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Free blog makers

Caught the blogging bug? Ready to polish that draft and press publish? Great! But which platform offers the best option if you want to do it for free?

As you’ve guessed, there’s tons of free blog makers online, and not all of them are created equal. So the best one will vary depending on your needs:

  • Do you want to reach a large audience?
  • To join a community of like-minded people?
  • To display your words as nicely as possible?
  • Do you want to make money?
  • Do you need a multilingual system?

Don’t worry, I’ll give you a good option for each answer. But first, let’s see how to get started:

Blog Makers: How to Start a Free Blog?

It starts with signing up. There’s only one platform I know of that lets you post without registration (called Pen.io). So it usually goes:

  1. Sign up to a platform (email address is usually enough)
  2. Create a username
  3. Pick a blog template
  4. Create a new post
  5. Add formatting (links, bold, etc…) and media
  6. Press publish.

And that’s it! At least it’s the case with the best solutions out there.

OK Let’s Get Started: 11 Free Blog Makers And Their Pros & Cons

Weebly: Flexibility and Full Features for Free

weebly free blog maker

Weebly isn’t exactly a famous name in the blogging world, and I personally think it’s a shame. Their blogging solution is excellent, giving you great flexibility and customization options at your fingertips.

Your blog URL will look like myblogname.weebly.com, and the themes look good. You can also access the Weebly app market, even with a free plan. Aside from that, here are some pros of using Weebly for your free blog:

Pros of a free Weebly blog

  • Probably one of the best drag and drop editors for blogs (you can place and move elements easily and wherever you like).
  • Nice free responsive themes
  • Good SEO options
  • Social media sharing
  • Post scheduling

Limitations of a free Weebly blog

  • Big, obtrusive advert
  • 500MB of storage
  • Media limitations (no audio or video player)
  • Can’t let users register

What if I want to upgrade?

The first tier that removes that annoying ad is the Starter plan at $8 a month. It also gives you a free domain name for a year, and SSL protection.

> Try Weebly for free

> Read the full review

Wix: The Big Daddy of Web Builders

wix free blog maker

Wix is the most used, most famous, and most recommended website builder in our book. They’ve clearly decided to make their free plan hard to resist, and it’s also the case if you want to build your first blog.

In fact, there are few feature restrictions in the free blog maker compared to the paid plans. Let’s see what you get for $0 a month:

Pros of a free Wix blog

  • Fantastic templates selection
  • Great for photo and visual blogs
  • Access to royalty free images library
  • Full access to the best web builder app store
  • Basic email marketing and social media features
  • Full SEO customization option
  • Wix app for posting / managing on-the-go

Limitations of a free Wix blog:

  • Annoying static advert (bad on desktop, a bit better on mobile)
  • 500MB of storage
  • Lengthy domain name: accountname.wix.com/customname
  • Readers need to sign in to comment

What if I want to upgrade?

You’ll need the Combo plan to remove ads ($13 per month). Includes free domain for a year, and it bumps storage limit up to 3GB.

> Try it for free

> Read the full review

WordPress.com: The Blogging Powerhouse

Wordpress.com free blog maker

Ok, first things first, there’s WordPress.com and WordPress.org. It’s a bit confusing, but here’s how I remember it:

  • WordPress.com – gives you a complete website with hosting.
  • WordPress.org – you need to organize hosting yourself

This section is about the .com option. Learn all about the differences between .com and .org here. WordPress.com is essentially a platform where you can choose a free or paid plan and start using the blog builder instantly. Web hosting is included, and the software is preinstalled so no need to set anything up.

While it’s a lot easier to get started, it also means there are more limitations. This is especially true with the free plan:

Pros of a free WordPress.com blog

  • Good text and media management
  • Fast, responsive editor
  • Good looking, mobile-friendly themes
  • Post scheduling
  • Jetpack features (includes basic SEO, spam protection and social media post automation)
  • Upload posts from mobile and desktop apps
  • Great import / export functions

Limitations of a free WordPress.com plan

  • 3GB of storage space
  • Displays WordPress ads
  • Limited theme selection
  • Basic theme customization options (colors, fonts, but not much else)
  • Can’t install any plugins

What about the free WordPress.com blog themes?

There are around 80 free themes. It’s a great selection, and they are all fast, nice looking and mobile-responsive. But be aware that you won’t have full customization options (CSS and HTML) unless you move to a higher plan. Also, the premium themes aren’t available in the free plan.

