Five Free Blogging Tools
If you've been thinking about starting a blog, you may be wondering where to host it and what tools are available to make blogging easier. Here's a brief look at five of the most popular blogging tools...
Start Your Own Free Blog
Starting a blog may sound like an intimidating task, but there are some great do-it-yourself blogging services that make it point and click easy. Even better, these five blogging tools are free!
Blogger is a free blog hosting service owned by Google. It's designed for newbies to the blogosphere, with lots of tutorials, templates, and wizards to help you get your blog set up and rolling. You can host your blog free of charge on Google's blogspot.com; your blog's URL will be http://yourblogname.blogspot.com. (Alternatively, you can buy a domain name and create a CNAME record pointing to your Blogspot URL, but that's for advanced bloggers.)
Blogger is somewhat integrated with other Google services; for example, you can host pictures on Picasa to display on Blogger. You can also incorporate Google AdSense ads into your Blogger blog to earn some spare change. Because it's free and simple (and Google), Blogger is one of the top Web hosting sites by blog count. But its simplified features leave many experienced bloggers pining for more.
Wordpress.COM (not to be confused with Wordpress.ORG) is the free hosting platform of the Wordpress blogging platform. Wordpress is a very powerful Content Management System (CMS) as well as one of the world's leading blogging platforms. Wordpress gives you much more control over the look and feel of your blog than Blogger does. There are hundreds of easy-to-install free themes and widgets available free of charge via Wordpress.com. Your blog's URL will be a subdomain of wordpress.com or you can use your own domain, as with Blogger.
You can even import a Blogger blog into a Wordpress.com blog, though the reverse is not possible. However, if you want to earn money from advertisements, you must agree to split your revenues 50/50 with Wordpress.com. On the other hand, you can download the Wordpress blogging platform for free from Wordpress.org and install it on your own hosted domain, avoiding ad revenue splits and gaining access to even more sophisticated blogging tools. Most hosting services support Wordpress; it is arguably the most widely used professional blogging platform.
LiveJournal.com is a free blogging site that reminds some people of MySpace. Blogs (known as journals) are the core content on LiveJournal.com, but the platform is designed to foster community and connections between bloggers who share interests. You can create lists of "friends" who are authorized to view or comment upon your posts. "Community journals" can be established in which all members may post, which seems to be analogous to online forums. LiveJournal.com is supported by ads placed on members' blogs; the more ads you permit on your blog, the more features you can use. LiveJournal appears to be in decline; as of March, 2011, it had less than 2 million active bloggers, which is disappointing for a site founded in 1999.
"Micro-blogging," epitomized by Twitter, is more of a social networking phenomenon than a publishing tool. The idea is to make it easy to share with your "friends" and followers interesting items of all kinds: a blog post you ran across; a photo or video you made or found; music, presumably acquired legally, etc. With its 140-character post limit, Twitter is the most efficient micro-blogging platform. But others have arisen that allow a lot more creativity in posts; they are mid-way between Twitter and a more labor-intensive, text-oriented blogging platform such as Wordpress.
Tumblr.com was founded in 2007, and quickly grew to more than 2 million posts per day with 15,000 new users per day. As of May, 2011, Tumblr boasted over 17.5 million blogs and 5 billion total posts. Users can post content from Tumblr's Web dashboard; from their browsers while surfing other sites; from mobile phones and via email. You can even call a toll-free number to submit an audio post in your own voice. Tumblr can automatically "echo" your posts to Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks. Tumblr detects the type of content to be posted and formats it automatically. Hundreds of themes and widgets are available for customizing your "tumble log."
Posterous.com is another simplified blogging platform designed for multimedia sharing. Posts can be composed on Posterous' Web site, but the service really pushes its post-by-email feature. Simply send an email to post (at) posterous.com with your photos, video, or audio files attached, plus your thoughts in the message body, and Posterous formats them for the Web automatically. Posterous can also echo your posts to Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and other blog platforms.
Do you have a free blogging tool to recommend? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 28 Jul 2011
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Five Free Blogging Tools (Posted: 28 Jul 2011)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved