I own my domain, and to be honest, I'm a little snobbish about it. I just prefer a clean url over yourtitlehere.blogspot.com or titlehere.typepad.com. It's relatively inexpensive. I use wordpress too. :)
When I started doing paid blog posts and started posting in a frequent manner I bought my own domain. Luckily my previous free blog site through wordpress didn't have that big of a reader base and I hadn't yet been publicizing it as much on social sites so the transition was fairly easy. I do though have a link on my current self-hosted blog to my old site with previous posts.
The cost of my self-hosted site has actually been paid for through my paid posts so far. I did have to pay $15 for my domain year for the year and then if I were to pay my hosting site out of pocket it's 4.95 a month and well worth it to me. Mine is through Gatorhost.
I've been told that having your self-hosted site helps you gain more review/job opportunities bc companies see you as taking your blogging seriously.
I started with a blog on blogger.com and then had my developer work it into my site. How he did this, I have no idea. In fact, I am in the process of getting a "blog tutor" because I can't figure out alot of things like spam and sociable plug-ins and posting link buttons.
The threats of internet have been well-documented over the years, and while you as parent may know how to avoid them, chances are your kids don’t. Things could get ugly real fast if you don’t ensure their safety. However, it is easier said than done, especially in the modern day because kids spend…