Even in this social media-driven world, blogs and regular blogging are relevant, especially for business. It isn’t just 160-character claustrophobia that has businesses bursting out into the less constricting format blogs provide. Many small business owners realize the power a regularly updated blog holds in regularly providing fresh, relevant content.
But when it comes time to set up your business’s blog, you’ll probably feel a little overwhelmed by the process. Luckily, there are tools that allow you to easily set up and manage your blog without spending hours learning a programming language.
Among content management systems, WordPress is by far the most popular. As Sherif Hussein of Jinni Communications points out, the blogging site has a 55% market share, representing 17.5 percent of all websites on the internet. One of the reasons is that the site easily links to a company’s URL, providing a yourbusiness.com-type URL that is a must for any business website.
“There are a number of free and low-cost themes out there, which in the hands of a skilled designer can look as slick as a custom website at a fraction of the price,” Reputation Capital Media’s Mary Ellen Slayter says. “There are also a number of excellent plugins that can improve productivity, as well as your ability to track the performance of your digital marketing. You can have forms feed contact information directly into Salesforce, for example.”
“Although WordPress can get a website up and running quickly, it becomes a maintenance nightmare when adding multiple plugins, and especially when doing customization’s ” Andreas Huttenrauch, managing director of Globi Web Solutions, says. “This is why most web design companies that use WordPress focus only on the initial creation, and don’t do after-sales support and maintenance.”
Ambitious businesses can make Blogger link up to a URL, as well, although the WordPress process seems to be a little more straightforward. One benefit to Blogger, though, is the fact that Google owns it, which some have theorized means its content will rank more prominently in search engine results.
“Blogger is one of the most user-friendly blogs that are out there,” LGD Communications’ Jason Taic says. “It also has a strong community filled with many people, and because it is operated by Google, you can trust it to remain up and not go down if your server crashes.”
In addition to its blogging features, HubSpot also offers various marketing tools, including social media and search engine optimization assistance. HubSpot gives WordPress a decent run for its money on its blogging platform. If you’re simply interested in blogging, WordPress is likely still your best choice but HubSpot’s bonus offerings are worth checking out.
“If you have the budget and type of business where you want to maintain a lead/customer database, I would recommend HubSpot,” Michael Freeman at Shoretel says. “It serves as a combination of a rich blogging platform that is super easy to use and a prospect/lead nurturing database to help you manage the sales funnel. What is great about it is that it ties into your SEO ranking data as well as Google Analytics and can help you.”
For less tech-savvy users, Tumblr may be a more desirable option. The site provides a wide variety of options, including sharing videos, photos, and music, as well as blogs. While this social media setup may be more desirable to individual users, some small business owners have found it’s a great way to reach consumers.
“Tumblr offers the simplest interface with a variety of free, professional looking themes, and the fastest setup you’ll find anywhere on the web,” Hall Internet Marketing’s RC Lations II says. “It’s a great way to get up and running without anything holding you back from getting started.”
While many small business owners head directly to WordPress, don’t rule the other blogging sites out just yet. Check out the interface of each of these sites and find the one that’s best for your individual needs.