Blogging is fun and it can be a great source of your income if you know how to go about with your business. That is why becoming a blogger is a noble idea for anyone looking to make an impact in a virtual world. But choosing the right blogging platform can be confusing let alone being a difficult task for you especially if you are a newcomer in the game. This is not to discourage you given that nearly every blogger in the world had gone down the same path to emerge the best despite the hurdles on their way to success. You too can be there and surprisingly you can as well find yourself at the top creme of the best bloggers in your area of expertise.
It is never too late or too challenging for you provided that you have the will and the right blogging platform. In this article, we are going to give you our simple, comprehensive and detailed ultimate guide to choosing the right blogging platform that you can use to showcase your creativity and share ideas in whichever niche of your choice. Let’s get started right away with defining a blogging platform and move to why you should start blogging, choosing a blogging platform and finally discuss a little bit of the most popular blogging platforms today.
What exactly is a Blogging Platform?
In simple terms, a blogging platform is software or service that bloggers use to publish their content for people to read online. As a blogger, you may use any of the available blogging software such as WordPress, Joomla, Blogger.com or any other website builder like Wix.com to come up with a classic blog. Whichever way you choose, ensure that it works well for you by meeting all your personal blogging needs.
With numerous blogging platforms at your disposal, you can never fail to find one which will serve you better and help you take your blogging skills to the next level. Therefore, take a while and do your own research on various blogging platforms on the market before making your final decision on which one will suit your needs. Also, extensive research on different blogging platforms will give you prior knowledge of the type of platform that will ultimately shape your blog as you progress further into the realms of blogging.
Why Start Blogging?
Blogging is incredibly valuable to a number of individuals and for various reasons. It is not just for business as many people take it but many bloggers can benefit in different ways such as personally, financially and professionally. Despite writing being one of your favourite hobbies, you can use it to transform your life and that of others. In this regard, you should have the following reasons at the back of your mind should you start blogging anytime soon:
1. To attract the target audience
Through blogging, you can reach as many people as you possibly can from all corners of the world thanks to the availability of the internet. Blogging helps to attract an audience to your work in the belief that there is something other people can learn from you. That is why it is always a good idea to create blogs that capture the attention of the multitudes and to eventually convert them to partners, friends, customers or anything of value to you.
2. To Establish Authority
Writing about relevant topics that influence your audience positively can help you establish yourself authoritatively in the space. In other words, blogging can enhance your professional image. No wonder there’s punchline out there saying that a blog is currently to professionals in the same way a business card was a few years back.
3. To Build Rapport as well as Engagement
Blogging is a tool that you can use to convert traffic to your website into leads and leads into your customers. This means through blogging you can “warm up” your traffic and cold calls from other sources. In this case, when one of your audience members receives a cold call from you, it is likely that they will become more receptive if at all they have already read your blog posts and benefited from them.
4. To Create Opportunities
It is a well-known fact that blogging can pave way for you to land several business opportunities among other things. Once you have established yourself, for example, you can have many people contacting you to give a speech at conferences after reading your blogs. This way, you will be identified as an expert in that area of your specialization.
5. To Learn and Organize Your Thoughts
When you start blogging, you should be ready to learn and in the process, organize your thoughts. Through writing and articulating your thoughts and ideas it can really help you to internalize something you have just learned or experienced at some point in your life.
6. To Tell Your Own Story
Blogging gives you a better platform to showcase your creativity and tell your own story better than anyone else. Writing your own topics gives you absolute freedom to express yourself independently. In other words, you can decide how to present your story, the information you want to be included and exclude what you don’t want to appear in your content.
7. To Meet New People
Your target audience is not just your “audience” because anyone there can become your colleagues, partners, lovers or even friends. Your blogs make them know you better and gauge your thoughts based on the ideas that you postulate in your writing. Soon or later, you may end up meeting a handful of them for various reasons.
8. To Stand out From the Rest
According to the usual “the one per cent rule”, just one per cent of all internet users are capable of actively creating new content. The rest are just viewers or followers of the content created by the 1 per cent. For you to establish yourself among the 1 per cent, you will need to turn to blogging in order to stand out in any competitive economy.
9. To Validate Expertise
As it seems, blogs are increasingly becoming the new resumes. This is to say that every time you blog about a specific topic, you are being viewed as an expert in that particular niche. And this illustrates to your readers, potential employers and friends that you are an expert in that area you are writing about.
10. To Make Money
A blog with many readers can create opportunities to monetize it in a bid to have an additional source of your income. Blogging can be a great way to make money in today’s economy and eventually make you financially independent.
