flexibility I highly prefer self-hosted WordPress blogs rather than any free blogs.
4: You have full control over your blog
Choosing a free blogging platform is one of the awful blogging mistakes most blogger does.
The main drawback of free platforms is the lack of control over your blog and what you do.
No matter how well you brand your blog, you’re still not in control over what you create. And even, you don’t own the content you create nor the traffic your blog generates.
The worst thing about a free blog, you could get shut down overnight without notice.
Another thing, If the blogging platform is sold, for example, all your hard work and well-written content could be gone in just a second.
Now, if you want to have full control over your blog, self-hosted is the best option to go with.
So, If you start a self-hosted blog, you own everything such as the blog name, the domain, the content, and the traffic.
With Self-hosted, It’s all under your control and you can do whatever you want with it. And even, with a self-hosted blog, you can easily turn your blog into a business.
In short: Free blogs never would be a great option for serious bloggers or for hobby bloggers. But going self-hosted is the only viable option for anyone and you always get what you’ve always wanted to have.
5. All Successful Bloggers Prefer Self-Hosted Blogs
All profitable bloggers are using self-hosted blogs today. And they did not get to where they are today from creating a free hosted blog.
If you truly want to turn your blog into a profitable business, you need to treat your blog as a business.
As you can imagine when you become a blogger, you become an entrepreneur.
Do you know what an entrepreneur does?
All entrepreneurs invest money at the beginning of their journeys so that they can make more money… One of my favorite quotes is “Money makes money”
Many amateur bloggers make this mistake, they don’t like the idea of putting money into something they won’t make money from right away.
That might be your position now but it’s not the right attitude to have, if you’ve got this attitude you won’t make money, trust me!
Let’s see the fact, wouldn’t it be great if you could earn back $10, $15, $50, or even $100 for every $1 buck you spend on your blog?
That’s why you should start a self hosted blog that is exactly what successful bloggers do today! Change your mentality and grow your blog like a pro…
5 Easy Steps to Start a Self Hosted Blog in 2023
Step 1. Get a Blog Host
Web hosting or blog hosting whatever you called, basically is where your website or blog “lives.”
You own or rent it, and for that, you pay a small fee to keep your blog online. It’s kind of like paying for an apartment to the owner.
It’s one of the most popular & beginner-friendly and WordPress recommended web hosts on the Internet. It also offers fast, secure, and excellent 24/7 customer service.
Reasons why you should use Bluehost:
✓ It’s easy to use – anyone can create a WordPress blog, even just following this tutorial.
✓ You get a FREE domain name for one year
✓ #1 recommended web hosting by WordPress.org
✓ It offers 24/7 support via live chat, email, or phone
✓ It offers great uptime and fast page speed
✓ FREE WordPress.org installation
✓ Bluehost is the best affordable paid hosting for beginners, you can start your self-hosted blog for as low as $2.95 per month. (Note: This is an exclusive price for Passive Blogger readers)
✓ You will own your blog and be self-hosted.
✓ Bluehost will migrate your (WordPress.com) blog for FREE after buying any hosting package.
✓ Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. (Note: If you find any drawbacks or questions throughout this process, just send me an email (Subject: Blog set up) and I’m happy to help you out.
Set Up Your Blog Hosting
Here’s my favorite beginner setup (based on my 3+ years of experience):
Easy step to go…
#1. Click here to go to Bluehost.com (<- that link gets you a discount)
#2. Click Get Started Now & Choose the Choice Plus Plan.
#3. Enter the domain name you want to use (i.e. passiveblogger.com).
#4. Enter your account information.
#5. Under Package Info, choose an account plan based on how long you want to pay. (Remember, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee with all plans, so no risk!)
#6. Uncheck the Package Extras (you don’t need them.)
#7. Complete your purchase
#8. Create your Bluehost hosting account and set a new password
#9. Log in to your Bluehost account
Congrats! You now have web hosting for a self-hosted WordPress blog! 😀
SPECIAL OFFER: There’s an EXCLUSIVE promo sale for you as Passive Blogger readers. You can start your blog for as low as $2.95 per month when you sign up through this link. Plus, you’ll get a FREE domain name for a year.
