I get asked a lot about blogging. Not just questions about “what to write” but also about what platform to use as there are so many to choose from. In this post I am going to explain why I think WordPress is the best place to start (and not just because it is FREE).
There Are 2 Types of Bloggers
Bloggers fit into 2 categories – People who allow their random thoughts to spill onto the Internet and people who want to use blogging as a way to promote their business. It is this second group that this particular blog post is aimed at, specifically (given the nature of my blog) scuba diving professionals who want to use blogging as way of promoting themselves or their diving centre.
There Are 2 Types of WordPress
Your first decision when you choose to use WordPress is whether you want to use the simple solution which is hosted by WordPress themselves or if you want to host it yourself on your own website address. For the purposes of this blog I am going to concentrate on hosting it yourself, simply because from a marketing perspective this is much better (I will explain why shortly).
The short answer is that it is very simple to use, whether you are a seasoned website developer or you are building a blogging website for the first time. Much more important than ease of use however, WordPress can grow with you. The more you use it the better you become and your site can scale with you. When you are a novice you need the most simple tools but as your knowledge expands and your skill set grows you want things to be a little bit more advanced – This is where WordPress is perfect because you can simply add more advanced features over time without needing to rebuild from scratch.
Why Host Yourself?
As we are discussing using your blog as a way to promote your business and drive traffic to your main scuba diving website, it makes sense to house your blog on the same website address as your primary website rather than using a sub-domain which is provided if you host with WordPress. For example: What looks more professional? http://www.thescubanews.com/blog/ or http://leesscubablog.wordpress.com
(you can use a personalised website address with a WordPress hosted blog but this is only available as a Premium Feature).
Choosing A Host For You Blog
There are literally thousands of hosting providers to choose from and it can be very confusing. I can write a full blog post about choosing a hosting provider but for the purposes of keeping things short, I will be a little bit biased. As the owner of Dive Media Solutions and the producer of The Scuba News, we operate our own server network and can host your blog for you for around $5.00 per month so you don’t really need to look any further. Just contact me and I can point you in the right direction.
How To Learn More About WordPress
I will be covering lots of different aspects of WordPress over the coming weeks because it is a vast subject but for now you really only need to look at 2 websites.
1 – WordPress.com – this is the official site for hosted WordPress websites.
2 – WordPress.org – this is the official site for WordPress Self Hosted websites.
In the mean time, if you have any questions about WordPress or you would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will offer all the advice you need.