There are many articles posted about using WordPress.com or Blogger, as a free website or blogging platform. If fact I read many of these and found myself totally confused, so you have to decide what you want out of either.
Blogger is very easy to use and if you are starting out wanting just a personal blog, then I would recommend that you try Blogger. It is totally free and you are allowed to use advertising on the site, using the built in Google Adsense or affiliate programs. Although unless your site has a lot of traffic, it will look better without them. Blogger also have many free add on gadgets and themes.
To keep your blog fresh, interesting and popular, you must post often. But that is entirely up to you, as you just might want you blog only as a personal record.
Why I have used blogger in the past.
If I give you my own personal experiences, it might help you decide.
I started my first blog Mr Tomato King because I use a growing forum and being an ex-tomato grower I was always being asked for advise. So instead of answering individual questions on the forum I created the blog and directed people to it. I soon had plenty followers, so it encouraged me to post more often.
I then used blogger for a business I have, instead of the website platform that I was paying for every month. As I did not need mail order, I just wanted my customer to know about all my brands and any new products. I used the domain name from my old website to help build up traffic, this is my only small cost per year.
Later on I purchased a popular on-line advertising website for France, French Classified. I wanted to build up extra to traffic to the site and create articles about my advertisers, so I started another blog for French Classified. I have increased my hit rate on my website for 1.7 million hits to 2.5 million in under a year and I am sure the blog helped achieve this.
My only reservations about using blogger was that I felt WordPress sites looked far more professional for a business, but to get the full packaged that I required meant that I would have to invest in the paid version of WordPress, which is WordPress.org. I would have to pay for hosting and various upgrades and as I was still investing in upgrading French Classified, I decided to hold back for a while.
After publishing my first novel Vantastic France on Google Kindle e-books I was advised by other in literary circles that I needed a website to help promote my novel. I knew that I could create a blog on blogger for it in under an hour, but I did not want my site to look like a blog and I also realised that I could not post about my book a couple of times a week and I wanted a cleaner looking site.
I spent many a sleepless night wondering whether this was the time to try WordPress.com the free version of WordPress.
I had trawled the net looking for advice and found this post on Jane Firedman’s website. It answered all my questions and was exactly the advice that I had been looking for, or maybe I just needed someone to push the right button.
Basically Jane describes how in WordPress you can create a static landing page, so that the blog looks more like a website and that there is no need to post so often as you would a normal blog.
I did go for the upgrade, to allow more flexibility and to add a domain name http://www.stevebichard.com. This in total is about £100 a year, with the benefit that I am also now getting to grips with using a new type of platform. I can also in the future move the whole site onto Worpress.org for a small fee.
Marketing a business blog or website
I could not finish this post without mentioning one person that has drummed into me the value of WordPress, especially WordPress.org.
I have to state that I have no affiliation to this person, or that I have as yet, subscribed to his services. But a small plug for his site is the least I can do for all his great free advice.
Saying that, I do feel that the time will come when I will really have to have dedicated advice and this person would be the one I would choose.
He offers unlimited free advice on his extremely popular blog about marketing and promotion, with subtle messages that you can subscribe to his services.
Here is a link to Jim’s Marketing Blog