At some point in the past, all the buzzing was about ‘Blogging! You have to blog!’ I am talking about the early years of this century.
Blogging has existed since 1994, I just hadn’t heard about it then. I only had websites for my business and because I was intrigued I started blogging as well in 2001.
There are many free ways to start a blog and you can set it up in a couple of minutes. When you are thinking of starting a blog, it is better to start writing right away. Don’t fuss about the name, the title or the design. Write!
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Why investigate free ways to start a blog?
Blogging is a great way to develop your writing skills. And if you are thinking about monetizing your hobby it is also a good way to experience ideas and to find out if you have enough to tell.
Related: How to Make Money from your Hobby or Passion?
Why is starting for free a bad idea?
1. Everything costs money
In the Netherlands, we say: “The only thing for free is the sun”. In the end, someone pays the bill. It can be the paying clients or the advertisers. It’s no big deal, just something to realize.
2. No own domain
You will always blog on a so-called subdomain. The name of the platform will be in the web address. For instance, in my case, I wouldn’t blog on hanniemommers.com, but on hanniemommers.blogspot.com.
3. The ads can be annoying
Often the blog platforms have ads you have no control over. Both the place on your blog and the content of the ad can be annoying.
4. Be aware of the limitations
You will have less control over for instance the design or the plugins you can add. The total space will be limited, meaning you can’t add huge pictures endlessly.
5. Is there a catch?
Most blogging platforms have paid versions. They will all want you to sign up for one of these paid versions. They’re businesses, of course they will want that.
Why is starting for free a good idea?
1. Try before you spend money
Starting something and then discovering you are not interested after all is worse if you have made a lot of costs.
2. Gives you better arguments for the choosing process later
If you intend to have a website you want to monetize you need to know the criteria for the best choice. As a beginner, it is hard to know those. By starting and experiencing first, you’ll be better prepared later.
3. Blogging is fun
You will discover that it is great to blog. You may even develop completely different ideas about your subjects than you previously thought.
4. Improve writing skills
There is only one way to improve your writing skills and that is to write, write, write. And when it’s for free, you might even be inspired to start several blogs at the same time.
5. Polish teaching skills
When you start writing, you want people to understand you. This is how you gradually develop teaching skills.
6. Develop creativity
In the beginning, you don’t have to mind the rules. Not yet. It gives you so much freedom and a great opportunity to be creative.
7. Discover the potential
By blogging, you discover the potential of your words. And when people start to respond and like your posts, you will note the potential of the internet as well.
8. The force of a community
Bloggers like to meet other bloggers and once they know you just started, they will encourage you whenever they can. Most (free) blogging platforms offer the possibility to get in contact with other bloggers.
9. Develop technological skills
It is absolutely not necessary to have any technological skills to start, but you will notice you develop them along the way. A perfect chance to let that grey matter work!
10. Creating opportunities
Because you put yourself out there, you create opportunities in several areas. You will get feedback, meet like-minded people, can be asked to make a guest post, or companies might even contact you for advertising on your blog.
Free options to build a weblog
I have tried several platforms and I know of several others. It goes without saying I can only elaborate a bit more about the ones I worked with myself and am excited about. Some others I will mention for those people who want to know more.
The first one I tried was Blogspot, called Blogger nowadays. That way I calculated I started there before 2003, the year of the name change. I forgot when I actually started. 🙂
Blogger is owned by Google. For some that is an advantage: it is a big company, lots of possibilities, and lots of people are already using Gmail. For others this counts as a disadvantage: the company already knows so much about everyone and has its tentacles everywhere.
- easy to start with;
- few trimmings, so no choice stress;
- no worries about safety
- giving the blog your own look and feel is limited;
- little guidance to get you on your way;
- limited moving options.
WordPress is an open-source system, nobody owns it. This means that the source code can be viewed, used and edited by anyone. A multitude of people is working on and improving WordPress. This means that something can easily go wrong, but also that every problem is solved in no time.
It might be confusing that 2 websites exist: wordpress.com and wordpress.org. You have to use wordpress.com for your free blog.
- lots of design possibilities, called themes, to give your blog its own look and feel;
- plugins for extended functionality, although limited when compared with wordpress.org;
- easy to upgrade to your own domain;
- easy to move.
- the ‘start free’-button is just a small text when you subscribe, luring you into choosing a paid version right away;
- you have to take care of safety and backups yourself.
This is not exclusively a blogging platform, but I add it because:
1) you can start a free blog here, and 2) I am really enthusiastic about the community.
Every start of something new is overwhelming at first, but because you will get so much help and support from the other community members and from a personal coach (which would be me if you sign up through my link!) you will be up and running in no time.
- all the pros of WordPress apply because that’s their platform of choice, yet without the cons;
- a step-by-step easy to follow video series on how to start;
- energetic and committed community.
- at the start, the whole process of how to earn money with a blog might be confusing.
In the past, I have tried Joomla, Tumblr and Medium. Joomla was not user-friendly enough, so I rejected that one in favour of WordPress. I still have Tumblr and Medium, just because I like to try new things.
