Blogger Pros and Cons for Mom Bloggers - dummies

Blogger Pros and Cons for Mom Bloggers

By Wendy Piersall, Heather B. Armstrong

Blogger and WordPress squash the competition as platforms for setting up new blogs. Each platform has benefits and drawbacks. Google Blogger is for those who are not convinced that they will need the extra functionality of WordPress someday.

There really are a few times when having a Blogger blog might be appropriate for you, that’s a big only if. Use Blogger only if you use your own domain name, and not the default URL.

This is important for several reasons including establishing your brand, perceived professionalism, and the ability to move your blog off of Blogger someday without losing your established readers and search engine rankings in the future.

What is great about Blogger? Oh, it’s just so darn easy to use. It’s beautifully easy to use. If you’re extremely intimidated by technology, Blogger may be right for you. As a professional web publisher, you’ll still have to learn some basic HTML and understand the technology that makes websites work, so you aren’t completely off the hook.

But Google has created a very simple drag-and-drop interface with Blogger that takes care of almost all the technical stuff needed to publish a blog.

Another great thing about Blogger is that it’s 100 percent free and hosted on Google’s servers, so you don’t have to pay for hosting (which runs about $100 USD a year for a basic blog). As can be expected, Google’s servers are powerful enough to handle all the traffic you could possibly attract.

If your blog gets featured in the news, on Yahoo!, or gets popular on social bookmarking sites like Digg or StumbleUpon, you could get a lot of visitors all at once. Your blog won’t break a sweat on Blogger, but if you’re self-hosted, it may get swamped, go down, and be unreachable under the temporary heavy load.

Again, this is a good problem to have, but it would be unfortunate to get in front of tens of thousands of potential new readers only to have them be unable to get onto your site. WordPress users solve this problem on self-hosted blogs by paying for a dedicated server, which is quite expensive. For Blogger users, everything is still free.

Just because something is free, that doesn’t always make it the best option. Most of the time, an investment in your business pays for itself by increasing sales or profits. If you’re serious about creating a long-term business with your blog, it’s usually wiser to pay for the right tools rather than just use the free ones.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are a few circumstances when using Blogger won’t greatly impact your business:

  • When you’re using your blog to send traffic to your own products for sale on another site, such as eBay or Etsy.

    The bulk of the technology needed to run your business in this situation is covered by the online marketplace you’re using, not your blog. When you’re using your blog exclusively as a marketing tool for driving online traffic, then you may never need the added functionality of WordPress.

  • When your sole purpose for blogging is to find opportunities that don’t require you to continue blogging in the future.

    An example of this would be when you’re blogging to position yourself as an expert and get hired by another company. If you’re blogging just to gain the experience of understanding how it works as a marketing medium, then there really is no need to go through the longer WordPress setup process.

  • When you’re quite sure that you won’t want or need a more feature-rich blogging platform in the future.

Since Google hosts Blogger blogs, you must abide by Google rules and terms, especially when it comes to content that could be construed as spam or written to manipulate search engine rankings. Blogger will delete blogs that it believes violate its terms of service. While it’s very unlikely this would happen to you, it’s important to consider, especially because Google is a company that doesn’t offer extensive support.