To blog or not to blog?

by Tolovaj

Everybody is blogging or at least intends to. What are best blogging services? Why do you need a blog?

Blogging can be of great help in many ways. When we write articles we almost always end up with some unused material and we can make interesting blog posts of it.

We can also use blogging to present our business from different, maybe more personal angle. Of course blog can be great source of additional traffic to our main site, but with proper linking it can help us to get more direct traffic from so called organic search.

There are many free blogging services out there and it is hard to choose which one can be best for our needs. So here is my Top 10 list of free blogging services I use with their pros and cons!

(Image credit:, PD licence)

1. Blogger (or Blogspot)

Blogger is one of two biggest blogging services in the world. It is owned by Google, so we can expect it is pretty search friendly but my experience is different. With click on the yellow colored link you can check the look of my first blog.

Source:, PD licence

It is called Pravljice za otroke (Fairy Tales for Children).

This blog is an addition to my site dedicated to fairy tales. I decided to translate some fairy tales which people look for but could not find them in my language (Slovene). It is slow process because I don't only translate fairy tails but also provide their background and hidden meanings to readers.

This blog had near to zero visits in first months due lack of my experience but now it gets near one hundred visits a day and from time to time I also get a visitor to my e-store from one of the posts.

It also helped me to rank my e-store higher in organic search rankings. At the moment I write two blogs (both dedicated to fairy tales) on this platform and have another one (on writing in general) 'on hold'.

Blogger is in my opinion service which can suit just anybody.

2. Wordpress or

My gravatarWordpress is second of two biggest blogging platforms. There are actually two kinds of wordpress, but I will stay at which is free and it has great support (it is way better than at blogger's).

Here is my blog Slikanice in knjige za otroke (Picture books and books for kids).

This blog is talking about books for children I read. For every one I provide short explanation why I think book is good or not. I don't care if book is new or old, but it has to be available in Slovenia. My main goal is to develop some critical thinking among parents who are having hard times to find good books from large offer on the shelves.

Wordpress is more SEO friendly than blogger and I got traffic from very beginning. At the moment numbers are around one hundred visitors a day and most of them come from long tails.

Its build in statistics is similar to blogger's, so if you think which of this two services is better, I can say there is no big difference but my choice would be wordpress. I write two blogs on and couple of others on wordpress platforms.

3. Blog

The name tells all. It is an old service with a lot of users and I have chosen it for my first blog written in English. Of course it talks about fairy tales:) is working on wordpress' platform, is easy to use and suppose to be SEO friendly. Well, actually it is PD illustration of Snow Whitenot as nearly as good as or It is slower and there are days when my blog is unavailable because the site is down or something else is wrong.

It took me more than three months to get it indexed, but now search engines finally recognize it as an authority on some not so popular keywords and on good days i have five to ten visits. Looking at huge number of similar blogs this is actually not so bad result but i know there is a lot of work in front of me.

A lot of work? All right, more promotion than work. I am sure it would be easier if I have set this blog on other service, like blogger or wordpress, but now I am where Iam and i will use it as best I can.

So if you think about, think of it as an addition for diversity of your traffic, not your main blog. It doesn't have build in statistics, but you can easily set Google Analytics on it.

4. Posterous

This free blogging service is gaining on popularity in last years and it was recently acquired by Twitter. I decided to use it as an experiment because it has some advanced functions for future oriented bloggers and it doesn't have limitations in terms of space.

PD illustration by Randolph Caldecott

It was perfect for my idea of on-line exhibition of public domain illustrations from children's picture books.

I decided to choose only one illustration for every illustrator and minimum of info.

This tactics proved to be bad. After six months Google still haven't indexed it. I suppose lack of text is major problem of this blog. Otherwise it has traffic, likes, twitts, followers and so on, but all come from inside Posterous community. When I am not active, this blog is dead.

It is nice community, I have met some interesting people with artistic aspirations but my main goal is to get traffic from major search engines and for that I will probably have to add some additional text.

