Best Blogging Platforms To Start A Blog and Make Money

Last updated on April 30, 2020  ∙ by Edwin Contreras0 comments
Best blogging platforms to make money

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Starting a blog from scratch can seem like a daunting task, but you have some help in your corner. The best blogging platforms on the market today make it extremely easy to start a blog - even if you're a beginner.

In this article I'm going to go over the best blogging platforms to make money for someone with little-to-no experience with starting a website.

Let's do this.

What is a blog?

Definition of a blog

A blog is just a website that has content that updates on a regular basis. These types of websites have always existed, they weren't called blogs in the beginning.

When people say they want to "make money blogging", they don't necessarily mean that blogging itself will pay them. Nobody will pay you to write articles on your own website.

The way you make money is by using the content on your website (the blog posts) to lure visitors to your website. At that point, the next goal would be to find a way to monetize this traffic.

I have a more thorough explanation of how blogs make money here.

What is a blog platform?

What is a blog platform

Back in the old days, websites were coded by hand with HTML. Updating a website was such a hassle, which involved editing HTML files and uploading them to the server.

Thankfully those days are behind us.

We now have content management systems (CMS) that allow us "webmasters" to update our websites with ease.

A blog platform is software that allows you to update a website - without the need to see even one line of code.

Think of a blog platform as the structure of your website. So, you can see why it's important to choose the right blog platform from the start.

Do I need paid hosting for my blog?

Paid web hosting for blogs

Not unless you want to make money blogging. If the aim is just to have a home on the web, there are plenty of blogging platforms to start a blog. I'll be going over a few of them here.

But if you do want to make money with your blog, you will need a paid host.

A paid blog host gives you the freedom to monetize your blog without restrictions, while a free blog host will have strict rules on your ability to monetize your site.

My preferred blog host for beginners is Bluehost because of their low-cost and newbie-friendliness (if that's a word). With Bluehost you get a free domain name and a guided set-up of your blog.

Which blog platform should you host your blog on? Let's dive in and find out the best blogging platforms to start a blog.

1. WordPress.com

Wordpress.com free blog platform

There are two versions of WordPress. One is wordpress.com (free blog hosting) and the other is wordpress.org (requires a domain and web hosting).

While it is (almost) always better to go with a self-hosted blog, there are some perks to using the free wordpress.com blog platform.

Pros

  • This blog platform is entirely free and is best suited for a personal blog.
  • Great to get your feet wet first with blogging and WordPress.
  • Can be used as a sandbox to learn how to use WordPress.

Cons

  • You're given an awful website URL (yourname.wordpress.com)
  • There are restrictions on how you can monetize your blog.
  • You're not able to fully customize your blog.

Since WordPress.com is free, it's ideal for newbies who aren't sure they want to commit long-term to blogging.

WordPress.com

This is the free version of WordPress. Since there is a learning curve to using WP, you can start with account here if you want to test out the software.

2. WordPress.org

WordPress.org blog platform

If you want to make money with your blog, you need to start a "self-hosted blog" where you have complete control of your website.

To use this version of WordPress you don't need to pay them a dime. WordPress is free to install and most web hosts offer free one-click installations.

Pros

  • It is completely free to use, provided you've got your own domain and web hosting.
  • Endlessly customizable with powerful blog themes like Divi and Thrive Theme Builder.
  • Many free plugins to add features and extend the functionality of your blog.

Cons

  • There is a learning curve if you have never started a website before.
  • You are responsible for security updates and performing regular backups.
  • Requires a domain and hosting plan to use. I recommend Bluehost to start your first blog.

If you think WordPress is just for beginners, think again. WordPress is a powerful content management system that powers a shocking 35% of the entire internet.

And because of its popularity, if you have a question about anything WordPress related, odds are it has already been asked and answered.

This makes WordPress the easy choice for best blog platform.

You can start by choosing your free domain name below.

If you need help picking a name for your blog, I wrote a helpful guide on choosing a domain name here.

WordPress.org

This is the best blogging platform by far. While there is a learning curve at first, it is worth it to learn how to use it.

3. Weebly

Weebly website builder review

Weebly is a great website builder for a small business / ecommerce site. They have a drop and drop editor which makes it easy to build and move things around exactly what you want them.

With Weebly you can build everything from a blog to an online store - or both. This makes them a good choice for startups and small online stores.

Pros

  • Good amount of mobile-responsive templates.
  • Easy to switch between designs if you want a new look.
  • They have an app so you can manage and build your site from a smartphone/tablet.

Cons

  • Their drag and drop builder isn't as good as WordPress page builders like Elementor and Thrive Architect.
  • The free versions means you're stuck with a URL like mysitename.weebly.com until you upgrade.
  • Their blog platform is limited and not as robust as WordPress is.

Weebly

This website builder lets you build a great looking website without having to write a single line of code with their drag and drop editing tool.

4. Medium

Medium blog platform review

Created in 2012 by one of Twitter’s founding fathers, Medium has seen tremendous growth over the last few years. More than just a blogging platform, Medium is a community for bloggers and writers.

The minimalist design that Medium is based around makes it super easy to get started. You don’t even have to create a new account with them, you can just log in using one of your social media accounts.

Your blog posts will have a ‘clap’ button so that somebody can give you an applause if you write something good. Get enough people "clapping" for you and you could be featured on Medium’s daily email or the top stories section of their app or homepage.

Pros

  • It’s ridiculously easy to use, and completely free.
  • Medium already has an audience waiting for you.
  • Great for niche blogging topics like entrepreneurship, startups and self-help.

