by Bruce Carl

Knowledge is potential power. The goal of my website is to provide knowledge that assists readers in making money online and learn from other people’s costly mistakes. I recently had some business dealing with WordPress.com. I have decided to write about my dealings with WordPress.com. Hoping that all readers will learn from my situation. This information should allow you to save both time and frustration.

I began blogging with three blogs hosted by WordPress.com. I have used many blogging platforms and found WordPress to offer a large number of features, while being user friendly. One of my first blogs was Bruce’s Money Rants. While Bruce’s Money Rants is still available, it currently is in its second incarnation. My first blog was squelched by WordPress.com.

WordPress.com was attractive because of its builders. The gentleman who created the WordPress platform also created WordPress.com (WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org, n.d.). There were several features that prompted me choose WordPress.com.

1. I already had experience with the WordPress software

2. Stated that they had over 70 templates available

3. I could add widgets and plug-ins

4. Ease in tracking site visitors

5. Having an address of “xxxx.wordpress.com”

At first, I was enjoying WordPress.com. I created “emergencymgmt.wordpress.com”, “lifeofreedom.wordpress.com”, and “brucesmoneyrants.wordpress.com”. My main blog was on money making. My plan was to develop the other two later. My first surprise came when I chose a template. I had about 12 templates available. You had to pay to access the 70 templates. Next, I found out you cannot upload external templates.

I also was limited in the widgets available. WordPress.com does not allow external widgets to be uploaded. They do offer some widgets. Users also are not allowed to add java script to their widgets. Java script is required to monetize your blog through Google Adsense or Amazon.com.

I was able to insert HTML into widgets. This allowed me to place small banner ads in the blog’s sidebars. Not as lucrative as Google Adsense or Amazon may be but it was something. This type of advertising does require you to manually change the code to show a different ad. I was not completely turned off. WordPress after all is a great blogging platform.

I reached a point where I was happy with my blog’s look. It was not perfect but was the best I could reach without paying WordPress.com extra money. I was not trying to get something for free. I was more than happy to pay for WordPress.com’s extra services. I just wanted the blog to be self sustaining. I began posting links in different blog directories and posting everyday. Within a week, I was seeing some results. My WordPress.com blog had a high day of 12 unique visitors and was already indexed in Google.com. I was pretty pleased.

I began focusing on writing posts to assist readers in making money online. I wrote about making money blogs and resources that I found useful (i.e. ZacJohnson.com and e-books). I also wrote about products, courses, etc. that had helped me learn about internet marketing.

My next move was to register with blog directories. I searched the web and came across a listing of 50 web directories. Each directory required you to register to submit your site. I spend two days registering the site.

Doomsday soon came. I signed up with a internet marketing course called Blogging for Dollars. In my view, this course offered some very useful tips. I believed readers would find it helpful. I wrote a review post about my experience and posted it.

I woke up Thursday morning and checked my blog’s stats. The blog was gone. My screen now stated that “This blog has been archived or suspended for a violation of our Terms of Service”. I was still able to sign in to my account and view my emergencymgmgt.wordpress.com blog. I also could still view stats for my World’s Dumbest Criminals blog that was not hosted with WordPress.com but used their statistics widget.

I did not write anything bad. Every time I quoted someone else, I stated the author, site I quoted, and linked to the source. I reviewed WordPress.com’s Terms of Service. Of course, WordPress.com’s Terms of Service is a couple of pages long. I was looking for restrictions that could be relevant to the posts I had made. Here are the ones I found:

1. “the downloading, copying and use of the Content will not infringe the proprietary rights, including but not limited to the copyright, patent, trademark or trade secret rights, of any third party”

2. “you have fully complied with any third-party licenses relating to the Content, and have done all things necessary to successfully pass through to end users any required terms”

3. “the Content is not spam, is not machine- or randomly-generated, and does not contain unethical or unwanted commercial content designed to drive traffic to third party sites or boost the search engine rankings of third party sites, or to further unlawful acts (such as phishing) or mislead recipients as to the source of the material (such as spoofing)”

4. “your blog is not named in a manner that misleads your readers into thinking that you are another person or company. For example, your blogs URL or name is not the name of a person other than yourself or company other than your own”

There was the culprit. I had included affiliate links in my reviews. So I could tell people about products, whether or not I had used the product, as long as I was not an affiliate. It did not matter that I had bought the product, offered proof of the purchase, and had found it useful.

It is important to hear both sides of any story. WordPress.com has the right to run their site and business however they see fit. I sent a note to their tech support. All I was asking for was an explanation, nothing more. Again, it is their business. But, it would be good business to offer customers an explanation. Patiently, I watched for a return email.

I went to my World’s Dumbest Criminals blog to check my statistics. The WordPress.com statistics widget now showed “account suspended”. I went back to WordPress.com and attempted to login. I could not even login now. I guess this was the answer to my support e-mail. Do not answer my e-mail just shut off the account.

I am not writing this article out of revenge or spite. My goal is to allow other budding affiliate marketers the chance to learn from my story. WordPress is a great blogging platform. Affiliate marketers only need to be careful when trying to make money. It appears that WordPress.com wants to provide a great blogging platform…as long as you are not trying to make money.

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