There are over 175 million blogs on the internet today and that number only grows rapidly each and every day. It is easy to start a blog with free-hosting sites like Blogger, WordPress, Typepad, and many more offering easy, 5 minute set-up. Bloggers don’t have worry about hosting issues and can choose pre-designed templates to begin writing right away.
However, to get noticed by readers and advertisers, it is much better to put in the extra work (or spend the extra money) and self-host a custom-designed website. Simply put, it will differentiate your blog from the rest of the pack by looking more unique and professional. Since anyone can create a blog through Blogger etc., anyone can use one of their limited number of pre-designed templates. That means there are thousands, if not millions of people using the same exact designs on their pages.
Be unique. A custom-designed blog will more be more eye-grabbing and will be give you more design options, obviously. You can create a design that fits better with your blog’s topic, image, and brand, and it affords much more creativity. Bloggers with custom-designed sites do not have to go the conventional “blog look” route, with new posts scrolling down the page, but can get more innovative with layout, colors, backgrounds, fonts, images, everything.
Plus, self-hosting (with “yoursite.com” rather than “yoursite.wordpress.com”) allows you to own all the content on your website and makes your site easier to find; remembering that extra “blogspot.com” can be detrimental to traffic. Also, again, it simply looks more professional. And being able to own your site and its design allows for you to put outside advertisements on your blog, which means you can earn an income from the site.
It certainly takes more work, and to have it really done right, you may want to buy a professional blog template (£30-£50) or have a graphic/web designer custom design it themselves, which can run hundreds of dollars. But if you’re serious about blogging — and earning an income from blogging — you need a custom-designed website. It will draw readers in, ones who are quick to click away from a subpar looking site. Internet users are ones to judge a book by its cover; don’t let your design detract from the great content written. Enhance it with a unique, eye-catching, and innovative custom design. It will bring the readers — and the advertising money.