If you are just starting out your blogging journey, you can start with free blogs. There can be lots of reasons why you want to try your hands on free blogging sites first. The most obvious reason could be the cost. With free blogging sites, you won’t be paying a single penny for your domain name and hosting space. Another reason could be, since you are just starting your blogging career, it’s a great idea to get used to the blogging and how to work on blogs. Once you get used to blogging and had working knowledge about a niche, you can move to self-hosted blog.
You have to make a small investment when you move to a self-hosted blog on WordPress or any other blogging software. There you will need to buy a domain name, WordPress friendly web hosting, premium themes and plugins for your WordPress blog. If you are short of funds, you could ignore the plugins and themes investment for some time. But for buying a domain name and web hosting from a top web host, you need to make a small investment of $60 to $70 every year at least.
How will be Your Blog Address with Free Blogging Sites?
On free blogging websites, you will be getting a sub-domain as your blog address. If I try to registering bloggerspassion as my blog URL on WordPress.com, my ultimate blog URL in that case will be bloggerspassion.wordpress.com (If it happens to be available). So WordPress.com will be added with each blog which is created for free on WordPress.com. The same thing applies when you went on to create blogs on other free blogging platforms like blogger.com, weebly.com and blog.com etc. So the general blog syntax for your blog address will be abc.blogspot.com or abc.wordpress.com where abc is your blog name.
Some Important Facts about Free Blogging Websites
There are some pros and cons of blogging on free blogging platforms.
- First of all, you will have no control on your blog address. You will be at the mercy of your free blog host. They can delete your free blog without any prior notice if they find you are doing anything against their TOS.
- Most of free blog hosts will allow you to add content on your blog in the form of blog posts and pages. You can easily add images, videos and other kind of media elements on your blog.
- You cannot upload a theme or template of your own with most of free blogging sites. But on Blogger.com, you can upload templates of your own and also can upload templates that are available on other blogger template websites.
- These free blog hosts will give you enough space to write your blog posts in normal. But if you start spamming these blogs with hundreds of automated blog posts on daily basis, you will come to know about your monthly blog post limit on these websites very soon.
- You will have very few chances of making money with free blogs created on most of these free web hosts. With most, you cannot do much monetization wise. It will be your blog post area only where you can add links for making money. Most free blog hosts will not allow you adding any java Script or PHP code on your blog. Blogger.com is an exception to this. There are lots of free blogging sites even that used to run their own monetization widgets on your blogs and you have no control to remove them (Paying money to them will be the only option).
Here is the ultimate list of free blogging sites that you can use for creating free blogs of your own:
1. Blogger.com (BlogSpot)
Blogger.com is one of the most popular blogging websites and it is owned by search engine giant Google. You will be getting the most of features you can expect when hosting a domain on your own hosting. The only limitation will be you will have no control over your domain name and ultimately it’s just a sub-domain. You can create blog posts, add images and videos to them with ease and can even monetize your blog with most of monetization programs available on internet like Google Adsense and Amazon etc. You can find the list of websites for making money online from your blog here.
You can customize your blog design to great extent. You can create pages, multi user blogs, private blogs and Blogger.com is currently available in 41 languages. Click this link to know more in detail about Blogger.com features. I myself started my blogging journey with Blogger.com. Best thing about Blogger.com is that it’s quite easy to use compared with other blogging platform available on Internet. You can use blogging platform from Blogger.com on your custom domain even by mapping it.
After Blogger.com, it’s WordPress which is the most used and most powerful content management system for blogging. You can use WordPress for creating personal, professional and I would say blog of any type. You will get most of features that you were enjoying on Blogger.com but you will have very few options when you think of monetizing your free blog (sub-domain) on WordPress.com.
You can use WordPress blogging software on your custom domain by downloading it from Wordpres.org website and uploading it on your purchased web space. It does not take much time in installing WordPress on WordPress friendly web hosts. If you don’t know how to do it, you can use Bloggers Passion free WordPress Installation service.
