The best platform for blogging success
Anyone who wants to start a blog is faced with this dilemma: “There are so many blogging platforms – which one is best?” The volume of options available can ultimately be a roadblock that leads to indecision.
Let us help simplify your options! We recommend one platform that stands above the rest and is particularly suited for bloggers who want to grow and monetize a blog. We will share why this platform is best as well as some pointers on other platform options and purposes.
What is a blogging platform?
First, let’s address some of the basics. A blogging platform is a “home base” or online tool to create, post, and organize content, and connect an audience to many other methods of communication. You might think of it as a website, but it is so much more than that – like a hub or digital shelf housing all of your content.
Blogging platforms are similar in that they allow users to post long-form content, offer free and paid versions, and offer customer service support. From here, your options abound!
What are the most popular platforms for starting a blog?
There are so many blogging platforms available – which is great because anyone can start a blog!
Some of the most popular platforms (also called software) are WordPress.org, WordPress.com, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and Blogger, just to name a few. Each platform has its own unique twist to help users customize a site for different audiences and purposes.
Some sites attract users geared more toward e-commerce, like Squarespace and Weebly. Other platforms, like Medium and Blogger, are known for their community aspects.
WordPress is by far one of the most-used blogging platforms and has even stated that its software alone (including .com and .org sites) is now behind 40% of all sites on the web today. Additionally, Forbes has designated WordPress as the best blogging platform for customization in 2023.
Which platform is best to grow and monetize a blog?
If you’re looking to grow and monetize a blog, WordPress.org is going to be your best overall choice. Here’s why:
- You will have the most control over how your content appears, how it is organized, and how you receive communication.
- You are not limited by premade squares and blocks. Customization can look literally any way you choose.
- When you are looking to monetize, flexibility is key. You can adapt a WordPress site to serve so many different purposes.
- It is SEO-friendly with many already built-in features to optimize your content for viewing across the web.
What is WordPress.org?
If you’re new to the blogging world, you may be scratching your head every time you see WordPress.com and WordPress.org. What does it mean to choose WordPress.org as your platform?
WordPress.org can be compared to a toolbox. It is a free, open-source software that anyone can use to customize a WordPress site. It is also a content management system as it stores, categorizes, tags, and features the content you create and post to the site.
Back to our toolbox analogy!
Toolbox storage might look different for each and every toolbox owner! Similarly, WordPress.org must be hosted (stored) in another location. You, the WordPress.org owner, will decide which host you will use to store your site.
Pros of WordPress
Even if you are just beginning with blogging, WordPress has so many benefits that will help long-term growth and functionality. Some pros are:
- Flexibility – The designs, themes, and layouts are endless. Within those, you can include add-ons, customizations, e-commerce options, and more.
- Control – You have nearly unlimited options when choosing how your content is organized, posted, or displayed. You own the content through downloadable software and can set up how you see fit.
- Search Engines – WordPress has many built-in features that help you optimize with options for both free and paid plug-ins. These tools are so helpful for content creators to take internal tips and utilize them in real-time creation.
- Ad Network Preferred – If you’re hoping to monetize by ad revenue, you need to be able to integrate ads into your site seamlessly. WordPress is already reputable among ad networks and is often the preferred choice. Within your WordPress account, you can import plug-ins and tools to help you manage the ads displayed on your blog.
Cons of WordPress
It is important to note that WordPress is not the easiest of all blogging platforms. There is a steep learning curve with the technical language, and the sheer amount of customization might be overwhelming to some.
At first, other blogging platforms may be simpler to get set up and running on your own. However, WordPress will offer a broader foundation to create the blog that works for you in the long run.
Fortunately, there is no lack of support here! This is exactly how the Ultimate Blog Bootcamp was born. This course is designed to help bloggers navigate all things necessary to get started and be set up for success as their blogs grow.
Why WordPress is better than a website builder
A website builder (like Wix or Squarespace) can be somewhat self-explanatory because the platform will build the site by either dragging and dropping or placing visual items just where you want them. A website builder site will also generally host your blog site automatically when you purchase.
WordPress is a better option than a website builder for 2 reasons.
- You are not limited in the functionality of your site. You will be able to find a plug-in, customization, or add-on for just about anything.
- Choose and change your host when you need! If you purchase your site through a website builder, it lives on that site and you won’t be able to transfer your content. With a CMS (content management system), you own where your content through downloadable software and can change your domain host as needed throughout your blogging journey.
What you need to get started
You could spend years trying to get started if you tried to learn everything in the blog-o-sphere first. Fortunately, you don’t have to know everything to start blogging! WordPress will allow you to start with a few foundational pieces and you can continue to learn as you go.
Three things you need to set up your blog on WordPress:
- Domain name – Let’s see if your name is available! There are several factors to consider before you move forward with establishing your site name. Check out the tips in this post How to Choose a Domain Name.
- Hosting Choice – Using our toolbox and shelf metaphor again – which website host will you choose to “store” your site? We’ve compiled our idea on what to consider when choosing in our Best Web Hosting post.
- Theme – WordPress offers countless interface designs, known as “themes,” to use as your overall blog display. Check out podcast episode 51, Setting up website themes with Lauren Dierschke of Restored 316 for all the details on one of the most visual aspects of your blog.
What blogging platform is best for you?
Here are a few helpful questions to help you evaluate what will work best:
- What are your goals with your blog? Do you plan to provide informational content or is your goal to make a sale? Do you want to engage readers via communication on the site or do you want to primarily showcase designs, photos, and templates? Questions like these can help you determine your platform needs.
- When should I use a website builder? A website builder can be a great option if you truly need to set up your site quickly, especially if you have a local audience or customers. You may need a simple interface to serve as a landing place for your business and start getting traffic! Or, if you plan to blog as a hobby and spend minimal time on the technical side, a website builder can offer just the functionality you need.
- How can WordPress.org help me grow long-term? If you are serious about growing your blog, (increasing traffic to your site and widening your audience), WordPress.org can help you with all the tools necessary to grow a following through site reach, build your email list, and provide monetization tools.
- How soon do I plan to begin blogging? This is a great question to consider when weighing the pros and cons of blogging platforms. Consider if your goal is to quickly establish an online presence or build an audience and monetize through your site over time.
- How much does it cost to begin blogging? Fortunately, blogging doesn’t require a huge financial commitment, but it is necessary to consider costs in your timeline. As soon as you are ready to invest in both yourself and your business, we would encourage you to pick your blogging platform and go for it! Check out our post How Much Money Does it Cost to Start a Blog for an overview.
So, have we convinced you to get started with WordPress yet? From our blogging experiences, our favorite platform is clear. We can’t wait for you to begin!