Many small businesses and internet entrepreneurs are looking for a way to start blogging – but without spending much money.
Generally speaking if you are just looking for a place to express your thoughts and have no commercial intent, then a free blogging platform can be right for you. However, if you have any intent to make money online then you must go with a paid blogging solution.
Here are the top five best free blogging platforms.
The world’s most popular blogging platform, WordPress offers a free and premium platform.
They also offer a huge set of free themes and the ability to customize your site/blog.
Benefits to WordPress.com Platform:
- Ability to use a custom domain (although this does incur an annual fee)
- All maintenance is taken care of for you: security, upgrades, spam filters and backups
- A huge set of free blogging themes
How to get started with WordPress.com
Visit WordPress.com and setup your free account. You’ll need to give some thought to your domain name. If you choose to use the completely free version, your site URL will look like this: yourdomain.wordpress.com. This is an important part of your brand and you should give considerable thought when choosing your domain name.
Once you have your blog up and running you’ll want to start driving traffic to it.
Again, if you have any commercial intent or are looking to make money with your blog you’ll want to go with the self-hosted WordPress.org solution.
Blogger is a free blogging platform by Google. And it is extremely popular. Millions of blogs run on this free platform.
Benefits to Blogging with Blogger.com:
- Easy to setup
- Lots of free templates and designs
- No need to know or use custom code
How to get started with Blogger
Visit Blogger.com and setup your free account.
If you already have a Google account (Gmail, YouTube, etc) it is best to use that account and link them together. Once you have setup your free account, you can get right to work designing your blog. Within a few hours, you should be able to have your first post published.
Blogger is best suited for informational blogs and for people wanting a platform to stay in touch with friends and family. E-commerce functions are limited on this platform and not an appropriate solution for any type of business activity.
Blogging on Tumblr is probably one of the easiest ways to start blogging. The options are fairly limited allowing you to begin blogging right away. Because of how the network is setup it is actually a mix of Twitter and WordPress.
Considered a micro-blogging platform, you can blog just a sentence or a full dissertation – it’s up to you. Many Tumblr blogs focus on sharing (reblogging) photos on a specific theme.
Benefits of Blogging on Tumblr.com:
- Use a custom domain
- Blog directly from your mobile device, desktop or via email
- Enjoy shared traffic from their network – opening your content to their huge audience
How to get started with Tumblr.com
Visit Tumblr.com and setup your free account. Click “Sign-Up” to start your blog. It would be best to spend some time learning how the site works. It is part blogging platform and part social media network, and it is different from all others.
If you do decide to use Tumblr for your blog, I would still recommend using a separate website for your main business pages, products, etc. Basically you’ll have your own website to handle the business end of your web presence and use the Tumblr blog as a traffic source to your main website.
With more than two million bloggers, your content has an audience just waiting for it on Blog.com. You have the choice between a free or premium package. Once you start blogging you can easily upgrade to a premium option if you need more power or options.
Benefits of Blogging with Blog.com:
- The free subdomain (yourdomain.blog.com) is clean and looks great
- Choose from a nice set of free themes
- Their search engine optimization platform means that you’ll get more traffic
How to get started blogging with Blog.com
Visit Blog.com and click “Sign In”. It really is that simple. Then choose your design and general settings. A great option for a nice looking functional blog.
Medium.com is a relatively new blogging platform that is growing quickly in popularity and audience.
The Medium platform is very minimalistic with a focus on the quality of the content and viewpoints being written.
How to get started with Medium.com
Simply go to Medium.com and click on the Sign In / Sign Up button. You can create an account using your existing social media accounts including Twitter, Facebook, and Google.
A nice feature of signing up using your existing Facebook or Twitter account is that Medium will automatically import your followers into the network on Medium.
Similar to Tumblr, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using Medium as your primary place of business online, but would consider using it as a traffic source; blogging to reach new audience that wouldn’t know of you otherwise — and drive them back to your website.