When starting your first blog, you need to consider the very best blog hosting platform for you. Your ideas and content won’t come into fruition if you don’t have a blog hosting platform that will help you bring them to life.
Your blog hosting platform of choice, however, depends on your needs and what you want to achieve as a blogger. Each platform offers something different from each other. Also, how comfortable you are with your chosen blog platform also plays a vital role in your decision.
For newbie bloggers, your choice of a blog hosting platform now will dictate the future of your blog. You can change the platform later on but it’s better to choose the right one as early as today to save you time from migrating your blog to a different platform.
In this post, you will learn how to choose the best blog hosting platform you must use for your blog by determining the different factors and choices at play to help you make an informed decision.
What is the “best blog hosting platform?”
To establish the foundation of the article, we need to define what we mean by blog hosting platform.
There is a difference between a blog hosting platform and a blog platform.
The thing about blog platforms
A blog platform refers to sites that let you create an account to set up your blog there. Examples of blogging platforms are WordPress.com, Medium, Tumblr, and others. There are also website builders like Weebly and Wix that use the drag-and-drop builder to help you create beautiful sites with no coding or design experience. You can sign up to these blog platforms for free but you can also upgrade your subscription to enjoy premium features.
With blog platforms, all you need to worry about is creating your content. After signing up for an account, you can customize the look and feel of your blog and publish content right away. You don’t have to concern yourself with the technical details of your blog, making blogging platforms perfect for beginners.
The disadvantage with blog platforms is their limitations. You can only customize your blog as much as the system allows you to. While this wouldn’t be an issue from the start, there’s a chance you may outgrow blogging platforms and look for more versatile platforms that let you tweak your blog from the ground up.
Blog hosting platforms are different, too
A blog hosting platform refers to web hosting services where you can set up and install your chosen blog platform. The blogging platforms above do not require you to set them up with a web host. The ones that work best with web hosting providers are self-hosted blogging platforms like WordPress.org, Drupal, Joomla, and others.
There are different types of web hosting to choose from for your website. For newbie bloggers, shared hosting is the best choice for them right now because it is most affordable. This hosting type lets you set up your blog with other websites in the same server.
The caveat with shared hosting is that you share server resources. If a blog in the shared hosting is attracting the most traffic, most of the resources in the server will work for that blog, leaving your blog with little to work with. However, unless your blog is attracting thousands of views a day, this shouldn’t be an issue right now. Also, you can upgrade your hosting plan to accommodate the needs of your blog.
That said, web hosting requires you to sign up for a monthly or annual subscription. The price of each web host depends on the features available. Once you have chosen your web hosting provider, you still need to install and set up your blog yourself.
So are blogging platforms better than self-hosted ones?
As you can see, there are lots of factors coming into play when choosing a blog hosting platform. You manage the technical side of your blog and not just the writing and promoting of the posts. Beginners might find the process too intimidating and would take the easier route of signing up to sites like Medium and setting up their blog there.
However, the biggest advantage of web hosting platforms is the customization. There’s so much you can do with a self-hosted blog. You can use plugins and add-ons to supercharge your blog and help you increase social shares, subscribers, and traffic, things that aren’t available from website builders and other blog platforms.
In hindsight, blog platforms are easier to use but limits your blog from achieving more. Self-hosted blogs are much trickier to manage but the limit to how much you can achieve with it is endless!
My take on which is the best blog hosting platform
Personally, I highly recommend you as newbie bloggers to set up a self-hosted blog. It’s not as convenient compared to website builders as you need to teach yourself how to install and set up your blog from your hosting’s control panel. However, most web hosting platform provide tons of support on how you can install your blog from their servers. Therefore, getting your self-hosted blog up and running shouldn’t be a problem.
For your self-hosted blog, there are lots of choices for you. I’ve listed a couple above but this post at Website Builder Expert breaks down the most popular platforms. Personally, I suggest that you use WordPress. BloggingTips.com runs on WordPress, and if you like its look and feel, then you’ll definitely enjoy using this platform. There are good reasons over 76 million websites run on WordPress. The ease of use, the available resources to help you build a beautiful site, and the tools you can use to supercharge your blog should convince you to use WordPress over others. Also, WordPress is a very SEO-friendly platform and makes people find your site on search engines much easier.
When choosing your blog hosting, you need to do your research. There are lots of hosting providers in the market and it will be impossible for you to pick one immediately. However, to get you started, choose a provider that offers shared or WordPress hosting. They are cheap and affordable enough to help you set up a blog at minimum costs. Namecheap and SiteGround are web hosting providers that offer these hosting types to great effect. I have used both and have written my take on both tools in this post. Again, my endorsement should not dissuade you from doing your own research.
Over to you
There is no right or wrong answer for choosing your blog platform and web hosting. Ultimately, it depends on what you are most comfortable in and which among them will help you meet your goals faster and more effectively. If you enjoy using Blogger.com for your blog, then more power to you! What’s important is that you feel at home with your chosen blog platform and web hosting. From there, everything else will follow.
