Complete Guide to Blogging & 5 Best Blogging Platforms

By:  Shreoshe Ghosh

September 19, 2022

Do you want to start your own blog but don’t know where to begin?
No worries. You are not alone.
I’ll walk you through the entire process of blogging step by step and answer all the blogging questions you have in mind.
Let’s begin with some basics and delve deep into everything about blogging. Come on in!

What is a Blog?

A blog is an online web journal where you can publish posts on topics of your choice. Blogging can be carried out as a hobby or for business purposes. 
The posts that you create on your blog are known as blog posts, and they can be published as written content, audio files, images, videos, or as a mix of two or more such formats.

History of Blogging

The modern blog evolved in the 1990s when Justin Hall, a student at Swarthmore College, began maintaining an online journal for eleven years, starting in 1994. Another earliest example of a blog was Wearable Wireless Webcam, an online diary started by Jerry Pournelle in the same year. 
However, at that time, the term “blog” was yet to be coined, and people referred to such online journals as personal homepages. In 1997, the word “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger, who owned the blog named “Robot Wisdom.”
The short term “blog” was coined by Peter Merholz, who broke the term “weblog” and added the phrase “we blog” in the sidebar of his site Peterme.com. Blogs slowly started gaining popularity with the arrival of hosted blog tools for the first time in 1999. 
One of the earliest examples of blogs in 1999 was blogger.com, which was created by Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan of Pyra Labs. Google later purchased it in February 2003. 

Why Should You Blog?

Blogging has transformed a lot in the past two decades. More than a hobby, blogging helps you network with like-minded people and share your opinions. It gives you a platform to voice your thoughts on various subjects and spread awareness among your readers. 
Writing blogs hones your creativity and fuels your writing skills. Blogging allows you to showcase your expertise in a particular niche, and it also brings you fame once you establish a prominent name in the blogging community. 
Blogging has opened a new avenue for earning for thousands of people. As your readership grows with quality content creation, you can start monetizing your blog through affiliate marketing, sponsored blog posts, and display ads. We will discuss more on this later in this article. 
Blogs are an indispensable part of most businesses that have an online presence. Blogging boosts customer engagement and helps businesses nurture their relationships with existing and prospective customers.
Blogging generates demand by publishing content that is focused on solving customer pain points. It not only increases the trustworthiness of the customers but also develops their loyalty to a business.
Publishing fresh content regularly boosts SEO and improves its ranking on SERPs. With consistent effort in blogging, brands can establish themselves as industry leaders in their target niches. This, in turn, can increase brand awareness.

Blogs Vs. Websites

Blogs are a type of website with the only difference between the two is the frequency at which they are updated. Blogs are updated frequently as bloggers tend to write a new blog post every few weeks, days, or even hours.
On the other hand, websites tend to be more static as the web content is not updated often. A blog can be part of a website or run independently. Most business sites these days have a separate blog section where they publish new content frequently. This helps them rank well in search engines and gain more blog followers. 
Web content revolves around web pages that carry specific information about a brand or a business, such as its line of products and services, contact information, FAQ section, etc. Web content mostly follows a formal tone.
Blog content is written in a conversational style on a variety of topics, which can be classified into multiple categories and tags. Moreover, blog posts are mostly written in an informal tone to build a rapport with the readers.

Blog Posts Vs. Blog Pages

The term “blog posts” and “blog pages” often confuse new bloggers since certain blogging platforms like WordPress come with these two types of content by default. You might already have an idea about blog posts by now. 
When you decide to write a new piece of content on your blog, you write a blog post by default. Your blog posts are published with time and date by default. Blog posts appear in reverse chronological order, which is why the newest post appears on the top and the earliest one at the bottom.
Blog pages are the static pages on your blog that carry information about your blog, such as contact information, privacy policy, about us, etc. Blog pages are not updated frequently and are not included in the blog RSS feed- a feature through which blog subscribers get notified of new posts published on a blog.
Moreover, blog pages don’t have author names assigned, nor are they put into specific categories. Due to their static nature, blog pages don’t appear with the date and time of publishing.

Personal Blogs Vs. Business Blogs

Although blogs are meant to be a medium to express one’s thoughts and opinions, they can be broadly classified into two categories: personal and professional.
Personal blogs are hobby blogs that you write for recreation or to share information that you think your readers may find interesting. A personal blogger doesn’t need to take into account what the readers might want to read on his/her blog. 
For most personal blogs, the CTAs are directed toward blog subscriptions. Such blogs might not necessarily follow a definite theme for writing. 
Also, there’s no such obligation for personal blogs to write and publish content regularly since they are created solely for enjoyment. Once you start getting a good amount of traffic to your blog, you can monetize it and turn it into a professional blog. 
A business blog, on the other hand, follows a definite theme. The purpose of a business blog is to generate more leads for a business and try to convert them into customers. Business blogs can cover topics of the reader’s interests, address their pain points, share customer success stories, publish roundup posts and create podcasts with industry leaders and influencers.
A business blog is an excellent way for brands to get discovered on the web. Consistent blogging efforts can help businesses rank well in SERPs and get seen by more people. 

Benefits of Business Blogging

Business Blogs Help Educate Customers

Business blogging can help educate your audience about your niche market and build their interest in your products and services. You can use your blog to add value to your customers. Don’t try to sell your products or services on your blog. Instead, keep the space free from any sales or promotional content and utilize it to educate existing and prospective customers.

Business Blogs Help Address Commonly Asked Questions

If you run a business, you will come across some common questions related to your business. Instead of answering such questions individually, you can write a blog post addressing those questions in-depth and request people to go through them. 
To find the commonly asked questions in your industry, you can check out Google’s “People Also Ask” section or use the AnswerthePublic tool. This will give you a fair idea of the common questions people tend to search online related to your niche.

