- buying low cost cost per click advertising on search engines or social networks
- finding who is talking about their topics on social media networks and actively finding customers who might need their products
- getting media attention and working to get stories in the local or nation papers/radio/TV/online
Up and running since 1999, the free blog publishing site Blogger.com is now a Google property, giving it a hefty dose of credibility.
The site offers simple tools for the design of your blog and for posting messages. On top of this, Blogger.com delivers a suite of tools to help you build a community around your site. (What’s the point of a blog that no one reads, right?) Visitors can leave their thoughts, or form themselves into groups, at your discretion, thus creating a web of interactions that generates reader interest.
Participation in the site gets you a free URL to host your blog.
While not the best-known name in the blog publishing world, Squarescape has been drawing positive attention among those looking for a tool that is at once customizable and yet easy to operate and manage.
Flexibility is a major plus in this service, for which a business account costs $36 a month. Widgets can be shuffled around; backgrounds, headers, fonts and margins all can be readily tweaked according to user preference. Floundering? Squarespace offers an exceptionally in-depth tutorial.
Unlike many other blog publishing tools, Squarespace offers a built-in ability to monitor and display statistics such as visitor stats and page views An easy visual interface tells you at a glance how busy your blog has been.
WordPress pairs ease of use with flexibility, giving users the ability to customize existing templates. More than this, it’s easy to get around WordPress. Many blogs lack an intuitive sense of content placement. WordPress arranges posts in logical order and categorizes old posts for easy archiving. High marks for these efforts.
Pricing ranges from free to $99. The paid service includes a domain name and mapping, 10GB space upgrade and no ads.
The free version still offers powerful stats tracking, something we don’t always see. A vigorous user community also has generated an incredible number of plugins.
The first thing we noticed about TypePad was the complexity of the pricing structure, with four levels as compared to the usual free/paid options available among other blog platform providers.
A free plan called Micro gives you sufficient tools for personal blogging. For anything sturdier business need you’ll want to upgrade. The basic $8.95 plan gets you design selections and a domain name. For $14.95 users can add unlimited blogging and customizable design. For $29.95 you’ll also get priority support. The first gives you minimal blogging, which may be all you need. On the upper-end plan, the price jump seems pretty steep for adding on priority support. We expect at least adequate support on any paid plan.
Get over this hurdle and you’ll find a comfortable, intuitive tool. When appearance counts, TypePad shines, with a broad selection of design templates and a flexible font scheme. TypePad also offers useful tools for controlling your visibility. It can submit your content to the search engines or keep them private, at your choosing.
While there is no one perfect tool, all these share a common attribute: They are easy to use. That’s really what counts, assuming you can afford the entrance fee. Simplicity of set-up and operation are, for us, the key criteria of any business function. Make my life easier, not harder, and I will likely be willing to play.
PS – To all of you Tumblr fans please write in the comments all the great things about Tumblr. Sorry I missed it in this review!