The Manual of Blogging: 2nd thoroughly revised edition released

The 2nd edition of The Manual of Blogging is now available on Amazon. This is a thoroughly revised edition; some new concepts have been added based on new developments in the field of social media and the facts given in the book have been updated as of 2020.

manual of blogging
The book is available in both print and Kindle ebook formats on Amazon. Links to the book are given in the right column of this blog.

The Manual tries to make concepts clear on all aspects of blogging - technological, social, legal. It expands professional blogging topics and discusses their potential, e.g. business blogging, educational blogging, travel-food-fashion blogging... It also carries a long list of blogging best practices - tips that are practical and time-tested. For the more inquisitive ones, the Manual gives an exhaustive list of useful references. Thus, the Manual is a must for bloggers.

Hope, the book helps academicians, researchers and students in the field of media/ new media/ social media/ blogging.

As before, this blog SocialLogging will continue to carry excerpts from the Manual.

How Shihoko became a succesful blogger

Shihoko, 52, is a Japanese lady living in Australia, who loves cooking native Japanese food.

But that is the tip of the iceberg that her bio is. She is a food blogger and runs her blog Chopstick Chronicles, with her daughter Elizabeth. Shihoko went to Australia primarily to learn English. There she continued her profession - nursing - and found a side job of teaching Japanese. While talking of Japanese culture, she would also talk of Japanese food and that slowly drew her towards writing about Japanese food and photographing her recipes. After many years, she started her blog in 2015 - at the age of 48. In four years, her blog boasts of a sizable following and she is a name to reckon with in Japanese blogosphere.


Shihoko's daugher Elizabeth is her equal partner in blogging and seems equally passionate about trying out new dishes. The blog has led the mother-daughter duo to publish a book on Japanese food in 2019. Shihoko shares that it was because of the blog, that the book was possible: the blog was noticed by a publishing company who gave them the offer for the book.

Sheer passion,  patience and hard work - these seem to be the mantras that have made Shihoko a successful blogger.

The blog has a very professional, clean design and is a storehouse of Japanese cuisine of all types - sea food, noodles, meats and tofu, sweets, breads, drinks... When I asked a Japanese friend based in Delhi to comment on the recipes, he said, these are genuine Japanese dishes with the required native touch.

Which is the best blogging platform in 2020?

If you want to become a blogger in 2020, you have over a hundred blogging platforms to choose from (115, to be specific, according to a recent graphic on SocialSamosa). But not many would suit your needs. Let us look at the most suited platform for you, but before that let us browse some blogging stats.

Blogger [https://blogger.com] is the most popular free blogging site and it is everywhere. Blogger is a Google product and thus integrates with Gmail and other Google products. It is completeley free and gives a large storage space for blogging resources. It is highly secure. You can modify the looks of your blog in a hundred ways, place advertisements on your blog and make money, and migrate to other platforms if the blog grows beyond Blogger's free resources or for some other reason. Blogger is very easy to set up and maintain. The present blog, SocialLogging, is on Blogger.

Wordpress [https://wordpress.com] is another free platform and almost as easy as Blogger. However, it needs some setting up. The free account does not allow many changes to its design and does not allow you to put advertisements.

In this article, I have compared Blogger and Wordpress platforms in detail, bringing out their advantages and limitations.

Wordpress's software-only version is wordpress.org. This is not a free blogging platform but a software kit (technically called content management system or CMS) and is much more popular than free blogging platforms named above. This CMS only creates a blog for you but it does not give you a blog name and does not host your blog (= it does not place your blog on the web). The blog can be visited by others only when you buy domain name (=name for your blog) and engage a website hosting service for the blog.

Talking still of CMSs, let me add that there are many other CMSs used by bloggers and website creators. These are slightly more complicated than Wordpress and do not have as big a community as Wordpress has; the community discusses blogging matters and helps new bloggers in sorting out issues. The most popular CMSs after Wordpress are Joomla and Drupal.

Tumblr is another free platform, with limited facilities for customization. It has been traditionally popular among the younger users, especially because it makes sharing of content within the platform easy.

Medium is another free blogging medium and would suit you if you are interested only in posting quality content (mostly text) and are not bothered about design, money making etc. This platform gives one of the cleanest, no-frill design to the blog, so that visitors concentrate on reading the content. The blogger can earn some bucks by way of a partner program in which the blogger gets paid on the basis of engagement, but Medium does not allow any other form of monetization.

I think, a blogger does not have to go beyond these platforms, though there are many paid blogging platforms and website builders with blogging options. For the sake of listing, let me mention Wix and Weebly (versatile, drag-and-drop website builders); Typepad, Squarespace and Ghost (paid blogging platforms with many facilities; they need some tech skills); Livejournal - one of the earliest blogging platforms (still exists but now lags behind others in features).

How do I select a blogging platform for my needs?


The above discussion should be good enough for deciding upon a blogging platform. Let me make things more clear with this graphic comparing key features of major platforms for blogging.

topmost blogging platforms- free and paid

My final take on choosing the right blogging platforms is:
  • New bloggers would be fine starting with Blogger or Wordpress free blogging platforms.
  • Bloggers who want only to reach more people with their content, and have no wish or ambition to make the blog commercial or feature-rich, can go for Medium.
  • If you want to start with a free platform and then testing the ground before migrating to professional blogging, start with Blogger and then (i) either remain with Blogger and map the blog to an independent domain or (ii) shift to Wordpress CMS. But if you like the feel of Wordpress, start with its free platform from the beginning and later shift to Wordpress CMS.
  • Bloggers wanting to maintain a feature-rich professional/ commercial blog should go for Wordpress CMS and invest in a good domain name and web host.
  • While the choice of blogging platform is important, the quality of content, optimization, socialization and other aspects of blogging play a very important part in making a blog successful.