Of all of the reasons to not start a blog, an inability to find an intuitive, free, and simple platform isn't one of them. This article, for example, lists ten free and user-friendly blogging platform tools that can enable you to get your blog up and running within 30 minutes. But rather than go through all of them, we'd like to primarily focus on Wordpress and Tumblr, as both options will provide you with all that you need, and then some. Why complicate matters, right?
Let's start with Wordpress.
WordPress is the most popular free blogging platform out there, and it's easy to see why. It's has a simple interface, allows for customization, lets you install widdgets, and allows technical novices to write and post blogs within minutes. And here's where a key distinction should be made. WordPress actually offers two options for users: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The .com platform is a freely-hosted service. This means all of your content resides on Wordpress' servers. The platform allows you to select from a multitude of "themes" as well—the graphical interface that viewers see when visiting your blog. You can choose from countless free themes or pay for the really fancy ones, starting at approximately $30. For brands looking to roll out a simple no-frills blog, WordPress.com this is the way to go. (And If you’re seeking more features than the free option, offers, a premium package for $99 per year is also available.)
Now, if you want a more advanced blog with greater design flexibility, then consider WordPress.org. WordPress.org is free open sourced software available to use at your own will. Benefits include the ability to host larger files, install innumerable plug-ins, and built-in comment functionality. However, unlike WordPress.com, the blog will be hosted on your own server. Ultimately, the WordPress platform has evolved over the years; no longer is it merely a "blogging" platform but instead, a larger content management solution that can prove central to your inbound marketing efforts.
Then there's Tumblr. At running the risk of generalizing, while WordPress is more attuned to the written word, Tumblr tends to attract fans of photography, music, and video. It offers a litanry of themes and has an intuitive interface. Like WordPress, Tumblr is free, yet unlike WordPress does not offer a premium service. Also, unlike the WordPress.org offering, users cannot download and customize Tumblr software. As a result, programmers consider Tumblr to be less flexible than Wordpress. This, however, shouldn't be a problem for brands looking to roll out simple blogs.
If you're looking to take a closer look at the technical requirements of each platform, we encourage you to check out this article comparing WordPress and Tumblr.
Of course, there is more to life than these two choices. Other viable blogging platforms include Blogger (simply sign in with your Google ID), Medium (created by Twitter's founders, but with limited flexibility), LiveJournal (which combines blogging and social networking), and Weebly (which also doubles as a web page creation platform).
What do you think? What blogging platforms does your firm use? What are the strengths and weaknesses?