How to start a blog for free, is one of the most searched phrases on Google. And rightly so, many people are searching for ways to make money online and ditch their day jobs.
This has never been more apparent than now that we have a global pandemic, COVID-19. So, learning how to start a blog for free just might be what most people are waiting for.
Let’s face it – internet culture and social media have brought everything online. From business to dating, you can do anything with a single click. And with more and more people joining the blogging community, you find yourself asking: should I join too? To blog or not to blog.
Blogging is one of the best ways to broadcast yourself online. With a single blog post, you can reach billions of people around the world. More than just expressing your opinions, blogging rose to popularity because of two main reasons:
(1) it’s free, and
(2) it’s potentially income-generating.
Today, there are more than 152 million blogs on the internet and a new blog post is published every 0.5 seconds. According to internetlivestats.com, there could be well over 260000 blog posts in a single day.
If you hope on over to Statista.com, you will see that Tumblr.com’s recorded over 496 Million blog accounts up from 463.5 Million. The image above shows the cumulative total blogs from May 2011 to April 2020.
And The Number of Websites on the Internet?
The total number of websites on the internet changes by the second. According to Internetlivestats.com, there are over 1.5 Billion websites on the internet right now.
By the time you find and read this blog, there is every chance that number could top 2 Billion or at least must have increased significantly.
It is now one of the most dominant forms of web content, with subjects ranging from travel to marketing products.
Starting a blog is both interesting and intimidating. So if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, then here’s all you need to know about how start a blog for free.
How To Start A Blog For Free-Who Is This For?
The best part of blogging is, anyone can do it!
It’s really that easy. Unlike websites that require basic web design knowledge, blogging does not require any special skill. Regardless of your age, profession, educational background, skill set, or language – you can create a blog. All you need is a laptop or mobile device and a fairly stable internet connection.
One of the most commonly asked questions is: do I need to be a good writer to start a blog? The answer is a BIG NO!
Contrary to popular belief, blogging is not about writing. It’s about creating a greater presence online by sharing and communicating with your audience. Your main goal is to engage. Write about what you know in the best way you can.
There are no grammatical errors or spelling checks. Remember that the focus of your readers is on the content of your blog post, not your writing style. Don’t worry; there’s no expectation when it comes to blogging because most of your audience are strangers.
Most bloggers are not good writers nor native English speakers but still manage to maintain a high viewership. This is because they sometimes outsource their blog content from freelance writers online, especially when dealing with a topic that they are not familiar with.
With writing platforms popping up everywhere, you can get a quality article written for as low as $2.50. This also helps you save a significant amount of time since writing a single 500-word post could take you around 3 to 5 hours.
But if you want to keep your blog personal, you’ll have to learn to write your own content. Need help? Here are a few basic tips to improve your blog writing:
- Every good writer starts with being a good reader. Start reading up on topics that are closest to the subject of your blog.
- Follow a clear subject + verb + object construction that’s easy to read. The active voice also adds more impact to your writing.
- The usual way of writing starts with an introduction, body, and conclusion. But when it comes to blogs, the conclusion should come first. This is because most of your readers won’t have time to finish the whole article. Give them what they need to know in the first paragraph, before going into details.
- If you can get your point across with 500 words instead of 1000, then always go for the shorter one.
- RITE stands for R=relevant, I=interesting, T=timely, E=entertaining.
- Your opinion becomes valid when backed by credible sources.
- You are not defending your thesis or explaining to a group of experts. You are simply talking to the everyday person.
- Read your post out loud to see if the words used roll off the tongue comfortably.
- Read your article at least three times and revise it when necessary.
What Is The Difference Between A Website And A Blog?
There is a very fine line between the two terms and neither one is better than the other. The main difference is that blogs are a type of website. Other examples of websites are Facebook, Youtube, and Google. These sites, along with your blog, all fall within the umbrella term “website”. To put it simply: all blogs are websites but not all websites are blogs.
