Where and how to start blogging #2
[This is the second post of my ‘Become a Blogger’ series. You can read the first post, right here.]
It’s finally time to start and to get your hands on your first blog. But… there are so many possibilities. Where to start and what to do? Although everything seems rather overwhelming at first, don’t worry. In this post, I’ll share with you some ways to start your blogging journey today.
How to start blogging
Some options are more popular than others but there are so many possibilities and platforms that I couldn’t list them all even if I tried to. As you’re starting your journey, I’ll strongly suggest you to not take too much time on choosing the perfect platform but just… start writing!
It’s only through experiments, trials and errors that you’ll figure what is best for you. Maybe you don’t like writing after all and would prefer making videos? Maybe you will prefer to write about another subject that the one you had in mind at first. You won’t know until you try!
Either way, I know how overwhelming it can be and I know how tempting it will be to want to « start with the most beautiful and coolest blog » even if you have to pay for it, but I will strongly suggest that you don’t. Take the time to try it out, see how you do and how you like it with the free options, even if it’s not with the prettiest blog at first. Don’t worry, you’ll easily be able to improve from there.
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Where to start blogging
So, as I said above, there are quite a few options to start blogging. Here are some of the most popular (and the ones I recommend):
I wonder if we could call WordPress the mother of the Internet, as at least 35% of all the websites available online are powered by it, and not just blogs. WordPress is an incredible tool, very powerful but also very easy to learn and to customize, without code! The free version available at WordPress.com will give you all the tools you need to start an effective blog in seconds.
PROS of Using WordPress.com
- Jetpack: Most WordPress blogs, whether self-hosted or not are connected through Jetpack, which makes it easier to other bloggers to comment under your posts, like them, etc.
- From WordPress.com to WordPress.org: As it’s the same platform, when you’ll be ready you’ll be able to move to a « Self-Hosted » version of WordPress on your own server to customize it even more, without too much trouble.
CONS of Using WordPress.com
- Rather limited: Of course, on the free-tier of WordPress.com, you don’t have all the options too customize it.
If you don’t know Medium yet, I think it’s an amazing platform for creative to just share ideas without caring about anything else. At midway between a blogging platform and a social network, the Medium app will automatically share your post with its community of millions of readers.
Pros of using Medium
- Easiest way to get readers: if you write regularly enough and you have the right methods (nice title, thumbnails, etc), then you will be on your path to get readers faster than on the other platforms mentioned.
- If you’re prolific enough, you can earn money through their partner/members program, which is rather nice.
- If you’re ready to pay, you can have your own domain.
- Also the platform is beautiful and ergonomic, both to read and write.
Cons of using Medium
- You have to follow their community guidelines, so you are not completely free to do what you want.
Instagram or Twitter
Now now, don’t get me wrong, I know neither Instagram or Twitter are blogging platforms. But they are micro-blogging ones! If you only want to share some of your creative ideas online, they might be the right places to do so and to start « documenting » your life.
Pros of using Social Media
- Easy to use: I don’t think I need to tell you how easy it is to post a tweet or a picture
- Constantly evolving, with new tools to make creating content even funnier (filters, etc.)
Cons of using Social Media
- Propriety: Neither your content or your followers really belong to you. If Twitter or Instagram decided to delete your account or to change something in their algorithm, there’s not much you could do.
- It’s short: Well, it’s rather hard to really get deep into a subject in less than 280 characters at a time 🤷🏾♂️
Tumblr is the platform I personally used the less and sadly in time its popularity decreased, but it still stays a relatively strong force in the blogging field. If I was to describe, I would fit it mid-way between Micro-Blogging on Social Media and regular blogging, as the platform pretty much serves both purposes. Anyway, it’s a nice place to start and to improve from, especially if you’re already familiar with it!
Pros of using Tumblr
- Photos, videos, texts, you can put pretty much anything your creative mind wants to in it.
- As it’s partially a social media platform, you can take advantage of the community to build your own.
Cons of using Tumblr
- Some people might be uneasy with the layout of the blog and posts if they are not already part of the tumblr community.
Blogger is actually where I started a few years ago before trying all of the other platforms (I’m very curious haha). It’s a very simple and easy to use platform, focused on, well… blogging. You can create your blog on it in a matter of seconds, especially if you have a Google Account.
Pros of using Blogger
- Easy to use. I mean it’s literally in the name!
- Pre-built SEO. Well, considering it was built by Google, you can assume that it will do its best to optimize your content on search engines.
- Export options: When I made the switch, I seem to remember that there were nice export options, allowing me to evolve easily.
Cons of Using Blogger
- Rather limited, especially in term of design.
That’s it for this post, don’t hesitate to tell me in the comments if you have more questions or suggestions. If you have missed it, here is where you can find the first post in the series “Why you should build your own blog”.