Blogging Leads Search Engines to Frequently Index a Site

When you run a business blog, you need to update it with fresh content regularly, which leads search engines to index your site often and boost your online rankings. As your existing customers get new pieces of content to read and enjoy, you can use the opportunity to increase your site visibility.

Blogging Promotes Thought Leadership

When you take time to research for your blog posts, provide accurate information, and talk extensively about a topic, it helps you stand out from your competitors. As you grow your expertise in your niche market, people will start following your views and opinions closely and consider you a thought leader in the industry. It will also instill trustworthiness in your business and enhance its credibility. 

Blogging Helps Building Backlinks

Another benefit of business blogging is that it helps to generate backlinks from other websites. A good amount of inbound links can boost your site’s SEO by improving its authority and bringing in more traffic. When other sites link to your blog content, it signals search engines like Google about your site’s authoritativeness and boosts its online ranking.

Blogging Helps in Demand Generation

The initial step of lead generation is demand generation. Businesses can use their blog posts to create demand around a product or service by sharing its features and benefits with the audience. Once the audience finds it interesting, they’ll eagerly wait for its launch.

What is a Domain Name?

All professional and business blogs have unique domain names that help viewers to identify their sites easily. It is the address that you type in a browser to reach a particular site, such as www.yourblog.com, where “yourblog” is the domain name. 
Every domain name comes with a suffix such as .com, .gov, .info, .edu, etc., that indicates which top-level domain (TLD) they belong to. A domain name can be purchased from a verified domain name registrar for a fee. You need to check for the availability of the domain name before making the purchase. The minimum duration for which you can buy a domain name for your blog is one year, which can be increased to ten years.

What is Blog Hosting?

Along with purchasing the domain name, professional bloggers also invest in quality web hosting. Hosting a blog is like buying an online space for a blog to live in. Many hosting providers can host your blog in return for a small fee. 
The hosting service stores all your files, including blog posts, pages, videos, and images on its server from where people can find your blog on the web. With a self-hosted blog, you can enjoy unlimited customizations, access a variety of plugins and themes, and play with the blog layout and widget placements.

Free-Hosted Blog

There are two types of blog hosting services that exist; free and self-hosted. On a free hosted blog, all your files are stored on the server of the blogging platform. The domain name for such blogs will appear on the web alongside the name of the blogging platform, such as www.blogname.wordpress.com.
If you want the name of the blogging platform to be removed from your blog’s URL, you need to buy a domain name. Setting up a blog on a free blogging platform is quite simple. You need to register on the platform, decide on a blog name, choose a suitable theme, and start writing. For a free blogging platform, you’ll have limited accessibility to the themes and might not be able to access the plugins unless you choose a paid hosting plan.
The monetization potential for such blogs is limited, and you get a limited storage space since you’re opting for free hosting. Moreover, you may end up losing your entire site if you violate any of their usage terms and conditions.

Self-Hosted Blog

For a self-hosted blogging platform, you get maximum benefits because you’re paying the price to keep your site up and running. A self-hosted blog can be customized to the core, including the themes, colors, layout, font, ad placements, choice of plugins, and much more. 
If you want to earn money through blogging, a self-hosted blog will be your best choice. While free blogs put out many terms and conditions to allow monetization, you can choose to advertise as you want and earn a 100% commission from a self-hosted blog. 
You can integrate your self-hosted blog with Google Analytics to get detailed insights about your blog’s performance, such as the monthly traffic, total views, total clicks, bounce rate, and other essential metrics. 
Another benefit of a self-hosted blog is the facility to set up a personal email address with your blog name. This helps your email look professional and also promotes your blog for free. In case you have a blog named www.yourblog.com, your email address will look like smith@yourblog.com. 
A self-hosted blog can be better optimized for SEO, which can increase your brand visibility and reputation. You can also enjoy 24X7 technical assistance when you sign up with a reliable hosting provider for your blog that saves you from wasting time on solving technical glitches on your site.

Can You Blog Without Any Technical Expertise?

It is possible to start blogging without any technical expertise. In fact, it’s one of the best things about blogging. It’s a common notion for many new bloggers that they need to be well-versed with web designing and coding to develop a professional-looking blog. But this isn’t a correct assumption as professional blogging requires you to be good at writing content and over everything else. 
Blogging platforms like WordPress have a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, where you can see the preview of your blog’s user interface as you work on it. The benefits of using such an editor are its ease of use, the freedom to design the blog without any technical expertise, the ability to create web pages fast, and the feasibility to experiment with multiple visual elements on the blog.
Usually, when you decide to go for a self-hosted blog, it is the hosting provider that takes care of all the technical aspects of your blog. 

Top Hosting Providers in the World

Some of the top and most trusted hosting providers are:

Hostgator

Hostgator is the largest provider of dedicated, shared, reseller, and VPS web hosting services. Founded in 2002 by Brent Oxley, Hostgator has a wide range of clientele across the world, from freelancers to Fortune 500 companies. It hosts over eight million domains in the world that makes up roughly 1% of the world’s internet traffic. 
BlueHost
BlueHost is another web hosting company that is extremely popular among bloggers and website owners. It is headquartered in Utah, United States, and was founded in 2003 by Matt Headon. It is considered one of the top 20 web hosts in the world, hosting over two million domains. 

GoDaddy

GoDaddy is an American web hosting company and a domain registrar. It is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, and has over 18 million customers worldwide. It was founded in 1997 as Jomax Technologies by Bob Parsons. GoDaddy has sold over 78 million domain names so far. 

DreamHost

DreamHost is a domain name registrar and web hosting provider based in Los Angeles. Dallas Bethune, Josh Jones, Michael Rodriguez, and Sage Weil founded DreamHost in 1996. Its shared VPS and dedicated hosting network consist of Apache, Nginx, and Lighttpd web servers running on the Ubuntu operating system. It currently has about four lakhs customers worldwide.

