How to Start a Blog For Free – My Top 10 Free Blogging Platforms

So, you want to set up a blog for free? You’re in luck, you’ve come to the right place!

If you’re at the start of your blogging journey, I can see how the many influences, designs and themes might confuse you little. Don’t worry about this too much, we all started off in the same place, including me a few years ago.

I knew nothing about blogging and had no idea where to start – since I now pretty much do it every day it’s become second nature.

I suppose the first question I would ask you is why do you want to set up a free blog?

If you’re looking to start a hobby blog where you just blog about your favourite passion or just want to relate the world, what you know about starting a free blog is just fine.

However, if you’re looking to eventually start a business, then I recommend you take a look at this article I wrote that shows you just how cheap it is to get a domain for free (yourwebsitename.com) and really cheap hosting (where your website lives). I personally use iPage to host my client websites and I highly recommend them.

If you’re not looking to start a business and you want a blog so that you can tell the world about your passions, here are the top 10 free blogging platforms I would recommend:

WordPress

Wordpress

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform on earth. In fact, this very blog that you’re reading right now has been produced and published on WordPress (hence why it’s my first recommendation).

  • WordPress powers 31% of the internet.
  • 3GB Storage Space.
  • Sometimes display advertisements on your blog.
  • Dozens of free themes.
  • You get a free domain (normally followed by wordpress.com. For example, mywebsitename/worpress.com).
  • Secure and trustworthy.
  • Super-easy to install (most of the time with only a couple of clicks).
  • Has the most helpful resources online to help you get set up.
  • The vast majority of themes are mobile-friendly.

Wix

Wix

Maybe you’ve seen Wix advertising on YouTube or TV? I know I’ve seen their adverts quite a lot…

Probably one of the most popular drag-and-drop editors online today.

The great thing about this type of software is that it’s not loaded onto your desktop, it’s actually available online.

This means you have the ability to edit it from any device anywhere in the world.

  • Drag-and-drop editor.
  • 500 design templates to choose from.
  • Additional apps.
  • All themes are mobile-friendly.

Weebly.com

Weebly

Weebly is very similar to Wix – like most of the website builders, Weebly is pretty much accessible anywhere online and you can edit it from the vast majority of mobile devices if you’re out and about.

Like Wix, it has a really cool drag-and-drop editing tool. That way, even if you’re a completely beginner to building websites, this should be pretty straightforward to get to grips with.

However, if you do need a little bit of HTML or CSS, Weebly actually gives you the option to use them.

  • Drag-and-drop builder.
  • Displays ads to pay for your free use.
  • 500MB storage.
  • Weebly subdomain (yourwebsitename/weebly.com).
  • Free chat and email support.

Medium.com

Medium

Medium.com has grown in popularity over the last few years.

Not only is it super easy to sign up to start using – the look and feel of it come across more like a Twitter platform for long-form content.

What’s great about Medium is; if you have existing content online, you can use the import tool to import your content and all you then need to simply do is click “publish”.

Another great thing that a lot of people fail to realise, is that Medium asks you to connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Once you publish your content, it automatically tries to find your social media connections to give your content even more exposure.

There’s no drag-and-drop editor here – it’s simply adding text, adding videos and adding images.

  • Medium is the brainchild of Twitter’s founders.
  • Simple, basic format.
  • Up-and-running in no time.
  • Good for credibility.
  • Not that great for branding.

Blogger.com

Blogger.com

Back in the day, Blogger.com used to be the most popular blogging platform online (this was before WordPress got so popular).

In the good old days, your article ranked really well because of the simple fact that Blogger.com is owned by Google. However, those days are long gone and it’s more or less just a simple blogging platform now (no preferential treatment is given).

One of the main things that’s great about Blogger.com is that it’s always been free. You can use any of the features for free and you’ve got a few different choices of blog themes and templates.

It automatically integrates with Google Adsense, so if you want to earn a little bit of pocket money from your content, this is pretty easy to do (though, it won’t be much).

