This is the introductory post of my new blog. I would like to discuss some of the free platforms for a new blogger to try. Free blogs are good because you can use them to figure out if blogging is for you or to test out how each platform works for you.
WordPress.com: This blog is a free wordpress.com blog. There are two types of wordpress blogs, free(with paid options if you want) and self hosted. For now we will focus on the free blog.
The free WordPress blog has a lot of easy to use options and customizable themes. This theme is one of their free themes. The sidebar is customizable but you can not place ads there so there is a limitation. You are also limited to the widgets that you can use but there are still a lot of options available.
WordPress uses a tag and category system so summaries of your posts will appear on pages with other similar posts, this is a good system for the viewer and for SEO.
The free word press come with a number of items that help increase viewer interaction, the more a viewer interacts the more they are likly to return. You can enable the rating system and that gives a little power to the blog viewer. This feature also helps you to improve your blog, Take a look at what gets rated high and low and adjust your blog accordingly. WordPress also has a comment system that uses akismet which is a good way to prevent spam comments but also allows you to approve good comments and there is an option that once a comment is approved then that viewers comments in the future will be automaticaly approved. There are also polls to increase interaction.
You can get a free blog from Google at blogspot.com. The Blogger platform has some advantages and disadvantages. If you are planning to make money on any blogs in the future, I would recommend getting a blogger account because it easily connects to an adsense account. Adsense is a pay per click ad system. On Blogger once you are approved for an adsense account you can place an ad on the blog in about thirty seconds by use of a widget.
Blogger does not have all of the great themes that wordpress does but if you have some html knowledge you can customize it as you like. Blogger gives many more permissions than wordpress.
Live Journal is Microsoft’s version of a blogging platform, I have an account and don’t use it that much. As much as I would like to keep this blog post informational, I don’t like live journal and don’t really view it as a blogging platform mainly just a social network and a poor one at that.
Weebly is a pretty good free option for a website or blogging platform. They are module based so you can easily change the layout and options of a page. You can put a mini forum on your pages to get a conversation started, that is a nice feature.
Weebly has some easy media option that don’t require you to be a coder in order to get flash, youtube and audio files put into your posts.
Weebly also has some e-commerce options so there is a way if you like to make money from them.