Three ways to start blogging and take control of your contents

I have written before that I think we need more personal blogs, and that bloggers and content producers should publish their work on a website they control, outside the social network silos.

However, if you are an active participant in social media, you may not be aware of all the great possibilities you have for publishing outside the silos of social media.

In this post I describe three ways to start blogging on your own terms, and giving you control of your contents.

Use semi-open social blogging platforms

Facebook and Twitter (and Instagram, YouTube, Google Plus, etc.) are closed social media silos that do not allow free and open access to the published contents. It is very difficult or even impossible, if you want to export and self-host your contents.

You should know, there are other social media platforms that are not closed, and that allow you to host the contents you publish on your own personal domain.

Notable examples are Tumblr and Medium, which both have the option to host your blog on a personal domain. (See these instructions: Tumblr: Custom domains and Medium: Get started with custom domains.)

By having Tumblr or Medium host your blog on your on domain, you get the advantages that you can participate in the active social community of the platform, and that the platforms are fully managed, so you don't have to care about the intricacies of server hosting and blogging software security updates.

An even better alternative is the blog community, which you can participate in by having your Wordpress blog hosted by (see more on hosted blogging software, below), is growing fast and will probably outlast both Tumblr and Medium.

One significant difference with is that you have to pay a subscription fee to have the blog hosted on your personal domain, but then you also get rid of the ads. On Tumblr you and your readers will see ads, but Medium is still ad-free (but who knows how long that will last).

There are a number of good things with all of these blogging platforms; Tumblr, Medium and

Self-host your blog

When you are ready to move out of the established social media platforms, and make your blog completely independent, then self-hosting your blog is the natural choice.

Your options for self-hosted blogging software are many, including:

Any of these can be self-hosted, hence you can run the software on a server you manage yourself. If you don't know which blogging software to choose, then go with Wordpress, which is the safest and most stable choice for the long term.

If you are not a server management expert, I recommend that you select a hosting provider, such as Digital Ocean, which provide one-click installs for Wordpress, and enable automatic updates. (Also, make sure you set-up an automatic backup process, and follow the best security practices for using the software, such as using long unique password, etc.)

Use static page blogging (for the tech-savy)

If you are tech-savy and don't mind entering cryptic commands into terminal emulators, then you should definitely consider trying one of the many static site generators.

Notable examples are:

Many choose to host their static blog for free with Github Pages. It's easy to do, and works with any static blogging tool. (Instructions for Jekyll, and Hugo)

Other free (or nearly free) hosting alternatives are AWS S3, and Gitlab Pages.

This blog is created using Jekyll, published using Gitlab Pages, and with a TLS-certificate from Let's Encrypt, see instructions here.