Selection of a Blogging Platform to Fit YOU

For your unique blog

The selection of a blogging platform will probably be one of the most important decisions you will have to make as a blogger; because the right platform can make blogging such a smooth and enjoyable writing experience, while the wrong platform can surely make this popular online activity more of a puzzling and frustrating chore. And since the program used to blog with is such a powerful part of an individual’s blogging prowess, it is well worth an investment of whatever time it takes to find a platform that provides the most ideal balance between a user-friendly interface and a flexible framework that allows you, the blogger, to make your blog look and feel unique.

That having been said, it is also true that finding the right platform isn’t always easy, even though a little contemplation coupled with a bit of research could put you on your way to finding the perfect blogging platform for your purposes. Let’s use video blogging, for example, as a blogging type that might best demonstrate the importance of a blogging platform; especially since video blogging is a relatively new and popular technology. Video blogging has a lot of advantages over text-based blogging, can very effectively grab the attention of web surfers, and can make people much more likely to become excited about the blog’s content because of its dynamic nature; but only when it’s presented properly.

Ease-of-use versus customization

But, the wrong blogging platform can make a video blog look terrible, fail to play and get stuck in frames just like the old malfunctioning TVs used work (or not work) when their antennas broke. It is true that video blogs require a lot of digital tools and resources in order to get the best results; including a considerable amount of server space, more time to process and upload a video file, and more time to load. So already there are a number of issues inherent with video blogs which place even more importance on making sure that the blogging platform you choose is supportive of all types of blogging, from text blogging to photo and video blogging.

Deciding what your priorities are as they pertain to ease-of-use versus customization, it is important to point out that the blogging platforms most adaptable to high customization, like Movable Type, are a bit more difficult to use than very automated platforms like WordPress. So if you are new to blogs and to internet technology, you might want to sacrifice the ability to create a custom background design, or to integrate a unique font into your template, in order to find a program that will be easy for you to use. On the other hand, if you are a veteran web designer with knowledge of HTML or JavaScript, you will probably find the limitations of a user-friendly platform to be frustrating.

Read between the (reviewer’s) lines

Keep in mind that there is really not such a thing as a platform that is objectively the best blogging platform, because every blogger has unique needs, and the blogging movement is more about individuality than anything else, so it makes plenty of sense that there would be many different platforms available that are designed to meet the needs of different kinds of individuals undertaking different kinds of projects. But this diversity is a good thing because it means that you will almost certainly be able to find a program that suits your level of technical aptitude.

However, the fact that no two bloggers require the same things from a blogging platform can certainly make your search for the right platform a bit tricky; so when you are reading reviews of different platforms, try to keep your priorities in mind and do your best to take the reviewer’s viewpoint into consideration. In other words, a negative review written by an accomplished software designer who complains that a popular platform is too limited may tell you that the platform in question is ideal for a beginning blogger.

What’s your UBR?

Simply put, there is no such thing as “one size fits all” where blogging platforms are concerned, so instead of looking for the “best” platform, look for the best platform for your specific criteria. It’s similar to many of the conversations me and my buddy, Douglas, has had over the years about why he finds Joomla so easy, smooth and straightforward to work with, but do not like WordPress and can’t do the things with WP that he often does with Joomla; while I, on the other hand, prefer WP to Joomla for all the same reasons. So take the time to look for the blogging platform you’ll most comfortable with, which simultaneously meets your unique blogging requirements (UBRs). Good luck!

A Glimpse Into the World of Professional Blogging

Attraction to pro blogging

Professional blogging is very attractive as a vocation with a lot of potential for entrepreneurs who have a basic understanding of today’s innovative Web technology, as well as discipline, motivation and insight into one or more topics about which to write. The number of so-called pro bloggers who earn reasonable sums of money from their blogs are small; and still smaller is the group of bloggers who make a living entirely from blogging. Kimberly Palmer, a senior editor for U.S. News Money and author of the book, The Economy of You, citing a Pro blogger survey in her How to Earn Money as a Professional Blogger article, wrote:

“…most bloggers earn less than $100 per month, and 3 in 10 earn less than $10 per month. Only 16 percent of the 4,000 respondents say they make more than $2,500 a month.” That having been said, however, the number of bloggers who have managed to monetize their blog enough to supplement an existing income have increased since 2009 when Ms. Palmer’s article was written; and the pro blogging community is growing at a rate which can be described as moderate, but it is difficult to say whether this trend will continue since competition for online advertising dollars has increased at a much faster rate.

Many Web users and marketers dream of entering the sphere of professional blogging, even while there are some who happily devote an hour or more each day to their blog with the ever present wish that they could earn some kind of financial reward for all of their work. But those who yearn to monetize their blogs must know and utilize existing models for making money from their blogging activity, the most popular of which is to sell advertising space through Google’s AdSense program, or the less popular method of selling advertising space to one or more companies that wish to reach the bloggers’ audience.

A self-supporting blogosphere

Indeed, the number of people who do make a comfortable living just by selling space on their blogs comprises a very small percentage of an otherwise vibrant online marketplace; but this has not been a deterrent to aspiring pro bloggers, simply because the attraction of this vocation and the lifestyle it it supports appeal to many. Aspiring pro bloggers need not be dissuaded as they will find it comforting news that bloggers – pro, amateur and blogging hobbyists – are very supportive of each other in the sense that most of the people who read weblogs are bloggers themselves.

The self-supporting characteristic of this blogosphere is due – in part – to the fact that people who use blogging technology on a daily basis are most likely to be interested in what other writers are doing with the medium. And this is a fact that begins to explain why those who succeed in the world of professional blogging are mostly individuals who have devoted themselves almost entirely to learning about, talking about, and writing about blogging. More than any other topic, pro bloggers turn their attention to the phenomenon of blogging itself; and a lot of pro bloggers make their topic of blogging the stunningly self-reflexive focus of their blogs on an ongoing basis.

Of course, professional blogging is destined to become much more complicated in the future than it is today; but it must be said that pro bloggers who attract the largest audiences and make the most money are mostly concerned with investigating the blogging movement as well as offering advice to amateur bloggers. However, as the kinds of people who regularly read blogs change, and the demographics of bloggers expand and diversify as blogging software becomes more user-friendly, it is very likely that the world of pro blogging will begin to reflect these changes.

Pro blogging in flux

Indeed, it is very difficult to predict exactly what kinds of blogs will be reaping the greatest financial rewards five or ten years from now; but the world of pro blogging is one of constant change, and continues to be in a state of flux – not unlike the overall blogosphere and the larger Internet community – which is part of what makes it so exciting, appealing and inviting. If you are an aspiring pro blogger, it might be helpful for morale to heed the words of pro blogger Jim Wang, who is quoted as offering this advice: ‘Be patient. “It takes years to get to the point where you can earn a living off the site,” a sentiment which echoed by other successful pro bloggers who know what it takes to achieve pro blogging success.