Day 4: Pick Your Blogging Platform
Welcome to Day 4
Today we will talk about the blogging platforms you can use to host your website. There are many out there and this image below sums up pretty well what you can expect from each one of them.
It is really up to you to find the one that fits with your needs. I personally use Squarespace and I will break you down the reason why.
1. Simple user interface
I am not a web developer and I don't want to be spending hours and a lot of money to build my website. What I want is an easy to use platform on which I can upload my photos and write articles as simple as possible. Squarespace is a content management system or CMS. It is a software application or set of related programs that are used to create and manage digital content. In simple words, no coding knowledge needed, all you need to do is drag and drop the content and the rest is done for you.
Are you struggling to find the right design for your website? Websites are usually tailor made. The content needs to be relevant and match with your style. That's the reason why I love Squarespace templates.
They are divided by categories (Photographers, bloggers, online shops, etc...). All you need to do is to select the template you like, click install and customise the content as you like.
And if for whatever reason you would like to change the look of your website, you can select a new template and install it in just a couple clicks. You won't lose any of your content!
In 3 years blogging, my style has changed a lot and therefore I changed the look of my websites at least 3 times and I have absolutely no coding knowledge.
As a brand you will need a logo. You have several options, either ask for a freelancer to design your logo or do it yourself. If you decide to do it yourself, Squarespace has a dedicated section on their website for you to create your logo and have an idea of what it would look like on a business card, clothing or other products.
4. Domain name, hosting and professional email address
You can improve name recognition by replacing your .squarespace.com URL with a custom domain. You can get a free domain with an annual plan, purchase a domain with them, or connect one you already own. The choice is yours.
They also offer and email address with your domain name. If you want to look professional, you will need one. An @yourdomain.com email address increases credibility and creates a seamless brand experience for everyone who interacts with you.
5. Mobile friendly
With Squarespace, every design automatically includes a unique mobile experience that matches the overall style of your website, so your content will look great on every device, every time. If desired, you can disable the mobile view from Website Manager. Having a mobile optimised website will increase your chances of getting at the top of the search results on Google.
6. Multi-device Access
As a travel blogger, I am always on the go and do not always have access to my laptop. Squarespace created couple applications that you can download on your smartphone. This way, I can still write and edit the content of my future blog posts from my phone and publish it or take care of the page layout once I arrive home or at my hotel.
Their apps also offer analytics so that you can track the number of visitors on your website or the number of sales you made directly from their application.
And finally a portfolio app. Designed specifically for photographers. You can carry your portfolio everywhere with you and have access to it even when not connected to Internet. This is the perfect tool for client meetings.
7. SEO - Search Engine Optimisation
As a blogger SEO is the most challenging thing you would need to take care of if you want to be found online. There are two types of SEO.
On page SEO - You take care of making each post something people will find on google by using the most catchy titles for your blog posts. But one good thing to know is that Google ranks pages of your website and not your whole blogs. So you want to make sure each page has a targeted content for what you want it to be found on google.
Off-page SEO - This is the thing that separates bloggers. You need to create back-links so that publishers or other bloggers would link your content to redirect to your blog/page/content.
Most blog platforms would advise you to add plugins to your blog to increase your chances of being discovered.
But Squarespace takes care of your on page SEO so that you do not have to worry about it and can focus on improving your brand awareness and collaborate with other influencers in your niche.
Squarespace is a great all-in-one platform in my opinion as it answers to all my needs and match with my lifestyle. I do not know much about the other platforms but I heard great things about Wordpress, even though you need to be a bit techie to learn how to use all the plugins.
I would advise you to find the blogging platform that matches with your lifestyle rather than looking for the best one on the market to use.
Join The Millennial Roamer Facebook group to share your progress and connect with like-minded people.