What if I want to upgrade?

Their Blogger plan is good, at $3 per month. It removes ads, increases storage to 6GB, and gives you email and live chat support. You also get a free .blog domain for one year. This plan is hidden though, you may have to contact support.

You’ll need to go to the Personal ($5) to connect your domain name, and Premium ($8) for more themes options.

> Try WordPress for free

WordPress.org: Extremely Powerful, But Software Only

wordpress.org free blog maker

Now, let’s focus on the software you can find at WordPress.org. It’s worth saying it again: this is just the software, so you need to install it on your own server (hosting). But it’s also open source (free) and one of the most powerful content management systems you can get your hands on.

Unlike with the hosted version, you get access to all the features possible. And you can go very far with the free software, free plugins, and free templates. Let’s see what else you get when you use the WordPress.org software on your own site:

Pros of the free WordPress.org blogging software

  • One of the most powerful content management systems around
  • Access hundreds of amazing plugins (free and paid)
  • Install any theme you want (free and paid)
  • Exhaustive SEO features
  • Scale your blog however you see fit
  • Huge community

Limitations of the free WordPress.org blogging software

  • Need to buy your own web hosting (although some bloggers might enjoy having control there)
  • Quite complex for beginners
  • Need to update manually (to be fair, most of the time you just need to click a few buttons)
  • No official support

> Check our WordPress tutorial to get started

Medium: Minimalist Home of the Written Word

medium free blog maker

Launched in 2012 by one of Twitter’s founders, Medium.com wants to change the web’s blogging model. The goal is to create a place that rewards quality writing. There is no advertising, but readers are encouraged to pay a membership. Subscription fees are then divided amongst writers, based on various metrics such as subscriber count, engagement, and claps (the Medium equivalent of “likes”).

Blogging with Medium couldn’t be simpler. In fact, its minimalist, no-frills style is becoming the standard every blog should try to emulate. It puts typography front and forward, with no distractions and visual flourishes. You can tell it’s for people who love reading, by people who love writing.

Medium is also more than a blogging site: it’s also a community. With 60 Million users and counting, your posts will find an audience, even if it’s a small one at first.

Finally, a caveat: while I believe Medium is one of the best homes for bloggers, it’s certainly not the best blog maker. You’ll have little to no control over the design or customization options, features and tools.

Pros of a free Medium account

  • Beautiful, minimalist typography
  • Get (potentially) paid for your writing
  • Easy signup and setup
  • Connect with a huge audience
  • No adverts
  • Reputable platform (used by renowned journalists, entrepreneurs, politicians and writers)
  • Can republish content from your other blogs (they even let you optimize it for SEO)

Cons of a free Medium account

  • No control over the design
  • Medium keeps pushing readers to download their app
  • Hard to get search engines traffic
  • Not good for photo blogs
  • No personal domain name
  • Niche-centric: not ideal for casual blogging

Webnode: For Polyglot Blogging

Webnode free blog maker

Webnode is yet another website maker that lets you create a blog. It’s fairly unremarkable, except for one feature: you can enable multiple languages for your pages and posts, but not with the free plan.

Aside from that, the drag and drop editor is decent, and the templates are modern and responsive. You can attach a small online store, which is pretty neat, but not extraordinary.

Pros of a free Webnode blog

  • Stylish templates
  • Small ad
  • Easy and intuitive

Limitations of a free Webnode blog

  • 100MB of storage
  • 1GB bandwidth
  • No comment section

What if I want to upgrade?

There are two paid plans (Limited and Mini) that let you connect your domain, but you’ll need the Standard plan at $11.95 to remove ads.

Try Webnode for free

Read the full review

Bookmark: AI-Powered Blog Designs

bookmark free blog maker

Bookmark is a website builder whose unique selling point is its artificial intelligence system. It’s actually not that unique (Wix and Jimdo have similar features) but it’s put front and center on their landing page.

In any case, it’s supposed to help design a nice looking blog. I tested it and the results were not bad. Maybe not enough of a selling point for me, but it’s still a decent option for a free blogging platform.

Pros of a free Bookmark blog

  • Fast, AI-powered setup
  • Easy to use
  • Simple interface

Limitations of a free Bookmark blog

  • 1GB bandwidth per month
  • 500 MB storage
  • Bookmark branding
  • Rigid layouts

What if I want to upgrade?