Hostinger

Hostinger is another popular internet domain registrar and web hosting provider. It was founded in 2004 by Balys Krikščiūnas and has over 29 million users worldwide. Hostinger uses cloud web hosting technology and provides hosting with MySQL, FTP, and PHP.

What Type of Blogging Platform is Best For You?

It is advisable to begin with a free blogging platform if you want to use blogging as a creative outlet. With a free platform, you don’t need to worry about the blog setup and other technicalities. Since there is no investment involved in free blog hosting, you can choose to deactivate your blogging account or delete your blog anytime. 
However, if you are thinking about long-term blogging, investing in a self-hosted blog will be ideal for you. This also holds true for business blogs, which are an integral part of most online businesses these days. A self-hosted blog will give you the freedom to make unlimited customizations and let you choose from thousands of plugins and themes for your blog.
With a self-hosted blog, you can choose to run as many ads as you want on your site and keep 100% of earnings from that to yourself. You also get to explore other monetization opportunities with a self-hosted blog, such as affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and selling online courses and ebooks.
If you want to be professional and commit to blogging seriously, you should opt for a self-hosted blog. Most hosting providers offer SSL certification along with their paid hosting plans, which will make your site secure and trustworthy. You also get to control every tiny element of your blog that determines the quality of user experience, such as the presence of pop-ups, font size, button size, overall interface, ease of navigation, etc.

Top Blogging Platforms in 2022

Below, I’ll list out five best blogging platforms that are great for anyone looking to start their own blog. 

1. Wix

Wix is one of the simplest blogging platforms if you want to get started right away!
wix blogging platform
It is a great choice for beginners who want to launch their full-fledged website with a blog included. 
There is no coding knowledge required to set up your site on Wix. You can simply drag and drop elements to build it. 
Wix has numerous templates to offer, which will fit the requirements of most brands with a bit of tweaking here and there.
You can also use Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) to set up your site. For this, you need to answer a few questions about the purpose of your blog, and Wix will create a site based on your inputs. 
However, if you want to create the site by yourself, Wix ADI can assist you in figuring out which layout will work best for you by letting you preview the design before finalizing it.
With minimal configuration from your end, you can build a professional-looking website in minutes. With the Wix mobile app, you can also design your blog on your mobile device.
Wix comes with handy tools that can increase your engagement with your target audience and help you exchange meaningful conversations in terms of reachability.
Wix offers you:

  • Leading SEO tools from the industry
  • Social media tools
  • Analytics
  • Post scheduling
  • 500 professionally designed templates
  • Embed HTML codes
  • Simple image editor
  • Advanced Search
  • Adding categories and hashtags
  • Collaborators

Wix offers a lot more than just a blogging platform. If your primary goal is to blog, then a free Wix account is for you.
A free Wix account comes with zero maintenance, as everything is hosted and managed by Wix itself. It works well on small sites and offers 500GB of bandwidth. Your site will have a wixsite.com in the web address if you choose a free Wix account.
A few drawbacks of the platform are the Wix ads, which can be removed if you upgrade to premium. You also get a custom domain name free for the first year when you upgrade to premium. In that case, you can consider Wix alternatives.
In general, Wix offers 3 types of premium plans: 

  • Websites
  • Business & eCommerce, and
  • Enterprise. 

The $14 Combo plan works well for personal use, which can go up to the $339 VIP plan. The BIP plan comes with a lot more storage and features to grow your brand. 
Additionally, the price includes web hosting, which generally costs $10 per month. The business and ecommerce plan starts at $23 per month and allows you to accept payment online. Even for complex sites, the Wix setup process is very simple and user-friendly. 
Wix is a great choice for individuals and small businesses. Wix websites come with a 100-page limit, excluding blog posts. Wix also offers enterprise solutions that start at $500 per month.
Wix offers a 14-day free trial of Wix Premium, or you can choose to blog free on the platform for as long as you like. 

2. Squarespace

Squarespace is another useful all-in-one website like Wix. Its aesthetically superior templates make it a great choice for photography and designing websites or any website related to art.
squarespace blogging platform
The neat and brilliant brand presentation on Squarespace blogs will make you believe that every website is designed by professionals. In reality, it might be someone’s first website ever.
The best part of using a platform like Squarespace is that any non-technical person can build up a fully functioning website for themselves without the need to hire professional designers or developers. 
With a highly responsive customer support system offered by the platform 24×7, you can always ask for any help that you need during your website design and development stage or later on. 
Squarespace somehow fits in between what Wix and WordPress have to offer. Squarespace offers a little more customization options than Wix but not as much as WordPress. 
You can experiment with different elements of your website without having to preview it after every change. Wix offers you a drag-and-drop editor, so what you see is what you get. To round up, Squarespace offers you:

  • Free blogging templates
  • Built-in post scheduler
  • Tags, categories, and featured posts
  • SEO and social media tools
  • Email marketing tools
  • In-depth analytics
  • Contributor permissions
  • Expert customer support
  • Mobile app

Add-ons and third-party extensions available on Squarespace are built into the platform, requiring zero maintenance from your end. It is very easy to add ecommerce features to your Squarespace blog. 
Some features like booking appointments and creating and selling members-only content can be set up in minutes using different tools by Squarespace. The Squarespace plan starts at $12 per month for a website and $18 per month for ecommerce. 
The personal plan works well for people intending to start their own blog. You can enjoy rich templates, loads of features, and access to different tools and tracking metrics. 
The business plan lets you accept online payments securely, take reservations and sell products and services besides using several premium features. Enjoy great features with the business plan sans the maintenance.
As you upgrade to higher plans, you can access more tools to understand your web traffic better and enjoy additional ecommerce functions. No matter what plan you go for, the 24X7 accessibility of Squarespace customer support is something everyone can enjoy. 
Squarespace is always working on upgrading its interface and adding new features to the platform. It is an amazing choice for individuals or small businesses looking to set up their own site without professional support. You can try Squarespace for free for 14 days and decide whether to give it a go. 

3. WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms in the world. It’s free to use and empowers several businesses around the world.
wordpress blogging platform
According to a recent Search Engine Journal report, WordPress is being used by 64.2% of websites with an integrated content management system (CMS) and remains a leader in the CMS market.
It aggressively outperforms other top blogging platforms, including Wix and Squarespace, that secure a market share of 3.4% and 3% each.
While 33.1% of websites don’t use a CMS, WordPress accounts for 43% of all websites and 64.2% of websites with a CMS.
Going ahead, WordPress has announced a proposal to take a proactive approach toward third-party plugins to boost website performance and security.
WordPress hosts your site and gives you a subdomain. Due to this, the platform runs its own ads on your site unless you upgrade the plan.
Alternatively, you can download the platform at WordPress.org for free and use it on a site you host yourself. If you choose a WordPress-recommended host like Bluehost, the overall price of hosting a WordPress site gets less expensive compared to other hosting platforms.
Start by choosing a theme. There are plenty of free themes available on WordPress to choose from. The theme will work as a template for your entire site. You can add more functionalities to your site; you can opt for several WordPress plugins that will help you with SEO, site security, newsletter subscriptions, and much more. 
With WordPress being open-source, an active community is constantly working on bringing new features to the platform. Here are some more reasons why people choose to blog on WordPress:

  • More than 50,000 plugins to add more functionality to your site
  • Thousands of free and premium themes to choose from
  • Advanced user roles and permissions
  • A huge community of experts
  • Infinite design control
  • The Gutenberg block editor
  • Strong media management

Wix and Squarespace offer you an all-in-one platform. However, WordPress is a little different; here, the platform is free and you can purchase whatever you need to improve your site functionality. You can choose from several premium plugins and themes of your choice if you don’t want to limit your site to free features. 
This is especially beneficial for complex sites that require a lot of add-on features. While the maintenance for such complex sites can be a little difficult, in the end, you’ll have a blog that will be unique from what you get to build on platforms like Wix.
For your day-to-day editing, WordPress works like a charm. The Gutenberg editor has a simple interface that makes it easy to develop, arrange and refine your blog. For anyone with limited technical skills, building a custom blog with rich images and videos is very simple on WordPress.
The cost of using WordPress primarily depends on what you want to do with your site. If you want to stick to blogging only, then you just need to pay for the domain name and hosting. There are already free plugins and themes for you to use, or you can invest in paid options.
If you’re just starting with your blog, I’d recommend opting for a Bluehost shared hosting for WordPress, which starts at $2.95/month. You will get a domain name free for the first year, custom themes, and automatic WordPress updates.
The entire process is quite simple, it takes only a few minutes to set up, and moreover, you get BlueHost to take care of some of the maintenance too. 

4. Medium

Most blogging platforms don’t have a built-in audience, which is not the case with Medium. You need to pay a monthly subscription in order to read articles on Medium. Some of this amount goes to the writers who contribute to the site.
medium blogging platform
If you join the Medium partner program, which is free and contributes to the platform, it can help you earn money if people spend time reading your blog. You can write on any topic and discover what other writers/bloggers in your niche are writing about. When you join the partner program, people who read similar types of articles will see yours too. 
It’s not entirely clear how Medium curates your content for the audience, which can be a downside for bloggers not getting enough traction on the platform. However, Medium does provide useful data about visitors to help you understand how traffic is coming to your content. 
With Medium, you don’t have to worry about maintenance and hosting. This is a huge benefit for bloggers who want to focus on their writing solely. If you aren’t too keen on the profit-making scene, then Medium is your best platform to blog.
Medium offers you enough design options but not as much as platforms like Squarespace. You can play with the font and layout of your blog and not worry about unnecessary ads blocking your flow. 
With Medium, you can enjoy perfectly formatted and responsive blog posts without much hard work, making it a stress-free blogging platform. Medium gives you a curated audience for free and lets you share your posts on social media too. 
Since you can enjoy all these features on Medium without spending a penny, you can start blogging on Medium anytime and try earning from it as well. 

5. Blogger

Blogger is a great platform for casual blogging. It is owned by Google and has the same simplified interface as Gmail or Chrome. It is a free platform and offers you your own subdomain. Your web address will look something like example.blogspot.com.
blogger image
Setting up your blogger account takes only a few minutes and you don’t have to worry about the hosting, file storage, and other technical issues related to the blogging platform. If you are planning to create a branded blog and get rid of the Blogspot subdomain, purchase your own custom domain from a trusted registrar. 
I believe that this platform is one of the best when it comes to personal blogging. If you want to use this platform for business blogging, it might not be an ideal choice due to its limited features. Of course, you can tweak here and there, but you cannot expect to customize end to end. 
You don’t have an ecommerce option on this platform when compared to other blogging platforms. Also, the diversity offered by WordPress is much more when compared to this platform. 
However, you can monetize your blogger page quite easily using Google Adsense. You need to fill up a form with your details and payment information, after which Blogger will run relevant ads on your blog and pay you depending on the number of people visiting it.
This revenue is not great, especially if you are hoping to make it your primary source of income. However, still, a little revenue does not harm anyone. Overall. Blogger is packed with essential features like:

  • Google integrations
  • Google Adsense
  • Image storage with Google Photos
  • Simple text editor
  • Free SSL certification and domain mapping

Blogger is a stress-free blogging platform and is ideal for anyone who wants to enjoy storytelling on a digital platform without spending too much time or resources. If you aren’t too particular about your blog aesthetics, then Blogger is definitely worth a try. 
Unlike Wix and WordPress, you won’t be able to curate unique experiences for your audience through features like dynamic pages and interactive content. Blogger templates are monotonous and nearly all blogs on this platform look identical. If that doesn’t bother you, you are good to go.
Blogger is one the cheapest ways to start blogging and that too in a traditional blog format. If you are only looking at sharing your experiences through blogging, this platform is what you should be looking for.

