One of my goals for 2018 was to re-commit to my blog and content creation; to get re-acquainted with that I fell in love with about blogging in the first place. While I definitely found my spark again, I found myself experiencing a bit of a disconnect; because the vision of what I wanted my blog to look like just didn’t match up with what I was capable of setting up myself. Self-hosting was something I had heard of but really knew nothing about. To be honest, I found the whole thing confusing and intimidating.

I knew I needed a change, but I had no clue where to begin. I’ve contemplated switching to a self-hosted blog since first starting my blog, but again, had no clue where to begin that seemingly overwhelming task. Now, I would consider myself pretty competent with technology and setting up a blog, designing images, etc – but when it comes to coding, creating themes, and the inner workings of web design or set-up, my brain shuts down with a hard “NOPE.”

Free Hosting vs. Self-Hosting:

When you’re starting a blog, you typically have two options:

1) Hosting through a free website like Blogger, WordPress.com, Tumblr, etc. where they do all the hosting and set up for you.  I think of this like renting an apartment, or living with a friend – you can call it home but you don’t own it. You are limited to what you can and can’t do, and technically can be kicked out at any time.

This is a great option for beginners and those just wanting a simple hobby-type blog, because the site you choose essentially does the work for you. You sign up, choose your theme, your name, and are ready to start blogging.

You do have options to purchase your domain and upgrade to premium packages that give you more control and freedom (such as adding custom coding/html, monetizing your site, etc). There will likely be ads from the free hosted site (for example, when using WordPress.com there will be WordPress logos and ads on your site unless you upgrade to a paid plan.) However, in order to access any of these features, you may end up having to pay quite a bit extra to upgrade.

It can also be limiting in terms of monetizing your blog. Google Adsense, for example, typically will not work with free-hosted WordPress.com blogs. While this is definitely not a deal-breaker for most, for those trying to build their blog into a business this definitely be a problem.

2) Self-hosting is having a blog that resides on your own server, usually done through a hosting account with companies like SiteGround. To self-host on WordPress (otherwise known as WordPress.org) is kind of like owning your own place – you’re buying a “home” on the internet.

You have control over your site, how it’s set up, the design, coding, and more. You are free to download plug ins, which are amazing (usually free) add-ons for all sorts of features that can help your site!

While the initial set up can seem daunting, you can find great guides on how to set up a self-hosted blog easily. Blogger 2 WP is a company that has a step-by-step guide, or they offer technicians who can do this for you for a very affordable price.

Since I originally had a free hosted blog on WordPress.com, I was scared to mess up my site by trying to switch to self-hosting on my own. I’m so happy I found Blogger 2 WP, as they were able to quickly and painlessly transfer everything over for me! I highly recommend them! Stay tuned for a full review of this coming soon! 

 

Price Comparison:

Free hosting –  will be cheaper initially as you can start a blog completely for free. However, if you’re wanting your blog to become your business with monetizing, advertising, owning your own domain name (the .com instead of wordpress.com for example) you will be very limited with free hosting.

You will have to upgrade to paid/premium packages in order to take the hosting ads off your site, access monetization, editing html, using plug-ins, etc. can cost approximately $5 per month to $25 per month.

Here’s a look at the WordPress.com plans you can upgrade to:

As you can see, the Personal plan is very limiting. Upgrading to the Business plan (which basically has all the features you can get when you self-host) will cost you approximately $276 per year.

Self-Hosting –  when self-hosting, you have 2 main expenses: your domain, and your hosting.

Purchasing your domain – this is where you purchase the site address.  You can purchase your domain for as little as $8.99 a year with iDotz.Net for example!

Hosting – There are many companies that offer web hosting – I personally use SiteGround, and absolutely recommend them.
Web Hosting

I like SiteGround because they’re fast, secure, and offer great support. Their basic plans start at as little as $3.95 per month, which is less than $5o a year.

Self-hosting can be as cheap as $58 a year – which is the equivalent of getting 6 lattes from Starbucks. Compared to the $276 a year to access the same features, it’s pretty clear which is the more financially wise decision.

So Which Is Better?

Ultimately, the decision is yours! Do your research, and see what will fit your needs the best. Blogging can be an extremely successful business – what may start as a hobby could become your full-time dream career! For this reason, I definitely recommend self-hosting your blog. I wish I had done that from the beginning!

 

Check out my previous posts:

Makeup Declutter – Makeup I’m Throwing Out!

Colorful Pride Makeup – Huda Beauty Obsessions Palette

*this post is not sponsored, but may contain affiliate links in which I can earn a small commission if you choose to purchase product, at no extra cost to you. You are in no way obligated to use my links, but it is greatly appreciated!*

Make sure to read my previous post about Youtube’s changes and how they affect small content creators like myself!

While I sadly didn’t meet the threshold for Youtube’s new Partnership requirements, I wanted to do one last big giveaway as a thank you to everyone who has followed me and helped support me!

This is the giveaway I was most excited for – it’s a full face giveaway! There are products for eyes, lips, brows, cheeks, and even skin!

