If creating content is what you do, you should know how difficult it is to promote yourself on the web these days. The competition is ever high, and breaking through the information noise often feels like cutting blocks with a razor.
Apparently, there’s no deficit for platforms where bloggers, video creators, authors, podcasters, and other talented individuals can seek exposure for their content. But what if you want to have a personal online space designed by YOU specifically for YOUR audience?
NING is a U.S.-based company offering their own take on this matter. Its website building platform is expected to cater to anybody who’s interested in establishing an online presence, building a community, sharing unique content or making money online – or all combined.
What is NING
Do you want to start a travel blog or build an online portfolio? Or maybe you’d like to create a dating website to ensure some extra revenue? Unless you are a skilled programmer, your best option is a website builder like NING.
NING started out as a platform for creating custom social networks, targeting internet enthusiasts wishing to step away from public networks like Facebook and build a personalized online community around a specific topic. After a few years of massive success, NING lost a good deal of formerly loyal customers due to internal management changes, controversial business decisions, and high staff turnover. However, today NING returns with a heavily upgraded platform and entirely new team leading its development.
Pretty much like any other website builder available on the market today, NING offers extensive customization features along with a custom domain name and hosting services. What is more, if you don’t want a URL ending with ning.com, you can purchase any other domain name and map it to your NING website.
What makes NING unique is its focus on social networking and monetization combined with vast possibilities for content sharing. As a result, we have a tool that allows you to create a comprehensive social network capable of engaging diverse audience groups and generating revenues.
Now for a brief breakdown of core NING features:
Customization: Users can customize a website design by selecting one of the pre-built templates. Further customization is achieved through the use of a tool called Design Studio. There’s also a toolkit allowing you to create a professional landing page for your website. At the moment, customization possibilities are pretty decent but can hardly compete with those of Squarespace or Wix. However, NING claims they are actively working on a major upgrade that will add a full-on Drag-&-Drop and far more superior customization tools in the nearest future.
Content sharing: NING websites can be filled basically with all kinds of digital content including blog posts, articles, photos, videos, and music. Content can be added both by a website owner and network members if due permissions are given. You can also control privacy settings for the content shared.
Social networking: One of NING’s strongest points. Social features include private and group messages, live chat, email services, forum, polls, comments, social sharing and liking, and social log-in.
Monetization: Another competitive advantage that enables users to make money from their websites. Three monetization options are available: paid access to premium content paid membership on the network and donations. There’s also an inbuilt analytics tool allowing you to track your transactions and customers.
NING offers three subscription plans: Basic ($25/month), Performance ($49/month), and Ultimate ($99/month). Good news is that you get access to all NING features regardless of the plan you choose. However, if you want a greater capacity of members, admins, and storage (as well as better customer service), be prepared to fork out for a more expensive plan. But before you decide whether NING is a good fit for you, check out their 14-day free trial.
NING is a great website builder for people who aspire to share unique content, socialize, and earn money online. Although not without its flaws, the platform is a great solution as long as you want a website packed with useful features but don’t possess the level of tech savviness required to create a website from scratch.