What Features Should A Good Blogging Platform Have?

You can choose a blogging platform to meet any of these two basic requirements:

  1. Traditional blogging sites
  2. Website builders with blogging capability

Depending on your need, either of these two types of platforms will make more sense to you. 
If you are looking for a low-maintenance option to share your story or advocate for a cause, a traditional blogging platform is preferable. 
Website builders offer a lot more than traditional blogging platforms. They have endless features to offer, some of which come with a price. Now, there are several website builders available in the market, but the one you should ideally go for depends on certain factors.
Let me walk you through the major criteria I keep in mind when I want to weigh different options.

Cost & Revenue

For some bloggers, earning through blogging might not be their primary source of income. If you don’t depend on your blog income for a living, then platforms like Medium and Blogger are a good choice. 
Both of these platforms are free to use and they don’t need you to worry about paying for your site hosting, web designing, or keeping your blog available online. Everything is handled by the providers.
Wix and WordPress also offer their free versions, but with Medium and Blogger, you don’t have to run third-party ads on your site. In fact, Blogger lets you run ads and keep the money to yourself. 
Medium offers a partner program that helps you earn money if people read your blog posts. Joining the partner program is absolutely free and requires no effort to get your posts to the new readers who might be interested in your blogging niche. 
If you are blogging for business and earning money through it is one of your primary goals, I’ll recommend platforms like Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace. The premium features of these platforms aren’t free, but the scope offered is endless.
These platforms allow you to sell your products and services and provide content after putting it behind a membership paywall. The free versions of these platforms don’t provide ecommerce facilities. Nevertheless, they still give you a certain scope of income.
To put it simply, the more features you want to add to your site, the more it will cost you. To decide between the paid platforms I mentioned above, look at how they offer their services. Choose the one that has a better pricing option for your needs. 
For example, Wix offers you an all-in-one plan that has everything to get your site up and running. You can choose plans that cater to simple blogs to ecommerce sites based on your requirements.
WordPress is, however, free to download. You need to pay for the hosting. Wix and Squarespace provide hosting as a part of their plans by including its price in the total package.
You’ll notice that getting hosting separately will be much more value for money than getting it as a part of a bundled package. With WordPress, you have the freedom to choose plugins and themes of your choice and pay for what you get instead of opting for a package where you might not require all that is being offered. 
Another thing to consider is the number of photos, videos, and graphics your site will have. If your site needs resource-intensive features that automatically disqualify you for any entry-level plans that these platforms may offer. 
If you still go for such plans, eventually it will affect your site loading time when the traffic increases.

Branding & Customization

If your blog is a part of your brand, there are some serious considerations that you need to take into account. Going for any free options that the blogging platforms offer might limit your control of the branding part.
Wix and WordPress offer their freemium plans by running their own ads on your site. You cannot control what ads they run on your site and neither can you earn any revenue from such ads. Now, this shouldn’t be an issue for someone blogging for a hobby, but when it comes to a business blog, no way!
Blogger and Medium don’t run ads, so if you want a platform to promote your business through blogging, start with any of these two. To build your brand, you also need your own domain name. Free blogs will only give you a subdomain with the company name in your web address. For example, any site on Blogger will have the address atyourusername.blogspot.com.You can buy your own domain name if you want to create a professional site. This also helps search engines to redirect the right people to your site. Wix and Squarespace offer a free domain name for a year, so that’s 365 days of not looking for any other hosting providers.
Signing up for WordPress with Bluehost hosting will also give you a free domain name for a year. It starts at less than $3 a month, which, in my opinion, is a steal deal. 

Design Freedom

Blogger and Medium offer useful tools to create, organize and share posts. The premium blogging platforms give you a lot of control and flexibility, allowing you to completely customize your blog according to your brand.
For new users, Wix is great since you have to drag and drop everything you’d like to include in your site layout. Squarespace is also great in terms of design. It might be a little more complex than Wix for first-time users, but it offers great control over how your blog looks.
However, if you want the freedom to create, choose WordPress over other platforms any day. 

Maintenance Requirements

How much time can you spend on your blog’s upkeeping? This is one question many bloggers, as well as businesses, fail to ask themselves before starting a blog. 
Those who want a hands-off blog experience are going to like Medium and Blogger. Besides publishing your posts on these platforms, you don’t have to think about any maintenance.
Wix and Squarespace are also close by when it comes to hands-off in terms of blog maintenance. These platforms will host your blog, manage SSL certificates and take care of anything related to site security and backend work. 
With WordPress, you have to update the plugins and themes you use from time to time. When you get WordPress with Bluehost hosting, it reduces the headache about hosting your site and also gives you the benefit of enjoying a year of a free domain name. Bluehost will take care of basic maintenance for your WordPress site. 

Tools for Growing Your Audience

One of the key reasons I recommended these five blogging platforms is because they all make it easier for you to connect with your audience. 
Free platforms like Blogger too analyze your site traffic and let you know how visitors arrived on your site. Connect Google Analytics to get a deeper understanding of what’s happening.
Medium has a built-in audience of paid readers. When you join the Medium partner program, the platform will curate content for readers who are interested in topics similar to your niche. Additionally, sharing your posts from Medium on social media is also fairly easy.
If you go with the premium features of any platform, the quality and variety of your growth feature increase accordingly. Squarespace offers free email campaign tools to help you build your list. You can even add on premium email marketing tools to automate the process of sending emails to thousands of customers. 
With Wix, you can monitor your blog performance on the dashboard. There are integrations with Google Analytics and UberSuggest, which could help you understand how to improve SEO on your blog and get more traffic. 
With WordPress, you can use different plugins to get a better knowledge of your target audience and boost traffic to your website. The bottom line is that you cannot write blogs and automatically expect people to figure them out. To increase your traffic, you need to combine different techniques like social media and other channels. 

