You know blogging is a good way to get your brand out there. You also know that it is a good way to get backlinks to your online store. Having a store allows you to sell online, but having a blog allows you to have a more established presence in your industry. The best place to start is to find the right blogging platform for the scale and purpose of your business blog.
The basic questions to ask yourself when choosing a blogging software are:
- How much flexibility do I need?
- Do I have a budget to spend for a platform or for a consultant to build something?
- How much time do I have to dedicate towards building and maintaining a blog?
Here are reviews of three popular blogging platforms, with advantages and disadvantages to all three:
WordPress: With over 2.5 million blogs using it, WordPress is by far the most popular blogging platform in the world. It is open source, meaning it is free and relies on contributions from users for features. Version 2.5 is supposed to come out any day now. Serious bloggers will find no limitations to WordPress. If you can’t find a plugin or widget that does what you need it to do, you can always build it. This is a great platform for those willing to take the time or spend the money to get the more advanced features available to bloggers, such as profile building, advanced stat features, podcasting and vodcasting options, and Flickr feeds. However, using WordPress can be a daunting task to those not willing to take the time to learn about available options, so using a consultant could be a good idea if you want something more complicated.
- PROS: There is a huge community of WordPress users including consultants and forum members all over the world. WordPress offers more templates and options to choose from than any other platform. By far the most flexible and powerful blogging platform on the web.
- CONS: Finding templates, widgets and plugins can be overwhelming as they are all over the web and are sometimes buggy. Often these modifications are often not supported by their creators, since they do not earn any money by creating them. There is also no definitive documentation for WordPress. Hosting is not included.
2.) Typepad: Typepad is a blogging platform created by Movable Type. It offers several pricing plans that range from $4.95 to $89.95, depending on the level of support, the space, bandwidth, and features. It does offer all of the plugins and widgets that WordPress offers, but using the basic widgets and plugins does not require ftp access. Front end can be customized using software itself. Typepad is a good platform if you are willing to pay for more advanced features and support but do not need the all out customization that WordPress offers. Those features can also be set up quickly, since you do not have to comb around the internet for widgets and themes that support widgets.
- PROS: Hosting is included, as is basic email support and manuals. Interface is set up to be easily customized and search engine friendly features are already built in. Allows for HTML editing.
- CONS: Not as robust or flexible as WordPress. Can end up becoming pricey for higher traffic blogs. Many customers had technical issues upgrading to their latest version.
3.) Blogger: This is Google’s free blogging platform. Blog can be hosted with Google’s hosting service BlogSpot or on your own server. It is not nearly as robust as TypePad or WordPress, but it is meant for a beginning blogging audience who wants to get something to get started.
- PROS: Free and very quick to get started. Easy to set up for first time bloggers. Allows for HTML editing.
- CONS: Does not have available community features, templates, or widgets found in WordPress or TypePad. Widgets are available, but lack the variety of options found in other platforms.
There are many business blog platforms to choose from, but these are three of the most popular. Do you have any questions about blogging platforms, or blogging in general? Feel free to leave a comment or email me.
**Thanks to Mike Simmons for current feedback on Blogger platform.