When it comes to selecting the best blogging platforms you need to look at the type of blog you are trying to create, the purpose, and what kind of platform is going to work best for you. The process should almost feel like you are “matching” with the most ideal type for you and your business.
There are typically a few ways to do this, you can use an actual blogging platform, but keep in mind that they become a little more limited when it comes to how your content is shown due to internal programs and algorithms.
Another option for a blog is creating a website and then hosting your blog there. You can use a few site builders and it might be a little more labor-intensive but you’ll have more control over the content, publishing, and SEO.
The Top Best Free Blog Sites
Once you’ve identified the type of blog that you plan on creating, it’s time to select the most appropriate and best blogging platform for you. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites and weigh out some pros and cons for each.
Wix is a fast way to start a blog that gives you endless possibilities when it comes to features, design, and content. You get all the benefits of customization in a very neat platform that features drag and drop simplicity.
- Advanced Design Templates – In addition to a drag and drop design interface, Wix gives you the ability to choose preformatted designs that can be customized to your brand in no time.
- Flexible Pricing – Wix gives you the option to pay monthly rather than be tied into annual, or semi-annual plans.
- Not Unlimited – Wix doesn’t allow you unlimited bandwidth even on a more enterprise plan.
- SEO – the search engine optimization features are a little limited when it comes to Wix targeting keywords.
One of the most powerful and popular blogging platforms is WordPress the vast capabilities and extreme customization along with a wide variety of features make this an ideal platform for both personal and business blogs alike.
- Go Big or Go Small – WordPress gives you the ability to do as much or as little as you’d like in terms of content for your blog. You can develop the blog using custom code, or you can even find the most effective plugins that will help you with your goals.
- SEO – WordPress has great plugins when it comes to SEO as well. You can easily create the proper title and meta tags so that you can optimize your content so that it is easier to find for your target audience.
- Ease of Navigation – Some people might find WordPress a little intimidating when it comes to development. The user interface can take a little while to get used to.
- Price – WordPress can be a bit pricey when it comes to upgrading to one of the paid plans. This will allow you to unlock some of the main features of the platform.
Substack is a fairly new blogging platform that is a bit different than the traditional competition. It also gives you the ability to monetize your posts and ask subscribers to pay a fee for the content.
- Monetization – Charging for content is completely optional and is not required. This gives you control over how you want to target your demographic and also gives you full control of revenue potential.
- Flexibility – Substack offers a flexible plan that allows you to select an annual, monthly, or founding subscription plan.
- Newsletters – If you send out newsletters you have the option to have your newsletters published on your blog automatically.
- The Cut – While there are many benefits to Substack if you charge for the items you are publishing they will take a percentage of your profits, 10% to be exact. While this seems nominal this may become costly over time.
- Aesthetics – Much like LiveJournal this is not going to be a platform for enhancing visual appearance. Substack is going to give you a basic color palette for components such as buttons and you’ll be able to add a logo and a header image.
If you are a B2B blogger LinkedIn might be the most effective platform for you and your audience. LinkedIn is essentially a social media site that acts like a living version of individual resumes and a sort of business and team directory.
- Analytics – for business, analytics might be one of the most important things to have access to in terms of determining the success of your blog. Built-in analytics are extremely convenient and easy to use.
- Relevant Audience – LinkedIn is specifically geared toward professional profiles. If you are a business this is where you can possibly shine to the most relevant audience to you.
- Limited Audience – While it’s great to have a relevant audience it also keeps your brand exposure limited to B2B. This may be more relevant if you sell B2B but if you sell both B2B and B2C you may be missing a big demographic and impressions for your brand.
As the name suggests, Blogger was one of the pioneering platforms for building out a blog or a site from the 1990s. It is the best blogging platform to make money with Adsense and affiliate programs.
- Google Integration – Since Google owns Blogger so it integrates seamlessly. One example is you can use your existing Google account to sign up and create your domain.
- Free to Use – if you are ok with a website subdomain on “.blogspot.com” you can use and build out your blogger site for free!
- If You Need Help – Unfortunately, because this is part of Google, you will have to rely on a lot of “self-service” help tactics via forums/etc.
- It’s Hard to Customize – While blogger gives you a free run of customizing the themes with CSS and HTML, you’ll have to go through copious amounts of built-in and existing variables and conditional statements in their code editor.
