Are you interested in starting a blog but don’t want to pay for web hosting? Or maybe you’re not sure how to get started at all.
In this post, I’m going to show you 5 different free blogging sites, how to get started with them, start your own blog for free and make money from it.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or someone with no technical experience, with any of the blogging platforms below you can start a blog for free in less than 60 minutes.
So let’s get started!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, I will receive a commission if you purchase through these links (without any additional cost to you), which helps us maintain this website.
How to start a blog for free?
Before we move into the steps on how to start a blog on any of these platforms, There are some important steps you’ll need to go through so that your blogging journey starts on the right foot.
So, before you start out you’ll need to:
1. Choose a Niche
Before you start your blog, it’s important to decide on the topic or the blog niche that you’re going to write about. This will help you create content that resonates with your readers and helps them find solutions to their problems.
Best practices while choosing a niche:
- Keep it narrow – Don’t try to write about everything, instead focus on one particular topic and create content around it.
- Consider your interests – You should be well-versed or interested in learning about the topic you choose for your blog to keep up with content creation and consistently engage readers.
- Research best practices – Do some research online to read up on the best practices for your chosen niche and understand what content resonates with readers.
- Check if profitable – Check out other blogs in your niche and see if they are making money. If yes, then you can also start a blog on the same topic and monetize it.
If you want a detailed guide on how to choose a niche with an awesome list of profitable niches, check out one of my earlier posts How to find the Best Blog Niche.
2. Buy a domain name (Optional)
Once you have decided on a niche, Although it’s not necessary, you can buy a domain name for your website. Namecheap has got the cheapest domains and is the easiest to use.
However, from the 5 free blogging platforms, I’m about to share with you, only Blogger allows you to use a custom domain without any paid plan.
You can also get a domain name through Blogger itself while you’re setting up your blog.
As I’ve mentioned, the domain name is optional, so you don’t have to worry about that and with each of these platforms, you can register a free subdomain (yourblog.blogspot.com, yourblog.medium.com, etc) for your blog.
You can add your own domain later when you decide to upgrade later.
3. Choose a blogging platform.
This is the third important step for starting your blog for free. You need to decide which blogging platform you’re going to use, such as Blogger, Medium, or any other blog hosting account.
You should be clear about what features you need, like the ability to customize your blog’s design and appearance, or the ability to monetize your blog using ads or affiliate marketing.
So, I’ve compiled a list of 5 of the best free platforms that you can use to start your blog.
I’ve also explained how these platforms work and how you can make money blogging on each platform so that you can make an informed decision.
The 5 best free blogging platforms
Let’s have a look at these platforms in detail so that you can have a clear idea of which one to choose.
Blogger is a platform owned by Google and is a great way to start your blog without any hassle.
It has an easy setup process, allows you to use a custom domain without any paid plan, and offers lots of integrated tools to help you start a successful blog.
- Display Ads – As blogger is a Google product, you can monetize your blog on it with display ads from Google AdSense. (You’ll need to get approved for AdSense ads through a website review. You can find the best practices for your website in this blog post to get your approval).
- Affiliate Marketing – Blogger also supports affiliate marketing and you can use it to make money from your blog.
- Selling Digital products – It’s a bit complicated to sell digital products on Blogger but it can still be done. Here’s an article that can help you create a store on Blogger.
When it comes to starting a blog for free, Blogger is definitely the best choice for beginners as it’s easy to understand and use.
Medium is another great platform that has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years. It allows you to create content quickly and easily, reach an audience of millions, and make money while doing it.
Just like Blogger, you can set up your account in just a few clicks and you’re ready to start writing.
- Medium Partner Program – Medium is one of the few platforms that pays its users for writing content on its platform. You can join the Medium Partner Program, write content, and get paid based on your readership. (Available only in select countries)
- Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate marketing is also allowed on Medium, so you can use it to make money from your blog.
- Email Marketing – Another great way to earn money through writing blog content on Medium is using Email Marketing. Medium has an in-built email marketing system that allows you to collect emails, send newsletters and promote your products.
- Becoming a Medium Affiliate – If you’re eligible for Medium Partner Program, you can also become a Medium Affiliate and earn money by referring other users to the platform.
- Through Tipping – Medium also has a tipping system that allows users to donate money to writers they appreciate. You can collect tips by adding third-party services like PayPal, Ko-Fi, or Patreon.
Medium would be best for you if you’re looking to get your blog to reach a wider audience quicker and monetize your writing in the process.
