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Want to know how to start a blog for free?
Whilst I know I love blogging now, I wasn’t sure that I’d love it in the beginning. I was hesitant to invest money in a self hosted site to blog on.
If this is you, I’ve made this blog post to show you exactly how to start a blog for free. So you can have your own blog without paying a single penny!
Before we start: Whilst this post shows you how to start a blog for free, I don’t actually recommend using free platforms. This is especially true if you’re someone who wants to make money blogging.
Why? Because having your own self hosted site gives you more control, and makes it easier to monetise. For example, you can’t place ads on some free blogging sites, which is a big earner.
If you know you want to make money blogging, I recommend reading my free how to start a blog guide, which shows step by step how to start your own self hosted blog (meaning you can make more money from it). It might cost more than a free platform, but that can be as little as £3 per month. And you can earn that back (and much more)- check out these bloggers earning $1000+ a month!
If however you know you want to start a blog using a free site, then read on.
HOW TO START A BLOG FOR FREE: PREPARATION
Before I show you how to start a blog for free, I really recommend doing some preparation. It’s one of my biggest regrets when it comes to blogging!
To prepare you should:
Have a rough idea what you are going to blog about.
It’s fine to not know exactly what you will be discussing, as you can discover this the more you blog. But from personal experience, having an idea what you’re going to write about helps you to stay focused. Not to mention it helps to engage your readers!
If you’re not sure what you’re going to blog about, or you’re stuck between a few topics, read this post on how to pick the perfect blog topic for you. It tells you all the reasons why it’s good to have a blog topic, and helps you find the exact one you should be writing about.
Have a blog name.
Most free blog sites allow you to have a custom blog name, so you should know your blog name before you start. This is another reason I recommend having a specific blog topic (or topics), as your blog name can be a sum up of what you write about. If you’re not sure on a blog name, you can read my post on how to pick a blog name you love.
Learn some SEO.
This one is not an essential, especially if you’re going to be blogging as a hobby. But if you want to make money from your blog, or just want to get more readers, I recommend learning some SEO tips before you start blogging.
For new bloggers: SEO means search engine optimisation. It basically means you will get more traffic from Google if you learn how to make your blog and your posts SEO friendly. You can read how I rank first on Google here!
Do other preparation.
Again not an essential, but you can be as prepared as you like before you start a blog for free. Some preparation I recommend include writing a few blog posts, taking and editing photograph for the blog posts, etc.
HOW TO START A BLOG FOR FREE: LAUNCHING YOUR BLOG
Now that your blog is pretty much ready to go, it’s time to actually launch it! To do this:
Pick a free site to blog on.
There are plenty of websites that you can launch a blog on for free. Some of which include:
- WordPress.org. WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms. It gives you total control over how your blog looks. With WordPress.org, you can choose between free hosting or paid self hosting. Like I said earlier, I do recommend paying the small amount (£1.50 per month) to have the benefit of complete control over your blog. Plus WordPress is the platform I use, so if you’re worried you won’t be able to use it I show you exactly how to in my free start a blog guide (it’s almost 4,000 words long and full of step by step screenshots!).
- WordPress.com. Yes they’re both WordPress but there’s a big difference between the two. WordPress.com is really easy to set up and use, but the downside is you don’t get a custom domain name. Plus it’s very limiting in customisation and making money. It’s mostly used for personal blogs.
- Blogger. This is a really popular website to blog on as you can get a free blogspot.com domain, plus you can make money with them through displaying adverts.
- Wix. This is perfect for people who aren’t tech savvy. It uses drag and drop options to build it and provides templates, both free and premium.
- Weebly. I’ve followed Wix with this suggestion because they’re very similar. Weebly also has a drag and drop builder, so making your blog look good is easy. It also comes with built in analytics so you can see how your posts are performing.
- Medium. If you’re starting a blog because you love writing, this one is for you. You literally just sign up, and start blogging. That’s it. The great thing about Medium is it has loads of readers (we’re talking millions) each month, so your posts will be exposed to a wide audience straight away. But the not so great thing is all your posts are on Medium, not really your own blog. Again this is why I recommend paying a small amount to have your “own” blog.
