Blogs are essential business tools that you can use to attract potential customers to your site and make it easy to connect with your customers. Once you’ve decided that you need to start a blog for your small business, choosing what blogging platform to use is one of the most important decisions you have to make for your ecommerce website. As you try to figure out which blogging platform is best suited for your business, here are 5 important considerations to guide you:
1. Your budget
If your business is just taking off, then it may be hard to estimate how much incoming cash flow you can expect. There are quite a few blogging platforms that are free to use, although, your access to certain features will be limited, and it may not be possible to make as many customizations as you may like. Other platforms charge an annual or monthly fee, but offer numerous features. If you choose to host your blog on your own domain, then you will have to buy the domain then pay for hosting services.
2. Level of control
The ability to control who can view the blog and what type of content is posted among other things is an important consideration to make before choosing a blogging platform. You minimum requirement should be the ability to access the blog’s backend to edit posts, pages, comments or change the roles of certain users.
Take your time to think about the level of control you wish to have over your visitors and ensure that the blogging platform supports those features. For instance, do you want to be able to moderate posts, words, or comments to minimize instances of inappropriate content being published, or would you like to make the blog private?
Generally, the cost of using the platform increases with the level of control webmasters are given over their websites. Most people prefer WordPress because it offers maximum flexibility at the least cost. However it has its limitations. While blogger, for instance allows you to easily add Google Ads to generate some revenue, it is much harder to get paid ads on a WordPress blog, unless you decide to host it yourself.
3. Does the blog offer opportunities for monetization?
You probably already have well defined goals for your website. Apart from using your blog to promote your business online, you can also monetize it and use it as a source of residual income that can be used to pay hosting and site management fees. But not all blogs need to be monetized so do the right research before deciding which blogging platform is best paced to fulfill your needs in this regard.
4. Ease of use
Most common blogging platforms are bundled with a decent content management system. Most CMSs offer basic features such as underline, bold, italic, font style and a few more styling options. While these may be enough for some, most people need other simple to understand options like switching between html code and visual view, editing images, highlighting text, inserting tables etc. The more options the Content Management System offers, the more you options you have for making visually appealing content.
5. Your skill level
Do you know how to code in CSS or PHP? If so, you will definitely have an easy time finding a platform you can work from. On the other hand, if you are new to blogging, then it would be best to find a user friendly platform. Do not choose a platform that you find confusing to work around; it could be beyond your skill level.
6. Search engine friendliness
What is the overall performance of websites hosted on each blogging platform? Getting your content out to a large audience is important to increasing traffic and establishing a fan base. Search engines are normally the key traffic driver for SEO friendly blogs.
Non-SEO friendly blogging platforms do not have the key weapon for traffic deliver. While some of you traffic may still come from search engines a non-SEO optimized blog will struggle to provide search engines with what they consider when valuing content on your blog.
Conclusion: Take your time before making a choice
Having seen how big an impact the choice of blogging platform you make can have on your business, it is best not to be in haste when making this decision. Take time to consider the implication of your potential decision. Remember, the choice you make today may not be as good in one or two years.
Jason Smith is an online consultant for Costello Builders . Jason likes blogging about online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC & Lead generation.