WordPress VS. Blogspot VS. Medium Vs. Wix Vs. Squarespace: Which is Better for SEO?

From an SEO point of view, some blogging platforms offer better opportunities for optimization than others. If you run a business, your blogging activities should be able to bring in traffic and revenue to your site, which is not possible unless you optimize your blog content with SEO. 
To begin with, Medium is not that great for SEO. It has a high domain authority, which allows some users to see a rise in their traffic by publishing their blogs on Medium. But with Medium, you cannot implement structured metadata or have an advanced analytics tool. However, if you choose to blog on WordPress, you can use multiple plugins that can improve the SEO of your site. Tools like Yoast SEO and Monster Insights are very useful in helping people with limited SEO knowledge to optimize their website to rank high on Google
Blogspot also offers SEO opportunities to users, but it is limited compared to WordPress. If you want to earn money, then Blogger might not be an ideal choice for you. With Blogger, you can utilize limited features only, and as a result, you can have limited control over online visibility as well. 
Squarespace is an excellent website builder for templates and design. However, when it comes to SEO, it isn’t quite well-heard of. The SEO tools offered by Squarespace are very helpful for someone with prior SEO knowledge. When used wisely, the range of SEO tools offered by this platform can really spike your website traffic and help you rank on Google’s top page.
Wix was long known to be not the best platform for SEO. However, if you look closely, the platform isn’t entirely bad when it comes to SEO, although there are several important features that this platform might not offer when compared to platforms like WordPress.  Wix offers fast indexing and easy connection set up with Google Search Console. However, the Wix page builder leads to excessive code bloating at times leading to slow loading time.

Blogging Platform FAQs

What are some of the best blogging platforms?
Squarespace, Blogger, WordPress, Wix, and Medium.
What blogging platform features should I consider?
Consider the ease of use, platform security, customer support, plugins, and any other specific feature that you are looking for.

How do I design my blog?
Most blogging platforms offer ready-to-use and customizable templates, themes, and designs that you can choose from the backend in the CMS and use according to your brand requirements. 
Do all blogging platforms have SEO?
Most blogging platforms have plugins that help you with your site SEO. However, basic SEO knowledge is also helpful when you’re blogging.
If you are still confused regarding the best blogging platform for your business, I recommend visiting the platforms mentioned below and reading their blogs to understand the features they offer in detail. 

  • Wix – Best for launching a functional blog without much technical expertise
  • Squarespace – Best for professional-looking blogs with stunning designs. 
  • WordPress – Best for creating a highly customizable and unique blog
  • Medium – Best for reaching readers with minimal effort
  • Blogger – Best for personal blogging/ writing for a hobby

Does CMS matter for ranking higher on Google?
As Google’s search advocate John Mueller puts it, the search engine doesn’t look for a CMS to treat sites differently.
But then, he also opines that all mainstream CMS systems can create pages that work well in search.
So, a content management system is not a necessity but a choice for any blog. 
However, if optimizing your blog for search engines is your priority, you need certain SEO tools and plugins that a CMS has to offer.

How to Choose a Particular Niche For Blogging?

Choosing a niche for your blog is not as hard as you think. The presence of innumerable blogs on the internet may confuse you about picking up one particular niche. However, if you take a step-by-step approach to choosing your blogging niche, it only takes a little time to pick up. Here’s how you can proceed with it.

Step 1: Consider Your Areas of Interest

Take a pen and paper and note down a list of topics you are interested in. Don’t care how silly or how serious your topic sounds; just keep listing them until you have at least more than five to six topics in hand.

Step 2: Analyze Your Expertise in Those Topics

If your listed topics belong to more than one niche, analyze them, and see whether you can talk at length on those topics. Also, try to figure out whether you regularly enjoy discussing them and possess good knowledge of them. Shortlist niches that you feel you are more comfortable talking about.

Step 3: Do Market Research

If you want your blog to be viewed by many people, then this step is vital. In fact, all professional and business bloggers must conduct market research before shortlisting a niche for blogging. 
If you blog for leisure, then choosing a profitable niche shouldn’t be a matter of concern for you, but if you wish to earn money through blogging, you’ll have to choose a profitable niche.
If you choose popular niches like technology, food, beauty, and health, you’ll need to put in a lot of effort to establish your blog. These broad categories are highly competitive, with thousands of bloggers already writing on them. 
If you want to stand out, try to be more specific, such as blogging only on vegetarian cuisine on your food blog or focusing only on yoga on your health blog. Before choosing a particular sub-niche, explore Google trends to discover whether it has been a trending topic for a long time. 
Any evergreen topic will have a good search trend. However, if you go for topics that are season-specific or target a special event, for example, a blog on US elections or a blog on film awards, you cannot expect it to get traffic all year round.

Step 4: Filter Niches Based on Profitability

To check the profitability of the niche you’ve chosen, try finding if any advertisers are investing their money on AdWords to advertise products or services in that niche. If there are enough ads on that particular category of products, be rest assured that you’ve chosen a profitable niche.

Step 5: Determine the Competition in the Market

The last step to finalizing your blogging niche is to type in related keywords to check the competition. You can go to Adwords Keyword Planner and enter a keyword from your desired niche to see the average monthly search volume and competition. You can repeat the step with different keywords from your niche and shortlist the ones with high average monthly searches but low competition. 