Choosing a Blogging Platform
When choosing your ideal blogging platform, you should consider the following factors:
Your blog needs a website that is user-friendly to make your work easier while giving a better experience to your audience. Additionally, a user-friendly website makes your audience to become loyal to your blog when they find it easier to navigate it without any problem. In this case, choose a blogging platform that is user-friendly especially to newcomers.
Most of the internet users today prefer using mobile phones or tablets when browsing on a daily basis. This means that when choosing your blogging platform, you should consider a platform that is mobile user-friendly to enable those using hand-held devices to access your site without difficulties. As a matter of fact, mobile-friendly blogs have been found to rank higher in the search engine results thus prompting many blogging platforms today to adjust automatically according to the user’s screen size.
Themes and add-ons
Themes and add-ons are factors that determine how your blog will look like and potentially attract more internet traffic to your website. In this regard, go for a platform that has several themes to choose from. If your blog has an attractive theme, you can rest assured that it will attract many people to your site.
Before settling down for a particular blogging platform, ensure that it is flexible or versatile. If the platform you are choosing is versatile, it means that you can transform it to suit your niche and needs.
The issue of malicious attacks is widespread and becoming a worrying trend if you are on a public network. To prevent your website from being under such threats, it’s important that you check the security features of the blogging platform you intend to use.
For a beginner, it will be difficult to manage your block unless you have someone to show you how to go about. Equally, it will be difficult for you if you are a busy person. However, these two issues should not worry you anymore when you can simply make use of your hosting company to give you support whenever you need it. Choose a hosting company that has customer support all the time to ensure that you are always in the game.
This is a very important factor when choosing your blogging platform. The reason being, you can choose between the paid and free hosting depending on your preference. If you go for a paid hosting then you will have to eliminate the company name whereas for free hosting, your address will include the name of your hosting company and this is a great way to get started with blogging.
Popular Blogging Platforms
Once you make up your mind to start blogging, the next thing to do is to look for the most popular blogging platforms to make your ultimate choice of your ideal platform. Here are the suggested examples of the best blogging platforms on the market today:
WordPress.org is the most popular of the blogging software today although it is often confused with WordPress.com most of the time. Anyway, this is an open source software that you can use to build your blog on your own. The reason for choosing it is that you will have full control of your website, access numerous plugins and themes and it is search engine-friendly.
WordPress.com is another free blog hosting provided by Automattic. This blogging platform is easy to use and manage without requiring a setup. Given that it is free, you can purchase your own domain name and also upgrade it to get rid of the WordPress.com logo as well as advertising from your website.
Blogger.com comes free of charge and it provides you with a quick and easy way to set up your blog especially if you are not a tech-savvy. The good thing about using Blogger.com is that your site will have Google’s reliable backup. Unfortunately, this platform has limited blogging tools and you cannot add new features. Just like WordPress.com, you cannot own your blog.
This is a microblogging platform that comes with several social networking features like the reblogging and built-in sharing tools. The platform is social media friendly and easy to use besides having limited features on its themes. It is free to use but you may be required to buy your own domain name separately.
Medium was launched to become an easy to use blogging platform. Sadly, its social networking features are limited anyway. However, you can still create your own account and then start publishing your blogs straightway.
Ghost.org is entirely an open source and adaptable blogging platform used for building and running websites. Using this platform to host your blog will assure you of fully managed services such as updates, optimizations and backups. The platform lets you choose your own domain name in just a few clicks in addition to making your website memorable and easily accessible by your target audience.
Wix is one of the easiest blogging platforms that you can use to build your website. This software enables you to customize your site using drag-and-drop tools. If you want to add a blog to your site you can just add the Wix Blog application. Also, you can add third-party applications. Most significantly, the platform is easy to set up and use.
For beginners, Weebly is the best choice. This blogging platform allows you to drag-and-drop in order to build a website. In fact, it is easy to use where coding knowledge is not needed. Weebly can get customer support through live chat and emails anytime you are faced with a problem related to blogging.
This is an open source blogging platform designed for content management in the same way as WordPress.org. In addition to that, it is also a self-hosted platform which allows you to have your own domain name web hosting. This platform is extremely powerful whereby you can use it to build any type of blog or website.
Mozello is fully compatible with handheld devices such as mobile phones and tablets. You can use it to create a responsive blog or website that can work well on mobile devices. With this blogging platform, you will not need any technical skills to use it because it takes care of every technical detail such as web hosting and domain registration on your behalf. Above all, it allows you to create multilingual websites that can attract more customers as well as generating more traffic on your blog.
Starting a blog may sound like rocket science to those who do not know where to start and what it takes to have their own websites. Luckily for you, you can easily choose your blogging platform without any problem now that you know what it takes to have a blog of your own.