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Blog Services

Blog Services

Before you start blogging, you have to realize that not all blogging platforms are the same. If you don't choose blog platforms carefully, you might be in for a rude shock when you see that the blog you created has outgrown the platform, can't keep up with your evolving blog publishing needs, or simply disappeared because you made changes that violate the platform's terms and conditions. Read the guide below so you can select a solid platform that can scale up with your needs.

Which Blog Service Is Right For You?

7 results - showing 1 - 7
 
 
Details Ratings
November 06, 2011    

TypePad is a Blog Service for Web Publishers, Writers, Individuals, Businesses and maintained by Typepad, Inc.

 
4.5 (2)
August 01, 2013    

SETT is a Blog Service for Web Publishers, Writers, Individuals, Businesses by publisher SETT.

 
4.4 (2)
November 07, 2011    

Wordpress.com is a Blog Service for Web Publishers, Writers, Individuals, Businesses and maintained by Automattic, Inc.

 
4.3 (4)
November 03, 2011    

Tumblr is a Blog Service for Web Publishers, Writers, Individuals and maintained by Tumblr, Inc.

 
4.3 (4)
November 05, 2011    

SquareSpace is a Blog Service for Web Publishers, Writers, Individuals, Businesses and maintained by Squarespace, Inc.

 
4.3 (2)
November 06, 2011    

Xanga is a Blog Service for Web Publishers, Writers, Individuals, Businesses and maintained by Xanga, Inc.

 
3.6 (2)
November 06, 2011    

Blogger is a Blog Service for Web Publishers, Writers, Individuals, Businesses and maintained by Google, Inc.

 
3.5 (6)
7 results - showing 1 - 7
 
 

Blog Services

Blog Service Resource & Information

Evaluating Blog Services

Back in the days, putting up a website used to be quite a complicated matter. While there were free page builder tools like Homestead and Geocities in the early 90’s, in the mid to late 90’s putting up a website wasn’t very easy nor were the results very professional or standardized. Online publishing was pretty much the realm of the people who knew HTML or knew their way around publishing tools like Frontpage. Still, many early adapters of online publishing put up their web based logs, also known as weblogs. This has been shortened to a term that we are all familiar with nowadays – blogs. Early blogging platforms weren’t very impressive because a lot of them require you to have your own server or install your own software. Thankfully, those days are long behind us. Putting up a blog is as easy as a few clicks away nowadays.

Picking the right blog platform

At present, it is a fact that there are so many free blogging platforms that it can be mindboggling to choose among the differing options. In addition to the old work horses like blogger.com, wordpress.com, tumblr.com, there are now specialized blogs and free blogs offered by community sites. In fact, the problem nowadays when it comes to using free blog platforms is not whether it comes for free or not but figuring out the right one to use. Consider the following key factors in picking the right free blog platform for your use. Not all blog platforms are the same and each contains features that are different from its competition. You have to pick carefully because your blog is your online home. All the time and effort that you expend in writing your blog posts, selecting your pictures, compiling your links and building traffic for your blog will all go to waste if the blog doesn’t fully meet your requirement or has the capabilities that fill your particular needs. We can simply say that differing people blog for different reasons. Some people blog just to be heard. They don’t give much importance on how it looks like or if it contains any fancy features. They just need a space on the internet they can dump their thoughts on. On the other hand, other people are looking for a very robust, powerful blog publishing platform but they don’t have the capital to invest in their own server so that they can install Wordpress or any other powerful but free blogging software. These kind of user usually needs a blog to make money or for professional purposes. Depending on your specific purposes, consider the following factors in picking the right platform before you invest your most important resources – your time and your effort.

Ease of publication

This is the threshold question that should quickly weed out the free blogging platforms that you are considering. The bottom is if it is easy to use and publish. While most free blog sites handle text publication quite easily, you could see that they differ greatly with each other if you are very particular and poke around quite a bit. You have to make sure that the blogging platform allows you to publish in differing sizes and font, you cab rearrange paragraphs easily.

Ideally, it should have a graphic interface that shows the text exactly the way it would appear once it is published. Be careful of blog platforms that do not support too many fonts, stylized text that do not have word wrap or just have very limited text capabilities. The same analysis for publication applies for pictures. You have to keep in mind when you evaluate a free blogging platform that putting pictures in your blog posts is a hassle free as possible. The common element to look for is multiple picture source support. The more sources supported, the better. The most common way to add a picture is to browse in a local file or your hard drive but not everybody has that luxury. You have to look for a feature that allows the blog platform to accept a picture url. Do not stop there. Some would actually get the picture from the url and store it on the blogging platform. This is better because if the source or host of the picture goes down or the server is having issues, the picture that you wanted to add in your blog post would appear as a broken image. Broken images harm the professionalism of your blog overall so you wouldn’t want that. So at the least is, look for a blog platform that gives you a measure of assurance that all your pictures will appear. Also, the platform should provide some picture formatting tools like picture alignment, resizing pictures or even basic picture edition tools. The more tools and feature it has, the better.

Blog Syndication and SEO

One of the main selling point of blogs is that unlike regular websites where your visitor has to load your url onto their browser or click your link in your favorites list so that they can easily visit your site, many blog platforms have a system called RSS. RSS stands for real simple syndication. This technology allows the person subscribing to your blog’s RSS feed to see the blog post in their RSS feed viewer every time you post an update. Previously, RSS viewers were standalone tools or software that people had to install. Thankfully, there are free RSS viewers like Google Reader which allows you to load the websites and whatever blogs you subscribe to, their post will be shown. It is just like reading a newspaper. The great thing about RSS is that instead of having your user come and actively seek for you, with RSS your content actively seeks your users out. this goes a long way in putting your content in front of the eyes of your audience because the more hurdles they have to go through to consume your content, the less likelihood that they would become loyal readers and the higher the chance that your readership volume would go down.

