In this increasingly digital age, blogging has steadily been growing in popularity. Today, blogging has evolved from simply being a casual hobby and now offers many keen writers a way to earn a living.
But with this rise of bloggers comes a rise in blogging platforms too. Information overload and overthinking have stopped lots of blogging hopefuls from taking those all-important first steps, but this post will make the decision-making process a little easier.
There’s no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to blogging, which is why the following platforms have been grouped depending on your needs. So it’s time to stop Googling ‘where can I write my own blog?’ and start writing something yourself.
Where can I write my own blog?
Discover the platform that suits your blogging approach from the options below:
Hobbyists: WordPress.com & Blogger
If you’re looking to start a casual blog or try out blogging without investing too much hard-earned cash from the get-go, then WordPress.com or Blogger is ideal for you. Both of these sites offer a simple sign-up process, allowing you to get online in a matter of minutes. And, as a bonus, they’re both absolutely free! There’s no need to have any technical know-how either, as both interfaces are user-friendly and intuitive.
If at any point you decide you’d like to get more out of your blog, WordPress.com offers a variety of affordable plans you can pay for on a monthly subscription basis. Benefits include removing the .wordpress section of your URL and having access to a greater range of premium themes to really make the layout of your blog your own. Paying for even just the Personal package will remove adverts from your posts, whereas the Business plan allows you to use your own adverts to monetise your site.
However, if you really are serious about making money or giving your blog a more professional edge, take a look at the options below. WordPress.com can easily become an expensive choice when paying for a Business plan, so it’s worth exploring your options now if you do think you’d like to take your blogging to the next level.
Serious bloggers: WordPress.org
Anyone who’s serious about making money from blogging, wants to have more freedom in terms of design, and who prefers to have complete control over the ownership of their content would be wise to choose WordPress.org.
Not to be confused with WordPress.com, this option is a free-to-download CMS that needs to be paired with separate, paid-for hosting and a domain name. This isn’t as complicated as it sounds, nor as expensive, with beginner hosting plans starting at just a few pounds a month. Many web hosts also offer one-click WordPress installation solutions, meaning you don’t need to understand any technical aspects involved.
WordPress.org is the most widely used CMS on the internet, but other options include the likes of Joomla and Ghost. Ghost is a popular alternative to WordPress for bloggers, as it was designed specifically for this purpose. Where WordPress can be used to create any kind of website, Ghost is much more targeted and therefore can be easier and less overwhelming to use.
Using a CMS software alongside hosting does take more work than using a ready-made blogging platform, but the results are a much more flexible site that you can do anything you like with. Before creating a blog using this method, it’s important to do a bit of research into areas like plugins, security and themes.
Dedicated writers: Medium
Although all blogging platforms are suitable for writers, Medium takes particular pride in their focus being more on words than anything else. With a sleek, minimalistic design, there’s nothing to distract readers from your content, which could be a potential downside if you value creative design. With no customisation options other than a few basic formatting features, Medium really is for those who want to write rather than run a full-blown blog complete with newsletters and graphic design.
Medium is also a great way to give your blog more exposure, whether you publish articles solely on their platform or several others too. It takes the weight off needing to increase your traffic like you’d have to on WordPress.com, as Medium’s platform already has regular readers who are more likely to stumble upon your work.
After writing for a while and building up followers, you might want to consider becoming a member of Medium’s partner programme. You’ll be able to earn money from your writing without the need for adverts, but your audience will be more limited. Therefore, writers who already have a following are more likely to be able to benefit from this feature.
Short form and social media blogging: Tumblr and LiveJournal
Similarly to Medium, these two platforms come with a ready-made audience who are eager to interact with you and your blog. The difference here is that both platforms work more like a social network, meaning interacting with others and building connections are more essential than on other platforms.
Although LiveJournal has the potential for longer form writing, you’ll make the most out of Tumblr when keeping posts short and snappy. A key part of using the site is commenting on other people’s posts or reblogging them with your own insights. Rather than having your blog existing as a singular, defined space, it’s part of a much bigger conversation and community.
Both LiveJournal and Tumblr are best for users who want to blog as a hobby, as neither platform is particularly well-suited to monetisation opportunities. These platforms can also work well to supplement a company website as a social media link for your audience to follow.
Website plus a blog: Wix, & Squarespace
Sometimes a blog just isn’t enough and you’d like a website to showcase professional products and services too. Instead of having two separate websites, roll them into one by using one of the above platforms. Similarly to WordPress.com and Blogger, both Wix and Weebly are free but do offer a range of pricing plans, whereas Squarespace is a paid-for service.
Squarespace is, however, one of the easiest to use website builders and comes with a selection of beautiful templates. Even if you have very little design sense, your Squarespace blog is bound to look professional. However, both Wix and Weebly also function on a drag and drop format, meaning you’ll need no coding experience to shape your blog’s aesthetic just the way you want.
It’s also worth noting that these platforms can be used solely for blogging, with Squarespace offering plenty of templates suited to writers. However, they also have the added ease of simple eCommerce integration as well for those who need it.
The platforms you can use to write your own blog are endless, but some will be more suited to your needs than others.
If you’re not sure how well you’ll take to blogging, starting off using a free service and later transferring your content to a CMS is a possibility to consider. Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, for example, is a straightforward process, so remember that your first choice doesn’t have to be your last. The most important thing at this stage is to pick a platform and get writing, whether you do it yourself or you choose freelance bloggers to help furnish your business blog.
Or perhaps you’re looking for somewhere to showcase blogging or writing you’ve done for others? Then take a look at the best online portfolio services you could use.