Both Tumblr and Medium have very vibrant communities, giving a lot of opportunities for feedback and comments. But you have hardly any control over its looks and the content.
Others are raving about for example Drupal, Wix and Weebly, but I have never tried those. There are even more platforms, but as said, let’s avoid choice stress!
If you have no intention of making money with your blog in the near future I would definitely go to wordpress.com and start your blog there. Blogger is easier to start with, but you will run into limitations very soon.
And if you plan to monetize your blog I can safely recommend Wealthy Affiliate. Mainly because the step-by-step 10-lesson course explains the process very good to newbies.
14 thoughts on “3 Free Ways to start a Blog: Blogger, WordPress, Wealthy Affiliate”
I am still very happy that you shared the Wealthy Affiliate platform with me about 2 years ago! Thanks for being my online mentor and personal coach <3
Even if you don't want to monetize your blog, or not right away, WA is still an excellent choice if you ask me; the webhosting, SEO, and security are all easy and included in the program, so for me, it is great value for my money anyway.
And this makes me very happy too, as you can imagine, Kadanza. This is also part of the incredible WA community: giving each other feedback and positive remarks. 😀
Thanks so much for your comment and valuable addition.
Wish I came across this post before starting my blog! I feel I have spent an awful amount of money trying to get my blog rolling. Yet, I am still trying to figure things out. It is so stressful because everywhere I try to find some information am met with a sales funnel! The ‘missing out syndrome’ for me is so real and I keep thinking the next course will be the best but ends up being the same like the rest!
Hannie thanks for this awesome post. My friend is just starting and I will direct her here so she doesn’t make the same mistakes I made.
I am so pleased to hear that, Ekufaa, thanks you so much. I do wish this post is helpful for your friend. Good luck to the both of you 🙂
Free ways to start a blog is a great guide for anyone interested in entering the world of blogging, I only wish I had known everything that was shared in this article before I started blogging myself. I recommend you follow this blog, you can learn so much about blogging that you need to know for success.
Have fun blogging
We have all been at that place, Jeff. 🙂
When I started to blog there were hardly good examples, let alone tutorials to prevent me from making all kinds of mistakes. That’s why I am so glad the internet expanded and there are many more people like me who share their experiences for others to learn from.
Thanks for your kind words. xxx
Hi Hannie, I couldn’t agree more!
I’ve been looking for a way to an existance online for quite a long time-years, to be more precise.
How I never stumbled upon WA before-escapes me, but I finally found them about 8 month ago and I’m here since.
I can honestly say I have learnt much more in this short time than I have all those years buying different courses on online marketing, funnels, email marketing, facebook ads-you name it. I’ve spent a bunch of money and I still was not ready to start anything meaningful online.
Now I build my website, I plan to start another one soon and for the first time I know I’m on the right path. As you said, the step-by-step trainings are a fabulous source of knowledge, but also the community gives an unbelievable support to anyone asking for it. All in all, I can confirm your recommendation with all my heart. Plus, anyone getting you as a personal coach can consider him/herself lucky.
Oh wow, this is such a lovely compliment to hear, Hermina, thank you so much. Apart from your other words, this shows exactly what our community is about – supporting each other. I am so glad we are on the same track 🙂
I’m so pleased I came across this article as I only recently started my own blog in January 2020. So far it has been really successful and I did it through Wealthy Affiliate, just like you. I can highly, highly recommend using Wealthy Affiliate if you want to start your own blog, just as the article reads. It is so fun to go through the training and if you write about something you are very passionate about then you will not give up.
Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.
All the best,
I would never have thought you started in january, Tom. Your blog posts are so great and easy to read! And yes, Wealthy Affiliate is quite something, I love it with you all. You keep up the good work as well. 🙂
I’m a newbie with WA so most of what I read in your article was new to me. I am super happy to be learning and growing with WA and the fantastic training and support of the community. I hope that if any of your readers are wanting to blog and/or start an online business they’ll try Wealthy Affiliates for free. They’ll learn quickly, as I did, it’s the best place to be.
That is so great to hear, Glenn. Like you I am new to Wealthy Affiliate (not to blogging as is obvious), and I truly like all these wonderful people like you. We support each other in a great way, I love it. 🙂
Thank you so much for this highly informative article, Hannie! As a newbie to the world of online/affiliate marketing (3 months, soaking wet. Haha), I find the process of blogging to be absolutely fascinating! We truly have an opportunity to find our passion, develop our creative voice, teach others about something that is near and dear to us (which ties into passion), and make money for our efforts (when you get paid to do what you truly love to do, it’s not a “job;” it’s an adventure). As a fellow member of Wealthy Affiliate and WordPress user, I absolutely love the training (easy to follow), technical support, and second to none community (we are not just a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, but a family). I have learned so much about running a successful online business in a short amount of time, and I am excited to see what the future holds! Great read! God bless you!
Thanks CN, That’s a great remark: it’s not a “job;” it’s an adventure. And you are so right. And I am really pleased you are just as enthusiastic as I am about Wealthy Affiliate 🙂