Running a blog is one of the smartest ways to succeed as an affiliate marketer. Aside being a tool for quickly building trust and authority, a blog makes it much easier for you to generate sales repeatedly and helps you to gain admission into any affiliate program or network.
If you follow the success stories of seasoned affiliate marketers like Pat Flynn and Spencer Haws, you’d find that they have niche blogs created for various products and services they promote.
With the above in mind, let’s now look at the two options you have when it comes to setting up your blog: using a free platform and running a self-hosted blog.
Popular free blogging platforms include Blogspot (Blogger), WordPress.com, Tumblr, Weebly, and so on. These platforms allow you to create a blog for free. Usually, a blog created on such platforms usually bears the name of the platform as an extension of its URL.
So, for example, a free blog created on Blogspot has a URL that goes like sampleblog.blogspot.com, and one created on Tumblr has a URL like sampleblog.tumblr.com. No doubt, those extensions are ugly.
Although you have the option of using your custom domain name with a blog created on these free platforms, this is no way near having your own self-hosted blog, as there are still certain strong reasons why you shouldn’t run your affiliate site on these platforms.
Some of the reasons are explained below.
Affiliate marketing on Blogspot: Four reasons you should avoid it
1. Free is really not free
Virtually all free hosting platforms have one issue or the other. For WordPress.com, you’re by default not allowed to monetize your blog in any way, yet you have to live with some nasty ads that will be displayed around your content.
For Blogger.com, there are certain types of content that you’re not allowed to write about. And worse, you might just wake up one day to find your blog closed down by their overzealous bots for reasons you might never understand. This has happened to many people, so it’s not hearsay.
Just so you know, running a blogspot blog means you’re giving Google the rights to access, control, reproduce, and distribute your content over their affiliated channels as they deem necessary — even though you still hold the copyright ownership. So, think twice about this.
On the other hand, having a self-hosted blog gives you exclusive rights and absolute control over your content.
2. SEO handicap
One of the beautiful things about self-hosted WordPress blogs is their huge potential to get great results with SEO. And that’s because they allow full implementation of effective SEO strategies. This is not the case with Blogspot and other free blogging platforms.
For example, Blogger doesn’t allow the creation of a custom permalink structure, so there’s no way you can play some SEO game with that. Similarly, they don’t allow the installation of additional plugins, which means you can’t use powerful SEO plugins like WordPress SEO by Yoast and All-in-One SEO Pack.
If you think this deficit in Blogspot doesn’t have significant consequences, try searching Google for any sentence or phrase. Nine times out of ten, the top ranking links in the result pages would redirect to self-hosted blogs and websites, not to those on free platforms.
So, running your affiliate marketing site on Blogspot (or any other free platform) means you won’t be able to rank well on Google and other major search engines. And that’s by far the most effective passive ways to generate sales repeatedly.
3. Poor aesthetics
The user experience and aesthetic appeal of your affiliate marketing site play a huge role in convincing or discouraging readers from taking action. That’s why virtually all of the web’s highest earning affiliate sites are seductively appealing.
Truth is, only self-hosted blogging platforms give you the freedom to customize the look of your site anyhow you want it. On self-hosted WordPress, there are more-than-countable interesting themes and plugins for enhancing the looks of your pages. But with Blogspot, customization options are very much limited. And even the few options available can only get you a bland site at best.
4. Wrong signals
Whether it’s for affiliate marketing or any other purpose, a blog on a free hosting platform tends to send the wrong signals. Nowadays, whenever people see a Blogspot blog, thoughts like the following creep into their minds:
- “This is most likely a scam site.”
- “The information on this site can’t just be true. Let me find a better site.”
- “This site is just an experimental project that will soon be dumped like the millions of its type littering the web.”
- “This is another good site, but is owned by a stingy fellow who doesn’t take his online business seriously.”
- “Everything here doesn’t just look professional. I can’t trust this information.”
You sure have nursed thoughts like these when you run into poorly designed sites — like most sites on free hosting platforms. So, if you really want to send positive signals about your affiliate marketing site and the products or services you want to promote, invest in a self-hosted blog.
So, what’s the better alternative?
Self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org). It’s the easiest self-hosted blogging platform to understand and use. And it generates awesome SEO results. So, it’s no surprise that about one-third of all the sites on the Internet run on WordPress.