In recent years, more than ever before, blogging has taken off. Because of this, a number of companies of risen up from the ashes of traditional journalism and transformed themselves into kings of the blogging industry. Think about it: Medium, Tumblr, HubPages, Quora and LiveJournal have all, in addition to other things, become extremely well-known for the blogging platforms they provide. Heck, even the atrocity that is Blogspot sees a great deal of user engagement.
The Easy Way Out
Simply put, if you’re serious about blogging, do yourself a favor and create your own website with its very own web domain. Blogging, wrongfully associated with only stay-at-home and soccer moms, isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re going to put the necessary time and effort into growing a blog, don’t do it on the backs of some corporate entity; moreover, develop your own plot of metaphoric land out on the World Wide Web through WordPress, SquareSpace, Weebly or Wix.
The argument for using blog-specific sites is that they’re innately built for audience growth and consumption. Truthfully, it’s a strong argument. When people create a Medium account and use it, they’re not hopping online to shop or use social media; instead, they’re fully intent on reading. Ultimately, this is what bloggers want: people to read their posts.
Complete and Total Control
Sure, initially, Tumblr or HubPages might be better for widespread readership, but there’s a definite ceiling on what can come about in the ways of success. Should a booming blogger on Quora or LiveJournal ever hope to build more than editorial credibility or individual brand, he or she will need to venture out into choppier waters.
When a site is individually owned and operated, not only is a hefty reader base still possible, but it’s substantially easier to branch out and truly own the project. Writing is one thing, but there’s so much more to blogging than run-of-the-mill, rudimentary posts. Additionally, endeavors involving web development, graphic design, search engine optimization, video production, social media marketing, advertising and e-commerce are made possible.
This is why innumerable bloggers from each of the world’s four corners make money as professional bloggers. It’s not easy, but it’s better than cutting corners and taking the easy way out. Right from the get-go, know that taking on a blog of your own is going to be difficult. That being said, if you plan on wholeheartedly embracing the grind mentality and tremendous effort associated with the practice, there’s no reason to blog through an overly intrusive, controlling publication.
As is customary in our industry, most PR pros have a digital portfolio, website or personal blog. More than likely, many of you are actively engaged in an editorial project, such as a blog, outside of your workplace duties. If so, what’s your hot take? With respect to blogging, is it better to embrace a reputable host site or go out on your own? Voice your opinion in the comments section below.
Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.