Mike Butcher, the Editor of TechCrunch Europe and co-founder of TechHub, had it right when he declared blogging to be “a conversation, not a code.” Mike understands that blogging is an essential ingredient for the success of businesses, big and small. It’s also important for up-and-coming journalists, artists, photographers, and virtually all industry newcomers to embrace the medium and carve out a content platform of their own.
If you blog you know the rules change constantly. No one is ever truly a blogging expert. Practically every week there’s a blog new to the scene. Companies that succeed at creating popular blogs, give readers a behind the scenes look at what they do, offer tips and encourage collaboration through guest blog posts.
Choosing the Best Blog Platform
What is the foundation for these content creations? In the blogosphere you have the top content management platforms: WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr. These platforms have subtle differences for the type of company blog you are interested in developing.
Do you own a content-driven company, like a publication or international beauty corporation? WordPress or Blogger may be the best option. If you’re a freelance photographer, and rely more on images than words, Tumblr is likely the best fit for you. No matter what platform you choose, remember that all three content management systems have their pros and cons.
Blogger for Beginners
Pros: If you are new to blogging, Blogger is the perfect option for getting started. Blogger.com is easy to navigate with user friendly graphics to instruct you where to preview drafts, upload photos and videos, and check out the daily updates on your dashboard of those you follow. As with other platforms, numerous templates and theme designs are available. If your computer crashes unexpectedly your draft has already been saved, given Blogger auto saves drafts each minute.
Cons: Blogger has a limited number of templates to choose from in comparison to WordPress. Also, customizing widgets in blogger is much more complex. It lacks the bells and whistles that have made other platforms a more viable option for tech savvy bloggers.
WordPress Bells & Whistles
Pros: WordPress is the crème de la crème of blogging platforms. You can sign up for a free blog via wordpress.com or use a self hosted option via wordpress.org. It offers numerous features to help manage multiple authors and support a more robust content offering. There are also numerous themes to choose from that offer a clean and professional design.
Cons: In my experience, uploading pictures may cause some mild distress. Also, finding out who follows your blog is an issue; WordPress doesn’t offer the option of seeing who your followers are or showing who you follow on your dashboard. Your best bet is to use third party options such as RSS feed services to track the growth of your audience.
Pros: Tumblr is a micro blogging platform and social network that enables you to post short-form blogs with ease. A great selection of theme layouts are available in the theme garden and it seems to attract “niche bloggers.” Tumblr blogs are available in virtually every subject imaginable.
Cons: Tumblr isn’t fully featured, so you don’t have as much control over formatting – as you do with other options. Also you can’t self-host, which means when tumblr experiences technical issues (which happens quite frequently) your site goes down too.
Overall, blogging isn’t a quick fix solution for awareness, brand development or sales. It’s more. It is a community. The blogosphere is a place where anyone who has an idea or opinion can find others to rally behind their voice. From there, fans of your company blog are then more educated and empowered to spread the news… and that’s when conversation truly begins.
Photo Credit: © badahos