How to Start a Blog for Free (And Why It’s a Bad Idea)

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Blogging is a great way to make money from home, and you can even get started without paying out a single cent. Discover the best free blogging platforms and how to make the most of them. But that’s not all...check out the reasons why a free blog may not be your best choice, and what you can do instead.

A Business You Can Start for Free

If you are looking for a way to create a new income from scratch, then blogging is a great way to go. As thousands of people have discovered, a blog can be your pass to a whole new career.

And blogging is no ordinary business. For one thing, you don’t need much money to get started. In fact, you can get going without spending a single cent. So if you are on a tight budget, then blogging is a fantastic career opportunity that is realistically open.

Yet the sky’s the limit in terms of blogging income potential. If you just want some side hustle income, then you can have that happening within a few weeks. Want a full time income? Sure, that is absolutely possible. There are a great many bloggers who have quit their full-time jobs and turned to blogging as their sole source of income instead.

But you don’t even have to settle for an average income. A lot of bloggers make six-figure incomes, and there are many who have built multi-million dollar empires from their blogs. There is no reason why you can’t do this, too. You just have to learn how to start a blog and think big!

Even better, you can do all this working from home, choosing the hours you want to work. If you only have a few hours to spare at first, that’s fine. You would not be the first blogger to turn a weekend blogging hobby into a substantial business.

Your Free Options

Blogging is one of the very few businesses I can think of where you can get started absolutely for free. You can start generating income without spending as much as single dollar. For a business opportunity with such massive potential, that’s amazing!

In practice, though, taking the free route may not be the best option. If you are prepared to invest even a tiny amount in your blog, then you open up a lot of additional possibilities. But we’ll get back to that later. Let’s take a look at the free options first.

To start a blog for free, you will need to use one of the many free blogging platforms which exist today. All of these provide you will of the tools you need to get started with a professional-looking blog.

You might be wondering why these blogging platforms provide such amazing services for free. What’s in it for them? Of course, they do have a plan to make money! Most of them hope that you will upgrade to a paid option later, or they make money by serving ads. Either way, the result is that you get access to a high-quality blogging platform free of charge.

There are many different blogging platforms out there, but here are some of the top options for you to choose from.

1. WordPress.com

It’s important to note that WordPress comes in two flavors. There’s the paid option, WordPress.org, which we will return to later. Right now we are concerned with WordPress.com - the free option.

We are starting with WordPress because it is such a massively-popular platform. So if you get familiar with how WordPress works, that will stand you in good stead throughout your blogging career.

Although WordPress is not quite as easy to use as some other platforms, especially for beginners, it wins because of its popularity, versatility and flexibility. If I was starting a free blog today, I would go with WordPress.com.

2. Wix.com

If you want an option that is totally beginner friendly, then Wix is a great way to go. Even if you are a total newbie, you will find the platform easy to navigate and understand.

Wix also offers over 500 designer-made templates, plus lots of additional features and apps. The hosting is top notch, so your website will always be online. Even with the basic free account, you get 500MB of storage and 1GB of bandwidth. That’s plenty to get you started in the blogging world.

3. Blogger.com

Blogger.com is Google’s free blogging platform, and it’s one of the best. It’s also easy to get started, as you can just sign in using your existing Google account. You will also find the layout and interface similar to other Google products, making the whole process seamless.

Getting a blog up and running is a very easy process, and Google provides a good range of tools to help you get started. There are many different themes to choose from, and you can easily add Google AdSense ads to start making money right out of the gate.

4. Medium.com

If you want to be really cool, then start your blog on Medium! Started by the founders of Twitter, it is very popular with startup companies as a way to spread the word about their business.

People love Medium because of its stylish design and polished look, which makes all content on Medium look professional. So if you want your words to be taken seriously, then this is the place to publish.

However, in order to maintain this overall look, Medium restricts your customization options. So if you want to create an original or highly-personalize look, then Medium may not be the best choice for you.

Cool...I am so going to do this! Blogging is a great way to make money from home, and you can even get started without paying out a single cent. Discover the best free blogging platforms and how to make the most of them. But that’s not all...check out the reasons why a free blog may not be your best choice, and what you can do instead.  

5. Weebly.com

If you want to build something more complex and advanced than a basic blog, then Weebly is a great option. Here you have the tools you need to build a website that suits your purposes exactly.

