Step 2: Select your Blog Platform

Select your Blog PlatformThe shining moment in your blog is to showcase your knowledge and thoughts and make them interesting to your readers, the more you write useful and engaging content, the more likely you are to capture new readers on a consistent basis, the key with blogs is to get people interested and then subscribe to your blog, so they can get new blog post updates as and when you write them.

Blogging should provide in any blogging platform a way of presenting your own writing style with the usual addition of useful plugins and interactive tools for expanding your readership and making your blog a search engine friendly place to get your blog indexed.

While there are lots online blogging platforms available, below we take a look at some of the popular and common blog platforms to help you make the best platform decision.

But the one you pick should depend on whether you want to go with hosted or self hosted.

Hosted – Free Blogging platforms

A shared domain blog is a type of blog that you don’t have to pay to host on a web server. You can create these at https://www.blogger.com/start,  http://wordpress.com/, etc. If you want to use this option, you’ll be using what is called a “shared domain blog” because you’ll have .blogspot or .wordpress following your blog’s domain name like http://nameofyourblog.blogspot.com or http://nameofyourblog.wordpress.com. Creating a blog with a hosted blog is very simple to do and free. You can set up a blog and start using it within a couple minutes if you use blogger.com or wordpress.com!

Free hosted blog competitors are :

WordPress.com – One of the most popular blogging platforms around, WordPress is a great free starting point. There is a huge range of design templates available for use and there are plenty of helpful widgets to make your blog more interactive.

Blogger – This is the platform made by Google. Much like WordPress there is a huge range of templates that you can use. You are also able to access stats through Google Analytics and to monetize your blog through Google AdSense and more.

Tumblr – This is a newer platform that is becoming more popular with casual and professional bloggers alike. With the simple setup and e-mail posting proving to be attractive features.

MovableType – It is a open source, popular,  free blog platform that is a WordPress alternative if you’re looking for stand alone software to use with your own hosting and also have an  very active online community which creates for you free plugins & templates, even if they’re actually not as big as WordPress.org is.

LiveJournal
– A popular social network and media website which allows all members to write their own blogs on a variety of different niches.
 
Weebly– A free web site creator which allows their users to build webpages & blogs with a few clicks, simply by choosing a theme and the widgets they’d like to use
 
Google+ -It brings you instant audience + community – two things any blogger wants more of.
 

Few Blogging tips: Free v/s Paid

Blogger and WordPress are the most popular free blog hosting services. They provide you with a blog that has a domain name ending with their names.

For example:

www.domain.blogspot.com (free blogger blog)

www.domain.wordpress.com (free wordpress blog)

For a beginner, these are good to start with. Only exception is that we are at the discretion of these companies. That is, if they decide to close out site, we are having less power to defend. Also, they have a longer name, which is quite unimpressive to read.

This happens mainly if the blog is having obscene content.

With paid service (Self-Hosted) you will get a blog with an impressive look, for example

www.yourdomainname.com

Also, no company can close it down, ( Unless your breach Hosting terms and conditions) unless you decide to stop it.

With respect to blogging, there are two main categories that bloggers are concerned with, one being a hosted version and the other is a self-hosted version which required the selection and registration of a domain name. The hosted versions of Blogger and WordPress offer many advantages to the individual first starting out online blogging. The first and foremost attraction to both WordPress and Blogger are the ease in which one can get started and have their first post drafted and published in an little as 5 to 10 minutes.

Selection criteria with differ with each blogger but will be generally restricted to three main areas when making an informed decision as to whether or not WordPress or Blogger will be the best suited blogging publishing platform for your particular needs and objectives. When referring to these issues, I will divide them into three main categories: Blogging platform, needs and objectives, reader benefits.

Self Hosted Blog Platforms

While free blogging platforms are a great way to start blogging, the preferred option for most bloggers is the self-hosted one. There are numerous reasons, the main one being that you are in complete control.

So, what are your options:

WordPress.org – This is often confused with the free version, WordPress.com.. There are plenty of hosts perfect for WordPress bloggers. The benefits of WordPress include a huge range of premium themes to choose from, plug-ins to add functionality. WordPress blogs are perfect for personal, business, portfolios and more. It has great search engine visibility and the ability to grow with you. This is definitely my preferred platform.

