There are many blogging platforms that beginners can make use of to start a viable online business without spending too much. The tricky part is to find the one that will fit your initial needs and budget.
- What are blogging platforms?
- Which are the best blogging platforms?
- Free blogging websites
- The best blogging websites for SEO
- Best blogging platform to make money
- How to start with WordPress + Namecheap
- How to start free with Blogger
- Blogging platforms for beginners – Conclusion
What are Blogging platforms
Blogging platforms are spaces on the web where you as a content creator and or writer can build a blog or website for your niche. Through the content you create you start building a brand that will become part of your online business strategy.
The purpose of creating blogs or websites is to claim your piece of real estate on the web.
Your blog or website represents your business which is similar to and the same as having a brick and mortar business. That is also why you as a beginner in online business will look for the best location and cost for your start-up.
Which are the best blogging platforms?
When it comes to “best” then it is what suits your needs the best. New Bloggers will always look for options that are easy and free to start with.
Most of the time when you select your platform there will be a couple of factors that might sway your decision.
- Running Cost
- Server Speed
- User Friendly
- Add On Services
Most beginners will have cost as the top priority and this is normal. When you start off your online business you have no idea what the returns will be. Therefore you would control the initial layout.
We all make the mistake of doing it as cheaply as possible from the start. I have learned that it is possible with hard work but in the long run, you create even more work and costs for yourself. Spending a little money in the beginning for a good setup will yield positive results quicker.
Server speed will always play a very important role in your online business development. Unfortunately, speed and price go hand in hand so you will have to make a choice. Your choice will depend on future plans but for a beginner the cheaper options should be sufficient.
Search engine optimization requires fast loading speeds for your website which can be achieved through on-page SEO tactics. You will only need to worry about server speed if you are going to build mega pages.
The upside is that you can upgrade easily when the funds roll in and the site has grown.
There is nothing more needed when you start with your new online business than a platform that makes it easy to figure out the technical stuff. Free and cheap options will often task you with figuring out how things work.
For most entrepreneurs, this time can be spent better on building the business. It is also good to have a good 24-hour live support system on the platform that will clear up any issues you might have.
Add On Services
It is nice for beginners to have additional tools and services available on the same platform where the hosting takes place. That is what makes WordPress such a favourite because there are so many plug-ins that can be useful and they are simple to master.
When it comes to starting for free you cannot go wrong with running WordPress as it makes life simple. Most platforms will also provide services that compliment your hosting because of the competition in the market. Having it all in one place just makes the task easier.
Free Blogging websites
That said most of us beginning an online business will want to do it for free. As said this is possible but will require some hard work and time as initial input. There will always be a roadblock to overcome and can only be done by learning new skills.
There are three types of free blogging platforms which are:
- Free platform
- Web-based blogging
- A website with an integrated blog
A totally free platform is exactly as said. You don’t pay a cent to start your blog and post content while building an audience. Most successful beginners will however upgrade very soon after they learn all the restrictions of free blogging.
The three most popular platforms where you will be able to start your free blog are:
Blogger has been around a very long time and is the favourite for most casual bloggers. It is simple to set up and easy to master. It is very basic but surprisingly easy to start a very small online income stream for a business.
It belongs to Google and therefore Adsense is part of the setup although you still need to build a proper audience to qualify. It is however easy to dabble a bit with affiliate marketing links and limited products.
If you are planning to build a serious business it can basically only be used for driving traffic to your main site or online store. I still have and maintain a few blogs on Blogger just for the traffic it can send me.
Much more advanced options with the Wix free plan will help you set up your blog easily. It has the ability to add an online store but more advanced features are only available in paid packages.
Blogging on Wix is very simple with the free templates they provide but the drag and drop features might take a while to get used to. Visually you can do more with Wix than with Blogger without having to learn HTML and CSS.
It is possible to start a small online business with the free plan but once again you will have to work around some of the restrictions you will encounter. With proper planning, it is advisable to start free as the upgrade process is simple when needed.
Free Wix is perfect for creating landing pages or portfolios. Unless your business is to remain small you have to upgrade later.
What makes Weebly popular is the beginner-friendly website builder that it comes with. There are also many online guides and step-by-step tutorials that can help you get your website or blog going quickly.