Step 6: Finalize and Start Blogging

Finally, list down the top three keywords from the keyword research in the previous step and finalize a niche to blog about. Once you finalize the niche, you can start a blog. 

How to Start a Blog?

Starting a blog is very simple. It is a stepwise process that shouldn’t take you more than an hour to complete the entire setup. Once the setup is complete, you can begin blogging. 

Step 1: Choose a Blogging Platform

We’ve already covered the two types of blogging platforms in the previous sections of this article. Depending on your goals, you’ll have to choose a free blogging platform or a self-hosted blogging platform. 
In the case of a free platform like WordPress.com, you can directly go to the website and sign up with your email ID and password. For a self-hosted blog, you’ll have to register the domain name first, followed by signing up with a hosting provider.

Step 2: Choose a Domain Name & a Hosting Provider

The second step to starting a self-hosted blog is to choose a domain name. You have to check with the domain name registrar regarding the availability of your domain name. When choosing a domain name for your blog, it is better to use popular extensions like dot com, dot org, and dot net.
Select a domain name that reflects your blog niche clearly, go for a short domain name that is easy to read and remember and avoid using numbers and special characters in your domain name. 
Once you register your domain name, go ahead with selecting a hosting plan for your blog. Long-term hosting plans generally come cheaper than short-term hosting, so think carefully before choosing one. Many hosting providers offer free domain name registration with their hosting plan, which is again a value for money offer. 
Most bloggers who are starting with their blog choose shared hosting plans as it is one of the most economical self-hosting options available. You must always choose a reliable hosting provider over a cheaper one because you don’t want your files and other essential information to be compromised. You must also purchase an SSL certificate for your blog to secure it.

Step 3: Choose a Theme

Once you register your domain name and buy a hosting plan, you’ll have to work on the blog layout by choosing a suitable theme. Sites like WordPress offer thousands of free and premium themes to choose from. Depending on your requirement, you can select one and activate it on your blog.
While choosing a theme, always go for a responsive one that is compatible with multiple devices. Don’t choose a theme that looks very cluttered or contains unnecessary elements, as it can hamper your site loading speed or prevent your visitors from reading your content.

Step 4: Choose the Necessary Plugins

In addition to the theme, if you have a blog on WordPress, you can also choose plugins for your blog. Plugins are special software designed to extend the functionality of a WordPress site. Plugins come in free and premium versions, and you can choose the ones best suited for your blog.
There are some WordPress plugins that every blogger must install on their blog, such as a security plugin to detect malware and spam, an antivirus plugin to protect your blog against viruses and detect the presence of any harmful plugins on your blog, Yoast SEO plugin to take care of your site’s SEO, a social media plugin for easy social sharing and a comment plugin like wpDiscuz to improve the commenting experience on your blog.

Step 5: Start Blogging

Once you have the theme and necessary plugins in place, it’s time to start writing your first post. Choose a great topic, to begin with, add an attractive headline, and start writing the blog post. Check for suggestions offered by the Yoast SEO plugin to improve SEO, revise the content, and click on publish.

Step 6: Share & Promote

As you start blogging, you cannot expect people to come and read your blog posts automatically. You’ll have to share your posts through proper channels and promote them as much as possible. To spread awareness about your blog, follow other blogs in your niche, and offer valuable comments on their posts. 
Use social media to its full potential and discover online groups where you can promote your blog posts regularly. Actively participate in Twitter discussions related to your niche and build a good rapport with fellow bloggers in your industry for added support and recognition.

How to Optimize a Blog For SEO?

Optimizing a blog for SEO is essential to boost its online rankings and get more traffic. 

Conduct Keyword Research

Conducting keyword research is the basis of any SEO optimization. The benefits of doing keyword research are many. Firstly, it helps you to understand what users are looking for. Secondly, when you target keywords within your content, it helps you rank high in search engines. 
There are many SEO tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and Moz Keyword Planning Tool that can help you to find the best keywords for your topic. The best keywords to target for your blog are the ones with high search volume but low competition. Try giving enough importance to long-tail and LSI keywords. 
You also need to be very strategic with the keyword placement. They must be added in a way that matches the natural flow of the content. You should not try to stuff keywords within your content by any means. 

Add a Suitable H1 Tag

The H1 tag is the title of your blog post that appears when someone views your blog post. The H1 tag tells the search engines as well as your readers what your content is about. The H1 tag is the most crucial tag on a website. It should contain a long-tail keyword in order to rank in SERPs.
Your H1 tag should be unique for each blog post. Also, make sure that it looks compelling and grabs user attention. The H1 tag should clearly convey the topic covered in your blog post and must be kept 20-70 characters long. 

Structure Your Post With Subheadings

Adding subheadings to your content helps in giving a solid structure to your entire blog post. Using them allows you to break your content into smaller sections and make it easier for people to follow. Subheadlines also act as a guide to your entire content and tell the readers what to expect in every section of the content piece. If a reader wants to read only a part of your content, he can do that easily when you structure it under suitable subheadings.

Add Internal Links

To implement proper internal links in your blog, you’ll need to create enough blog posts and pages. Once you have a decent amount of blog posts, you can link these posts with each other so that readers can navigate your site well and discover more content.
You also need to ensure that the internal links are relevant to the blog topic you’ve covered. For example, if you have written a post on what SEO is, you can add an internal link to a related topic, such as on-page SEO or off-page SEO, but linking it to a post on social media tools, won’t be very relevant. 
Internal links are essential because they help Google understand the site structure and spread the link juice. This way, Google understands which blog posts and pages to value over others. 
Proper internal linking also helps boost your overall page views and reduces the bounce rate on your site as people tend to spend more time exploring your links. Moreover, internal linking helps search engine bots to crawl and index pages that are placed deep within your site. 