4 Effective Tips for Boosting Reader Engagement on Your Blog
If you want your blog to be successful and bring good profits, you need to ensure that your posts not only attract traffic but engage the readers. To do this you’ll need to experiment with content formats, open dialog with the audience, involve influencers, and above all, understand your audience’s exact wishes.
From online videos to content creation and social media, there seems to be an endless supply of new traffic out there and different ways to pull users back to your site. With all of this in focus and on the minds of bloggers everywhere, we wanted to highlight some of the best ways to boost content engagement, using many of the preferred mentions we’ve already highlighted.
4 Ways to Boost Your Blog Content Engagement Rate Fast
Even if you don’t run a vlog, you need to post an occasional video because that’s the ‘hottest’ type of content today. Check out an aggregation of video marketing statistics offered by Forbes to see why exactly your blog needs more video content. Note that social videos generate more shares.
Live video streaming is also greatly popular today, so be sure to launch an occasional Facebook Live session to share something interesting with your followers. Then post a recording of the stream on your blog so those who missed the airing will be able to enjoy it anyway.
Research your audience in great detail
To boost reader engagement on your blog you need to understand what motivates your targeted audience to actually get into your content. You’ll need to not only consider the analytics data that will show you which of your posts are most popular. You also need to search for information on your targeted audience, such as what kind of posts are generally more popular with them.
The more precise you are in developing targeted content, the higher the reader engagement rate will be. This means that if you seek to create a diverse readership base, you might need to consider launching several websites. In that case, you’ll need to use specialized software and a hosting service that allows you to run multiple blogs. This will make managing them easier, so you’ll be able to focus on creating several posts. Bear in mind that you might be able to apply the same basic content strategy to all your blogs, even if they differ in subjects.
The differences in those strategies and individual posts will be dictated by the data you get from a detailed study of targeted audiences.
Get more influential persons involved
Influencers of any kind can help you boost reader engagement on your blog because if they promote your content, their loyal readers will want to read it themselves. You can also generate more traffic and engagement by mentioning various celebrities and popular bloggers.
A perfect example of this can be seen in one of our expert roundup posts, where 73 different online marketers and bloggers took the time to share their expertise on social media. The benefit here wasn’t also just for our site. Each of the experts got a lot of exposure out of this, and the audience loved the content as well.
However, you’ll need to be careful if you choose to use mentions. For celebrities, you should research laws and regulations surrounding the issue. You need to be 100% sure that you won’t be sued for mentioning someone’s name or other information in your post. When you mention bloggers, you’ll need to consider those rules too as well as give them a heads up about doing this.
Having various opinion influencers popular with your target audience is a great boost to your blog and personal brand. This will also increase your reach as you’ll get an indirect contact with the influencer’s audience.
However, attracting influencers is a big challenge, especially for a blogger. You can use the tips from Neil Patel, a true marketing guru. Think carefully about how to adapt them to your situation.
Post engaging graphics
Much like with videos, you should post relevant graphics to boost reader engagement because this type of content is popular and shareable. Infographics are particularly effective for this, so be sure to create some. It will be best if your infographics have some original data on relevant topics. But, even simple step-by-step instructions can generate decent shares and likes.
Your every post should contain several images by default as they promote reader engagement and memorization. Be sure to add .GIFs as well, because these graphics are in trend now.
Best Search Engine Marketing and SEO Practices to Follow in 2018
Marketing often requires four basic factors: first, there should be people with unsatisfied needs; second, these people should have the desire to be satisfied; third, there should be opportunities for communication; and fourth, there should be an exchange of goods or services. A businessman with keen acumen for business opportunities would readily recognize these unsatisfied needs, build opportunities for communication with these people, and relay the service or product that could satisfy their needs. The important thing is that the prospective businessman is able to reach his target audience via good marketing strategies and tactics.
Understanding Search Engine Marketing
Marketing strategies have greatly changed since the introduction of the World Wide Web. As the Internet expands, it also provides good avenues for new marketing strategies and tactics. It also engenders new buying behavior among consumers, as contemporary consumers first search online for a product or service that they need before purchasing it. On the other hand, business owners are now required to create their own websites to be relevant online.
As highlighted in this article, writing for humans is always going to be the example to follow. It also means keeping the following SEO guidelines in mind when creating content:
- Keep it unique. Avoid duplicating content that’s already out there. Ask yourself: what can I add to this ongoing conversation?
- Do more research than competitor sites have done.
- Consider all options: infographics, videos, podcasts, an interview, a step-by-step guide or even a new tool or template.
- Remember that longer content gets more links. If your page is supported by high-quality links, it will move up in the ranks. Although Google has stated that even a few sentences can rank, in general, you’re better off creating content that is at least 300 words or more.
