These series of blogging posts are designed for those work at home moms who are bloggers or those who may be thinking about venturing into blogging. In case you missed the previous posts in the series, you can see my income report here-“The Unsuccessful Blogger's Income Report”.
As you can see, I have been blogging quite a while but without putting much time or effort into the blog. I am going through and correcting a lot of my mistakes I have made along the way and hoping that you all can learn from my mistakes too. We started with Blogging Mistakes: 10 Don'ts for Choosing a Domain Name. I am not totally happy with my domain name and honestly didn't put as much thought into it as I should have. Unfortunately, that type of mistake is harder to fix than most because it would mean re-branding my site completely. Still thinking about that one. In the meantime, on to my second big mistake I made-choosing the wrong blog platform.
Being the impulsive person I am, once I decide to do something I usually need to do it right then. I decided to start a blog back in 2009. Plugged in a ton of domain ideas until something was available. Picked a blogging platform without much thought as well. I knew of WordPress and Blogger. Blogger seemed less intimidating. The whole WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org thing confused me at the time so I just went ahead with what seemed like the easiest solution at the time and picked Blogger. I even had a .blogspot domain for a little while before buying my own domain name. After a while blogging and realizing my mistake I considered moving to WordPress for years but this also seemed scary. I finally made the move last month and wish I had done it years ago. So if you are considering starting a blog let me educate you on why I think my original choice was a mistake.
Domain names that end in .blogspot through Blogger are the very easiest way to start blogging. The platform is free, the domain is free. If you are blogging with no intentions of turning your blog into a business and just want a blog to keep family and friends updated on your life or simply as a hobby then this is a great choice. If you think that there is some possibility that your little blog could turn into something you would want to turn into a business then consider other options. You can also use Blogger with your own purchased domain. It is easy to set up and get going with the Blogger platform, it just doesn't offer as many options or as much flexibility as WordPress. You can place ads on your blog using this platform so you can monetize your site if you wish. Probably the biggest ding against Blogger is that because it is owned by Google, all of your content is technically not owned by you but by Google. If for some reason Google decides your content is not in align with their terms of service then your blog can be taken down for good and it has happened.
WordPress.org is the free platform of WordPress. Your domain will end in .wordpress.com or you can buy your own domain. The idea behind this option is that you get to use free WordPress software that they host for you for free. WordPress has a little more of a learning curve starting out than Blogger. It offers more customization options and you can upgrade for even more customization. The downside of this free version of WordPress is that it is limited because it is free and once again you do not technically own your content. You can not add Google Adsense or any other advertising to your site besides WordPress's own WordAds so if you have any plans to monetize your blog this is not a good option.
This blogging platform is what most serious bloggers use. It offers the most options to customize and the most flexibility. You can monetize your blog in any way you want. You own all of your content and have complete control over it. While it takes a while to get the hang of it, there are plenty of tutorials and support forums. I would say the only downside of using WordPress.org is that you do need to buy a domain name and pay for hosting.
Tumblr is a great platform but only for a pretty specific use. It has a lot of themes to choose from and offers customization options but is more designed for bloggers who are either posting mostly image based content or reblogging other content they find.
Ultimately it depends on what your blogging goals are what platform is best for you but personally I would say that if you are starting a blog with the intentions to earn money or build a business then WordPress.org is definitely the way to go. If you start on another platform you can always move like I did but it is a lot more complicated and if you move from Blogger you usually have to pay someone to move it for you unless you are pretty tech savvy. It is easier to consider your blogging goals and evaluate all your options from the beginning and choose what the best option is for you.