I always encourage bloggers that want to take themselves seriously to get their own hosting, and manage their own site. The most common pushback I get is the price of hosting. You can get your blog hosted for free. It is pretty easy.
First some perspective.
Let's say you really do have your blog hosted for free right now on a site like Blogger or Wordpress.com. That's great. If you are happy, god bless. If you want to step up you game a little, you are going to have to move on to a self hosted solution.
What are we talking about price wise? Roughly $80 - $120 per year. You can pretty easily get your hosting done for about $7.95 per month. That's really cheap. Granted, that is much more expensive than free...I will give you that. However, it is a small price to pay for the potential increase in revenue and content flexibility that is then afforded to you.
How to get your hosting for free?
There are two easy ways, but first consider our goal. We need to come up with $7.95 in revenue every month to offset the cost of hosting. That is not a lot of money.
Method #1: Google Adsense
Adsense is probably the easiest, most turn-key way to start making advertising revenue on your website. If you've never used it before, it is simple. Just add the Google ad units to your page template and start getting paid. You will get a few cents every time someone clicks an ad on your website.
Let's break it out even further. You need to generate $0.27. When you think about it, that is not that hard at all.
You're first couple of months, you might only make a dollar or two. By the last month or two, you will probably be making around $12+. So on average for the year, you should be right on target.
The big guys are going to turn their noses up at this idea and say that you should get into affiliate marketing, etc. Sure, there are a variety of other networks you can get involved with and eventually make more money. There is no question about that.
However, this is just the quickest way to get started.
Method #2: Refer a Friend
I don't think I have ever found a single hosting company that does not run their own affiliate marketing program. Basically, this is a program that allows you to sign up as a "partner" with the hosting company. For every referral or sale that can be attributed to you, they will pay you a commission.
In the traditional sense, you would do this through banners, buttons, text links, CPC campaigns, etc.
But you can do this on a much smaller level. Just put your host's affiliate link on your about page. Then when you talk to your friends, recommend your host. Tell them to just go to your About page and click the link to find out about your hosting plan.
If they end up buying a plan with your host, you will get paid.
The best part is the commission itself. Most hosts pay between $50 - $100+ per referral! With just one or two friend referrals, you could have your entire year of hosting paid off.
If you are the kind of person in the group that others look to for recommendations, this might be a great opportunity for you.
You can't lose either way you go.
The best part is the revenue is limitless. The goal here is to completely offset your hosting costs, but why does it have to start there? You could actually end up making way more than your hosting ends up costing.
Welcome to the world of digital advertising.