One form of effective online marketing is search engine marketing. It involves website promotion aimed at increasing the visibility of your business site online. It is also designed to make your site rank higher on the search engine page results (SERP). However, this marketing form is wrought primarily through paid advertisement.
In 2007, for example, advertisers in the U.S. had spent 24.6 billion dollars on this type of marketing. Google, on the other hand, leads the pack of search engines that profited from search engine marketing. Furthermore, in the second quarter of 2015, Google got a sizeable 73.7% share of profits from search engine marketing as compared to 26.3% of Yahoo/Bing. Based on these data, search engine marketing appears to be a very profitable business that rakes billions of dollars of profit for search engines.
Social Media Marketing
Your online marketing strategies and tactics would never be complete without tapping into social media. Services like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Baidu Tieba, and LinkedIn have also been used for marketing. LinkedIn, for example, as an employment-oriented service can be used to promote your services and get more mileage for your online marketing efforts, but keep in mind that it is primarily used to establish professional networks.
Just take a look at the screenshot below and how LinkedIn can provide such great information for anyone looking for earnings and jobs reports within any specific niche market. Not only will these same results rank and appear within the search results, they are also heavily shared through social media as well.
Search Engine Optimization
Aside from search engine marketing which makes use of paid advertising, you can also make use of search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization is another way of expanding the online visibility of your site without necessarily paying for online advertisements. Search engines have organic or natural page results, known as SERP, and you can influence these organic results through SEO.
Not many, however, are experts in SEO. Hence, if you are a businessman who doesn’t have the know-how on SEO, you should visit BestSEOCompanies.com and search for the expert that fits your needs. If you want a reliable and trustworthy SEO specialist, this website can really help you with its list of the top 50 SEO services that you can immediately hire.
Business websites that are ranking high in the SERP usually gets two-pronged benefits. First, if your site ranks high in the SERP, chances are casual searchers will click on your website, and you can turn them immediately into actual clients. Additionally, if you get more clicks and visits from casual searchers, the search engine will further rank your website higher.
What Is the Chief Benefit of Going the Extra Blogging Mile?
10:15 PM on a Sunday night.
After waking at 7 AM I did an hour of yoga.
I followed up with 4 hours of blogging work.
Toss in another 4 hours of blogging work plus a 1 hour walk and some R and R, and where I am late on a Sunday night. Going the extra blogging mile.
I love blogging. Working late on a Sunday does not feel like going the extra mile because blogging feels fun to me. But putting in a bit more effort when I feel tired helps me to help more people. Going the extra blogging mile also makes me memorable in the eyes of readers.
I know other bloggers who go the extra mile.
My friend Ronald at Web SEO Marketers runs a first rate blog.
Beyond his super content though, he goes the extra blogging mile in the relationship-building department.
A few moments ago I saw this update in my stream when I logged in to Facebook:
Buying the paperback version of my blogging eBook would have been awesome in and of itself. But Ronald snapped a selfie holding the paperback, noted how he just received my book in the email and tagged me to let me know he bought my book and he’d see me in paradise.
He perfectly embodies how you go the extra mile relationship building wise. Compassionate, heart-centered bloggers think of how they can help folks out. Generous folks always stick out in your mind because we resonate with people who are kind, helpful and genuine in all they do.
Being Memorable Helps Expand Your Presence
I noted Ronald’s rocking blog in this post because he is a skilled blogger, because he shouted out buying my book on Facebook and because both factors make him memorable. I could not fall asleep until I wrote this post and shouted him out because it feels fun to spread the love and to help you guys understand the chief benefit of going the extra blogging mile; people will remember you.
If people remember you they will feature you, interview you, invite you to guest post on their blog, or they will hire you or buy your stuff. As your features, interviews and guest posts increase you will appear to be all over the place in your niche, growing your business slowly and steadily until your generosity and willingness to go above and beyond results in exponential growth of your online presence.
Alonzo Pichardo embodies this type of massive growth over the long haul by going the extra mile.
Check out his Instagram account.
His follower growth and overall engagement levels are staggering, with 55,000 followers receiving Alonzo’s update on the platform.
Alonzo continues to get so many followers because he gave so much of his time, skills and expertise over the past decade. He did not attract 55,000 followers after a week of going the extra blogging mile. He generously served folks for a decade and continues to help folks even if doing so takes him late into the night, becoming more memorable to more folks around the world.
Be patient and persistent in creating value and building bonds. Good things take time.
You may not make a penny through your blog for 6 months after doing the right things with the right energy but you will succeed over the long haul. Every kind act is rewarded over time.
Keep helping people. Focus on the process, not on outcomes. Stay up late to write the guest post, linking in to your blogging buddies to increase their exposure. After you purchase a book, take a selfie and tag the author on social media. Think of how you can impact humanity in a generous, significant way, one friendship and one generous act at a time.
Go the extra blogging mile.
Accelerate your blogging success over the long haul.
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