In case you’ve been living in a cave for the past several years, blogging is where it’s at. Ask anyone. Chances are good that you’ll find more than a handful of blogging enthusiasts eager to direct you to their URL. It’s information for the masses, freely dispersed and uncensored – Power to the People! in its purist form.
Interested in getting in on the action? Well, the first step is choosing a blogging platform that suits your needs and skill level. The following list outlines five of the most popular tools out there today. Take a look at each of them and see which ones appeal to you. They’re all free, so what have you got to lose?
Some of the easiest to use blogging tools require little to no knowledge of HTML or CSS. For that matter, you don’t even have to worry about hosting solutions, as the following tools provide complete out-of-box blogging solutions:
Blogger: Google rolled out Blogger several years ago. Today it has matured into an extremely easy to use tool. Perhaps the hardest task when using Blogger is just deciding what to write about. After that, it’s just a matter of clicking the Publish button and you’re off.
Spaces: Microsoft created Spaces as a response to Google’s Blogger. You’ll find this tool as easy to use as Blogger, and much more customizable. Spaces provides a plethora of widgets into which you can place all sorts of content, such as lists and images of your favorite media, and also provides a social environment in which you can follow the online blogging adventures of friends and family.
TypePad: TypePad is from the Six Apart team. It’s an interesting platform in that it offers varying levels of service, from absolute beginner to web professional. TypePad allows easy blog creation and design, but for those who want to take their blog to the next level, they also allow HTML and CSS editing.
Vox: Vox is the younger sibling to TypePad. It’s a great place to start for first-time bloggers who want a ready-made solution that can be up and running quickly and painlessly. Vox’s strong suit, like Spaces, is the built-in social community aspect.
WordPress: WordPress is the gold standard among bloggers, both new and experienced. It’s easy to use, customizable, and offers powerful features to those who wish to host their own website. It has a clean interface and is among the most advanced of blogging tools, allowing you to completely write and edit your own HTML and CSS.
Get Up and Boogie
While this list is far from comprehensive, it gives you a good idea of what tools are out there. Each of these platforms is free (unless you choose a higher level of service within certain plans) and you can have your blog up and running in a matter of minutes.