Publishing quality content on the Web is one of the keys to establishing you as an authority in your area of business, as well as getting your business found through search engines or referrals from social media sites.
Therefore, it’s important to find the best blogging sites with which to publish your content.
I’ve profiled three of the easiest and most popular blog sites here, as well as listed a few other options, free and paid. For businesses that want free, easy-to-setup platforms that will have you blogging in literally minutes, WordPress, Blogger, and Medium are our picks for the best blogging sites.
Blogger was started in 1999 by Pyra Labs, and since Google bought it in 2003, the company has upgraded its look significantly. Newly launched is the Dynamic Views templates, offering several styles that are pretty cool and easily customizable.*
Also with the new templates, you can have integrated searching, sort blogs by date, label and author, interactive share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, and, of course, Google +. And if you’re publishing many images, different viewing options such as Magazine, where large images are attractively displayed with text, are available.
- Link the blog to your Google analytics account (that you should have already set up for your business’s Web site) to view stats that show page and post views, traffic sources and who your audience is
- Link to Adsense to place advertising on your blog if you want another income stream
- Add from a long list of gadgets to your blog, such as an e-mail box that allows readers to easily subscribe to posts, and search, slideshow, poll and many other types of boxes that will appear to readers on your blog
*At the time this was written, the New Blogger Interface with the new templates had some problems with changes in layout not showing up. Also, the service seems to get overloaded at times, with users not being able to access design tools. I am using the Simple, rather than the Dynamic Views templates at the time of this writing, as it shows my company’s logo.
First of all, be aware that there are WordPress.org and WordPress.com. The first is where you can download the free, open-source WordPress software and install on your hosted Web site to create a blog or even a full throttle Web site. WordPress.com is a hosting site that utilizes the software from WordPress.org.
It may be easier for you to set up a blog site at the WordPress.com, which is free, but there are downsides, such as not being able to upload customizable themes, modify the .php code behind your blog, or install plugins (cool programs that you can use to customize your blog site if you host it on another server, such as Bluehost.com). If you pay $99 per year for an upgrade, then you’ll have access to the above, as well as being able to have a domain name without the wordpress.com attached to it.
We recommend setting up your blog by installing WordPress on a site hosted at Bluehost.com or another hosting company for several reasons, including greater user control and customization.
This will take some time to do properly, and we’ll be posting another blog soon with instructions on how to install and set up a simple WordPress site and blog hosted on another server, as well as more instructions on how to customize Blogger and WordPress.com blogs.
Medium was all the rage for a while. Many bloggers reported seeing their following numbers multiply extensively on that platform and sending traffic to their own websites.
Now that things have calmed down a bit, and Medium has gone through a few changes, it has become a paid platform. You can still set up a blog for free, but readers can only access 3 articles for free each month. To get unlimited access, you must pay $5 per month, which isn’t too expensive.
The platform is clean, modern and allows for large feature images on posts, subheadings, quote styling and the ability to link to outside URLs. You can also create your own publication dedicated to one topic and invite other Medium bloggers to contribute.
Other Best Blogging sites
Typepad.com offers a paid blogging service with customer support and Web hosting at prices ranging from $8.95 per month to $29.95 for premium services. Update: *They now offer Enterprise accounts for businesses. Customized designs, domain mapping (having just your blog name seen) and blog stats, as well as integrated social media, are some of the other features offered.
Other than the customer support and domain mapping, there isn’t too much different from the free sites. If you don’t want to bother with signing up with a Web host elsewhere for your blog, it might be a simple option.
Tumblr. is a more visual-oriented social site, but not as heavily visual as the newest rage, Pinterest.
Sign up and set-up at Tumblr. is a breeze and you’ll be blogging within minutes, but with the latter, you have to ask to be invited.
Businesses that would benefit from many visuals on the Web, such as photography, beauty, and even furniture and real estate companies, would do well with these sites. But there are a plethora of custom themes available for WordPress that offer great visual setups as well.