For my two years of blogging I can safely say that I’ve made the most out of Google’s blogging platform – Blogger. A month ago I cracked the 10,000 monthly visitor mark and approaching 15,000.
So as a Blogger user who used free hosting for more than two years, I decided to walk you guys through some of the reasons why those two factors don’t play a significant role.
The below paragraphs are for all of you Blogspot and WordPress users, who believe that buying a hosting and choosing the next awesome WordPress theme guarantees success. Keep reading to see what plays a more important role:
And Although WordPress is Great…
There is no denying that when we talk about blogging, WordPress is what comes to mind. It is better… better from a user’s perspective that is.
You definitely don’t need as much technical knowledge as you would with Blogger. Tasks like finding and adding a widget or changing something in the design are less complex. In terms of SEO, it might have some features to make things easier but other than that it isn’t that different really.
And then again, what about the visitors? When do they care about that and when they don’t? Keep reading!
No one Cares when… Your Blog Loads Fast
How much do you wait for a site to load at most? If it is your favorite one, you probably don’t pay much attention. If you however stumble upon a link, recommended on a Forum for instance, you are probably going to click the “X” button after just a couple of seconds…
No one likes waiting, especially when one’s not really sure whether the wait’s going to be worth the discovery…
If you take the time to:
- Learn how to do image sprites
- Simply specify the dimensions of your images
- Compress your images and reduce their quantity
Then you are one step closer to getting the kind of readers who don’t see a difference between your Blogger blog and a competitor’s WordPress one.
No one Cares when … You have a Compelling Design in Place
There are literally a ton of plug-ins available that make editing and adding functionality to WordPress-powered blogs easier. If you know what you are looking for however, you will also be able to find pretty much whatever you want for your Blogger-powered blog.
Add to that a bit of CSS and HTML knowledge and you can achieve some pretty decent results. My blog actually helped me learn the two languages and I am grateful for that. It is always useful to know the mechanics behind how things work.
Here are a couple of tips to help you do a good designing job for your Blogger blog:
- Make Links Visible – highlight them with one of your theme colors
- Steer away from clutter i.e. less is more – content should be the main focus
- Chose a theme that isn’t too flashy – three main colors at most
- Make sure you have a good contrast between letters and the background
- Place a short bio with your own photo above the fold and link it to your About page
- Don’t forget to include a stylized description of what your blog offers in the header
For more information see “Blog Optimization – Tools that Helped Me and Tips I Followed“
So with that one out of the way, you have a fast-loading blog that looks good and is easy to navigate. Does it matter if it’s Blogspot or WordPress? I guess no. We are not finished though…
No one Cares when… You Provide Content that Ain’t Just Filler
Content is all that matters you’d say (or maybe not – see “Content Isn’t King“). A king or not, if your visitors reach your site quickly enough and if your blog isn’t an eyesore, they might just happen to start reading…
If you’ve successfully passed the previous stages, then with or without free hosting, on WordPress or on Blogger, now it is up to your writing to grab the attention. If you fail here, you are the one to blame. If you are producing content that’s worth sharing, then with the right tools you have a good chance to create some buzz.
You shouldn’t Care if…
The above paragraphs showed you in which cases being a WordPress or Blogspot user won’t matter… But what about you?
The success of any blog comes down to three components:
- You need traffic
- You need to convert it into subscribers
- You need to make some money (see “Affiliate Marketing: 6 Tips to Get You Going“)
Are you able to achieve those? If the answer is yes, then the platform obviously doesn’t matter. If the answer is no, then it also isn’t neccesarilly what counts, especially if you haven’t followed the above “no one cares when” points!
So all in all if you aren’t into blogging yet, I wouldn’t recommend you to start with Blogger. If you’ve already jumped into it however, start with the above tips before moving to WordPress. What do you think – can a paid hosting and a shiny new WordPress theme make all the difference? Is free hosting THAT bad? Let me hear your thoughts!