Request for blogging suggestions on alternatives to LinkedIn, Blogger, Wordpress & Steemit

I started on WP and found it frustrating, especially because if I formatted my text in Word, I’d lose it all in WP’s editor.

I then went to Blogger which seemed better but I then moved to the “cyber-monetized” platform Steemit, which has no editor features other than a preview, but allows for the use of some HTML and MDL. Sometimes, however, those don’t work as expected. Just writing tutorials about them as I learned was a lesson in how goinky the system was. But, short of becoming part of a voting bloc, which voted up anyone in the group - no matter how bad their content - I could never get a following and have barely earned anything in the past 4 years. On the rare occasion when an essay of mine earned some money, it seemed as much random luck plus the keywords I chose, but there is no guidance whatsoever for those, no organizational system, no ranking, nada. And, now, the exchange value has tanked on Steem. Finally, trying to find my articles in a search engine was like the proverbial needle in a haystack.

I briefly tried publishing on LinkedIn which, at least, made it easier to gather an audience, but I found the editor clumsy to the point of frustration.

I’m looking for some way to get my blog out so that it’s easy to make sure it gets an audience, the editor is robust and can accept pre-formatted text, the tagging system is helpful to make sure the right audience sees things and search engines don’t ignore it, and so on. I don’t know if such a beastie exists, or if I’d have to get my own website and use and on- or offline editor, so I’m hoping all you technophiles can advise me.

Thanks!

WordPress might still be the less-technical & most-straightforward solution (e.g. on-site SEO criteria & editorial control), considering your constraints. You might take a look at this Using Microsoft Word with WordPress.com (while this help article it’s about WordPress.com, it pretty much applies to the custom engine as well, downloaded from WordPress.org).

You might take a look at Substack or Patreon (combined with WordPress via the dedicated plugin).

LinkedIn is one of the worst possible options, but might be useful for distribution, with partial- or full reposting, after the content was published on your owned platform (with backlink to the original source, mentioning that it’s a reposting). Medium is also not recommended (albeit, apparently comes with a great editing experience). A paid & dedicated publishing solution might be Ghost (it’s pretty powerful, but might not justify the monthly subscription costs). I wouldn’t go with Squarespace or Wix either.

Another, possibly more overkill (if you want to do some basic on-site SEO optimisations), path would be to write & edit your content in a Markdown editor - there plenty of free good ones (so forget about MS Word as an editor), and use something like Jekyll - the deployment might be trickier, but if you’re familiar with GitHub, GitHub Pages might be your thing.

There are some (paid) options which give you a website/blog with no edit-interface, so generating the web pages from your markdown & other files, for example: Small Victories (using files from a Dropbox folder) or Blot (turns the files of a Git or Dropbox folder into a blog. Images, text files, Word Documents, Markdown and more become blog posts automatically.)

PS: I have no idea what MDL is, are you referring to this MDL File Format, or something else?

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Thanks for the great response! I mean MarkDown Language - it’s my shorthand, sorry. I know…it’s not actually a language.

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And a side-thread, more of a joke, to emphasize the “overkill” part…


found via
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Thanks for the laugh!

BTW, I would also like it very much if there’s an easy way for visitors to find posts based on a topic list that automatically pulls up the right posts based on the chosen topic. Do any of the choices you suggested have that functionality, or will I need to build my own or use tagwords?

If we’re still talking about WordPress:

  1. Manually you could create MOC (Map of Content)-like page(s) - that could be even set as the front-page of the blog/website.
  2. Manually cross-linking the different posts (using different, yet relevant anchor texts).
  3. Automatically by using some kind of WP plugin, like Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) - usually at the end of the posts, bot some plugins have the option to insert such recommendation lists in other locations as well.
  4. Semi-automatic: relaying on post lists with specific tags and/or categories, after you assign a post to one or more categories and/or tags (makes sense to think about the taxonomy prior to starting the tagging/categorization) - somewhat similar to how it works here on this Discourse forum.
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@tovissy thanks for your insights on tools. I am pretty savvy on web tools but maybe favor paid all in one (WYSIWYG) packages like SquareSpace. I have familiarity with it.

I am going to start publishing too, i think key features for me are:

  • clean end user design
  • text AND photography images
  • Categories or themes (this most likely is Tags, but I feel tags conveys 100+ tags, when I am thinking more of 10-12 categories. Maybe as i go I do want tags, hard to predict)

I do use Markdown a fair bit for personal notes, but only use limited formatting like bullets and headings and am not proficient at using links (yet) for example.

For my photos, I have then in Zenfolio and Adobe Lightroom, but I don’t necessarily have to integrate with my existing photo platform. I do think a “portfolio” may be part of my blog though.

Open to thoughts on the above!

@RobOK my reply was more based on what @GlennMII wrote in initial message, considering his experience and expectations.

I’ve seen many SquareSpace websites, both with clean and cluttered design, many years ago I trialed the service for a short while, but never ended up using it, so I cannot say much about it.

Based on my occasional readings on this topic, my main issues with solutions like SquareSpace, Wix, Weebly and such website builder SaaS tools, are around the concept of walled garden, onsite SEO limitations, and customization constraints.

So my final thought is: it depends - if you prefer the easier way, go with SquareSpace, if you want more freedom, consider WordPress. In principle, WordPress ticks all the key features you mention, but comparison articles like Squarespace vs WordPress (2020) — Which is Best? might give you deeper insights. Also worth taking a look at this SquareSpace Help article Exporting your site, if content portability has any importance for you.

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I think if I was deciding between SQSP and WP, I would go with SQSP due to familiarity. I do consider the negative lock in aspects.

I am curious about some of the site generation tools (you might have called them no edit) like Jekyl. My perception is they would have a harder time with images (or rather, I would have a harder time using them for images).

@tovissy on your linked in you wrote: Building a visual platform for #NetworkedKnowledge for small orgs & teams. - can you share any details, sounds very interesting and up my alley!

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