Do you have a “tech” problem or a marketing problem?
You see, sometimes it’s not the technology that’s a problem, but instead, it’s a marketing problem.
Are there differences between WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org? Of course. And some really serious differences that you need to be aware of.
Here’s the deal:
I got a question the other day that I wanted to expand on because there is some confusion about the merits of the WordPress.com platform vs. the total freedom and flexibility that comes with a self-hosted WordPress website.
Sometimes it’s a control thing. Sometimes it’s a tech thing. But in virtually all situations one is better than the other and there is a good reason why it’s the industry standard for blogging pros, entrepreneurs and creators.
And the concern you have just may not be a tech issue it all – it could be a marketing problem! That’s what I’m talking about in this episode of the Adventures in Digital Marketing podcast.
Make sure to check out this episode I recorded while I was freezing in my car. In Florida!
Self-hosted WordPress is the way to go. Here’s why.
Welcome back, everybody to The Adventures in Digital Marketing Podcast. This is Rob Orr and I am your host. Today, we’re going to talk about a question that I got yesterday regarding wordpress.com versus self-hosted WordPress.
Let’s go ahead and just jump right in and get right to it because this is a question that I see a lot. I had this one come to me and the situation was really set up like this. They’ve been on self-hosted WordPress now for a little while, but because of some of the things that are built into the https://wordpress.com/ platform the traffic and the comments and some of the things that they’re seeing are not what they used to be when they were on that platform and I get it.
I mean, that’s a really tough challenge when you think that you’ve kind of lost your audience. What I’ve seen though a lot of times with those WordPress.com subscriptions and readers and whatnot, those are sometimes faults or spam or something that is other than authentic. I mean even if you’re getting comments and those kinds of things, it’s encouraging because I know it’s encouraging for me when I see comments on my blog so I get it.
I mean it’s a challenging situation to be in, but the question really was, should they go back to WordPress.com? And my answer was unequivocally, no and here’s the reason. When you are on WordPress.com that stuff comes— the kind of interaction and the kind of stuff that you’re seeing there is nice. It’s a little bit of validation that shows you that people are seeing your stuff.
Like I said, it’s nice to have, but in the grand scheme of things as a blogger, you are not really moving the needle by a small handful of visits and an occasional comment and a name showing up in your subscriber list for the people that want to read your posts. If you are a blogger who’s serious about blogging that’s not really good enough. You’re not going to see that kind of traffic into https://wordpress.com/ platform because you’re still not putting in all of the effort that you need to put in to really blow up your blog.
The comparison kind of proves what I’m saying, right? It’s when you went over to https://wordpress.org/ then you saw there was this fall off people that were reading your blog even though the domain name is the same. You are not getting comments even though you’re using the same plugin setup and you’re still connected into those kinds of people. What you were having before, I think in terms of what you’re seeing on https://wordpress.com/ is a false positive.
Then the validation bears itself out in your self-hosted WordPress site because you’re not really seeing much in the way of community building or interactivity or those kinds of things. Here’s my problem, https://wordpress.com/ is a hosted platform that means that they do all of the work for you. You can sign up for a free blog at https://wordpress.com/ and there’s certainly a time and a place for that.
If you are just needing to share pictures of your grandchildren or you just want to have a place online to collect your recipes or you’re just beginning to dip your toe into the whole blogging thing. It’s a decent place to kind of get a feel for what’s going on, but it’s not the tool of somebody who’s taking blogging seriously.
The self-hosted WordPress piece of this means that you are in total control. That’s good for a number of reasons. You have the ability to add whatever theme and plugin that you want to your WordPress website. You can’t do that on https://wordpress.com/. The hosted WordPress platform has come a long way.
They have really grown in how some of the things that they can do like for instance, WooCommerce is now owned by automatic and those kinds of things. It’s still not the same platform as a totally independent self-hosted WordPress site. That means that you’re in control.
For instance, say something happens on https://wordpress.com/ and you violate their terms of service by accident which has happened and can happen on various different platforms and they take your site down. Well, you’re in a lot of trouble because it may be difficult for you to get your website to go somewhere else.
