In 2019, traditional book publishing is becoming increasingly digital. Thanks to platforms like Amazon which has released its own self-publishing tool, any writer with a dream can now find an audience and become a bestselling author. The catch is that to become a bestselling author you need to write a lot of books. If you want to write a historical novel involving royalty, you will most likely need to write several novels focusing on different periods of history. To keep up with the demand, many authors are turning to independent publishing which gives them more control over the process and lets them write the books they really want to write without needing to worry about market demand or returns.
If you’re looking to independently market your book, the first step is to consider all the various platforms available to reach readers. While most independent authors will focus on digital marketing, some will also look to television and radio to gain exposure. For more traditional authors, having a publisher who can help with publicity is still a great option as it ensures that the right audience is exposed to their work. Being able to work with a professional is also a great confidence boost and can help you to focus more heavily on writing the book you want to write rather than worrying about publicizing it.
The Dangers of Free Blogging
However, just because the platforms are there and available to anyone, it doesn’t mean that everyone should or will use them. Free blogging platforms like Blogger have incredible audiences but if you want to ensure that you’re getting the most from your content, you should consider paying for a premium account. Even with a premium account you will still need to worry about making money through ads or selling and promoting other people’s products. If your aim is to write a blog and generate a passive income stream, you should consider looking at more lucrative options like affiliate marketing or monetizing your gallery through sponsorships or affiliate programs.
The Four Most Popular Blogging Platforms
Thanks to the power of the internet and social media, most people are now aware of the existence of blogging platforms. Launching a blog is now the cheapest and easiest way to become visible to the audience you’re trying to reach. If you’re just getting started, we recommend checking out the following four platforms which have the highest engagement rates and are the perfect starting points for anyone who wants to go down the blogging path.
- Shopify Plus
Each of these platforms offer free basic accounts which you can use to write and publish your content. However, if you’re looking to make money from blogging, you should consider upgrading your account to a premium account.
We can’t talk about popular blogging platforms without mentioning WordPress.com. Launched in 2007, this platform provides a simple web-based interface which allows anyone to create a blog in minutes. It’s one of the most popular blogging platforms thanks to its ease of use and enormous library of third-party plugins which can boost your productivity.
If you decide to use WordPress.com, you won’t need to worry about hosting. Simply visit the site, log in and you’re ready to go. Your WordPress.com blog will be live and ready for use. The only downside to this platform is that to generate a passive income stream, you will need to have a fairly large audience which means either paying for ads or using a free blogging tool like Blogger.
Medium.com is the younger brother of WordPress.com and was founded in 2013 by Evan Williams and Jason Rubin with the aim of creating a more sophisticated blogging platform. Like its older sibling, Medium.com is incredibly user-friendly and provides a simple and clean interface which focuses on content rather than visual distractions.
In 2020, Medium.com has over 500 million monthly active users which equates to around 1.3 billion monthly page views. That’s a whole lot of eyeballs which you can put to work for your blog. Not only that, but Medium.com also has one of the largest communities of writers and bloggers who use its platform to publish their content. If you’re looking to get your blog noticed in this busy forum, Medium.com is a great option.
E-commerce and online marketing are definitely the future of business and most industries are adjusting to this new paradigm. However, for those who are still in the process of learning how to integrate online marketing into their business, Shopify is the perfect place to start. This platform allows entrepreneurs and small businesses to launch an online store within minutes.
Shopify’s online store builder makes putting an online store into practice easy for anyone. Simply choose the product you want to sell (be it clothing, accessories or whatever you might be offering) and the platform provides you with all the necessary templates and content you need to get started.
As an independent business owner or engineer who has a passion for cooking, Kitcook is the perfect example of a Shopify store that integrates its platform with valuable content, social media and email marketing to attract, engage and retain customers. By taking the time to understand their customers’ needs and wants, the company is able to craft premium, bespoke meals which they can then sell online.
In addition to Shopify.com, we’ve also got another awesome platform to introduce you to. Launched in 2019 by Blue Fountain Media, Shopify Plus is a premium add-on for those who want to fully leverage the power of Shopify’s platform. Similar to Shopify.com, Shopify Plus provides you with the tools you need to put an online store into practice with little to no coding knowledge.
The great thing about these two platforms is that you don’t need to decide today what kind of business you’re going to run. With Shopify, you can start an online store which sells clothes, accessories and whatever else you might want and then later on if you decide that this is the kind of business you want to pursue, you can simply switch to Shopify Plus to take advantage of all the tools the platform has to offer. Plus, Blue Fountain Media backs up all Shopify stores with a personal business account so if you have a question about the functionalities of the platform, you can get in touch with a customer service representative who will be able to help you out.
As you can see, there are a variety of options for those who want to blog or make money from a white paper. Which one you choose really depends on your goals. If you want something which is easy to use and has a large audience, go for WordPress.com. If you want a high-end platform which offers all the tools you might need to run a successful business, check out Shopify or Shopify Plus. Either way, you’re going to enjoy the benefits of a quality blog.