Looking for the best blogging platform? In this article, I documented my own personal experiences with several platforms. You’ll find info on various aspects such as prices, ease of use, templates, monetization possibilities, and ways to reach your audience.
You and I both know that some skills are required to make your voice heard. Fortunately for us writing enthusiasts, the almighty internet comes with tons of solutions for all those who find website creation more difficult than it should be.
I’m sure you have questions like, "How easy it is to use a particular blogging platform?" or, "Am I provided with the right tools to make money out of it? ". And surely you want to know how much money you’ll have to spend. Don’t worry, I’ll talk about all of those and more.
So let’s get into it – we have a lot of ground to cover.
Best blogging platform: overview
- SITE123 – effortless platform for blogging
- Wix – flexible and easy to use blogging platform
- WordPress.org – highly scalable and customizable blogging platform
- WordPress.com – secure and flexible blogging platform
- Medium – blogging website for wide audiences
- Blogger – free and reliable blogging platform
- Ghost – perfect publishing platform for bloggers
To navigate through this list, click on the builder you’d like to find out more about. You also have the option to click here and skip to the conclusion and a guide on what you should look for in a builder specifically if you want to create a blog.
1. SITE123 – effortless blogging platform
|Blog editor||Straightforward and basic|
|SEO and marketing tools||Yes|
|Best for||Ease of use and quick setup|
SITE123 is a beginner-friendly website builder that ensures a smooth website creation experience. With its help, you can create a blog in just a matter of minutes, and the end result will surprise you – in a good way, of course.
What makes SITE123 suitable for bloggers?
SITE123 provides a few tools that help you optimize and promote your blog as well as the right tools for eCommerce. This is especially important if you want to not only share your work with a wider audience but also if you plan on monetizing your website.
To optimize your blog so that it ranks better in search engines, SITE123 provides SEO Adviser. This tool will basically tell you what to do every step of the way.
As for marketing, depending on which plan you go for, you’re given between 100 and 10k mailing list messages. And if you want to monetize your blog, you can display Google ads or sell online. In fact, SITE123 has one of the cheapest entry-level eCommerce plans on the market.
For a more extensive look into SITE123’s marketing tools, look into our SITE123 review.
SITE123 may not offer much when it comes to SEO and marketing, but you still get to do a few things that will optimize and promote your blog.
The all-time selling point is the ease of use. SITE123 is one of the most accessible website builders out there. Sure, you don’t get as much customization freedom as from some other builders, but if you just want to focus more on writing and less on design, SITE123 is enough.
Unlike all the other website builders, SITE123 doesn’t give you that choose a template option when you get started. Instead, it asks some questions, and then you’re presented with what an AI came up with.
It’s a rather unusual approach, but it does make your website creation process a bit shorter.
Of course, once your website is ready, you are free to make the necessary changes. The editor allows you to play with the design options – add text, change the colors, add images, and pretty much what you need to do to make your blog look decent.
Since you are free to play with blocks, you can create a blog too. All you have to do is access the Pages menu and click on the Add New Page button – there is a Blog option on the left.
Once you choose a layout for your blog, you’ll see a random article you can edit. The text editor looks like this:
It’s all pretty straightforward from this point on. Write your article, select an image, hit Publish, and you’re done.
So, what makes SITE123 perfect for bloggers? It’s super easy to use, and you can create something appealing really fast.
How much does SITE123 cost?
SITE123 allows you to create a website for free. However, you won’t be able to do much with the free version. That’s why you should go for one of the 5 premium plans:
- Basic ($12.80/month) – basic site editing and 10GB storage
- Advanced ($11.88/month) – multilingual website, added mailbox and 30GB storage
- Professional ($17.28/month) – accepts credit cards and has 90GB of storage
- Gold ($20.88/month) – 270GB of storage
- Platinum ($45.00/month) – 1000GB of storage
On the whole, SITE123 is an affordable solution to creating a beautiful and fully functional blog. There are enough server resources to go around, and you can always scale it up if necessary.
The final conclusion is that SITE123 may not be the best blogging platform, but it gets very close. It’s super easy to use, your blog can go live in just a few minutes, and you have the possibility of monetizing your blog.
- Good SEO and marketing tools
- Very easy to use
- Could have more content-based tools
- Quite pricy
2. Wix – flexible and easy to use
|Blog editor||Full professional interface|
|SEO and marketing tools||Yes|
|Best for||Design freedom and flexibility|
Wix is one of the most popular website builders that can help you create a blog. It’s easy to use, incredibly flexible, and its impressive template library allows you to create a website that fits your personality. Not to mention, Wix also does well in the SEO and marketing departments.
