We have discussed the basics of blogging and the blogging niche that you can choose, so now let us look at some technical aspects of blogging. This means we are talking about choosing a free blog platform that is right for your needs. The moment we use the word ‘technical’ half of you might feel uncomfortable and reconsider your decision to start a blog.
I get that.. it’s very common to have the fear of unknown. I remember when I was starting out, I was just overwhelmed reading about the many things that I might have to manage if I start a blog but believe me it is doable. Blogging is not rocket science and it is certainly not something that requires you to be a geek.
Now that we have cleared the air, let us start with the basic – the right blogging site that is free. A blogging platform is a simple but important decision that a would-be blogger needs to take. I have listed a few free blogging platforms that you can start with. These are well-known and have been around for considerable time.
Top free blogging platforms available in 2021
WordPress.com is one of the most popular free blogging platforms that is present out there. It is the free blogging site with options of self-hosting and it’s sibling WordPress.org is a free CMS system that is more suited for a seasoned blogger or an e-com site or business.
For our discussion we would be focusing on WordPress.com not WordPress.org. WordPress.org is more for people who understand a bit about migration, site set-up and design. This is also the preferred option when one is moving to a paid hosting and domain with hosting platform like GoDaddy, BlueHost, Hostgator and the likes.
Quick and easy set-up
Hundreds of themes to choose from
Plugin’s to extend functionality
Mobile app available
Offers custom domains and multiple plans to fit your budget.
Affiliate linking not possible on most occasions
Free ads will be published on the site.
Blogger by Google
Blogger is a blog platform from Google. This is another simple platform where one can start a blog site real quick. One of the early advantages of blogger was that it offered writing in vernacular or regional languages.
Very simple drag and drop options
Has some level of extendibility with widgets
Get started with a gmail id.
The extendibility is limited and it might not be enough for your needs as you grow.
The simplicity does not allow much in terms of design or scalability
Medium started off as an alternative blogging platform for the busy writers, however it is mostly seen as a formal platform. This free blogging platform encourages conversations and maybe that is the reason many brands flock to Medium to create a presence there. They have their distribution channel and the algorithms of medium are known to push posts that engage audience and elicit a response.
Medium has it’s own set of audience and hence blog promotion is easier.
Their internal ranking system rank’s and promotes content.
Medium provides cannonial url, that means you can publish your previously published post without worrying about duplication.
Limited room for branding
No extendibility in terms of functionality however third party embedding is allowed.
Wix is a cloud- based web development service that offer’s easy drag and drop tools to build websites, blogs and e-commerce sites. The platform is best suited for small businesses and start-up’s. It offers good templates for designing a blog however if you are not going to move to e-com or a business site in near future, it might not be truly helpful.
Good range of templates
Offers text and other elements animation
No coding knowledge required
It is developed with businesses in mind so bloggers might find limited scalability.
Tumblr stated off as a simplest way to blog in any format thinkable. It is so simple that you can quickly choose the format and just hit publish. You can use written, audio, video, quote, image, link and chat formats. The platform allows you to quickly create a community and follow people.
No word limits, no specific ideas, it is microblogging at best
You can just add pictures or write long form content, there is no limit
Can create a following quickly
Tumblr is less blogging and more social media in terms of influence and access
You do not own the content just like social media
The rise of community blogs in recent times has been an interesting addition to the blogosphere. While these are not entirely different blogging platform as most are hosted on wordpress or similar, they are a laser focused community channel that is publishing your content. Being an active, contributing member to these communities have their own benefits.
- Community blogs help bring your content in front of a focused audience.
- Conversations and community are the two things that community blogs offer
- They are also available in regional languages
- The technical aspects are handled by their back-end team and so you can focus on writing.
- Some of the popular community blogging platforms in India are –
- Mompresso and similar for parenting
- WomensWeb and similar for women oriented issues
- Pratilipi – regional content( mostly stories)
Difference between personal and community blogging
Community blogs are a great way to establish a personal brand. They help you get greater visibility among an audience that is interested. It is equally important to realize that the platforms do not allow for monetization of content. Some have various options of paid marketing or contests which pay you. They might have some brand collaboration for which you could be a participant, however you cannot include affiliate links, collaborate with brands on personal level for these community blogs.
Based on the information above, hope you are one step close to getting online and starting your blog. I would love to know what you choose, so once you have chosen your blog platform, and opened an account, share it on social media and tag me! If on twitter @nehatambe, Instagram – @nehatambe.dm, @facebook – BloggerNehaTambe. Looking forward to your shout-out.
This post is written as part of BlogchatterA2Z challenge.
10 Replies to “D- How to choose the best blogging platform that’s free for life”
Lovely detailed post. Wix i hadn’t heard of and i have been contemplating on using medium for sometime now. As of now happy with word press.
That’s a detailed analysis of the available blogging websites. I remember you had once done a post on economical way of self hosting as WordPress gets costly.
Wow.. that’s lovely of you to remember
I began with Blogger and turned to wordpress for its benefits. I also love Medium and found the content reaches to a wider audience.
Very useful, thank you! Of the platforms you have listed, which one would you recommend to a writer?
If you want a no fuss simple to design platform go with blogger. But remember you won’t get any extensions and plugins. If you don’t mind putting a bit of effort in learning some good practices, then WordPress is a great choice.