Blogging has been around for about thirty years now, but lots of business owners are just getting into it. Many companies are still confused about how to get into the practice, and which platforms to use to do so.
At the end of the day, choosing a blogging platform depends on your business's resources. Picking the wrong blogging platform can create dozens of problems—ranging from technical issues to content that doesn’t interest your readers. With this in mind, you'll want to pay attention to your particular needs when it comes time to create your blog.
Here’s what you need to know about the most popular blogging platforms of today, and which will be the best fit for your business.
The 9 Best Blogging Platforms for Your Business
When it comes to your blog platform, sometimes the easiest option isn’t the best. Your platform should match the level of customization you’re willing and able to perform, and needs to be within your budget. With that in mind, here are ten great blogging platforms to explore:
WordPress is one of the best-known CMS services on the web. As it stands today, 48% of Technorati’s top 100 blogs are managed with WordPress.
The platform powers about 30% of the websites on the web. The price you'll pay for WordPress depends on which version of the site you use, and whether you install custom themes.
Here are some pros and cons of WordPress:
- The largest content management system on the web, WordPress allows its users to develop websites and blogs that are chock-full of functionality.
- Equipped with thousands of plugins and pre-designed website templates, WordPress makes it possible to do virtually whatever you’d like on the platform.
- WordPress is also a valuable social platform with powerful built-in tools.
- A steep learning curve: WordPress is powerful, to be sure, but it can be tough for beginners to learn to use.
- If you use a self-hosted WordPress site, you’re responsible for keeping it updated and backed up yourself.
- WordPress can be more expensive than other blogging platforms.
Wordpress is also amazingly extendable; that is, you can add all sorts of functionalities to your site through special plugins and themes. For instance, with Woopress, you can add a full ecommerce shop, and with BuddyPress, a community. But not all functionalities are possible, like sending out email newsletters. For this specifically, you’ll need an email marketing tool for Wordpress—one that’s fully integrated so you can easily build a subscriber list and get more returning readers to your blog.
It’s important to note that there are two versions of the platform: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. With WordPress.org, you host your blog or website yourself. The software is free and can be downloaded and installed on your server.
With WordPress.com, the platform takes care of hosting for you. You don’t have to pay for hosting, manage a server, or download software. Because of this, the .com version is more popular among blogging beginners. The .org option, on the other hand, offers more functionality and is better for people who are running a business.
<div class="tip">WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems out there—but it's not the only one. If you're trying to decide which to use, don't miss our breakdown of Wix vs. Squarespace vs. WordPress.</div>
LinkedIn has taken the web by storm in recent years. Today, 25% of all U.S. adults use LinkedIn (including two-thirds of millionaires), and 106 million people access the site on a monthly basis. One of the easiest blog platforms to use, LinkedIn boasts 24.5 million company pages and is a powerful social networking tool, as well.
Known to some as the “professional Facebook,” LinkedIn provides a powerful platform to display a business profile and write articles for all your connections to see. LinkedIn is free unless you subscribe to their Business Plan, which is now priced at $60/month.
Here are a few of the pros and cons of LinkedIn for business blogging:
- Like Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to publish content directly to their site.
- Tools like LinkedIn Pulse allow you to keep track of the content that has already been published on LinkedIn.
- When you publish your posts, your connections can comment on, like, and share them, which is a powerful way to spread your reach and stand out as a strong voice in your industry.
- LinkedIn also allows you to write updates, which are similar to Facebook posts and are a great way to stay in touch with your followers.
- The potential for material overload on LinkedIn is real. The platform is home to a massive amount of material, and you’ll have to work hard to make yours stand out.
- If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, the time it takes to establish and grow a following is significant.
Medium is relatively new to the blogging scene but has made a splash in many ways. Unlike LinkedIn and WordPress, Medium is only a blogging platform, and it does its one job well.
Here are a few of the benefits and drawbacks of the platform:
- Simple to use and equipped with a convenient drag-and-drop interface, Medium is ideal for those just getting into blogging, and for creators who aren’t interested in heavily customizing their websites.
- Medium is free to use, unlike many business blogging platforms.
- While Medium is a fantastic starting point, its functionality can be a bit limited for a business that’s looking to seriously expand its blogging efforts.
- When you use a third-party site like Medium, you lose SEO juice that would otherwise drive traffic back to your website through internal linking. The content you publish and associate with your business is still valuable, but the links associated with it aren’t as powerful as they could be.
Blogger, like Medium, is solely a blogging platform. Owned by Google, Blogger is a free publishing tool that allows its users to share photos, videos, posts and more. Like WordPress, Blogger offers templates and themes, as well as a selection of gadgets and widgets, which are all included free of charge.
Here are the pros and cons of Blogger:
- Blogger is one of the easiest blogging platforms to use, which makes it accessible to beginners.
- Blogger has dozens of tools designed to help you create a sense of community around your blog.