Why is Wix the go-to blogging platform?
Wix offers a plethora of options for bloggers, making it the best place to start a blog. It’s beginner-friendly, you can customize whatever you want, and your blog can go live in about an hour with minimal effort. Wix even teaches you how.
Okay, but how exactly do you start a blog with Wix? All you have to do is press the Blog button in the left menu of your Wix dashboard. You’ll be welcomed to the blog area, which looks like this:
The menu on the left shows your published posts, drafts, the ones scheduled for publishing, and the trash. There’s also an Edit Site button at the bottom that takes you to the editor. If you click on the More Actions button on the top right, you’ll be able to access blog settings, analytics, and a few other useful features.
The Blog Settings, in particular, should interest you because it enables you to manage contributors and add other authors. It’s also a gateway to default SEO settings and options that let you customize how your posts, categories, and tags.
When it comes to blogging, Wix has your back. It provides you with all the necessary tools to run a successful website.
Sure, you can write your blog for pleasure only, but it would be a pity to create all that content and get traction and not get something out of it. Wix, however, allows you to monetize your blog.
Once you have enough visitors, there are several methods you can make some cash. You can display ads, and Google will send you a check every month. You can also offer subscriptions. Let’s say you have a decent number of followers who would be willing to pay for exclusive content. So…why not?
Wix also allows you to sell online, but I don’t know how much you’d be interested in an online shop. Perhaps if you write a book?
Needless to say, Wix makes it easy for you to make some money back.
Since there are people from different experience backgrounds, Wix thought it would be a great idea to offer two editors. So, no matter your skill level, you’re covered. You can choose from Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) or the regular editor.
Getting started is pretty easy, and it depends on which editor you want to choose. For those of you who haven’t used a website builder before, the easiest option is Wix ADI. You’ll be presented with this option when you decide to create your website.
You must answer a few questions, and Wix ADI creates a beautiful blog for you. That’s it. You can then customize it as you see fit. Probably after you play around a little just to see what’s what.
The second option is to use Wix’s regular editor, meaning that you have to select a template for your blog. Wix has an extensive library of free blog templates – they all look professionally made and are mobile-friendly.
Once you choose a template, you’ll be taken to Wix’s drag-and-drop editor with over 1000 customizable elements. Just to paint a clearer picture, just take a look at how many things you can do with one image.
Once your website is alive, you can edit it as you see fit. Just hit the Edit Site button at the bottom left of your dashboard.
The editor will open, and the menus on the left and right allow you to make as many changes as you want. Flexibility is no issue here.
And if you end up monetizing your blog, you’ll be happy to learn that Wix is one of those website builders that fully understand the importance of search engine optimization. That is why you’re given access to advanced SEO and marketing tools that ensure organic search engine traffic.
In terms of SEO, Wix provides integrated SEO tools to help you rank better in search engines.
Okay, but what does that mean?
Basically, all Wix websites are given a set of features that help improve their position in search engines. For instance, the Wix SEO tool (what a creative name) provides most of the features that you might need – from writing the optimal SEO titles and descriptions to filling in the alt text in your images.
As a simple writer, I’m sure you don’t care about how stuff gets done as long as it gets done. Wix understands, which is why it chose to integrate all the technical stuff right from the start.
As for marketing, you know how it is – if a tree fell deep in the forest and nobody heard, did it really fall? It’s the same with your online presence. If you write a blog, but you don’t engage with your readers on social media or otherwise, you don’t exist. Fortunately, Wix knows what to do here too.
With Wix’s marketing tools, you can see how many visitors you have, which one of your blog posts is the most popular, and see how many shares you get on social media. Don’t forget to also improve your blog based on the analytics tool put at your disposal.
The Ascend tool, for example, allows you to share your posts on social media platforms, send emails to your subscribers, and, of course, bring more visitors to your blog.
To find out more about Wix’s marketing and SEO tools, check out our Wix review.
Bottom line? Wix gives you all the necessary tools to improve your ranking in search engines. You can also promote your blog and engage with your followers using one of the several marketing tools put at your disposal.
How much does Wix cost?
