An Overview of the Blogging Big Guys
Blogging is just writing writing using a particularly efficient type of publishing technology. Simon Dumenco, adage.com
Once you have decided that you would like to begin a blog for your business, the first step to blogging success is to choose the hosting site that you will use to publish your blog. A blog hosting website provides your blogs URL (website address,) allows you to choose a theme for your web page, and ultimately becomes the interface through which you will publish the content of your business blog day in and day out. There are many blog-hosting sites, but for the sake of time we will only cover a few of the big guys of blogging, focusing on those that are easy to use, free of charge and most popular within the blogging world.
Blogger is a blog-hosting interface owned by Google. This publishing service has been around for practically as long as the internet, and because of its longevity and the power of its parent company, it is one of the most used and trusted hosting sites around. Blogger provides blog interfaces that are simple to set up, customize and use, and also makes monetization (earning money through ads placed on your blog) simple through the use of Google AdSense. Google has been actively working to improve search engine optimization (SEO) of Blogger-run blogs, and is growing the list of themes and plugins available to their bloggers fairly consistently.
Although one of the more complex publishing sites, WordPress is praised by its users for being versatile, easy to customize, and excellent in the area of search engine optimization. It is commonly believed that WordPress requires a little more study and skill to master, especially considering that a great deal of the customization capabilities require users to tinker with HTML code. Like Blogger, WordPress has longevity on its side, being just a little over a decade old. Choosing a WordPress blog may mean committing to a bit more time for learning and reviewing tutorials definitely something to take into consideration if youre new to blogging altogether.
Tumblr is a fairly new blog interface that was recently acquired by Yahoo!. The site is more of a “micro-blogging platform, meaning users focus on short, concise posts made up of video, short copy, infographics, images, pictures and other forms of media. Users within the Tumblr community are very reciprocal — commenting, connecting and linking back to posts of other bloggers often. Bloggers who maintain a Tumblr blog should be comfortable talking and engaging with their customers, posting visual content and sharing quick updates multiple times per day.
Points to Consider When Choosing a Blog-Hosting Site
1. Space. Make sure that your host site has enough web space to support your blogging needs. Consider the number of pictures you will use on your blog, as well as how often you will post sound files, video clips, animated images, etc. In addition to making sure your blog isnt slow to load in the beginning, this tip is also important so that there is space to expand as your blog begins to grow over time.
2. Limitations. In the same vein, be sure to check file size and type limitations. Be sure that your needs are covered by making sure you are able to upload the types of files you want (i.e. gif, jpeg, pdf) and that there are reasonable limits on the sizes of the files you are permitted to upload to your blog.
3. Reviews. Spend time reading reviews from other bloggers. Explore what other blog writers in similar fields have to say about the blog hosts you are considering.
4. Stick with Free. With the large amount of free blog-hosting sites that are widely used today, paid sites such as SquareSpace or Typepad are most likely unnecessary for your blogging needs. Avoid committing to hosting sites that charge a monthly fee unless you are absolutely sure that one of the free alternatives will not work for your business.
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5. Customer Service. Take a moment to look into how customer service issues are handled within the blog-hosting company you are considering. Are representatives available to answer questions or help with problems that arise? During what hours is customer service provided? How quickly does the service respond to questions and concerns?
Choosing a platform through which to host your blog is not only the first step in the process to starting a successful blog for your business it is also the most important! Without a blog-hosting site that you feel comfortable using and are confident will meet your needs in both the short and long term, you will find yourself frustrated and ready to give up on blogging early into your blog-writing venture.
By following the advice in this chapter and doing some research to be sure your blog-hosting site meets your needs, you are building a firm foundation for your business blog that is sure to kick-start your blogging venture and get you moving on to posting well-planned, interesting content in no time at all!
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