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Blogging Platforms: The Most Reliable Programs in 2021

The best blogging platforms can help you create impactful and professional-looking blogs that people would want to read online. The digital age offers a myriad of ways to share information and personal thoughts and experiences online. But these online channels all pale in comparison to the depth and reach that come with having your own blog, and to do that you’ll need to have a reliable and feature-rich blogging platform. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of managing a blog, along with the best programs available to help you create your own.

 

Inside This Article

  1. What Is a Blogging Platform?
  2. How Do Blogging Platforms Work?
  3. What Advantages Do Blogging Platforms Offer?
  4. What Are the Most Reliable Programs for Starting a Blog in 2021?
    1. WordPress
    2. Blogger
    3. Tumblr
    4. Squarespace
    5. Medium
    6. Wix
    7. Weebly
    8. HubPages
    9. Ghost
    10. Jekyll
    11. Penzu
    12. Gator
  5. Final Thoughts on the Most Reliable Blogging Platforms in 2021

 

What Is a Blogging Platform?

What is A Blogging Platform
Photo by NeONBRAND via Unsplash

 

A blogging platform is a software or service that provides online spaces for people to write about their personal thoughts and interests. It allows users to create, organize, and publish content on a blog. Short for weblog, a blog is a digital compilation of everything written within the blogging domain. Each blog entry would normally take on a single page or half a page. In most cases, the content published on blogs usually takes on a more personal or informal tone.
 
Most blogs can be categorized into personal or business purposes. Many personal bloggers share their thoughts and experiences in the style of a personal journal. Most blogs also contain themes that reflect the personal interests and hobbies of their authors. From business and travel to food and personal life, blogs can cover any topic imaginable. But at the end of the day, they share the objective of gaining as many readers and followers on the internet. Other bloggers even start their own podcasting projects through their blogs. If you want to do the same, here’s a beginner’s guide to podcasting. 

How Do Blogging Platforms Work?

Advantages of Keeping A Blog
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood via Pexels

 

Blogging platforms may appear complicated for those who are unfamiliar with the field. However, its inner workings are quite simple. First, they give you an online space to write, edit, and layout your content. Once that’s done, the blogging platform asks you to create tags for your content and to fill in other metadata. This metadata will allow search engines to index your content. Indexing will make your content appears on search engines. When people search for related terms, your blog post specific to that topic will show up.
Once you’re ready to publish your work, the blogging platform handles the rest. That includes publishing and giving your blog set storage on a remote server. There are also dedicated sections for organizing your blog into categories and dates.
 
In the past, there was a stark distinction between programs used to create websites and those used to create blogs. Nowadays, there is often an overlap between the two types of software. The majority of online content nowadays makes use of a content management system (CMS). A CMS combines website building functions with blog functions.  
A great example of CMS would be WordPress. WordPress allows users to create both static pages and more personal blogs simultaneously. Any good WordPress plug-in can elevate your blog accordingly. These online resources offer a complete set of tools for customizing your blog. These programs are designed to simplify the blogging process. There is currently a wide selection of free or paid blogging platforms that offer to publish and host blogs

What Advantages Do Blogging Platforms Offer?

Blank Brown Book
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Managing a blog is not unlike publishing a book. There’s always plenty of competition, and there’s a huge risk for your hard work to go unnoticed.  If you want to achieve success in the blogosphere, you’re going to have to do a little more than just write content. And the very tool that can help you get there would be a reliable blogging platform.

Bringing Readers to Your Blog

Blogging platforms not only offer you a way to publish content online. They also offer you a way to make your content searchable and marketable over the internet. Most blogging platforms have tools for collecting metadata. These are the bits of information search engines use to index your content. Indexing will make your content searchable on the internet through related search terms. This helps to increase your readership measured by incoming traffic.

Sharing Your Passion With Like-Minded People

Besides making your content competitive on the internet, there are other personal, non-monetary benefits to having a blogging platform.  Let’s say you have a passion for a specific activity like photography or teaching. Blogging would be an excellent way to share that passion with others. Blogs are also the perfect place to share your expertise and knowledge.
In essence, you can help the community learn more about a topic. You can also draw attention to your professional skill sets to open up opportunities.

Getting Support for Advocacy & Advertising Campaigns

Another potential benefit would be to gain support for legitimate advocacies. Most NGOs have their own blogs to inform the public about certain issues and to gain support. On the other hand, blogs are also a great alternative to direct advertising tactics. That is, you can sell and promote products by using soft marketing techniques. Just take note that most free platforms limit the usage of their platform for personal use.

What Are the Most Reliable Programs for Starting a Blog in 2021?

