So you want to know how to start a blog for free in 2021? When it comes to starting a blog, my favorite blogging platform to recommend is WordPress.
Keep in mind that when I refer to WordPress, I'm not talking about the free-hosted WordPress.com. What I'm referring to is the self-hosted WordPress platform, WordPress.org.
My number one reason for recommending WordPress is that it gives you full control over your blog. There are absolutely no limitations or restrictions placed on your blog when you are self-hosted. If you can envision it, you can make it happen with WordPress.
Note for starting a money-making blog: If you want to start a blog that makes money, you definitely want to start a self-hosted blog. A free blog is only recommended for blogging as a hobby. If you're ready to start a self-hosted WordPress blog, check out my tutorial How to Start a WordPress Blog for Beginners.
That being said, I realize that WordPress isn't for everyone.
Firstly, I will say that there is a learning curve involved with using the platform, and some users have found the learning curve to be challenging to overcome.
Secondly, not everyone who wants to start a blog wants to pay money to start and maintain their blog. This is especially true for those who want to blog as a hobby or people who want to test the waters to see if blogging is for them.
For these reasons, I thought that it would be helpful if I shared ways you can start, grow, and maintain your blog without spending a penny.
1. Free Blogging Platform
You may not know this based on how much I recommend WordPress, but I also love the Blogger platform. Blogger is where Beautiful Dawn Designs got its start.
I recommend Blogger over other free blogging platforms because they give you a lot more control over your blog. Especially when compared to free platforms such as WordPress.com, which I feel is extremely limited.
A few perks that come along with using Blogger are:
- Blogger has a template editor: If you're using one of the templates provided by Blogger, you can use the template editor to customize your template. NO CSS or HTML knowledge is required. Furthermore, Blogger allows you to upload custom templates from third-party template designers. Custom templates are a great way to make your blog stand out.
- Blogger is user-friendly: Even if you don't consider yourself "computer savvy," you will find the Blogger interface to be quite user-friendly. It takes no time at all to familiarize yourself with the platform.
- Blogger is secure: Because Google owns Blogger, the platform is extremely secure. Unless someone gains access to your password, there's a slim chance that your account will be hacked.
- Blogger has excellent uptime: Having a self-hosted blog (especially on a shared server) means that you may experience some downtime with your blog. With Blogger, you may never experience any downtime with your blog.
- Blogger has Google Adsense: If you would like to earn a little ad revenue, Google Adsense can automatically display targeted ads on your blog. Additionally, if you're looking for an alternative to Google Adsense, Media.net is another great option.
For the new or hobby blogger, I highly recommend giving the Blogger platform a try. It's free, easy to use, and customizable.
2. Free Blogger Templates
Because Blogger is such a popular blogging platform, it's pretty easy to find attractive and free Blogger templates. A simple online search for "free Blogger templates" will provide you with thousands of free templates to choose from.
To make your search even easier, I have a collection of over 20 Feminine Blogger Templates that you can download at your leisure.
3. Free Images for Your Blog
A common mistake that I see bloggers make is that they use copyrighted images on their blog.
Don't make this mistake.
And no, giving credit to the image owner does not give you the right to use the image.
In my article Where to Find Free Images For Your Blog, I've listed my favorite sites for finding free images to use on my blog. These images can be used for your personal or commercial projects, and without fear of getting into trouble for copyright infringement.
4. Free Image Editors
Now that you know where to find free images for your blog, you will need an image editor to help you edit your pictures. I recommend using an image editor to create social media and Pinterest friendly graphics for your blog.
Recently, online image editors that were once free to use, such as PicMonkey, have been upgraded to subscription-based products. There are however still image editors available for you to use free of charge such as Canva.
5. Free Spelling and Grammar Checker
Grammarly is a free spelling and grammar checker. Grammarly has improved my writing by checking my content for spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes.
Grammarly not only helps me fix the mistakes in my content, but it also teaches me why they’re mistakes. If you want to write error-free content, I strongly recommend using Grammarly.
6. Free Blog Training
What I like the most about paid online training is that you receive all the information you need, organized in one place. That being said, if you're willing to do some digging, you can find some great free advice online for growing your blog.
I provide tons of free resources that can assist you in growing your blog. First, make sure you download my guide The Blogging Blueprint Free Guide. In this guide, I share how I went from 500 to over 3,000 daily pageviews.
Additionally, some articles I recommend checking out are:
- How to Write a Blog Post – A Beginner’s Guide
- The First Blog Posts You Should Write as a New Blogger
- Do You Really Need to Choose a Niche as a Blogger?
- The Ugly Side of Blogging That Bloggers Don't Share
- Earn Money With These Affiliate Programs for Bloggers
- 11 Foolproof Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic
- 8 Proven Ways to Get Traffic From Pinterest
7. Free Social Media Management Tools
Using social media management tools is a great way to promote your blog on autopilot.
Here are a few of my top free social media tools for bloggers:
- Buffer: Buffer saves you time by allowing you to schedule social media posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+. The free plan allows you to schedule up to 10 posts and connect 3 social media profiles.
- HootSuite: HootSuite helps you find, schedule, and manage your social media content. HootSuite offers a free for individuals plan that allows you to manage up to 3 social media profiles.
8. Free Email Marketing Service
Even if you're blogging as a hobby, setting up an email list is a good idea. Email is one of the best ways to stay in touch with your readers and notify them of new blog posts.
My favorite free email marketing provider is Mailchimp. MailChimp is user-friendly and free to use for your first 2,000 subscribers.
With the increase of professional bloggers, it may seem like in order to have a blog; you must spend money. Hopefully, this article has shown you ways that you can start and grow your blog without spending a penny.
Do you have any favorite free resources for growing your blog?