In this blog post about the most popular free blog sites, let us look at some of the best free options available to start blogging and take a peek into blog monetization.
In my previous post on blogging, we discussed why starting a blog is useful now (2022 and beyond). If you are still deciding whether to start a blog, please read that article to get convinced.
A blog is a ‘must-have’ in today’s world – to showcase your thoughts and create a ‘brand-you’ that will set you apart on your resume.
You are probably contemplating starting a blog to share details about your passion or maybe want to explore blogging as a side hustle. Whatever the reason, chances are that you don’t want to spend a lot of money to get started.
There are many blogging platforms out there today, but not all of them offer blogging capabilities for free. A free blogging site is a great way to try blogging without spending much money.
So, back to the question: Can I start a blog for free and make money? First, let us look at how we can start a blog for free. Once that is settled, let us consider how you can make money from your blog.
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How to start a blog in India for free: 5 of the most popular free blog sites
There are several free platform options you can choose from. The easiest way to start a blog free is to choose from one of the five most popular free blogging platforms available today.
- WordPress.com: This is one of the most popular blogging platforms in the world (WordPress powers almost 43% of all the websites in the world!).
- WordPress is a preferred blogging platform for many reasons, some of them being the numerous options available to customize your site, the ease of setup, and the ease with which you can go from a basic, free blogging setup to an advanced, premium setup.
- To get started with your blog for free, visit wordpress.com, and click ‘Start your website’. In subsequent steps, you must choose a WordPress user name, blog name, tagline and theme before you pen your first blog post. You will find numerous templates you can choose from to customize your site. Click here to get started: https://wordpress.com/start/
- Here’s a video that can help:
- Medium: Medium is also a free writing platform you can explore to create content, grow your followers, and establish authority in your industry. The platform has been gaining popularity due to its ease of use and because many serious writers have chosen Medium to express their thoughts. This HubSpot article that compares WordPress and Medium is a worthwhile read if you are torn between the two. Click here to get started: https://medium.com/creators. Watch this video to get started.
Blogger: Blogger is one of the earliest blogging platforms that were in existence. Google acquired Blogger in 2003. Though not as popular now as the two platforms I have written about above, Blogger is still an excellent option for anyone starting their blog free. Check out Blogger here: https://www.blogger.com/. Watch this video to get started:
Tumblr: Tumblr is another free blogging platform you could explore. Tumblr is marketed as a ‘microblogging platform’ –where one could publish tumblelogs, which are short blog posts. Check out Tumblr here: https://www.tumblr.com/. Here’s a good intro video:
Wix: Wix is a new-age platform to explore to create blogs and several other kinds of websites. Their excellent drag-drop editor helps you create stunning websites. Explore Wix here: https://www.wix.com/
So there. Those are the five most popular free blogging platforms you can explore to start your blog today. I hope I have answered your question: Which are the most popular free blog sites? So to recap:
- How to start your blog for free? You can start blogging for free by signing up on one of the abovementioned sites.
- Can you blog for free? Yes, you can blog for free. But once you gain traffic and followers, you can move to a self-hosted blog.
Now that we have seen how to start a blog for free let us look at another popular question: Where to start a blog to make money?
Though it is easy to get started with blogging for free, if you are looking at earning money from your blog, it is best to own your site (a.k.a, self-hosted blogs). The free blogging options I mention above are not self-hosted – the respective companies own the platform. They have several restrictions that will not support the revenue-earning options you could set up on your website.
How to Start a money-making Blog In India
Starting and scaling a money-making blog is akin to running a business – it takes strategy, time and dedicated effort. Just like startups, 95% of blogs fail at making money.
The secret sauce for the successful 5% includes focusing on specific popular themes (like technology, health etc.), consistent and fresh content, and effective monetization techniques. We will look at all these in-depth through several articles.
So how long does it take to start making money from a blog? Is it possible to make money blogging in 3 months?
If you are consistent with your content creation, have tailored your posts based on keyword research, and follow an excellent money-making strategy, you should start seeing results in about six months. Three months may be too early to look for results unless you are a famous person and people come looking for your blog.
Before we look at the steps to set up a blog, let us look at some considerations and bust some myths about blogging.
Before we start a blog: Considerations and Myth-busting
Be clear about the ‘Why.’
Why you want to blog is very important. If you are looking at your blog to showcase your creative writing (or any other writing) skills, then be clear about it, and don’t be disappointed if your blog isn’t making money. Remember, blogging is not writing. Blogging (especially for the money) is about getting traffic to your page –creating content around what people are looking for and structuring discoverable content.
Blogging requires you to be disciplined.
You will have to churn out content consistently, whether in the mood to write or not. You need to spend considerable time planning your blog topics and content, do keyword research and also plan a blogging schedule upfront.
Myth: You need to be an excellent writer to be a blogger
This is a myth. As long as you can write simple sentences, you can be successful as a blogger. You must use tools like Grammarly that will help make your writing better.
Myth: You need technical knowledge to start a blog
Not. As we have seen above, creating a blog is a straightforward process. Even if you plan to start a self-hosted blog, you don’t need technical skills to do it – with basic computer knowledge; you should be able to start.
Now that we have busted blogging-related myths let us look at how to start a blog and make money in India.
How do I start a blog with no experience? Here is a step-by-step approach:
Step 1: Choose your blog niche
This is the broad theme for your blog and will decide the topics you will be writing about. Choose a niche that has enough audience. Otherwise, you will find it challenging to bring traffic to your website.
Step 2: Find a Domain name.
Choose a domain name that aligns with what you will be blogging about. Keep the name simple and easy to remember. Finding a domain name is arduous, but sites like https://domainr.com/ can help you find options.
Step 3: Register your domain name and buy hosting
You could use Godaddy or Bluehost to register your domain and get hosting. These companies offer you pre-installed WordPress-based sites, making it much easier for you to get started quickly. Use this link to buy WordPress hosting from Bluehost – this is my referral link: https://bluehost.sjv.io/yRXoGv
Step 4: Set up your blog with the required pages
You can go into the WordPress dashboard and select a theme for your blog. You can also buy advanced themes from sites like Themeforest.net. There are also some brilliant plugins that you will need to install. I will write about those separately.
Step 5: Create a content calendar and publish your articles
You will need to use basic SEO and Keyword research to develop the articles you will be writing and a schedule for the articles. Identify at least twenty-five articles that you can write about.
Step 6: Promote your blog; set up analytics
Step 7: Ways to monetize your blog
Monetizing can start once you have decent traffic to your site. Monetization can happen through advertisements (sign up to Google AdWords), Affiliate marketing (referring products and earning a commission), paid articles and other means.
So these are the seven steps to setting up and monetizing a blog. Each of these steps will need a lot of detail. I will attempt to write blog posts around these in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about how to set up a blog, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and got an answer to your question: How to start blogging for free and earn money? Leave your comments below.