For better or for worse, blogging gives a megaphone to anyone who wants to share commentary or expertise on a topic. Blogging also has major SEO benefits when you use keywords wisely. Another perk: modern blogging platforms for small businesses make it unbelievably easy for anyone to create a blog and publish content. If you’re not the most tech-savvy person on the planet, you can breathe a sigh of relief since you don’t have to know your html from your ftp in order to run a blog.
What you do need to know is there are several different blogging platforms for small businesses to choose from, and it is key to find the one that best suits your needs. Gone are the days of Xanga and LiveJournal. What are those, you ask? Exactly. They are long gone, so just forgettabout them. If you’re about to launch a blog for a personal calling (you must write about gardening! Gluten-free food! Parenting! Fashion!) or for your business, you’re probably considering the following three blog platforms. What’s so different about these three?
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the top three blogging platforms for small businesses to help you make your very important decision:
WordPress (WordPress.com or WordPress.org)
WordPress is currently the world’s most popular blogging platform, powering nearly 60 million websites across the globe. And there’s good reason why — it’s pretty great! But first, I want to clear up a common point of confusion: If you set up a blog through WordPress.com, it’s free, but know that you will have WordPress.com in your URL and limited customization abilities. For businesses, I recommend using WordPress.org, which allows you to use your own domain name without WordPress.com in it, and you can customize the blog in almost every way. However, you do have to pay for a domain name and your own hosting. Trust me, it’s worth it.
- Proven technology with continual updates to the platform, free statistics and extensive peer support.
- Multiple free theme options allowing for site customization, with thousands of paid themes available if you don’t like the free options.
- Many free plug-ins are available to enhance your site’s capabilities, including some easy-to-use SEO plug-ins that can give your blog an edge in search results.
- You cannot publish ads on your blog if you use the free .com account (but you can if you self-host with a .org account)
- As an open-source software, WordPress is vulnerable to web attacks, though there are steps you can take to protect your site. It’s worth hiring a web developer to do regular maintenance on your site and set up your security plug-ins.
Originally launched by Pyra Labs, it was acquired by Google in 2003 and is known for its quick and easy setup.
- It’s owned by Google, so it integrates well with other Google services, like Google AdSense.
- Great for first-time bloggers and easy for anyone to use (you can have your site up and running in less than 15 minutes).
- It’s easy to switch from Blogspot-hosted (meaning you don’t pay for hosting in exchange for having “blogspot” in your URL) to self-hosted with your own URL. That’s when you are ready to take it to the next level — go you!
- It’s more difficult to customize and has fewer customization options than WordPress.
- When you host your blog on Blogger, you don’t own it. Google does.
Acquired in June 2013 by Yahoo!, Tumblr is referred to as a short-form or microblogging platform.
- Known for its sense of community due to its “reblog” function that makes it simple for users to repost others’ content.
- Ideal for users who plan on sharing short, frequent posts (especially photos and video posts) that are not as extensive or formal as regular written blog posts. It’s like the Facebook or Instagram of blogs, if you will…
- You can pay extra to have your own URL without the word “tumblr” in it, and paid themes are available for additional customization.
- While Tumblr does offer customizable themes, there are design limitations when compared to WordPress or Blogger.
- It may not be ideal for users who plan to write lengthy posts, like detailed tutorials with limited images.
While there are more complicated content management systems out there, such as Drupal and Joomla, these three blogging platforms for small businesses that I’ve outlined are the best for beginners or those without a tech team.
Still not sure which blogging platform is best for your business? Not sure what type of content you should post? Contact Message Sprout today to get started!