Do you want to start a blog to make money online? If you're unsure which of the blogging platforms you should choose then read on for the pros and cons for the two most popular blog services available.
Blogger is owned by Google and has several advantages:
* It is easy to use and setting up your site is simply a matter of filling out a form and following a few prompts. There is nothing to install so you don't need your own hosting account.
* It's free to use and you don't even need to buy a domain name as you are provided with a URL address based on the name of your blog.
* Posting is really easy and you can also change the look and feel of your blog by selecting a different theme and colour scheme.
* If you have more than one blog you can access them all through the one blogger dashboard.
If you are wanting to blog to make money then there are some disadvantages to using Blogger:
* Compare to other options there is a lack of flexibility. There are a number of themes available but they all look very similar so it is hard to make your blog look truly unique.
* You get a free domain name when you sign up but it's yourname.blogspot.com rather than yourname.com which doesn't look as professional.
* You might own the content but you never own your blog since it is hosted on Blogger's service. This means that if the Terms of Service ever change and you blog no longer fits the rules it could be shut down without giving you any notice.
Wordpress is the other popular platform for blogging. There are two options available, the hosted version at wordpress.com which is actually very similar to the Blogger option. On the other hand, if you are serious about making money online then you should consider the open source version of Wordpress which is free to install on your own hosted domain.
Here are the advantages of a self-hosted Wordpress blog:
* You can customise it to your heart's content. There are countless free themes available which will allow you to make your blog look like a blog, or a magazine or even a website. There are some great paid options too that don't cost too much money.
* You can increase the functionality by installing any number of free or paid for plugins that will help you make the most of your website. From SEO support, to stats counters and Twitter integration; whatever functionality you need you will almost certainly find a plugin that can make it happen.
Of course it does have its disadvantages too:
* You will need to purchase a domain name, but these generally cost less than $10 a year.
* You will need somewhere to host your blog, but hosts like Host Gator are very reasonable so it doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg to get started.
* It's not quite as user friendly as Blogger but there are plenty of tutorials available online and if you are willing to invest some time learning how to use the system then it will definitely pay off over time.
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