Picking which site to use when you are just starting a blog can be difficult when you have never blogged before. At the end of the day, the most important criteria in the beginning is ease of use. You want to be able to focus on the real task at hand: posting blogs.
Rather than talking about every blog site under the sun, lets focus on the top 2 most used blog sites: Word Press and Blogger. I should start by saying I have used both of these platforms and would recommend both. However, there are some subtle differences that will help you decide between the two.
If you consider yourself a "computer rookie" (great at checking email and surfing the net), I would definitely recommend Blogger. This platform is very basic, easy to navigate and provides plenty of flexibility for the "rookie". In addition, the themes, or format of the actual blog have a very useful right hand column. You have the ability to add 19 different "gadgets". This system of gadgets make it simple to add pictures, videos, RSS feed, subscription links, news reels, blog lists, polls, video bars, html, java scrip, Ad sense, and more. This area is like your own personal billboard, allowing you to add creativity, personality, and potentially monetize affiliates.
If you consider yourself more technical, and understand words like html coding, themes, widgets, plug-ins, and domain hosting you will likely be happier with WordPress. Many of the "Professional" bloggers use Word Press. Many people want to follow in the footsteps of the "successful" bloggers, and that is okay, just be ready to do a little extra learning and troubleshooting. Word Press will provide more depth, flexibility, customization, and have an overall cleaner look.
With Wordpress, you can have a free account hosted at Wordpress.com. In that regard, it is very similar to Blogger. However, your advertising opportunities are very limited on Wordpress.com. Also, your design options are somewhat restricted.
Luckily, (and more importantly) you can install a fully functioning version of Wordpress on your own server. Millions of people choose this method to create their blog. It allows you limitless publishing capabilites.
The catch. You need to get a host. But don't worry, there's plenty of them out there. Here's a list of the best blog hosts:
- Yahoo (25% off your first 3 months with this link)
- Godaddy (which is offering a limited offer of $1.99 a month!)
You really can't go wrong with any of these hosts. Each one is a little different in terms of what they offer and how much they charge. It changes quite often so it is a hard to keep up with the current offers! So check out each one and pick the one that you think works best for you.
Either way you go, both Blogger and Word Press will allow you to get started blogging in 5 minutes. If you have never created a blog a few words of advice:
1) Check out other blogs in your niche, write down what you like
2) Stop putting it off, create your blog
3) Once you have created your blog, write your first blog post ASAP
Blogging is a great way to express your personality, share business ideas, develop a branded online presence. Take advantage of this free medium and you'll be surprised as just how fun and addicting blogging will become.
If you are thinking about hosting your blog with Word Press or Blogger, be sure to check out these two examples:
Word Press Blog: http://www.moneyballmarketing.com/
Blogger Blog: http://www.bkhorwitz.blogspot.com/