Starting a blog has never been this difficult

I feel blogging is making a comeback, why? Because people are starting to realize that they can carve their own brand and be content creators, rather than just sharing your thoughts among few Facebook friends.

And since not all of us are video creators, most people will be selecting blogging as their platform of choice.

I even started my own blog, this one, shifting from Medium, and I hope to have a new year resolution where I will post at least one blog post a week.

However, even if I feel blogging is about to have a come back, a place for bloggers to blog is limited more than ever.

WordPress

WordPress is currently the most popular blogging platform that you can self host or use their own free hosting solution.

WordPress is regularly updated, and the eco system is great, however there is limited number of quality themes that is free and focused on bloggers.

Even WordPress’s own free themes are more focused on business, photographers, restaurants etc.

I feel WordPress is more focused on running a CMS company, and blogging is a side niche that users can use their CMS to build a blog.

Medium

Medium was a great choice when it was initially released. It is still a great place to blog and you can find lot of eye balls on medium looking for your content. And not to mention Medium blogs have a better SEO if you want to please the Google bot.

However, medium has slowly become a walled garden and paywalls. Most of the content they promote on their homepage are from premium users or paywalled content.

Also medium has shifting priorities and directions, for example once issued domain names where you can have your own domain name for you medium blog for free.

Later they made you pay $80, to have a domain name. Now it seems that they have given up the ability to have your domain name, but medium has now started issuing subdomains instead.

This lack of direction makes it very unpredictable for a regular blogger, because you don’t know what will happen to your blog in another 6 months.

Blogger

Google has not made a meaningful update to its blogging platform for years.

It still has the same outdated editor, and the dashboard that blogger currently use has been there for several years without any update.

The third party theme eco system has been also dried up, and google doesn’t seem be to interested in releasing any new themes for the platform.

I believe if it’s not for the ad revenue they are getting from current blogger websites, they would have given up blogger long time ago.

Static site generators

Static site generators have been there for several years, there are different static site generators using different technologies, some use markdown while some are using WordPress as a CMS but generate a static site that you can easily host.

However, static sites are extremely difficult for a regular blogger to host. You need to have a knowledge on some technology like ruby or node to setup your generator, and web designing to setup your site/blog.

Then you need to have knowledge on git or web hosting to host your static site.

That is too much for an average blogger, who just want to tell their ideas. It maybe cool to have a static site if you are a programmer or a web developer, but for an average blogger it’s just too much.

When are we going to have a free, modern easy to use platform focused only on blogging and nothing else, like the experience Blogger offered when it was initially released?

Upcoming platforms

There are some several upcoming platforms that caught my eyes, including SubStack and Write.as

I’m bit confused about SubStack because they call the publications as newsletters instead of blogs. And is it going to focus on newsletters like MailChimp in the future? or focus on blogs like Medium?

And how are we going to know whether any of these platforms will follow what medium did to their uses or may lack a clear focus or direction?

Updates

I initially had a typo which said statistic site generator, which I now corrected to static site generators.

Since I’m typing these posts using my iPad I’m bound to make some mistakes. Even though I try to keep them as low as possible.

Also thank you very much for everyone who commented on HackerNews, I enjoyed reading every single comment.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25467864

10 Comments

  1. Why not just learn HTML and CSS and build a website by hand if existing solutions don’t suit your purpose? It’s not that hard; kids were doing it on Geocities and the like back in the late 1990s.

    • Thank you very much for you comment.
      Yes someone like me can write my own blog engine or host a simple blog using HTML, but what about an average blogger who doesn’t know about html and coding? And don’t want to worry about coding at the same time

  2. WordPress is still good. There are many low prices themes out there, but not so many free.

    • Yes true, but I feel almost all of these themes are not targeted for bloggers but people who want to set up a website or a landing page, and most of these free themes come with some sort of upsell to make the users buy the premium product.

      I know WordPress is the best solution to start a professional blog or content website, I use WordPress on two of my websites. But still for a personal blog where I just want to write WordPress doesn’t feel like the right place anymore

  3. a lot of bloggers and writers are moving to Substack.

    • Thanks for the comment Chris, I don’t understand the idea of Substack, it is a blogging platform like medium or a newsletter service like MailChimp?

      Why do they call the authors as newsletters instead of blogs?

  4. I just set up my own WordPress and it seems you are using the default theme. Doesn’t look too bad, to be honest. Also, for some reason you “Home” is linking to “https://ruky.icu”.

    For self hosting, Ghost is pretty good blogging platform.

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