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 good tool for marketing and making yourself known on the Web. The program suggested starting with WordPress.
This was all new to me so I followed the instructions on the site and I had my first blog set up in a few minutes. It wasn't pretty and I had no idea what I was doing. The interface was new, the tabs were a mystery and the general functions 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 didn't realize was that there are three varieties of WordPress, and you should know that up front, so you can decide what works best for you.
The first one I'll mention doesn't 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 applies to corporations, groups, organizations or perhaps super affiliate marketers that have their own servers and run a network of blogs. Until you reach that scale you needn't know more than that about WordPress MU.
The next option is WordPress.com. This is the one I used (at first). It's 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 use your personal name to set up the blog, your domain would look like: http://www.yourname.WordPress.com. This assumes your choice is available.
Another point to remember is on WordPress.com you're subject to the guidelines of your host. This means that commercial applications such as Google Adsense and other plug-ins used to create revenue streams or to optimize for the search engines aren't available. These 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 isn't to say that you can't create links to affiliate programs and place some banners, but the WordPress.com blog isn't the best environment to run a marketing based business.
This option is used by most affiliate marketers who set up their business on an independently hosted environment outside of the WordPress hosted site. It's called WordPress.Org and is software you download, configure, then upload to your Web server to run on your domain. It's often accessed through the Control Panel of the Web host you've selected to use in your business or blog. Some free hosting services might not offer the Control Panel feature so you have to follow whatever process they use for blog software.
In the case of WordPress.org, the software offers greater flexibility than WordPress.com and allows you to download plug-ins 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 your site more efficiently . You can place HTML code to more effectively design Web pages for commercial applications in affiliate marketing campaigns. In short, it offers more options and better capabilities for running a business than WordPress.com. It's the option you come to by default when setting up a blog from your host site. You'll notice a different set of options such as a plug-in add-on feature that's not available with WordPress.com.
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's available, so you can make an intelligent decision.
About the Author
Over the past 20 years Claude Pelanne has worked in a series of startup ventures including some of the first commercial Webcasts. He is an Internet Marketer and serial entrepreneur. For tips and resources about how to get involved with Internet Marketing, visit Claude Pelanne Communications.