Judging from the trajectory of the majority of the internet audience from the past few years it would’ve been fairly easy to assume that the era of blogging was nearing an end, especially with social networks the size of Facebook and Twitter appearing in the picture.
But the truth is, blogging never ceased to be an essential part of online communication
While social networks focus on piling up large quantities of commercial audience media, blogging platforms tend to accent the artistic potential of each user.
So, whether you are new at this, or if you want a change of pace from the everyday “like/tweet” routine, here are some of the best blogging platforms out there.
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WordPress is divided into two separate options – 1) a hosted service that grants .wordpress.com domains (including the option for you to pay for use of your own domain) with a premium option that allows some customization 2) The self-hosted blogging option offered at wordpress.org.
The latter allows you a wider array of choices, giving you much more control, allowing you to host WordPress on your own servers. It is the holy grail of blogging, holding roughly 19% of the web.
One of its main supporting pillars is the sizeable mass of creative users who devote their time to inventing various tweaks and plug-ins that aid in the improvement and further customization of their own blogs.
The endless number of options can be quite exhausting to the new user, so a “step-by-step” method is advisable.
Requiring only a Gmail account as a prerequisite, Blogger is Google’s modest answer to blogging…
The platform itself is integrated into Google’s AdSense advertising service, which allows the user hassle-free monetization of their blog, something that can be quite alluring to the average everyday blogger who doesn’t prefer losing “precious” time on technical issues like ad placement.
Other various services like Google+ and FeedBurner are also included in the package, both of which enable the content to reach a wider audience; the former by integrating posts from a blog a Google+ user has subscribed to, into their social feed.
Feedburner is a typical RSS aggregator which enables the users to receive content from a given blog “the old-fashioned way”. Specs set aside, Blogger has faded from the popularity contest in recent time. Still, it is the place many have had their first step, and that still counts as something.
Perhaps the first mainstream service to combine blogging with social media, Tumblr is the cool new toy in the blogging store.
Interestingly enough, it’s a toy worth 1.1 bn dollars according to Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO. Similarly to Facebook, Tumblr has a strong community of users that, much like the WordPress community, help shape the overall visual experience, creating various new design layouts and visual enhancements.
Moreover, the service supports custom domain names, which helps the users obtain the element of recognition. It’s important to note that the Tumblr audience’s demographics are largely dominated by a more youthful group of people that are prone to a more derivative approach when it comes to creating new forms of media, making the “reblog” option an essential part of the everyday user.
Depending on the custom design of the individual blog, the user has the option of influencing the intensity of integration with social networks, by, for instance, placing a “like” or “tweet” button. Speaking of social media, have you checked out our article on getting a good social media following?
So which one should you use?
Depending on your personal “cup of tea”, each of these blogging platforms provides a distinct user experience, which makes them separately invaluable.
Whether you’re a freelance photographer that wants to share his portfolio on tumblr, or a company that needs a suitable PR blog on WordPress. Perhaps even an old timer still using Blogger (probably wishing you could still be using your old typewriter) – the answer is the same.
Any one of the above mentioned will do the trick. The idea, like any idea – is to start somewhere.