Hello BHW, Welcome to the first lesson in the "Blogging From The Beginning" crash course. Over the next few days you will receive several lessons that will help you learn the ins and outs of beginning to build your own successful blog. In your lessons will go over some basic options for setting up your blog as well as some different techniques that you can use to make it popular and profitable. In this first lesson let's talk about how to choose the right blog platform to suit your blogging needs. Starting a blog is one of the most accessible ways to make money online. If you are starting your first blog, you are being confronted with many choices about how to set up your blog, including selecting your blogging platform. A blogging platform is the software that will help you turn your writing into a website that can be easily navigated and accessed by visitors from around the world. There are two basic platforms to choose from when it comes to successful blogging: Wordpress and Blogger. Both of these options have advantages and disadvantages. Before you make your decision, you should read through the pros and cons of each and think about which will be best for your needs. Blogger has several advantages. It's very easy for new bloggers to use. Setting up a blog with Blogger is as simple as following a few prompts. There is nothing to install. Some of the other advantages include: Price: Blogger is totally free to use. You don't have to purchase a domain name as the system will give you an address based on the name of your blog. Ease of use: Posting to your blog is easy. You can also change the look of your blog very easily. This is all done through Blogger's dashboard. If you have more than one blog with Blogger, you can access all of the blogs from the same dashboard. However, Blogger does have some major disadvantages when it comes to creating money making blogs. Lack of flexibility: Compared to other options out there, the design and function of a Blogger blog is very limited. You can download and install custom themes for the blog, but most look very similar. This means your blog won't stand out as well in your niche. Domain name: You will get a free domain name with your Blogger blog, but the domain name will be "blogspot name " instead of "yourblogname" Ownership: You will never truly own your Blogger blog because the files and content are hosted on Blogger's server. Wordpress is the other popular platform for blogging. There is a free option that functions similarly to Blogger. However, there is also a free option that allows you to have your own website name. You install Wordpress on you website hosting and hook it up to a domain name that you own. If you don't know how to do this, your hosting company should be able to walk you through the process. Other advantages include: Customization: Wordpress themes are diverse and plentiful. Some themes will even make your blog look like an online newspaper. Features: Wordpress users have created tons of "plugins" that will increase the functionality of your blog and help you make the most out of your site. However, Wordpress is not without its problems. It is not as user friendly as Blogger, which can make it intimidating for newbies. You will also have to spend money to get your domain name and your website hosting. Despite these disadvantages, most professional bloggers go with the Wordpress option because they maintain ownership of their blogs and can customize them to their heart's content, but ultimately the choice is up to you and what will fit your needs the best. That's it for today's lesson. In your next lesson we will talk about brainstorming and generating good topic ideas to write about on your new blog.