 

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To enter, all you have to do is:

  1. Be subscribed to my YouTube channel

  2. Be following me on Instagram

  3. Comment on this post or on my Instagram post letting me know you’ve entered!

This giveaway is open worldwide! I will be contacting the winner personally.

If you’re a small blogger like me and will be affected by this change, leave your channel name in the comments so we can help each other out!

Welcome, February! January seemed like incredibly long, didn’t it? I don’t know about you, but it felt January was an 8 week month to me. I’ve been eagerly anticipating February, as it’s my birthday month and always full of fun!

Here’s a recap of my January on Instagram! 

 

 

I’m hosting giveaways until February 20th, make sure to stay tuned! You can read about about my previous giveaways and the upcoming changes to the Youtube Partnership Program (that affect small bloggers like myself) check out my previous post here! 

Are you addicted to Instagram too? Let’s be friends!

You can find me here, or as “raincoatesbeauty” on the app!

Make sure to read my previous post about the new Youtube updates, and how small bloggers like myself will be affected – and also how these giveaways are my way of thanking everyone for helping to support me! Thank you so much to everyone who entered my previous giveaway! 

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My second giveaway is a 100ml bottle of the Balenciaga Rosabotanica perfume. This fragrance is perfect for floral lovers! It’s fresh and floral, inspired by rose with a slight spicy twist. It has notes of blue hyacinth, fig leaf, pettigrain, rose, grapefruit, pink pepper, cedar, amber, patchouli, and more.

This is such a unique fragrance, and is surprisingly super lightweight on the skin! It lasts all day, without feeling or smelling overpowering like it may seem from the bottle.

To enter, all you have to do is:

  1. Be subscribed to my YouTube channel

  2. Be following me on Instagram

  3. Comment on this post or on my Instagram post letting me know you’ve entered!

This giveaway is open worldwide! I will be contacting the winner personally.

If you’re a small blogger like me and will be affected by this change, leave your channel name in the comments so we can help each other out!

Stay tuned for my next giveaway!

*Read to the end for details on my upcoming giveaways!*

YouTube recently announced upcoming changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). In YouTube’s apparent attempt to crack down on the “bad actors” and spam accounts “from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube,” YouTube will be increasing the requirements needed to monetize your account – in other words, you will now need at least 4000 hours of watch time in a 12 month period, and 1000 subscribers.

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YouTube claims this will help them to better determine who positively contributes to the YouTube creator community, and who is posting inappropriate/spam content and taking revenue away from the serious creators.

This change was reportedly sparked by the recent Jake Paul scandal in which he despicably posted a vlog including footage of him in Aokigahara Forest (a forest notoriously known as the “Suicide Forest.) This footage included him and his friends joking, laughing, and filming the dead body of a suicide victim. You can read about that here. This caused an uproar amongst the internet, content creators, and social media influencers. Thousands of people made responses and contacted YouTube requesting retribution for Logan Paul, especially in regards to this new YouTube update.

 

YouTube said they would be updating their policies to better reflect their values and maintain integrity. While that is respectable in theory, the way they did it is absolutely ridiculous. Not only was Logan Paul not suspended from YouTube or had his videos demonetized, he actually gained a huge amount of followers – not to mention revenue. Basically,  problematic public figures like Logan Paul won’t be affected by these changes, because he has such a huge following. Instead, microbloggers like myself are the ones who will be negatively affected by this.

“Microbloggers” refers to bloggers or content creators with a smaller following -typically a few thousand followers or less. 

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These changes mean that in less than 30 days, I will lose access to all the monetization features and Youtube Partner Program features – unless I reach 1000 followers. 

I’ve always believed creating content shouldn’t be just about followers. I’ve always felt weird or in-genuine asking people to follow me. I make content because I love to do it, and hope that one day enough people will see and (hopefully) enjoy what I post so that I can turn this into a career. Writing, photography, makeup, and creating videos are my greatest passions. To be able to turn my passion into a career I love is the ultimate dream.

Sadly, this dream is now much less attainable. While the revenue I’ve generated previously has been very minimal, it was slowly growing and I was finally starting to feel like my hard work might pay off and bring me a step closer to my goal – a feeling which I’m sure many other bloggers can relate to.

While I can see the positive effects from this change, it isn’t without negative effects. Unfortunately this means small bloggers like myself will have to work even harder to gain exposure in hopes of generating any income, as we now won’t be able to generate any revenue unless we reach the new requirements.

So what are us small bloggers to do? Keep working our butts off, of course! Don’t let these changes dishearten and deter you from striving towards your goal. Now more than ever, it’s so important for us small bloggers to support one another – share each other’s posts, follow each other, and help promote one another.

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In an attempt to prevent myself from losing my YouTube partnership, I’ve decided that now is a perfect time to give back. To do the giveaways I’ve been meaning to do for months but never got around to. A perk of working in the beauty industry is I get a lot of free product – product which I’ll never use and quite frankly just don’t need. I’d much rather give these products to someone who needs them and will enjoy them!

During the next month, I will be doing 4 different giveaways! To enter, all you have to do is be subscribed to me on YouTube and following me on Instagram! I’ll post the full details in my next post – make sure to stay tuned for that!