Looking for a blogging platform that is perfect for your niche? Blogging is BIG BUSINESS and the best thing about it? You can get started for free – within minutes.
Whether you are looking to blog professionally, or simply share your thoughts with the world, blogging is still a great option IN 2019. Longer blog posts are more successful, not just for the end user, but they get more traffic over to your space on the web. Successful blogs are measured in: Views, shares/likes, and time spent (and also claps, but more on that later)
… you’ll want to choose a platform that easily allows your users to do the above.
Make Money Blogging
If you’re looking to make money from blogging in the long run then you’ll want to invest in a professional domain name down the line. However, that’s not necessary right now. We just want to get on to a great blogging platform and become a blogger.
There are great NEW and innovative ways to make money blogging which we’ll touch on briefly – so that you can get excited about your new blogging platform. Your blog can grow as big as you want to make it, both in readers and also monetary value.
Why would you want a blog?
There are several reason’s someone would want a blog. If you have a business, then you’ll want a blog to attract more customers to your website. Companies with blogs get 67% more leads than those without a blog.
You might want to create a blog to share your life journey (or an aspect of it), to gain experience as a blogger, because you love writing or share your hobby. The reasons to start a blog are endless, and I applaud you for taking the first step on your blogging journey. If you want to be like the pro bloggers out there then the professional approach is to create an editorial calendar.
Choosing the best online platform is critical for your online success. Now that you’re all hyped up about your new blogging journey, let’s dive in to our pick of the:
Top 10 Best FREE Blogging Platforms of 2019
#1 | Medium
BEST FOR; reaching an established audience, making money
Medium is a fairly young blogging platform with some exciting benefits for bloggers. Launched back in 2012, Medium is changing the blogging landscape. If you’re looking for a FREE quick-and-easy way to jump online and start blogging, Medium.com could be for you. The best bit about it is that you can get paid for blogging on Medium, through their partnership program.
There are many reasons that Medium has taken our number one spot. Since its launch Mediums founders have been on a wild journey, which is starting to pay off in 2019. With 60 million monthly users, you’ll have an instant audience on Medium.com. Obviously, your content will have to be good to get the readers, however it’s exciting to know that 4.5 million reading hours are spent on Medium every single month.
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✔ Login & create an account in seconds with any of your social profiles
✔ Share your story with a massive community of readers
✔ No design experience required
✔ Publish your articles in minutes
✔Get paid for your writing, add your bank account via Stripe and accept payments
✔ Get traffic to your website from Medium.com by sharing your website URL
✔ Medium articles are well received and picked up regularly on Google.
✘ You can’t use your own domain name, instead you get https://medium.com/yourprofilename
✘ You can’t earn via affiliate money on Medium (eg. You can’t place ads in your content)
✘ By hijacking the Medium.com audience, you have great instant reach, the only thing is you can’t access this audience out with Medium.
✘ You don’t own your follower database
✘ Medium.com is geared towards US/ English speaking audience.
#2 | WordPress
BEST FOR; creating your own branded blog
WordPress is the leading blogging platform with a wide variety of themes to choose from. I put them second on the list just because you need to build your own audience and setting up a blog with WordPress is basically like setting up an actual website. Great, sure, but a bit more daunting than publishing your blogs on Medium.com, that being said – I’d advice going for both a WordPress website and publishing on Medium.com for exposure.
26% of all websites are WordPress sites, however originally they were designed to be blogs. IMO blogging is still WordPress’ greatest strength. You can install wordpress on your own host within minutes and use your own domain name.
WordPress.com and WordPress.org are different sites. Furthermore, you can install WordPress on your own server – there are actually three different approaches to using WordPress.
WordPress.com is the 100% free option for you to build your website. WordPress.org is where you can download the latest version of WordPress to upload onto your own webserver/ host. Therefore if you are looking for a quick and easy way to get started blogging, WordPress.com is a good place to start. You can always download the files later and upload to your own name server when you get there.
The interface at WordPress:
✔ You can choose a theme/ branding for your WordPress blog
✔ Available in 62 Languages
✔ Built-in plugin features to choose from
✔ Built in statistics to monitor how well your site is doing
✔ Easy for beginners to set up
✔ Flexible, you can start of FREE and move on to a custom domain or hosting in the future by downloading your files and porting them to your new server.
#3 | Wix
BEST FOR; beginners looking to create a branded blog or website
Another great platform to start blogging on is Wix. Again it is more like setting up your own website, rather than a simple 3rd party blogging platform. So you’ll need to work on getting readers over to your new website.
Wix is very popular for people starting out their online journey, because the offer an easy way to set up a website, even if you have limited technical ability. Founded back in 2006, Wix is a reputable and well established free website builder platform, trusted by over 100 million users. A great option if you want to go down the traditional website pathway.
The interface at Wix:
✔ Perfect for beginners set up your website intuitively with drag and drop
✔ Quick to set up
✔ Branding and customization options are endless.
