Blogging

Best Blog Platforms To Start Blogging: The Ultimate Guide

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With so much choice out there it’s so confusing for a newbie blogger to really know where to start blogging, there is also some very conflicting information and resources out there.

Many people say the only way is WordPress but when a newbie searches for WordPress we come across WordPress.com first normally. So no wonder so many have got their pants/knickers (being completely non gender biased) in a twist.

What I wanted to do with this post is go through the top platforms out there today and put to bed some rather infuriating misinformed information that new bloggers are coming across.

I am going to piss off some folk but I’m trying to be helpful rather than rip off the newbies that stubble across the spiralling downward tunnel of blogging to make money!

I mulled over where to start whilst drinking a pint of Vodka, cordial and lemonade but ended up with going alphabetical to be far and so no one took a bias as first one must be my fave!

Blogger

Blogger has been around so so long and owned by Google, the great thing about Blogger is it is FREE! Yes there are limitations however as a new blogger – test the waters here first as if you’re in this for the money you need to get to grips with the amount of effort and time it takes to make any money first. You may find you love writing content and you also on the flip side hate it and really struggle.

The good news is if you love it – you can easily migrate over to another platform without much hassle at all.

If you are just having a go this is by far the best platform and easy on the purse strings as you can look the part with just buying a domain through any of the domain providers out there.

In the past I have used:

  • Godaddy
  • Google Domains
  • 123 reg

Many bloggers will suggest you avoid this and I’m guessing here – but point you to BlueHost or Siteground (that’s the norm) however there are three main reasons behind this:

  • They have a ‘discount code’
  • They’ve been brainwashed this is the only way!
  • They say you can’t monetise it

This is like family fortunes and the ‘eeh eeh’ of the machine when people get the wrong answer.You so can monetise blogger!

Squarespace

I must admit I haven’t played around much with Squarespace but it’s a hot topic at the moment for new startup businesses and blogs which some folks are doing really well.
So why do I include it in this particular post you may wonder.

Well, I wanted to open your eyes to a theme that doesn’t seem to be going away with these make money quick by blogging courses which say you have to create a lead magnet, a course, a product and the shit you actually don’t need to do if you really want to run a high volume website.

If you’ve already bought into that process/it’s created a product that you’re wanting to develop and sell then it’s a good place to start with a small cost and easy to use platform with a drag and drop style experience and you can play around with it for 14 days to see what you think.

Wix

This has really upset folks of recent and there is a huge debate about the SEO connotations around Wix, again this is similar to the Blogger debate.

We are continuing into the paid category though, however when you hear that WordPress is free (that’s a little white lie)! It’s open source but you still end up paying for many an option that is suggested to make it more functional.

Wix has had for a long time a bad public image for SEO however you cannot fault the team at Wix – they heard the chatter on the net about the downsides of the platform back in 2016/2017 and made huge changes.

There are Wix sites now killing it in the web world! SEO no issue! Why? SEO is not about one element – it’s about many! They fixed the clunky urls, they let you access the meta.

They listened to the customers and made significant changes, there are some great templates for bloggers and so easy to customise.

Wix however you need to pay to play but again similar to the beloved mainstream operator that everyone raves about which we are coming to next.

WordPress.com

There is so much chatter about WordPress and the fact they are the market leaders however you have two versions – .org and .com, this section first is about .com (hated in the blogging world) I think I know why!

Many people I see stumble across WordPress desperate to be the next millionaire and completely understandably as that’s how it is sold. It’s sold to people as a simple tool, just build it and they will come.

The build it and they will come mentality is killing many dreams, after hours of trying to fathom why the data blocks are sat right, the text that no matter what you do is not as responsive as you would like and images are taking too little or too much space.

It’s a long way from the persuasion of some ‘expert’ saying go sign up for hosting and start a blog!

My aim is not to put you off, if it was easy everyone would be doing it tip tapping at the keyboard on a nightly basis whilst sat surrounded by internet hustle bought luxuries.

My aim is to show you that there is not just one way to go.

I love WordPress however it was a long journey to understand and manipulate data how I wanted it and I was pretty tech minded but still it was a learning curve. Other website builders have the starter guys in mind, making a simple drag and drop functional platform that you can have live and looking very sleek within a day or two.

With WordPress.com, you can have a free site and dip your toe in the water or alternatively you can pay to be able to use your own domain and unlock some other features plus get rid of the advertising on the site.

There is a misconception on the net that you cannot monetise this platform and that you do not own the content. There are many Facebook groups and online communities that WordPress.com and its functionality is questioned. The comments that make me cringe are:-

  • WordPress self hosted is the only way to fully own your website
  • You do not own your content on anything other than .org

Within the terms and conditions of WordPress you will note that you own the content however they reserve the right to edit your content and share it within their platform which will bring to traffic. Which is the aim of the game!

This is taken directly from the WordPress.com Terms Of Service which you can read fully at WordPress.Org

‘License. By submitting Content to Automattic for inclusion on your website, you grant Automattic a world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt, and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing, and promoting your website. This license also allows Automattic to make any publicly-posted Content available to third parties selected by Automattic (through Firehose, for example) so that these third parties can analyze and distribute (but not publicly display) the Content through their services. You also give other WordPress.com users permission to share your Content on other WordPress.com websites and add their own Content to it (aka to “reblog” your Content), so long as they use only a portion of your post and they give you credit as the original author by linking back to your website (the reblogging function on WordPress.com does this automatically!).’

WordPress.org

Very easy to confuse with the .com but this version is what is known as the free version. It’s a free, open source platform however you need to host it somewhere.
It’s the version that I use and happy to recommend to anyone that has time to play around with designing something that they are happy with.
Like the other platforms there are themes and templates that you can use, there are themes for any niche or website idea out there with many that can be found in the extensive library.

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