Blogs that you install on your own server are by far the best way to go! Yes, you have to purchase a domain, and pay either a small monthly or annual hosting fee-BUT the benefits are fantastic! You can get very good inexpensive hosting if you do some homework.
First of all, you keep all of the revenue and not have to split it with the site hosting your blog.
You have control over your content without the fear of it being deleted, for the most part- always read your web host’s TOS before signing up!
More control over how your blog looks and acts or interacts w/ your readers.
You choose the affiliate products and programs that best fit your niche.
- This is MOST IMPORTANT!!!!***You retain ALL rights to YOUR content! Sites like GMail, MSN, Yahoo, FaceBook and almost all others- state in their TOS that they have the RIGHT to use YOUR content in any way they see fit, which includes selling your profile info, using your photos and images in advertising. yes, you have the copyright to it- but in exchange for them hosting and storing it, they retain the right to use it in any manner they wish. *** Read this post for more info. This alone is a great reason to have a self-hosted blog!
I think those are the main points. free is good- to a point. But free does have a price- loss of privacy, loss of control, loss, of exclusive ownership, loss of income. The good side is that you are in their network and MAY receive traffic from it- Mine never did, though.
I did not get any new traffic to my WordPress.com blog until I joined Redgage. redgage is a site that pays you in several different ways for content you post to the web as well as content you already posted to the Web.. they have different contests and raffles, so even someone new can win. It’s totally free!
If you need a reliable blog host- contact me and I will make you a special offer.