Step 1: Choosing The Right Blogging Platform

I’ve covered this topic before on Novelr, but it’ll be good to go through it one more time in this series.

But before I begin: freeze. Do you know what blogs are? If you don’t, read up and find out what blogs are before even attempting to continue reading this post. (Just in case you don’t know you’re reading a blog, highly unlikely, but you never know).

Alright. On with the post.

Why should I write my book in blog form?

There are many forms of online writing, as you’ll quickly see over at Epiguide. Websites, writing services such as FanFiction, Fictionpress and Urbis, the list goes on and on. Blogs, however, provide a number of advantages over webpages/services. Amongst these advantages are the fact that blogs are incredibly easy to update, are part of a bigger ethos called the blogosphere and are (mostly) standards compliant – making it easier for search engines to find you and your work.

More reasons can be found here.

Types of Blogging Platforms

Blogging platforms are divided under two categories:

Hosted Platforms
Hosted blogging platforms are usually free, easy to use and are the first choice of many new bloggers in the blogosphere. They do not require much technical knowledge to use and are recommended for those who don’t wish to muck around in code. On the flip side, blogs on Hosted Platforms are very limited in design and functionality, so quite a few bloggers make the switch to Stand-Alone platforms later on.
Some of these platforms charge for additional features, such as and Terapad.

Hosted blog platforms include:

Stand-Alone Platforms
A Stand-Alone blogging platform is blog software that you have to upload and install by yourself. This includes buying a hosting plan, acquiring a domain ( as well as uploading the software and playing around with code. In exchange for this complexity you get a platform that is powerful and robust enough to do whatever you want it to do, as long as you have the time and the know-how to code it.
Examples of Stand-Alone Platforms are:

We can compare the differences between Hosted blogging platforms and Stand-Alone ones by using an example of Google Docs and Spreadsheets vs Open Office. If a problem arises in Google Docs the engineers over at Google will deal with it for you. If something happens to your copy of Open Office you’re pretty much on your own, other than asking for help from the user community and attempting to solve it by yourself.

What should I look for in a blogging platform?
I’ve narrowed it down to five qualities, which are:

  1. Ease of Use
  2. Looks
  3. Features
  4. Support
  5. Reliability

For a more detailed explanation on each of these qualities read an older post I’ve written, here.

What blogging platform do you recommend for a blook?
There are some blogging platforms that are not suited for posting up a book. Vox and Tumblr, for instance, are made for personal blogging only. Others – like Typepad and Movable Type – are not free. And then there are blogging platforms that are too powerful for the mere purpose of setting up a blook: Drupal and Expression Engine, for instance, are full fledged CMSes which include everything ranging from a blog to forums.

That said, I recommend Blogger and for authors who want to use Hosted Platforms to write their blook. Both are stable and have thriving communities keen on helping new users. For authors wanting to host their own blooks I recommend WordPress (downloadable platform) and Movable Type. WordPress is open sourced and has hundreds, if not thousands of plugins and themes released for it. Movable Type, while not free, charges for support – and as they say: you get what you pay for.

This post is part of the Ultimate Blook Guide series. If you enjoyed this post you may subscribe to Novelr’s RSS feed.

Go to the next step in this series: Set It Up!

Possibly Related Posts:

Category: Writing Web Fiction