When you’re first starting out and don’t want to spend a lot of money, it’s a good idea to weigh all your options. And if you’re new to blogging, you’re probably wondering which site or blogging tool is best to use when you start your blog. The most popular blogging sites that are used by most bloggers are Blogger, WordPress, and Typepad. There are other options as well, but for the purpose of this article, I’m only going to talk about these three.
Before I go any further, I do want to point out that I’m quite opinionated when it comes to this subject. I like the free script that is supplied by WordPress.org and that’s that. I wrote a post some time back stating that I like WordPress.org and I stick by my word. However, so you can see all your options (or at least the most popular), I’m going to cover more than just WordPress.org.
Anyway, here’s a short comparison of the three sites listed here to help you choose what’s best for you and your niche:
Blogger – This is usually the choice for beginners because it’s the easiest one of the three to set up. When I first started blogging several years ago, this is the blog I used. It’s super easy, all you do is sign up for an account and they take you step by step through the process of getting a blog started. When you want to make a post, you go to www.blogger.com, sign-in to your account, and make your post. The URL of your blog is www.whatever.blogspot.com.
Blogger is affiliated with Google, so even signing up for AdSense, so you can place ads on your blog, is extremely simple. They walk you through every step. Your choice of blog templates is limited but the ones they do offer are nice. After you gain more experience, you can use the option to publish your blog to your own website. I did this with my first blog and it was fairly easy to do.
Blogger is definitely recommended for those with no blogging experience who want to get launched quickly without hassle or cost. However, do be aware that your blog will be hosted by Blogger, not on your own site, and if they feel your blog consists mostly of spam, they have the right to discontinue it. Not that you’re going to be spammy with your blog but I just don’t like that another company would have that much control over the time and hard work I’ve put into writing my blog.
WordPress – WordPress has two options, WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com is much like Blogger, in that it is hosted on the WordPress.com site. You set-up an account and each time you want to make a post, you log-in to your account. Your blog URL is www.whatever.wordpress.com.
WordPress.com is a little more complicated to get started with than Blogger but they still walk you through the setting up process. WordPress, like Blogger, allows you to export your blog to your own website, so those who are ready can move their blogs when they’re comfortable doing so.
WordPress.com offers plenty of different blog templates and many people create free templates you can download as long as you give them credit somewhere on the blog.
WordPress.org is totally different from WordPress.com. With WordPress.org, you download a free blogging script and install it on your own website. I highly recommend this method as you maintain complete control over not only the look of your blog but the content as well.
Setting up a WordPress blog on your own site isn’t as difficult as it may seem. You have to sign-up for a hosting account (I recommend HostGator.com) that gives you disk space on the internet. Once you have your account set-up you can log-in to your control panel, access a program called Fantastico that will install WordPress for you, you choose a template and your blog is ready to go.
Of course you can do much more by installing a custom theme and specialized plug-ins, but that’s a bit more detail than I want to go into in this article. I just want to say, it’s not hard and can be done by anyone, no matter how much experience you have with websites.
TypePad – TypePad is a paid service that is hosted by TypePad.com (unlike WordPress.org where you find your own hosting). TypePad is definitely a premium blogging service, however, there is a fee. They have a large selection for very professional looking themes to choose from and offer customer support 24/7 365 days a year through an extensive online knowledge base.
There are many other blogging sites out there to choose from but most require a fee if you want to utilize their best services. Choosing a free account now will help you to keep costs low and earning potential high. However, buying a domain name and a hosting account so you can set-up your own website with a WordPress.org blog, will save you from having to move your blog when you outgrow your free service.
Whether you’re a newbie starting out or an intermediate to advanced blogger, these sites give you the best opportunities to make money blogging.