• Liza Hey

3 Must-Know Free Blogging Platforms for 2021

Getting free blogging platform to start your blog journey is like achieving your first goal. And it's confusing where to go and write blogs, so we have done this job for you. Learn which one is right for you (and why).


So, you’re thinking to get started with your blogging journey, and that too for free, eh?


Check out if you like it or not before ending up paying huge bucks for a full self-hosted WordPress setup?


You’ve probably heard you can start a blog for free, and indeed you can.

The big question is:


What’s the best blogging platform right now?


And the answer is… it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.


In this post, we’ll check all the different free blogging platforms available and will share the pros and cons of each, but first, let's discuss some important, very basic questions though:


Do You Even Need a Free Blogging Platform?


Reason for free: Blogging can be expensive.


If you’re a seasoned blogger who’s been around the block a time or two, who’s already figured out which ideas work and which don’t, it’s easy to chalk up these costs as the price of doing business. Spend money, make money. Wash, rinse, and repeat.


But what if you’re a beginner learning how to start a blog for the first time? What if you’re someone who hasn’t yet figured what works and what doesn’t?


You can experiment just as well on a free blog site.


Actually, you can experiment better on a free blogging platform since the learning curve isn’t as steep.

Do you really want to experience the inevitable growing pains of blogging while forking over large piles of cash each month?

Free blogging platforms allow you to confirm your new blog topic has potential, spy on the competitors in your niche, and test your ideas without spending any of your hard-earned dough.

So which one is best?


Well, that’s the thing:


No Blog Platform Is Right for Everyone


Different bloggers have different needs, and different blog platforms are good for different things. Ultimately, “best” will depend on you and your situation.

That said, each of the platforms we’ll discuss does have common traits (besides being free). Let’s briefly look at them before we dive in:

  • There’s zero maintenance hassle. The burden of maintenance doesn’t fall on you when you use a free blogging platform. No worries about software updates, CSS or HTML tweaks, data backups, or gremlins hacking your server — they’re all handled by someone else.

  • They’re easy to use. To varying degrees, each platform is user-friendly to newbies and beginners. With limited tech-savviness, you could get started today.

  • Customization is limited. If you’re a micromanager who likes things to be customizable, take a deep breath: you will not have full control or unlimited options when you use a free blogging platform.

That last one can be both a blessing and a curse.

Once you get serious about blogging, the limited customization options of free platforms will likely hold you back. When you’re just starting though, the limitations will help you focus on what’s important: the aforementioned testing of your ideas.

Alright, enough prologue.


Ready to find out which platform is best for you so you can start blogging? Let’s go.

1. Medium: Best Platform for Simplicity


The first one on the list is Medium.


Founded by Evan Williams, one of the founders of Twitter, Medium launched in August 2012 to much fanfare, and it’s grown into a behemoth. According to the New York Times, as of May 2017, this increasingly popular blogging platform was up to 60 million unique visitors each month.


That’s considerably less than WordPress, but Google Trends indicates the tide could be turning:


The red line in the graphic above represents the number of worldwide search engine searches for “WordPress” during the past five years. The blue line represents the number of searches for “medium.”


Granted, some of those “Medium” searches could be for the TV show of the same name that starred Patricia Arquette from 2005 through 2011.

Nonetheless, its growth is impressive.


How Do You Get Started?


Medium offers multiple ways to register.

Don’t want to remember yet another password for yet another account? No problem. Sign up using one of your social media accounts.


Go to Medium.com and click the “Get Started” button:


Choose Google or Facebook. You’ll then be asked to log into your (Google or Facebook) account. Once you authorize Medium to access your account, it will redirect you back to Medium.


That’s it.


To get to your Medium account in the future, all you have to do is click “Sign In” on the homepage and choose the “Sign in with Google” or “Sign in with Facebook” option.

Or if you already have a Twitter account, it’s even easier. Choose the “Sign In” link instead of the “Get Started” button, and you’ll see the following:


Click the “Sign in with Twitter” button (even though you haven’t yet signed up).

