The best blogging platforms to make money make it extremely easy to start a blog – even if you’re a beginner!
But choosing a blog platform is only one step in the process. You also have to choose a domain name, buy a hosting plan, and choose a blog theme.
All of this before you ever write a single blog post!
I want you to get a head start on your new blog, so I want to make sure you choose the best blogging platform to make money, not just blog as a hobby.
Let’s do this!
What is a blog?
A blog is just a website that has content that updates regularly. These types of websites have always existed; they just 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.
You make money 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?
Back in the old days, websites were coded by hand with HTML. This is because updating a website was 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 easily update our websites.
A blog platform is a 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?
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.
What is the best blogging platform to make money?
I recommend only one blog platform: WordPress.org because of the powerful (and free) WordPress plugins available to enhance your blog, awesome blog themes, and endless monetization options (like affiliate marketing).
But I understand that everyone’s needs may be different. So, which blog platform should you start your blog on? Let’s dive in and find out the best blogging platforms to make money.
1. WordPress.org (with Bluehost hosting)
If you want to make money with your blog, you need to start a “self-hosted blog” to 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.
You do, however, need a hosting company to use WordPress.org. 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 setup of your blog.
- It is completely free to use, provided you’ve got your own domain and web hosting.
- Endlessly customizable with powerful blog themes like Astra, Divi, and Thrive Theme Builder.
- Many free plugins to add features and extend the functionality of your blog.
- 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 the best blogging platform to make money.
You can start by choosing your free domain name below.
There are two versions of WordPress. One is wordpress.com (free blog hosting), and the other is wordpress.org (which 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Weebly is a great website builder for a small business / eCommerce site. They have a drop and drop editor, making 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 creating your Wix setup, you can opt to use the Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) system. Wix asks you for some basic information and will automatically generate a design unique to you and your specifications based on the answers you provide.
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.
- 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.
- You cannot change your design template later on down the line.
- The free version of Wix may show advertisements on your blog or site.
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 have been pretty aggressive, and they’ve even secured the internet’s favorite actor as their spokesperson: Keanu Reeves.
- 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.
- 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.
Yes, I mean that LinkedIn. If you’re a professional looking to connect with other professionals, 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, your connections will take notice and hopefully share your content with their connections.
- 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.
- 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.
Known as one of the first blogging platforms, Blogger was founded in 1999 and 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.
- 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.
- 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 its own subdomain (yourname.blogspot.com or yourname.blogger.com). Of course, you can also use your own domain name and just redirect it to your blogger blog too.
Wrapping it up
There isn’t always a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to blogging platforms. Instead, different services offer different features that appeal to different types of people. It’s that simple.
But finding the best blogging platforms to make money is not that hard once you’ve properly done your research to find out what fits best with your specific needs.
Here’s my opinion in a nutshell:
If you want to start a free blog, Medium is your best bet. But if you want to start a blog and make money, you need to get a domain, hosting, and install WordPress.
Hopefully, this guide can get you pointed in the right direction for which blogging platform will work best for your idea. Happy blogging!
Until next time,