When a new year begins, many people elect to set goals and resolutions to do a number of things like lose weight, get more organized, or get their finances in order.
As you can imagine, individuals that I regularly interact with have identified social media related resolutions. Some I’ve heard so far include:
- To start a blog,
- To create a Facebook business page, or
- To complete my LinkedIn profile.
These are the goals I commonly hear from people. For those that have declared social media 2011 goals just do it! More specifically, if you’re goal is to start a blog, really Just Do It!
Unlike starting a Facebook business page or completing a LinkedIn profile — I think blogging is a little more intimidating. Yes there are lots of elements and platforms to consider — which can be overwhelming.
To help those that are apprehensive, but truly want to start a blog and feeling a little lost on where to go, in this piece I offer a brief review of some of the most popular blogging platforms out there. Please note, there are plenty more to consider, but the most popular are popular for a few of the reasons identified here.
So, in addition to being biased because my blog is hosted on WordPress, I am not alone in regarding the site as one of the best blogging platform out there. In “What’s the best blog platform,” by FastCompany.com, they too identify WordPress as the best blogging platform — and I have to agree with the reasons sited.
- Ease of Setup: With the growing number of templates that feature 1,2, and 3 columns, diverse colors and more — it’s very likely that you will find a template that will fit the theme and personality of your blog and you. Also, I appreciate the opportunity to preview the blog prior to going live with a selected theme.
- Ease of Use: FastCompany.com could not put it better — if you are familiar with Word, you’ve got 90% of the skills you need to use WordPress.
- Wealth of Plugins: Since WordPress have been around for such a long time, just about any plugin and widget that you could imagine is already available for use.
- Free: Another thing that’s great about WordPress is that it has a free hosting. If you want to purchase your domain name for additional branding purposes you can — and the cost is rather inexpensive.
An additional feature that I like about WordPress is the opportunity to have a team blog. More specifically, the administrator (or owner of the blog) can identity the level of access for other contributors from writer to administrator access.
Another very popular blogging platform — and where I started my first blog — is Blogger. This platform is hosted by Google, so for those that like to stick with a name they know, Blogger might be a safe bet. For Bloggers By Bloggers identifies Blogger as one of the best platforms for the following reasons:
- Templates: Like WordPress there are plenty of templates, colors, and fonts to choose from. To me selecting the templates and coming up with a combination of colors and fonts that work for the personality of your blog is part of the fun of having one!
- Google Analytics: Although most blog platforms have an analytics feature so you can see how many visitors are coming to the site, from where and what they are visiting — the respect of Google Analytics cannot be denied. For some this is a big draw to Blogger.
- AdSense: If you think you’re going to get rich on your blog — think again. But adding ads to your blog is a great way to get some additional exposure and Google’s Blogger makes it really easy to add advertisements through their AdSense option.
For Bloggers By Bloggers identifies Tumblr and Posterous as the simplest blogging platforms out there. Whether you are getting started casually or professionally, either of these two platforms will have you up and running within minutes — which is an added bonus.
- Email Posts: I have heard from more than one person that this is their favorite feature about both Tumblr and Posterous. This makes blogging easier for many and is an added bonus.
- Sharing Options: From what I understand, the easy social sharing features are built into the blog and there’s nothing additional to do. If you are starting a blog for casual or professional use, I highly recommend including social sharing features. Let people easily be ambassadors of your awesome content!
- Growing Community: Both Tumblr and Posterous are growing by leaps and bounds and there are lots of eager readers and writers interested in connecting with others using the platform. These are key features that can enhance the visibility of your blog. In other words, excellent reasons to get started blogging on either platform.
You know I think WordPress is the best blogging platform. When it comes to blogging it’s easy to procrastinate because there are a lot of factors to consider. My advice to you is Just Do It! Many things you will just learn by virtue of doing it. So, just jump in because the water’s fine.
- Which Blogging Platform Should I Use? (socialmediatoday.com)
- Tips for Enhancing Blogs with Blogger (epiphanysolutions.co.uk)
- Five Best Blogging Platforms [Hive Five] (lifehacker.com)