If you haven’t already logged into Twitter, you’ll be asked to log in and then authorize Medium to access your Twitter account.


Click “Ok,” and you’ll be off to the races.


What Do You Get For $0?


A simple, beautiful blogging platform that embraces minimalism.


After you join, click your avatar (the floating head) in the top-right corner of the page and then, select “New story.”



You’ll reach the neat and clean, easy-to-use, drag-and-drop editor.


Where insert the title for your post is clearly defined. So, too, is where to begin typing your first sentence.



Once you start writing all your changes get saved automatically and once you hit "publish" your blog will go live and your readers can read it.



There’s no guessing, no wondering, and no trial and error. If your post looks good in the editor, it’s going to look good when your post goes live after you click the “Ready to publish?” button.

And speaking of what happens after publishing, there’s something else Medium offers you for the whopping price of zero dollars and zero cents:


The chance to be featured in front of their 60+ million readers.


Write something that wows people and, if it receives enough love from readers (they click a “clap” button to show their approval), it could get featured as one of Medium’s top stories on their app and website…


Who Should Use Medium?


Anyone. Everyone.


Seriously, though it isn’t perfect, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a blogging topic or niche that Medium can’t service.


This is especially true if your niche will be self-improvement or entrepreneurship. Medium puts your content, your message, front and center to your readers.


There are tons of stories shown to millions of readers in the world and it is a very good platform to start with to reach those many readers. And that too for free!



Who Should NOT Use Medium?


Microbloggers (you’d be better off using Instagram — more on that later).

Those who don’t plan on using their blog for writing (photographers, podcasters, etc.).

Anyone who likes to color outside the lines.


Medium is all about the written word. Sure, graphics embedded into Medium posts look great, but in the end, it all comes back to the words.


Medium is best for those who love words. It excels at typography. It uses an abundance of white space so that its text has a perfect canvas. And it embraces a minimalistic design so that nothing distracts your readers from your precious — yes, I’m going to repeat it — words.


Medium offers no glitz, glam, or sparkles. And, unlike WordPress.com (which provides a few basic design themes and customization options), Medium is one size fits all.

What you see is what you get.


If you like what you see, great. If you don’t, there’s not a lot you can do about it.


Final verdict on Medium


What are the Pros?

  • Built-in audience of over 60 million readers!

  • Good for all blog types

  • Excellent typography — your blog will look professional

  • More business-friendly than WordPress.com

  • Monetization is possible with the Medium Partner Program

What are the Cons?

  • Little, if any, customization — your blog will look like every other Medium blog

  • Though Medium offers stats, you won’t be able to link to your Google account and use Google Analytics

2. LinkedIn: Best Platform for Professionals


Next up is LinkedIn.


Primarily used for professional networking, LinkedIn also offers a publishing platform. This allows any of its 560 million users (as of September 2018) to write posts that could (potentially) be read by any of the 260 million members who are active in a given month.

(Again, potentially.)


How Do You Get Started?


Go to LinkedIn.com, and you’ll see this window encouraging you to join:

Enter your name, your email, and a strong password. Then click the “Join now” button.

You’ll then be asked to answer a few simple questions:

  • Your country and zip code

  • Whether or not you’re a student (if no, you’ll enter your job title and the name of your employer; if yes, you’ll enter the name of your school and other relevant info)

  • Your reason for joining LinkedIn

It sounds like a lot, but it’s fairly worthy!.


What Do You Get For $0?


A free-to-use publishing platform that’s focused on professionals and business contacts.

If you’re already a LinkedIn member, publishing your content will be easier than WordPress.com, Medium, or any other blogging platform.


Why?

Because it’s built right into your LinkedIn profile. Click the “Write an article” button and start writing.



Who Should Use LinkedIn?


Anyone who wants to reach professionals and businesses.

After all, that’s what LinkedIn is all about, right? Nurturing business relationships.


