In 2017 I left WordPress.com and started to host my own blog. After much research I was led to believe this was the best course of action. I was able to customize my site more as well as monetize it. I paid WordPress.com to redirect to my new blog and I was all set! However, it wasn’t nearly as glamorous as many people would lead you to believe.
The biggest problem I encountered was that despite my redirect on WordPress.com my followers didn’t come to the new site. In fact, I was still getting likes and follows on my old blog! The lure of monetizing ended up being as nothing more than a pipe dream. Who wouldn’t want to make money blogging? The problem is if your followers do not look at your new website you can’t generate revenue.
Now if you have thousands of followers, that is a completely different story. However, if you are building your fan base, hosting your own blog isn’t going to work well. It takes time for SEO to work, not only that it requires constant tweaking.
What many people won’t tell you about wordpress.com is that it is difficult to beat building your fan base in a community. Doing it on your own is possible, but far more difficult. In wordpress.com’s community you are far more visible. You can interact with others and they can interact with you more easily.
If you do what I did and leave wordpress.com too soon, you may find that you must almost start completely over. That’s what happened to me. If you are working on building your followers just focus on that. Don’t worry about what “professionals” say. Yes, it is nice having your own website, but is it worth it if no one visits it? I do plan on upgrading once I reach certain goals, but I will likely pay for a site here on WordPress.com. Remember, community is important when creating your brand.