Ad-free plans start at $11.99. Pretty steep compared to more established platforms like Wix or Weebly. You can also get a professional email address for $2 a month, which is pretty affordable.

> Try Bookmark for free

Jimdo: Small Ad, Good Features

jimdo free blog maker

Jimdo, as we noted in our full review of their website builder, is focused on ease of use. The same thing applies to their blog, even if it’s not as fully-featured as direct competitors like Wix and Weebly.

One key benefit of the platform is the editor. It’s super intuitive, easy to use, and great for beginners who want to create a nice-looking blog.

Pros of a free Jimdo blog

  • Unlimited pages and posts
  • Can connect to a free online store (5 products max)
  • Small advert only
  • Mobile app to post / edit your site on-the-go

Limitations of a free Jimdo blog

  • 500MB of storage
  • Small templates selection
  • SEO limitations for free plans

What if I want to upgrade?

The entry plan is Jimdo Pro for $10 a month. It removes ads and lets you connect your own domain. Also a free domain for a year.

> Try Jimdo for free

> Read the full review

Blogger: Google’s Blogging Dinosaur

blogger free blog maker

I wanted to add Blogger to this list because it’s still a famous service provided by Google. But in all honesty, it’s getting harder to recommend it to anyone starting in the blogging world these days. I’d be a bit worried it will soon join the Google graveyard of abandoned and killed products.

The main reason? It’s 15 years old, and it shows. The templates are sometimes slow to load. There hasn’t been any innovation behind the product in years. In 2018, there was only one post from their official blog.

But still, let’s not forget there might be advantages to using it, as you’ll see below:

Pros of a free Blogger blog

  • Completely free with no ads
  • Unlimited storage space
  • Built-in analytics
  • Integrate with other Google products (Photos, Drive, etc)

Limitations of a free Blogger blog

  • Dated backend
  • Slow to load sometimes
  • Limited template selection
  • Few customization options

LinkedIn: The New Place for Business Blogs

linkedin free blog maker

You may know LinkedIn as one of two things: the invitation spam king, or the social network for corporate business. But it’s also an increasingly reputable publishing platform to write about topics such as: business, entrepreneurship, or finances, amongst others.

It’s free to join, not too complicated, and can boost your business profile by showcasing your articles to like-minded professionals. Like with Medium, it’s a good place to blog, but not a great blog maker per se. You can’t choose a template or control the design. It’s all LinkedIn branded stuff and hosting, which also makes it difficult to move your content to other platforms later.

Pros of a free LinkedIn account

  • Great for business relationships
  • Reputable platform
  • Simple editor
  • Reach an audience (your contacts first, then maybe other professionals)

Cons of a free LinkedIn account

  • Only good for corporate / business writing
  • Can’t connect to your domain (but you can claim a public LinkedIn URL)
  • No customization options
  • Aggressive email marketing (for your contacts)

Tumblr: MicroBlogging and Social Media

tumblr free blog maker

Tumblr was notoriously acquired by Yahoo for a whopping $1.1B in 2013, something its users were not happy about. In fact, you might know Tumblr users for being a vocal bunch. The community there is close-knit, engaged and often prone to controversies.

Its user base, however, is Tumblr’s biggest asset. The site gets 550M monthly visitors and hosts more than 459M blogs. It’s designed to work as a social network, where you are encouraged to Reblog people’s content, subscribe to their feeds, and generally comment and share each other’s work.

But how’s the actual blogging? Pretty short and niche, you’ll find. Tumblr is the number one home for microblogging, where users focus on short, shareable content. It is also heavily skewed towards visual content. Illustrators, graphic designers and photographers do really well there (although its popularity is increasingly eclipsed by Instagram).

Pros of a free Tumblr blog

  • Completely free with no ads
  • Intuitive interface
  • Join a huge, active community
  • Unlimited storage
  • Great content management

Limitations of a free Tumblr blog

  • 250 posts and 75 images per day (still a huge number)
  • Files can’t be larger than 10MB, or 1MB for GIF files
  • Not ideal for lengthy posts
  • No analytics or SEO
  • Limited free themes

What if I want to upgrade?

You can connect your tumblr to a domain name for free. There are also premium themes that will set you back between $9 to $49 on average.

