1. Free is free. If a free platform decides it doesn’t like your blog, doesn’t agree with your posts, or has someone cry out “spam”, they have the right to delete all your work, no questions asked. blog

2. With free platforms like Blogger, you have limited customization control. You can’t fully brand the site to have your look and feel.

3. You lose the professionalism of having your own domain name. Your clients will view you differently when you tell them your blog is at MySmallBizBlog.com instead of MyBiz.Blogspot.com.

4. Limited control over advertising options. Want banners, special navigation, or sponsorship links on your blog? Free blog platforms don’t give you the flexibility to create a unified look. 

5. Lack of advanced features. When using a selfhosted WordPress format, you have access to hundreds of widgets, templates and plugins that can provide you everything from SEO capabilities to membership options. Not so with the free platforms.

6. Navigation flexibility. With free blog platforms, you must use their templates. With selfhosted platforms, you can control your navigation, making it appear and work like traditional websites.

7. Tools and metrics. If you are truly ready to track your marketing efforts, and know how well your blog is bringing in the prospects, stats packages are a necessity. Free sites are limited; selfhosted platforms offer a wide range of options.

8. No control over down time. If a free platform decides to bring your blog down for a day (or week), you have no recourse. With a selfhosted platform, you choose where you host it. If you don’t like the service, you can easily pick up and move.

9. Changing platforms can be tricky at best. Some businesses start out with a free platform to see how well they like it. A year or two down the road they decide to switch for all the reasons mentioned here. One issue is transferring data from one platform to another can be a time consuming job. Another issue is traffic – you already have a following built up to one domain name, switching to another means starting over.

10. The cost of doing business. Blogs are one of the most economical forms of marketing. As with most things, you get what you pay for. And if you start with a free platform, how serious are your followers going to take your business model? It’s all about the image and the brand. Make sure your image always says what you want it to say.


2 Responses to “10 Downsides Of Using A Free Blog Platform For Your Small Business”

  1. Jeff on October 7th, 2009 10:28 pm

    For only about $15 a month you can build, register, and host a professional looking website with Microsoft’s Office Live Small Business service. It gives you all the tools you need to make a site for your company, and even let’s you accept credit card payments online so that you have can have a full fledged e-commerce site.

    MSFT Office Live Outreach

  2. Michael Sharman on October 8th, 2009 1:40 am

    This article is confusing to me. Your use of “blogging platform” seems to suggest blogspot (a free, hosted option).

    But to me WordPress is also a blogging platform which is free and can be hosted by WordPress or by yourself.

    A user reading the article really needs to understand that you mean free blogging engines/platforms which are NOT hosted by the user but by the company who develop the platform.

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