The digital era has been marked by many blog content systems, with old standbys like WordPress surviving the rapid birth and fall of many other blogging platforms. It can be easy to stick with blogging systems that are familiar, but are you actually missing out on potential growth and ease of use?
Microblogging, social media, and new blog startups continue to demonstrate that the culture is evolving, with rich new user interfaces, sleek design, and shareability.
Bloggers should pay attention to the new innovations springing up around them, or risk getting left in the dust.
Content vs. design
This is the central question that most bloggers face at one point or another. Are you spending too much time on your blog design and not enough on your content, or vice versa?
There comes a time when you have to make a decision regarding design: Will you outsource it to a professional, choose a template, or code your own? Each of these options has financial and time-related consequences.
Blogs on platforms like WordPress and Tumblr allow you to explore these three options. Coders flock to these marketplaces, and provide their unique templates and plugins for purchase. You can certainly find eye-catching designs through these platforms, but purchasing a theme can leave you wondering how unique your design actually is.
Other platforms eschew the design aspect, opting to manage it for you. Platforms like Medium.com are completely focused on content, using a standardized and minimalist layout for authors’ posts. This takes away much of the headache surrounding design, since everyone’s on a level playing field.
If you decide to use a platform like Medium, your content will truly have to speak for itself.
Group vs. solo management
As you reassess your blog strategy, you’ll need to find platforms that cater to your management style. WordPress can be ideal for large groups sharing a blog, since different privilege levels may be assigned to different roles.
There’s a clear pipeline for blog posts in WordPress, as copy moves from being “Pending” to “Under Review” to “Published.” However, WordPress includes a lot of bells and whistles that you might not need for your own website.
Platforms like Tumblr, Ghost, and Google+ are preferable for solo bloggers, since they don’t include the extra management features needed for team dynamics. Solo bloggers can quickly get bogged down by extra WordPress features they don’t actually need. So if you plan to run a solo blog, select a platform that really fits this management style.
Where are your readers?
Your audience will view your content in dramatically different ways, depending on your industry, tone, and brand image. Tech and entrepreneurial blogs can get a heavy influx of traffic via mobile devices. Architecture and design blogs are more likely to draw attention from desktop computer users, who prefer to see images in full-screen glory.
Think about these viewing methods when you select a blog platform. Does your platform give you control over the blog links that are generated? You’ll want to share these blog posts on your audience’s favorite haunts, such as forums and social media groups.
Whether you’re in the home improvement field, immersed in IT, or blogging about entertainment, you need to plug into high-traffic audience channels to spread the word.
As you research alternative blog platforms, you’ll quickly realize that the options are nearly limitless. You’ll want to assess the costs and benefits of selecting a particular platform. While some include free hosting, you’ll often take a hit when it comes to design and customization flexibility.
You’ll need to juggle design elements, user interface, management techniques, sharing capabilities, and readership habits in the course of your search for the perfect blogging platform.