The 8 Best Blogging Platforms to Make Money 

by Daniel | Last Updated December 20th, 2019

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The Information Age means that information is available anytime and nearly anywhere. People strive to connect with others around the world in a way never possible before. One such method is through blogging.

 

The growing desire for blogs has led to a boom of both free and premium blogging platforms. If you are new to the blogosphere, it can become overwhelming trying to figure out which site is best for your needs. If you're hoping to use your new creative outlet to generate income, then that's a whole other level of things to consider.

 

In this guide, we review the best blogging platforms to make money. We narrowed it down to the top 8 options for you to create your brand new business venture. Following the reviews, check out our in-depth buyer's guide to ensure you make a smart investment.

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The Best Blogging Platforms to Make Money - Free or Otherwise

Here are a few quick facts before we dive into the specifics of the major blogging platforms on the web:

 

  • WordPress.org is the web's most widely used platform—it accounts for almost half of all blogs on the internet.
     

  • WordPress.org and WordPress.com are not the same, although one of the founders of WordPress.org was involved with the creation of WordPress.com.
     

  • Blogger.com is the oldest of the listed blogging platforms, founded in 1999.
     

  • Ghost.org is the newest, started in 2013, as a site for independent journalists and writers.

1. WordPress.org

When someone says WordPress, they're likely referring to this one. WordPress.org was started in 2003 and now services over 30% of all the websites on the internet. Nearly half of all existing blogs are powered by WordPress.org.

 

This is a self-hosting platform, meaning that hosting is not part of the package when you buy the WordsPress software. WordPress.org is a paid service, but this also means you get a lot more features. It helps that it's so popular because they've had the chance to figure out what works best.

 

Once you have a hosting provider and have downloaded the WordPress software, you can get started on your blog. This platform is also one of the easiest in terms of making money, and they have a few different options to do so. There are hundreds of themes, paid and otherwise, and most of them are easy to customize.

 

Pros
 

  • Largest and most popular blogging platform

  • Allows you to control any part of your website

  • Tons of extra features like the ability to add forums and shops

  • Hundreds of customizable themes

  • Very compatible with SEO

  • A LOT of plugin options

  • Great for money making websites

 

Cons
 

  • Self-hosted, so you will need a separate hosting domain

  • Fully managing your website from the get-go can be rough

  • Controlling everything also means setting up security and backups

  • Somewhat of a learning curve

Price

WordPress.org is free. You can download the software at any time at no cost. However, while you use WordPress software online, you need to pay for a domain name and hosting.

 

Those costs can vary, depending on the hosting website you use and who supplies your domain. On average, a domain is about $12, and hosting is a monthly fee usually around $3-$34 per month. Larger websites mean more traffic, which means you need more space from hosts.

 

Some themes and plugins also cost money, and those will vary.

Verdict

WordPress.org is a top-tier platform for old and new bloggers alike. It's great for those looking to make money. The software is free, and it has a plethora of options for themes, apps, features, and more.

 

Ready to create a professional blog to make your rivals jealous? Check out WordPress.org today!

2. Wix.com

Wix is a platform designed for those new to website design and blogs. The website creator is a "drag and drop" set up, so you can pick the features you want on your site and position them, too.

 

Wix has different plans, including a free option. If you want a custom domain name, you'll have to upgrade to a paid plan. However, their prices are reasonable and include the option of a custom domain.

 

The learning curve for building your site is much smaller and simpler. However, as a newer site, Wix doesn't have quite as many widgets and themes as WordPress. Still, there is a lot of room for customizing, and the premium plans offer even more. The free plan is also limited in that you can't run your own ads—instead, Wix runs theirs.

 

Still, the user-friendly building options and the simple dashboard are wondrous for those just starting. Some of their plans have an eCommerce option for making money with your blog, but it isn't quite as effective as some others.

 

Pros
 

  • Drag and drop website creation

  • Ability to individually customize each page of your blog

  • Lots of templates and apps (free and paid)

  • Easy to set up

  • User-friendly dashboard

  • Options for desktop and mobile customization and optimization

 

Cons
 

  • Free account is limited and shows Wix ads

  • If you don't buy a domain name, your website will include "wixsite"

  • Free apps and templates are limited

  • Once a template is chosen, it cannot be changed—just the features altered and moved

  • eCommerce is only part of premium plans, and it is limited in scope

Price

As mentioned, Wix has a free option that allows you to set up and build your website. However, it doesn't let you choose a domain name and the features are very limited. It also doesn't have the eCommerce option.

