Having a Facebook page or Instagram account for your business is highly desirable. You can generate lots of publicity and sales from the use of social media for your products and services. While this is perfectly okay do not get carried away by these successes.
Why? Well, these platforms, while built resiliently, you do not own or have control over them. That is why I advise starting a blog hence my reason to compile this list of best free blogging websites. Here is a link for how to come up with blog content.
The social platforms can decide to change their terms and conditions overnight which might adversely affect your business.
WordPress is probably the most known platform for blogging on the web. It is however more than that, it is a content management system and a website builder. Started in 2003, it has undergone several iterations to include several features that expand on its capabilities.
Probably what has made it this successful is its open-source nature. WordPress is not owned by a single entity like the typical copywritten product. Thousands of developers have worked on it over the years fixing bugs and adding features.
Seems thousands of heads are better than two!
Although it is free to download and use WordPress, you need to note the usual costs associated with having a website. You’ll need to select and buy a domain name as well as find a hosting service.
Launched in 1999 and acquired and managed by Google since 2003, Blogger is another free blogging platform. I remember a few years back seeing lots of ‘.blogpot.com’ subdomain websites. It was made popular since you did not have to buy hosting.
Additionally, themes and gadgets are free though there are others from third parties that you have to pay for to use.
To avoid having the subdomain name and make your blog look professional you’ll have to obtain a custom domain from a domain registration service. Most domain names are priced around $13 to $17.
Blogger comes with its own built-in analytics which you can slice and dice to get insights on your audience. However it has limited features compared to the likes of WordPress. For example, a site’s portability between hosts is not as fluid.
Evan Williams started Medium, a publishing platform, in 2012. He is a co-founder of Twitter. He developed Medium with an intention to put out info longer than the limited characters allowed on Twitter. Drew Olanoff, TechCrunch, at one point suggested the name Medium might have come from it being medium-sized in between Twitter and a full-size blogging platform.
Medium is free to join and write articles. But unlike WordPress or Blogger, Medium does the publishing for you. It is a hosted platform therefore you cannot use a custom domain the way you’d do with your own website. The benefit though is you do not have to worry about lots of self-promotion.
You can make money with Medium in their partner program. Despite this, it is more for personal blogging and not monetization and sales e.g. if you are out to do affiliate marketing. You are not in control of very many aspects of its blogging scene. For example ownership of content, metadata control, no custom code – custom pop-up an email form, recommendations, etc.
Tumblr is a free microblogging and social networking web platform started in 2007. Microblogging as the post length allowed are shorter than the typical blog post. A major draw to Tumblr is its free-form nature and freedom to heavily customize pages.
It is basic, intuitive, and easy to use as there’s a dashboard from where you get to manage all aspects of your publishing. You can also post anything visual like graphics and videos.
Tumblr works off a sharing model as followers can re-blog your posts for more exposure. While it is easy to use it is not very flexible when it comes to scaling like a WordPress or Blogger blog.
Weebly, owned by Square Inc, was launched in 2007. An intuitive website builder with a step by step approach to building a site. Utilizing templates makes creating a blog easier for the non-coding populace.
It has a basic plan that is free to use, a free domain will be a subdomain of “weebly.com”. This might not desirable as it comes with Weebly’s branding, you have the option of purchasing a domain name from right within the platform.
I had done a post on it earlier, find a comprehensive review of Weebly here.
Built on the same principles as Weebly, Wix utilizes a drag and drop style to building a blog. While most of the features will require a paid plan to unlock it is not necessary if you’ve not achieved scale for a personal blog. Creating a standalone website by the use of its free plan is possible.
Domains work the same way as with Weebly.
You might not have heard of this but has been around since circa 2007. Siterubix is owned and managed by the online entrepreneurship platform Wealthy Affiliate and uses WordPress for your blog’s setup. Right from the start, you benefit from WordPress’s renowned SEO potency.
SiteRubix provides two free websites on free member accounts on a subdomain of “.siterubix.com”. This can later be moved to a domain you own at the click of a button without losing anything.
There are more free blogging websites on the web and will add these once I check them and try them out. Now that you are more informed on how you can start a free or almost free blog check out how to create a website.