Where To Start A Blog: 10 Blogging Platforms For First Time Bloggers

Where to start a blog

Blogging is a great way to flex your writing skills, express your creativity and really explore topics that you’re passionate about. 

They come in all shapes and sizes, from photography, craft and interior design blogs, to marketing, business and motivational blogs.

It’s said that somewhere in the world, a new blog is created every half second, adding to over 152,000,000 websites that all have something important to say.

But where do you begin when you’re new to the blogosphere? Everyone has an opinion on what the best platform to start your new blog from is.

Usually it’s the same one that most bloggers use, however there are a lot more places out there that offer a base to start your blog that you might not have heard of.

Today I’m going to share ten blogging platforms that are worth checking out. Have a browse of each, check out their features and really explore the options before you make your decision.

1 – WordPress 

I’m starting with WordPress because it’s probably one of the one’s you’ve most likely heard of. WordPress is one of the leaders in the blogging platform industry, with two versions based on your needs.

WordPress.com is its free blogging platform. Users can sign up and create a blog in just a few minutes. There’s the ability to buy your own domain name if you’re not happy with a WordPress.com one and a range of free themes to make your blog look the business.

Other options include the ability to buy premium services, including premium themes, fonts and color options. Not only that, but when you decide to incorporate a Twitter or Facebook page for your business or blog, then there are an abundance of plugins that work with popular social media platforms. These will further customize the look and feel of your blog and set it apart from other free WordPress users. However, I don’t recommend WordPress.com. I’ve had too many clients complain when they want to add a cool plug-in or change to a paid theme (neither can be done on WordPress.com)

WordPress.org is for bloggers looking to self-host their own site and I highly recommend it. Users can install it via their hosting service and make use of much more functionality than the dot com option. This includes complete customization over your website, a massive library of free WordPress themes, along with thousands of plugins to add elements such as optin forms, social sharing buttons and much more.

2 – Blogger 

Another blogging platform you’ve probably heard of, Blogger is Google’s version of blogging on the web. The blogger service is free with optional premium extras such as your own domain name. It allows you to use many of the free apps that Google offer such as Feedburner and Networked Blogs, while giving you control over how your blog looks.

Blogger’s interface is pretty straight forward to use, however lacks the functionality that a WordPress blog offers. If you’re after something easy to use, straight out of the box however, it’s a good place to start. But you’ll want to have a self-hosted blog in the near future, so it may be better to just start with the other options.

3 – Squarespace 

Squarespace is relatively new to the blogosphere, however its influence is steadily growing rapidly. Rather than letting you get on with the work of updating and fiddling around with your blog settings, Squarespace offers a complete package including:

  • Domains
  • Hosting
  • Websites
  • Commerce
  • And 24/7 Support

They offer a range of beautiful designs for your website, all of which are optimized for mobile devices and included in your package. They’re probably some of the most beautiful designs I've seen for a site!

You can try Squarespace out for free for 14 days to see if you like it. After that prices start at just $8 per month, with pricier packages depending on your needs. It is one of my favorite places to recommend to my new blogger clients!

4 – Dropplets 

Dropplets is a blog platform that’s a little different from the ones I've mentioned so far. What’s unique about it is that it’s free to use and open source – meaning you can play about with it and improve it if you want to.

To use Dropplets you simply have to upload it to your hosting server, load your website in a browser and then follow some easy steps to get up and running.

Dropplets also uses the mark down text formatting syntax to make it easy to create your posts in any text editing software. Once you’re ready to upload, all you need to do is mark your post as published and Dropplets will take of everything else – including the formatting.

5 – Postagon 

Looking for something a bit easier? This next platform has you covered. Postagon has to be one of the easiest blog posting platforms I've come across. Within a matter of seconds you can have your blog up and running, ready to publish your first post – I tried it myself and have to agree!

There’s no need to set up any hosting for Postagon – it’s all browser-based. You don’t really need to do anything technical to start blogging, however there’s loads of extras if you want to customize things a little.

Some of the extras include:

  • Your own domain name
  • Google Analytics
  • Post via email
  • Drag and drop photo uploads
  • Email subscribers
  • RSS
  • And social sharing

All it costs is $4 per month, which is a great deal for something that’s so easy to use.

6 – Svbtle 

Svbtle is more of a psychological machine than a blogging platform. It’s extremely minimal and distraction-free and has been built with your brain in mind.

Instead of the average blogging dashboard you might find with something like WordPress or Blogger, Svbtle has only two columns. On the left is a place for you to jot down your ideas. These are saved as drafts for you to build upon, much like you would do with a series of thoughts. On the right is a list of your published posts – giving you a clean, organized overview of your thoughts and work.