- Tumblr. Tumblr is great if you want a blogging platform that’s more like social media. It’s very image focused and posts on there tend to be short, so if you’re more into the photography side of blogging it’s perfect. However it’s not great if you want to make money or blog for a business, as it’s only for personal use.
There are more sites that you can start a blog for free on than the one listed. Be sure to research and pick a site with features that are the best for what you are after! I recommend looking at the infograph here; it highlights the features of different blogging sites, including the advantages and disadvantages for each platform.
BONUS: Don’t forget, there are other websites that aren’t free to blog on but offer a free trial, such as Squarespace. So there are plenty of options!
Once you’ve picked a platform you’re happy to start a blog for free on, follow the sign up instructions.
These will be individual to the platform you have chosen. Follow them carefully and make note of any terms and conditions.
HOW TO START A BLOG FOR FREE: DESIGNING YOUR BLOG
It’s time to design your blog!
Depending on what platform you’ve used, this part can be really easy. For some it’s simply drag and drop.
Some things I’d recommend your blog having (if you can) are:
- A home page. This way when people arrive at your blog, they know they’re at the start.
- An about page. People want to know about your blog and you, and they want to know it fast! Tell them all about it on an about page.
- A menu. This is where you can put links to all the different pages in your blog (mine is at the top). It makes it easier to navigate your blog.
- A logo/ header. This gives your blog an identity, and hopefully people will see it in other places (social media, etc) and will think of your blog. You can read how to create a logo for free here.
- Whatever else you want to add. It’s your blog after all! Use other blogs for inspo, or if you’re not sure you can come back and add stuff later.
HOW TO START A BLOG FOR FREE: START BLOGGING!
Now you’ve got your blog up and running, it’s time to start using it!
WRITING BLOG POSTS
Writing your first blog post can be hard, but remember it’s just like a conversation. Make sure to:
- Write clearly in a way people will understand.
- Use headings and bullet points if you have lots of info to make it easier to read.
- Write about things that interest you. You’ll give up blogging sooner than you think otherwise!
When I started blogging, I didn’t realise how much it’s about images as it is about writing. Nobody wants to see a big screen of text all the time!
Make sure to:
- Use images throughout your posts to make them interesting.
- Take your own photographs if you can to make your images personal. You can find out how to take amazing blog photographs here.
- Use stock images where you can’t, but be sure to check the copyright rules on them first.
The last part of how to start a blog for free is not essential, but presumably if you’re blogging, you want people to read it. Here’s some great ways to get readers to your blog:
HOW TO START A BLOG FOR FREE: GET BLOG READERS
- Create social media accounts. Social media is a great way to get people to your blog. It’s actually how I get the majority of my readers! If you don’t want to tackle all forms of social media, the one I recommend is Pinterest. I have tonnes of Pinterest tips here.
- Put images in your posts people want to share. Even if you’re not ready to get on social media yet, you can have people sharing your blog links on their accounts! In particular, putting images in your posts that are designed to do well on Pinterest is a good idea. Especially if you write about visual topics, like food or beauty.
If you’re not sure what your images need to do well on Pinterest, I’ve created a Pinterest design guide that shows you exactly what your images need to be shared on Pinterest. Plus, it’s free!
You can sign up for it (and get access to my other freebies) here:
- Join Facebook groups for bloggers. Even if you don’t want an actual Facebook page for your blog yet, you can definitely join Facebook groups for bloggers! They’re really beneficial and good for support. You can find a list of 30 Facebook groups for bloggers here.
START A BLOG FOR FREE: WHAT NEXT?
I hope this post has shown you exactly how to start a blog for free. If you need more help, be sure to check out my other tips for starting a blog.
If you found this post helpful, please share the infograph below on Pinterest.
Or even better, if you have a blog copy and paste the code below to use the infograph on your own blog.
Share this Image On Your Site
Otherwise, get blogging!