Ok, you’ve chosen you niche and are excited to start blogging. In this article I will show you how to start a blog for free and make money.
Intro To Free Blogging Platforms
There are lots of free blogging platforms to start your blog. They all have their own perks and disadvantages.
The great part about most free blogging platforms is that they are super easy to use and you can start up a new blog within minutes. Most of them are very user friendly, don’t require you to know coding, and may even allow you to place certain affiliate ads such as Amazon.
Since the blogging platforms are free, the platform management reserves the rights to take any blogs down for any reason. Many of them may not have certain options that paid blogging platforms have (such as Adsense.) Although some of the free blogging platforms allow you to place some affiliate ads, they may take a certain cut (after all you re using their servers and they needs to pay that usage).
WordPress.com is a free blogging platform. It offers similar options as the paid WordPress.org option. The backoffice where you create your blogs looks very similar. Recently WordPress.com actually came out with a new look to create posts, this making it super easy.
As far as domain go, with a free membership, you website will look like this www.yoursitename.wordpress.com.
Here’s what you can do with a free WordPress.com account:
WordPress.com looks down on spammy blogs. It doesn’t want every single one of your blogs to be pointing to affiliate websites. If you are writing a blog about MLM, then you might as well not even do it on WordPress.com because they can quickly shut you down if you are not careful.
The great thing is that you can write great reviews for different products that you love and link to places such as Amazon and Ebay. Do not overdo it with the links. Linking once in a blog post with a text link or an image link is enough.
I would recommend using WordPress.com only if you are affiliated with Amazon or Ebay, or if you are selling your own product on Etsy, Ebay, or Amazon.
Blog.com is very similar to WordPress.com and looks pretty much same in the backoffice. This blog is also very easy to set up and get your ideas out there within a an hour.
Here, your domain will look like this: www.yourwebsitename.blog.com. Personally I like the domain look of blog.com better than wordpress.com. Although many people know that there are blogs on WordPress, blog.com just seems like a trusted place to go to and read a blog post when you are advertising it to people on social media.
Things To Look Out For:
Although you can also advertise on blog.com, the policies clearly state that they can take down your blog post or the entire blog per their discretion. They are also allowed to place their own advertisements into your blog posts (which means that your readers may stop reading your blog post and click on ads which you won’t get paid for.) Lastly, blog.com may take your blog down if for some reason you are no active enough.
Hubpages is a great free blogging platform. It recently bought out Squidoo blogger platform, so a lot of writers from Squidoo are now writing for Hubpages.
The great thing about this platform is that all of the blog hubs (blog posts) have to meet a certain standard. Sure, it can be more work for you, but your hubs will contain quality material. Quality means more readers.
You can link out to trusted affiliate program such as Amazon, or add your Amazon account to your Subpages backoffice and share the payouts with Hubpages.
Your blog posts will look like this: hubpages.com/category/titleofyourpost. Basically here, you do not get to have a main domain name for your own blog.
Things To Look Out For:
Your hubs can contain only a certain amount of links. If you go over those links or the links are broken, Hubpages will notify you and give you a chance to fix the problems.
Don’t even think about adding spammy links, links to any websites that look spammy.
Hubpages also adds their own affiliate links, so you may not get paid for all of the links that are on your posts.
Blogger is owned by Google, which means that Blogger articles may rise up on Google search quickly (of course if the right keywords are used.) Blogger has a pretty easy to use interface and is pretty self explanatory.
You can place advertisements to most affiliate programs or to your own products.
Your posts will have a domain as such: www.yourdomainname.blogspot.com.
Things To Look Our For:
Blogger’s interface hasn’t really been updated. It looks pretty old school. Most themes do not look modern, but you can find a few that have a nice clean look.
Medium platform is very simplistic and catches the eye of most readers. Although you can advertise mostly through text links to relevant websites, this platform focuses on great content and very informative articles. This is definitely not a place for spam.
Here your blog will look like this: www.medium.com/@profilename/articletitle; which means here you are also not showcasing your personal brand/website.
Things to look out for:
Not much advertising is allowed on Medium, so if you are not ready to sit down and write a long informative blog, then this place is not for you.
Although this platform is very modern and clean (which a lot of people like), it can be hard to blog owners because it lacks customization options.
Weebly is a great drag and drop type of a blogging platform. This makes it very customizable and especially for those people who are looking for quick and easy set up.
Your blogposts will look like this: www.yourdomainname.weebly.com. Most people at least heard of Weebly, so seeing weebly in the link likely to not put people off.
You can advertise up to 3 ads/per page. This is plenty enough, because too many ads make things looks spammy and cluttered.
Things To Look Out For:
Some of the content is not very customizable (such as colors of buttons.)
You have probably heard of Wix, their advertisements are everywhere (even on Pandora radio!) Just like Weebly, it has a drag and drop interface, which is great for all of the bloggers who are not familiar with coding.
Wix has a lot of very simplistic and modern designs and a lot of templates are free.
Your website domain will look like this: www.yourdomainname.wix.com.
Things To Look Out For:
Wix adds a banner at the bottom of it’s free pages that says “created by Wix”; this leads to a pretty unprofessional look for any business website.
Last Word: Making Money On All Of The Free Blogging Platforms
As you probably already see from the above information about different free blogging platforms, they can be restrictive when it comes to advertising.
The only way to really make money with free blogs is to write quality information and add a few affiliate links throughout your article (text or image links.) That being said, writing great content that your readers will love is a great practice. People do not read blogs to see a bunch of links, they read blogs to learn something new. In reality, blogging is all about providing people with great content, which allows you to be compensated for the time invested.
Make sure you that read each platform’s rules and regulations, so you know what you can and cannot do in your free blog.