Blogging first became popular in the mid 2000’s and although it hit a bit of a snag a few years ago its popularity has surged again in recent years. Blogging is an excellent platform which anyone can use to express their opinions, talents and skills and for the lucky few it can even become a full time career path which can lead to book and even film deals!
Blogging is a particularly useful activity for anyone who is interested in writing to develop their skills, get started on a portfolio and reach a large audience which is why if you try to apply for a job which is related to journalism or content writing they will more often than not ask to see your blog.
Even if you’re not interested in a career as a writer blogging can still enrich your daily life. It will help you reflect on your talents and interests. It will help raise your self-confidence. It is an excellent way to connect with people all around the world and learn more about different points of view. It is also an excellent way to practice website design and coding skills so if you are interested in a career in tech blogging might be a great way to polish your skills. Lastly if you want to build an online company and/or an online shop blogging is an easy way to do so.
A Voice for The People
As we become more and more obsessed with social media, smart phones and our obsession with technology there really has never been a better time to start blogging. One of the best things about blogging is that it gives regular people a voice. If you have an opinion on current events, politics, news or pretty much anything else you can use your blog to share your views in a way that would never have been possible even fifteen years ago.
Growing a brand new blog from scratch isn’t exactly easy, but it’s not the hardest thing in the world. There are loads of different platforms which you can choose from and whilst some require technical coding/website design skills other platforms have pre-made layouts which you can choose from without any work on your part. You need to pay to use certain platforms or premium packages which offer you more perks (e.g. your own domain name, more customization options and addition plugins) but if you’re just starting out it is very easy to set up a free blog.
In the rest of this article we’ll be exploring your different options to help you decide which blogging platform is best suited for your needs.
What Are the Advantages of Using a Blogging Platform?
Whether you want to use your blog to sell things, you want to promote your business, you want to promote yourself online or you just want to get your thoughts out there then a blog could be your golden ticket.
The Rise Of The Blog
There are loads of platforms to choose from which all offer different features and benefits. Tumblr is a very popular platform which has been very popular since 2009 and actually beat WordPress and BlogSpot in regards to the amount of users. It is very easy to publish content and build a following on Tumblr although it is not the most respected platform for a professional blog. Since Tumblr was sold to Yahoo it has had some trouble but it is still a giant in the industry.
The rise in popularity for Blogging platforms is partly due to the rise in internet usage, but it also has a lot to do with the fact that the way we perceive traditional news and accepted points of view is changing. Now that there are so many alternative points of view and so many new ways to interact with the news and share information many people actually trust respected bloggers more than they trust traditional news outlets. 81% of US customers trust the information from blogs whilst only 6% of Americans say they trust the mainstream media.
Top 5 Best Blogging Platforms for 2017
Now that we’ve looked into why blogging is so popular and the many advantages it can offer let’s take a look at the most popular blogging platforms this year.
WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms. It has been around since 2003 and during that time it has hosted over 60 million websites including 23.3% of the world’s top blogs. WordPress can be used for a lot of different things and it has two main services.
One of the services is the WordPress.org option which gives you a free script which can be installed and used to create a professional blog. This option requires customization and coding skills but if you want a professional domain and the chance to really take your blog that one step further than this is the option for you.
WordPress.com is another option for people who lack coding skills and want to create a blog quickly and easily. You can host a WordPress.com domain for free or if you choose to purchase one of the premium options you can buy your own domain, get money from advertising and grow your very own business. The free option has loads of pre-made designs, plug ins and access to the large WordPress community.
WordPress is a fantastic platform because there really is something for everyone. New solo bloggers and professional mainstream publications both use WordPress to publish their content, the WordPress layout is very popular and knowing how to use it can look really good to future employers, and no matter who you are if you try you will be able to gain a following via WordPress’s huge user community.
Blogspot is owned now owned by Google ever since it was bought back in 2003. This is one of the oldest online blogging platforms and it is very easy to use. All you need is a Google account to get you started, you can cost your own .blogspot.com domain for free and you can even integrate with AdSense to generate extra income. This website is very simple, it is very easy to customize and it requires no additional coding skills.
Blogspot is ideal for personal blogs and for anyone who wants to grow their own online presence. It is not, however, ideal for businesses and although its easy drag-and-drop layout is very good for personal websites it isn’t designed for professionals or sales.
Tumblr was recently sold to Yahoo for 1.1 Billion which just goes to show how popular this blogging platform is. Tumblr is most popular with younger people in their teens and early twenties and it currently hosts over 220 million blogs and has published over 100 billion blog posts. It is very, very easy to get set up on Tumblr and you can be registered with an account in less than a minute.
Tumblr is a mixture of Twitter and traditional blogging and is normally used to post ‘micro-blog posts’ and short thoughts rather than long detailed articles. This platform is ideal for people who aren’t looking to commit to a long term blog and just want to engage with like-minded people. If you want to learn about and/or interact with the younger generation than Tumblr is the way to do it and it’s also the perfect place to keep up to date with new trends and social ideas. It’s also a great way to get started in the blogging world and try it out before committing to a more traditional format.
Medium has only been around since 2012 and it was set up by Twitter’s co-founders. This is a social journalism platform which helps you publish your posts ready to be voted on and favorited.
Medium offers in-built analytic, an awesome layout and great SEO options to help you get started as a writer. It doesn’t have many customization options and it’s not ideal for those who want to build their own website from scratch, but it is ideal for those who want to build a portfolio and gain attention without adverts and pop-ups undermining your content.
Quora is one of the most popular question and answer websites on the internet. It started hosting user blogs in 2012 and since then it has become a great platform for informed, experienced people to share their insights. This website gets over 30,000 views a month and ha over 300,000 topics for you to choose from so you can focus on your expertise.
This platform doesn’t offer many customization options and isn’t the best place to build your own website, but it is a great free resource which you can use as a secondary blog to gain attention and spread knowledge.
This brings us to the end of our list. Do you use any of the platforms mentioned above? Have we missed anything out? Let us know in the comments below!