Prices are one of the first things people look at. For a regular website, such as a blog, Wix comes with 4 plans:
- Connect Domain ($4.50/month) – offers the most basic website building
- Combo ($8.50/month) – great for personal use with no Wix ads on your site
- Unlimited ($12.50/month) – includes a site booster app and unlimited bandwidth
- VIP ($24.50/month) – offers priority customer care, professional logo, and 35GB of storage space
If you’re interested in just trying Wix out, know that there’s a free plan available as well. Nevertheless, the free plan is mostly suited for testing – you don’t have as many design options, flexibility is limited, and it is plastered with Wix’s ads.
Overall, Wix is not the cheapest blogging platform you could use. Sure, it has a free plan, but that won’t get you very far. However, with all it has to offer, Wix is worth it. It lets you channel most of your effort into your writing.
Wix makes an excellent choice with its extensive tools for bloggers. The editors are easy to use, SEO and Marketing are covered, and you can monetize your website in just a few clicks. Lastly, Wix is not the cheapest blogging platform out there, but it sure as hell offers great value for money.
- Incredible ease of use
- Simple customization
- Great SEO and marketing tools
- Free version is limited
3. WordPress.org – scalable and customizable
|Blog editor||Professional block-based solution|
|SEO and marketing tools||Yes|
|Best for||Customization and optimized blogging experience|
WordPress is a popular blogging platform among writers. It comes with a ton of blogging features, and everything about your WordPress website can be customized. While it’s not the easiest to use, WordPress.org is entirely free. But, there’s always a but, you have to pay for a domain and hosting.
What makes WordPress.org suitable for bloggers?
WordPress is an excellent place to start a blog because it offers a great variety of options that allow you to create a beautiful-looking website. You can customize it as you see fit and install whatever plugins you need.
Years ago, WordPress was the only viable option for bloggers. Even though now WordPress is suitable for creating any type of website, and it still is one of the best options for people who are interested in starting a blog.
One of the reasons why WordPress.org is suitable for bloggers is this:
WordPress’s dashboard is made for bloggers. The very first option in the menu on the left is for posts. From there, you can access all your posts, add drafts, schedule articles for publishing, and whatever you can think of. Nothing too complicated, right?
When you add a new post, you can create as many blocks as you want and fill them with whatever. You can start a new paragraph, add a quote, a heading, or an image. The sky truly is the limit.
As soon as you’re done, just hit the Publish button, and your creativity will be visible to the whole world.
There isn’t much else to say here, really. WordPress.org is often unmatched when it comes to blog creation, and one of the reasons why is that your website is created as a blog first. What you do from that point on is up to you.
Now, if you want to make money off your WordPress website, there are several ways to do it. You can display ads and make Google pay you, or you can sell stuff online. Affiliate marketing is another option. You can even sell memberships to exclusive content.
Setting up a Google AdSense account is not rocket science, and all you have to do is copy a piece of code Google gives you into your WordPress. Don’t worry, you’ll be told precisely where.
As for selling online with your WordPress website, you’ll have to visit the Plugins menu. Apps such as WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads should do the trick.
In case you want to sell memberships to exclusive content, apps such as WordPress Membership Plugin will get you where you want to go.
Overall, monetizing your WordPress website is a piece of cake. Just go to Plugins and type whatever you want. Chances are you’re going to find what you need.
WordPress.org is known for its design flexibility. WordPress allows you to run wild whether you find the customization settings in your default dashboard or via plugins.
First of all, WordPress.org offers a variety of free themes. Not all of them look the best, but they are modern and mobile-friendly. If you want, you can hire a professional to create a theme just for you or get a third-party theme from a site like ThemeForest and then upload it. To access all those options, you have to click the Appearance button in your WordPress dashboard.
Once you select a theme, feel free to customize it. You can change the name of your blog or the color scheme, add menus and widgets. You can even change the layout of your theme. All that can be accessed from the menu on the left.
Now, there is a theme editor, but I suggest you stay away from it. It’s all code: no fun and a lot of chances to screw something up.
What you need to take from this is that WordPress lets you change, adjust, redo whatever you want. That’s the whole beauty of it – if you want to find out more, check out our WordPress review.
It’s important to mention that WordPress.org gives you access to a plethora of plugins. The library is full of free plugins that can help you optimize your blog to rank high in search engines. The same library gives you access to several marketing tools.
To optimize your website, you have to install an SEO plugin – many of them are free, and in my experience, they are more than decent.