Typewriter
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood via Pexels

 

There is an increasing number of blogging platforms available in the market. This can be explained away by the rising popularity of blogging as a means of self-expression and marketing. The long list of options can make it difficult for you to search for the right one to meet your specific needs and skills. Thankfully we’ve come up with a list of some of the most trusted blogging platforms to help you get started on your blogging career. These platforms should simplify the process of creating and managing your blog, so you can focus on creating content that you love.

 

1. WordPress

WordPress
Photo by WordPress via WordPress Official Website

 

WordPress is a popular blogging platform used by more than 34 percent of websites. This platform is ideal for beginners with its easy-to-use blog editor and helpful page view statistics page. The platform offers the complete set of tools required for creating and editing a blog, from custom fonts to header styles and options to include pictures, videos, and links.

WordPress also has an impressive editing platform that automatically measures word count, paragraph length, and meta description optimization. It also allows you to make detailed changes to your current or past articles down to the latest detail. The changes are reflected immediately in the resulting article. The platform also features SEO tools to refine and streamline various aspects of your content. These tools will help your article to appear as high up on the search results as possible. You can check out the best WordPress plugins for your blog to learn better ways to rank up on Google.

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2. Blogger

Blogger
Photo by Abigail via Blogger Official Website

 

Google’s Blogger is a completely free and intuitive platform you can use. The blogging platform has been up and running for more than two decades, and many people consider it as one of the pioneers of the blogosphere. Within the spectrum of website building solutions, Blogger is on the side of a comprehensive solution that handles back-end maintenance and security tasks.

The platform offers a complete set of tools for creating quality content. You can have your pick from a plethora of pre-made designs and layouts to make that process easier.  Another key benefit is its integration with other Google apps and services. For example, you can use the platform to store your images and other files from your blog into Google Drive. The platform is also absolutely free, which means you can get essentially unlimited resources in addition to a free SSL certificate.

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3. Tumblr

Tumblr
Photo by Tumblr via Tumblr Official Website

 

If micro-blogging is something you’re interested in, check Tumblr out. It hosts mostly short-form blogs, which are between traditional blogs and Twitter posts. Tumblr allows you to upload a myriad of various media, including photos, videos, text, and more.  You can personalize your pages easily with its quick editor, and choose from their pre-installed templates, or code your own.

Tumblr also features its own community of users who post content and interact with each other. The community can repost your content if they find it relevant, and you can potentially reach a much larger audience. People who don’t want to manage their own blogs can simply pass along other people’s posts and get in touch with the community.  Tumblr is completely free to use and also offers integration with third-party websites like Facebook and Google Analytics.

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4. Squarespace

SquareSpace
Photo by SquareSpace via SquareSpace Official Website

 

Squarespace is a website builder under the software as service (SaaS) category. The main idea behind Squarespace is to simplify the website building process using a code-free solution that will do away with standard CSS or HTML. The platform essentially hosts your blog for you, which means you don’t have to worry about managing updates or even finding a hosting provider. The platform is also easy to use and offers a lot of built-in functionality and pre-built website templates with drag-and-drop elements that you can use to create and modify webpages.

Squarespace has also recently added a built-in marketing tool called Email Campaigns. This marketing tool will help boost blog visibility and SEO value. However, the website building focus of the platform makes it somewhat less powerful than the CMS-based WordPress, but its intuitive UI combined with stunning templates nevertheless remains unbeatable in the market.

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5. Medium

Medium
Photo by Medium via Medium Official Website

 

Medium is an online publishing and blogging platform created by one of the Twitter founders. The platform contains writing from a mix of amateur and professional writers. Medium has large distribution channels that reach up to 86 million unique viewers per month. Becoming a member will allow you to leverage these channels to increase your readership.

Medium also incentivizes blogging through its highly popular Partner Program. This program seeks to reward bloggers with financial incentives based on how much time other members spend reading your posts. The longer your posts are, the higher incentives you’re bound to receive. However, not everyone can join the program, and only those from eligible countries can join. Readership on Medium leans towards specific subjects like technology, design, and programming. If you are keen on writing on these topics, you’ll most likely find an equally keen audience within the Medium community.

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6. Wix

Wix
Photo by Wix via Wix Official Website

 

With over 160 million websites running on the platform, Wix is a trusted and popular website builder. Wix combines the classic template-based platform with modern AI platforms. You can either choose from a series of industry-specific templates or have Wix create a website for you using Wix ADI. The first option offers a wide array of visually impressive layouts and designs for every possible use case, including business online stores, restaurants, and more.

Like a pre-built home, the platform prepares the foundations for you, and you simply have to choose how to design it. You can also access the platform through mobile devices. There’s also a Wix App Market where you can download support apps for Wix. Wix is a free platform, but it also offers premium plans that will get you professional features like e-commerce tools and your own domain name.

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7. Weebly

Weebly
Photo by Weebly via Weebly Official Website

 

This top-rated service currently hosts 30 million websites. In many ways, this platform is much like a kitchen where you can find all the tools that you need to cook. Like the drag and drop functions, the tools available are very friendly for beginners and people who don’t have technical skills in coding.  They offer cool, customizable templates that are simple, stylish, and responsive to mobile platforms.

