Blogs first emerged on the scene in the 1990s. Back then, they were actually referred to as “weblogs,” which was a literal interpretation of the new medium. They were a way of chronicling personal stories and journeys — a basic concept that still holds strong today.
More than two decades later, the prevalence of blogs has been infinitely amplified. With just a click of your mouse or touch on your smartphone, you can be transported into hundreds of thousands of blogs on a variety of topics. Anyone can start one too. They are written by businesses, schools, news outlets, and individuals alike.
If you’re looking to create a blog, or even upgrade your existing one, you’ll want to use the best online blog platform to ensure success. Here’s how to choose a blogging platform in 2019.
Consider Your Technological Skills
When comparing the various platforms available, it is important to consider how expansive (or minimal) your technical knowledge is. If you are well versed and able to code a website from scratch, you may want to go with one that allows ample freedom for personalization like Squarespace or WordPress.Org.
If you are new to blogging, and especially web design, then you’ll definitely want to narrow down the options based on how much skill is required to get the final result. Some of the best blog platforms like NING, Wix, and Weebly, allow you to design your site exactly as you see fit (no matter what your skill level is).
Weigh the Importance of Customization
How critical is your aesthetics? Are you looking just to establish an online presence, or are you aiming at branding yourself with custom colors, designs, and themes? The answer to these questions will also help determine which blogging platform to choose.
If the particulars of the design aren’t high on your priority list, choose a platform with ready-to-use site themes. Using a theme means you’ll have everything already designed in a template, down to the color scheme and fonts. These make it simple to get started and don’t require a lot of design work or brainstorming upfront. If the branding of your site is important to establishing your blog, then customization capabilities will be key.
You may want to select a platform that allows you to drag and drop various sections and pieces of content to make it truly reflective of your style. Plug-ins, or added features that expand the actionable capabilities of your website, will play another factor here. If you’re looking to have analytics, social media share icons, membership sign-ups or contact forms, just to name a few, then you’ll benefit from a platform with ready-to-use plug-ins.
Understand the Ease of Use
This is a simple one. Before moving forward with a particular site, understand how time-consuming it is to use it. The best blog platforms will allow you to update your content and make functional tweaks effortlessly. Many now have easy-to-use apps that allow you to upload new posts instantaneously while on the go. The less time you have to spend on actually posting the content means you’ll have more time to craft it.
Compare Monetization Potential
The best blog platforms are ones that are flexible enough to support your needs, both aesthetically and financially. Believe it or not, your blog can be a moneymaker, as long as you have the right tools. There are many ways to generate blog income from actually selling your products or services online to reserving space for digital ads.
When comparing options, make sure you think about how you can capture revenue from your site visitors. Platforms like NING and Wix provide users with e-commerce features that support subscription or paid access options. Others have much more limited scalability and may not even allow for income streams.
Check for Integration Capabilities
If you are creating a blog as part of a larger company or brand, then how it integrates into your existing site is vital. You don’t want to go through the work of crafting a new blog without being able to add it to your navigation or embed it organically into your website. If visitors have to jump to a second website to see what else you have to say, you’ll likely lose them in the process. Select a blog platform that allows for straightforward integration into your current website.
Overall, choosing the best online blog platform is critical to the visibility, credibility, and accessibility of your blog. Bringing your vision to life, whatever it may be, can be limited based on which software you select. When deciding which blogging platform to choose in 2019, consider your technological skills, weigh the importance of customization, understand its ease of use, compare monetization potential, and check for integration capabilities. While there may be a few good platforms, go with the company that checks all of these boxes. Though anyone can be a blogger, not everyone will be a successful one. Starting with a good foundation sets the tone for the rest of your site. So, go ahead, and leverage these tips to make the best choice!