Blogging in 2023 is a numbers game. According to Growthbadger, there were over 600 million blogs on the web in 2022.
The first-ever blog “Links.net” was created by a student named Justin Hall in 1994 while he was studying at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. Justin is called the godfather of personal blogging by some. Although at that time, the term “blog” had not yet been coined, and the website was simply referred to as Justin’s Home Page.
Nowadays, every company runs a blog and every online creator wants one.
To this day, I often get the same question: What’s the best (free) blogging platform for beginners?
So, I asked ChatGPT.
Here’s what it came back with:
There are many free platforms available for starting a blog, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are five of the most popular and highly-regarded ones:
- WordPress.com: WordPress.com is a popular and powerful blogging platform that offers a wide range of customization options and features. With WordPress.com, you can choose from a variety of pre-designed templates or create your own design using their drag-and-drop interface. You can also use plugins to add additional functionality to your blog.
- Blogger: Blogger is a free platform that is owned by Google and is easy to use, making it a great choice for beginners. It offers a variety of customizable templates and allows you to easily integrate your blog with other Google services like AdSense and Google Analytics.
- Medium: Medium is a simple and elegant platform that focuses on the content rather than the design. It’s a great choice for writers who want to publish their work and reach a wider audience. With Medium, you can publish your posts and gain followers, and it also offers a built-in community of writers and readers who can discover and engage with your content.
- Wix: Wix is a free website builder that offers a variety of customizable templates that are perfect for bloggers. It also includes a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to create a unique design for your blog. Additionally, Wix has a built-in SEO tool that can help you optimize your blog for search engines.
- Tumblr: Tumblr is a popular micro-blogging platform that allows users to create short-form blog posts, photos, and other media. It’s a great choice for bloggers who want to publish content quickly and easily, without worrying about design or customization. Additionally, Tumblr has a large community of users who can discover and engage with your content.
Here’s my list
As you can see, ChatGPT offered the obvious choices, although I was quite positively surprised to find Medium at number 3 here.
I am not sure about Tumblr in 2023.
This list is not bad by any means and all new bloggers could start with those 5 platforms (maybe ditch Tumblr).
However, I’d go a slightly different route.
Here’s my list:
- Medium. No wonder. It’s my number 1. You can write for free and still earn money without any tech knowledge. It’s easy to set up and comes with a built-in audience. Hard to beat.
- WordPress. Yeah, I think ChatGPT is right here. WordPress is still a great choice for bloggers. And WordPress.orgis free, stable, has millions of plugins and add-ons, as well as beautiful themes. You can go simple and free, or highly complex and paid. It’s not the easiest platform to set up and understand though. That’s the main downside.
- Payhip. Into new territory. You might have never heard of Payhip and if you did, probably in relation to blogging. Payhip is an e-commerce platform first and foremost, similar to Gumroad. But it offers the ability to create a blog on a custom-designed page with a custom domain for free. That’s a lot more than other competitors say. It’s also easy to use, and highly customizable. The downsides: No plugins, hardly any SEO settings, and a somewhat bland-looking editor. Otherwise, it’s a great starting tool.
- Ghost. I was surprised that ChatGPT missed this one. It’s the free part I guess. Ghost Pro is not free. It’s rather expensive, actually. It’s a great blogging platform nonetheless. What some might not know, though, is that Ghost offers a free version. It does require tech knowledge, however.
- Others like Wix, Squarespace. Those start free, but you’ll have to pay for the good stuff.
- Bonus: Notion-based blogs. You don’t get those for free, but if you live in Notion anyway, a blog built on Notion might be the perfect solution for you. I wrote a detailed post about Notion-based blogs here.
The bottom line
And that’s a wrap!
With so many options available, starting a blog has never been easier. Whether you choose to go with ChatGPT’s list or mine, remember that the key to a successful blog is to find your voice, write consistently, and engage with your readers. It’s not the platform that counts!
Blogging is not only a great way to share your thoughts and ideas with the world, but it can also be a fun and rewarding experience.
So, what are you waiting for? Pick a platform, start writing, and let the world hear your voice!