Which service would you use to start a blog?

Fairy Blog Mother: blogging help

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This was a question that was asked on LinkedIn. I took a look and blanched at the number of answers that were already there (which would normally mean my response would be lost in the wilderness), but then having read them I realised the question hadn’t been properly answered.

This is because there isn’t a straight answer to this kind of question. Of course I would recommend WordPress, but there are, of course, two kinds of WordPress, each with their own characteristics and special features.

The questioner needs to work out which one is right for him. Here are three questions he needs to consider:

  • Are you technically-minded?
  • Do you have access to a web-developer?
  • Do you want to use your blog to sell products or make money?

If the answer is yes to the above, then he obviously needs to use WordPress.org. This is an excellent platform to create a monetized blog or a blogsite to act as a CMS website, and the facilities it provides are second to none.

But if you are starting a blog on your own, without external help or a desire to monetize it, purely as somewhere to write or to promote your business more effectively on the web, then I would recommend WordPress.com.

Now I expect all the other blogging experts that answered this question will be be thinking that I’m crazy. Well, not really. You see, it’s usually wise not to run before you can walk. You can use WordPress.com to master the art of blogging properly and effectively before seeking out a web-developer to move onto WordPress.org. And don’t forget it’s very easy to transfer your posts and pages from one to the other, so all is not lost.

Meanwhile, while you are learning the ropes with WordPress.com, you’ll still receive excellent SEO, search engine coverage, access to social media, and an excellent and easy to use environment to learn all about blogs and how they work. Here you can build up your readership and following in safety, because WordPress is doing a lot of the work for you behind the scenes.

Once you’ve moved onto WordPress.org you’re out on your own, which means you’ll have to start working that much harder. But that won’t be a problem, because you will have gained a good grounding beforehand, allowing you to develop and grow, rather than floundering like a non-swimmer diving straight into the deep end.

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Alice Elliott has been explaining blogging to beginner bloggers for almost two decades, specialising in using ordinary, everyday language to make the process as simple as possible so that anybody can understand.
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