Blogging is simply a way to share your ideas with the world. Some people do it for fun and some make a tonne of money doing this.
But everything starts with a blogging platform. It gives you all the tools to build your own blog and share with the world.
Let me ask you a question. As a beginner, what you expect from a blogging platform?
The common answers are-
It should be easy to set up.
I can get away with coding.
It’s free to get started.
I can make money in the future without much hassle.
These are just some of the concerns new bloggers have. I bet you have too.
There are dozens and dozens of blogging platforms out there. As a matter of fact, you don’t even need a platform to start blogging. Ever heard of guest blogging or Instagram (for visuals).
Not a great idea! You always need a home, Right?
Whatever the case, there is a tailor-made platform for everyone.
Here are the 4 platforms used by millions of people. All these platforms are different from one another. It really depends on what you want to accomplish.
But once you finish the post, you will have a clear understanding of which platform works best for you.
Let’s get started.
You might have heard of WordPress. It powers 30% of the websites on the web.
WordPress.org is an open source content management system (CMS) where you can build your website in any way you want.
It’s free but you have to purchase a domain and a hosting for installing WordPress.
- WordPress has thousands of free themes and plugins. It can help you to enhance your blog’s design and functionality.
- You can make money in any way you want. You might promote an affiliate product, sell your own product or services or even apply for a Google Adsense program.
- WordPress sites are highly customizable which gives you full control over your blog.
- Using WordPress require a learning curve. WordPress is not rocket science but you do need to spend some time learning the application.
- You have to buy a domain and a hosting plan which cost around $50-$100.
Don’t get confused. There is a difference between these two. WordPress.org is an application which is used for building and designing your website which has to be hosted in a third party platform.
But WordPress.com is a blogging platform which combines everything in one platform. They also have their own community with millions of members.
- You can get started with the free plan. Their starter plan includes a domain (WordPress extension) and hosting for your blog. Once your blog grows you can upgrade to a premium plan.
- Your blog will get exposed to other community members. But you have to make a relationship with them. Read their blogs, like or comment on it. And you will start getting some visitors in your blog.
- They also have a lot of training module for writing, designing, commenting, etc.
- I love their mobile app. You can literally do a lot of things with your mobile.
- You cannot make money with the free plan. Though you could promote affiliate products but it’s highly unlikely that you can make any sale. They also have their own ad platform called Word ads (similar to Google Adsense) but it is only for the premium members.
- It won’t be suitable if you want a professional blog. As I mentioned, you will get a subdomain like abc.wordpress.com. And that doesn’t look cool. These domains are not taken seriously.
Medium was started in 2012 by the co-founder of Twitter Evan Williams. Medium claims to have 60 million monthly readers. It’s free and simple to use. Just set up a publisher account and start writing whatever you have to say.
Medium provides you with a platform to share your ideas to the world. Earning money on this platform is a little different.
You have to apply for their partner program where you will be paid depending on the reading time of your content. Don’t expect to make a living out of it but it’s more like a side income.
- It will give you a sense of what type of content is working depending on the reading time and clap (like) you get.
- You could drive your readers to your social media profiles or you can even capture their email. It can help you to build an audience before you start your own blog in the future.
- Your content will be exposed to millions of Medium readers.
- Nothing else is required. Just sign up and start writing.
- You won’t be able to make much money from it.
- You have no control over its appearance. It’s the same for everyone.
Tumblr is a microblogging platform which gives you a free subdomain and a hosting for your site (just like WordPress.com). In case you don’t know, Microblogging is a practice of sharing small contents like text, images or videos.
This means short contents does much better on Tumblr compared to long-form posts.
- It’s free and feels like you are using a social media platform.
- A community of millions of members. It will help your blog to be discovered by other members. (use relevant hashtags)
- It’s super simple to use. It won’t take more than half an hour to set up a Tumblr blog.
- You don’t get enough customization option even if you upgrade to a premium plan.
- Not suitable for long contents.
If you are still in confusion between any of these then sign up and play around with them.
Test, test and test until you find the best one.
Let’s do a quick overview before we wrap.
WordPress.org is best for serious bloggers.
If you want to learn everything about blogging without spending a penny then WordPress.com is your go-to option.
If you are only interested in writing and don’t want any other hassle then Medium is the best platform out there.
If you are more into short content or visuals then go with Tumblr.
Whichever platform you choose, there is one common theme- All of them requires hard work and time. It won’t be an overnight success.
Now, be brave and get on with it!
Did I miss anything or you have any queries or doubts? Do let me know in the comment section.