Creating a post within Svbtle is like writing on a white screen. There’s no fussy editing icons and nothing to distract you from anything other than your writing.

When you sign up to Svbtle, you get 30 days blogging for free. After that it will cost $6 per month to use.

7 – Ghost 

Ghost is another open source blogging platform that’s simple to use and which looks amazing. Essentially as soon as you download the software, you own it and do whatever you like with it – such is the nature of open source software.

Ghost is free to download and use, however you’ll need your own hosting package to make use of it. Thankfully the team behind Ghost offer a Ghost Pro package which they describe as a bit like a “gated community of ghost bloggers” for $5 per month. It’s basically their own hosting and all the profit made through selling it, goes into the non-profit organization behind this great service.

Lastly Ghost has its own open marketplace. This is a bit like a shop, but it includes both free and premium stuff like themes and templates to make your blog look shiny.

8 – Postach.io 

If you’re a fan of Evernote, you’ll love this next blogging platform. Postach.io is more of a cloud blogging service than a platform, because it provides you with the ability to blog via your Evernote account.

Once you’ve signed up (with your Evernote account) and chosen your theme, you’re free to create your blog posts right from within Evernote. To upload them to your blog, it’s just a case of tagging your posts with “published” and your content will be displayed beautifully on your site.

While Postach.io doesn't come with a native comments system, you can integrate it easily with Disqus. You can also publish items from apps like Pocket by tagging an item with “favorite” or create documents within Dropbox to publish. You can also use a custom domain if you have one.

For multiple sites, multiple authors and other extra features, you can sign up for $5 per month as a Postach.io premium user. Which isn’t that bad for added functionality.

9 – Medium 

Next up we have Medium – a beautiful space to connect with the right audience who want to read your stuff. It’s designed to be minimal, with the focus on your writing and is a great way to post updates and thoughts that don’t necessarily fit within 140 characters.

There’s no widgets, sidebars, plugins or distractions on Medium. Nothing to set up, complicate and generally distract you from your content. Your content and images will automatically look better as the technology updates.

The main idea behind Medium however is to write along side people instead of sitting on your own somewhere in the big wide internet ocean. You get to exchange ideas and bump into people with the same mindsets, which is what makes this platform so unique.

10 – Scriptogram 

Lastly we have Scriptogram, built for writers and storytellers wherever they are, to be invisible and inconspicuous.

Designed to only appear when you’re ready to publish, Scriptogram is similar to postachi.io in that it allows you to create your posts in your favorite editing apps, before syncing to your Scriptogram blog. Store mark down files in Dropbox and then seamlessly sync to your Scriptogram folder and your post will be beautifully displayed on your blog.

Add your own domain if you want to. Choose from any of the sleek, mobile optimized themes. Then write. Pure, simple writing from anywhere that takes your fancy.

Conclusion

Finding a blogging platform to start your writing goals with, isn’t as hard as it might seem at first. Hopefully some of the ideas I've shared with you today, have you eager to jump on board and blog your heart out.

The best tip I can give you, is to start small, get a feel for it all and then grow as you feel more comfortable. 

Where to start a blog: 10 platforms to check out

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Sue!

    I love Ghost so that gets a vote for me. I wont recommend square space for newbies though (don’t hate, lol. They did make great strides the past year)

    I am intrigued with starting on Medium (but I don’t know the best practices there yet to get more eyeballs) – do you write there?

    And Linkedin’s blog platform seems like it’s great right out of the box for more exposure.
    Dennis recently posted…Why Your Small Business Needs Content MarketingMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, Dennis,

      No, I don’t use Medium but it looks interesting. One blog is enough work for me!

      Good to hear about Ghost.

      I recommend SquareSpace also for newbies – closest to WordPress.org and you can do SEO.

      Thanks for the comment!
      Sue

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by the blog today, James. Good point about SEO!
      Sue

  2. says

    Hi Sue,

    I loved this list! I’ve been blogging over 4 years, and I’ve so far tried Blogger, WordPress (where I’m the happiest and most skilled at) and some free earlier stuff. I knew about Squarespace and Typepad, but that’s about it. Frankly, I’m a bit frustrated with Blogger when it comes to the lack of “plugins” and control a user has on the platform. I need a new free (initially) platform with the ease of WordPress and financial freedom of Blogger. But 4/5 dollars a month doesn’t sound too bad when it comes with neat features:)
    Pinar Tarhan recently posted…Terrific Resources on How to (Re)Write Your Screenplay: Writing better scene descriptions, introducing characters & moreMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, Pinar,
      Tell me which one you end up choosing and I’ll tweet it out!
      Sue

    • says

      WordPress is my favorite also but some of these new ones look interesting.

