If you live in or outside Kenya and want to start a blog, there are many options to look at – from free platforms like Blogger to WordPress self-hosted version which requires that you pay for domain name registration and get a web hosting plan before you can get started creating your site.
Here is why you should use (or not) use Blogger (.Blogspot).
Why should you use Blogger.com to start a blog
One: It is free. To start your own Blogspot blog all you need is internet access and a free Google account.
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If you already use Google products like Google, all you need to sign up for Blogger.com and create your new blog is to login with your email and password and then continue – following the prompts to choose a name for your blog (and see if it’s available), a template that is designed to your liking – and starting to publish new content on your site for readers and search engines to find.
Two: Easy to get started. Like I mentioned earlier, all you need to get started is a Google account, internet access and a few minutes to complete the process of creating your new Blogspot blog.
Within three minutes you can have your blog ready – and live on the internet.
Three: Quick approval to Google AdSense. There no guarantees that starting and using a Blogspot blog to publish content on the web leads to quick approval for an AdSense account.
But if you publish some quality content – and get traffic flowing to your site before you click the link (or button) from within your Blogger.com dashboard for AdSense approval – the chances are high that you’ll get approved to the popular ad network.
Once approved for AdSense on your Blogspot blog, you can use the same AdSense account to create ad codes to paste on your other blogs (including WordPress self-hosted sites) where you want to make money online showing ads to your readers.
Four: It is popular. It has been around for years, under the wings of Google, and many people around the world have used it to create millions of blog posts and pages that readers find valuable.
Its ease of use makes it welcoming for people who don’t want to waste time jumping through hoops to publish new content – people who want to create the best content they can then dedicate time promoting it to their target audience.
Five: It has different templates to choose from.
Design and how content and various elements are laid out on your blog or website is key to get more traffic and making it easier for visitors to view more pages and posts published on your blog.
You can choose from one of the many templates in your Blogspot admin dashboard to change your blog’s colours, fonts, layout (navigation and looks).
Six: It’s easy to manage. It doesn’t have a cluttered interface making it easy for you to find what you are looking for fast. And that is why many bloggers in Kenya and around the world use it to start their blogs. Most of the things that would take lots of their time are already managed for them by Google.
Seven: You can register a domain name (e.g example.com) and use it as the domain for your Blogspot site instead of the default URL (e.g example.blogspot.com).
In many cases the people who do this either 1) don’t like their default blog address and would like to change to something shorter, brand-able and easy to remember – like a domain name with .com, .co or .co.ke extension.
Eight: It has a good editor that makes it simple to write, edit and publish content (blog posts and pages) making it easy to format your text however you want, adding links to related articles on your site to give your readers more resources to check out.
You can also opt to write your posts in Microsoft Word or any other text editor then copy-paste it to your Blogger editor.
Nine: You can add different types of content to your posts and pages using the content editor that comes with Blogspot: text, audio, video and images.
Blogger makes it easy for you to add lots of different content types and formats in your post – adding visual appeal to them – which is one the many good ways to grab and keep readers’ attention.
Why not use Blogger.com – as someone who wants to start a blog
One: It has many limitations compared to WordPress self-hosted version which comes with several awesome free and premium plugins and themes backed by a community of developers, marketers, businesses, organizations, freelancers, bloggers, engineers, writers, professionals and leaders passionate about the platform.
Two: If you are looking to migrate your Blogspot blog later (to WordPress for example), you might as well start with the alternatives you consider to be better.
Migration can be a hassle to many new and seasoned bloggers – especially if one is planning to ditch Blogger.com for WordPress self-hosted in a few months time.
In cases like this, you can just get started with your Blogspot blog, or start right away with a blog built with the self-hosted version of WordPress – which is free.
Three: You may prefer its competitors.
Blogger.com has many worthy competitors: WordPress.com, Medium.com, Linkedin Pulse / Publishing, Livejournal.com, Weebly.com, Quora.com, Tumblr.com – all which are free to use (or have a free plan in their pricing) – and require just a valid email address and a few details about you to set up an account.
Four: It’s not under your control since you don’t pay for anything. Google gives you the URL and hosting space for your site – and that’s where the limitation comes in when you want to customize your site the way you want – or add features that are not part of (or are not allowed by) Blogspot.
Five: Some Blogger templates (equivalent to what WordPress calls themes) take a long time to load on mobile devices.
Not all of them, but some.
And it also matters what kind of device or web browser you or your blog visitors will be using to access your site.
There are some templates, though, that make it easy for Blogspot blog web pages to be responsive and also load fast.
Six: Blogspot lacks add-ons that offer features equivalent to what some of WordPress popular (and valuable plugins) like Thrive Leads (for email opt-in forms, email subscribers and lead generation), WooCommerce, Thrive Content Builder and Thrive Landing pages offer. And it is also limited in the number of apps, software, and services you can integrate it with.
In conclusion, here is what you need to get started depending on the choice you make after reading this
Here’s what you need if you choose to start your blog with Google’s Blogger: a Google account, content and a domain name (which is optional – if you want a URL like example.com instead of example.blogspot.com) and a content promotion plan.
And here’s what you need if you choose to go with WordPress self-hosted version: a domain name, web hosting from one of the many companies in Kenya, Canada, US, India, Australia, UK, New Zealand or any other country, a way to pay for the domain and hosting (Safaricom M-PESA, Airtel Money, Orange Money, Pesapal, PayPal, VISA, Mastercard, American Express or Discover credit and debit cards etc.) and content. Learn more in this blogging ebook / online course.
Of course, you also have to come up with a strong reason why you are setting up your blog, be consistent as a blogger and also have a content promotion plan in place to get the most out of your content marketing efforts.
To start your blog on Blogger.com, click here. Or learn more about WordPress self-hosted version in the many blog posts and interviews published on Niabusiness.com. Start here – to check the links to the various resources on this site.