When you host your own professional site or blog, you have several hosting options. Many freelance writers use shared hosting accounts, especially when starting out. While it can be a cost-effective option until you need more resources, there's another concern -- shared IP addresses.
The IP address is basically a number that identifies the server you host your site or blog on. When you use a shared host, there could be hundreds of sites from hundreds of owners on a single server. But many hosts give you the option to pay a bit extra for a dedicated IP address. That's an IP address that's for your account only.
Why would you want a dedicated IP address?
I've been going through some drama with a shared account recently. When I comment on some blogs, my comments are regularly defaulted to the spam folder. That's more than a little hassle when you take the time to write thoughtful comments while networking.
Why does this happen? It happens because there's a "bad neighbor" on the shared host's IP address. Basically, if another customer is spamming people, the whole IP address can be put on blacklists. That means your own comments and emails might be flagged as spam. And when you run a business that's not acceptable.
I'm moving all of my sites that are on shared hosts off of them as soon as I can. But if you're not ready to do that, see if your host offers dedicated IPs at a bare minimum. It's at least worth looking into. It may explain why you don't always get through when you expect to.
Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.
She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.
Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.
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