Many people will tell you that creating a free blog on WordPress.com is not the best way to create a blog, and instead you should look to host your own blog where you have much more opportunity to develop the blog style and content, and also to monetize it.
However, there are still very good reasons why creating one or more free blogs on WordPress.com can be beneficial, other than for those who are not blogging or writing successfully enough to warrant going one step further and registering domains, hosting and configuring a blog etc.
The reasons why I have a free WordPress.com blog in addition to my own hosted blogs are as follows:
Your Articles May Appear On Other Related Blogs
This is one of the best reasons in my opinion for creating a free WordPress.com blog.
If you write an article on your blog, and someone else on a WordPress.com blog writes an article that has relevant content, when their articles gets visitors, your article will show on the page as being on a similar topic.
Since there are literally thousands of free blogs registered on WordPress.com, by employing good SEO tactics, you could see a significant amount of traffic to your WordPress.com blog.
You MUST of course employ good SEO tactics in order to achieve this, including:
Creating a good Title
Writing a good Excerpt (that will appear in search engines and on other blogs)
Creating good Categories for your articles
Creating good Tags for your articles.
You can find out more about article Categories and Tags elsewhere, but in order to blog successfully, you must do this, or your articles may never get found.
Back Links To Your Other Sites And Profiles
In the sidebar of a blog you can usually add links to other relevant web sites.
In your WordPress.com blog, you should add links to your other blogs and web sites, and also other related ones.
You can also add links to your profiles on sites where you can be found, for example Associated Content (of course), Stumbleupon, Digg, Twitter, Facebook etc.
These all help your works to be found.
RSS Feeds For Your Other Blogs And Articles
Most sites where you write will have RSS feeds that you can add to a WordPress.com blog. These feeds contain details about the latest articles that you have written, or the latest posts/comments that you have left.
By adding these feeds to your free WordPress.com blog, you are showing to your visitors the latest information on whatever you have been doing on each of your sites.
Therefore if you are busy publishing articles on Associated Content, make sure that you add a feed to your blog, and show off your new articles to your visitors.
If you would like to see an example of what you can do with RSS Feeds on a free WordPress.com blog, take a look at my blog poddys.wordpress.com and scroll to the bottom of the page. There are 4 RSS Feeds there for different sites.
Sharing Articles That You Have Written
Whether you write on Associated Content or on other sites/blogs, you should be aware of buttons that allow you to Share articles/pages with other sites.
You can share your Associated Content articles on your WordPress.com blog by clicking on the Share button at the bottom left of your page when viewing your article, just to the left of the Twitter/Facebook links.
Select WordPress, type your User/Password for your WordPress.com blog, and the script will create a post to your blog, complete with the Summary text that you added.
The only thing that this does not do is add a Title or Category/Tags to your new article, and so you will need to go into your blog, edit the article, and I usually:
Copy/Paste the first line of the detail into the Title box. The first line is the same as your Associated Content article title.
Copy the test of the body (excluding the link on the last line) and past it into the Excerpt box a little lower down the page.
Then make sure you select the relevant Category for the article, also as many relevant Tags as you can think of. WordPress.com creates pages for each Category and Tag, that contain the articles that match them, therefore this is essential to do if you are going to get traffic to your free WordPress.com blog.
Things To Be Aware Of On A WordPress.com Blog
Since this is a free blog and much of what you do is under the eyes of WordPress.com themselves, you have to obey the rules, therefore if you spam, or have articles/links that are about pornography or other illegal topics, you run the risk of having your blog and it’s content deleted in it’s entirety.
This doesn’t apply to most people, but by having your blog on a free hosting site, you have to obey their rules.
Now – Just Sit Back And Watch The Traffic Increase
Having created and configured your blog (Template, Categories etc), it’s time to view all your articles, and to share them with your new WordPress.com blog.
It only takes a minute per article, and you can Share/Add a whole bunch of them, and then go back and edit them later. It should be obvious which ones you haven’t edited yet, because they won’t have any Categories, Tags or a Title.
Ultimately, you want to give your free WordPress.com blog a life of it’s own, you need it to become popular in it’s own right, so don’t forget to write some full articles there once in a while, and if you see any relevant articles from other blogs showing on your articles, go visit them and leave a comment.
You might make some new friends, and also by commenting you have made yourself visible on that blog.
Good Luck, and if you would like to swap links between your WordPress.com blog and mine, let me know on poddys.wordpress.com