A variety of blogging platforms exist to help individuals and businesses establish, and run, their own blogs. Some of these blogging platforms are on sites totally dedicated to blogging and others are part of social networking and content management programs. The most well known blogging platforms are:
B2evolution : http://www. b2evolution.net
Blogger : https://www.blogger.com
Blogharbor : http://www.blogharbor.com
Boast Machine: http://www.boastology.com
Blog Drive: http://www.blogdrive.com
Expression Engine: http://expressionengine.com
Movable Type: http://www.movabletype.com
Type Pad: http://www.typepad.com
The first blogging platform I ever tried was Blogger (http://www.blogger.com). I chose Blogger because it was easy to set up and many people I knew had active, highly trafficked, bloggers accounts. A few businesses I knew of had even set up Blogger accounts, registered domain names, and then redirected their domain traffic to their Blogger accounts.
The pros of using Blogger for me were that it was extremely easy to set up, affiliated with Google, and had an extremely user friendly dashboard.. There were literally hundreds of free Blogger templates available that didn’t require that much html knowledge to use. Also (though I didn’t appreciate it at the time) Blogger allows users to earn revenue through Google Adsense.
The cons for me were that other than Google Adsense Blogger doesn’t offer many revenue generating opportunities. Also it was a little bit too common. It seemed as though everyone with an interest in blogging had a Blogger account and chances were they were using the same, or similar, template as I was.
The bad points of the Blogger platform apply to almost all of the blogging platforms that allow users to sign up for free and then provide a free sub domain on their site. A lot of the available templates are so heavily used that is nearly impossible for you to distinguish your message, business, or product from other bloggers on the same platform. Also there are only so many revenue sharing options.
There is also a matter of competition. Most free blog hosts and platforms encourage visitors to browse blogs that contain similar content as your own. The host will also include links to their own affiliates and sponsors on your blog. This means that you could easily loose most of the traffic that you have generated for your own business or site to a competitor.
With that said, if you are truly interested in earning a profit with your blog you are going to have to invest some money. Having your own domain name (this is assuming that you don’t already have one) will increase your credibility and make your blog eligible for more revenue earning opportunities that are not offered to those hosting their blogs on free sites. Also you will have more control over your blogs design, content, and availability. No more fear of losing traffic or business because the free blog host has gone down or is under going maintenance for several hours.
If you are a new blog owner and apprehensive about investing in a domain name and hosting set your mind at ease. Once your blog is up, running, and established you will be able to easily earn back the money spent on a domain name on hosting. Most domain registrations range from $1.99 to $10.99 and hosting is often between $4.95 and $10.95 monthly for a basic hosting account.
There are many web hosting companies that offer new sign up’s one free domain name registration when they establish an account. Two companies that do this are Dreamhost (http://www.dreamhost.com) and Blue Host (http://www.bluehost.com). These companies give new sign ups a free domain registration when their account is set up and also offer easy, one click, solutions to help get your blog up and running quickly.
Both of these services offer one click installs for the Wordpress blog platform which is the only one that I will use for my professional and personal sites. These one click installs are exactly what they are described as. You are able to install the software on your site with one click of your mouse after answering a few questions about what directory you want the blog to be in and what user names/passwords you want for your databases.