There are many things to take into account when you first start thinking about starting a blog.
- Purpose. What is the blog for? Is it to enhance your business or do you want somewhere to jot down your thoughts? Do you (potentially) want to make money blogging?
- Investment of Time. How much time are you wanting to spend blogging? Are you going to commit to post once a day, monthly or whenever inspiration strikes?
- Investment of Money. How much money are you willing to spend on a blog?
- Knowledge. Are you tech-y? Do you know the basics of HTML or the ins and outs of CSS? If the answer to all of these questions is a big “no”, are you willing to learn?
The two biggest blogging platforms are WordPress (wordpress.org – not .com- I will explain the difference in a moment) and Blogger.
I would strongly recommend starting with one of these two platforms.
WordPress is a free platform where you can build the website or blog of your dreams. There are hundreds of free add-ons (called plug-ins) which allows for complete customization.
- Self hosted – You can post advertising etc., without worrying about Bloggers terms of service.
- Opensource – If you know how to change CSS you can change the code to fit your needs.
- Easy – WordPress is easy to use and you can even install it yourself.
- Start-up costs – To install wordpress you need to purchase a hosting plan . Most range from $60-$100 a year. We use GreenGeeks and recommend them. We have also heard great things about Blue Host and Host Gator. You will also need to purchase a domain for around $10 a year. We only use GoDaddy for our domains.
Blogger is a Google product. It is a free blogging platform which is super easy. If you can check your email you can start a blog with blogger.
- Easy – Really, really easy to use. Easier than wordpress.
- Free – No costs involved. I would strongly recommend buying your own domain for $10 a year.
- SEO (search engine optimization) – As Blogger is a google product, their blogs rank high in their search engine making it easier for people to find you.
- Terms of service – As you do not own your blog, Blogger could shut down your blog at any time, particularly if you do not follow their terms of service.
- Transfer – I have seen many bloggers transfer from Blogger to WordPress. Although the process of transferring is fairly easy, you will lose your page rank and your search engine optimization. You will be essentially be starting your blog from scratch in the eyes of search engines.
In order to choose which blogging platform is right for you, you first must decide what you want your blog to do.
Are you blogging for your business? I strongly recommend self-hosted wordpress.
Do you want to make money or review products in exchange for publicizing products. Go self-hosted wordpress.
Are you looking for a space on the internet to write and want to do it for the joy it brings? Start with Blogger (but buy your domain because you never know..).
Want To Blog? Series
Episode 1 – Worpress Vs. Blogger
Episode 2 – Installing a Domain
Episode 3 – Having Fun With Domains