Linkedin is not a blogging platform but a professional network where you can share insights and thought leadership. It is a great way to build an audience and reach a professional, corporate community.
- Affiliate Marketing – You can use affiliate marketing to monetize your blogs on Linkedin.
I don’t recommend blogging for money on Linkedin as you might get in trouble with the platform’s policies. Linkedin is best used for creating brand awareness and reaching out to potential customers.
Substack is a newsletter platform that allows you to create and distribute newsletters in the form of emails and a blog and monetize it through a subscription.
You just have to set up your publication, garner an audience and start monetizing.
- Newsletter Subscriptions – You can use the subscriptions feature to charge readers for your content. You can also offer exclusive content only to your subscribers.
Substack’s revenue method is focused more on subscriptions and you can’t make money through affiliate marketing or display ads.
Substack would be best if you’re looking to make money from your blog by charging readers and the blog feature is secondary.
So if you’re looking to start a blog only, then Substack is not the best option for you.
Systeme.io is one of my favourite all-in-one digital marketing platforms, and its free feature itself has enough features to start a blog and make money from it.
Apart from that, you can build funnels, and landing pages, sell courses and even do email marketing all from one platform.
- Affiliate Marketing – With Systeme.io you can do affiliate marketing through any of the marketing features available in the platform, including the blog.
- Becoming a Systeme.io Affiliate – When you sign up for Systeme.io you automatically become an affiliate. You can then use your unique affiliate link to promote the platform and earn money.
- Display Ads – Systeme.io allows you to add display ads to your blog, which you can use to monetize your blog.
- Sell Products – Selling digital products like courses, e-books, webinars and more is another great way to make money from your blog on System.io.
- Membership – You can also create membership levels and offer exclusive content to members only, allowing you to make money by charging subscription fees on Systeme.io.
When it comes to making money from your blog using free website hosting, I think System.io is the best option as it offers you a wide range of monetization options.
By utilizing the available tools and resources on Systeme.io, you can create a blog that not only earns money but also helps you grow your business.
So if you’re looking for the best platform to start a blog for free and make money from it, then Systeme.io is your best bet.
It has all the features you need to create a successful blog and make money from it.
If you want to check for more free blogging platforms, I have covered it in one of my previous posts “Best free blogging platforms“.
Now, let’s dive in and learn how to set up your blog for free on each of these platforms.
How to start a blog on Blogger
First, you need to create an account on Blogger.com. You can use your Google, Facebook, or Twitter account to sign up.
- Enter the title and the name of your blog and follow the next guided steps.
- Choose a free domain name (sub-domain) or buy/connect a custom domain to your blog.
- Select a template (Theme) for your blog.
- Click on the “Create blog” button and you’re ready to start blogging!
That’s it and now you can start writing blog posts, adding images and videos to your content, and customizing the look of your blog by using the available features.
To write a new post:
- Select “Post” in the right-hand side menu.
- Then, Click on the “+ New post” button on the top left corner of the screen.
- Enter a title for your post and start writing!
When you’re done, click on the “Publish” button to publish your post.
In the same way, you can customize your blog on Blogger by adding widgets, creating pages, and changing themes from the menu on the left side.
Once you’re done setting up and have written around 15-20 blog posts, you can apply for Google AdSense and if approved you can start making money from your blog.
To learn more about different settings on Blogger, check out this guide.
How to start a blog on Medium
To start a blog on Medium, you’ll have to create an account, set up your profile, and start publishing content.
There are not many customization options available on Medium. And unlike Blogger, which allows you to set up your own website, Medium doesn’t work like that.
It actually works like a social network where anyone can create a profile and follow or be followed by other people.
To get started with your first blog post on Medium, visit the Medium.com website and create a free account. And to get started with your publications, follow the steps below:
- Once you’re signed in, click on the “Notepad icon” on the left-hand side menu of your dashboard.
- Enter a title for your story, and
- Start writing your blog (Called “Story” in Medium).
- When you’re done, click on the “Publish” button to publish your story.
To set up your newsletter and tipping option, click on the profile icon on the bottom left corner of the screen and select “Settings“.
Here you can find options to enable your email newsletter and tipping option as also the other available settings for your blog.
With Medium, you can also make money from your stories by joining the Medium partner program.
How to write blogs on Linkedin
As mentioned earlier, Linkedin is not a blogging platform but rather a professional networking site but you can use it for blog marketing too.
Like Medium, Linkedin can be a great platform to attract more readers and customers to your products or services.
To start writing blog articles on Linkedin, sign in to your account and…
- Click on the “Write article” button.