 

If you want more choices with Wix, you'll have to upgrade to one of their premium plans. They have VIP ($39/month), Premium ($22/month), Combo ($13/month), and Unlimited ($17/month) plans if you're just looking to start a blog.

 

If you want to make money with your blog with eCommerce, they have separate Business and Ecommerce plans. These plans are Business Basic, Unlimited, and VIP. All three allow you to accept online payments, but they differ in the amount of storage and other priority options from Wix. Basic is $23/month, Unlimited is $27/month, and VIP is $49/month. If you get busier and more serious down the line, they also have a major Enterprise option, which is $500/month.

Verdict

Wix is great for those just entering the blogosphere. It's easy to use and understand. However, if you're looking to get into the business part of making money via blogs, you'll only be able to do it with one of their Business plans.

 

Launch your career in the blogosphere. Create a blog with Wix starting now!

3. Squarespace.com

If you listen to podcasts, watch TV, or listen to the radio, you have probably heard of Squarespace. They have recently invested a lot of money into ads and with good reason: it's clearly working. Squarespace gets new users in droves every day thanks to their efforts.

 

Squarespace was founded in 2003 by a college student. Over the last 15-plus years, it has grown from a company of one to a company of over 1,000 employees. With offices in New York, Portland, and now Dublin, Squarespace continues to rapidly expand. As of 2019, the number of websites powered by Squarespace is well into the multi-millions.

 

This platform is geared towards small business owners, so it's great for those looking for a way to use their blog to make money. It's also very user-friendly—like Wix, it has a drag-and-drop website builder to easily craft your website pages. No need for any coding knowledge!

 

Pros
 

  • Easy to use drag and drop interface

  • User-friendly dashboard

  • Designed for small business owners

  • Experiencing rapid growth—meaning lots of new products and options will pop up

  • Sophisticated template designs

  • Can purchase domain names directly with eCommerce stores

 

Cons
 

  • Currently fewer options for themes and plugins than other websites

  • Limited features compared to competitors

  • Integration features are also somewhat limited

  • More expensive than many other platforms

Price

Squarespace offers 4 different plans and the option to pay monthly or annually. Monthly payments are the most popular. The plan levels are Personal, Business, Basic Commerce, and Advanced Commerce. If you are using your blog as a shop, the last two will be your best options.

 

Business plans are their most popular, but they don't include any way of listing items or opening a shop. Personal plans are $12/month, Business plans are $18/month, Basic Commerce is $26/month, and Advanced Commerce is $42/month. All plans include a custom domain name and Squarespace-run cloud hosting.

Verdict

Squarespace is another great option for those new to blogging. The drag and drop design function and the simple dashboard are great for new users. It's also a bonus that all the plans include the domain name and hosting, so you don't have to go hunting for those.

 

Squarespace is a little more on the expensive side. Template choices and plugins are relatively limited. Still, the sleek design and easy to use interface might be ideal for some hopeful bloggers. Their eCommerce options are great for business owners if a bit pricey.

 

Find website design made easy. Sign up for Squarespace today!

4. WordPress.com

Remember WordPress.org? WordPress.com is a little different. Where WordPress.org is blog software that requires self-hosting, the dot-com does the hosting for you. It has fewer features and themes than the dot-org, and many new users often stumble onto it thinking that it's the other option.

 

Despite this, WordPress.com is a good option. Founded in 2005, it provides a host for your blog, so you don't need to buy one or do anything extra. Like Wix or Squarespace, you build your blog directly on Wordpress.com, unlike the .org, which requires a software download. If you're worried that all the extra features of WordPress.org will be overwhelming, this is a better option.

 

You can start a free blog on WordPress.com, but if you want a custom domain and more features, you'll need a premium plan. You're more limited on advertising abilities on this platform, so depending on how you're planning to make money on your blog, keep that in mind!

 

Pros
 

  • Easy to set up and manage

  • No software required

  • Can buy a custom domain

  • Free if you don't want to premium plans and don't mind a wordpress.com domain name

  • Mobile and desktop capabilities

 

Cons
 

  • Limited on templates and plugin options

  • Can't run ads on your site with the free option; WordPress shows theirs

  • WordPress.com owns your account and can ban you at any time

  • Can't use Google AdSense, only WordAds

Price

WordPress.com has a free option, but it's very limited on what it can do, especially in terms of helping you make money. Their plans are paid for annually, but prices are listed as monthly amounts.