Aside from proper terminology, there are other notable differences. Here are a few:
1. Frequency of updates
Blogs are dynamic in nature. They are updated regularly with new content, sometimes more than once in a single day. Blog posts are arranged by date in reverse order so that the newer posts appear on top.
Websites, on the other hand, are more static in nature. Updates and new contents are less frequent than that of blogs. Website content is not published in sequential order but instead uses pages to present information. Some websites even contain web pages with fixed content that never changes.
2. Tone of voice
Bloggers talk to their readers in a conversational, non-formal tone. Their goal is to talk to their audience to gain higher viewership. Some blogs deal with topics that range from hobbies to travels that require only relaxed, everyday language.
Websites, on the other hand, incorporate a more formal and professional tone. Websites, like Wikipedia, are used as a general reference and research basis. Some websites are even run by government organizations and are primary sources of public information.
3. Customer interaction
Blogs promote friendly discussion. They feature a comment section designed to create online conversations about the blog post it follows. This section provides an effective platform where readers can interact with the blogger and even ask questions. Relationships are slowly being developed aimed at promoting interactivity among users.
Websites, on the other hand, have no interactivity but instead, one-way communication. Aside from social media websites like Facebook and Youtube, most websites don’t have a comment section. Even in websites selling products, there is rarely any customer interaction after each purchase.
4. SEO power
Due to the sequential order of its content, blogs have better long-term search engine optimization (SEO) power. This means that the quantity and quality of online traffic is higher when it comes to blogs.
Websites, on the other hand, contain content in the form of web pages that have more limited SEO power.
When it comes to blog content, the list is almost endless. You can basically write about anything under the sun. Blog posts can be written for fun, research, information, or for no reason at all.
In contrast, website content is more limited and subject to a bit more regulation. Web pages usually have a business or commercial purpose. Common subjects of these articles are usually about a product, service, or industry.
Why You Should Create A Blog And Join The Blogging Community
Blogs are the fastest and easiest way to make yourself heard around the world – without leaving the comfort of your home.
Blogging is becoming more and more popular because lots of people realize how creating a blog can help them both personally and professionally. In the United States alone, there are more than 31 million active bloggers posting at least once per month. And this number continues to grow more and more every day.
So if you haven’t started yet, here are a few reasons why you should create a blog:
1. Blogging is the best way to express your ideas and opinions.
Blogging gives you the freedom to tell your story the way you want to tell it, without any expectations or criticisms. It’s like writing your diary anonymously for the whole world to see. Your blog becomes your own secret place on the internet where you can share your best thoughts with the world. Particularly for shy people, it’s a great way of gaining confidence to express yourself to others within the limits where you feel most comfortable.
2. Blogging is a great learning experience.
Blogging helps you develop technological skills. After only a few weeks of starting your blog, you will most likely be familiar with basic coding, picture formatting, content management, copy editing, and SEO writing. You will build your vocabulary and language skills by writing and researching about various topics, some of which you may not be familiar with. Blogging also teaches you a great deal about self-discipline, since you are forced to sit down and organize your thoughts while you create a post.
3. Blogging improves your writing and communication skills.
You may already have a voice, but the challenge is communicating that voice properly to other people. By writing regularly, blogging will help you write more articulately and concisely, and you begin to develop your own writing style. The comments section on your blog also provides instant feedback on your work. And getting positive responses from your readers will provide instant motivation for you to write better.Blogging helps alleviate stress.
In the same way that you vent out your bottled-up emotions in your diary or journal, blogging provides an outlet for all the pent up stress of everyday life. A 2015 study conducted by Masaryk University showed the positive benefits of blogging for stress reduction. According to this study, blogging helps purge your consciousness of negative thoughts and emotions. It becomes an escape – a much-needed break when you’re consumed by your day-to-day responsibilities. Writing down your problems also helps aid in relaxation and contemplation, to help you come up with viable solutions to your troubles.
