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Starting a Blog: The Best Site to Use?

Hello Everyone!

How are you?

So I was just thinking the other day about starting a blog somewhere in the near future (next year maybe, at the earliest the end of this year), but I’m a bit unsure on how to get into it.
Now the blog would really just be for announcements and such while also keeping in touch with the community.
I don’t need anything too fancy.

Questions:

  1. Does anyone know a good site to use? I’ve been looking into Wordpress, Blogger, and Weebly, but I don’t just want to see reviews the companies posted; I’d rather hear first-hand experience from users.

  2. Does anyone know any free sites? It would be a whole lot easier if it’s free…

  3. Anybody remember that idea a little while ago that some of us came up with on here? Where UE4’s forums could have a blog section…is that still a potential inclusion?

  4. What would you guys do if you wanted to have a place to announce your games and keep in touch with the community?

Any help is appreciated as always.
Feel free to ask for more information as well.

Thank you and happy Sunday!

~ Jason

  1. I personally use blogger, because it’s really easy to use + you can use your google account for it :slight_smile:
  2. blogger.com
  3. I personally would connect several social media platforms -> a blog, facebook, twitter and own homepage -> it’s pretty time consuming, but you cover the widest range of people :wink: Things like jira will support you with social platforms (it’s easier to manage everything)

I first started with blogger but now i use wordpress. But i say…try both and you can decide easily which one suits you. :slight_smile:

Morning (or Afternoon/Evening)!

Thanks for the help so far.

So it seems Blogger and Wordpress are go-to options…

I have to ask: Which of the two is well balanced? In other words does Wordpress give you freedom, but it’s a convoluted system? Does Blogger allow little freedom, but it’s easy to follow?

I was looking the two up the other day and I see that people like Blogger because its Google and hate Blogger because its Google… where as Wordpress seems difficult to get into, but allows freedom…?

To be honest, I was thinking of using Blogger to start out and then maybe switch to Wordpress in the future. What do you think?

Thanks,
~ Jason

Personally i like WordPress but note that the last time i used blogger was back in 2011. A lot of things might have changed since then. I used WordPress for my IDE for UDK and personally i really like WordPress. :slight_smile:

wordpress gives you more freedom but it’s more difficult to use :slight_smile: But I would recommend you to go with wordpress, because with this freedom you can do everything that you can do with blogger + you wont switch after you have made your decision (e.g when you find out that something is not possible with blogger) :wink:

Well it looks like Wordpress is the clear winner here.

Thanks for the help so far guys I appreciate it.

~ Jason

Wix is free, Is HTML5 (Looks super pretty) and you can create a blog with it! Everything is modular so you can move around whatever you like. It’s what I’m using for my site, It’s only a landing page at the moment (Blog is hidden for when the counter reaches zero) but it took a whole 5 minutes to make this, without any coding, just moving things around until you like it:

http://kitatusstudios.co.uk

Wait Wix is free?
I had no idea! I always thought you needed to pay for Wix.

Thanks for the information. You’re site is looking pretty cool so far by the way.

~ Jason

Are you using any of the paid plans? I though about subscribing, but I haven’t heard about it from anyone who has used it.

Curious about this myself.

~ Jason

How about hosting your own? You get 100% control and pay only if you exceed a huge traffic.

Not a bad idea actually.
Do you think it makes sense to personally host, say, a Wordpress blog?
The only thing is the yearly domain charge, which I assume is not that much (?).

~ Jason

If I were you I’d get a self-hosted Wordpress blog and then link all the free blog sites to it.

Then the “post-flow” it’s something like this:

You are going to write some good news, an update about a project.
You go to your site and write some stuff.
If you want to make video content you upload it to Youtube, embed it in your post and link it from the Youtube description.
If you have pictures, you upload it to Instagram, Picassa, Flickr, Tumblr…
Once your post is done you go to Blogger and Wordpress.com and copy what you just wrote, putting links to your self-hosted site.
Then you just share the cr*p out of your original post through Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and all that kind of sites.
You can go even further and make Twitch streams while you’re working.

The key is that you keep your Internet Real Estate (your content) in platforms that you own and use the free sites to promote it creating a link ring.

Overtime you will have a massive amount of backlinks pointing to your blog, but don’t forget that Wordpress is not just a blogging platform is a complete CMS and you can extend it massively with plugins, you can fully customize it at will. You can’t do that with free blogging sites.

A domain usually costs less than 10$ a year and you can find cheap shared hosting everywhere, I recommend Namecheap for both.

Self-hosting is the way to go, if you attract enough attention to your site you could even create an online shop and sell stuff, there are plenty of free plugins for Wordpress to do that.

Pretty good advice. At the moment, I only use the free wordpress.com for my personal blogging and plan on self-hosting it for my indie studio (once I start it, that is :rolleyes:).

Then it will be easy, you can just copy your content.

I forgot to mention that there are a lot of article submission sites that probably would accept short tutorials of “how to do a realistic kitchen (or whatever)”. To name a few there is ehow.com, hubpages.com, ezinearticles.com, etc. And you could use imacros and record the process. Even with 4 or 5 posts you can create a lot of backlinks this way.

And I think having presence in Newgrounds and Kongregate is very important, because a lot of real people and potential fans can help you with feedback, and it also serves as a portfolio.

Let’s say you are creating a game with the name ProjectW. You post from time to time in your blog about the improvements you made. The title would be “ProjectW WIP #1, 2, 3, 4…”. Then you use the linking strategy. After some time when someone wants to know WTF is ProjectW and Google it, he/she would find this gigantic amount of information related to your game. Just because you are everywhere you will trigger the “social proof” factor of influence and people will become curious.

It’s our nature, when you go to a bar and see one place full of people and another one totally empty your desire to enter the full vs the empty one is much higher even if the empty bar it’s 10 times better. This is how famous people get more famous.

Nothing like reading a good bar analogy to start the day.

I actually really appreciate the information.
I see what you mean.

The thing is, this will be my first game so its all new experiences.
Is it a safer bet to maybe just use the blog first and then as I work my way up start going “social.”
To be honest I never used a “social media” site before (yeah my 386 machine can’t handle the power consumption), so that’s a new experience as well.

Frankly, this game isn’t going to be some large scale product, it will be short and sweet… the next be a bit larger…and larger…etc.
Even with starting small, do you think its best to just cover my basis and start it all at once instead of having to start it later?

Thanks,

~ Jason

What really matters is consistency, if you start blogging now but stop after a month it’s kinda a wasted effort. But if you post once a week or so it will accelerate overtime once you get involved in larger projects. Social media complements your pacing, if you blog just share it.

P.S.: Bar analogies FTW :smiley:

Yeah that’s true.
I was really going for a weekly routine, even if it is only a small post.

I was just checking out Blogger and Wordpress again. Honestly, my thoughts right now are to start with one, probably Wordpress (I couldn’t make sense of Blogger and for the life of me I have no idea how to use a “Google +”), and advance from there.

And yes, bar analogies for the win :slight_smile:

~ Jason

I used wordpress in the past, but atm I’m using weebly for my websites (they are not really “blogs” though). My main reason is that weebly also provides cloud hosting http://www.weebly.com/features/#!/free-web-hosting which works really well regardless of traffic. They also allow full customization of the site via scripting so if you don’t like something you can just change it.
However it seems like the free plan is more restricted now since I could also connect my custom domains for free, but it seems new websites need to have a strater plan now, so perhaps it’s better to use wordpress again?
Lots of people told me to never use shared hosting though, so aside from weeblys clound hosting other solutions would be quite expensive. o,0