Lee Odden

12 Reasons Why You Should Own Your Blog

Lee Odden     Blogging Strategy

Social MEdiaWith the explosion of social networking and free blog sites, it is easier than ever to create your own blogs with just a few clicks of the mouse. The questions that don’t get asked are, do I own the content I create? If I upload images, are they still mine? What happens if this service goes away?

Where as social networking sites are great, ultimately they are at the hands of other companies. What they choose to do with their services, you have no choice but to go along with it, or delete your account.

Here are 13 reasons why you should purchase hosting and own your own blog.

1. Control
Whether you like it or not, MySpace, Facebook and Blogger all have rules and limitations that you have to abide to. It may not seem like a big deal at first, but as you decide to grow your blog, and expand your brand, they’ll soon become apparent.

2. Customization
Not all services allow you to make the site your own. Tumblr, Facebook and WordPress.org all have some sort of customization abilities, but is it enough? Just adding your logo or picture in the sidebar can be outside the limits of some free services.

3. Changing Social Networks
Remember when MySpace was huge? Then Facebook came along. Now people are just Twittering away. All the content that gets built up at individual social network doesn’t transfer over to new ones and ends up becoming lost on a service you no longer use.

4. Social Networks Go Way
What happens if Blogger or MySpace decides to go away? I doubt that will happen anytime soon, but free online services come and go. Look at AOL Hometown or Yahoo Mash. Everyone that had spent time building up those sites and profiles have all had all their hard work disappear. Sometimes with little to no notice.

5. Monetization
Making money with a blog is a great way to pay your hosting costs or make a few additional dollars on the side. However placing ads is not always a possibility on all free services. Sites like MySpace have their own ads to make their own money and you, as a content creator, have to have them displayed on your profile without seeing a dime.

6. Terms of Use
Have you ever read the terms of use of social sites? They have the right to modify your content, censor you, or shut you down at any time. And you’ve agreed to it!

“The MySpace Services are for the personal use of Members and may be used for promotional purposes as well, but direct commercial endeavors may only be used if they are specifically endorsed or authorized by MySpace. MySpace reserves the right to remove commercial content in its sole discretion. Illegal and/or unauthorized use of the MySpace Services, including collecting usernames, user id numbers, and/or email addresses of Members by electronic or other means for the purpose of sending unsolicited email or unauthorized framing of or linking to the MySpace Website, or employing third party promotional sites or software to promote profiles for money, is prohibited. Commercial advertisements, affiliate links, and other forms of unauthorized solicitation may be removed from Member profiles without notice or explanation and may result in termination of Membership privileges. MySpace reserves the right to take appropriate legal action for any illegal or unauthorized use of the MySpace Services.”

7. Privacy
Privacy is a big deal. Facebook fans all got up set when Facebook modified their privacy policy recently.  So much so that Facebook put back the old privacy policy. When it all comes down to it, the service decides what they own, what you own and what they do with your information.

“Facebook may use information in your profile without identifying you as an individual to third parties. We do this for purposes such as aggregating how many people in a network like a band or movie and personalizing advertisements and promotions so that we can provide you Facebook. We believe this benefits you.”

8. Authority
Sure sites like Bebo and Friendster are easy to setup, but if you want to build your own brand, or market yourself, you need to prove that you are creative, talented and put forth the effort to do what it takes. An OK website, at your own domain, is much better than a decent site with Geocities in the URL.

9. Analytics
Understanding what posts you’re creating are good traffic drivers, how your visitors are getting to your site, and how they use your site, are all important factors in marketing a successful blog. With social services like Facebook, analytics information is not available.

10. Visibility
Social networks visibility is often limited to those that you connect to and who are participating in that particular service. Buy running your own blog, don’t have to connect with people to get feedback. A great Hi5 scrapbook (aka blog) post may get good visibility within the Hi5 network, but what about the rest of the internet?

11. Simplicity
Most hosts now have the ability to do one click-installs of WordPress and WordPress has the ability to do one-click installs of plugins. In no time you can setup, customize and start creating your own unique blog.  Even for as little as $25 a year.

12. Integration
Between adding your blog feed to your social networks, and adding social network widgets to your blog, you can integrate all your services and create a central hub to market and promote yourself.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t network in some of the many social sites, but direct those users back to your blog for good posts, reviews or additional conversation.

Use social sites for networking and research and use your own, hosted, blog for content generation and as a place to market yourself.  In the long run, the benefits of owing your own blog will outweigh and out last any social networking site.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Good article. As pointed out, having our own blog at a later stage after establishing brand is better.

    Initial setting costs are less when using these free services and it is less risky while entering the world of blogging that too professional blogging.

  2. Like the idea, but I think it could be quite time consuming. If you can be regularly committed to maintaining a blog then yes it is a good idea, but visitors only want latest news and not outdated waffle.

  3. The widget integration is great that way you can add analytics tools like GA (google.com) and Tynt Tracer (tynt.com).

  4. @Linda Yes, there is a time aspect to hosting your own blog, but WordPress is making that even easier by having software updates built in. Also, some hosts have one-click installs of WordPress which also have the ability to do one-click upgrades.

  5. It is good owning your blog because after you are tried of blogging, you can sell the blog.

  6. I totally agree. If you are really serious about blogging, having your own website is the only way to go.

  7. Avatar FishyFiction says

    I really don’t see why you wouldn’t want to have your own blog. When I see all of those people who sign up for Blogger accounts, I cringe. Why do they use that instead of going with a free hosting a purchasing a cheap domain yo use with WordPress. Ah oh well, it’s their decision I suppose.

  8. Really great benefits of owning a blog. Not owning a blog can never be same as owning it which means you can avail all the benefits(in fact luxuries) mensioned above.

  9. CAn you “own” your wordpress blog? I have my own website and I’m wondering if I can integrate a paid version of wordpress into a page on my site? I’m not a developer, more of a designer and and am hoping for a plug and play type option, I’m not afraid to pay for it either.


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