There’s nothing scary about this blogging platform other than the speed and how fast the technology used is.
- SEO – unlike some other popular platforms Ghost has native SEO tools built right in to help you start ranking.
- Cost – Ghost becomes manageable when it comes to their hosting, it starts at $29/mo.
- Limited Integrations – Right now ghost does not have a large support of plugins for customizations.
- Themes – Much like other more basic platforms, Ghost doesn’t allow for a large number of themes.
The blogging platform known as Medium can be described as the startup of the blogging world. It has had a reasonable amount of growth as well! Are you looking for the best blogging platform to make money? Medium is one of the free blogging sites that pay for content creators, but there is certain limitations.
- Ease of usage – You can begin blogging in no time at all on Medium. It operates on a very intuitive and user-friendly interface.
- Audience – Medium boasts that they have over 100 million people reading on their platform per month. That leaves a huge potential for finding an audience that is interested and will engage with your content.
- Traffic – if website traffic is your goal this might not be the platform for you. You are operating on Medium’s domain so you are technically generating traffic for them, and not “your” website/blog.
- Competitive Game – because this platform is growing in popularity that means so is the competition. You’ll have to focus on your content to ensure you “stand out” in the crowd.
Tumblr has been compared to being a “longer Twitter” where you can edit your posts. This is a platform that was created in 2007 and it’s a very simple way to publish content.
- Interface – it’s extremely easy to create and publish content that features media sources like photos, videos, audio, etc.
- Finding content – there are trending tabs where you can begin engagement immediately with other Tumblr blogs/users.
- Customization – Tumblr features limited themes and visual options like font/etc.
- Ownership – you don’t own your content on Tumblr, the platform owns your blog and any content you post.
If casual dabbling into blogging is your thing then LiveJournal may be just the right solution. Livejournal has evolved from one of the best free blogging platforms for aspiring influencers, to becoming a casual community-based hangout spot.
- Social interaction – LiveJournal’s transition from a premier blogging platform to almost a social media site isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Having the ability to send private messages and engage or join with communities opens up some new avenues for engagement rates. Being able to share your thoughts and ideas seamlessly is part of the blogging experience after all.
- Cost – LiveJournal is free, this lends itself to literally any budget in terms of blogging. With the zero-dollar startup fee, you can get right to penning your thoughts and sharing with your audience and social media profiles.
- Design – if you are looking for a platform that has robust design potential then LiveJournal might not be the right platform for you. The templates are limited to what is on the platform and there are no professional-created templates available.
- Adspace – Free LiveJournal account sites have to display the ads from LiveJournal.
- Purpose – if professional blogging is your intention, this platform may not be for you. LiveJournal isn’t the best platform for a professional-level blog.
Things to Look for in a Blogging Platform
After you have reviewed the options, now you can make an informed choice on the best blogging platform for you. You’ll have to think about your skill level first, if you are a beginner maybe going for a platform that is user-friendly will be the most important component for you. If you are more advanced, your options will be greater from a design and feature perspective as well.
Always keep growth in your mind, as you develop content you will need a platform that will grow as fast or as slowly as you would like. Scaleability and visual customization will be important factors to consider.
Budget will be another thing to consider. While an initial investment may occur for a more robust platform, it may be worth it if you have some long-term goals you’d like to reach. If you plan on being a more casual blogger you might be ok with maintaining a basic account or not looking into a paid plan.
Selecting the best blogging platform will be completely relative to everyone, choosing the best platform for your blog is important, and so is who will be responsible for development. Gauging your skill level or the skill level of the team that will be working on the blog is important.
One great strategy is doing your homework, research not only the platforms but what it takes to develop each of the platforms. This will give you an idea of if you can start your blog yourself and then eventually move forward and find that you have a need to hire a developer. Alternatively, if you are finding yourself overwhelmed there are many options for you to explore, you could look into obtaining a consultant who will be able to walk you through the process of designing the perfect blog for your content.
It doesn’t need to stop there, once the design process is finished, you’ll want to develop a strategy around obtaining new traffic on a regular basis. Learning how to market your blog is going to be pivotal. You’ll want to ensure you have a great understanding of your audience, how your content is being tailored to them, the quality of your content, the frequency of posting, and how to read analytics.
Utilizing analytics, third-party or built-in will get you into a regular routine where you will be able to see metrics overtime on traffic trends. Taking insights from these analytics will help with the continued success of your blog.