Blogging: Choosing the Right Platform for You
There are so many choices out there when it comes to blogging platforms (the software you choose to create your blog), it is sometimes difficult for the beginner to know which is the right one for them. There are several factors to consider in making that choice, including ease of use and your own skill level with computers, and the Internet in particular. You would also want to consider the purpose of your blog and how visually oriented you want it to be, as well as whether you are blogging for fun or for profit.
Let’s address the visual goals of your blog. If you lean toward the artistic and want a lot of pictures in your blog, you might want to look at Tumblr. Tumblr focuses more on graphics and is great for someone desiring a photoblog. It is owned by Yahoo and is the platform used by such companies as GQ and The Atlantic. Check out their Tumblr sites to get an idea of what you can do with your own blog using Tumblr.
This is a very easy platform to use and offers the ability to incorporate images, as well as text and videos. It also has a wide variety of themes so you can individualize your blog page. Tumblr is accessible through your mobile devices, i.e., smartphones or tablets. The downside is the same as its positive: it’s more image-oriented than narrative/text-oriented, so you would want to decide which will play heaviest into the goals you have for your blog. There are some beautiful Tumblr pages out there though, so I recommend some browsing before any decisions are made.
Another user-friendly platform is WordPress. This is another popular platform offered for free. In fact, WordPress has the distinction of representing one of every six blog websites. Its content managing system runs from the most simple for the casual or hobby blogger to some very complex features for more expert bloggers. You will find the Wall Street Journal and People Magazine among its users. It is easy to customize the appearance of your blog using its extensive theme library and thousands of plugins. It also offers excellent video tutorials to assist the novice.
Finally, let’s look at Blogger, one of the earliest of the blogging services and owned by Google. If you are looking at blogging for profit, Blogger plays well with its other family members, such as AdSense. It is more limited when it comes to themes, but its years in the blog game means it has ironed out the glitches that are attendant upon most blogging platforms.
The first step would be to do your due diligence and see what is out there. This will enable you to make an informed decision regarding what platform you finally choose. After that, take time to explore the features offered by your chosen platform, watch the tutorials, and once you are satisfied you can manage your content, take the leap and have fun with your entry into the world of blogging.