Starting your own blog for the first time can be a thrilling and rewarding experience. Everyone who decides to have a writing space of their own has two broad options. One is to start their own blog and the second is to start writing on other platforms like Medium, LinkedIn, and Hub pages. Both these options have their own pros and cons. However, it’s up to you to decide which one is the best fit considering your goals and circumstances. In this blog post today, I will discuss each one of these options in detail, to help you ultimately decide which option is worth going for — whether you should set up your own blog OR whether you should start writing on other websites.
First, Define your goals and circumstances.
Before you decide as to which option you should go with, it’s important to first define your goals and circumstances. Every person is unique, so are their goals and individual circumstances. Let’s take this short quiz to determine which option is best for you –
|Q.1) Do you wish to have ownership and control over the design of your site?||Yes||No|
|Q.2) Do you have the money, time, and energy to maintain a blog of your own?||Yes||No|
|Q.3) Do you wish to monetize your content with unlimited opportunities?||Yes||No|
|Q.4) Are you technically competent enough to settle any issues related to your website that may arise in future?||Yes||No|
If your answers to most of the questions were ‘Yes’, then you must go ahead to start a blog of your own. And, if you answered a ‘No’ in majority, then perhaps you should not choose to start a blog of your own. It’s in your best interest to write on other platforms like Medium, HubPages, or you can even start a basic free blog on either WordPress or Blogger.
Benefits of setting up your own blog
Now let’s understand the two options in more detail by understand the pros and cons of each:
First, let’s take a look at the benefits of setting up your own blog.
- You have full control over the content and design of your website. You are in fact the legal owner of your own website!
- You can choose the topics you want to write about, how often you want to post, and how you want your blog to look. It’s your blog. You can do just anything with it that you wish to.
- Opportunity to monetize your blog through advertising, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing.
- It can serve as a platform to showcase your writing and establish yourself as an expert in your niche. This increases your chances of getting popular as you grow your blog.
- A well-written and well-designed blog can attract a loyal following, which can open doors to other opportunities such as speaking engagements or book deals.
Disadvantages of having a fully managed blog
However, starting your own blog also comes with some drawbacks. Let’s discuss them now –
- Setting up and maintaining a blog is a time consuming and arduous task. You’ll need to consistently produce high-quality content and promote your blog to attract readers.
- It is costly to maintain a blog if your blog doesn’t turn out to be successful in generating some income off your efforts. While there are free options available, you may need to invest in a domain name, web-hosting, and other tools (themes and plugins) to get your blog off the ground.
- A fully managed blog might seem like an additional liability, especially if you are flanked by other commitments such as a full-time job or family responsibilities.
Benefits of writing on other websites, and not having your own blog
- You don’t have to worry about the time and effort required to set up and maintain your own blog.
- You can focus on your writing and submit articles to other websites, and let someone else handle the rest — maintenance, design, marketing, and promotion.
- Potential to reach a larger audience. Many popular websites have a large following, which means your articles will be seen by more people. This can be especially beneficial if you’re just starting out and don’t yet have a large following of your own.
Disadvantages of writing on other websites, and not having your own blog
- You don’t have complete control over your content. The articles published under your authorship may anytime be modified or in some cases taken down as per their changing editorial guidelines.
- The website you’re writing for may have their own guidelines or requirements for the type of content they accept. Accordingly, their editorial team may have the final authority on what gets published on their website.
- Lack of ownership — When you write for other websites, you don’t legally own the content that’s published under your name.
- Limited opportunities to monetize your work — Your earnings are dependent on your inclusion in their monetization scheme for writers. For example — Quora and Medium have some Partners’ Program, where writers who meet certain eligibility criteria may apply. Since you don’t own the platform, you remain at the mercy of their management with regard to your published content, and even payments.
Conclusion: Which is better?
In my opinion, the answer to this question depends on your goals and preferences.
If you have the time and resources to maintain a blog, and also if you enjoy the freedom, flexibility, and control that comes along, then starting your own blog may be the right choice for you.
On the other hand, if you’re short on time or just don’t want the responsibility of running your own blog, then writing for other websites can be a great way to build a writing portfolio and reach a wider audience.
So, which choice do you prefer? — Having your own blog OR writing on other platforms? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.