 

The basic plan, Personal, is $4 per month. Premium is $8/month, Business is $25/month, and eCommerce is $45/month. eCommerce is the best option for anyone using their blog as a shop, but business and even premium plans could work for other bloggers hoping to use ads for money.

Verdict

WordPress.com provides a host and a domain name with its premium plans, unlike its counterpart. However, it's also much more limited in scope. If you're looking for an intuitive platform with simpler options, this might be the one. Depending on your blog business model, consider their Business and eCommerce plans.

 

Get your start with an intuitive interface. Check out WordPress.com here!

5. Blogger.com

Blogger is the oldest platform on the list, founded in 1999 when the internet was still somewhat new. Other than WordPress.org, it's the most popular blogging platform. It's currently owned by Google, so it's very compatible with Google AdSense. If that's one of your money-making strategies, this could be perfect for you.

 

Even those who aren't tech-savvy can pick it up pretty quickly. Since it's owned by Google, you'll also have easy access to analytics and statistics for your blog at any time! Even the free option has some decent templates to choose from and is easy to use. To start an account, all you need is a Google account.

 

The downside to Blogger is that it isn't updated very often. As such, you're limited on third-party apps and templates. There just isn't as much to choose from. Still, it's great for beginners!

 

Pros

  • Very easy to use

  • Owned by Google, so lots of Google features like AdSense and analytics

  • Well-established

  • Free and premium plans

  • Can put up ads even on the free plan

  • Free hosting

 

Cons
 

  • Very limited options

  • Not a lot of room for growth

  • If you want a custom domain, you'll have to buy it separately

  • Not updated often

  • Google owns your blog

Price

It's free! Since it's owned by Google, all the features like AdSense are just part of your blog. They also provide free hosting. However, if you want a custom domain name, you'll have to buy that from a third-party seller, so keep that in mind.

Verdict

Blogger is the best free option for anyone interested in making a little money from blogging if you don't mind the limited choices. It's easy to use and doesn't cost a thing! If you're a beginner, this might be a good place to start.

 

Looking for the best platform that you don't need money to buy? Check out Blogger today!

6. Weebly.com

Weebly is another drag and drop builder though it's lesser-known than Wix or Squarespace. It's also quite simple to learn and has several premium plans, but it has fewer options than its competitors. However, it is well-known for being a great place for online stores.

 

You'll need a Pro or Business plan to access the eCommerce options, but Weebly is great for small business owners. If you're using your blog as a shop, this could be the choice for you!

 

Their premium plans include a domain name, and you also get free SSL security and increased storage as you go up in plan price.

 

Pros
 

  • Easy interface

  • Drag and drop website building

  • Good eCommerce functions

  • Great with SEO

  • Easy to integrate third-party apps

 

 

Cons
 

  • Limited template and widget options

  • Plans can get expensive pretty quickly

  • Fewer features than other similar websites

Price

Weebly does have a free option, but your domain will include "weebly" in it. It also doesn't have any shop features. The premium plans are Personal, Professional, and Performance. Only Performance includes eCommerce options, and it is $29 per month if you do monthly payments. The other 2 options are $9 per month and $16 per month, respectively.

Verdict

Weebly is easy to use and good for starting a shop. However, it has fewer options than Wix or Squarespace, and the pricing is quite similar. It's good, but you may be better off using one of the others.

 

Ready to set up your eCommerce shop? Get started with Weebly!

7. Tumblr

Tumblr is a free platform that's part-social media and part-blog. Founded in 2007, Tumblr has changed hands quite a bit. It is currently owned by the company Automattic. Rather than a full blog, it's more of a "microblogging" website with the ability to follow, like, and re-blog others.

 

It works well with other social media platforms if that is something in which you're interested. It doesn't have any paid plans although you can buy premium layouts if you choose. You can also separately buy a domain name to connect to your Tumblr. Still, it's not as easy to monetize.

 

Pros
 

  • Completely free

  • Easy to use

  • Simple social media integration

  • Very interactive with others

 

Cons
 

  • Limited features

  • Not much room for growth

  • Difficult to back up

Tumblr is free! You would only need a custom domain name if that's what you want.

Price

Verdict

Tumblr is a fun website that melds social media and blogging together. It's completely free, and it's interesting to customize your layouts. However, if you're looking to make money, they don't make it easy.

