Choosing a Blog Service

There are lots of blog services out there today. Learn which blog service providers can offer what you need for your blog.

Microblogging services

Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest are three of the most popular microblogging sites. Facebook, a social network, can also be used for sharing.

Tumblr

Tumblr is a microblogging service that lets you create and update your own blog. People use Tumblr to share images, videos, links, and short text posts. Tumblr's simple posting tools and visually appealing layouts make it ideal for photoblogs, humor blogs, and other blogs that are updated frequently with short posts.

A variety of Tumblr blogsA variety of Tumblr blogs

Like traditional blogging services, Tumblr offers options to customize the appearance of your blog, including a variety of visual themes. In other ways, Tumblr is different from traditional blogging services. For instance, Tumblr doesn't include an option to leave comments on blog posts, which means it's not an ideal tool for having a discussion. Instead, readers can like a post or reblog it, which shares the post on their own Tumblr blogs.

Watch this video from Planet Nutshell to learn more about Tumblr.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a microblogging tool that lets you create and share collections of interesting links, images, and more. These collections are called pinboards. The items you share on your pinboards are then shared with others on Pinterest, who can then add your posts to their own pinboards. Pinterest can be a good tool if you're interested in sharing the things you enjoy with a wide audience but don't necessarily care about writing and managing your own blog.

A Pinterest pinboardPinterest pinboards

To learn more about Pinterest, visit our Pinterest tutorial. It will show you how to add an account, create pinboards, share posts, and more.

Twitter

Twitter is a tool that lets you post short text updates of 140 characters or less. Unlike Tumblr or traditional blogging services, you can't use Twitter to create your own blog. Instead, your updates appear on your Twitter profile, in a feed that people can view or subscribe to. People use Twitter for many reasons, including sharing news and events, keeping up with friends, and engaging in discussions. If you have a traditional blog, Twitter can be a good way to promote your blog by connecting with other bloggers and linking to your own blog posts.

A Twitter feedA Twitter Profile, complete with a feed of recent tweets

To learn more about Twitter, visit our Twitter 101 tutorial. There, you'll learn how to set up an account, start posting, subscribe to others' posts, and more.

Facebook

Facebook is the world's largest social networking site. The main reason people use Facebook is to stay connected with friends and family. However, sharing is also a large part of the Facebook experience. You can post links, photos, and videos to your profile and share longer, blog-like posts with the Notes tool. If you decide that you don't need your own blog and just want to share occasionally, Facebook can be a good way to do that.

A blog-like post, shared with Facebook NotesA blog-like post, shared with Facebook Notes

Most people use Facebook just for sharing with people they know. However, you can also use Facebook to reach a wider audience by allowing others to subscribe to things you've shared publicly, or by setting up a Facebook Fan Page.

To learn more about sharing with Facebook, visit our Facebook 101 tutorial.

Even if you choose to use a traditional blog platform to create your blog, you can enhance your blog with microblogging. Many bloggers promote their blogs by maintaining Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts for their blogs and posting links to their blog posts. (You'll learn more about promoting your blog in Lesson 5.)

Links to a blog's Facebook and Twitter accountsLinks to a blog's Facebook and Twitter accounts