July 12, 2010

Blogging from Home: WordPress vs. Blogger

Are you thinking about starting your own blog to make money from home?

While you probably won’t get rich overnight, blogging is a great way to build community around an issue you are passionate about, while also earning income from advertising and affiliate linking.

If you’d like to try your hand at writing a blog, the best way to start is with a free blog blogging platform. After all, why invest a couple hundred dollars in a self-hosted blog before you are sure your writing is going to earn you the kind of income you had envisioned?

The two most popular free blogging platforms are Blogger and WordPress. (Note that WordPress also has a self-hosted platform, which requires you to have your own web host. That WordPress is wordpress.org. The FREE blogging platform can be found on wordpress.com.) While either will provide you with great support, good design options and easy-to-use tools, there are a few important differences between the platform that may sway your decision one way or the other. Here is a look at some of them:

Blogger Pros:

  • Super easy, intuitive, user-friendly interface – you can be set up and running in 10 minutes, even if you have no prior experience in writing a blog
  • Requires no knowledge of HTML
  • Numerous customizable templates to choose from
  • Can be monetized with ads from Google Adsense (If you are planning to monetize your blog, this is a big pro in comparison to WordPress.com, which doesn’t allow any third-party advertisting.)
  • Large network to connect with other bloggers
  • Compatible with site statistics monitoring programs such as Google Analytics

WordPress Pros:

  • Has over 100 templates to choose from and hundreds more that can be downloaded for free; many have plug-ins that make the look and feel more customizable
  • Turning on plug-ins is an easy process
  • Posts can be categorized and subcategorized
  • It is easy for visitors to comment
  • SEO (search engine optimization)-friendly, since you can add an unlimited number of tags
  • Can add pages, as well as posts

Blogger Cons:

  • Does not allow for hierarchal categorization
  • Comments are more strictly regulated, making it more difficult for visitors to leave a comment
  • Standard blogger templates are less professional.
  • Does not have plug-ins to further customize the look, feel and functionality
  • Can not make separate pages

WordPress Cons:

  • Many templates don’t work with all web browsers
  • Plug-ins have to be updated regularly, but can easily be broken if there is a coding issue
  • Can not feature paid, third-party advertising, including Google Ad Sense
  • To edit the templates, you have to purchase a CSS upgrade
  • Limited site visit statistics provided; not compatible with Google Analytics or Feed Burner

Ultimately the best blog platform for you is the one that matches your blog’s function and purpose. If you intend to monitize your blog at some point in the future, WordPress.com will not work for you. However, if your blog is going to be more personal and/or recreational, you will probably really appreciate the plug-and-go functionality of the Word press plugins.

Have you started a blog with either Blogger or WordPress? Which did you chose and why?

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