- As a social network built around blogging, Blogger is not software you install on your server. This makes it easy for even beginners to use, and ideal for companies that just want a reliable blogging platform to get started on and aren’t bothered about where it’s hosted.
- You’re still responsible for updating your blog, keeping it current, and giving your posts the link juice they need to succeed.
- Like Medium, Blogger has limited functionality which reduces its utility for more experienced content creators.
If you’re new to the blogging world, Squarespace is a great option for you. Featuring intelligent layouts, beautiful pre-made site designs, and the ability to create a website by dragging-and-dropping, Squarespace is aimed at anyone who wants a website that works beautifully out of the box. Squarespace offers a free trial plan, and paid plans that range from $144 per year to about $480 per year.
Here are a few pros and cons of this CMS:
- Within the Squarespace editor, everything is laid out in a convenient grid, which keeps things aligned and makes it easy to drag elements around to create the look you want.
- The site also does something nifty by pulling multiple-site components together into a single platform, keeping everything in one place, which makes the platform streamlined and easy to use.
- Squarespace offers custom templates which work with little-to-no tweaking.
- The platform is fully scalable and cloud-based. It’s also secure and easy to use.
- If you want an advanced editor, you’ll find that Squarespace does not offer a toggle option between HTML & Visual modes, which is a standard feature on most other blogging platforms. This decreases its functionality.
- There is no option to preview your blog posts before publishing.
TypePad is an excellent option for anyone looking for a business blogging platform. Stable, flexible, and chock-full of strong analytics, TypePad.com makes it easy to promote your content across various networks and gain increased exposure and traffic for your business blog. TypePad is free for 14 days, and plans range from $8.95 to $49.95 per month after that.
Here are a few things other business owners love and dislike about TypePad:
- The platform is easy to use on both desktop and mobile devices.
- TypePad allows you to sell products, goods, and services.
- You can earn revenue via the site by adding ads to your blogs.
- The TypePad affiliate program enables you to gain more revenue by recommending the products you love.
- You can build your own blog theme for a customized look.
- Unlike platforms like Medium, TypePad isn’t free, although its prices are affordable.
Looking for a microblogging platform? Tumblr might be it. Ideal for creating attractive and functional blogs in mere minutes, Tumblr is intuitive and easy to use. A bonus? You can even forward your domain to your Tumblr blog. Tumblr is free, although if you choose a premium theme, you can expect to spend between about $10 and $50 per month.
Here are a few of the pros and cons you’ll see with Tumblr:
- Easy bookmark functionality. This allows you to share things you find on the web quickly and easily, via a simple link you add to your bookmark bar.
- You can post via email. Use your email account to post text, photos, and videos to your Tumblr blog via your unique email address. This is a simple and powerful way to post and can make keeping your business blog current easier than ever.
- Unlike many blogging platforms out there, Tumblr makes it possible to mass edit your tags and posts all at once.
- Tumblr is subject to some severe design limitations. If you have strict brand guidelines or want your creative team to have full freedom, Tumblr won’t allow it.
- Tumblr is server-dependent, which means you must use the Tumblr server to host your blog. There is no option to host it using your website’s own software.
- This platform limits your room to grow. If you need more than what Tumblr offers now, you’d be wise to go to a site like WordPress to get it.
LiveJournal isn’t quite as powerful as some of the other blogging platforms on this list, but it has its place. Ideal for personal blogs, LiveJournal boasts about 61.7 million journals and communities. LiveJournal subscriptions start at $5 per month.
- LiveJournal is easy to use from your mobile device and is an excellent option for any business looking for a straightforward, entry-level blogging platform.
- LiveJournal makes it easy to add content and alter specific settings.
- You’ll outgrow this option if you continue to blog and want to keep expanding, so it’s not an ideal long-term fit.
- The platform doesn’t have excellent customer support reviews and has been subject to a whole host of technical issues in recent years.
Jux.com is a blogging platform that offers one huge benefit: it displays full-screen photos on any device. This is a unique perk that is popular in the mobile world we live in.
Here are a few of the pros and cons of Jux:
- If your business uses lots of visuals to promote content or share material, Jux is something you should check out.
- While the platform can be slightly difficult to navigate, content looks beautiful on this site, and getting started is easy.
- Jux makes it possible to post slideshows, full-screen videos, articles, and easy-to-create lists with the benefit of powerful images.
- Like most third-party blogging sites, Jux is limited in its functionality and isn’t the best platform for fast-growing business blogs.
Business Blogging Made Easy
These are the best platforms on the web, and finding one that works for you is a huge step towards blogging success. The next step after choosing what platform to use and where to host your blog is to start populating it with content.
If you’re looking for a team to help you through this process, contact us! We offer SEO-friendly, high-quality content for blogs, and we’re here to help your website grow. Why not let us help?
This article was written by Compose.ly writer Ashley Arcel.