Another key factor to consider when it comes to syndication involves SEO. SEO stand for search engine optimization. The best form of web traffic is search engine traffic. Why? Your visitors are already searching for you. If you search highly for the term that they are searching for, there is a tight fit between what they are searching for and the content that you offer. So whether you plan to make money through ad clicks or through product sales, it helps tremendously to get your content in front of people who are actively interested in it. When analyzing blogging platforms for SEO compatibility, you should focus primarily on two things. First, the title of the post, and second, the url created by the blogging platform. Search engines play quite a bit of importance on whether the keyword your visitor is looking for is in your blog post title. If your blog post title has a keyword, your chances that search engine would send you more traffic for that keyword phrase are higher. Of course this also depends on many other factors but having keywords on the title will definitely be helpful.

The second SEO factor to consider when choosing a free blogging platform is the url created when you make a post. The blogging platforms that produce urls that are readable which are composed of words and spaces are replaced by dash mark stand a higher chance of being indexed properly by search engines than blogging platforms that create blog post urls that end in numbers or have gibberish alphanumeric cod. The more similar the post url is with an actual sentence which are shortened and focus on keywords, the higher the chances that search engines will index your blog posts and send you more traffic.

Blog Customizations

There are lots of blog platforms that tend to look the same. The more you consider them, the more tend to they look alike. They basically appear as text against a white background, that’s your blog. It looks minimal and very basic. However, this may harm you. Blog readers look for distinct a distinct experience, they look for authority. You need to stand out. Therefore, look for free blog platforms that will allow you to customize the look and the feel of your blog. You have to look for platforms that allow users to change themes or apply differing skins. Some blog platforms offer a limited set of preset for the blogs. If possible, avoid this. You have to look for blog platforms that will allow you to import your own skin or theme code. You can have a designer to fully create a design a blog look that matches the blog personality that you are trying to convey. Some blog platforms make this easy by giving theme developers all the tools they need to customize the themes. Others are also customizable but they do not offer the tools. In this type of situation, if you are looking for a lot of freedom in terms of your blog’s look and feel, go with platforms that not only allow customization but also give you the tools to do so.

Blog Network Traffic Availability

Free blogging sites have evolved so much for the past several years. Not only do they do they give you free tools to publish online, customize your blogs and syndicate your content to attract more search engine traffic, a few even free traffic. It may be surprising for bloggers but some platforms are set up in such a way that users of the platform can easily find other blogs in the network and click through the differing blogs. This results in free traffic for your blog. As bloggers often find out the hard way, traffic is the mother’s milk of blogging. Without traffic you can’t make money off your blog and you would be in essence talking to the wall since nobody is reading your materials. Without traffic, your influence in the blogosphere is not increasing. Traffic is fundamental. This is why long time bloggers would take traffic from as many sources as they can get. If you are looking for traffic, try considering free blogging platforms that contain mechanisms where users and publishers in that platform can check your blog and read your posts. The most common way blogging platform allow traffic transform is through a directory system in the main page of the blogging platform. Users click categories and subcategories where profile blogs are shown with the listed directory of the blogs. Others use a next blog method where there is the user can click a next blog button on the top of the page to see a blog that is in the same category as the one they have been reading. Regardless, If blogging platforms offer traffic, it might be worth it to build your blog there because traffic is crucial for a successful blog.

Blog Advertising

Some blog platforms do not allow users to put AdSense ads on their blogs. Others allow other ad networks but not AdSense. This might not be an issue for if you are just blogging just to have a personal journal online. Advertisement is also not a big issue for people who are blogging for influence. However, if you are looking to blog to make money, this consideration is crucial. If you plan a particular ad network like AdSense, make sure that the ad network is supported. You also need to pay careful attention to the fine print of the terms and condition of the advertising networks. Some ad networks have bad reputations. Many consumer advocates might find certain ad networks unscrupulous, sleazy and downright deceptive. Be very careful with the choice of ad network that you choose to use and make sure that it is supported by the blogging platform that you plan to put ads on.

Social Media Support

Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter drive a large chunk of the internet’s traffic. Don’t ignore or disregard this useful way to get free traffic. As discussed previously, traffic is the mother’s milk of successful blogging. The more traffic, the higher the chance that your blog will be influential, you would become an authority in a certain subject, you would have a large following or you would be able to make decent money from your blog. Never disregard traffic sources. Social networks are great sources of free traffic. Some blog platforms are optimized for Facebook and Twitter traffic. See if they offer tools that will allow you to post on Twitter post it in your Facebook wall. The more social network support is offered by the blogging platform, the better. However, keep in mind that the vast majority of free blogging platforms do not have default support tools for social network sites. Do not worry much about this if the platform allows customization, you can get an html code form then internet to allow social network publication buttons appear with each of your blog posts. The html codes are available online and you can just customize this so that they are published on the correct Twitter feed or on your users’ Facebook walls.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of your motivation, free blogging platforms have empowered bloggers to achieve their goal with a wide range of tools and free feature. However, not all platforms are the same. Study the considerations above carefully and compare it with your particular motivations for blogging. You have to analyze platforms based on your particular individual goals. Sue the considerations above to find the right blog service that helps you meet your goal. Do not choose a blog platform simply because it is popular or it has many users. Pick a blog platform if and only if it can take you where you need to go.