Five Reasons Why You Should Do Your Steem Blogging with Engrave
I've been blogging for as long as I can remember. It's just that, my interest will go up, then suddenly after something more interesting comes along, I will abandon my blogging and move on to another thing. I have been in blogosphere during the early days of Wordpress, Blogger, LiveJournal, Blog.Com and Multiply. I actually used most of these platforms to help friends set up their online presence and eventually get their own domain. I also had my own blog, LEONEIL.COM, which is now defunct. I still have the domain under my name but I still need to think what to do with it.
Then Steem came along, which is another blogging platform. Compared to those I mentioned in the paragraph above, Steem rewards its authors through curation by other members. That caught my attention and here I am, already started finding my niche again in the blogging universe. While it is interesting to see what Steem can do for me for my content, I will rather blog through Steem than set up a blog outside of the Steem blockchain. It is much much more difficult to establish and earn by blogging I believe. With all those ad-blockers and other scripts that may hinder you from monetizing your content, it is certainly discouraging to write without any rewards to gain.
I am not saying it is easy with Steem. You still need to work hard to establish your content and engage with other authors so you'll be noticed. An integral part of that on your part as a content maker is the interface you're using when blogging within the Steem blockchain. My friend @chrisrice introduced me to Engrave, a blogging Dapp built on the top of the Steem blockchain. So whatever you post on Engrave, it will also appear on other Steem interfaces like SteemIt, Steempeak, or Busy. I signed-up, imported my post (glad I only wrote just a single post before using Engrave), and then used it ever since. I wish I could have done it before, or had discovered it at an earlier time so I could have established my Steem presence way way back. For me, it is a very promising piece of blockchain app and I have at least five main reasons why I say so.
Your blog looks more professional
While I enjoy using the various Steem interfaces available, blogging through Engrave gives your blog a more professional look. Having a subdomain as a blog is much better to remember than being on a SteemInterface/@yourusername format. Best, you can use your owndomain.tld for your Engrave blog. If you can check this blog, I have use the LEONEIL.ME domain to use for my Engrave blog. Currently, there are also three templates available to use which are all appealing and mobile friendly. I expect more templates will be available especially when its user base increases.
If you used Wordpress or Blogger before, the Engrave's interface is closely similar to those two and it is pretty much straighforward. Like most Steem interfaces, it has a drag and drop feature when including photos on your posts. You can also set a featured image and it may be something not included in your actual post. What's more useful I believe that you cannot find in another Steem interface is the Category feature. You can assign categories for your posts which is useful in getting your content organized.
Blog Stats on Steroids
This is not a built-in thing if you're expecting something like that. You still need to do something from your end, which is to sign up for Google Analytics and putyour tracking ID under your blog settings. I put the words on steroids as Google Analytics will give you the metrics that you need if you want more than the numbers you usually get across the Steem blockchain (e.g. curation, rewards, number of votes). But if you're already familiar with how Google Analytics work, or any other analytics tracking script like Matomo, you know better that it will provide more insights as to how your blog performs with all the other metrics used for website traffic analysis.
Very little cost to use
Some might argue that Engrave is actually free to use, which to some extent makes sense. However, when you post something through Engrave, it makes the @engrave account a beneficiary of your rewards, pegged at 5%. For me, that is cost, the service is not free. But I won't mind giving them 5% of what I make in my posting because I know that maintaining a platform like Engrave entails cost - server hosting, maintenance, security, labor cost, and many more. It is just FAIR to give them something back for providing a wonderful blogging interface for everyone to use.
Get a Free Upvote
I don't want to assume this is as an automatic thing, but having been upvoted by @engrave a number of times is something I really appreciate. I think you just need to create content and you'll get the upvote that you deserve. It's not that much but if I consistently get that upvote from @engrave, I know that time will come that such account will grow too, so are my rewards. I am thinking it's they way of saying "thank you for using our Dapp". Take note that getting (or not) an upvote will depend on the quality of your post as @engrave do this manually.
Lastly, though this may sound my sixth reason, the support I got from them is excellent. I had problems setting my own domain to redirect my Engrave blog (the one with subdomain) to the domain I chose. It took days (as I think I was the first one to have such issue) for them to figure out but still, they managed to get it working, which I really appreciated. The issue I had will also be I reckon included to their FAQs so it will be easier for other users having the same issue to resolve theirs.
There you have it folks, whether you are a casual blogger or a serious author looking for a great blogging platform, for something functional like Engrave, it is definitely worth a try.