Posterous has interesting concept because it is integrated with social platforms and other blogging services, so I can recommend it to people who wants to reach different audience on different platforms at the same time.

Update! Posterous was bought by Twitter in 2012 and within one year the service was closed. The reason for buying was apparently the team behind Posterous. I moved my blog to blogger where I also added a lot more text. It helped! Blog is indexed and it has organic traffic now.

Here are some cute Pictures from Fairy Tales.

5. Tumblr

This is relatively new free blogging service. Because of its lively community and reblogging culture it was for some time very popular among so called SEO experts.

With reblogging blog with decent PageRank you could get a lot of quality backlinks in no time, but too many people have abused that and I think reblogging is now set on nofollow.

Tumblr banned me!I have set a blog on Tumblr about one year ago but I was banned after two weeks on accusation of keyword marketing. Their spamming filters apparently measure keyword density inside posts and my blog (it was about my Squidoo journey) had too many 'Squidoo' strings by their standards.

No hard feelings from me, although their decision seems a bit too paranoid from my point of view. Well, it is their platform and I have all the backups if I decide to put my content somewhere else.

In those two weeks I have already noticed Tumblr is more about fun than business or something similarly serious, it has very young community who can hardly write a sentence (or even user name) without the F word and frankly I don't think this can be my audience.

In my opinion Tumblr is worth a try if you know exactly what are you aiming for.

(Image credit:, PD licence)

Have you ever been banned from blog, forum or other similar service on the web?


Go local to reach locals!

We have three or four free popular blogging services in Slovenia. Of course there is more, but others are almost without community or full of spammers or set for some private black hat SEO business.

So I decided to try one of the oldest and with a lot of members who post blogs because they like to post blogs, not because they want to sell something. Decision was easy because it uses wordpress platform, so I have been already familiar with its use.

Source: Clker.comThis blog is called Pisanje besedil (Article writing) and it deals with problems I encountered when I switched from off- to on-line article writing.

As off- line writer I didn't have to worry about keywords, backlinks, tags, subtitles, alt-tags and similar stuff and I believe I am not the only one who can use the information I picked by the way.

So I shared some of my knowledge, invested couple of evenings to visit other blogs on the same site, to get some initial traffic and now this blog is positioned in spot number four for its main keyword. And I didn't even aim for this keyword!

Nice side effect from that blog is improvement of some positions for some of my pages linked from that blog in local search engine (only competitor to in Slovenia), because and have the same owner.

If you are not from Slovenia this blogging service is of no use for you, but if you want to reach folk from your country which is not USA, think about blogging platform from your country. I bet there are great services for bloggers from Argentina to Island, from Japan to Netherlands.

Local based blog can really add some value!

7. Redgage

This site is not a typical blogging platform, but blogging is only one of options to spend some time there. I discovered Redgage when I was looking for options to support my Squidoo lenses and Redgage gave me some easy backlinks for a nice start.

Source: Clker.comBecause Redgage is a big community in some ways similar to Facebook, it can be nice source of additional traffic. After all, serious writer can not depend only on Google, right?

This is my profile, but I have not started a blog yet. Maybe I will in a near future. If I will, this will be only a support blog with really short posts (about one hundred words) aiming to direct visitors to my other blogs or sites.

8. Youtube

YouTube is not only a video service, millions of users are using it for videoblogging or vblogging too. You are welcome to check my channel with couple of my fairy tales. My videos are made from dramatized audio versions of fairy tales, illustrations from picture books and some additional video effects.

Although I am not very active on YouTube at the moment it can be nice source of additional traffic. It can be also great alternative to major search engines because millions and millions of users spend most of their time on YouTube, so good positions on Google (it owns YouTube anyway), Bing or Yahoo are of no use for them.

9. Facebook

We all know how powerful is FaceBook, but I noticed most of people dealing with promotion of their sites (that includes me) don't use it enough and when we use it, we don't do that properly.