5. Blogging is the ultimate creative outlet.
Creating a blog unleashes your creative side. You’re not just a blogger; you also become a photographer, artist, graphic designer – all in one! Unlike other artistic pursuits that require a lot of equipment and set up, all you need when it comes to blogging is your laptop and you’re good to go!
6. Blogging gives you the freedom to write whatever you want, whenever you want.
Blogging is the best way to express yourself while having fun doing it! It is one of the best forms of artistic expression because it gives you all the freedom to write whatever you want. From fashion, food, travel, hobbies – the topics you can write about are endless.
7. Blogging is one way of self-promotion.
Think of your blog as your resume – a way to show off yourself and your skills to the public. A photographer? Show your best photos on your blog. A writer? Get people to read your articles by posting them online. From business to freelance work, blogging provides the perfect medium to introduce yourself to prospective clients.
8. Blogging helps you teach and inspire other people.
You’d be surprised how many people would love to hear what you have to say. You don’t need to be an expert on whatever you’re blogging about; you just have to have a good point of view. You can even help people by teaching them something that you happen to be knowledgeable about, like where to eat or your favorite hobby. Becoming an authority in your chosen category also helps build your online brand.
9. Blogging is a great advertising tool
Blogs are one of the best mediums to promote products and services. Many businesses use blogs to get news and updates to clients. Blogging focuses on brand marketing rather than selling by creating an opportunity to reach potential customers online.
10. Blogging generates income.
Blogging may be free but it can make money. Gaining more readers opens up a lot of opportunities for monetizing your blog. To know more about how to earn money through blogging, check out the next section.
After you’ve created your blog, the next step is deciding whether or not you should join a blogging community.
In a nutshell, a blogging community is the social network for bloggers. It is a collection of individual blogs that are tied together by a common interest or theme. It allows bloggers to connect with other like-minded individuals and increases the chances of growing a greater audience.
Today, the blogging community has risen to become one of the largest online groups in the world. Within this community are sub-groups of bloggers that organize according to shared characteristics or blog topics. For instance: KitchenBloggers brings together food bloggers around the world, while BlogHer is a community of all-female bloggers. Other popular blogging communities are BizSugar, Klinkk, Triberr, DoSplash, and BlogEngage.
When you are part of a blogging community, you are part of a group that helps each other achieve their goals. Still not convinced? Here are a few benefits you get from joining the blogging community:
- – being a part of a blogging community boosts your viewership. This is a result of inbound and outbound links that increase visibility in search engines like Google. And because you’ve built connections with other members of the community, your fellow bloggers will help promote your blog.
- – a good blogging community is one that encourages open communication and interaction between bloggers. It gives you an opportunity to meet people from around the world who share the same interests and build long-lasting friendships. If you are just starting your blog, blogging communities are one of the best ways to meet the right resource persons for suggestions and ideas.
- – Blogging communities are also great places for learning. You can learn so much about the industry from other bloggers who have been doing it for years. Many are knowledgeable about various niches and will help give you honest opinions about your work.
- – the chances of bigger earnings are higher when you join a blogging community. The increased traffic and SEO will give you the prestige and popularity to earn good money through your blog.
Can I Make Money With A Free Blog?
Yes, it’s possible to make money with your blog.
More than just a means of leisure and expressing yourself, blogging is also an income-generating venture. For some bloggers, it’s even a full-time job. At least 24% of all bloggers earn a salary through blogging. And the best thing about earning money through blogging? It won’t cost you a penny.
But while you don’t need money, you will need to invest a lot of time and effort. Successful bloggers didn’t get to be where they are by one click. Most of them have been honing their craft for years, with long hours of hustling to prove it.
You might not get rich right away, but you can earn enough passive income to support yourself and your family. Don’t know where to start? Here are a few ways to monetize your blog:
This is the most common go-to source of income for bloggers. There are two main methods of internet advertising:
- – In CPC advertising, bloggers get paid every time the ad is clicked. For instance: if you are being paid $2 per click and the ad gets clicked 100 times, then you earn $200. It is important to note that “click” does not mean “seen.” Thus, no matter how many times readers view the ad, you won’t earn a cent if they don’t click on it. For this reason, CPC is used mostly to drive conversions and blog traffic.
