You’ve read blogs, some good, some bad, and you’ve finally had enough. You can do that – you’ve thought of a fabulous title and tagline, but you’ve not got much of a budget so you’d like to try it out at low cost. So how do you get started?
Not to worry, there’s a bunch of free blogging platforms out there, and we’re going to take a look at them together. But first of all, it’s important to work out some of the reasons behind your desire to blog, as it will influence which platform is most suitable for you.
So, are you blogging for business or personal reasons, or a mix of the two?
Do you want to make money from it, via advertising, sponsored posts or anything of that sort?
Will you ever want to post privately or for a limited audience, or indeed, is this all you want to do?
Are you interested in joining blogging communities or blogrings?
Hopefully that’s the sort of question that is getting you really thinking about what your end goals here are. And if it’s just started you thinking that’s not such a bad thing either.
It’s probably a good idea right about now to go and have a look at some of your favourite blogs and check out which platform they are using. Is there anything you particularly like or dislike? What about commenting/ discussion/ sharing? Is that going to be important to you? How about access via mobile devices – do you use a phone as your internet lifeline and are you going to want to blog direct from one? Lots of things to consider that might end up tipping the balance between platforms as we continue this series of blogposts. We’ll be looking particularly at blogger (also known as blogspot) and wordpress.com although I’ll probably mention of a few of the more popular micro blogging sites that people often use for photo journals or quick thoughts rather than full blown interactive blogs.
Once we’ve considered the various free platforms (some of which have paid upgrades as well), we’ll look at the intermediate stage of having your own domain name but continuing to use a hosted platform, before looking at going the final step and moving to a self hosted blog using wordpress.org. I hope that this is something that’s going to prove useful to a few people reading, and please feel free to feedback if there are any questions I don’t cover as we’re going along so that I can incorporate them later.