So, you’re starting a blog — how exciting!
It’s time to find the perfect place to host your ideas. Your content needs a platform where it can be widely read, appreciated, and shared.
So how do you choose the best blogging platform for your content? First, determine your blog’s purpose.
What’s your vision?
What do you want to accomplish with your blog? Do you want to share your home-decor ideas, encourage people to purchase your hand-knitted sweaters, or gain freelance advice from other experts in your field? Defining a clear goal is essential for determining what features you’re looking for in a blogging platform.
Consider the following elements to support your final decision:
How much control do you want to have over the look and feel of your blog? If you prefer to focus solely on writing instead of designing your site, a blogging platform with pre-designed templates like the free ones included with WordPress.com is your best bet.
Alternatively, if you want the option to customize every element of your site with enhanced design tools at your disposal, you’ll likely need to invest in a paid plan, as these tools cost extra for the majority of blogging platforms.
2. Monetization and ecommerce
If you’re selling products on your blog, you’ll need a virtual store front to showcase products, handle shipping details, and process secure payments. If you’re selling your own courses or eBooks, you’ll just need a secure way to complete credit card and PayPal transactions. If you’re selling neither a product nor a course, you can still profit by picking a platform that allows you to place ads on your site.
3. Email capture
A robust email list is key for a growing business. Connecting with your audience helps to uncover what your readers want and need to gain from reading your blog. Some blogging platforms allow you to embed opt-in forms to transform visitors into subscribers. For example, WordPress.com lets your readers subscribe to your content via email as well as share their contact information if they wish.
SEO (search-engine optimization) is the practice of ensuring that your website is outfitted with elements that Google scans for — like good keyword usage and links to other websites. This can get complicated, but you don’t have to do it alone. You can use SEO tools that analyze your blog and reveal what you can do to help your articles rank higher in Google searches.
Many blogging platforms offer SEO tools through subscriptions, while others permit the use of plugins. WordPress.com does both — while blogs on any plan are automatically indexed by search engines, the Business plan allows you to add third-party plugins and use advanced SEO settings.
5. Storage space
Consider the amount of storage space you’ll need for the type of website that you build. If your blog updates are short and text-based, storage space won’t be your primary concern. In contrast, if your content strategy involves uploading and storing high-quality images, videos, and other large media files, you’ll want a platform that offers ample storage space — possibly an unlimited amount.
Ultimately, the ideal platform for your blog will depend on your goals and growth plan. Before you decide, compare different blogging platforms until you land on the one that best fits your needs. In the end, you’re bound to find the best blogging platform to host your content.