Best Blog Software for Writers

Hi Writers,
I want to thank everyone who stopped by and left a comment on my 20 Tips for Good Blogging post. I’ve learned so much from your comments and I’m going to address many of the intriguing questions and comments you’ve contributed. A few of the things I’m going to explore on the blogfront over the next few weeks:

• How do you keep your word count down to 300 words a post?
• How do you keep your blog positive when you’re writing about a serious topic?
• Does it make sense for fiction writers to post full stories on their blogs?

To continue this great dialogue, today I’d like to ask you all to contribute your thoughts and opinions about the best blogging software for writers (we’re talking serious diy here).

I’ve been fortunate in my blogging career to have a tech crew setting things up and addressing issues for me. But I’m venturing out to start a blog of my own for freelancing, and have been researching my many options. I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that I don’t need a full-fledged website—I can do most of what I want to do with a blog.

Some of my requirements:
• A nice, clean design
• User-friendly for a non-techie
• My own URL

So I want to hear from all of you who have started blogs. What’s the best blog software option out there? Please vote in the poll here, and of course, please leave your comments on the subject.



Let the polls begin!

Keep Writing,
Maria 

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22 thoughts on “Best Blog Software for Writers

  1. Linda aka drwasy

    I started with Blogger and, after some exploration of wordpress and a couple of other software packages, decided to stick with Blogger. The reason? It’s free, easy to set up, has tons of support, easy templates that, if you’re creative (I’m not) you can tweak a bit, and most people easily navigate the site. My one complaint about Blogger is I can’t post-date my posts. Such a feature would come in mighty handy when I’m on the road with limited internet access. Google – are you listening?

  2. Richard Bagge

    Maria,
    Thanks to your article "20 Tips for Good Blogging" I started a blog. "Carson’s Cornerstone" in Google Blogger. I’m a retired engineer, became bored with fishing and since have written a book (published by Authorhouse) and another that’s now in an editor’s hands. If I can raise the money it will likely go to Outskirts. I Also authored a few short stories and submitted them, local newspapers, with promises of publication. All this under the pen name of Carson Clay. Will disclose the titles if you request. My new blog so far has had no posts. I’m a fledgling in a new job that, so far I love.

  3. Lori Widmer

    I have my weblog on Blogger. However, it’s missing a key feature that would put it right up there with WordPress – dripping. If I could write posts when I’m inspired to and post-date them so that Blogger would automatically post them, I’d be 100 percent a Blogger fan. Instead, I’m just a 95-percent fan because it lacks this feature. WordPress has it. If my blog weren’t already big as all outdoors in terms of content, I’d have moved it ages ago. Alas, all I can do is hope Blogger sees the need for this and responds to user requests.

  4. Kristin Bair O'Keeffe

    I’ve got a Mac and I use my iWeb program to create my blog (and my entire website). If I were living back in the U.S., I might consider switching my blog to one of the blogging programs like WordPress. But I’ve got the added complication of living in Shanghai, China where I’m blocked from a lot of websites (including all blogspot blogs, most typepad blogs, and some wordpress blogs).

    Thankfully (knock on wood) I’m not blocked from my own site. (Knock, knock, knock)

    But truly, I love working on iWeb. It’s versatile and loads of fun.

  5. Janice

    I have a blogger blog, well actually several of them. I find there are very easy to use and versitle for my needs. I’ve been blogging since 2004.

    I also have a myspace blog, and find it limiting.

    Janice~

  6. Scott B.

    I noticed the question posed about posting fiction on a blog.

    Is this material subject to theft, or is the fact that the material is on "my" blog enough protection?

    Always reading here!

  7. Chris

    I used to use WordPress, but while it had some fabulous features like the Askimet spam control, I found myself technically challenged with it when it came to customizing it. I always seemed to be getting errors regarding the XML in posts. That may have since changed.

    Now I use GoDaddy with its blog interface for my art blog. (I have several blogs.) I have my own website that provides my own URL. The interface is okay, but not great. That is why I have my writing blog on Blogger which I find very user friendly.

