What’s the Difference?
First, let’s define the two. Most blog networks offer a free version. With it, you’ll get a nice, but limited, choice of templates and, with little effort, you can get up and blogging almost immediately. The basic free blogging functions are great options for blogging newbies who want to test the blogosphere.
There comes a point, however, when you’ll come to the end of yourself, your website design skills and your blogging platform’s ability to meet your long-term goals. It’s time to consider an investment in hosting and perhaps a little design or SEO help.
Paid hosted platforms will look much the same as your free platforms but give you more branding and SEO options. It requires some investment, typically around $200 year, but with your investment comes support—hosting providers will help you set up your products.