You can even change your mind about your selected templates later on. Other than the standard pre-built templates, they also offer helpful SEO advice about coding, keyword optimization, and tips on how to boost your website’s ranking. These features make the platform suitable for blogging activities within small business and portfolio websites.

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8. HubPages

HubPages
Photo by HubPages via HubPages Official Website

 

HubPages is a free content writing and revenue-sharing site. Freelance writers make up the majority of HubPage clients, but anyone can join the site to create a blog. Each member is expected to write their own articles or “hubs” as they called and then post them through sub-domains assigned to them within the site.

The platform also allows freelancers to earn from affiliate programs or advertising programs. That includes ads from Amazon, Google Adsense, and other networks that provide financial incentives for sharing ads and affiliate links. The revenue that you earn from ads will be yours entirely, and HubPages will not take any portion.  However, they do have a revenue-sharing policy that demands that limit the appearance of revenue-generating ads on your blog to only 60 percent. Meanwhile, the remaining 40 percent will be consist of ads that promote HubPages.

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9. Ghost

Ghost
Photo by Ghost via Ghost Official Website

 

Ghost is an open-source blogging platform. The platform’s unique selling point is minimalism, which reflects strongly in the way its purpose and design. Unlike WordPress that offers multiple types of websites, Ghost is purely focused on blogging and can only be used for this purpose. The minimalist philosophy is also apparent in the platform’s design, offering a clean and modern interface.

The platform also offers additional help, such as a custom domain for your blog or additional web hosting services, but of course, these come with monthly or annual fees. The hosted option offers up the most convenient solution as the platform will handle all back-end tasks, including setup. The platform also comes with its own SEO tools to help your blog rank higher in search engine results. If you like your blog to have a clean and professional appearance without much fuss, Ghost is the perfect option for you.

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10. Jekyll

Jekyll
Photo by Abigail via Jekyll Official Website

 

Jekyll is a website generator designed to create static versions of blog entries. The creator of the platform wanted to simplify the backdoor process of setting up a blog. The way to achieve this was by using a simple static HTML website while simultaneously hosting the content on an external program like GitHub.

The platform takes your written content and then converts it to HTML format to create a static version for public viewing. GitHub will also allow you to create your own themes or customize from a set of basic themes instead of throwing pre-made themes like other platforms. The platform’s lack of a CMS, database, or PHP also reduces the potential for security risks. And naturally, bloggers who already use GitHub get the benefit of GitHub building and hosting their Jekyll website for free.

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11. Penzu

Penzu
Photo by Penzu via Penzu Official Website

 

The majority of the free blogging platforms focus on making your blog accessible to as large an audience as possible, and some even offer financial incentives. However, this next option is almost the complete opposite in that it treats your blog more like a private diary. This unique platform is Penzu, a journaling platform designed to store your private thoughts online.

The way this works is that you are provided with an online platform to create blog-like entries. The platform then locks down your entries with at least two levels of passwords. The first password gets you in on the software, while the other gives you permission to read and edit posts. The platform mainly offers minimal designs, which are fitting since the posts are designed for your eyes only. Nevertheless, a paid version will get your custom colors and backgrounds, plus 128-bit AES encryption for your account.

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12. Gator

Gator
Photo by Gator via Gator Official Website

 

Most web hosting websites include some option for DIY website building. For the popular web hosting service HostGator, that DIY service takes the form of website-builder Gator. HostGator intended for Gator to become a distinct service which means you don’t need to have a HostGator account to use it. Gator offers a very quick and easy way to set up your dream blog.  You just need to select a template and follow through with the step-by-step process to fill in your blog’s details.

There are also drag and drop functions to quickly add text, images, headings, tags, and links to your blogs. You can also edit the post URL or designate posts as either Feature or Pinned. Bonus features include a mobile editing option on-the-go post creation and editing and a set of e-commerce tools that you can purchase to start selling on your website.

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Final Thoughts on the Most Reliable Blogging Platforms in 2021

Autumn Leaves
Photo by Chris Lawton via Unsplash

 

When you’re starting a blog, you often want to burst onto the scenes with captivating content that expresses your knowledge and creativity. Understanding your objectives relates to deciding whether you’re building a brand or blogging for yourself. Starting a blog to make money is a little bit different from creating a personal diary, of course. Either route is perfectly acceptable, but the one you choose ends up playing a massive role on which blogging platform you should ultimately choose.

But of course, you always need to start with the basics. That includes deciding on the focus of your blog and then building its look and feel. Blogging platforms of any kind can help you with both tasks and so much more. If you want to learn more about the world of online platforms, you should also read about the best web hosting services for website management.

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