You might think – why do I need all of this? Well, once the plugin is installed, it will give you a score on your posts and tell you what to improve. This is especially good if you have no prior experience with SEO.
As for marketing, you have plugins that allow you to email your subscribers and send out newsletters. You can create pop-ups and email opt-in forms. Once again, all you have to do is a quick search. Ask and receive.
Needless to say, WordPress has you covered when it comes to SEO and marketing. All you have to do is access the Plugins button in your WordPress dashboard.
How much does WordPress cost?
Using WordPress.org is different from a website builder. It has a little more hardships just because it is a CMS (Content Management System) – you have to handle the domain and hosting yourself, while website builders do the work for you. But keep your chin up, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.
First thing first, you have to find a hosting provider. Here’s a little helpful table with some suggestions for WordPress hosting options crafted by yours truly:
|000webhost + Domain||This free hosting platform allows you to connect a custom domain and costs $10-15 a year ($1 a month). However, all free web hosting platforms are slow, unsafe, have limited storage, and are covered with the host’s ads. I’d suggest you to stay away from that.|
|Hostinger + Domain||This cheap premium host offers prices starting at $2.49/month. With a custom domain, the price rises to around $45-50 a year (around $4 a month), making it a good option for a blog.|
|Bluehost + Domain||The price of this WordPress-centered provider ranges depending on the number of sites and visitors you’re planning to have, and it falls between $60 and $250 a year ($5-20 a month).|
|WPEngine + Domain||This is a professional WordPress host for big projects and businesses. The plans offered vary between $300 and $3,000 a year ($25-250 a month). Could be a bit overkill for a blog.|
For a beginner, I might suggest Hostinger, which is genuinely dirt cheap and provides needed security, which free hosting platforms do not offer. For something a little bit more advanced, Bluehost is the way to go, and the prices start at about $5/month. Want to go even higher? Then WPEngine specializes only in WordPress, but it can put a hole in your pocket. Prices start at $22.50/month.
After figuring out hosting, you have to purchase a domain. Some hosting providers offer a free domain for a year with their premium plans, but if you go that way, make sure to acknowledge the available TLDs. If you want a .com, you have to pay for it.
So, what happens after you get a domain and hosting? You install WordPress from your hosting account’s control panel. Even better, some providers offer plans with pre-installed WordPress copies – keep your eye out for WordPress plans. However, they cost more, and in my experience, it’s a lot easier to learn to install WordPress than to pay extra.
Overall, I’d say that WordPress.org requires some getting the hang of it. Getting started can be a bit of a bumpy ride. All in all, WordPress.org was and still remains one of the best blogging platforms out there. It’s free, allows you to customize everything, and you can install all the plugins you need to rank better in Google.
- Extremely flexible
- Great plugings for SEO and marketing
- Renowed text editor
- Doesn't include hosting and domain
- Can get pricy
4. WordPress.com – secure and flexible
|Blog editor||Professional block-based solution|
|SEO and marketing tools||Yes|
|Best for||Easier customization|
WordPress has excellent plugins and template libraries, as well as an incredible text editor and a reliable interface. WordPress.com takes all of that – and turns it into an intuitive website builder. No more worrying about web hosting and server management. It’s not as flexible as its open-source counterpart, but it is easier to use, and has the same great blogging editor.
Why is WordPress.com suitable for bloggers?
Once you create your WordPress.com account, you get this dashboard, which pretty clearly focuses on content:
It’s pretty much the same as the one you get when you use WordPress.org.
As you can see, once again, you can see options for managing your posts, pages, comments, and whatever else you need to run a successful blog.
Plus, creating a new post is a walk in the park. Just hit the Write button in the top right corner, and you’ll be taken away to your text editor.
You can add blocks containing text, images, quotes, and other stuff that make your posts look pretty. And let’s not overlook the fact that if you keep scrolling down, you’ll find options for menus, widgets, layouts, design, media, etc.
The bottom line is that WordPress.com helps you create an appealing blog without the headaches from the .org. You don’t have as much flexibility, but I think the ease of use is worth the sacrifice.
Maybe you still don’t know why you should choose this builder over WordPress.org? If you have any questions, they might be answered in our WordPress.org vs WordPress.com comparison.
Getting started with WordPress.com is just as simple as providing your email address and a password as well as choosing a domain. The whole thing literally takes under a minute, and once that minute expires, you’re redirected to your dashboard.
Before starting to write, it may be a good idea to select a template. Fortunately, WordPress.com comes with an extensive theme library, and you don’t have to pay for one.
