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This article is going to be unique from what you'll typically find about affiliate blogging or building a website. I have a different perspective from most of the websites out there: talking about affiliate blogging.
Really what I'm discussing here is professional blogging, where people are ambitious to make money online through a website. They don't usually care about what the site is about, as long as they can make a full-time living with copious amounts of residual income. Yet, is it really as easy as people are saying?
A couple months ago I wanted to start an affiliate blog about the topic of golfing, so I started another blogger blog here and called it “Better Golfing Days”. As of now, I'm only an affiliate with Amazon, so I put some relevant products there and an Adsense ad. For me, creating a free blog at blogger is within my capabilities.
Now, about a week ago I found out about Wealthy Affiliate, which is basically a hosting service which gives you support and training to become an affiliate marketer. The people there are very nice and I have nothing bad to say about the site. Yet, I do want to point out something in this article central to this discussion, which does implicate sites like WA.
What Are People Affiliate Blogging About?
This is a good question, needing to be asked: before you begin to delve into starting a website and “creating a business” online.
The answer is: everyone is blogging about making money online – do you understand what I'm saying? It's like a circle of nothingness, where people are cashing in on people who actually think it's easy to create a website and make money online blogging about something they love.
Truth is, almost everyone who is successful at Wealthy Affiliate (and almost every other affiliate blogging platform) has a website about making money online. So, to make money online, you start a website about making money online...
Just search for making money online, or affiliate blogging, and see for yourself how many blogs (websites) are out there trying to get you to either: sign up for some affiliate blogging network like WA, or sign up to some other server like Bluehost or HostGator. They may call this an online business, but really it's just a marketing scheme.
Creating a Self-Hosted Website is NOT Easy!
For regular people who love to write and do want to make money online talking about their passions, building a website is not easy. I don't care how easy it is for the tech savvy, for the regular folk who don't speak Internet language – the process of building a website is very difficult and will consume massive amounts of time (and you make nothing significant for a long, long time).
Wordpress.org is the most popular free CMS (Content Management Software/System ) available. People always talk about how easy it is to set up self-hosting and download this free software from wordpress.org, but my experience has proven over and over that Wordpress (.com and .org) is NOT EASY to work with.
I started out blogging at Wordpress.com with a free website over two years ago (I still have the blog: Lowdown Zero), and after a short time I became frustrated with how difficult it was to do anything there. Even after a couple years of becoming more online literate, I still find Wordpress a very difficult place to build a website (either free of self-hosted).
See, there's wordpress.com which is where wordpress hosts your site either for free or with a premium paid blog, and then there is the open source software at wordpress.org, which is free and can be downloaded and used with another server of your choice (Siteground, Bluehost, HostGator, etc.).
Getting Dirty with Self-Hosting
What good would my opinion be here, if I didn't at least try self-hosting? So, I decided to not go with Wealthy Affiliate (because I'm an independent sort) and signed up for a year with Siteground hosting. The process for me was painstakingly difficult, although tech savvy people doing reviews spoke about how easy it all is.
Yesterday is when this happened by the way. So, I downloaded a wordpress website and right away was stuck trying to pick out a theme. What theme should I pick? How do I add Adsense? How do I change the font and color? On and on...it was nightmare. My stomach was turning and my head started aching. The peace and song of God in Jesus was gone!
After a couple hours of working on my website, I had a thousand more questions I needed answered. I realized that building a website on wordpress, especially self-hosted, was going to become a full-time job. Seriously, building a website with wordpress is not easy, and will take you about a year working full-time to learn how to do it correctly. Not only that, but then the online world is changing so rapidly, the learning will never stop!
The Lesson I Learned
Siteground was nice enough to refund my money for the years hosting, but I now own a domain of which I have to spend likely a couple hours trying to figure out how to move to my bettergolfingdays.blogspot.com website here at blogger. The customer service was excellent, and they do have a 30 day money back offer. Although I won't receive my money for 5 days or so, I believe it will come.
I can't tell you how relieved I was to come back to my subdomain blogs here at Blogger! Praise God for leading me away from the horrible pit of building a website on wordpress. Honestly, I can't stand wordpress, and that's why I came over here to Blogger in the first place.
I Love Blogger!
The Internet is full of snobby tech savvy people who will make you feel almost ashamed of having a subdomain on a site like blogger or hubpages. I have to admit, I was trying to class jump and become a professional blogger, but I've seen the light and understand now where I want to be.
I love my blogger blogs, and I'm not ashamed of my subdomains anymore! Yes, the blogspot.com is there and so what? These are blogs on blogger, these are my websites I write on to share the things I want to share. Blogger is a great place for bloggers to come and blog, and we can even have affiliates and advertising if we want.
In my opinion, building a website with blogger is so much better than wordpress. You don't have to invest a third of your life to create some website that looks just like everyone else's site. And, hey, if you want a custom domain – by all means get one here, no problem.
For me, I'm going to keep my subdomains, and instead of being ashamed of them: I'm going to think of them as a badge of blogging honor. Yes, I'm a blogger and not business owner of a website, and that's exactly what I want to be. It's all about content for me, sharing what I want to share, and if I make any money from the monetization efforts here, then that's just a bonus.
As for trying to make a living as a blogger – forget it! Why? Because learning the online beast language and keeping up with the square glass wearing tech savvy snobs, is not a pleasant way to make a living – at all!
If you really look at the myriad of successful popular websites about professional blogging: they're all the same basically. Some contact form pops up when you're there for a few seconds - trying to get your email, everything is cookie-cutter and the same. Personally, I'm no longer impressed, and I actually like my retro blogger templates and old school approach to blogging better anyway. Hey, I'm different and I like it that way.
But Blogger Could Shut Your Site Down
This idea is part of what drove me into wanting to become self-hosted with Siteground. Yet, after thinking about it a little more clearly, I realized Siteground hosting would shut me down long before Google did.
Why would they shut me down? Well, because some of my blogs are politically incorrect from a born-again Christian perspective. Or, just because Google one day decides to end Blogger, but really is this such a concern? I can export my blogs to my hard drive and migrate them elsewhere if this happens, or just start over with all the raw saved article in Office where I wrote and saved them originally.
Look, Google is basically the biggest server there is, so it's much more likely a smaller server like Bluehost or Siteground will shut me down. Their much more afraid of lawsuits, and would be much more likely to censor a website than Google. So, this fear is unfounded in my opinion.
Praise Jesus for His Guidance
Yes, I believe Jesus does guide me with peace and a song in my heart. And if that peace and song leave my heart then I've gone astray. Well, when I was delving into this wordpress.org/ Siteground/ website building/ affiliate marketing thing... my peace and song left!
Now that I'm free of this horrible tech pit, I have my peace and song back, praise Jesus for this!
I wanted to write this article here in my Christian Blogger's Journal, because this is where I talk about my blogging journey. And this experience was part of that journey. Hopefully it helps you: who are out there thinking about self-hosting a wordpress (or other) website for affiliate marketing purposes.
Don't be ashamed of your subdomain, and don't believe people who say it's not possible to have a popular blog with a subdomain. One of my sites: A Writer's Review, is ranked under 6 million in the Alexa rankings, while my blog: The Lowdown Truth is ranked around 9 million and gets 10,000 visitors every month (Adsense visitors).
Isn't this a refreshing article? Please, leave a comment and tell me what you think. God bless you in Jesus mighty name dear readers.
And hopefully CBJ will begin to rise in the Alexa soon (it's unranked as of now). Until next time, keep writing and appreciate the free hosting here at Blogger.