With a self-hosted WordPress site that’s not as big a problem because if, say for instance, your hosting service crashes, well, if you have put your website together the way that I recommend and that you’ve got off site backups and you are taking good care of your website that means all you need to do is take your backups of your website and go to another hosting service and make a just a couple quick adjustments and your back up and running in no time. The whole thing is you get to be in control of your own destiny when you are self-hosted.
It requires a little bit more expertise. It’s not as super simple as https://wordpress.com/ is, but as a side note and a promo, if you go to https://wplaunch.com/, I have a service where we take care of getting you fully set up with a completely professional self-hosted WordPress site with hosting and plugins theme and the whole nine yards. That is definitely a solution there.
The point is, if you’re worried about the interactivity and you’re worried about subscribers and you’re worried about your audience, I think that you’ve got to ramp up the effort. This reminds me of the 10X book that was written by Grant Cardone.
Basically, one x or two x efforts don’t get the job done. It doesn’t do anything to break out of the ordinary. You’re not making a strong enough move to track the kinds of results that you want to see in your life. By just increasing your effort, you’ve got to 10x your effort.
So what I would recommend, in a situation like that when you are worried about your platform being the problem. Your platform isn’t the problem in a situation like this. Your platform on being a self-hosted WordPress site is the right solution for what you need to have. What you have is a marketing problem.
With that marketing problem, what you need to do is to get engaged. That means you need to go and find out where your target audience is hanging out on Facebook and where they’re hanging out on LinkedIn and Pinterest and get involved and follow people on Twitter and Instagram who are in your target audience. Then comment and ask questions and stir things up, get things going and make things happen.
Do a giveaway. I mean, there are a lot of different ways to start to attract activity to your blog. You just have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and do the hard work. I don’t ever recommend https://wordpress.com/ as a solution for serious bloggers who are looking to build a platform and tell their story and build their audience.
It’s just you don’t have enough control over it for you to be able to ultimately do what you want to do. I’m sure there’s some big blogs on https://wordpress.com/ like Seth Godin is on Typepad and that’s good for him. It’s a nice solution and sometimes those things will fit in in those kinds of very super niche kind of situations.
But when it comes to the industry standard, this is one of those times where being part of the 80% using the Pareto principle you want to be part of the 80% on this where everybody else is using WordPress. The bottom line is everybody else is using self-hosted WordPress for a reason. It’s because it’s the industry standard. It’s like in graphic design, there are other tools out there like Canva that you can use, but Adobe Creative Cloud is the industry standard for graphic designers. That is what all self-respecting graphic designers use.
Of course, I’m going to make somebody mad by saying that because somebody out there is going to be a user of a different tool. That’s all well and good. I’m talking about, the broad and general kind of practice of using the industry standard. The Smart Passive Income blog is built on WordPress. Amy Porterfield site, WordPress. Rick Mulready, WordPress. My sites, WordPress.
Not that I’m in that company with those people, but Jonathan Milligan and blogging your passion, WordPress. It’s WordPress everywhere. That’s what I wanted to just touch on today. WordPress.com is really not going to be a solution for a problem like that. Work on building your subscribers and work on building your community on your self-hosted WordPress site. It may take a little bit more effort, but it’ll be time well spent. You’ll do better with it overall.
That’s just what was on my mind this morning. It is ridiculously cold here in Tallahassee. I look at my thermometer on my car as I’m driving into the office here and it says 35 degrees. In early November that is profoundly unusual for Tallahassee. Not going to say that I don’t love it though because I love the cold weather, but it is cold.
Anyway, this podcast is available everywhere you can get a podcast. I’m on iTunes, Spotify and Google. I would love it if you would find it there and subscribe. Leave me a rating and let me know how I’m doing. I hope that you found this helpful.
If you’re on https://wordpress.com/ that you’ll consider ultimately switching over to a self-hosted WordPress site. If you need help with that, go to https://wplaunch.com/ where we can take care of all of that for you. That’s all I’ve got for today, folks. I hope it’s been helpful. Until next time, we’ll talk soon.