There are a number of options when starting out your blogging career. Call them software or tools. I will do a run-down of the most common ones (assuming you don’t know yet), giving some insights to why you should choose one and not the other.
There are tonnes of blogging software available on the internet (mostly free). Here is a list starting with the most popular one:
- WordPress.com (and WordPress.org)
- Blogger (Blogspot)
- a number of often missed platforms (Facebook notes, Google+)
- some quite common platforms (Tumblr, Typepad, SquareSpace)
- and a lot of others you might not have heard of
and may never hear(Chyrp CMS, b2evolution, Textpattern, NucleusCMS, Geeklog etc)
For this sake of this write up (based on my experience) I will expatiate on the first two.
WordPress.com and WordPress.org
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world, powering almost 19% of the web. WordPress is both a free publishing tool via WordPress.com (e.g. johnbull.wordpress.com, but you can still pay to use your own domain), and a content management system for self-hosted blogs via WordPress.org (hosted on your own server and offers more control).
With a huge library of plugins and themes, WordPress provides a full spectrum of blogging solutions for casual bloggers as well as full-fledged businesses.
While WordPress (or WP) is the best option, you get a lot more juice from it via customization – which can be rewarding. This blog for instance, is powered by WordPress.org.
In my opinion, if you want the most control, use WP on your own servers. WebCreative recommends CityHill Servers.
Also called BlogSpot, Blogger is a Google owned blogging platform. Blogger was one of the earliest blogging services and was instrumental in bringing blogging to the mainstream. Blogger is an easy-to-use and free platform that requires only a Gmail/Google account to get started.
Blogger blogs can be customized with new backgrounds and layouts easily. Unsurprisingly, the platform is hardwired into Google’s AdSense advertising program and other Google services like Google+ (for comments) and Feedburner (for RSS distribution) are easily configured.
If you already have ideas and want to get started immediately, try blogger. You can be up and running yourownblog.blogspot.com in no time with no tech knowledge.
At the end, it boils down to what you (and your readers) are most comfortable with and what can easily communicate your message. I know a couple of friends who simply use Facebook notes and their message is passed across and everyone is happy.
- Choose your topic/niche
- Choose a suitable platform
- Start Blogging
Questions? Feel free to comment.