Our company, for instance, have almost seven hundred friends on company profile (more than 90 percent asked for friendship us not vice versa) and some of them are very active. This means some easy traffic after publishing new pages if I share them at right time in enough attractive way. Right after publishing my long long long post about Sneguljcica (Snow White), I got 38 visitors in less than one hour and now search engines already send me traffic from organic searches.


Imagine what could I do, if I have ten times as much friends and if I offer couple of prizes (I publish books, so choice is obvious) for everybody who press LIKE button. I bet first half on page one can be done in less than one day! Hmmm, I have to invest some additional time in this in the future.

So FaceBook can be great tool to help you rank in search engines and it can bring you direct traffic too. Many people use it as a blog and if you don't exaggerate with promotion, just go for it!

10. Twitter

I have to admit this is my weakest point. Half a year ago I have had guest blogger on my blog on wordpress. Because he is sort of celebrity with a lot of followers and stream from his twitter account is featured in local blogosphere, I had a chance to see tremendous power of one single twit.


My guest brought me additional 150 visitors in less than one day with his 'tweet' and I know I have to incorporate Twitter as most popular microblogging site into my online presence.

At the moment I have only four followers (after this post number increased to five, bravo me!) on Twitter, but to make some use of it, number should be at least hundred times bigger.

What do you say?

Will you follow me on Twitter?

Updated: 06/21/2015, Tolovaj
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

What is your favorite blogging service?

Tolovaj on 11/15/2013

Thanks, ologsinquito:)

ologsinquito on 11/14/2013

This is very good information for people considering starting their own blog. I'm pinning this to "My Online Writing Board."

Tolovaj on 08/27/2013

Well, according to recent data, Wordpress is still the most popular platform, but Tumblr (!) has more users. Looking from SEO point Wordpress is by far the best and everybody who wants to be found and recognized in the web, should, at some point get familiar with this platform. I highly recommend it, WriterArtist!

WriterArtist on 08/26/2013

I think Wordpress is the most popular blogging platform, it is free and user friendly. I am not much into blogging but I want to change it now.

Tolovaj on 08/14/2013

That's pretty interesting stuff, cmoneyspinner. Another idea for writers!

cmoneyspinner on 08/13/2013

@Tolovaj - I'm sort of still experimenting with the platform. Don't quite know enough about Scoop.It to write an article. But that's a good idea! I just might do that.

Here's the weird thing though. I use a sharing tool and was looking up Scoop.It and found instead. It's a German news site and WHOA! There's a lot of stuff going on the world! :) Did you know that Italian MAFIA families were having their offspring taken away from them? Something about giving the kids a chance to have a life outside of organized crime.

I live under a rock! (O.o)

Tolovaj on 08/13/2013

@cmoneyspinner: Yep, I suppose Yahoo will try to include Tumblr in Yahoo's pack of services. They will probably start with Yahoo profiles... I also noticed there are different users on Wordpress and Tumblr. tumblr has much younger and more active audience and - this can be surprise to many - more users than WordpressDOTcom.
I heard good things about ScoopDOTit. I think it is similar to paperDOTli. Feel free to share a link to your profile - or even better - make an article with some tips on usage and share a link to this article.

cmoneyspinner on 08/13/2013

@Tolovaj - To be honest I was worried YAHOO would make drastic changes but so far it's just business as usual. Tumblr was always a great platform. I didn't want to write an entire article in my comments but basically, WordPress has the CMS (Content Management System) which helps you enhance your post presentation (media images, related links, etc.). Tumblr does not. But I can sense that my two audiences are completely different sets of people. I like them both! But certain things you write at one blog, the other people who follow you at the blog probably are not interested. I also use this tool called Scoop.It. It lets you curate your own material and then share it at either one of your blogs. That makes for less work because when you post to Scoop.It it also shows up at your WordPress or Tumblr blog. Kinda neat! I can send you my link if you like.

Tolovaj on 08/13/2013

Thanks, cmoneyspinner, for stopping by. How is you experience with Tumblr? Gets any traffic from search engines? I suppose after buying from Yahoo some things will change there...

cmoneyspinner on 08/12/2013

Tumblr and Wordpress.

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