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Looking for a blogging service: Third party or self-hosted?
Stuck between decision where to post? Oh, I know that feeling.
Each blogging service has own pros and cons. I spent a long time to test and play around with most popular blogging platforms before figuring out where to share my thoughts.
No need to tell you about features and so on of every blogging platform. A nice article that compares most popular blogging tools can be found here or anywhere else on the web.
Self-hosted blogging platform, such as WordPress or Ghost, gives you full control over content, custom website address and any additional integrations you may want to plug-in to your website. With a huge number of plugins available on WordPress marketplace and theme designs, you will not get bored with it for sure.
It’s been years since WordPress became not only simple blogging tool, but a powerful content management engine for building fully featured websites.
Ghost is a new player in a game, but promising fast growth with its simple editor interface. Clean code and multi author management got my attention. A CMS is so easy to install that you will not even feel the process. Oh, but wait, if you need it to look a bit different from a default layout, then needs some code involved. Not so many themes for Ghost available as for now.
Other ones are just way too complicated. Well, you could develop a custom code for own blog But honestly, why would you need to waste time on something that is already done.
If you are a newbie in blogging and your website has no traffic at all, you probably should consider integrations with social communities such as Tumblr, WordPress, Medium, Blogger or others.
Let’s talk about the social blogging services.
If you prefer havштп a ready solution, provided by third-party service, you should consider thinking carefully about what, why and where you need to post. Ability to share content between other users of a service can bring extra engagement around your posts, and they will get discovered easier. Content marketers heavily use blogging services such as Tumblr or Medium in the time when content is a King, which may be a real bonus for your blog.
Your publishing platform can get so different from stereotypes depends on who you are and why you want (or have to) have a blog. Things are getting a bit different and vary in your interests, audience, language and other factors.
First things to consider when choosing a social blogging platform.
Yes, we all know that it’s your blog, and you want it to be as you want. But if you write not for your own records and want posts to be discovered — do some research and make a decision on what service to use.
That’s the first question you should ask yourself about. Who are your readers? Where are they? What do they like? Why do they want to read Your Blog? Keep in mind that age of your audience makes hue difference what services they use. Let’s say simply — if your target is a reader who is so old school that doesn’t accept any new technologies, design trends and innovation — go for Blogger! That dinosaur hasn’t been updated for ages.
While talking about Blogger. Wonder why Google is losing that gap. But I bet that backlinking from blogger really matters (hint for marketers), as it’s still a Google company.
What do they like?
Is your reader a traveler or a tech nerd? What kind of content do you want to share?
Exposure is a great place for photo content, which actually tries to engage photographers and travelers to become bloggers.
Tumblr for small media crap like kittens, boobs, GIFs and other silly shit that spams our minds every day. Honestly, I gave up on Tumblr. It’s not a place where you can share some useful content unless you consider gifs with boobs and kittens very useful. Sorry guys, ban, even they are the most visited blogging platform.
Where are they?
Do you know where are your readers? I mean, where are they located physically and what language they speak. Consider this before writing. Small example — people in Russia don’t give a shit even about Google, they have Yandex (a Ukrainian owned company), Live Journal and mail.ru. And not sure if those folks heard about something that is called Medium. So better you blog on a familiar resource to your audience or go self-hosted.
Simply beautiful. Well, no customisation options. But do you really need it? Clean interface, nice reader friendly interface is simply amazing.
Recently Medium started to support URL personalization for publications, which is great! You can have an own domain and enjoy all benefits of fast growing Medium community. Seriously, that’s the good one.
Personally, I blog on Medium, but I have issues when writing in Ukrainian. Medium is using fonts that don’t support Cyrillic; that’s sad. Hope guys will improve service soon and give us back that amazing feature where you can write on top of the cover image in posts!
Business or pleasure?
What is a purpose of your stories? Do you blog because of too many words in your head, or your purpose is business oriented?
If that’s business blogging for networking and PR, go for LinkedIn Pulse. Connected to your professional network it will bring you more connections and followers in industry specific topics. Their SEO looks pretty good too, which will give you more chances for Google search discovery if you know what I mean.
To blog or not to blog?
You decide. I just gave some opinions 🙂