Honorable Mentions: Ghost, Postachio, Pen.io and LiveJournal

ghost free blog maker

A few more options for very specific cases before we wrap this up. Ghost is a professional publishing platform that is fantastic if you want to start a whole online publication. Maybe it’s a bit over the top for a lone blogger, but it’s a powerful, open source tool. Paid plans start at $29 a month for a team of 2, and there is also a free trial.

postachio free blog maker

Postachio is a neat little website that is part of the Evernote family. It allows you to turn your Evernote content into a simple blog post. You connect your notebook and tag public content as #publish. Features are a bit lacking, but you get Disqus comments, content embedding, and Dropbox storage option.

Pen.io free blog maker

I don’t even know if Pen.io can be called a blog maker, because you can only post one page at a time. But it’s so unique because you only need a page name and password to get started. It’s certainly the fastest way to post something on the web.

livejournal free blog maker

And last but not least, LiveJournal, possibly the oldest blogging platform on this list (started in 1999!). Its age is apparent in the backend, but it’s the community of die-hard users that make it an interesting place to share your ideas, thoughts, and daily musings.

Wait a Second – Why are They Free?

That’s a good point! It depends on the platform, but it’s usually one of these three reasons

  • They have a priced option they hope you’ll upgrade to later (Freemium model)
  • They want to grow their user base so it looks good to advertisers / shareholders / investors
  • They display their logo / branding on your free blog posts, so you’re providing them with free marketing

Any Other Limitations?

Yes, unfortunately. With the aforementioned freemium models, providers will curb the number of features as an incentive to make you purchase subscriptions. Standard limitations are:

  • No professional domain names: your blog will be hosted at www.your-blog-name.platform.com. Doesn’t make you look like an established blogger.
  • Can’t remove ads: also another thing that screams “cheap”.
  • Limited storage: you’ll be constrained in terms of data space. While text only accounts for a few kilobytes, images and other media are heavier.
  • Limited bandwidth: if too many people read your words, you’ll reach a monthly cap and the blog will be taken offline.

Can I Make Money From My Free Blog?

In most cases you can. For instance, Wix has a handy list of ways you can monetize, and so does Weebly. It’s usually possible to enable an ad network (like AdSense) and to post affiliate marketing links, even with free plans.

However, there are restrictions, for instance with WordPress and Medium. The latter has its unique monetization system, which you can read more about below. Just make sure you read the terms of service if you plan on implementing monetization in your blog from the start.

What About SEO?

If you plan on getting traffic from Google and other search engines, good luck. While it’s not impossible to rank high with website builders, it’s going to be an uphill battle with free options. The reason? Search engines like proper domain names. That’s something you have to pay for, there’s no way around it.

Then, there’s a few other issues. Search engine optimization is best performed by adhering to structured page formats, and free platforms won’t always provide it (page URL, title tags,  meta description, etc…)

As we’ve noted in our review of the best free website builders: if SEO is important for you, go for a cheap option rather than a free one.

Last Thoughts on the Best Blog Makers Out There Today

So, with free blog makers, it’s horses for courses. If I had to choose, I’d say Weebly or Webnode are the top picks for their ease of use and features.

However, one of the biggest challenges for novice bloggers is finding an audience. You’ll often feel like you’re posting into a void, which is why joining a community can be a tremendous boost. That’s why I’d say Medium is probably one of the best homes for bloggers, which is very different from being the best blog maker.

Still, breaking it down, it will look like this depending on if you want to:

  • find the best combination of features and ease of use: go for Webnode or Weebly.
  • create a beautiful blog: Wix and Weebly have great out-of-the-box templates. 
  • be paid for your writing: Medium wins this one.
  • gain traction and find readers: Medium for niche blogging. Tumblr for image-heavy posts.
  • the most robust content management system: WordPress.org is a great, industry-standard tool to learn. Plus, you can easily export your blog to other platforms later.
  • attract traffic via SEO: WordPress, Wix and Weebly are great options.
  • use your blog to network: LinkedIn is your best friend.
  • create a multilingual blog: Webnode is the best (but not free)

And finally, if you want to build a whole free website with your blog, remember that Wix, Weebly and Jimdo aren’t your only option. Do check our guide on free website builders here, because most of them let you attach a simple blog for free.

Ready to get started? Make sure you also read our article on what makes a successful blog!

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