When I decided to start a blog, I researched different blog platforms and chose WordPress, mostly because it was the only one I could understand. The WordPress home page showed me articles that had recently been posted, and the tags showed me others. I liked that people could browse through articles and read the ones they wanted.
Those first weeks when I had only a few views a day, I had fun checking the stats, seeing how people found my blog, and coming up with titles that might entice a casual viewer. I still am not a major blogger, but I do get 1,000 hits a month, which isn’t bad for someone who never advertised and never wrote about popular or controversial subjects. I am still a neophyte, but in a writer’s group I belong to, I have become somewhat of a blogging guru. (Mostly because I’m the only one who blogs on a regular basis.)
I am a bit more knowledgeable about the blogosphere than I was a year ago, so I test marketed other blog sites, to give the writing group an idea of what they are up against. And I still don’t get those other sites. Blogger.com seems to be one of the most popular, but unless I advertise, no will find the blog. Eventually, search engines might send people to the blog, (if I ever submit it to search engines) but as of now, I have zero hits. Or at least I think I do. There’s no hit counter on the blog (except for profile hits), and I don’t want to add one — some are reputable, but others dump spyware on the unwary who stop to read. And if I want to play with stats, I’d have to sign up with another site that will track them for me. With Blogger, I could put ads on the site and get paid to blog, which I can’t do with WordPress, but so far I have not found another benefit. If any Blogger bloggers have a different opinion, I would appreciate your input.
I also signed up for LiveJournal. Don’t get that site either. It seems to be a cross between a social networking site like Gather where you post your blogs to groups, comment on each other’s work, and collect friends. The free version is pared down; many features are available only with a paid subscription. The way I figure it, even if the cost is nominal, why should I pay to post articles? And there are no stats to play with. And there are distracting ads on my home page. If any Livejournal bloggers have a different opinion, I would like to hear it. With the millions on the site, it must have some features people like!
Other blogging platforms I tried:
Microsoft Live Spaces: it’s easy to use and is accessible from the email account, but in the last six months I have not had a single profile hit. (Live Spaces, like Blogger, tracks profile hits but nothing else.)
MySpace: no stats. I did get one comment from a friend, but that’s it.
So what blogging platform should you use? If you don’t want to pay for it, if you don’t want annoying ads on your site when you view it, if you don’t want to spend all your time advertising it, if you like knowing what articles get the most hits and where you’re getting your readers, it seems as if WordPress is the way to go.
Besides, your blog will look great.