Template Faerie

Is Blogger Really a Piece of Junk?

Published on Sunday, March 06, 2011
By Sarah Payne
When you see that most of the successful bloggers are using Wordpress, most of them telling other bloggers to use nothing but the wonderful Wordpress, saying that Wordpress beats all other blogging platforms, and saying that you can't be a pro without using Wordpress, doesn't that say something about Blogger? In fact, most blogging blogs are aimed only toward Wordpress users. So, are other platforms too lousy to even mention?

Blogger has made some big improvements over the last few years, but despite that, all I hear is criticism. Is it true that Blogger isn't for the "serious" people? That it looks cheap and amateurish? Do you get what you pay for?

The other day, when I was reading an article on rules of blogging, I was stumped by one of the first sentences:
AVOID FREE
In order to become a successful blogger then you must avoid free hosting.
What? What ever happened to free being better? What is it about free that makes you unsuccessful? This statement makes no sense at all. Your chance of success depends on your determination and the amount of effort you put into blogging, not how much you spend on hosting.

By the way, when I say successful, I'm talking about popularity. Different people have varying opinions of success, many thinking they're successful when they're able to make money off of their blog, but I think that if money is your aim, it tends to come with the readers. Of course, that isn't my aim, since I have no intention of getting anything out of Template Faerie.

As discussed in one of my previous posts, Why I Chose to Use Blogger, and on my Squidoo page, I don't believe that any blogging platform will give you a better chance of being successful, or that any platform is better than another. But why does Blogger have such a bad reputation?

Why the pros hate Blogger

Take a look at Blogger blogs. Most of them use default templates, and therefore, most Blogger blogs look the same, or at least similar. The people who dedicate five minutes to improve their template's appearance, don't usually improve it, but turn it into a hideous mess. They use mismatched and distracting colors, clutter their blog with unnecessary widgets that slow down the page, and place ads in every empty space. They write about things most of us wouldn't care to read, or maybe their choice of colors and fonts make it almost impossible to read. I often wonder if these people ever bother to look at their blog.

It's a sad fact, but these people will likely never become successful bloggers. That may not be their plan either—they may be blogging to keep their friends updated with their life. There's nothing wrong with that, except that because Blogger attracts these sorts of people, it gives Blogger a bad image. The "pros" think that Blogger is too simple and not professional. But that's not true.

Because Blogger is free, it attracts everyone wanting to create a blog without paying for hosting: the beginners, the hobbyists, the people who don't even know what a blog is, and unfortunately, the spammers. It's not that these people can't be successful. Plenty of beginners learn to blog like the pros. The hobbyists blog for fun, because that's their idea of success. And yes, there are plenty of successful spammers out there too!

Use Wordpress, and you're automatically successful!

Wordpress should really use that headline on their front page. There probably are enough people who would believe it. Is it true that the people who use Blogger are incapable of creating a nice-looking blog? Do the Wordpress users have a natural ability to combine good colors, images, and fonts to create something amazing? No and no.

The reason why Wordpress users tend to be the ones who succeed, and why you hear about Wordpress being the best blogging platform in the world, is because people spend money on it. But it's not the money that makes it better.

It's common sense!
Don't begin to think that people who use Wordpress are smarter than those who use Blogger. It's only common sense to get your money's worth out of something. If you're going to be paying monthly to have somebody host your blog, you don't want that money to go to waste. You're probably going to keep at blogging longer than you would if you weren't paying for it. You're going to take the time to design a good blog, even if that means spending $87 on the Thesis template.

If you're spending money on your blog, you probably want to get something out of it. You want your blog to get noticed, and so you'll put a lot of time and effort into promotion.

Can Blogger shut down your blog?

Another reason why many people avoid free hosting is because they have a phobia about Blogger shutting down their blog without warning. Yet another reason people dislike Blogger that makes no sense.

Blogger has a system to detect spam blogs, but there have been some cases where legitimate blogs have been incorrectly flagged as spam. This isn't the end of the world though. Blogger gives you plenty of time to request a review, and as long as you're not a spammer, they'll unlock your blog and everything will be hunky-dory again.

I hope I've shown you that someone who uses Blogger can be just as successful as somebody using Wordpress, or any other blogging service for that matter. Which platform you use makes no difference. How much money you spend on hosting doesn't matter either. There's no magic behind Wordpress that makes your blog superior and automatically popular. Success comes with continuous effort and a lot of time.

So, what are your thoughts on this?

About the Author

I'm Sarah Payne, the author of this blog. I'm an amateur writer and template designer, an avid Blogger-user, and a reptile lover. One way or another, I ended up creating TF to show people that blogs don't have to be ugly and to share my unavoidably opinionated rants. You can also find me on Twitter and Google+.