So I was having this conversation with a friend of mine. He’s a good guy, savvy in his day job and he’s learning more about this whole online business-slash-content marketing thing.
He was tossing this idea around to monetize a site in the health and fitness niche. This is great because if you boil down the “big 3″ of online marketing it would look like this:
- Personal finance
- Dating and relationships
- Health and fitness
There’s a ton of money trading hands in those niches all day, everyday. Naturally, I tell my friend this and congratulate him on choosing a lucrative industry.
He wants to go free. Not only that, he also stated that he’d upgrade to a registered (paid) domain and monthly hosting package IF his project gained traction.
If it gained traction. He was clearly betting against his project before he even started.
In his defense we’ve all thought the same way at some point. My first blog was created several years back on Blogger and it was about dating (it went nowhere). Let’s just say that after research, and the glaringly obvious sign that the popular websites I frequented weren’t parked on free services, I quickly switched to a paid model.
Go paid. Here’s why.
3 Great Reasons To Pay For Your Site
1. You’ll improve accountability
Let’s be honest, if you’re parking your business site on a free service provider then how seriously are you taking it?
(How seriously do you think people are taking you?)
It’s like anything that you pay for monthly; you know there’s a better chance you’ll use it if you’re paying out each month. Think of the unused treadmill you hang your clothes on in your den versus your gym membership; which is the greater motivator to go workout?
Aside from that, registered domains look more trustworthy and people are likely to view you as a professional. Image is everything.
Put some scratch together and fork the $5/month to get a basic hosting plan and the $10/annually or so you’ll pay to register your domain. As you gain traction, you may even find you’ll want to upgrade your hosting plan and pay more. Trust me on this one.
2. Gain control
If you’re running a website for the sheer thrill of it then free is fine. But if you plan to start and run a sustainable business online then you should ditch the freebie mindset.
You surrender control of terms and conditions, advertising options, and monetization strategy when you use free services. Some free blog and website services even limit your outbound links if they think you’re overly promotional.
You don’t need anyone else steering your ship. Registering your own domain and host can protect you from sudden service and terms changes that are beyond your control.
So go paid or it’ll be like having strict internet parents telling you how, when, what, and for how long you can do something. Forget it.
3. Smart SEO
If you’re going to register a domain name, chances are you’ll spend more time researching the right name. That’s great because from a search-engine standpoint you can gain a lot.
By registering a domain name with your industry keywords or phrases in the URL you increase your competitive advantage. Search engines will value your site deeming it relevant based partly on domain alone.
So you’re probably wondering why I didn’t name my site something SEO-friendly. Well, I did make a list and agonize over many options but I just felt that my own name was the best fit for this project.
Get Your Own Domain
Break the shackles and stop relying on that safety net mindset. You know the one, the mindset where you say, “well…I’ll start with a free site and IF people notice it then I’ll upgrade to paid.”
Translation: “I don’t have enough confidence in my idea to put in the time and/or effort to see any ROI.”
Set out today and scoop up a domain name, sign up for some hosting, and get to publishing that great content on YOUR terms!
Sound like too much work? Let me do it for you and we’ll get your idea launched the smart way.