You have the chance of using your own domain name which you’ll need to pay for separately or you can use a domain provided by Blogger.com (yourwebsitename/blogger.com).

  • Google-owned platform.
  • Secure and safe.
  • Lots of basic themes and templates.
  • Good for a starter-blog.
  • Easy signup process
  • Powerless – no control over your blog.

Tumblr.com

Tumblr.com

Tumblr.com is a mix between a blogging website and a social media network.

It’s still very popular even with professional bloggers and it’s absolutely perfect if you want to make something more personal and focus on a specific interest that you have.

Similar to a Twitter-style format, the platform has a news feed with new blogs and new articles added to it every second. You also have the ability to follow someone else’s Tumblr blog and, in turn, they have a chance to follow yours, too! Therefore, it’s really important to put the correct tags on any piece of content that you publish.

If somebody comes across your blog, they don’t really have the chance to leave a comment – they do, however, have a chance to repost your post onto their blog by adding a caption to it.

This is pretty unique and exclusive to Tumblr – there aren’t really any other blogging platforms that operate in this way.

  • Cross between WordPress & Twitter.
  • Submit content on the go (anywhere via their mobile apps).
  • Really easy to sign up and easy to use.
  • Has a strong community feel.
  • Quite a few bots on the platform (not always that desirable).

Yola.com

Yola.com

Yola.com isn’t the most popular blogging platform out there but it’s still a decent website builder.

The nice thing about Yola is, it has a nice, fresh, modern look but the choice of templates is quite limited.

One of the annoying things, though, that I would say is a big let-down compared to the others is the fact that the mobile website version is not available on a free plan (only available from their silver plan upwards). Being a marketer, this is really hard to get my head around and, for this fact alone, I nearly didn’t add this to my list.

It just seems crazy that in this day and age that a blogging platform isn’t 100% mobile-friendly.

My advice would be to take a look for yourself have a play with the free version, see if this is a right fit for you and,  in time, you can upgrade.

  • Simple to set up and use.
  • Drag-and-drop editor.
  • Free plan limits you to two sites and three web pages.
  • 1GM storage & bandwidth.
  • No 3rd party ads.
  • has a few templates.

Contentful.com

Contentful.com

Contentful.com is a really flexible and user-friendly content management platform that makes it super-easy to edit and publish your content quickly. The only thing I would say is; this has been built with a corporate mindset and not really for a hobby blogger.

  • Quick to set up.
  • Not as well-known.
  • Not exactly for new bloggers (a bit more technical).

Jekyllrb.com

Jekyllrb.com

This is quite a simple blogging platform – in essence, you create content as text files, organise them into folders and Jekyll then stitches the content together.

Compared to the other platforms, this is a bit strange but I can see the appeal for some people.

  •  Easy to set up.
  •  Transforms your plain text into static websites and blogs.
  •  Not as well-known.
  •  I don’t know if this will be around in 10yrs time.

Svbtle.com

Svbtle.com

(Not truly free)

Because it has such a minimalist design, this blogging platform is quite popular. By default, it disables the ability for somebody to comment on your post but readers can offer what the platform calls a “Kudos.” Readers can basically ‘nudge’ a writer who hasn’t posted anything for a while (a bit odd).

If you’re just starting out, this might be a great option since it’s very basic and with very little customisation.

  • First two weeks are free.
  • Very similar to Medium (not very bulky, simple and clean format).
  • Not much customisation.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it…

Those are what I believe to be the most user-friendly free blogging platforms online. Of course, there are many others, but these 10 would be what I would recommend getting started with.

If I had to choose out of the 10, then WordPress, Wix or Weebly would be my choices. Not only are they the most well-known blogging platforms, but the support and the ability to upgrade is far superior to the other free website builders.

 

About the Author Des

Des is a full-time online marketer who sells information products and a membership program. He tests and studies what does and doesn't work and then shares his findings on this website. He takes you behind the scenes of how he runs his business to help you market yours.

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