Cons

  • You do not ‘own’ your viewership like you would with a self-hosted platform.
  • It's more difficult to monetize because you're not in full control.
  • It’s mostly longform blog posts. Not ideal for short updates or vlogging.

The Medium blogging platform also gives you a chance to be seen by 120 Million monthly readers. Because Medium acts as a community, the posts are syndicated throughout the network.

With so many monthly viewers it’s entirely possible to start something from nothing.

Medium

Medium is a place to get your voice heard and build your name in the online space, not necessarily a place to make money directly from your content.

5. Wix

Start a blog with Wix

With over 100 million users across 190 countries, Wix is quickly emerging as a major player in the world of the best blogging platforms.

Why is Wix so popular? The answer is simple: It is their unique designs and their ease of use.

When you’re creating your Wix setup, you can opt to use the Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) system. Wix asks you for some basic information and, based on the answers you provide, will automatically generate a design unique to you and your specifications.

Wix also has their own drag-and-drop editor. This means it’s great for those who want a more hands-on approach while still retaining the ease of use provided by the ADI system. 

Pros

  • The Wix ADI system is so unique and unparalleled to any other blogging platform.
  • Even the drag-and-drop editor makes for some stunning designs.
  • You can start out free and wait to upgrade later when you become more popular.

Cons

  • You cannot change your design template later on down the line.
  • The free version of Wix may show advertisements on your blog or site.

Wix

Wix is easy to use and ideal for someone who wants to create an online presence quickly, since they have hundreds of pre-made site designs to choose from.

6. Squarespace

Start a website on Squarespace

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s no way you haven’t heard of the Squarespace blogging platform by now. Their advertising campaigns so far in 2020 have been pretty aggressive and they’ve even secured the internet’s favorite actor as their spokesperson: Keanu Reeves.

Pros

  • They have amazing pre-made designs, templates, and layouts.
  • Ease-of-use is their primary selling point. It’s great for beginners.
  • Despite being hosted on the Squarespace platform, you can use your own domain name and can even tack on an SSL/security certificate for added trust and security.

Cons

  • It’s not as customizable as other platforms. This shouldn’t be a problem for beginners though.
  • There are monthly costs with Squarespace that can range from $12/mo to $40/mo depending on how you plan on using their service.


Squarspace

Beginners will love the Squarespace blogging platform. Similar to Wix, the drag-and-drop interface makes their blogging platform super simple to use.

7. LinkedIn

LinkedIn write a blog post portal

Yes, I mean that LinkedIn. If you’re a professional looking to connect with other professionals, then you should consider using LinkedIn as your blogging platform. 

Despite being created as a professional networking platform, LinkedIn has a section that allows its users to write and publish articles or blog posts.

When you write an article, your connections receive a notification. If your content is good, then your connections will take notice and hopefully share your content with their connections.

Pros

  • LinkedIn has a large user base of 600 million users (285 million active).
  • Good for showcasing your expertise and gaining more LinkedIn connections.
  • LinkedIn has a pre-existing audience interested in business and entrepreneur content.

Cons

  • Practically useless unless you are in the business niche.
  • They can choose to discontinue their blog platform at any time.
  • Their algorithm controls the visibility of your content.

This is an especially great platform for entrepreneurs and those whose primary income comes from business-to-business (b2b) sales.

LinkedIn

If you are trying to network with and reach other professionals, while not directly monetizing your content with advertisements, then LinkedIn is going to be a good blogging platform for you.

8. Blogger

Blogger.com blog platform

Known as one of the first blogging platforms in existence, Blogger was founded in 1999 and was later purchased by Google in 2003. Google revamped the Blogger blogging platform and it has remained the same for nearly two decades now.

If you’re looking for just a personal blogging platform, then Blogger is the way to go. It’s super easy to get started, all you need is a Google account. There are a limited number of pre-made designs to choose from, but that shouldn’t matter for just a personal blog.

Pros

  • It’s one of the easiest blogging platforms to use.
  • All you need is a Google account to get started.
  • You can monetize your blog using Google Adsense.

Cons

  • Designs and customization is very limited. Third-party Blogger templates are available but are often low quality when compared with something like WordPress.
  • Google can suspend your blog at any time, it's their platform. Not only that but is your content still yours, since it's on their website?
  • Google may even just abandon the Blogger project altogether, as they’re known to just walk out on projects that aren't profitable.

Your free Blogger account includes it’s own subdomain (yourname.blogspot.com or yourname.blogger.com). You can also use your own domain name and just redirect it to your blogger blog too.

Blogger

Even though Blogger has been around since 1999 (and is now owned by Google), it hasn't seen too many feature updates - so this blogging platform may not be around forever.

Choose the blog platform that's right for you

Best blog platform for beginners

There isn’t always a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to blogging platforms. Different services offer different features that appeal to different types of people. It’s that simple.

But finding the best blogging platform is not that hard once you’ve properly done your research to find out what fits best with your specific needs.

Since I believe that WordPress is the best blog platform, it is what I recommend to get started.

If you are interested in starting a free blog (personal blog, no monetization), I think wordpress.com and Medium are your best bets.

If you want to start a blog and make money, I recommend starting with Bluehost (for your domain and hosting) and to use WordPress as your blog platform.

Hopefully this guide is able to get you pointed in the right direction for which blogging platform will work best with your project. With the guesswork removed from the equation, you should be ready to hit the ground running with your new blog!

Until next time,
Edwin, DoSixFigures.com

just a little > about me

About edwin

Edwin Contreras is the professional blogger behind Cash The Checks and Do Six Figures. Over the last 17 years, he has started over 100 profitable blogs on his way to a six-figure income as a full-time blogger. He is now obsessed with helping people just like you escape the 9 to 5 and make serious money online. You in?

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