At first glance, the themes look professionally made. And yes, they’re mobile-friendly.
After you choose a theme, you can customize your pages, and the editor is very similar to the one you get for your text.
This is pretty much it. The rest is rather self-explanatory. Once you’re done customizing your pages, just launch your website, and ta-da!
About the plugins – if WordPress.org comes with plenty of SEO and Marketing tools, why wouldn’t WordPress.com come with the same benefits? Similarly to .org, you’ll have to pay a visit to the plugin library. The catch is that you need a premium plan to activate plugins.
Long story short, to take advantage of WordPress.com’s SEO and Marketing tools, you need to purchase a premium plan. Aaand to activate plugins, you have to buy at least the Business plan, which goes for $25/month. Even so, access to over 50k plugins sounds good.
Once you purchase the Business plan, you can install plugins that help you optimize and promote your website.
If you want to earn some ad revenue, you don’t necessarily need the Business plan. Premium allows it too. But you won’t get much without the SEO tools, which come with Business.
Overall, you need to break the piggy bank to optimize and promote your website. I’m afraid that the free part of WordPress.com ends there.
How much does WordPress.com cost?
While WordPress.com has a free plan, there are 4 premium plans you can choose from:
- Personal ($4/month) – free domain for a year, no WordPress.com ads, unlimited storage, ability to collect payments
- Premium ($8/month) – ad revenue, premium themes, and Google Analytics integration
- Business ($25/month) – plugins, advanced SEO tools, database access, automated backups
- eCommerce ($45/month) – eCommerce functionality, premium design for online stores
Not exactly cheap, eh?
The Personal plan doesn’t include much, but the more you’re willing to loosen the purse strings, the more you get. Besides, all the good stuff starts at a minimum of $25/month, making WordPress.com kinda pricy.
The cost of running a WordPress blog without the struggle of .org is going to cost you. Even so, I still think it’s worth it considering the ease of use you’re getting.
Needless to say, WordPress.com is the choice for you if you want to run a WordPress website but don’t want to overcomplicate your life. You don’t get as much design flexibility, but It’s a whole lot easier to use.
- Great plugings for SEO and marketing
- Renowed text editor
- Could have more editing and design freedom
- Quite pricy
5. Medium – blogging platform for wide audiences
|SEO and marketing tools||No|
|Best for||Growing an audience|
Medium is neither a CMS (Content Management System) nor a website builder. It’s a content website designed specifically for bloggers. It allows you to post blog posts for the entire world to see and is the perfect solution if you want to reach a broad audience on your first shot.
What makes Medium perfect for bloggers?
When you start your blogging career, it can take months to build an audience. Medium lets you skip the waiting game and make your artistry known to the world right away. With 60 million page views per month, you get access to a bigger audience than you'll ever need.
Now, since you won’t be having your own website per se, you cannot display ads to get some cash from Google. Selling something is out of the question too. Nevertheless, Medium still gives you the chance to make some money.
To monetize your Medium account, you have to join the Medium Partner Program. The whole process takes a couple of minutes. Once you do that, you have to select the Make your story eligible to earn money button that appears on your blog post.
How does it all work? Medium is free to use when you’re a writer. Still, members can see a limited number of free articles, which is why they pay for full viewing abilities. It costs $5/month or $50/year. When you write a post and become popular, Medium will transfer a percentage of the earnings to you.
Now, don’t think that everyone who signs up for the Medium Partner Program is getting rich overnight. You have to constantly publish popular pieces to get a steady income from Medium.
Getting started with Medium couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is create an account, and you’ll be welcomed to your dashboard. If you want to start writing, all you have to do is click on your icon (top right) and press the Write a Story button.
Medium’s text editor is pretty basic. It’s a blank page more than anything else.
However, if you press the + button on the left, you can add an image or a video, include an embed or a new part, or upload a stock image from Unsplash.
Once your story is written, you can select your text or parts of it and edit it. You can even add some private notes if you want.
One of the most appealing aspects of Medium is that you don’t have to handle the whole website creation part. All you have to do is come up with the words. However, there’s a downside to all that convenience – you cannot build your own brand. You won’t even have your own custom domain – you’ll always be [email protected]
Another thing that I believe makes Medium an excellent place to get started is social networking. You can communicate with other bloggers – send messages or post responses to their posts.