- Enter a title for your article.
- Add a featured Image and start writing.
- When you’re done, click on the “Publish” button to publish your story.
You can also use Linkedin to promote your blog posts by sharing them with your network and joining relevant groups. This way you can increase your blog’s reach and build a larger audience.
The advantage of adding a blog publication to platforms like Medium and Linkedin helps you rank higher in the Google search engines because of the domain authority that these sites have.
How to get started on Substack
To start a blog on Substack, Go to Substack.com and create an account. It involves the same process as most other websites out there.
You can sign up using your email and also connect your Twitter account if you want to. After you sign up, the next page will prompt you to create your publication (Blog newsletter).
- Enter a title, give a description and create your subdomain for your publication and continue.
- Import your mailing list on the next page (If any) and then click on “Create publication“.
That’s it and you’re all set to start writing your blog.
To write a new post,
- click on the “New Post” button on the left-hand side of your desktop screen and start writing!
- When you’re done, click on the “Publish” button to publish your article.
You can also customize your publication by adding a logo, changing the theme, and more from the settings menu on your dashboard or the dropdown menu from your profile.
To learn more about setting up your Substack account and setting up other features available. You can find it here.
When to activate a subscription on Substack
Substack’s subscription model is a great monetization option for publishers but, as a new publisher, it can be hard to know when the right time is to start charging for content.
About activating subscriptions for your publication on Substack, I would recommend you gather at least a couple of hundred readers for your blog before you enable a subscription.
This way, you can drive more value from the subscription and people would be willing to pay for more content.
When you have a good reader base, you can start experimenting with different subscription plans and pricing strategies to maximize your profits.
The best strategy Substack itself recommend is to give limited-time free access to your readers for 7 days to around 90 days and then they can switch to the paid plan after that period.
This tactic has been successful for many Substack writers. And I think this would be the best way to get started with your subscription.
To activate a subscription on Substack:
Click on the settings menu from your dashboard or the dropdown menu from your profile.
- Go to the “Payments” menu
- Click on “Connect to Stripe” and connect your Stripe account
- You’ll then be led back to the Substack settings page where you can set your pricing and add payment plans.
Now let’s move on to the last free blogging platform that’s on my list “Systeme.io”
How to start a blog on Systeme.io?
To start a blog on Systeme, create a free account and log into your account. You’ll need to create a domain for your Systeme io account so that it can be connected to your blog.
To create a free subdomain:
- Go to the dropdown menu on your profile.
- Go to settings.
- Scroll down to the “Custom domains section” and click the button.
- You can then create your custom subdomain for your blog.
Although it can be done later, Don’t forget to add a favicon and a logo for your blog.
Now, to set up your blog:
- Go to the Blog section of your dashboard.
- Click the “+Create” button.
- Add a name to your blog and connect the custom domain name you’ve created before and choose a template for your blog.
- Once you’ve chosen a template from among the free themes, click “Save“.
And your blog is all set up!
Now you can start writing your posts, and add images and videos. For customizing and publishing your articles…
- Go to the “Blog” section of your dashboard and select your blog!
- Once you’re led inside the backend, you can write articles, create categories and post them to your blog.
You can also customize the look and feel of your blog from the settings menu and publish it when you’re done.
And that’s how you can start a blog for free with Systeme.io!
If you want to monetize your blog effectively and get more control over it, you can upgrade to the paid plan from your Systeme.io dashboard later.
Now, before you start your free blog, here is something you might be interested in…
If you’re looking for more control and features, you can also go for a self-hosted WordPress blogging platform. It’s a great way to have more control over your blog, but it requires some technical knowledge.
Check out this guide for creating a self-hosted WordPress blog that I’ve shared in another post.
If you don’t know yet, WordPress is a free CMS and It won’t cost you a fortune to start a website with it.
You can get started with as low as around $3 per month which is the cost of the web hosting companies that’ll host your website. You can learn more in this post.
Now, let’s have a look at some questions that people ask about blogging.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Conclusion – Starting a blog for free
Now that you understand the basics of how to start a blog for free, it’s important to take some time and find the right platform for your needs. All of the options I’ve listed are great platforms with plenty of features and support.
However, you may find that one platform is a better fit for you than another. So take some time to explore each option and decide which one is right for you.
Once you’ve chosen a platform, follow the steps I’ve given to set up your blog. And don’t forget to monetize your blog with ads, affiliate marketing, and subscriptions.
This is a great way to make money from your blog and help it grow.
Thanks for reading!