The question for almost every blogger is which blogging platform is best? Blogger, WordPress, or TypePad? Today I want to have a “different” kind of discussion about it.
Many people are very passionate about which platform “real bloggers” use. I have been told by many bloggers that I am crazy to use Blogger (which I use for all of my blogs). I have told many other bloggers that they are crazy to use WordPress or TypePad. The debate rages on amongst bloggers young and old alike. I figured I better have this discussion early on since a lot of people will want to start a blog of their own and follow along.
For the sake of this discussion, I am going to focus mainly on WordPress and Blogger. TypePad is its own little beast and to be honest I don’t know much about it. Some people love it. Some people hate it.
WordPress aficionados cry that those who use Blogger are missing out on two crucial things. Control over SEO (search engine optimization), and ownership of content. In other words, because Blogger users have less control over the headers of their pages, they also have a more difficult time pushing people to their blogs via search engines. Also, Google technically owns all content that is hosted on Blogger, and in theory they can dismantle or “make disappear” your blog at any time.
Blogger aficionados cry that those who use WordPress are missing out on the ability to customize the template, and that the tools offered in WordPress aren’t as easy to use or easy to implement.
When comparing side by side features (such as on this website which thoroughly compares Blogger to WordPress), there is no doubt that both content management systems (CMS, an acronym you’ll want to learn if you’re going to be an active part of the blogging world) have a lot of pros and a lot of cons.
As for Blogger… are you going to create a blog that is illegal, pornographic, or in some other way violates Google’s terms of service? Then don’t worry about them shutting it down. As for SEO… I’m going to say something that might shock a lot of bloggers right now. DON’T WORRY ABOUT SEO. At least not right now. Your time will be much better spent creating valuable content that people want to share instead of delving into how often you should repeat certain keywords or what might bump you up a notch in the search engines. As for Blogger and it’s “incapability” with SEO, you just have to know what you’re doing, but when you’re ready, you can still do it. It doesn’t matter what you want or need to do with your blog, your template, or your SEO; you’ll be able to find step-by-step instructions telling you how to do it, no matter where it’s hosted.
And… in response to everything I’ve just written, I say BLA, BLA BLA, BLA BLA, BLA BLA! It really doesn’t matter which CMS you choose! What matters is that you pick a platform and you start writing (or keep writing). The vast majority of blogs fail because bloggers become overwhelmed with all of the “blogging advice” swarming around the blogosphere. Screw it all. Just sit down, and write. Make blog posts. Make vlogs (video blogs). Do whatever it is you want to do; just make sure you do it, and make sure you do it consistently. Make “blogging” a deeply rooted habit before you worry about much of anything else.
Look at Single Dad Laughing. Guess how much effort I’ve put into its SEO… That’s right. Zero. How much do you think that’s hurt me? From day one, I made a decision that I was going to grow my blog by entertaining my readers. I wanted my growth to come from word of mouth, not from endless effort diving into the technicalities that would occasionally trickle extra traffic my way. I firmly believe that if you put your focus in the right place, you’ll attract followers to your blog instead of traffic. And isn’t that what we all want? Visitors that come back?
I will be blogging more about that later on. It’s a hard concept for most bloggers to choke down, and I want to blog about it correctly.
Anyway, if you’re new to blogging and you want to start a blog to follow along with Will Work 4 Followers, awesome! Do it! I suggest Blogger because a lot of hints I give on this blog will be directly related to the Blogger CMS, not to mention the fact that later this year, Blogger is rolling out some seriously awesome editions to their dashboard and user interface (read more about Google’s announcement at the last SXSW).
Blogging is an incredible experience that (in my humble opinion) everybody on Earth should do. Writing is one of the only direct channels to the deepest and most intimate parts of the mind. And, the more you do it, the better you become at discovering those channels and properly communicating what you find when you do. Writing heals. It emboldens. It clarifies. It strengthens. It empowers.
And, writing has that power whether you write on Blogger, WordPress, TypePad, Tumblr, Joomla, or Drupal.
So sit down and write.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. I’d love to hear your comments. What do you love about writing? What does writing do for you? What are the advantages you see of blogging? Do you feel strongly about one CMS over another and why?