Looking for a platform you can enroll for free and start sharing your writing with the world? Something you have much more control over than a Facebook page? Whether you want to share inspiring stories with your friends or start a blog and grow your audience, this article has the top 10 free blogging sites.
Please Note: unless you buy your own domain, you’ll have the domain of the sites discussed herein tacked to yours. For instance, www.edifid.blogspot.com. For this reason, your free site may seem much less professional than self-hosted ones, and you have much less control over your blog.
But that doesn’t mean free blogs aren’t worth it. By the end of this article, I’ll share my practical experience on how to use them to increase your website traffic and revenue. In the meantime, let’s explore the top 10 blogging sites online.
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Top 10 Free Blogging Sites for Beginners
There’re many reasons people prefer free blogs over paid ones, some personal and others due to budget constraints. A good number of creators also start a free one to market their self-hosted websites and products/services.
Here’re some platforms you can start a blog for free – no need for hosting or buying a domain unless you want to. Though not all sites allow you to set a custom domain, some like Medium, Quora, and LinkedIn don’t.
Now, let’s review what each of these 10 platforms has to offer, shall we?
1. Blogger: Best for Beginners
Launched in 1999 by Pyra Labs and acquired by Google in 2003, Blogger is a resourceful platform that allows users to self-publish their content to the internet for free.
With Blogger, you can create a beautiful blog that fits your style. All you have is to sign up for free and select an easy template to work with. The templated comes with flexible layouts and hundreds of background images, or you can decide to create something new from scratch.
The platform allows you to create a blogspot.com domain (like edifiddigital.blogspot.com) or get a custom one at a fee from Google Domains if the service is available in your country. Check out where Google Domains is available.
Google Domains sell the .com, .net, .org, .info and .xyz domains at $12.year.
So, if you want to start a blog without costing you a penny – not even hosting – check out Blogger and start sharing your content.
Reasons to Consider Blogger:
- It is compatible with Google Adsense
- Has an active online community
- Multiple built-in analytics tools
- Free customizable templates
Reasons to Avoid Bloggers:
- It does not offer tailored support
- Limited ability to customize blog address (domain)
- Custom domain is not available in all countries
2. Weebly: Websites & Online Stores
Started in 2007 and acquired by Squire in May 2018, Weebly is a website and e-commerce service currently powering millions of businesses on more than 50 million sites globally.
In addition to starting a blog, you can use it to set up an online shop and sell products/services or portfolios. Weebly offers a WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) feature that allows you to customize your page using drag and drop options.
This feature lets you add buttons by dragging and dropping them to your page and then customizing them. And the same goes for slideshows, videos, photo galleries, or any other multimedia element.
With a free plan, you get:
- Branded Weebly subdomain (like www.edifid.weebly.com)
- Free SSL Security
- 500MB storage
- Search Engine Optimization
- Lead capture and contact forms
- Community Forum
- Chat and email support
However, with the free plan, you cannot set up an online business – you’ll have to part with $12/month to be able to do so. You get a domain worth $20 and Google Ads credit worth $100 in return, among other added features.
3. Wix: Best for E-commerce
Founded in 2006, Wix, just like Weebly, comes with drag and drop features, so you won’t even have to worry about technical stuff. They also offer intuitive and modern designs, which you can use whether a complete beginner or an expert.
With Wix, free web hosting is included, so you have to worry about just layout, selecting a template, and customizing it. You can use their free and paid themes to create different types of websites, including a blog and online businesses.
Like Weebly, Wix also allows you to add multiple elements to your sites, like widgets, backgrounds, forms, and videos, and check the progress in the preview mode. When you’re confident that your site is ready, you can click the publish button and start sharing content. However, you can always go back to editing mode.
With Wix free plan, you’ll get:
- Wix subdomain (branded domain)
- Wix ads will appear on all pages and favicon on the URL
- Storage up to 500MB
- Bandwidth up to 500MB
- Customer support
- No Google Analytics
- No online Payments
But if you want more storage, bandwidth, custom domain, and additional features like removing Wix ads, you’ll have to subscribe to the pro versions. The minimum subscription for website plans is $4.50/month, while that for business and e-commerce plans is $17/month.
4. WordPress.com: No Hosting Required
Many people get confused and wonder if they need WordPress.com or WordPress.org (discussed below) or whether they are the same. The two websites are different, where .com is a hosted solution (no need to buy hosting services) and .org requires you to purchase web hosting.
You know what? The market share for WordPress has been increasing over time, with over 455 million websites using it as of 2021. And considering that there are roughly 1.3 billion websites globally, this number is impressive, right?
WordPress.com allows you to create a mobile-friendly website and is the easiest way to start a blog within a few clicks. You get access to more than 54,000 plugins and 11,000 themes, some of which are paid while others are free. Talking of plugins, Pretty Links helps you shorten affiliate links.
So, if you want to use wordpress.com for free, you get:
- WordPress branded subdomain (like www.edifiddigital.wordpress.com)
- Limited storage
- Cannot install paid plugins
- No changing themes
If you want additional features, like a custom domain name, additional storage, google analytics integration, paid plugins and themes, or even sell products and integrate WooCommerce, you can opt for a starter plan at $5/month or a Pro plan at $15/month.
