Are you an artist or creative person who wants a blog? After reading, 5 Simple Steps to Start a Blog, you are now ready to begin.

But, there are so many blogging platforms out there…so, how do you decide which one is right for you? Below is a quick overview to help you decide…

Before we get started, I just want to say that I wish I understood the following information before I started blogging about 1 1/2 years ago!

I didn’t know that I should do the research and I jumped right in…this cost me some time and money. I switched templates, hosts and themes until I finally got it right.

But remember, just like with art, a blog is a work in progress!

I hope what I have learned during my short blogging career will help you…

A blog platform is the software that manages a blog’s content and publishing. Examples include WordPress and Typepad and Blogger. All blogging platforms have their pros and cons. There are no real rules, this is about personal preference. Therefore, as with any big decision, it is worthwhile to do a little research beforehand:

  • First, check out your fellow artists’ websites. Look at the blog features, functions and design.
  • Ask, what are your goals?
  • Is blogging a hobby or a possible profession?
  • Do you want to eventually monetize your blog and put ads on your site?
  • What is your budget?
  • Do you want to pay for a custom design?
  • Are you web/tech savvy?
  • What kind of blogging tools and plugins and widgets do you need?
  • Do you want to use a free hosted or self hosted platform?

Free Hosted:

  • This is a free service, and the posts have to be stored somewhere. These posts will be stored on the Blog server. But remember, you don’t own the server! Which means all your posts are owned by the Blog server.
  • Blogging platforms like Blogger.com and WordPress.com provide a free platform, domain name and hosting, these are the easiest way to start blogging.
  • This blogs are great to keep a record of your life or hobby. If you don’t have the time, money or interest in maintaining a blog, then a hosted option might be best for you.
  • Developers and vendors have released web templates specifically for reuse by non-technical people, including artists. (I will discuss some of these options for the artist in an upcoming post).
  • If you don’t have the time, money or patience for blogging, then a hosted option might work well for you.
  • These platforms will not have the same level of features as WordPress.org, but the set-up is fast and only takes 10-20 minutes!
  • These blogs are a great way to start although there are many successful blogs that have been hosted.

Self Hosted:

  • If you are blogging on your owned self -hosted server, all your posts are owned by YOU and only YOU. You can change it in anyway, delete it, copyright it, etc.
  • WordPress.org and a few others provide a free stand alone platform, which means you must find your own hosting and pay for your domain name. These platforms provide the user with more creative control which helps build your brand identity with a polished, unique look. They allow for ‘tweaking’ your blog which is part of the fun of blogging.
  • Unless you are tech savvy these platforms most often require the help of a webmaster and designer.
  • FineArtTips.com is a stand alone WordPress.org blog…there has been a learning curve involved, so I have a webmaster help me with the big stuff – but, I am really happy with my blogging experience.
  • This platform allows for more blogging tools, plugins and widgets.
  • Also, in WordPress, you can actually upload multiple themes and choose the one you like. Switching between themes takes just seconds.
  • Most professional bloggers (but, not all) use WordPress.org.

Check out these options for domain name and web hosting companies: Host Gator, Go Daddy and WebDog Services. (For great personal attention and service,I use WebDog – they are also my web-masters & designers.)

You might find the poll below helpful. Check it out to see which blogging platforms our fellow artists are using…This poll explores which is the most popular blogging platform for art blogs according to Squidoo.com.

Blogger 55%

WordPress 32.1%

something else 6.7%

Live Journal 3.1%
Typepad 2.4%

Squarespace 0.6%

Total Votes: 327

Here’s what Cory, my webmaster has to say about WordPress:

  1. In order to stay on top in regards to ease of use, SEO, appeal and attractiveness, many blogger/site owners have turned towards premium WordPress Themes. If a blog stands out from the rest of the pack, it can keep its readers coming back as well as attract new readers. One will not get that advantage from free regular WordPress themes.
  2. Premium themes are also ideal for large online projects whose success is measured by the number of people who visit their blogs or sites. Many blogs for big corporations and online magazines invest in Premium WordPress Themes because these themes boost their credibility and help sustain the interest of their readers.
  3. Blogs that use premium themes fare better than others when it comes to product placement and promotion. With the help of premium themes, blogs carry the image that they offer their customers something different from others. This leads to more sales and more satisfied customers.

I hope this information helps you on your blogging journey! For me, blogging is another creative outlet and a great way to connect with people like you. What platform do you like – please share your experience or thoughts in the comments! Thanks, ~Lori 🙂

*****

You might like this related reading:

Why You Need a Webmaster for Your Art Business

Top 10 Up and Coming Women Bloggers

5 Reasons Why Artists Need Social Media & Eye Opening Stats to Back it Up!

For more information by the experts who helped me on this subject, I highly recommend reading: Problogger.com > Choosing a Blog Platform and Techaby.com > Self Hosted Blog vs. Free Blogger Blog and my good friend John Paul’s Blog, Money Dummy (a very helpful blog for bloggers).