Is a free blog an effective promotion tool?
Many popular blogs use a free blogging platform.
It all depends on what you want to achieve when you start a blog.
Do you want to promote a product or service? Are you an author? Do you want to promote your books?
Do you want to use a blogging site to make money from affiliate marketing?
Do you want to attract organic traffic, or to use your blog posts on social media to attract attention?
In all of these situations, it is possible to use free blog sites for the job.
What are the advantages of a free website?
The biggest thing going for a free blog maker is that you don’t need to have much technical ability at all.
Most of them make it very easy for you to set up a new blog with a drag and drop website builder. There are usually more than enough customization options for you to create an appealing site.
The other big plus is that you don’t need to worry about finding and paying for web hosting.
All of the popular blogging platforms have a free plan.
You can write blog posts and then share them on social media. This is a great way to attract readers.
You are sometimes allowed to include affiliate marketing links in your text. These can help make you a little bit of money.
You can also connect any free blog to Google Analytics. It is a fantastic tool to track your progress.
Lastly, you don’t need to worry at all about site security or software updates. All of this is managed by the platform service.
Are there any disadvantages?
As with anything for free, you won’t have access to all the additional features. You won’t be able to set up an online store, a forum or add premium plugins for extra functionality.
But for new bloggers, there is rarely any need to change to premium plans. There are almost always enough free options available to make a blog work efficiently.
But the major drawback of free sites is that you don’t have your own domain name for your blog.
On Google’s blogger platform, for example, your URL will be something like joethefamousauthor.blogspot.com instead of joethefamousauthor.com.
A free WordPress or Weebly blog will assign you a branded web address in a similar manner.
You will struggle to get any ranking on Google Search without your own domain name. The potential for getting organic traffic to your blog will be very low.
It is possible with some free blog hosting services to pay to have a custom domain name.
It will depend on how important this is for you. But the cost is usually only a few dollars per month, so it is not that expensive.
What’s the best site to create a free blog?
There are three platforms that I would recommend for new bloggers.
The advantages of these three platforms are that they are reliable, robust and easy to use. Another plus is that they all offer the possibility to grow and expand as you become more familiar with blogging.
You aim at present is to blog for free. But in the future, you might want to develop your blog and add more features and functionality.
With a free platform that doesn’t offer you any way to grow with premium options, you limit your possibilities. Some free platforms make it difficult or even impossible to export your blog posts.
You never know what the future holds. You should make sure that you have the option to export and import your blog posts. Then you can change platforms at any time down the track.
So which platform should you choose?
More than 30% of all the sites you see on the Internet run on the open-source WordPress platform. That is a pretty good reason to make it the number one choice for a free website.
There are a lot of high-quality free themes created by web designers that you can choose from. You will have no problem creating a beautiful and fully functional site.
The free version at wordpress.com is without a doubt the easiest, quickest and the very best way to start a great website and blog.
You can create a useful home or landing page with flexible menus. There are lots of design features you can apply.
The free plan will give you everything you need to start a great blog.
But one of the big benefits of WordPress is that you can grow.
You can upgrade your blog at any time in the future. It is very easy to import all your blog posts and pages from your free plan to a fully self-hosted WordPress site.
Weebly does one thing really well. It makes the job of creating a fantastic website very easy.
It is a great choice for authors wanting to showcase your books, very quickly. If you are a content writer, it is a great way to build a reference site to show off your writing skills.
There are all the tools you need to write blog posts and build a following of readers.
The easy to use builder lets you drag and drop elements wherever you want. The only limit is your imagination.
You don’t need to know about anything technical. Just create your new beautiful blog and have fun.
Weebly has premium options if you want to grow your site or use your own domain name.
Google’s Blogger has been a favourite free blogging site for millions of users for years and years.
It is easy to use and has the added benefit of being part of Google. This means that you can add Google Adsense to your blog to make a few dollars from advertising.
While it is a little restricted in some features compared to WordPress, it is still a viable choice. For ease of use, it is by far the easiest platform to get started for those who are totally new to blogging.
You can’t go wrong with any of these free blogging services.
All of them will give you everything you need to start your own blog. It will take you a couple of hours to learn how to use the tools you need. But then you will be blogging away to your heart’s content.
Can a free blog give you everything you need to blog well? Yes, it certainly can.
Related reading: Three Simple Changes That Will Improve Your Blog Writing