If you are interested in starting a blog for fun (not to make money) you should look at some of these free blog platforms. There are many other free blog platforms available online. Blogging for free is a great (and obviously low-cost) way to share your message with others. Here are our top 5 free blog platforms.
Why should you use one of these free blog platforms?
If you want to start blogging, but you have no desire to make money from your blog, a free website is a great option for you. You won't have to pay a hosting fee every year and you won't have to deal with any backend tech stuff that comes with setting up a blog using a hosting service like SiteGround.
Free blogging platforms are also a great option for you if you just want to test out the waters of the blogging world. I always recommend that people start anything in life using a minimum viable product. That's a business word, but I think it applies to a lot of aspects of life.
If you want to try snowboarding you probably won't go out and buy a brand new $300 snowboard, boots, bindings, and then turn around and buy a season pass to your local snowboard resort…
A smarter way to try something new is to do it for the lowest cost you can.
For snowboarding, you would probably get a day pass to a resort, rent a snowboard (or borrow a friends) and give it a try! You may fall in love with it the first time out and decide to jump head first into the new hobby, or it might take you a few outings to see how much you really enjoy it.
Same thing applies to blogging.
If you're not sure if blogging is what you really want to do in your free time, try it out for free!
If you try it out for a few weeks or months and realize that it's something you enjoy and could see yourself doing for a long time, consider investing in a better blogging platform like a self hosted WordPress website!
We've got a great post that shows you exactly how to start a blog on our website.
Let's take a look at the top 5 free blog platforms.
You can create a blog with the url – yourdomain.wordpress.com. WordPress is already a leader in website creation and they claim that over 30% of the internet's websites run on the WordPress platform.
Like we mention in How to Start a Blog, WordPress.com and WordPress.org are different.
WordPress.com acts very similar to the WordPress.org CMS system, so starting out on the WordPress.com platform is a great idea if you are leaning towards creating your own self hosted blog down the road.
Below is a screen shot of the WordPress.com dashboard. You'll notice it looks similar to the WordPress dashboard on a self hosted site.
It's very simple to create new pages, blog posts, add media, and manage comments using WordPress.com. Like I mentioned earlier, if you are testing the waters of blogging but really feel like this is something you may want to pursue as a business, this will be a great platform to get you ready for your self hosted site.
- No hassle with connecting your hosting and WordPress site
- One-stop-shop for getting your blog up and running
- Cannot upload custom themes
- Limited plugin library
- Lack of freedom with your blog
- Limited monetization with ads
- Cannot create an online store
- Cannot create a membership site
Wix is a growing platform for website creation and it's great option for you to create a free website. Like most of these free website services, you'll have to include the wix.com domain in your url.
The feature that really stands out on Wix is the ability to drag and drop.
You can move images, files, headers, and other objects wherever you want on the screen. It's very easy to use. Some of the other blogging platforms mentioned in this article are limited as far as customization goes, but Wix excels at customization.
With Wix it's a simple as clicking on the object you want to move or edit and making the changes.
- Drag and drop customization
- Intuitive interface
- Modern design templates
- Can seem overwhelming
- Mobile optimization is underwhelming
Blogger is the “OG” (original gangster…forgive the reference) of the blogging platforms.
I don't know how else to put it.
Blogger is what really put blogging on the map back in 2003. The platform is owned by google and the domains are hosted on blogspot.com. Blogger has a very retro web 2.0 feel to it. If you have a Google account, it's very easy to get started with your Blogger site.
They've actually put a few themes to choose from on the site which is nice, but the customization is limited here.
Blogger is a nice way to get started blogging if you don't want to worry about customization at all. You just want to write. You don't care how fancy your site looks to your readers.
Another very cool feature about using Blogger is that you can qualify for Google Adsense. This is how you place Google ads on your website and make money when people click on them. You can do that with a free Blogger site. I believe they are one of the very few (if not only) free blog platform that allows you to include Google ads.
As you can see above in the image, the dashboard for Blogger is very basic.
It's very easy to find your way around and create content for your site. You will be lacking in the customization control. It's nothing like a Wix website, but it's more Google friendly than the other free blog platforms.
- Simple and basic
- Google Adsense available
- Owned by Google
- Can be too basic for 2018 standards
- Very boxy layouts and cheap feel
Tumblr is a micro blogging website that was created in 2007. It hosts over 350 million blogs and gets over 500 million monthly visitors. Think of Tumblr kind of like a Twitter for blogs.
Where Tumblr excels is in it's ability to create a community of supportive readers who will re-blog your articles to their pages. There is a stronger “social media” type of feel with Tumblr than any of the other free blog platforms we've discussed.
Tumblr is free and offers a minimalist design. There are some premium theme upgrades you can purchases if you desire.
If you're interested in reposting and sharing other bloggers content on your blog page then Tumblr is a great option for you. If you are looking for more freedom and personalization with your blog you might want to consider some of the other platforms we've mentioned.
- Great social community aspect
- Easy to reblog other articles
- Get comments and likes on your blogs
- Feels a little past its prime
- Spammy (and sometimes trashy) reputation
Medium is the free blogging platform that you've probably never heard of.
Medium feels like The NY Times and Pinterest had a child. The home page has the appearance of the “big boys” like The New York Times, but the individual blogger pages looks more like Pinterest.
The platform has a very clean and modern feel to it, which is one reason why I think it's a great place to start a free blog in 2018. Of the free blog platforms this is probably the least popular.
The feeling with Medium is that you don't really have your own little blog website. The articles or stories that you write contribute to the platforms vast collection of posts. You won't be customizing a home page, or even really having a domain for that matter.
You create stories almost the same way you build Pinterest boards and people can choose to follow you if they so desire.
- Modern and clean feel
- Very news story oriented
- Can be difficult to be noticed
- Not much personalization