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Back to Basics Part 3: Picking a Platform

Before you read this post feel free to visit:
Back to Basics Part 1: What is a Blog
Back to Basics Part 2: Finding your Passion

How do you know which blogging platform will be right for you? With so many different blogging platforms out there with immensely different capabilities how do you know which to choose. This is just a look at some of the Blogging Platforms out there right now. If there is a blog you really like contact the writer and ask them what Platform they use if you can't figure it out.

Blogger
Is a popular and free blogging service owned by Google it big draw is ease of use and simple step by step set up. You can go from blog-less to publishing your first post relatively quickly. To add widgets all you need to do is drag and drop and Blogger will show you a list of their most popular widgets. You can have a multiple person team editing your blog with full access to do so which is really great if you are thinking long term or would like to add a new section on your blog and give the person full access. It is easy to monetize your Blogger blog using adsense. Plus not that we have done so yet but you can use the tools in your dashboard to help you set up your own personal url and hosting with a few clicks of the mouse. There are some tools that I think Blogger is lacking and it isn't as professional as some of the other blogging platforms. There are tons of free backgrounds out there for the taking though very few with a dog theme which is why we were virtually background free in the beginning. There was a mass exodus from Blogger earlier this year when there was a bug in the system that removed legitimate blogs with no warning (they were retrieved with no damage done other then a day or two of complete downtime).

WordPress
Is a popular open source blogging platform. As a WordPress user, you have the option of setting up a WordPress blog on your own server at wordpress.org or creating a WordPress-hosted blog at WordPress.com. Since Wordpress is open source it allows developers and users of the platform to create their own themes and plug-ins to help you create an amazing blog. It isn't as simple to set up and configure as some of the other blogging platforms but once you get it up and running you're rewarded with a nearly limitless array of options, configurations, and plug-ins all you need to do is run a google search and you will find what you are looking for. WordPress is used by everyone from the weekend blogger to small businesses to giant Universities. If you own a business and this blog is for your business there is no question in my mind that you should go with Wordpress and take the time to find a professional looking background or pay a designer to create something specific to your business.

Typepad
Easily design and customize your own blog, and use our SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SMO (Social Media Optimization) tools to promote your blog and attract an audience and following.
Our 14-day free blog trial is a great way to get started and see what TypePad has to offer. During your free trial, you will have access to TypePad’s features, including professional designs and personal support from real people. I did hear a rumor that they were bought out and they might not be around all that much longer and will begin to be phased out because they are loosing membership to Wordpress and Tumblr.

Tumblr
Is a Micro Blogging platform that allows you to post when you want to without the upkeep of a blog and more indepth then twitter with its 140 character limit. Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything . Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos, from your browser, phone, desktop, email, or wherever you happen to be. You can customize everything , from colors, to your theme's HTML.I personally don't know all that much about Tumblr but I have heard good things and people are happy with it.

Posterous
Aims to be an absolutely no-fuss and zero-stress way to blog. You don't need to sign up, you don't need to know any code, you don't need to know how to do anything but send an email to set up your own Posterous blog and start sharing your ideas and media. Simply email post@posterous.com from any email account and Posterous will create a YourName.Posterous.com blog for you. They're quick to point out that they aren't a short-form or micro blogging service because there isn't anything short or micro about your Posterous blog. You can write posts and long as you want, attaching photos and media files. (You can use the site's rich text editor to create or edit posts, but its by-email updating is what its best known for.) The only micro part about Posterous is the amount of time you'll spend setting it up. While email-based blogging might not be for everyone, it's impressive how much you can do through the Posterous system with a single email. Check out their FAQ file to see how you can do everything from multimedia posts to tagging your entries right from your email subject line. I honestly know nothing about Posterous except to say that I did see a few Posterous blog posts for the Pedigree food drive they were very basic and bare bones but that might be all you are interested in.

I have been asked quite a few times why I don't switch to self hosted Wordpress or why I didn't research first and start off there. I didn't start off there because when my blog began I didn't have any idea of where it would go and honestly I started this blog for me and really didn't care if I didn't get any followers. There was no intention of community building because I didn't know one existed. It was a place for me to come that would be a happy place to get away from what was going on in my life at the time. Someday soon I do hope to be able to share that time with all of you since that was the original intent of this blog.

I am very hesitant to switch to Wordpress now not because I think anything is wrong with it. I am hesitant because of analytics / statistics that I would loose initially in the switch. Plus in terms of layout I wouldn't change all that much anyway so Blogger works for me and what I am doing.

We would love to hear what you all think about the platforms you are using and any comments or tips you have for others who are just starting out. If you have a question about a Platform feel free to leave the question here as someone who comes along after you might be able to answer it someone else might have the same question.

Stay tuned for Back to Basics Part 4: Putting it Together

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