Moving Self Hosted, My Thoughts So Far…

So this blog post is pretty much aimed at any of you fellow bloggers out there. To some it will be a heads up on what happens when you do become self hosted and for others it will be a post to see if you can relate to, if you have recently gone self hosted like myself. When I did go self hosted, which I believe was about five months ago now, I wrote a post about the process that you can check out here.  In that post I talked about going self hosted and how I chose to do it with the company that I did and who else I would recommend, so if you are thinking of going self hosted that might be a good read, if you are unsure as to where to get the service from.

This post I suppose, is a bit like a follow on, an update from my experience over the last five months or so. To start, I just want to say that I am still really happy with the service that I received from all the companies that I worked with to go self hosted, my experience couldn’t have gone any better in that regard but its more the fact of how my blog was engagement while after I went self hosted that I really was unaware of.

Before I went self hosted I had just hit 4,000 followers on my blog. It was growing so fast with over 2,500 increase in just a few months. I was having the chats with you all in the comments and meeting so many of you that I was loving blogging so much and really felt like it was worth all the hard work, trying to juggle it with a full time job… What I didn’t realise though, was that once I went self hosted, all of my lovely followers that were finding me on wordpress.com, would no longer be able to see my posts pop up. Of course, when a blog is starting out, like mine. A lot if not all of my followers came from there. I was aware that my views might go down a bit after the change over but that is only natural. What I was definitely unaware of was the fact that none of you would see my posts unless you clicked on the email (which lets be real, we don’t click on every  blog email we receive) or looked up my site in a search engine. It really disheartened me that a lot of you guys who used to read, like and comment on all of my posts, don’t even see them anymore.
I have noticed in the last few months that even though my following has grown a bit, (although not half as much as it used to since I switched to self hosted) that a lot of you still aren’t seeing my posts. Honestly, its so disheartening to spend hours every week on your blog to then give it out to an audience of over 4,500 to then get 10-30 people liking and interacting. I can’t thank you enough if you have liked my posts or commented recently! It means so much to me, especially when so many of you are not seeing my posts anymore, so THANK YOU <3

As for the design and how much free reign you have, that’s one of the two reasons I am keeping myself self hosted and not going back on to WordPress.com. I have been able to put my own style on my blog and really make it mine going self hosted. I love to be creative and designing my blog is something I find so fun so that is definitely a plus.

Another good thing about being self hosted is that I own all my own content. I think that is the main reason why I even switched over in the first place. Owning your own content is so important. Having a company own all your hard work is not what we strive for as bloggers. It is our content and giving that over into someone elses hands the minute you press publish took away from the blogging experience for me. Even though less of you are seeing my posts now, I can’t ever turn back to wordpress.com and go back to someone else owning all my hard work. I know that the engagement will come back in time and for now I just have to keep on working away and writing for all you amazing people that come back here every week for my new posts!

Really the only bad thing I find about being self hosted is that the engagement has gone from being amazing to being really poor and that’s not down to anyone! Honestly, I don’t want to make it sound like I’m giving out to any of you as its not your fault that you don’t see my posts as much as you used to, it’s just what comes part and parcel with going self hosted.

I don’t regret going self hosted as I do think that I would have to do it at some point anyway. But looking back, ( I know, hindsight is always bloody 20/20) I would have waiting to gain even more loyal readers so that even when I did switch over, some of you might have been able to keep on interacting easier.

I’m so thankful to anyone that has been reading my blog since I went self hosted as you are what is spurring me on to keep writing. I had a bit of a lull period recently where I didn’t write for a couple of weeks as I found it so hard to motivate myself to keep writing when so little of you were seeing them. I decided though, that I would stick to my guns as there are some of you that still come so often to read my posts and I’m honestly so thankful for you all!

So yeah, that’s todays post. A little bit of a rambling one but I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless. Let me know in the comments if you have gone self hosted and what your thoughts are on it? See you in my next post.

Thank you for reading,

Lauren,

x.