(Astroblogging) The temptation is there. I get it. I really do. You’re an astrologer, either full or part-time. Like most astrologers you are not earning six figures. Heck, if you are earning high 30’s you are doing good. So when it comes to managing your business costs, the one thing you do skimp on is promotion. And you know you need a some sort of web presence to spotlight your talents, and you’ve decided to start a blog. It’s easy right? There’s a whole host (pun intended) of “free” websites that you can use. Free is good right?
Well, maybe not so much.
Most astrology bloggers use sites like wordpress.com, or blogspot or some other incarnation like LiveJournal. Some of you, (puts hands in front of eyes, cringing) use Facebook for your blogging efforts.
If you are going to blog on these types of sites, blog safely. By this I mean protect as many of your rights as possible as the author of your blog without spending an unreasonable amount of money.
First, read through terms of service. Make sure your content stays yours; that your copyright remains with you. Some of these sites claim whatever you post belongs to them. Some of them will automatically assign “Creative Commons Licenses” to your work.
Understand that when you use one of these sites, the URL they assign you belongs to them, not you. You won’t be able to port this URL to another server should they go out of business, or if you decided to leave them. This means that should something happen you’ll lose all the links from other sites that help to give you pagerank, and you’ll have to start from scratch again.
Make sure you have a full range of functions. Some won’t allow you to advertise your services, like wordpress.com, or have any advertising at all. Others will limit what functionality you can put on your site. You may not care about this now, but one day you might.
Check to see if you have the capacity built in to back up and transfer your site files. You may want to use another platform someday, and there is nothing suckier than trying to rebuild your site from scratch.
Do not pay out fees for extra functions, like shopping carts, or “premium” templates. You can get all that for free other places.
Weigh the pros and cons of going with a website provider rather than hosting your own site and buying your own domain name. Again, the possibility of them shuttering their business and leaving you in the cold is very real. (It happened to me twice.)
Since buying your own domain name and going with a ISP like Hostgator is so reasonable in price, so that even a starving artist like me can afford it, my best recommendation is going with that option. Directions on how to do this are on my bethturnage blog.
But if you are an astrology blogger, and you have your heart set on a free blog, then write me at email@example.com and I’ll set you up on Astrology Media Press on a wordpress blog for free. Yes, totally free. If I approve your blog, you can do anything you like, just so long as you don’t upset the smooth efficiency of the Astrology Media Press network. And if you have a blog on WordPress.com or blogspot, and you want to switch over we can do that do and import everything over to the new blog. Except for identifying your blog as part of the Astrology Media Press Network, there are no strings attached. What’s my evil plan? It is to build a network of quality astrology blogs that promotes astrology. Yes, I know, truly evil.
If you have any questions about the above offer write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put in the heading “free astro blog.”
Photo modified and published under a Creative Commons License issued by Flickr user mkhmarketing.
Beth Turnage authors Astrology Explored as well as publishes Astrology Media Press. Beth is available for private consultations. You can contact Beth at email@example.com.