Blogging on LinkedIn helps to cultivate those relationships.


When you write an article, LinkedIn will notify your existing connections. If your article is great (and why wouldn’t it be?), they’ll take notice. Write more and more great articles, and they’ll start to see you as an authority.


And, like with Medium, great content on LinkedIn has a chance to get noticed by those outside your list of connections.


If one of LinkedIn’s editors sees your masterpiece and decides to feature it on one of LinkedIn’s numerous channels, your work gets exposed to a giant audience of interested, like-minded professionals.


Who Should NOT Use LinkedIn?


This one is pretty straightforward…


If you aren’t a working professional, or you’re not looking to reach working professionals, you’ll be better off choosing one of the other free platforms.


Final verdict on LinkedIn


What are the Pros?

  • Good for professionals and business blogging

  • Clean, simple design

  • Ease of use — publishing platform is built right into your LinkedIn profile

  • Built-in audience of like-minded professionals

What are the Cons?

  • Only good for professionals and businesses

  • Very few customization options

  • You can’t schedule posts for future publishing


3. Instagram: Best Platform for Visuals

A photo and video-sharing platform that’s owned by Facebook, Instagram is one of the largest social media sites in the world.


Instagram has more than 1 billion users worldwide. The previous September, they had 800 million users — a growth of 200 million in only nine months.



How Do You Get Started?


On a personal computer, go to Instagram.com, and you’ll see the following:



Enter your phone number or email address, your name, your desired username, and a strong password. Then click the “Sign up” button.


Or, skip all that and click the “Log in with Facebook” button (assuming you have a Facebook account). If you aren’t already logged in, it will ask you to log into your Facebook account.


You could also do the above using the Instagram app on your mobile device.


What Do You Get For $0?


You get an extremely popular social media platform that’s perfect for microblogging.

What’s microblogging, you ask? Here’s how it works:


You get a great image. Maybe it’s a photo you took on your camera, or perhaps it’s a Creative Commons image that perfectly fits your current shade of melancholy.


You upload the image to Instagram.


And for the caption? You write a short blog post.


Here are a couple of examples:



In the above screenshot, Sarah Von Bargen cleverly plugs a course she offers in the midst of a tiny, bite-sized post (accompanied by a photo of assorted beverages).


And in the below screenshot, my friend Jaime Buckley (in true Jaime Buckley style), uses Instagram to publish an eye-catching graphic alongside 107 inspirational words on parenting.



That’s microblogging — and it can be done very, very well using Instagram.

Who Should Use Instagram?


Anyone who focuses on highly visual topics.

Models…



Photographers…



Yoga instructors…



Professional chefs…



Make-up artists, hairstylists, clothing stores…


The list goes on and on.


If you’re someone who can combine great visuals with short posts that pack a punch, you can have great success using Instagram as a microblogging platform.


Who Should NOT Use Instagram?


If your idea of appealing to your audience’s sensory details involves pulling out the iPhone 3G you’ve had since 2008 and snapping a photo, Instagram may not be the platform for you.


If you tend to draft novels when you write, Instagram’s 2,200 character limit when writing captions could prove problematic.


Also, if your target audience tends to shy away from mobile devices for any reason, Instagram might not be the best platform to test your ideas. Instagram started life as a mobile app. Mobile is where it shines, and it’s where most of its users call home.


(So, if you’re planning to start a Wilford Brimley fan club, it’s probably best to skip Instagram.)


Final verdict on Instagram


What are the Pros?

  • Great for visual topics

  • Ideal platform for microblogging (short posts)

  • Great if your target audience primarily uses mobile devices

What are the Cons?

  • Limited to 2,200 characters

  • Limited to one hyperlink (in your bio)

  • If your target audience isn’t on mobile, it’s less than ideal


So these were some ideas for a free blogging platform. Hope you enjoyed learning about them. Please let us know in the comments what you feel most usable for your blogging journey.

Reference source : smartblogger


#blogging #bloggingplatform





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