Many small businesses are looking for a way to begin blogging - but without spending much money. In this article, you will learn about the top five free blogging platforms.
Free Blog Caution: There is a drawback to using a hosted (or free) blogging platform. You have very limited control of your content and it can be hard to download or export should you decide to switch to a self hosted blogging platform. It is important to decide which is more important: price or flexibility.
There is no shortage of blogging platforms. While some are free, others charge a small monthly fee. And others start free and offer premium services for a cost.
Top 5 Free Blogging Platforms
Blogger is a free blogging platform by Google. And it is extremely popular. Millions of blogs run on this free platform.
Benefits to Blogging with Blogger.com:
How to get started with Blogger: Visit Blogger.com and setup your free account. If you already have a Google account (Gmail, YouTube, etc) it is best to use that account and link them.
Once you have setup your free account, you can get right to work designing your blog. Within a few hours you should be able to have your first post published.
Blogger is best suited for informational blogs and for people wanting a platform to stay in touch with friends and family. E-commerce functions are limited on this platform.
Now that you have your blog running, you'll want to build more traffic. Here are 15 Free Ways to Get More Blog Traffic.
The worlds most popular blogging platform, WordPress offers a free and premium platform. Learn the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
While WordPress is free on both sites, you'll have to purchase web hosting if you download from WordPress.org. For the free version, visit WordPress.com and open your account.
Like Blogger.com metioned about, WordPress.com offers a huge set of free themes and the ability to customize your site/blog.
Benefits to WordPress.com Platform:
- Easy to setup
- Lots of free templates and designs
- No need to know or use custom code
How to get started with WordPress.com: Visit WordPress.com and setup your free account. You'll need to give some thought to your domain name. If you choose to use the completely free version, your site url will look like this: yourdomain.wordpress.com. This is an important part of your brand and you should give considerable thought when choosing your domain name.
With your blog up and running, here are six ways to increase your blog traffic.
Blogging on Tumblr is probably one of the easiest ways to start blogging. The options are fairly limited allowing you to begin blogging right away. Because of how the network is setup it is actually a mix of Twitter and WordPress. Considered a micro-blogging platform, you can blog just a sentence or a full dissertation - it's up to you. Many Tumblr blogs focus on sharing (reblogging) photos on a specific theme.
Benefits of Blogging on Tumblr.com:
- Ability to use a custom domain (although this does incur an annual fee)
- All maintenance is taken care of for you: security, upgrades, spam filters and backups
- A huge set of free blogging themes
How to get started with Tumblr.com: Visit Tumblr.com and setup your free account. Click "Sign-Up" to start your blog. It would be best to spend some time learning how the site works. It is part blogging platform and part social network, and it is different from any other that I've seen.
With more than two million bloggers, your content has an audience just waiting for it on Blog.com. You have the choice between a free or premium package. Once you start blogging you can easily upgrade to a premium option if you need more power or options.
Benefits of Blogging with Blog.com:
- Use a custom domain
- Blog directly from your mobile device, desktop or via email
- Enjoy shared traffic from their network - opening your content to their huge audience
How to get started blogging with Blog.com: Visit Blog.com and click "Sign In". It really is that simple. Then choose your design and general settings. A great option for a nice looking functional blog.
Jux is a strong blogging platform for featuring full screen images and video. Visit Jux.com and see just how powerful it is as a display media.
Benefits of Blogging with Jux.com: If you are looking for a powerful display medium, you should consider Jux. While you can add text, the focus is almost exclusively on visual mediums - like photos and video.
Other Free Blogging Platforms
There are a few other options, including LiveJournal and Weebly although these probably are best suited for non-commercial blogs.
Alternatives to a Free Blogging Platform
An alternative to a free blogging platform is a premium (or pay) platform. Many bloggers also opt for managed web hosting. Learn how a managed web host can save a small blogging team time and money.
- The free subdomain (yourdomain.blog.com) is clean and looks great
- Choose from a nice set of free themes
- Their search engine optimization platform means that you'll get more traffic
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