There are a number of popular blogging platforms available on the internet, both free and paid. Popular blogging platforms include WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, and Yahoo360. The two most popular are WordPress and Blogger, which offer free blog hosting. Blogger is generally considered easier for new bloggers to set up and use, however for serious bloggers WordPress is the preferred option. This is because WordPress offers upgrades that allow you to host your blog on your own domain and access a wide variety of plugins and tools not available on their free service or on Blogger. However, even the free WordPress service provides more services, templates, and plugins than Blogger.
An additional benefit that WordPress offers is that you own the blog and can transfer it wherever and whenever you want. This is because WordPress is a complete program that you can upload to your own server. Conversely, even if you host a Blogger blog on your own domain, only the data is actually stored on the server. Everything else is still controlled by Blogger, which means less flexibility than WordPress offers.
There are many advantages to using WordPress over Blogger. Here are five of them:
1. A wide selection of themed blog templates.
2. WordPress allows the automatic creation of tags.
3. Provides the ability to use PHP coding
4. Offers social media plugins instead of having to manually code/use 3rd party widgets
5. Offers Spam Protection and Contact Form Plugins
If you are serious about creating a professional blog, it is important that you host your blog on your own domain and own it. This way, as you optimize and monetize your blog and drive blog traffic, you will own your own work and the page rank you get will be yours. Basically, you will have a business to sell if you want to. The inability to do this is a serious disadvantage of Blogger.
Once you’ve chosen your blogging platform, you need to spend some time planning the blog itself. The most effective and successful blogs tend to have a single main theme that allows them to target a particular niche audience. Focusing on one main subject area also means your blog will be easier to find on social bookmarks and blog directories. This theme should also influence the design and layout of your site. What is the impression you want to give to your blog visitors? For example, a corporate blog will look different than an artist’s blog. The color, style, and layout of your blog should be compatible with the theme of your site.
Once you’ve decided on your theme and site design, it’s important to organize your blog page for easy navigation. Unless you make it as easy as possible for readers to find the information they’re looking for, they’ll move on quickly. An effective way to keep a visitor interested in your blog is to provide links to related posts at the bottom of each blog post. An equally successful strategy is to provide links to your most popular posts in the sidebar. According to experts, these articles are by far the most read on many websites. Another useful decision would be to place a Google search bar on your blog page so that visitors can search for information on your site. You can also provide additional value to your visitors by linking to other blogs and websites in a blogroll (permanent sidebar).
The titles or headlines of your individual posts (as well as your blog in general) should be carefully considered. Not only is it important that they attract readers, they also need to be written to attract search engines, as you will be heavily dependent on search engine traffic for the success of your blog. Also, different blogging platforms use your blog title as part of the filename in which they store the post. Search engines take file names into account when calculating page ranks, making blog titles even more important than otherwise.
In addition to the choice of platform, theme and blog design, a very important element for the success of any blog is the knowledge and skills necessary to maximize its potential. A coaching club or mentor can be extremely beneficial to people who want to learn how to create a successful business blog. Of course, due care must be taken to select a reliable support system at an affordable price. However, as anyone who has spent countless hours surfing the internet looking for information on how to successfully market and monetize a blog will tell you, the right advice at the right time is priceless.
Many people are benefiting from the clever use of blogs to market products and services. Many more are failing. The difference between success and failure lies in making the right choices and decisions which, in turn, are the result of having the right information. You now have information that can put you on the path to blogging success. Choose a good mentor and your path will be much smoother.