If you’re thinking of using content marketing in order to bring new leads to your business, define your brand or impart your unique knowledge and experience to the masses then a blog should be the cornerstone of your marketing campaign. In the age of widespread smartphone usage, people are engaging with more and more online content on a daily basis on their way to work, on their lunch break or (let’s face it) when going to the bathroom. Therefore the demand for new and engaging content is now completely insatiable. If you don’t throw your hat into the ring, you’d better believe that your competitors will! But it’s one thing deciding that your business needs a blog, it’s another altogether knowing the right way to go about it.
Many blog posts will tell you how to find inspiration to abate writer’s block or ideas that can give your blog a jump start, the first question you should be asking is actually among the most important… Which blogging platform will you use?
Why does it matter?
While all blogging platforms will allow you to post content and have a measure of control over its appearance and will probably allow you to use some cool plugins to integrate your social media platforms and measure usage statistics, the many different platforms are as diverse as the bloggers that use them. Just as professional bloggers, amateurs and business owners with an interest in content marketing will have different requirements of their blogs, so too do different platforms host different features which cater to their diverse needs and different blogging platforms emphasise some features over others.
Choosing the right platform
WordPress- There are two versions of WordPress with very different purposes. WordPress.com is free but very limited in functionality, making it the domain of predominantly amateur bloggers who write for fun. WordPress also owns the blog, limiting your capacity to generate advertising revenue. WordPress.org, on the other hand is far more flexible and hosts on other servers requiring you to either self host or pay for a managed wordpress blog from a third party provider. WordPress has an awesome selection of plugins allowing you to integrate ecommerce (an online store) into your blog.
Blogger- Blogger is intuitive and easy to navigate just like WordPress and since it’s owned by Google you have access to Google Analytics and AdSense but while integration of Google apps is easy, doing pretty much anything else is hard without even a passing knowledge of HTML.
Tumblr- Tumblr’s greatest asset is its sense of community which can help to ensure that people will read your blog. Whether the right people end up reading it is a slightly different matter. It’s culture and setup make it more suited to microblogging than detailed longform blogs, and it’s notoriously difficult to monetize due to its lack of plugins.
Typepad- At a price tag of $8.95 and upwards a month, Typepad caters pretty much exclusively to professionals. It has a range of features and customisation options to allow for a professional looking site. It also has unlimited storage space and an intuitive interface that requires absolutely no coding knowledge.
By all means, experiment with different platforms until you feel you’ve got the one that best suits you, and remember that blogging on any platform is better than not blogging at all.