You want a profitable blog that will be quick and easy to setup to help you reach your income goals. The problem is there are too many options for where to start. So much conflicting advice have you confused. What is the best website to start a blog on?
My first blog was built on WordPress.com. I learned quite a bit about WordPress then. I also quickly learned that WordPress.com is different than WordPress.org. Whoops!
I wanted the other WordPress until I learned I had to pay $X a month to get started. I decided to learn more about the foundations of a blog, about writing, and about monetization options.
After learning enough to get started with taking action, I changed platforms. More on that later.
Let’s clear up the confusion and set you on the right path for your journey into blogging.
**Note: This blog post may contain affiliate links.
First, we have to establish what your goals are. You know those S.M.A.R.T. goals? Yes, you need one for blogging too.
Sorry, not sorry.
It sucks going through this first. But it’s so important to picking the best website to start a blog. You don’t want to start a blog to find yourself looking to move platforms 6 months later.
Methods Of Making Money
Now you have a specific and attainable income you want to reach by a specific deadline. How do you get there? You have options.
This is not an all inclusive list. These are just some of the most common options that have seen success.
- Sell your own product or service
- Sell someone else’s product or service
- Sponsored blog or social media posts
- Guest post and freelance writing
- Private advertisement sales and advertising networks
- Website sponsorships from an exclusive advertiser
- Host memberships
- Host business directories
- Host webinars
- Host sponsors, contests, or giveaways
- Host a job board
Hosted Versus Self Hosted Websites
A hosted website is a platform you do not have full control over because you don’t actually own your blog. There’s typically no cost to start an account. Set up is easier due to the limited options to customize the website.
You may want to learn more and test blogging by starting on a hosted website. Monetizing options are limited. Verify if you have room for growth or would need to change platforms to start making any money.
A self hosted website is a platform you do have full control over. you may need to learn to do or pay to have any customizations done for you. You own your blog and content when you use a hosting provider to self host a blog.
This option will come at a cost, but doesn’t have to be expensive. You can get started for less than $10 a month.
Best Website To Start Your Blog
Your best website to start a blog will depend on your income goals and the method how you choose to make money. Do you need website customization options? Do you want to keep your monetization options open for future changes? Will you integrate other software to your website?
Google’s free blog platform is easy to use and manage with Google’s security and reliability. Blogger’s tools and design is marginal compared to other options. This platform sees users migrate to WordPress.org for more features and control.
Google abandons projects often enough to be a consideration. Platform updates can be unreliable or the platform could disappear altogether. However, Blogger boasts over 46 million active users per month. They may not abandon Blogger anytime soon.
Do you want a minimalist blog option with features focused on writing and blogging? This platform provides a clean user interface without any set up if you get the hosted version. The self hosted installation setup may be very complicated. Either way, Ghost provides very limited options for features, customization, and themes.
Joomla is a smaller but similar option to the popular WordPress.org. It provides many similar benefits with fewer options in features. You get control of the website with forum, membership, and ecommerce options.
If you only want to write to an existing audience, no setup or designing a website, then this may be your solution. Medium’s audience is not yours to keep. You could lose your blog, not create a branded presence, and have few monetization options
Tumblr’s free easy to use platform boasts microblogging with social media functions. The features are very limited. Also it’s difficult to import content from Tumblr to another platform.
An easy set up option with professionally-designed templates, SSL/HTTPS, and ecommerce choices. Integrations are still limited. Even the best paid plan provides features reviewed as less optimal to use than WordPress.org. Users can switch from Squarespace to WordPress.org and vice versa.
This hosted platform uses drag-and-drop website building tools for quick and easy setup. Unfortunately, the features and integrations are limited. Then exporting the content from Weebly to another platform is difficult too.
Wix has a free and paid account option. The free option will display Wix’s branding and advertising. The paid option won’t. Setup is drag-and-drop easy, no coding needed, with several customization options. The theme cannot change once selected. Limited
This option is similar, and often confused with, WordPress.org. A cofounder of WordPress.org created this free option. Options are limited and advertisements are not available. The website is not under your own control. Your account could be closed if you violate the terms of service but it is also very easy to setup and manage. Users frequently switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org after experiencing the limitations.
97% of US bloggers are on WordPress.org, not to be confused with WordPress.com. The learning curve scares many bloggers but there are many resources available. You get total control of the website with forum, membership, and ecommerce options. A hosting provider is required and you are responsible for backup and security.
What Did Stefanie Do?
Once I decided to dedicate myself to the hard work of blogging, I purchased my domain and started on BlueHost. I did not like how BlueHost works. They have a great affiliate program, but I am not in this to make money.
I mean, I am. But I have integrity that says I could not recommend a product or service I so disliked!
I recommend SiteGround (read my disclosure notice regarding affiliate links) for
Your goals, skills, and interests will help you determine which option is the best fit for you. Choosing the best website to start a blog is a common issue from many bloggers. Switching from one platform to another can be done
Don’t stress, but keep your goals and level of commitment in mind when making your selection. WordPress.org is popular but doesn’t mean it is the right answer for you.