Types of Blog platforms
Blogging is a powerful way to market your business or product. Blogging allows you to connect with a community and increase your reach online. Posting articles on SavvySME is considered a form of blogging but here are a list of blog platforms if you want to take that extra step and create your own blog.
Benefits of using a blog
Blogs are usually made based on one major topic or category. It allows the blogger to focus on a certain content that can gather his/her target market. A blog is relatively easy to use. Most platforms already have templates you can choose from. You need not learn how to create a website on your own or hire a team of web designers for you to start blogging. With this at hand, there will be more attention on the content of your blog. All you have to worry about is what you are writing about since it will be automatically compatible with your entire blog when you have posted it.
Blog platforms also have add-ons that can cater to your blogging needs. You can have your own search engine so that older or specific articles will be easier to find. There is also an option wherein you can put a comment box after every post so that you can garner feedback from the visitors of your blog.
Blogging is basically a pre-made website. All you have to do is input the content that you want your visitors to see and everything else will be done for you.
So what platform is most suitable for you?
Here are some of the most popular blog platforms:
WordPress is a free, open-source blogging platform that has grown into a full-fledged content management system. It enjoys enormous community support. WordPress is one of the most scalable blogging platforms there is today especially if you install it yourself to your own server. Otherwise the free hosted accounts are also very easy to use and have some great looking templates.
- Platform, domain, and hosting is free
- Ability to upgrade to your own customer domain for a low monthly fee of $13.
- A wide range of free design templates
- Wordpress supports categories. If you write about different subjects, this is a great way to organize posts.
- You can password-protect posts.
- Great SEO
- Not as simple as Blogger
- May not be able to embed iframes
- You can't upload plugins unless you have your own installed version. Most hosting providers have an easy install option, however this will require some technical knowledge.
Google owns Blogger and has it integrated with Google Accounts. The platform has been around since blogging's beginnings, and is still an excellent choice.
- Platform, domain, and hosting is free
- Ability to upgrade to a custom domain name
- Backed by Google, so it integrates well with other Google products and is more protected from the DDoS attacks that often plague human rights blogs.
- Free design templates
- If you are more tech-savvy, Blogger does allow you to FTP the files generated for your blog to your own website.
- Limited ability to customize your blog
- Google owns your content and can shut down your blog if they do not like your content.
- You cannot categorize posts, or have a blogroll. This is replaced by labels.
Tumblr is one of the fastest growing blogging platforms in 2011. The demographics on Tumblr however tend to be very skewed towards certain demographics so you should choose a platform that is suited to your target audience.
- Originally just a photo-posting blog, Tumblr recently added new features and expanded the things you can do with a Tumblr blog.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Encourages customisation
- You have to set up the comments function separately, using http://disqus.com.
- Not ideal if you have long posts
Posterous has recently reinvented itself, introducing a concept it calls spaces. The idea is to offer more control over how content is shared. In some ways this makes Posterous as much a social network as a platform.
- Posterous is very simple to use. Once you sign up for a Posterous account, you are given a Posterous address to e-mail posts to. Compose an e-mail with text or attach a photo or video send it to the Posterous e-mail you are provided, and it is converted into a post on your site.
- It is also geared toward mobile blogging. It's easy to post an update when you are not at a computer.
- They have been adding new features, like a new post editor, the ability to add stand-alone pages, moderate comments, and manage image galleries more easily.
- Posterous only launched in 2008, so it is a smaller, less well-known community.
- Even though you can post by e-mail, you will find yourself going to the Posterous interface to adjust the formatting.
Blog.com is another popular WordPress-powered blogging platform.
- it offers many beautiful premium themes in its free accounts,
- advanced plugins that one can expect only on a self-hosted blog
- the free service displays more ads as compared to WordPress.com
Having cited the pros and cons of popular blog platforms, this does not mean that I encourage or discourage these platforms. There are numerous blog