Setting Up Your Blog – What Blog Platform Is Right For You?

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Which is the right blog platform for you?

When you start blogging you are going to want to have a strong and stable blog platform to publish on. There are literally dozens of choices out there which include some of the highest powered web applications available – and others. In the second part of our blogging start up series, we are going to provide you with the details of options for publishing your new blog.

Choosing the right platform is essential. If you use a platform that doesn’t have the right features, you will not achieve your goals. Likewise, choosing a blogging platform that is hard for you to use will often result in you not being successful. Therefore, don’t just examine what looks good; see if you understand what is going on and whether you can use the system.

The Right Blog Platform For You

There are numerous options for your blog platform. Here is a selection of what we think are the best.

1. WordPress

This is the most highly rated blog platform on the internet. WordPress currently powers about 19% of all websites. There are two options for WordPress: their freemium hosted and self host options.

The Freemium is where you use the WordPress servers to host your blog while using one of their domains (i.e. yourcompany.wordpress.com). You can buy a customisable domain name, but you would still be limited in what you can achieve with design and functionality.

The self host option is a free download for the website software, but you’ll have to host the website on your own server or find another host. This can be highly effective as WordPress is powerful, especially with the array of plugins that offer multiple functions.

WordPress is also user friendly and there’s a lot of technical support online for those who are new to the system. However, sometimes people can become swamped by the amount of flexibility available, so ensure you are comfortable with learning the system before deciding to go down this route.

2. Blogger

This is where many experienced bloggers cut their teeth. The Google hosted platform doesn’t have the flexibility in performance, or the customisation of design as other platforms do and Google does like to cut services without warning, when they feel like it. This could mean you’ll lose all your work. And there are many who feel that Google+ is the replacement for Blogger.

You’ll also have to put up with Google AdSense, which could take away customers from your site and your earnings are less than what they could be on other platforms.

However, their optimisation of Google+ for sharing and Feedburner for RSS distribution are certain benefits and easily configured. The system is also fairly easy to pick up and go – so less tech savvy users will feel at home.

3. Tumblr

Yahoo! owned and more of a social media network, Tumblr is like the cool kid in school everyone wants to be friends with. However, there are limited revenue generation ideas here that you can implement yourself.

Typically, users curate content from other users to share on the site rather than create their own. This content is often from other websites. So perhaps use more as a social media platform than a blog platform.

4. Medium

Started by Twitter founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone, this is a rather unique blogging platform. It has a feature that allows users to edit and annotate other’s work. Obviously, this platform is designed to help Twitter create more of a buzz and it does work well in this capacity.

However, there are numerous writers who get frustrated with the rigid features and how the platform connects with other content. This is why many writers have left the platform.

5. Svbtle

This was initially an invite only platform, but has since opened up to everyone. It has a very slick design and writing on it can feel like it is a doodle pad or ‘to-do list’.

However, if you want interaction on the blog platform, you’ve got limited options. There’s no comment facility, though sometimes this isn’t a bad idea.

6. Ghost

After earning $300,000 from the Kickstarter program, well above the $25,000, goal – Ghost is an open-sourced blog platform that has a nice design with a few options. One of the options is to set up a basic blog on their domain or download the Ghost software and install it on your own webserver.

Ghost is fairly easy to understand and use and there is no doubt that those who are not technically minded will feel comfortable with the system.

However, you have to pay to use Ghost and costs are from $5 a month for a single blog with 10,000 monthly page views and up to $80 per month for 500,000 page views on 30 blogs. This could be an Achilles heel for this brand, although some big names are using the software. It’s hard to imagine however that too many people will want to pay for the software and the hosting.

7. Squarespace

A highly popular business option because of the functionality it can provide for e-commerce. This isn’t just a blogging platform, it can also be a customisable website and the program is beautifully designed and easy to understand.

There is no free option with this platform and prices start at $8 per month if you go on their annual plan. This price does include cloud-based hosting and maintenance, which is a good option. However, if you are a small business or want to run a simple blog, this might not be the option for you.

8. LinkedIn Pulse

LinkedIn offers its own publishing avenue called Pulse. The content ranks well on Google and there are connections to comments and social media. The content looks professionally delivered on the site and you’ll find many of TwoFeetMarketing’s blog posts hosted on LinkedIn as well as on our website. However, this is how it should really be used, as an extension of another blog platform.

But, you won’t be able to brand your content and there is no customisation of the design. There are also issues with the audience. LinkedIn is primarily a B2B platform, therefore if you are selling to consumers – this is not the platform for you.

9. Joomla

An advanced content management system like WordPress, this PHP powered system functions in much the same way. It does have some benefits and there are plenty of developers to help you customise it; however, numerous people overlook it because user friendliness is not the best.

If you are looking at Joomla, the recommendation is to consider WordPress instead. There are more options to create a stunning website and it is easier to get started.

Conclusion

There are numerous options for your new blog. You just have to select the right blog platform for you. Have a look at our top picks above and choose which blog platform you want to start your new blog on.

What blog platform do you use? How do you find it in comparison to others?

Let us know in the comments.

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