✘ Free plan has Wix branding (you can pay to remove it)
✘ Limited ecommerce functionality
✘ After you have selected your theme you cannot change it, so make sure you are 100% before you decide on the look and feel for your new Wix blog.
#4 | Blogger
BEST FOR; easily creating a 3rd party blog
Got a Google account or gmail? Great, that’s all you need to get started with Blogger. One of the first blogging platforms to be created back in 1999, Blogger was acquired by Google in 2003. Blogger is secure and reliable platform to publish blogs. However, you can’t use your own domain name and unlike Medium you don’t get access to their traffic. If you want to use your own domain name then adding a Wix blog to your existing site is a good option, or Gator.
The interface at Blogger:
✔ 100% FREE
✔ Allows multi publishing, so you can have others publish on your blog
✔ Easy to get started, no tech skills required
✘ Limited features and templates
✘ Not updated regularly
✘ Doesn’t have its own traffic
✘ Isn’t updated frequently
#5 | Ghost
BEST FOR; people looking for a lightweight alternative to WordPress
Another Opensource CMS site, similar in type to WordPress is Ghost. Ghost is specifically geared towards written publications like magazines and journalists. Ghost offers an easy blog solution that is clean and intuitive.
Ghost is not 100% free, but they do havea free trial of their fully managed Ghost Pro service. The free trial is 14 days long and you’ll need to enter your credit card to take advantage of this service.
The interface at Ghost:
✔ 14 day free trial
✔ Created specifically for bloggers
✔ Clean, intuitive design
✘ No 100% free option
#6 | Tumblr
BEST FOR; microblogging, personal content and reaching other members to share your content
Tumbr is a microblogging platform and the 7th leading social media platform. Tumblr hit the news recently as they have issued a porn ban, leading to a third of their users leaving. The best thing about Tumblr is that there are people over there to share your content with as they have 437 million monthly active users, down from 521 million before they announced the new rules.
Not a professional platform – more something you might use to share your musings. If you’re looking for somewhere to write and share your content then Tumblr is a blogging community well worth a look.
The interface at Tumblr:
✔ 100% FREE to use
✔ You can make money with adverts
✔ You get your own sub-domain for your blog
✔ Super easy to get started with, like any of the major social media platforms you’ll be up and running almost instantly
✔ The social media aspect means you can share your work with more people.
✔ You can upgrade and use a professional domain name with your Tumblr blog
✔ A wide variety of themes available
✘ Limited features
✘ Pages are not easily customized / branded – eg. No professional themes/ templates
✘ Backups and downloading your Tumblr blog to port it onto another platform is tricky
#7 | Squarespace
BEST FOR; beginners who want a beautiful website
Squarespace is an American owned website builder designed for small to medium business’ to get online easily. Squarespace has been around for 16 years and offers some great features for bloggers. For example you can choose from a wide range of templates that suit your brand’s look and feel.
The interface at Squarespace:
✔ Great for beginners
✔ Great choice of templates
✔ You can use your own domain name
✘ Limited features
# 8 | Jimdo
BEST FOR; people looking for a front end CMS
Jimdo is really easy to use, even for the complete beginner. If you like to edit the website from the front end (eg. how the user sees the website) much like Clickfunnels or Visual Composer then Jimdo could be a great option.
Probably a good option for a new blogger that likes the front end approach, rather than someone who has been blogging for years and is accustomed to back-end content management.
The interface at Jimdo:
✔ Great for those who like front end web management
✔ Easy to use for the complete beginner
✘ No back-end content management
✘ There are ads on the free version
✘ No custom domain option
#9 | Joomla
BEST FOR; people who want to scale their additional features
Joomla is similar to WordPress, and at some point in the past it was a serious contender. Powering a decent 3.1% of the web, Joomla is still a good option for a lot of people looking for a blog. The only thing is, you’ll need to upload it or install it via your website host, so a bit more technical ability is required. You can get great hosting from Siteground or Hostinger and select Softaculous, which will allow you to quickly deploy Joomla.
The interface at Joomla:
✔ Feature rich
✔ You can use your own domain name
✘ You need to find another host
✘ Complicated framework to use
10 | Fuel CMS
BEST FOR; those looking for a premium grade website
If you are feeling technical, then Code Igniter is one of the more advanced PHP frameworks that also offers a FREE CMS. You’ll probably need a developer to download and install Fuel CMS, however, if you are great with technology they do have some great documentation to help you. A great solution if you want a thoroughly professional website.
The interface at Fuel CMS:
✔ Easy to use for content editors, when installed
✔ A great forum and documents to help you
✔ Flexible and suitable for those looking for a premium CMS experience
✘ Created for the more tech-savvy blogger
✘ You’ll need a host and domain name
So Which Blogging Platform Suits You Best?
Blogging platforms come in many different shapes and sizes, as you can see. Choose the best platform provider that suits, that will depend what you want to do with your blog going forward.