Typepad – Hugely popular with professional bloggers. Typepad also has hosting built-in to its price, so you don’t have to worry about choosing a web host. Its features include widgets to add functionality, domain mapping and professional support as opposed to community support.

Squarespace – Is a pretty cool platform that offers some great options for bloggers. Using a drag-and-drop feature for blog layout. You can get a blog up and running fairly quickly. It’s pricing also includes hosting. You can also import your social network functions into Squarespace. Another feature is the ability to track visitors.

So What is the best choice ?

WordPress…Wordpress…Wordpress. Trust me, it’s easy enough for a newbie to customize and robust enough to keep a hard-core techie feature-happy. WordPress.org is free and it has everything you need to build an original, eye-catching, easily navigable blog.

Few of the benefits of using wordpress:

  1. The WordPress Software is free and Open Source, So you can easily able to customised the look/features by using free and premium themes/plugins widely available online, doing this you can save lots of money comparing designing and developing custom designed website.
  2. Search Engine Optimisation is very easy in WordPress using plugins like Yoast and many other freely and premium plugins available widely.
  3. A huge Community Forum and Support is available for any technical issues related to  theme, plugin errors and installation https://wordpress.org/support/

There are tons of design resources online both in Themes and how-to guide formats, so I’m not going to delve into that topic too much in this article. I’ll just share with you what I consider to be the three most important aspects of a well-designed blog that meet wordpress.org based platform:
(1) It’s not over-designed or too busy.
(2) You limit yourself to ten categories or less.
(3) Stick with a regular posting schedule – whether it’s once a week or twice a day, readers like consistency.

Once you’re up and running your wordpress.org based blog platform simply start posting. Writing style, length and content is all up to you.

Finally, There are bloggers that can earn a fantastic living from their blog! But if your blogging ambition is only to blog about your life, a subject, or to get an audience for an issue–than building a blog with a hosted blog site (like wordpess.com or blogger.com) is probably your best option. Hosted blog websites are very easy to use and you don’t need to worry about hosting. If you do this, you can just blog and not worry about administrative things. But if you want your blog to make money then creating a blog with a Self Hosted blog platform (like WordPress) is your best option because Self Hosted blog platforms give you many more options to customize your blog, more ways you can use ads on your blog, and more features you can use with the blog.

5 Responses

  1. charmdate.com March 11, 2015 / 7:54 pm

    Hi! I know this is somewhat off-topic however I needed to ask.
    Does managing a well-established blog such as yours require a massive amount work?
    I’m completely new to running a blog but I do write in my journal daily.

    I’d like to start a blog so I can share my personal
    experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any ideas
    or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

    • John Fletcher March 11, 2015 / 10:31 pm

      Hi Mate, As the experience built with setting up a different blogs you will get an idea of do’s and don’t. And this is why i launched blog easy way for newbies looking to launch their first blog, i am putting lots of resources and tips to cover all the topics on regular basis here.

      Also you mention you already writing for journal daily, so this is a positive thing in whatever niche you’re writing just setup a blog for the same and provide informative content to your visitors on regular basis, you need little patience and time to maintain your blog on regular basis to attract some good traffic. Drop me a email if you have any more questions.

  2. Jes April 4, 2015 / 8:30 am

    Hi John,

    Last week you helped me in setting up my first blog, but due to some reasons i can’t able to upload some of the photos etc., it’s showing me file permission error. could you help me to sort out the issue.

    And thanks for all your help

    • John Fletcher April 7, 2015 / 3:15 am

      Hi Jes,

      You’re doing really good with your blog, well designed and i noticed that you started putting a lot of quality content, keep up the good work 🙂
      Also if you getting file permission issues while uploading images etc, then logoff and logon again to your admin or otherwise we will help you to setup right permission on your folder and need to see if any wordpress plugins creating this issue.

      John

  3. Digital Marketing October 12, 2016 / 7:28 am

    Well I really enjoyed reading it. This post offered by you is very
    practical for correct planning.

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