- – In this advertising method, “mille” means “per 1000 impressions.” Bloggers are paid a fixed amount of money based on how many people view the ad. For example, you earn $2 for every 1000 views your blog receives. CPM advertising does not focus on the number of clicks but on the number of views. CPM is best for brand awareness because it guarantees that a certain number of ads will be shown to your target audience.
But where can you get CPC or CPM advertisements? A great place to start is through AdSense – and advertising network run by Google. AdSense is so easy to use, particularly for beginners, because you don’t have to deal directly with advertisers.
In AdSense, Google acts as the middle man between you and the advertisers. You simply choose the content to put on your site and Google chooses ads that are relevant to it. Once you start earning, Google receives the payment from advertisers, deducts their commission, and sends the rest of the payment to you. Other popular advertising networks are Media.net and Infolinks.
If you don’t want to use advertising networks, then you can choose to sell ad space directly. If your blog gains a lot of traffic, then chances are advertisers will come to you. Otherwise, you can solicit ads from advertisers yourself. This is sometimes a better option than advertising networks because you won’t have to share your fee with a middle man and you have more control over what ads you post.
Similar to how sponsorships in TV and radio work, a company pays you a certain amount to write a blog wherein you talk about their brand or product and promote it to your readers. Some companies will even pay for a “brought to you by” mention at the end of your blog post.
The best way to attract sponsors is to have a proactive blog with quality content and lots of loyal readers. You can also include sponsorship announcements on your blog to directly invite companies to make pitches. You should also have a professional media kit ready in case sponsors ask for it. Some of the basic information you should include in your kit are contact information, URL, monthly blog views, and the number of blog followers.
3. Product Reviews
Similar to sponsorships, you can write reviews and endorsements on various products and services. The payment scheme for such blogs is on a price-per-post basis.
And depending on your blog traffic and the number of avid readers, you can earn around $200 to $300 for each review. The best part? Aside from getting paid for your written review, you get lots of free products that you can try out.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is another great way to earn money with your blog. In affiliate marketing, you recommend a product or service to your readers by including a special link on your blog post. But how do you earn money? Through this link, the advertiser or sponsor knows when a buyer uses the link in your blog post to make a purchase. And every time someone buys using that link, you earn a referral commission.
If you have avid readers who trust your endorsements, then you are a good candidate for affiliate marketing, and sponsors will likely deal directly with you. But if you have just started your blog, you can earn through an affiliate network.
Similar to advertising networks, affiliate networks act as the middle man or intermediary between you and the sponsor and deduct for themselves part of the fee. Some of the most well-known networks are Commission Junction and Share-a-sale.
5. Sell Digital Products
Instead of promoting other people’s products, you can instead sell your own. Digital products are things that cannot be physically held but are still consumed like music, videos, e-books, and online courses. But why digital products?
Because you can sell them repeatedly online without having to replenish your inventory! And since there is no recurring cost of goods, you can expect extremely high-profit margins and low overhead costs. Online courses are better investments than
e-books because you can charge a premium price for your expertise.
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Blog?
Whether or not starting a blog is free depends mainly on the type of platform you use.
Many platforms are free, meaning you can start a blog and pay ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! But although you may not be shelling out money, you will still be paying a price – giving up a part of the control and ownership of your blog.
There are a lot of downsides to free platforms, but the main complaints relate to platform policies that can restrict how you operate your blog. For example, some sites prohibit affiliate links, thereby limiting the amount of money you earn. And because you give up ownership of your blog, you can no longer sell it in the future in case it becomes profitable.
Aside from choosing the right platform, there are some essential expenses that you can’t escape. All in all, starting a blog will cost you around $34 to $65 to cover your first year of expenses. Here is the breakdown:
- – Hosting provides server space and equipment to store your blog so it can be reached by anyone with an internet connection.
