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How do you choose a blog platform? Should you use a free WordPress.com blog, or a Blogger.com blog? Or will it be more prudent to host your blog on your own domain? If you choose a free platform, which platform should you use? Any blogger who’s at the beginning of his or her blogging career will have these questions. We provide some of the answers you need in this post.
Find A Blog Platform That Lasts You A Long Time
You can choose a free blog platform for now and upgrade later. However, changing from a free blog to self-hosted domain has certain search engine traffic implications and transfer costs. It’s best not to take up the first option you find; it’s necessary that you do your research and decide on a blog platform that’ll last you for a long time.
Identify Your Business Goals
Before you decide on which platform to choose, identify your goals. Do you plan on being a long-term planner? What is the intent and purpose behind your blog? Do you intend to blog professionally or just for fun? Do you foresee earning money from your blog via advertising, sponsorship and so on?
Based on your goals, you can take your pick of blogging platforms, for fun blogging or for professional blogging.
For example, if you choose to go with WordPress.com, note that WordPress does not allow its bloggers to earn revenue. So if you plan on making money sometime down the line, you shouldn’t be choosing WordPress.com. Go ahead with WordPress if you want to put out an informative, useful or funny blog just for the pleasure of blogging! You can instead use WordPress.org if you want to run a commercial blog, for example if you want to run a hostgator coupon codes or shopperpress coupons blog (commercial blog) WordPress.org is the best choice. But remember you will have to buy web hosting as well.
Study Your Budget Needs
Blog platforms vary in price; you’ll be paying for the blog platform, hosting charges and your domain name. Again, not all blogging platforms offer the same level of service. With WordPress.com and Blogger.com, hosting and domain name are free. WordPress.org offers a free platform but you have to pay for your domain name and hosting fees. Blog platforms such as MovableType need payment for a platform license, and the charges vary depending on the nature of your blog.
You may also have to pay for design, even though most platforms offer free templates. You may also have to invest in a few blog tools to monitor blog statistics, and tools that help you post blogs offline. You may not need all these tools when you begin but you’ll need them as your blog grows. You may have to invest in learning technology or hiring someone who can handle the technological aspects of your site.
Study What Platforms Others Are Using
Find out what platforms are working out for other bloggers. Check how these bloggers began their career and what changes they had to make over time to their blogging platform. Connect with other bloggers through social media and find out the implications of using hosted platforms as opposed to standalone blogging platforms. Pay particular attention to bloggers who’ve started out with goals and budget similar to yours. With all this and some due diligence, you’ll be able to make the right decision for your blogging career.
[Image via Flickr]