Choosing your blogging platform is an important step when starting your own blog. Whether you’re after something quick and affordable to use, or want something with lots of customisation options – there’s a platform for everyone. Here’s an introduction to some of the most popular blogging platforms currently available (and the pros and cons of each).
What is a blogging platform and why is it important?
A blogging platform is a service or application that allows the creation of web pages for your content. There’s many applications available for you to choose from, and each of them offer different levels of control over the design and functionality.
As the blogging platform is where your content is hosted, it’s important to consider what is important to you and how much control you want to have over your website. We’re going to share some of the most popular platforms below and what you can expect to get from each of them.
Probably the most popular platform for new bloggers. Blogger makes it quick and easy to set up your own blog. When it comes to publishing blog posts, Blogger makes it really straight forward and you’ll have no problem uploading your content.
That said, Blogger is very limited when it comes to design and layout options. You will be given a free domain (.blogspot.com) when you start, but can set up your own custom domain if you wish. Blogger is a good option if you just want somewhere to share your thoughts easily, but if you want your blog to have a more professional look and feel it might not be the best for you.
Probably the most popular platform for bloggers. Not only is the back end of WordPress easy to get the hang of, but it also offers a lot of customisation and creativity with the design and layout. There is also the option to self-host your WordPress blog. Self-hosting means you, rather than the blogging platform, own your blog and you can monetise your blog using affiliate links or working with brands.
Being able to customise your blog, and having your own domain, will make your blog look far more professional than using a free platform. If you’re looking to build up your reputation as an expert or turn your blog into a full-time career, then a self-hosted WordPress blog really is the best way to go.
Squarespace is a popular website building and hosting platform. It can be a great platform to start out with, and unlike Blogger it offers lots of professional looking templates that you can easily install. Not only are the templates great, but you can drag and drop elements to create your perfect webpages.
This customisability means you can easily make your blog stand out from the crowd and add some personality to the layout. Custom domains on Squarespace do come at an annual fee, but you can get your first custom domain free for the first year.
Wix has a lot of similar options to Squarespace. You can build your website for free on the platform, with options to pay a monthly fee for increased Bandwidth and storage. Much like Squarespace, Wix also allows you to choose from hundreds of beautiful templates and drag and drop elements to create your perfect pages.
Not sure that you need an entirely self-hosted website or even your own URL? Why not share your blog posts to Medium instead? Medium allows you to publish your content to their platform, and this can be a great way to gain increased exposure as so many people browse the platform for content.
Medium can be a great place to build your reputation and get your thoughts out to a wider audience. The main con is that you do not own the platform, and have no control over the design or layout of the page your posts are published to. This gives you less creative control over how your content is displayed, but if you’re just looking to get your content read by more people this may not be a problem for you.
When it comes to choosing your blogging platform, think about what your end goal is. Do you want to establish yourself as an expert in your field? Or earn income from your written content? Depending on what your goals are, different platforms will be more appropriate for you.
Before spending money on your hosting and domain, make sure you have a clear idea of what the monthly or annual costs will be to maintain it. You don’t want to end up with a blog that you can’t afford to maintain!
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