- – A domain name is your website name. It is the address where Internet users can access your blog. Domain name costs are only optional because you can opt to choose a free hosting plan that comes with a free domain name, like that offered by Bluehost.
- – A plugin is a small software that adds functionality to your blog. Lots of plugins, like WordPress, are free but are still useful.
- – An email marketing tool is necessary only if you plan to monetize your blog. It provides a medium so you can communicate with your readers who wish to pay for more content. So if your goal is merely to blog for a hobby and not for profit, you don’t need to spend for this.
- – Not all bloggers need to pay security costs. Only income-generating blogs require extra security from hackers. But the good news is that most hosts already have built-in security so you won’t have to spend extra for it.
What To Blog About
There are thousands of bloggers blogging on different niches or categories. Here are 10 of the most popular blogging
- Food Blogs
- Fashion Blogs
- Music Blogs
- Travel Blogs
- Fitness Blogs
- Sports Blogs
- DIY Blogs
- Finance Blogs
- Parenting Blogs
- Pet Blogs
Different Methods And Platforms For Making Free Blogs
A blogging platform is a piece of software that you use to publish your blog posts online. When choosing the right platform, consider user-friendly platforms, provides you with the right customization tools, and have built-in security. To help you decide, here are some of the most popular blogging platforms where you can sign up for free:
Launched in 2005, WordPress one of the most popular free blogging platforms with more than 70 million published posts. WordPress offers a “free for life” plan that includes a free subdomain, community support, and dozens of free themes.
|Quick and easy sign-up||Not ideal for business because of limited marketing features|
|Suitable for all types of blogs||Limited online community|
|User-friendly interface||Bloggers do not have 100% control over the content|
|More designs and themes|
Tumblr’s best feature is its online community which is composed mostly of younger bloggers. This built-in community helps you garner a greater audience and allows you to reblog other content. Content focuses more on photos and GIFs rather than text.
|Sharing and reblogging feature||The difficult process of backing up files|
|Bigger online community||Limited design customization|
|Self-sustainable||Format and functionality limitations|
|Linked to Google Analytics|
|Great for visual bloggers|
Medium is also a popular free blogging platform, boasting of more than 70 million visitors every month. What sets Medium apart from other blogging platforms is its built-in audience feature. Another feature is third party embedding from other websites like YouTube. Because of its simple interface, it is one of the best platforms for beginner bloggers.
|Great for beginners||Minimal customization|
|Good typography||Not linked to Google Analytics|
|Income-generating thru the Medium Partner Program||Bloggers do not have 100% control over the content|
While used to start blogs, Wix is a website builder platform. Its best feature is being able to transfer blog content to portable devices so that readers can access them through tablets or mobile phones. Another feature is its drag and drop tools, making it easier to create blog content. It currently has over 150 million users around the world.
|User-friendly interface||Displays ads|
|Themes and templates for customization||Limited free apps|
|Easy drag and drop tools||Unable to change the chosen template|
|Easy setup||Limited functionality|
Used for both blogging and web building, Weebly uses easy-to-use drag and drop tools to create content. Weebly is both a business and eCommerce friendly blogging platform
|The editor is easy to use||Limited third party embedding|
|Drag and drop tool feature||Limited blogging tools|
|Weebly mobile app and app center|
|Strong SEO features|
|Linked with Google Analytics|
Joomla! is a full content management system that is used primarily for building websites. It is an open-source platform that has several available extensions for e-commerce. It may not be as user friendly as WordPress but it has great flexibility in terms of content and structure, making it one of the most preferred blogging platforms by big companies and professional advertisers.
|Professional-looking templates||Not recommended for beginners|
|Content and structure flexibility||Basic coding knowledge required|
|Lots of available designs||Small module marketplace|
|Extensions for e-commerce|
Much like Joomla!, Drupal is also a full content management system that caters to both creating blogs and website building. One of the best features of Drupal is its online community that is made up of mostly professional web programmers. Being open-source and virtually flexible, Drupal is a great platform for creating complex websites. However, because of its complex interface, it may not be the best option for beginner bloggers.