 

Streamline your social media and blog. Sign up for Tumblr here!

8. Ghost.org

Ghost is the newest of the options on this list. Founded in 2013, this platform goes back to the tried and true of blogs—posts! It's all about the writing on this one. If you're someone hoping to sell or monetize your writing, this could be the right choice.

 

Ghost can be self-hosted by you, or they can provide hosting. Both options have a price tag, but they might be worth it. It's newer and still evolving, but ultimately, it puts the focus on writing.

 

Pros
 

  • Great for writers

  • Self-hosting and hosted options available

  • User-friendly interface

  • No set-up for the hosted version

 

Cons
 

  • The self-hosted version requires a custom domain purchased separately

  • Limited options

  • Not many themes

  • Complicated if you choose the self-set-up

Price

The self-hosted version is free, but it requires a custom domain name from a third party and a web host. Those can range in price, so you need to do some research.

 

The hosted version starts at $29/month, but you may need to purchase a separate domain name if you don't want "ghost" in your URL.

Verdict

Ghost is a platform that is simple and minimalist with the focus on the writing. However, this simplistic approach also means it's very limited on features. It may be ideal for writers, but it isn't for everyone.

 

Embrace minimalism and create a blog of your own. Sign up for Ghost today!

Buyer's Guide to the Best Blogging Platforms

If you're creating a blog to make money, then you can consider it a business, and just like any other part of creating a business, there are certain features to look for, plus some pros and cons of every platform to consider. Pay attention to these factors when choosing the best platform for your blog.

What Can You Do with a Blog?

The great thing about this type of media is that it's incredibly versatile. Most blogs serve as a place for writers to pen articles or short posts about things of interest (and, when focused on commerce, brands and product deals). Some writers use them as a showcase for their stories or poems.

 

Blogs don't have to be solely for writing though. You can use it to display the goods you make. Many platforms allow you to embed videos into posts, so you can make multimedia content, too. A blog has so many possibilities, it's hard to go wrong. If you choose to monetize it, there's a lot that you can do!

What Does a Blog Need?

Before you get down to the fun part—design—you need security. Before you even take the plunge with something like a WordPress site or one of the many platforms that have come about since, you need to decide on some things:
 

  • Security

  • Domain

  • Hosting preferences (and if necessary a hosting website—some platforms include this feature)

  • Theme

 

Once you have that figured out, it's time to choose your platform.

What to Look for in a Good Platform

You might be asking what exactly makes for a good platform. It depends largely on your skill level and what you want your blog to be.

Ease of Set-Up

If you're new to blogging, you'll want something that isn't too complicated to get started. Most of the platforms nowadays have easy to navigate dashboards and instructions to start your site.

Purpose-Driven Plans

As mentioned before, blogs can serve many purposes. Whatever your reason for starting one, you will need to keep that in mind when you're picking a platform. Make sure the platform you choose is suited to writing, videos, eCommerce, etc.

Future Growth

If your blog is successful and generates income, you'll see your audience grow, too. You will need to choose a platform that can accommodate those changes in traffic and clicks. Some platforms offer different plans and levels for different prices that can easily adjust to big audience changes.

Flexibility

Some platforms are better at adjusting to changes than others. Some require you to pay more to maintain good speeds in higher traffic. Some are easier to modify than others when it comes to layout and features.

Ability to Monetize

There are a lot of ways to monetize a blog, from running sponsored ads to selling products or services. Many platforms allow you to add or create shops directly on your site. Others make it a bit more difficult to get money from your site directly, but they might have a better reach in terms of finding brands and businesses. Consider how you hope to monetize when choosing between the different platforms.

Choose Wisely

Ultimately, the only way to figure out which blogging platform is best for your money-making purposes is to research them. Start with the reviews above and decide for yourself how each one can work for you. With your business idea in mind, go through your website options, from WordPress.org to Ghost.org and all the ones in between. Talk to other bloggers about their experiences with the platforms.

 

Make your website fun and appealing, and make it something about which you're passionate. People respond better when they can tell the content and goods are meaningful to the creator.

 

Start your blog today and see just how much you can make!

ABOUT DANIEL

Welcome to LuggageGuru!
My name is Daniel and I am a full-time world traveler and constantly on the move.

My goal with luggageguru.com is to provide helpful information about travel-related products and accessories and also useful travel tips to make your vacation or trip more enjoyable!
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