There are so many guides on how to start a blog on the internet, but very few on how to start a blog for free. In this article I will discuss a few of the free blogging platforms which you can use to start a blog today for free. I’ll do a quick run through of them and their advantages and disadvantages.
1. Blogger / Blogspot
Backed by Google, this blogging platform is reliable and well integrated. It offers an API for advanced blog users and has a wysiwig editor for bloggers who like to format their posts. The editor reminds me a lot of a office user interface. Which will probably make it easier for beginners to get into blogging with blogger. Just because it will seem so much more familiar. As a result of it being a Google owned platform it means it integrates nicely into other google services. Such as Google webmaster tools. It will be easy for you to add your sitemap and get your blogger blog indexed.
Blogger has built in basic SEO features such as permalinks. Which will allow you to have pages which have SEO optimized urls. The editor allows you to easily insert images and videos into your posts as well so it will allow you to create content rich blog posts.
Here is a quick look at what the editor looks like:
The editor also allows you to write plain html for those of you who are proficient in html. Blogger is an awesome start up platform if you just want to start blogging quickly. Since most people also have a Google account it will be easy to setup just by going to blogspot.com.
2. Tumblr as a free blogging platform for your blog
Tumblr is another great choice as a blogging platform. It’s main feature is it’s absolute simplicity. There is no second guessing. You have options for posting video, images, text, quotes and audio. These well defined options make it super easy for a newbie to start blogging or just posting their favorite content. Tumblr also has a social aspect to it which allows you to get exposure through tagging your posts. Which then makes them find able by interested groups on tumblr. Tumblr also has a good SEO reputation and your posts should rank quite well in search engines as well.
Tumblr has a lot of features for theme customization. So you will be able to change the way your blog looks quite easily. Unfortunately the tricky part is getting your tumblr added to Google webmaster tools. Which will require you to add a verification code to the html of your tumblr account. However it’s not rocket science and should be easy to do with a bit of guidance or a quick tutorial on the subject.
Here is what the tumblr interface looks like :
You can post any of the content types above quite easily. If you are into blogging you will mostly be posting text posts. The interface will look like this where you can easily type up a quick post which you can post to your blog.
3. WordPress as your blogging platform
For most people they would default to wordpress. However the free version of wordpress which you can register on wordpress.com has only the basic posting features of wordpress. You will not have all the plugins you would have with a self hosted wordpress blog. It’s always advisable to opt for the paid self hosted option, but since this article is about free blogging platforms let’s talk about the free blog platform on wordpress.com. WordPress really has an awesome wysiwig editor with a lot of options. It really gives you a lot of power to edit your blog and give your posts an awesome layout. Apart from that wordpress has built in SEO features which makes it easily optimization for search engines.
WordPress also allows you to upgrade to better packages later once you are ready to level up your free blog. Which gives it some flexibility. With most free platforms you always have the risk that your account gets closed, banned or suspended. With your wordpress account the risk should be minimal because the goal is that they want your to upgrade to paid packages in the end. Premium wordpress has some additional SEO tools. Also wordpress is very extendable and has plugins such as WooCommerce which allows you to turn your blog into a shop at will. These are all benefits for when you get a self host wordpress blog or upgrade your wordpress.com account. If you are interested in the self hosted option I have a full guide here on how to start a blog.
Here is how the WordPress editor looks for those who want to understand what it is all about. Here is some of the options it has.