Free blogging sites such as Blogger and WordPress have their place online but they are really for amateurs and not for professional businesses. The closure of Geocities is one example of where a ‘free’ situation can eventually cost a business. I admit that Geocities is not a blog host, but I do know many people who cut their teeth on Geocities – some even tried creating commercial sites – generally without success. If they had been successful, where would they be today? Without a website!
Hosting your own web site, blogs included, puts the total control in your hands. You don’t have to follow any rules regarding what can and cannot be advertised (unless your host has specific terms of service; then, you can always switch hosts). Some free services insist on having their own banner ads sprawled across the header or footer – certainly not a great look when customers come calling.
I won’t totally dismiss the free blogs. They can be of use for building inbound links. It can, however, be a lot of work for only a few links back. Blogger blogs, of course, can be handy for getting content indexed quickly. Update your site, write a blogger post with a link to your content and before you know it your site has been crawled again.
Blogging to help build your business has to be done professionally. Your blog is a window on your business and visitors will judge your business based on what they find when viewing your blog. Create an amateur blog and credibility goes out the window. Host your blog on a free site, and your credibility stays out the window.