Weebly offers a drag and drop system that allows you to put components exactly where you want them on the page. Creating new pages and websites is easy, yet you still have a great deal of control over the system.

But if you just want to do straight blogging, that’s fine, too. Weebly offers you customisable layouts and many different themes. Other features such as social sharing are built in, so you can get the word out when you publish.

Why Free Blogging is a Bad Idea

So there you have five great options for creating a blog for free. They are all high-quality services that allow you to create a professional-looking blog and spread the worldwide. There is nothing to stop you building a popular and successful blog on a free platform.

Woohoo! That’s great news, right?

Well, yes...but hold on a moment. While all of that is certainly true, there are other factors to consider. There are a number of downsides to choosing a free platform:

The services you are offered for free will be limited, and you will find yourself pressured to upgrade to a paid service with improved options.
The blogging platform is in control of your blog. If they decide to close your account, there is nothing you can do about - and all your hard work goes down the drain.

Although the features and options offered may be good, they cannot compete with the wealth of plugins, themes and customization options offered on paid platforms.

You are building a business that is never totally in your hands. You will find it next to impossible to sell a blogging business built on a free platform. 

Get Yourself a Low-Cost Blog

The good news is that you can solve all of the above problems without spending a fortune. If you are prepared to shell out just $3.95 or so to get started, you can launch your blog using a much better system.

Although there are many different ways to do this, there is only one that you need to consider seriously. And that is WordPress.org. It’s no accident that WordPress now powers some 29% of all websites. It has developed into a highly sophisticated technology that can be used to build the most advanced websites imaginable.

Important: remember that WordPress.org is NOT the same as WordPress.com. While WordPress.com offers free blogging services, WordPress.org provides the software for you to build a website on your own domain.

Although WordPress software is provided free by WordPress.org, you need to host your website somewhere. And that’s where the cost comes in. You need to pay a small monthly fee to a web hosting company, who then puts your website online and keeps it running. Your only other starting cost is a fee of about $10 a year to register your domain name (e.g. MyNewBlog.com). When all this is set up (easy to do), you have your own self-hosted website.

The Advantages of a Self-Hosted Website

Considering the small cost of upgrading to a self-hosted WordPress website, the advantages are huge. You benefit from:

  • A website that you totally control. If you don’t like the host - or they don’t like you - you can easily transfer the blog to a different host.  
  • Instant access to the thousands of free plugins, themes, widgets and tools available on WordPress.org.
  • The freedom to install premium plugins, themes and tools that add highly-advanced functionality to help you grow your blog.
  • Your own domain name, so your blog looks so much more professional, so people will take you seriously.  
  • A much better chance of building a profitable blog that repays your investment many times over.

All of this makes it well worth the investment of a few dollars to go the self-hosted route. A free blog is fine for a club or church website, or if you just want to publish your thoughts as a sideline. But if you are serious about making money with your blog, choose the paid route every time.

How to Start Your Self-Hosted Blog

When you go the self-hosted route, you need a hosting company to put your blog onlne. There are hundreds of different web hosting companies out there...so how do you know which ones to choose?

You need to look for a host that has plans especially designed to host WordPress blogs. Unfortunately, some of these services are expensive. But the good news is that there are very good hosts that offer an excellent WordPress hosting service at a very competitive price.

I recommend you get started with BlueHost because they offer:

  • Very competitive pricing, starting at $3.95 a month  
  • Top-quality hosting optimized for WordPress
  • Excellent support when problems arise
  • The reassurance of strong corporate backing 
  • A proven track record of excellent hosting
  • Great service and support.

So if you are ready to launch your blog today, I strongly recommend that you put the free blogging platforms on ice. Instead, sign up with BlueHost and put yourself on the fast track to a highly-successful - and profitable - blogging career.

Click here to start your money-making blog now

Cool...I am so going to do this! Blogging is a great way to make money from home, and you can even get started without paying out a single cent. Discover the best free blogging platforms and how to make the most of them. But that’s not all...check out the reasons why a free blog may not be your best choice, and what you can do instead.
About the author

Mandy May

I am a fanatical writer and blogger who loves being part of the worldwide online community. I write extensively about personal finance, entrepreneurship and related topics.