small business online marketing, inbound marketing, business blogging

Small Business Marketing Online: Free Can Be Very Expensive

Major Corporations Team Up to Support Small Businesses with Free Online Resource

What could be wrong with major corporations teaming up to support small businesses with a free online resource?

The major corporations in question are: Allstate, Capital One, LegalZoom, Microsoft, Office Depot, and

You probably buy from some of them already.

The online resource is

As I sell Inbound Marketing training, I was curious about what they offer along those lines.

When it comes to marketing, they have one partner, and that is will give you a free small business website, and they sell hosting, and online marketing services, including search engine optimization.

What’s wrong with this picture relates to the online reputation of

On the website, has an average rating of 1.9 across 70 reviews.

On the website , has an average rating of 1.6 across 229 reviews.

On the Better Business Bureau website, has a record of 694 complaints were closed in the last 3 years, and 238 were closed in the last 12 months.

So while at first glance the offer of a free website seems enticing, based on the experiences of others, it could be a very expensive free website.

If you’re just starting out, try for hosting and either build a website in WordPress or pay someone to build one for you. The cost of their hosting plans is comparable to those of

If you already own a busy website (and it’s WordPress), consider I’ve worked with 6 or 8 different hosting providers over the years and I’ve never found better service than It’s more expensive ($25 a month compared to $55 a year), but the website rarely has issues, and when it does they’ve fixed issues quickly.

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