5. WordPress.org: Must Buy Hosting
Like WordPress.com, WordPress.org is the king of free blogging sites out there. It allows you to create a blog yourself, even if you’re a beginner. But unlike .com, with .org, you’ll have to host the software. Check out these 10 amazing web hosting services.
Bluehost’s basic WordPress hosting costs $2.95/month. This package allows you to host one website. It also offers you 10 GB SSD Storage, a theme customization option, 24/7 Customer Support, a free 1-year domain, and more amazing features.
So, you need to decide on your niche, select a brand name, buy hosting and domain, install WordPress, install a theme and supporting plugins, and start customizing your dream website. Alternatively, you can follow these steps to create a blog for free.
6. Medium: Share your Stories
If you’re looking for free blogging sites to share your stories or articles without having to ‘own’ the space, Medium is the right choice for you. It helps you create a personal blog without worrying about hosting, domain, and other technical stuff.
And unlike your own site, which you’ll have to market to get an active readership, Medium already has a large online community that you can target and start getting reads immediately. So, you’ll not be creating a blog from scratch but rather adding your voice to an existing community.
However, unlike other platforms like WordPress, you won’t be owning the space; you’re just a user with a sub-blog from Medium.com. For this reason, the platform is best for sharing stories and articles from your main website, if you have any, to take advantage of its large readership.
You can share resourceful articles, grow your audience with time, and start earning from it. However, you can no longer use a custom domain on Medium, but those who created one already will continue using them indefinitely.
7. LinkedIn: Create a Professional Blog
LinkedIn is the most professional networking platform, expected to reach 66.8 million monthly users in the United States by the end of 2022. And you can target this audience by reposting your blogs or writing articles in your personal or business profile, or both.
Just like Medium, starting a blog on LinkedIn is easy; you don’t have to worry about hosting and domain. Yet, you won’t be owning the space and are obligated to follow the platform’s terms and conditions, just like Medium and social media platforms.
Regardless, you can use it to increase readership for your self-hosted blog and direct more leads and conversions. Or share your stories and encouragement with your audience. I’ll let you decide.
8. Tumblr: Market your Blog
Tumblr is a microblogging and social network with over 518.7 microblogs hosted as of February 2021. It is one of the most popular blogging sites in the US and globally. And you can launch your new blog within a few clicks as well – entirely for free.
It is one of the original free blogging sites on the internet and, unlike the others on the list, is more social-media oriented. That’s why it’s preferable for people aiming to share social media-like posts or content and multimedia.
However, unlike social media, like Facebook and Twitter, Tumblr gives you more control and allows you to play around with more features. You can start sharing posts immediately after sign-up. No need to worry about technical stuff, hosting, or domain.
The platform also allows you to add ads on your page, use affiliate marketing, and integrate your site with Google Analytics. It is, therefore, useful while boosting your affiliate links exposure and conversion while simultaneously increasing traffic to your products/services page.
9. Quora: Best Q&A Platform
Quora, the most popular question and answer platform, has over 300 million active monthly users. And you can get a share of these users to either read your content or visit your main website. Or even better, monetize your quora page and share your affiliate links to boost your earnings.
And more interesting is that the answers you share can be ranked on search engines, exposing your content and links to even more users on the web. That’s a good thing, right?
So, to get along with Quora the right way, find an audience, identify the problem they are facing, and offer practical solutions to their questions. The answers don’t have to be too long, just enough to address the audience’s topic of interest.
Quora allows you to create your own space (sub-blog within the platform), share content, and grow your audience. But you can still share the same resources on your profile page, join other people’s spaces, and be active.
The site is easy to navigate, and you can start answering questions or sharing content immediately after signing up. Just make sure you share quality content and avoid too many links. And with consistency and hard work, your following will increase, and you will even make money online.
10. Jimdo: Professional Site/Store
The last on the list of the top 10 most reliable yet free blogging sites is Jimdo. The site allows you to create a professional website or online store by taking a basic questionnaire about the purpose of your site.
Its free plan offers you:
- Free .jimdosite.com subdomain (like aggreywandia.jimdosite.com)
- 500MB storage
- 2 GB bandwidth
- Contact forms
- Image library
- Maximum of 5 website pages
- And contains ads
However, suppose you want to remove ads or enjoy features like advanced SEO, custom domain, customer support, unlimited web pages, more storage, and bandwidth. In that case, you should consider upgrading to the pro version from as low as $9/month.
You may have noticed that most free blogging sites have limited features – like storage, bandwidth, SEO, and customization and come with a branded domain. And if you intend to create a sustainable business, I prefer you own your domain and host it all yourself.
However, you could use the free blogging sites to increase exposure for your already existing self-hosted blog. For instance, you can report your blogs on Linkedin, Quora, and Medium, link back to your website and share affiliate links. And by so doing, you’ll be increasing your brand awareness.
But you can also use these blogging sites if you intend to share your stories and not to start an online business. Or when you have a strict budget and cannot afford a domain or hosting. Either way, free blogging sites can help you build your brand, and then you can work on owning a blog as soon as you get capital.
Remember, you can buy a domain and start your website for as low as $30. It all depends on the hosting provider you choose and their plans.
Let me know if you have any concerns or questions.
Given a chance, would you prefer a free blog over a paid blog?