So, there you have it, Medium is a great place to start blogging. You’ll have access to an insane audience, plus, it’s effortless to use. While displaying ads and selling is impossible with Medium, you can still make some cash by joining the Medium Partner Program.
- Paid memberships
- Simple editor
- Limited monetization
- Editor is too simplistic, not enough options
6. Blogger – free and reliable
|Blog editor||Reminiscent of docs programs|
|SEO and marketing tools||Yes|
|Best for||Simple blogging with monetization|
Blogger is a blogging platform designed specifically for, you guessed it, bloggers. Since it’s owned by Google, all you need is a Google account. And who doesn’t have that these days? Just sign up and start writing.
Why is Blogger suitable for bloggers?
Blogger allows you to create a stand-alone website, so we can talk about the marketing and monetization of your blog. The platform offers a few options, albeit not that advanced.
For one thing, Google decided to give Blogger Google Analytics. In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s a pretty powerful tool that helps you optimize your blog. It tells you how many visitors you have, which pages they visited, and what they clicked on, among others.
The Google Analytics tools will also help you with the monetization part. It will let you know what tweaks are necessary and where.
Speaking of money, there is something unique about Blogger that I think you’ll like.
Usually, when you choose to go for a free plan, your website is invaded by ads for your website builder or platform. Not Blogger – the ads displayed on your blog depend on your audience’s search patterns, and each time they click on an ad, you’ll get a commission. All you have to do is set up an AdSense account.
That’s pretty much it. Blogger may seem small and feeble, but it can get you a long way. There are not many advanced SEO tools, but you have enough at your disposal to reach your audience and make some money out of it. If this wasn’t enough of an explanation, check out our Blogger review that has a guide dedicated to making money off of Blogger.
Blogger is a platform that allows you to create a blog in just a few effortless steps. Just sign in with your Google account, give your blog a name and choose an URL, and you’re done.
Once you’re finished with setting up, you’ll be taken to your dashboard. It’s easy to navigate. In the menu on the left, you have your posts and stats, pages, layout, and themes, as well as earnings and settings.
To create a new post, just access the text editor by pressing on the New Post button you see at the top left. The editor is just as basic as the dashboard, yet, it comes with plenty of options. It looks like a Google Docs page, doesn't it?
Adding media elements is easy. The options bar at the top of the text editor allows you to add images, links, and videos. You even have an icon for special characters. Playing with fonts and text styles is pretty much a given.
Another thing worth mentioning here is that your blog may end in .blogspot.com, but it will be safe as hell – remember, this is Google we’re talking about. Its servers are no one’s playground, which is why they’re reliable and secure. Your audience won’t get bored waiting for the page to load, no matter where they’re from.
Blogger may be a simple blogging platform, but unlike Medium, for instance, you have some wiggle room for design customization. For one thing, you can pick a theme. This is not a department Blogger excels at, but you can still have a lovely-looking blog.
To change the randomly assigned theme Blogger gives you, press the Themes button you see in your dashboard’s left menu. If you scroll down a bit, you’ll see that the library is neither small nor extensive. The perfect middle ground.
Not all themes are great, but surely you can find one that appeals to you.
Now, once you choose a theme, you’re allowed to customize it. Just make sure to adjust your expectations because there are not too many options. You can make some width adjustments, change the layout, and play with some colors, but that’s just about it.
All in all, Blogger comes with a few customization options. Not too many, that’s true, but they’re all free.
To conclude, Blogger is one of the best blogging platforms you can ask for. It’s free, easy to use, and you don’t experience too much hassle with the creation process.
- Simple website editor
- Good blogging interface
- Can look a bit outdated
7. Ghost – perfect publishing platform for bloggers
|Blog editor||Full professional solution|
|SEO and marketing tools||Yes|
|Best for||Professional publishers|
Ghost is a blogging platform that offers impressive customization capabilities but none of the hassle. Think of it as a perfect combination between WordPress’s flexible customization and Wix’s ease of use.
What makes Ghost perfect for bloggers?
There are several ways for bloggers to make money with their Ghost blog. You can display ads, share affiliate links, and promote products. But there is one more way to monetize your blog that makes Ghost unique – the Ghost paywall.
First things first, since you own a website, you can create a Google AdSense account and make Google share some of its humongous profits. Affiliate marketing is also great in this sense, so you may want to try that too.
Nevertheless, the most interesting thing about Ghost is its paywall. What does that mean? Let’s say that you built a hefty number of followers, and you want to make them feel special by sharing exclusive content. You can set up a paywall, and your visitors can buy monthly subscriptions that give them access to your blog.
