Writing a blog is one of the best ways to establish expertise within an industry and drive traffic to your website. There are a variety of platforms available to start and run a blog at little to no cost.
Here is a list of platforms to start a blog. There are content management systems for creating a blog and a full website. There are also minimalist blogging tools to post a clean and modern blog. Almost all of these apps have free plans.
WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS). WordPress is the most popular application on the internet – 43% of the web uses it. With nearly 60,000 plugins available to extend and customize your site, create a blog with an eCommerce store, forum, gallery, mailing list, analytics, and more. Price: Free.
Medium is a publishing platform where unknown experts and writers post and share content. Individual authors post from profile pages. Collaborate with others or post under a brand name. Use Medium’s story submission system and expressive customization options. Add a custom domain name to your space to help visitors find it, share it, and come back to it. Join the Associates Program to earn money by including your stories in members-only content, or grant free access to everyone. Price: Free. The partner program is $5 per month.
Ghost was founded in April 2013 after a successful Kickstarter campaign to create a new professional publishing platform. Ghost comes with modern tools for creating a website, publishing content, sending newsletters, and offering paid memberships to members. The platform includes a marketplace for free and premium themes, custom integrations, and expert help. Use native signup forms that turn anonymous views into logged in members. Get detailed engagement analytics. Connect your Stripe account and offer premium content to your audience. Price: Free. Hosting plans start at $25 per month.
LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world. It is also a great place to generate a blog. Demonstrate your expertise and develop content to keep your profile fresh. To create a blog on LinkedIn, click on the “Write an article” icon on your homepage. Add your text and images, then publish and promote. Price: Free. Premium accounts start at $29.99 per month.
Squarespace is an all-in-one platform for building a flexible website for blogging and more. Access image-rich, award-winning designer templates and integrations with Getty Images, Unsplash, and Google Amp. Drive traffic to your blog with Squarespace Email Campaigns and connected social media accounts. Enable comments through Squarespace or Disqus. Price: Plans start at $14 per month.
Wix is a quick-start website builder with over 500 customizable website templates to suit your business needs. Choose from over 200 blog templates or use a blank canvas to create your own. Use advanced SEO tools, set up automatic emails, promote on social media, and invite your followers to become members and start discussions. Monetize with subscriptions, display ads, paid events, and e-commerce features. Price: Free. Premium plans start at $16 per month.
Content Management Center
CMS Hub is HubSpot’s content platform for starting a blog. Use one of HubSpot’s pre-built website themes with the custom development option. An SEO recommendations home screen lets you improve your site and take action, all in one place. Track every visitor to your site and create personalized digital experiences by leveraging CRM data. With adaptive testing, choose up to five page variations, and HubSpot will monitor and suggest the best performing option. Price: Plans start at $23 per month.
Create a CMS
Craft CMS is a flexible and user-friendly CMS for creating personalized digital experiences. Choose from a wide variety of built-in and plugin-provided field types. Manage multiple sites from a single installation. Easily update content with Craft’s built-in management features, including an image editor, collaboration tools, and localization. Easily integrate popular payment gateways, CRMs and fulfillment services. Price: Free. Pro is $299 per project.
Weebly is an easy-to-use website builder for creating and managing your blog. Create drag-and-drop posts, manage comments, and plan future content. Instantly respond to blog comments and form entries, respond to customer inquiries, and stay connected with subscribers wherever you are. Drive traffic with integrated social media marketing, SEO tools and AdWords credit. Price: Free. Premium plans start at $6 per month.
Write.as is a modern, simple and clean platform for blogging. The editor only gives you what you need to write and automatically saves as you type. There are no comments, spam, likes or distractions – just your words in your own digital space. Write.as does not collect personal data, so you can write freely. Post anonymously or under the name of your choice. Price: Free. Pro plans start at $6 per month.
Blogger is Google’s content management system. Choose from a selection of customizable templates with background images or design something new. Get a blogspot.com domain or buy a custom domain. Connect directly to Google Analytics. Use AdSense to display targeted and relevant ads to get paid. Price: Free.
Tumblr is a micro-blogging platform for multimedia content. Tell stories through text, photos, GIFs, videos, live streams and audio. Tumblr offers free custom domains and hundreds of free and premium themes. Price: Free.
Contently is an enterprise content marketing platform. Contently provides expert content strategies to tell you the content topics, formats, channels, voice and tone your audience needs. It can make smart content recommendations, align your teams, and create better content faster. Access its talent network of over 160,000 writers, filmmakers, designers, and editors from Wired, The New York Times, Popular Science, and more. Contently’s high cost puts it out of reach for most small businesses, but it can be an ideal solution for brands with bigger budgets that need editorial support. Contact for rates.