The first form of social media, can be attributed to the emergence of blogging. It allows people to communicate their interests and opinions through a personal level. One of the best practices for social media growth and presence all starts with having a strong blog whether it is for personal or business use.
Blogs encourage users to follow updates and news from other people or businesses with similar interests. Even many years after the birth of blogging, they're still one of the most thriving social media outlets. Especially today, blogs have a large impact on your online presence which is another reason why it is important to choose the right one to accomplish your online goals.
So You Want To Create A Blog? Where Do You Start?
There are several reasons for starting a blog. Perhaps you want to connect with others with similar interests like running, Star Wars, or knitting. Or maybe you just want to keep an online journal about your newest diet or goal to finish a marathon.
Many businesses today are creating blogs to keep in touch with their customers and have more of a personal relationship with them. There are so many different options for creating a blog, starting off can be overwhelming.
Many businesses may have a blog on their own website which can helps with creating more content and helpful information directly seen by visitors. However, many small businesses that are looking to expand their reach online may not have direct blog integration as an option on their site. Instead they have to turn to a blog hosting site that can help them reach more people.
Choosing a host site for your blog can be a daunting task if you have never had a blog online and don't really follow blogs yourself. There are several places you can begin your online blog, but the two most popular sites to are Blogger by Google & Wordpress Blogs.
Below I explain the basic pros and cons of each site with input of my own experience. I like to be upfront about my opinions too. I currently host four Blogger Blogs and one Wordpress blog, so I have more personal experience with Blogger so my bias may show a bit (heck, this blog is on Blogger!).
Pros & Cons of Blogger
I currently host three business blogs and one personal blog on Blogger. I started with blogger back in 2008 so I have had the most experience with Blogger compared to Wordpress. Below are some of the overall pros and cons that I can see business or personal blogs experiencing on Blogger.
Pros of Blogger
- Google Owned & Operated: Some people who aren't familiar with blogging and the online world may not realize the reach Google has. With Blogger being owned by Google, it only seems ideal that Google will "prefer" to see informative Blogger blogs as a higher ranked site compared to other lower level blog sites (Wordpress not included). I don't have any hard evidence to support but it is formatted by Google and you can assume "for" Google.
- Great Google+ Integrations: Since it is owned by Google, it only makes sense that there are several Google+ integrations within the Blogger interface. You can add profile, followers, and community widgets that encourages visitors to connect and share your blog with others on Google+. You are also able to mention other Google+ users in your blogs posts. Just like +Drew Olanoff announced in his article. With the rapid growth that Google+ is seeing, it is only natural to assume that the Google+ integrations in Blogger will become more valuable over time.
- Easy To Use: The Blogger interface is very upfront and easy to use for beginners and those that may not be very tech-savvy. It is simple to connect your Google account with your Blogger account, while also syncing your Google+ profile or page, depending on the use for business or personal. They have several templates ready to be used with color adjustments and more. Blogger is a great option for beginners to get a blog going and just begin writing.
Cons of Blogger
- Limited On Customization: Blogger is a bit handcuffed when it comes to creativity and customization. If you are an advanced web user, you can get frustrated with the lack of control you have to change the Blogger platform. It can also sometimes get a bit clunky on the design and cause problems with your overall appearance.
- Limited To Automatic Sharing: Blogger only allows you to automatically share your newest blog post with your Google+ followers, no where else. While this is the obvious bias side of Google coming out, it is frustrating for bloggers who are looking to spread their information instantly with their various social media networks.
Pros & Cons of Wordpress
I only manage one Wordpress blog, however I have three sites that I manage that are Wordpress formatted so I'm pretty familiar with the functionalities and how to navigate. Below I have compiled a list of some of the pros and cons that I think are pretty important when looking to choose a blog format.
Pros of Wordpress
- Variety of Customization: With the Wordpress format you have a wide-variety of creativity for creating CSS styles, coding, and more. The Wordpress format allows advanced users further control of the site upfront, which is different from Blogger. So for bloggers that are looking really to create their own creative space that is completely unique to them and their blog, Wordpress is a great opportunity to be different.
- Different User Options: With Wordpress it gives you a wide variety of options for having multiple users that can contribute to your blog. You can have several different types of users that give a little more access than the others to blog posting. Where in comparison Blogger, you can only have an admin and author. Nothing more or less. This Wordpress features really allows your blog to expand a bit further with guest bloggers or multiple employees within a business, without having to give up too much control.
- Multiple Sharing Options: I really like the feature that Wordpress has for connecting several different social media accounts to your blog. You can connect your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and others that will allow you to automatically share to those accounts once you publish a new post. I really like the customization with this because you can allow all of your additional users' posts to be shared too or you can restrict it to only yourself. Compared to Blogger, which I mentioned early your are restricted to only Google+.
Cons of Wordpress
- Difficulty For Beginners: Because of the advantages of more creativity and coding involved, Wordpress Blogs could be overwhelming for beginner bloggers. While I think over time anyone can use Wordpress effectively no matter what their online level is, I think at first Wordpress can be overwhelming to a beginner who may not be familiar with the way the designs, layouts, and pages work.
- Automatic Ads: One thing that bothers me about Wordpress is that your blog is subject to having ads show up automatically in your posts if it become popular enough. This is different than the Blogger approach. In Blogger you are able to agree to show ads on your blog while also being able to profit from them. Because Google is, well Google, they can spare you a few cents here and there for serving ads on your blog. Whereas Wordpress needs to make money somehow while hosting your blog.
Pros For Both Blogger & Wordpress
While you may be comparing them side by side, there are a couple things that they both share that can beneficial to any type of blog you are creating.
- Mobile Site: Both sites are kind enough to provide you with mobile site designs with your blog. So you don't have to worry about people having to squint and zoom in and out to view your awesome material on your site. The mobile options are turned on automatically so you will be ready for the next wave of mobility that is going to take over the online world.
- Blogging On The Go: Continuing on the mobile theme, both sites have functioning mobile apps that allows bloggers to blog on the go. This is a great asset for any blog because now whenever you have an idea, you don't have to wait to get to a computer to write about it.Wordpress and Blogger both have mobile apps that allow users to blog on the go.
- Post Sharing Options: One of the most important features to bloggers is the capability of having their information easily shared with others. Both Wordpress and Blogger have the capability of adding sharing buttons to blog posts that can be easily accessed by their readers.
- They're FREE: Need I say anything else?
Now like I mentioned before, I am a bit bias towards using Blogger, but I think both sites have great features and abilities for any type of blog you are looking to create. All that matters is having a blog for your business. No matter where you host your blog should be the central focus of your social media marketing. Contact me for any questions or comment about creating a blog for your business.