Keep in mind that Ghost doesn’t keep any of the proceeds. Every single cent goes directly into your pocket because Ghost doesn’t charge any fees for such transactions.
All in all, making money with your Ghost blog is entirely possible, and its unique paywall feature works great when you have an established audience.
Ghost is a blog-specific CMS making it perfect for bloggers. With a minimalistic but highly functional interface and overall ease of use, Ghost is well-loved by both beginners and advanced users. It can help you create a modern-looking blog in no time, and the result is short of spectacular.
One of the things that make Ghost special is that it’s a fully hosted blogging platform and a stand-alone piece of software. Even if you purchase hosting from a different provider, you can install and run it. It’s pretty similar to WordPress in that sense.
Getting started with Ghost should be smooth sailing. Just provide an email address and create a password. You must also provide your credit card number, even if you go for the 14-day free trial, but it should not be a problem if you intend to use it.
As soon as your account is created, you can access your dashboard. It’s minimalistic but offers you all the necessary options to customize your website and start writing.
The menu on the left gives you access to your posts, published or not, pages, integrations, tags, and design options.
As for the blogging experience itself, I have the feeling you’re going to love it. It’s incredibly minimalistic, which allows a streamlined workflow, kinda reminding me of Medium. The fact that you don’t have all those icons all over the place is nice for a change.
But just because you don’t have editing icons all over the place doesn’t mean you cannot edit your text. All you have to do is select it, and you’ll get this:
Like any other self-respecting text editor, Ghost’s allows you to create engaging and modern content. You can add and edit images, use markdown or HTML, or you can embed links to several social media platforms and entertainment platforms. Ghost calls them Cards.
Another thing Ghost is good at is its themes. It provides an extensive library with hundreds of templates that look professionally made and modern. Some of them are downright gorgeous, in my opinion. Just keep in mind that not all of them are free.
If you visit Ghost’s theme library, you’ll notice that you have several categories covering magazines, photography, travel, podcasts, and so on. One of them is bound to catch your eye.
Nevertheless, while there are a few free options, the prices for Ghost themes can be a bit spicy. I haven’t seen anything cheaper than $24, and the most expensive ones are $149. Not too affordable.
At the same time, you can go for third-party themes. The ones I found have prices between $18 and $149, making them around the same as Ghost’s theme marketplace.
This seems to be pretty much it in this department. Ghost makes for an excellent blogging platform primarily because of its simplicity and ease of use, leading to a smooth streamlined experience.
How much does Ghost cost?
Unlike other options we’ve covered, Ghost does not come for free. There are 4 premium plans available.
- Starter ($9/month) – up to 500 subscribers, built-in integrations, official Ghost themes
- Creator ($25/month) – up to 1000 subscribers, custom integrations, and themes
- Team ($50/month) – up to 1000 subscribers, priority support, high volume traffic handling
- Business ($199/month) – up to 10000 subscribers, custom authentication
You’re good as long as your blog is small, but once it gets some traction, your wallet is under a threat.
Even if Ghost’s plans are not exactly affordable, it can support up to 1 million views per month, and that’s something. Add in the monetization of your website and rake in the money.
What can I say? Ghost is not the cheapest blogging platform you’ll come across. Even so, you’re given access to many resources, and that alone should comfort you.
All in all, Ghost is an excellent choice of a blogging platform. It’s super easy to use, and you have access to features that will help you create and run a successful blog.
- Good blogging interface
- Suited for professionals
How to choose the best blogging platform?
Choosing the best blogging platform for you can be a bit confusing, especially if you’re a beginner. However, there are a few factors that you should always consider before making a choice.
Here's how to choose the right blogging platform:
- Ease of use
- Design flexibility
- Simple blog audience growth
- Blog monetization
- The total cost of running a blog
Let's talk about each of these steps in detail.
Ease of use
If you’re a beginner, you don’t want to spend all your time learning how to navigate a blogging platform, do you? You need something that makes your life easier, not more complicated.
So, what does ease of use mean? No need for coding, that’s for sure. You should also go for a blogging platform with a simple interface – don’t get lost before you get started. You could try Wix, Medium, or Blogger if you’re a complete beginner. All three of them have simple dashboards that won’t clutter your mind with things you don’t need to know.