      Thanks for stopping by, Nisha!
      Sue

  3. says

    WordPress is my favorite. Free hosting through them is great for people that want the simplest setup and maintenance. Self hosting gives you the most flexibility, which I like.

    Medium is a bit intriguing also – the design is very nice.
    John Hunter recently posted…Fix for When a WordPress Blog Stops Displaying ImagesMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, John, I agree with WordPress being good with self hosting. Medium and Svbtle are interesting to me also.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment!
      Sue

  4. says

    Sue,

    Don’t forget about Weebly! I used to build all my sites on Weebly and while it’s not without its issues, I still miss the super user-friendly drag and drop interface. In the end, I feel like most successful bloggers move over to WordPress, but I very much enjoyed using Weebly while it lasted.

    I love your blog, it’s good to be back! Hope you’re doing well,

    Brittany
    Brittany Bullen recently posted…Why Won’t the Cool Kids Pin My Stuff on Pinterest?My Profile

    • says

      Hi, Brittany,

      I also used to have Weebly blog way back when. Sorry I left it off the list!

      Take care,
      Sue

  5. Jen says

    I’ve tried blogger, wordpress, and medium. I actually like blogspot the best so far, but if I get more serious I’ll probably do more wordpress focus. Medium I like but I’m not crazy about the comment-on-article system. I’ll have to check some of the other ones out!

  6. Leila Dee says

    I’ve been wanting to create my first blog for some time now and was put off and overwhelmed with all the platforms and themes that are out there – such much to choose from! I was pretty much set on WordPress – until now. After reading this, I’m really favouring Ghost now. Sunflowerthemes offer some terrific Ghost themes that look really easy to set up for a newbie like me and will tie in with the “look” of my blog.

    Thank you for the recommendations, I only wish I’d found this post earlier!

  7. says

    When i started blogging on blogger i do not know any thing about it but as days went on I came to know about terms like SEO and monetisation.I did’t use wordpress.com but now I m using wordpress.org for self hosted site so i can say blogger and self hosted wordpress is better than anything.
    Ravinder Dande recently posted…Best Free Blogging Plateforms & WebsitesMy Profile

  8. says

    Several platforms to choose from.

    The best thing for anyone who wants to start a blog is to look at all the services you’ve mentioned above, choose a topic (or problem they want to solve) and get to writing as soon as they can – not wasting time on features and design in the name of ‘working on growing my blog’.

    I know, Sue, that you repeat this (a lot) to newbie bloggers every month.

    At the end of the day people just choose what they want to listen to.
    Philos recently posted…An interview with Walter Akolo of FreelancerKenya.com on how to start a blog in Kenya, get traffic and make money from itMy Profile

  9. says

    Wow! This is one awesome post! Thank you for this great piece of writing, The only problem I have with word press is that you need to buy a few plugins like security for your website or blog.
    Vishnu Sahasranamam recently posted…Vishnu Sahasranama Pdf downloadMy Profile

    • says

      Most WordPress plugins are free and it’s worth it since it’s such a stable platform.

      Thanks, Vishnu!
      Sue

  10. says

    According to me, WordPress is the best Blogging platform all over the lists, Because WordPress provide more features compare to any other blogging platform. Actually, I don’t know about the other blogging platforms which you have described in this blog post. I must try that all.

  11. says

    I’m a total newbie to this. I’ve blogged a couple of times, and am now taking Sharon Martin’s course on successful blogging. I currently have Weebly for my webpage, and I use ipage for the hosting. I do have a separate wordpress for my blog. I wanted to download WordPress for my website, but it seemed to have too many restrictions for a website. I’m thinking of looking at Squarespace and transferring over my domain. Any feedback would be great! Thanks in advance!

    • says

      I have heard good things about Squarespace, Norine. I still recommend WordPress due to SEO and long term organic search. But if it seems unwieldy to you, check out Squarespace. Having something that works for you is important.

      I hope this helps!
      Sue

      • says

        Thanks Sue! I’ll give it a shot! 🙂

  12. says

    Thanks For the list. Till now i am using Blogger and wordpress only. Now after knowing about more platforms I will try them also. Thinking to use ghost platform for my new blog.

  13. says

    Really it’s a helpful post for us. Thanks for sharing a nice post with us.

  14. says

    Nice list. I will try to use and explore wordpress.

  15. says

    Awesome , tahnks alot, I am looking for this kind of article on internet, but I have found it here with full details. keep writing.

  16. says

    I just knew about WordPress & Blogger, Thanks for letting me know about these Platforms to Start a Blog.

    I will definitely try one of them on my new Blog.

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