|Access to free modules||Complex interface|
|Built-in control system||Not beginner-friendly|
|Multi-lingual site support||Requires basic coding knowledge|
|Free and open-source code||Bad module compatibility|
|Strong security features|
How To Start A Blog For Free-The 8-Step Formula To Follow When Creating Your Blog
Step 1: Select a perfect niche for your blog
A blog niche is a specific topic that you choose to write about. This is an important choice to make because the success of your blog depends on what you’re blogging about. It’s good to stick to one topic so your blog appears uniform and concise. The goal is to produce quality content to produce website traffic and gain greater readership.
Before you can choose your niche, it’s important to identify WHY you want to blog? You have two choices: (1) blogging for a hobby, or (2) blogging to generate income. Or you can equally do both at the same time.
For hobbyist-bloggers, the sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing your niche! Write about something you want to talk about; something that you are passionate about. Your latest travel. Your new garden. Your job. Even your daily traffic struggle. It’s your blog, and you have all the freedom to write whatever you want.
For bloggers who want to earn a living through their blogs, choosing a niche is more complicated. Your decision should be based on market factors, not your passion. Choose a business that is profitable and do your research beforehand. An easy way to tell if a niche is profitable is to search if major brands are advertising for your keywords. If companies are willing to spend thousands on ads, you can bet that you’ve chosen the right niche. Another important factor to consider is your target audience.
If you’re blogging as both a hobby and to earn income, then your perfect niche is a combination of three things: passion, knowledge, and profitability.
Step 2: Choose a blogging platform
A blogging platform is a piece of software that you use to publish your blog posts online. When choosing the right platform, consider a user-friendly platform, provides you with the right customization tools, and have built-in security. There are lots of free blogging platforms that you can use without having to spend a penny, some of the most popular include WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Tumblr, and Joomla.
Step 3: Pick a domain name
A domain name is your website name. It is the address where Internet users can access your blog. When choosing your domain name, here are a few easy tips to remember:
- Choose a short name
- It must be unique and easy to remember
- Make sure it’s easy to read and pronounce
- Avoid using numbers or hyphens
- Avoid copyrighted names
Step 4: Get a web hosting account
Hosting provides server space and equipment to store your blog so it can be reached by anyone with an internet connection. Some of the factors to consider when choosing your hosting account are one-click software installations, 24/7 customer support, built-in security features, and strong uptime guarantees.
One of the most popular and cheapest hosting sites is Bluehost.com. For only $2.50 a month, you get a free domain name and unlimited storage.
Step 5: Starting a blog on WordPress
With more than 70 million published posts, WordPress remains to be one of the most popular blogging platforms to date. It offers a “free for life” plan that includes a free subdomain, community support, and dozens of free themes.
Creating a WordPress blog can be done in as little as 15 minutes. After you’ve made a hosting account and chosen a domain name, all you need to do is install the WordPress free software and sign up your account.
Step 6: Select a WordPress theme to design your blog
Installing WordPress gives you access to more than 10,000 free themes. To choose the right one, here are a few things to consider:
- Choose a responsive theme – one that is compatible with most mobile devices.
- Choose a theme with a font that is easy to read.
- Do not choose a bloated theme or one with too many features that could affect site performance.
- Test the theme out thoroughly before finalizing your choice.
Step 7: Write content and promote your blog
Now that you’ve signed up your hosting account, domain name, and platform, you can now begin blogging! The best way to promote your blog is by producing quality content that your readers will love. It’s also a good idea to join an online community so other bloggers can help reblog your posts.
Step 8: Make money blogging
Gaining more readers opens up a lot of opportunities for monetizing your blog. More than just a means of leisure and expressing yourself, blogging can also be an income-generating venture. Some of the ways to make money through blogging are product reviews, sponsorships, affiliate links, and advertisements.