3 Rockin’ Reasons to Pay For Your Website

Image of Please Pay Here SignSo 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.

Any questions?

Photo: stevendepolo

5 Responses to 3 Rockin’ Reasons to Pay For Your Website
  1. Sarah Russell
    February 7, 2011 | 2:18 pm

    Just to add to your second point…

    Commercial sites typically violate the terms of service of free blogging sites, which means that on any given day Blogger, Blogspot, or WordPress.com could shut off your site with no warning. All of your hard work could be gone in an instant.

    To me, this is kind of like building a house – would you start the project with the cheapest possible materials and hope for the best, thinking you’ll upgrade along the way? Probably no. Give your internet business the same consideration and start off with as strong a foundation as possible.

    • Jon
      February 7, 2011 | 10:13 pm

      Right on, Sarah. This ties right back into having your vision or some semblance of a long-term strategy in place before you begin. Yes, a home (website) needs a proper foundation so laying the right groundwork can reduce or eliminate many “structural” issues in the future.

  2. Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion
    February 9, 2011 | 11:56 am

    Well said Jon, as this is a HUGE mistake many onliners make because they are ‘testing the water’. I tell people, even if you’re ‘testing the waters’, you still got to do enough to get your toe wet, which means doing things at least semi professionally. For example, when I started my blog, I bought my own domain and bought Thesis as well for my blog (speaking of great SEO). Both were very, very important moves. Sense that time, I’ve twice paid someone to come in and make some visual improvements. Does it cost money? Sure it does, but it’s also more than worth it.


  3. Adrienne
    February 14, 2011 | 1:21 pm

    Hey Jon,

    Yeah, your friend was already sabotaging his efforts before he even began. I think a lot of people do that because they don’t have a clue what they are doing so they have no idea if they can even make it work. It’s the big “if” word that gets thrown around a lot.

    You made some very valid points and for anyone who is interested inpursuing an online venture they need to invest in not only the right services but in themselves as well.

    I love free information, tools, services, etc. and enjoy sharing what I come across with my readers. But there are certain things that can’t be ignored if your intention is to have success.

    Great post and thanks for sharing these important tips.


    • Jon
      February 14, 2011 | 1:38 pm

      We’ve all been there with the “second-guessing ourselves” routine. We just have to identify it for what it is; self-sabotage (as you said). You’re right that most times people don’t know or plan enough to be able to recognize a worthwhile commitment. Of course we can never be 100% certain a venture will succeed but at some point you have to take the leap and go for it – and do it right.

      Thanks so much for your input.

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