Blogging – How to Make Sense Out of WordPress Options
WordPress Options: Multiple User, Hosted, Self Hosted
When I first started out and was taking a tutorial on setting up online marketing, the subject of blogs came up. It was suggested that a blog was a very good tool for marketing and making yourself known on the WEB. The program suggested starting with WordPress. I had never heard of WordPress so I went to the WordPress site to find out what it was all about.
This was all new to me so I followed instructions on the site and presto … I had my first blog set up in a few minutes. It was not pretty and I had no idea what I was doing. The interface was new, the tabs were a mystery and the general functions available were a guessing game for me. That said, I forged ahead, wrote a post and then tried out different tabs and selections to see what would happen.
What I did not realize was that there are three varieties of WordPress, and you should know that upfront, so you can decide what works best for you. I learned of these 3 options later when I used another tutorial and set up another WordPress blog on a host site.
So what are those three options?
The first one I'll mention is one that does not concern the individual affiliate marketer but you should be aware of it. It's called WordPress MU. MU stands for Multi-User and it allows you to run several hundreds to thousands of blogs on one domain. It really applies to corporations, groups, organizations or maybe super affiliate marketers that have their own servers and run a network of blogs. Until you reach that scale you need not know more than that about WordPress MU.
The next option open to you is WordPress.com. This is the one I first used. It is hosted on WordPress servers and offers an easy to use template you can follow to start your first blog. You can choose your own user name to individualize your blog and it will get assigned to the WordPress domain. For example, if you choose to go with your name to set up the blog, your domain would look like http://www.yourname.wordpress.com. This assumes your choice was available.
Another point to remember is that on WordPress.com you are subject to the guidelines of your host. That means that commercial applications such as Google AdSense and other plug ins used to create revenue streams or optimize for search engine discovery, are not available. The blogs are really designed for open and useful communication without the volume of commercial and affiliate selling that takes place on other blog environments. This is not to say that you can not create links to affiliate programs and place some banners, but the WordPress.com blog is not the most optimum environment to run a marketing based business. The next option is best suited for that purpose.
The third option is the one used by most affiliate marketers who set up their business on an independent hosted environment outside of the WordPress hosted site. It's called WordPress.Org and is software that is downloaded to your own Web server to run on your domain. It is often accessed through the Control Panel of the Web host you have selected to use in your business or blog. Some free hosting services may not offer the Control Panel feature so you have to follow what ever process they use for downloading blog software.
In the case of WordPress.org, the software offers greater flexibility that WordPress.com and allows you to download plugins that are not available to WordPress hosted blogs. For example, you can download Google AdSense ads mentioned earlier or Google Sitemap which allows search engines to find and index you more efficiently so you can place better in search results. You can place HTML code to more effectively design web pages for commercial application in affiliate marketing campaigns. In short, it offers more options and better capabilities for running a business than WordPress.com. It is the option that you will come to by default when setting up a blog from your host site. You will notice a different set of options such as a plug-in add on feature that is not available with WordPress.com. In summary, this is the option you will find most suitable for affiliate marketing. It gives you more ways to create revenue streams for a business.
Depending on your objectives for blogging, these are the three options you can select from when considering WordPress. There is plenty of documentation to help you with the details of how to use the features and tools offered in each option. The point here is to make sure you are aware of what is available so you can make an intelligent decision.
With that in mind, good luck in your blogging and may your travels be prosperous.