Hackernoon logoHow To Choose The Best Blogging Platform For Your Developer Blog by@catalinmpit

How To Choose The Best Blogging Platform For Your Developer Blog

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@catalinmpitCatalin's Tech

Writing about Vue, Node.Js, AWS, JavaScript, Cloud Computing and Software Development

What to look for when choosing a platform for your developer blog.

When we, developers, want to open a blog, we ponder between the two questions:

  • Should I build a blog from scratch? or
  • Should I use an existing platform?

Each option has its benefits and drawbacks. However, the article assumes you want to focus only on writing articles. Using an existing blogging platform allows you to do that.

But now, you might have another question - what blogging platform to use?. There are a handful of blogging platforms, each with its benefits and drawbacks. Thus, this article will teach you how to choose an existing platform for your developer blog.

It's All in the Name: Personal domain

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When choosing a blogging platform, the crucial point is whether it allows you to use a personal domain or not. There are a handful of blogging platforms you can choose from. However, not many allow you to use your domain. Even fewer allow you to use it for free.

But why is the personal domain so important? The vital point is SEO. If you do not use a personal domain, you give up all the SEO benefits to that blogging platform.

For instance, if your blog URL is blogplatform.com/yourname, all the SEO benefits go to blogplatform.com. Whenever you move from that platform, you lose all your hard work. Even when you have a URL such as yourname.blogplatform.com is not advisable for the same reason mentioned previously.

On the other hand, if you use your domain, you can move from the blogging platforms anytime without losing your SEO and hard work. You can export the articles from the old blog platform and import them into the new one. Your SEO stays intact!

Two blogging platforms allow you to use your custom domain:

  • Hashnode
  • Medium

The main difference between them is that Medium charges a monthly amount, whereas Hashnode allows you to do it for free!

Chasing Paper: Monetization

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Making money is another aspect. Most of the blogging platforms allow you to monetize your blogs but in different ways.

One of the most famous examples is Medium with the paywall. That is, people cannot read blogs and articles unless they pay a monthly fee. This model is dreaded by many developers.

On the other hand, there are blogging platforms that allow you to monetize your blog in a non-intrusive way. There are two examples:

  • Hashnode with Sponsors and Coil
  • Hackernoon with Coil

With Coil, you need to add a one-line HTML code to your Hackernoon or Hashnode blog. After that, you are ready to receive funds. Since my explanation is overly simplified, I recommend you to read the official guide from Coil.

With Hashnode sponsors, readers can donate to bloggers a custom amount of money. If you enjoy an article, you can thank the author through a donation. Again, I recommend you read the official page about sponsors for more information.

In conclusion, Medium allows you to put your content behind a paywall, whereas Hackernoon and Hashnode allow you to monetize your blogs non-intrusively.

Moreover, Hashnode gives you two options - Sponsors and Coil. The best thing about it is that you can use both at the same time. Thus, you are more likely to make some side income.

Stand Out from the Crowd: Customization

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I believe your blog should reflect yourself. How can you personalize your blog and make it stand from the others?

Until recently, you could only personalize your blog if you would have built a custom blog. Nowadays, that is not the case anymore. More and more blogging platforms allow you to customize your blog, more or less.

For example, Medium allows you to customize your profile by changing the fonts, colors, header, and so on. Similarly, Hashnode enables you to customize your blog but with custom CSS. That means you can change the look of your blog entirely.

Thus, try to choose a blogging platform that allows you to make your blog look and feel personal.

On the Shoulders of Giants: Leveraging Communities

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It can be very demotivating not having readers when you start blogging. It feels like blogging into the void, and that can make a dent in your confidence. I know it because that's how I started.

Thankfully, there are blogging platforms that come with a community. Thus, you start blogging and reach readers from day one. Having people read your blog and interact with your articles does wonders to your confidence. You become more motivated and eager to write and share articles when you see people enjoying them.

From my experience, the blogging platforms with the most vibrant communities are as follows:

  • Hashnode
  • Hackernoon
  • Medium

It's important to remember that this is based on my experience. As a result, I encourage you to reply with your favorite blogging communities.

Conclusion

The crucial thing when choosing a blogging platform is the ability to use a custom domain for free. After that, try to choose a platform that:

  1. has a vibrant community,
  2. allows you to monetize your content in as many ways as possible (non-intrusively),
  3. gives you the possibility to customize and personalize your blog.

In my case, I used all the blogging platforms, and I still use most of them. However, for my main blog - catalins.tech - I use Hashnode because it meets all my needs.

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