If you’re interested in creating an appealing blog that fits your personality, you should go for a blogging platform that ensures as much customization freedom as possible. Using pre-made templates is fine, but if you want something more, you have to look for it.
Wix is a great example of a highly customizable website builder that is still easy to use – it allows you to edit pretty much anything.
Simple audience growth
Putting your thoughts into words is often made with the purpose of reaching other people. And that’s not going to happen if you’re on page 9 in Google.
Organic traffic is essential, which is why you should always go for a blogging platform that allows you to optimize your website. SEO and Marketing tools are extremely important, and while sometimes boring, you gotta do what you gotta do.
To successfully optimize your website, you can install plugins or apps that analyze your site. They can tell you what you have to do to improve your SEO score. Take it from there, and you’ll learn more things on the go.
If you’re good at what you do, don’t give all your milk for free. I know that writing is the most important thing for you, but if you have the opportunity to make some cash, why not? Many blogging platforms allow monetization.
There are several methods of making money with your blog. Google AdSense is one of the most popular. Create an account, follow Google’s steps, and your blog will display ads. When people click on them, you get some money.
Other methods are affiliate marketing and promoting products. Depending on the chosen blogging platform, like Ghost, you can integrate a paywall and ask your audience to pay for subscriptions. But you have to build a large audience for that, so don’t do that right from the start.
The cost of doing business
Prices are among the first things people look at when making any choice. The truth is that cost is a significant factor that weighs in your decision-making process. You should make a budget before anything else.
There are platforms out there, such as Blogger, that won’t charge you. However, free is what free gets you. There are certain limitations to free plans, and as long as you’re okay with it, more power to you.
At the same time, if you want to grow and have access to advanced tools, you’re going to have to pay for them.
Real examples of what blogging platforms can do
This is pretty much it. And now, just to see what the blogging platforms presented can do, I’ll show you some beautifully made blogs.
The first great example is laurabaross.com. The writer is an environmentalist promoting clean design. The blog was created with Wix.
The second example is bloginity.com. This one was made with WordPress.
Last but not least, birchplease.co was created with Ghost. It has a separate section for paid users.
Best blogging platform – conclusion
Now that you know some factors to consider when choosing the best blogging platform, you should do just fine. Besides, I shared some of the best options on the market at the moment, so I’d say you’re set. But if you need a short recap, here it is.
- SITE123 makes it possible for you to launch a lovely-looking blog in as little time as possible, and the website is low-maintenance after. The prices are low, and the website builder is very easy to use.
- Wix is one of the best website builders at the moment. It appeals to its users because of the two editors it offers – Wix ADI and the regular Editor. Not to mention, Wix is crazy customizable.
- WordPress.org is the father of blogs, some might say. It gives you the possibility to customize everything you want, and it’s free. It does, however, require some knowledge in the field, and you need to handle the hosting provider and domain.
- WordPress.com is pretty much the same as .org. Nevertheless, it’s a lot easier to use, and you don’t have to worry about hosting. Unlike WordPress.org, WordPress.com is not free.
- Medium is a great place to start if you want to reach a broad audience right from the start. It’s super easy to use, and it’s free. However, since you don’t have your own website, monetization is limited.
- Blogger is yet another free blogging platform that appeals to beginners. It’s really easy to use, you have some design freedom, and you can monetize your website.
- Ghost is where simplicity meets functionality. It’s easy to use, the templates are gorgeous, and you can monetize your website.
I hope you find all this helpful. Now stop procrastinating and start writing!
Best blogging platform – FAQ
What is the best blogging platform for money?
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform because of its limitlessness. You can have a blog with all kinds of additional tools or design features. However, WordPress is a little hard to use, so if you are looking for an easier and quicker way to start a blogging website, Wix should be your choice. It is extremely flexible but comes with less hassle than WordPress.
Which free blog site is best?
The best free blog site could be Wix. It offers near limitless editing flexibility and combines it with ease of use, making it a great option for both beginners and people experienced in web developing.
Where do I start blogging?
To start blogging you just need to find where you’d like to publish your content. You can choose older and more reliable platforms such as WordPress, or go all out with a blogging site reminiscent of social media, for instance, Medium.
Do free blogs make money?
It is possible to make money with free blogs. Sites, such as Medium or Blogger, allow you to monetize your content, whether that is done through ads or paywalls.
How do I start a blog with no money?
If you want to start a blog with no money, choose Medium or Blogger. These blog sites allow you to create an account for free and share it with a wide audience of readers.