Blogging is one of the hubs of social media communication. It is the anchor that holds all of your written, and in some cases multi-media, content. Blogs are online “journals” that are updated regularly and intended for public consumption. There are personal and business blogs, depending on the content and audience of your posts. A blog should represent the character of a company/person and reflect the purpose of the website or identity hosting the blog. Topics range from commentary on a particular issue, dissemination of relevant information, educating the audience, sharing personal or company opinions, and even case studies or insights your company has.
Below, we have outlined some blogging platforms to help you get started on your blogging journey. Each platform is a bit different, so our suggestion is to research each before choosing the one that best suits your business needs. Be honest about the number and length of posts you intend to produce. The trick to a successful blog is consistency and content. Set realistic expectations on how often you plan on producing a blog. You can always increase posts, but waning on frequency could hurt your chances of success. Let’s get moving!!
1. Posterous – A simple, free blogging platform created in 2008, this service has been acquired by Twitter in March, 2012. Its mobile sharing component is one of the best in industry. It is extremely easy to set-up. All you have to do is send an email to the company, and you are instantly set up. You can produce your first blog within 15 minutes of sending in your initial request.
2. Blogger – A free blogging service owned by Google. Although slanted more towards the private user, Blogger also has corporate accounts. Anyone with a gmail account can create a blog through Blogger. Its ease of use and setup make it a nice choice for many.
3. WordPress – By far the most popular and used blogging platform, WordPress is a free service. However, the plug-ins and added functionality of this platform allow users to integrate it into their websites or expand the basic free architecture. This platform offers an endless array of themes, plug-ins and options at a cost to the user or business.
4. Jux – A blog that can truly showcase your high-resolution photo and video work. It offers text blogging, but more along the lines of summaries as an intro to your visual works. Jux is a beautifully designed blog platform.
5. Tumblr – A mix between a full-service blog and Twitter feed, this micro-blogging platform focuses on shorter, more frequent posts. It has a clean design and is great for companies and individuals that are not yet able or willing to take on a full blog just yet.
6. Typepad – This company presents itself as being used by the world’s best bloggers in crafts, style, food and more. One interesting point here is that it can be integrated with Google Analytics. This means instant metrics on who your readers are and what they are looking at.
7. SquareSpace 6 – This platform is targeted to the commercial client. Prices range from $8-16 per month, but with it comes with tons of options. The blog of SquareSpace is integrated into a website development tool. You can create your site, manage and change it, create blog posts directly into the site and geo-tag posts. This blogging site is an all-in-one solution that is suited to small and medium size businesses that don’t want to pay premium costs for a custom-built website, while incorporating blogging functionality.
8. Moveable Type – Movable Type is a third-party comprehensive publishing system that can help you create your own professional, personalized blog. Written in Perl and powered by MySQL, this platform offers full customization, a powerful plug-in infrastructure, and management tools that make it a great choice for advanced users looking for the latest, most comprehensive blog-management tools. (Source: Moveable Type) This platform is a content management system, which is best utilized by a company that understands code and can handle such powerful tool. This service is free to the personal blogger and developer. However, for business licenses the prices start at around $395.
9. Joomla! – An open-source CMS (content management system) and website builder, Joomla! has a full list of features that include: media management, language management, content management and a whole lot more. The difference with this service is that it is completely free.
10. Expression Engine – A commercial product that is widely used by web designers and more technical coding personnel. This platform uses CSS and HTML code to create web pages and blogs for websites. Expression Engine has a host of add-ons, training materials and forums to help professionals excel. Prices range from $99.95 for freelancers to over $300 for full-service and support to professionals.