Step 2. Register a Domain Name
You can get a domain name (e.g. passiveblogger.com) through either your hosting company or other domain providers like Namecheap.
I personally use and recommend Namecheap for domain names. I highly recommend getting your domain from a domain provider because it helps you manage all your domain from one place.
Now You might ask…
What if I already have a domain name?
- Transfer your domain registration to Bluehost.
- Change the name servers on your domain to point to Bluehost.
How to Pick a Good Domain Name
Here are some of the things to consider when choosing a name through a domain name registrar:
#1. Your Domain name should be memorable and not too difficult to type.
#2. Make sure your domain name is easy to spell and pronounce.
#3. Avoid using numbers and hyphens in your own domain because it can confuse people.
#4. Your name should have the capacity to capture a broader niche. In case you need to pivot to an adjacent niche.
Congrats! You now have a domain name for a self-hosted WordPress blog! 😀
Step 3. Install WordPress
If you want to start blogging, you require blogging software, and I found WordPress is the best.
It’s easy, quick, and free to use for anyone. And even, you can set up your WordPress blog through your Bluehost (follow this tutorial)
Otherwise, you have to go through WordPress.org to download the software and then upload it to a host. But it’s a bit complicated for non-tech guys.
I recommend you install WordPress from Bluehost. It’s easy, by following the instructions given by Bluehost, and within a few minutes, you can set up your blog.
Step 4. Get a WordPress Theme
Right now, after installing WordPress your blog might look something like this:
This is the default WordPress theme, and you can change it on the left side of the Apearence> theme.
Now, What is a theme? A theme is a template, files, and stylesheets that dictate your blog design.
Now, there are two options when it comes to themes:
First, you can either get a free theme from WordPress inventory that comes with limited options or upload a paid theme.
Step 5. Log in and Start Blogging
You can log in to your dashboard by simply clicking “Lon in WordPress (which redirects to the login page if you’re not logged in) or you can simply type “yourblogname.com/wp-admin/” and it will be landed you on the log-in page.
Once logged in, You will get your WordPress Dashboard like this:
Now click “Posts” on the left-hand sand, and then select “Add New.” add a catchy title and create blog content for your new blog.
And that’s it, and you’re off to the races! Start blogging. This is exactly where the hard, but good, work of writing begins.
Bonus: If you’re ready to jump into the world of blogging, click here (discount link) to get started with Bluehost for just $2.95/month for 12 months on the Basic Plan.
Self Hosted Faq
Is Starting a Self-Hosted Blog Worth it in 2023?
I believe everyone should start a blog in 2023. It is a great way to help you generate passive income from home.
Even It’s worth it if you continuously put effort into your blog and If you enjoy what you’re doing money will come automatically.
But remember, blogging isn’t quick or easy money. Writing is only a small part of it.
Should I Start a Free or Paid Blog?
Many people think that starting a free blog is a good idea in the beginning but it’s worthless and time consuming.
If you want to make money blogging starting a free blog is an awfully bad idea because of its difficulty.
So starting a blog on self-hosted is the best option to choose rather than a free blog.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Self Hosted Blog?
In the beginning, I recommend just paying for blog hosting if you’re on a tight budget. This will keep your costs low when starting a blog.
If you want to choose to host that’s affordable, fast, reliable, and secure, Bluehost is one of the best. It’s one of the top web hosting companies in 2023 and WordPress itself recommends it.
Putting all Together
If you’re still reading this I can guess that you’re a newer blogger looking to set up your own blog using WordPress.
If this is the case, you are definitely following this 9999-word guide on Building Your Own Blog (Step by Step).
So, If you’re ready to get started with your WordPress blog with Bluehost, you can use my affiliate link to get a little extra off the normal $8.99 price (only $2.95/month).
Hope you enjoy this article….if you have any questions regarding a self-hosted blog let me know in the comment below.