When you are ready to upgrade Weebly comes with very useful and productive e-commerce tools. It has built-in order management, shipping, and payment modules that make life easy for you.
Unfortunately, all these features are excluded from the free version and you will also be stuck with a Weebly subdomain name until you upgrade. It is however perfect to start building a web presence and landing pages if you are a beginner.
The good news is that when you are ready to go big you are on a platform that will go big with you. Weebly does not rate as one of the best blogging platforms for nothing. There are many online stores you see that have been built on Weebly.
The best blogging platform for SEO
Although the blogging platform you use will depend on your needs you will still have to consider what will make it easy for you to rank on search engines.
For beginners, the best solution is to use the WordPress platform to start with because of its diversity and abundance of resources. Obviously, if you are very tech-savvy there are many other platforms you can use.
But because here at Skillscloud we aim our skills development at pure beginners we do recommend WordPress to start with.
- Easy for beginners to use
- User-friendly interfaces
- Thousands of free tutorials
- Plenty SEO friendly themes and templates are available
- A big choice of plug-ins that can help the beginner
- Can start for free with WordPress
Having all of these resources available enables the beginner to start off a blogging career very quickly.
Best blogging platform to make money
There are two ways of looking at blogging when you are a beginner.
Do you want to start 100% free or can you afford a small budget?
Start blogging for free
If you choose to go the 100% free route you must understand that in some ways you will be restricted with what you can achieve. A free blog can only do so much for you but it does not mean you cannot build a successful business like this.
When you have reached capacity there are always the means available to upgrade or migrate to a higher level. If you reach this stage you should be making some money to start paying for some services.
You can make money on any blogging platform as everything depends on your product, skills, and persistence. There are some entrepreneurs that will make money with only a mobile phone. Keep in mind a blog is only a landing page for your service or product.
To begin blogging on a wider scale should not cost you an arm and a leg. It only takes planning your journey forward better.
Most beginners will spend money earned on unnecessary resources that they can probably do for free anyway.
Start blogging with minimal cost input
If you can afford to start a blogging set up on a small budget then I would suggest Namecheap shared hosting. With a total cost of under $20 for your first year, you will have more than enough resources to build a good online business in your first year.
With your package, you get hosting for 3 x Domains, free SSL for the first year, and another 30 subdomains. You really cannot ask for better value for money that is why I highly recommend starting from here.
This will enable you to build more than one business in the first year which will pay for many years to come. It also allows you to integrate WordPress for free via your CPanel dashboard. It also comes with free themes and plugins that are easy to use.
How to start with Namecheap + WordPress
Getting your hosting space and domains as a beginner is simple with Namecheap. They also have an excellent 24-hour online support system that can help you quickly when stuck.
In order to start and set up your first blog, you can follow these easy steps
Join Namecheap by creating an account
Buy Stellar hosting package
Buy a domain name
Set up your Webmail and Cpanel passwords
Install SSL Certificates
Log into your Cpanel
Go to the Softaculous panel and click on WordPress to install.
Follow WordPress installation instructions.
Select a free mobile-friendly theme template and install
You are now ready to start working on your blog
How to start free with Blogger
Blogger belongs to Google and dates back to the old days when the web needed to grow and the ordinary person was still encouraged to start creating content. One strategy was to make available a simple blogging platform anyone can use without prior knowledge.
This platform was Blogspot.com and up to today, it remained simple and easy to use but is now simply known as “Blogger”. That is why it is ideal for beginners to learn.
All you need to start is to have a Google account and a niche. Blogspot is simple to set up and configure for regular use.
Start setting up your free “Blogger” site with the following steps
Log into your Google account or sign in to Blogger directly with Google account details.
Visit the “Settings”, “Theme” and “Layout” tabs and set up the basics for your blog. I am busy working on a step-by-step guide that will be available at a later stage so make sure you subscribe and receive the news.
When you are ready you click on “+New Post” and start writing your first article or blog post. For now, there are plenty of resources to give good advice for beginners regarding the Blogger platform.
Best blogging platforms for beginners – Conclusion
Although there are some blogging platforms that will perform better than others it will always come down to the effort that you put into your blogging career. We don’t all need to drive a Ferrari to reach our end destination.
All you have to do is make sure your blogging platform is suited for your purpose and will allow you to expand when needed. The ability to monetize is the most important as you will need to start making money with your online business.