  8. glg

    I recently relaunched my website using WordPress and I heartily recommend it to everyone looking for a flexible blogging platform. It has a slightly higher learning curve than Blogger but it’s well worth the effort. I used Blogger for the first few years I was blogging, first through the Blogspot platform then later incorporating it into my previous website, but they’ve always been slow to add new features and when they do, they’re usually a step or two behind current standards.

    If you do choose WordPress, let me know if you need any help setting it up.

  9. The Writer Mama

    I think that if we follow Maria’s advice and keep our blogs very writing-focused and not too promotional, then WordPress is the way to go. I’ve had very good luck with them.

    However, my favorite blogger uses Typepad and I’m switching over for my next blog because I don’t want to feel constrained promotion and widget-wise.

    Thanks for asking! Have a great weekend. And congrats on your Preditors and Editors poll success. I voted for you. ;)

    Here’s my tried-and-true WM blog:
    http://thewritermama.wordpress.com/

    And here’s my new and soon-to-become more exciting new blog:
    http://getknownbeforethebookdeal.typepad.com/

  10. Mary Ulrich

    Hi Maria,

    I am having a hard time getting through to you, so forgive me for using this blog- or maybe that is what this is for????

    I was one of the winners of the free subscription to Writers Digest and am hoping to get the January magazine soon. I am at the library and am excited that many of the articles are about writing fiction.

    Please let me know if you need additional information or when the subscription will start. Thanks. Mary

  11. Susan Johnston

    Hi Maria, I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic lately and I’m planning my own blog post about why I’m sticking with Blogger. I know WP is considered a more versatile and professional product, but I’ve had major problems with it and it’s taken my IT guys months to sort out (they’re still working on it).

    If you’re not tech-savvy and you’re using WP, you could run into issues with crossing domains, setting up permalinks, and a host of other problems, none of which are an issue with Blogger. Blogger doesn’t allow as much customization (nor does it allow you to time-release posts), but it does let you publish to your own domain if you choose.

  12. Georganna Hancock

    I’ve only used Blogger which does a lot and has the added benefit of the blogging software staying on Blogger’s server, not cluttering up your hard drive or rented server space (if you host even allows it to be loaded.) It does most everything I’d want, but yes, it is a little glitchy at times. My LifeJournal blog is just an RSS feed display.

    Blogger recently upgraded its abilities to use XHTML interactive pages, enabling a visual interface with drag and drop abilities. People who want it plan and simple should like that.

    Fortunately, they still allow the option of "old style" templates, which I prefer because I like to roll up my sleeves and get my hands all greasy tinkering with the innards of my blog’s pages.

  13. Robbie Taylor

    I’ve been a bit of a dabbler in blogging software, just like word processing software, and I have a couple to add to the list you have up.

    Yahoo has an excellent offering, Yahoo!360. It’s tied into your Yahoo ID, so you have to sign up with them for one, but it works really well.

    I 3rd the opinion above about Live Writer, but it only works in Windows, not Mac or Linux. It’s sweet, though – and it will write to your Live Space (Microsoft’s blog pages) as well as several other major blog sites.

    LiveJournal, which is about to be taken over by the Russians, of all things, is an old and venerable community, and it is very comprehensive in what it offers.

    If you want the ultimate in cool, though, I think you have to follow Wil Wheaton’s lead and go with Typepad, although the last time I checked they were a pay service, where the others I talked about are free.

  14. Sharon Hurley Hall

    I could have written the previous comment. I totally agree with Brandon. WordPress is my favourite blog software and I us it for all my own blogs. Great themes and useful plugins means that you can have exactly the site that you need.

    Windows Live Writer is the easiest blog editor I’ve come across. My previous favourite was ScribeFire, but Live Writer works much better for connecting and posting to my blog.

  15. Brandon Satrom

    I Love WordPress. I’ve been using WP for over three years and find it to be a very user-friendly and powerful platform. There are a ton of available themes and a huge library of useful plug-ins to make blogging and site management easier.

    As for creating content, I prefer not to create my posts in WP itself. Instead, I use a tool called Windows Live Writer, which allows me to draft posts off line (several at a time even), then it will connect to my WP blog and publish them for me when I’m ready to go live. I love this tool for content management, bit I’m about to switch to Mac and will need to find a new client tool for writing posts. Anyone have one they love for the Mac?

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