There are some limitations that should be in your mind if you are thinking of using WordPress for creating your first free blog:
- You will just get a sub-domain with them
- You cannot install themes or plugins that are not in WordPress official directory. You can access WordPress free themes and plugins directory from here and here.
- You cannot use Google Adsense, Amazon or any other monetization program that asks you add certain java Script or PHP code into your blog.
But you can get free from these and many more limitations if you went on to Start a Self-Hosted WordPress blog from Scratch.
Live Journal is available in free and paid version. You have to pay money if you want to keep your LiveJournal blog from their free advertising. You will be getting the features like multiple author blogs, polls and calendars, commenting and it has lots of social media features which differentiate it from other free blogging websites. You can know more in details about LiveJournal feature for free and paid account type from here.
Tumblr is a micro blogging website like Twitter and Facebook. They are one of the fastest glowing website on the internet. Tumblr looks like a mixture of blogger, Facebook and Twitter. Currently Tumblr is hosting 65 million blogs, 27.5 billion posts and have an employee base of 106. They have lots of unique feature that makes them the unique choice of too many bloggers:
- Hundreds of ready to use themes
- You can post on your blog directly from your Email box
- You can add pictures of even high resolution here
- 10’s of ready to use third party apps
- Track your blog readers through Google Analytics
- Publish updates to your Facebook account
- No limit on how many people can contribute on your blog
- You can schedule your blog posts
- You can create a theme of your own
- You can post almost anything on Tumblr
- You can keep your posts public and private
- You can convert your posts into audio posts
- You can use your own custom domain
- Automatic update on Twitter about your latest posts
Use this link to know more in detail about why you should choose Tumblr over other blogging platforms.
Blog.com is one more truly professional option for blogging which is available in free and premium version. You will get facilities like multi author blogs, integration with popular social media websites, tracking your blog stats through Google Analytics and selection of theme from its theme gallery. If you have some funds you can use Blog.com premium features. Her is the list of premium features from Blog.com with their cost:
- You can keep your blog free of ads for $30.
- Although they provide 2 GB storage space to their users for free. But if you need more you can get that by paying extra money. Their extra storage space feature starts from $20 per year.
- You can use your own domain name for your blog that you have created by paying $18 every year. You can register any .com, .net, .info or any other domain or even can map any of your existing domain names with your blog.com blog.
- You can customize CSS by paying $15 every year.
- You can remove limit on number of authors on your private blogs by paying $25 every year.
- You can use their premium theme gallery by paying $70/year.
Weebly is a California based company which was started in 2006 and in 2007; it was named amongst Best 50 Websites by Times. They are currently hosting personal websites and blogs of over 12 million people. You can publish your content on Weebly sub-domain or on your custom domain and you will not be charged anything for domain mapping unlike other web hosts in the industry. You can know more in detail about Weebly features here.
Posterous is another micro blogging platform like Tumblr. You can publish your content on this micro blogging website through your email accounts and from your mobile phone. Sachin Agarwal is the CEO of Posterous, earlier worked for Apple for six years. You can know more in detail about this micro blogging websites and its various features from its knowledge base here.
Xanga is a blogging centric community website. You will enjoy all basic features for free but in case you want additional features, you have to upgrade to their premium plan. You can compare all of Xanga pricing plan with its features from here.
Blogsome.com is powering WordPress MU platform and it is one of the fastest growing free blog hosts. It’s based in Ireland and you can start blogging within very few minutes with Blogsome. You can select theme for your blog from wide range of themes available on their website and can customize them as per your requirement and also can upload photos.
As the name suggests, Edublogs is the perfect blogging platform for education related blogs. You can create blogs as a student, as a teacher or as an institution on this free blogging site. Currently they are holding more than one million education blogs on their free blog hosting. You can know more in detail about why you should choose Edublogs for creating for your first education blog here.
If you want to share your travelling experience, you can use travelpod.com, a blogging platform created especially for sharing travelling experience. I’m sure you must have already tried your hands at some of these free blogging sites. It would be great if you could share your experience and your favourite from this list in the comments section.
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