Add Images and Videos

Visual elements can make a lot of difference to your blog posts. Visual content such as images, videos, and infographics are easy to understand, eye-catching, and naturally more attractive than written content. When you add visuals to your blog posts, it helps simplify the topic you’re discussing. 
Visual content is easier to remember for a long time as they make a lasting impact on the user’s mind. Visual elements drive more leads and boost conversions as well. Visual content gets more social shares and backlinks because it can convey messages very simply.
You can repurpose written content into visual content very easily. If you have a blog post that receives a lot of traffic, you can compile the content into a beautiful infographic or create a small video on it. This will lead to increased engagement. 

Add Alt Text to Images

Now that you know the importance of visuals in your blog, let’s move a step closer to optimizing visual elements for SEO benefits. A very common visual element that people use on their blogs is images. Bloggers spend a lot of time curating the best images for their blog posts but fail to optimize them for SEO. To optimize an image for SEO, you need to give them an Alt text. It is a description of the image on your site. 
Alt-text is vital because search engines cannot detect images on your site; they read them as plain text, and hence, you must give them a proper description. It is also useful for people with visual impairments and uses screen readers to read your content. Alt text also helps your images rank for specific keywords and appear when images fail to load for slow sites. 

Choose a Simple Permalink Structure

A permalink is a permanent URL that links to a blog post or a web page. Good SEO practice is to choose a simple URL or permalink structure that is easy for people to follow. There are different types of permalink structures that you may follow. The simplest one comes with the blog URL followed by the slug, such as www.mysite.com/my-content. 
By default, WordPress permalinks are not SEO-friendly. Hence you need to edit them and make them readable and SEO friendly. You can do this by adding your target keyword in the slug. When you add the slug, use a dash (-) to separate each word. Prevent adding stop words to keep the URL as short as possible.
To choose a suitable permalink structure in WordPress, go to Settings>Permalinks and decide whether you want to go with a plain structure or add elements such as day of posting, date of posting, category name, etc. You also have the freedom to build your open custom URL, but you’ve to be careful not to make it sound misleading or too complicated.

Optimize your Meta Description

The meta description snippet is about 156 characters long. If you add a description exceeding the character limit, the excess part won’t appear in the search result, and you might not be able to describe the contents of your blog post very clearly. 
When people discover your blog post in the SERP, they come across the meta title and meta description first. The meta title should not exceed 70 characters in length. So, you have to optimize both the meta title and description with the target keyword and maintain the specified character limit. 
Write your meta description in an active voice and add a clear call to action that will entice users to click on the search result. Also, avoid keyword stuffing when it comes to optimizing meta descriptions, as it may lead Google to penalize your blog.

Optimize Your XML Sitemaps

An XML sitemap is the list of your website URLs. It helps search engines to discover new content on your site. Therefore XML sitemaps help in fast indexation of your site content. It also helps in solving a variety of issues on your blogs, such as the presence of a deep site architecture or the lack of good internal and external link profiles. XML sitemaps are also beneficial for blogs that publish new content quite often. 
XML sitemaps have a limitation of 50,000 URLs or an uncompressed file size limit of 50 MB. You can use gzip to compress sitemaps, but as soon as you hit any one of the above limitations, you have to split the rest of the URLs across multiple sitemaps. These multiple sitemaps can be further combined into a single XML sitemap index file, often named sitemap-index.xml, which is a sitemap of all sitemaps on your blog. 
The best practice to get your content indexed faster in search engines is to submit your XML sitemaps in their webmaster tool consoles. Since there is a limitation on sitemap creation, you should only include the money pages in your sitemaps, i.e., the web pages or post URLs that bring SEO benefits to the blog. Also, avoid adding noindex URLs, URLs that are canonicalized to another URL and URLs that return non-200 HTTP response code in your XML sitemaps.

Backup Your Blog Regularly

If you have been a blogger for a while, you must have invested a lot of time and energy into it; you obviously don’t want it to go in vain. A small compromise in your blog’s security or a technical error from your end can make you lose all your data. This irreversible damage can be taken care of if you backup a copy of your blog often. 
There could be many reasons why your blog data could be wiped out completely. Hacking is obviously one of the most common reasons you might lose all your blog content and files. Other reasons for such an issue can be server malfunction, incompatible plugins or themes, coding errors, or due to backup conducted by unreliable companies. 
You can backup your WordPress blog manually or ask your hosting service providers to do it for you. There are many plugins that are available on WordPress that can also help you backup your site data. 

Make Your Blog Mobile-Friendly

With an increasing number of people surfing the internet on their mobiles, every big and small blog must make their site mobile-friendly to garner more visitors. If you take a look at your blog analytics, you’ll get accurate data regarding the number of visitors who access it on their mobiles. 
If your blog is not mobile-friendly, you’ll lose out on a massive chunk of traffic on your site every month. Therefore, you must choose a blog theme that’s compatible with mobiles and tablets and optimize your blog so that it loads quickly on user devices. A slow loading site can increase the bounce rate and affect the crawl budget, which means the search engine bots will crawl fewer pages and lead to limited indexation. 
To speed up your blog, you should enable Gzip compression of your files, minify HTML, CSS, and Javascript, reduce redirects, use CDN, improve server response time, and optimize images by compressing their size and enabling lazy loading. Moreover, you should invest in a reliable hosting service to provide an uninterrupted and seamless user experience. 

Consider Using AMP

AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages is a way to build web pages that loads much faster than regular HTML. Since AMP pages load faster, it improves usability and convinces users to stay longer on your site.
Moreover, AMP pages combined with awesome content can help your site rank well in SERPs, as Google prefers AMP sites. If your blog generates heavy traffic from mobile, AMP can reduce the load on your servers and improve the overall performance. However, AMP boasts a simple UI, which is devoid of many page elements that a site usually has, like breadcrumbs and hamburger buttons. If you think your site works well with a simpler UI, go for AMP.

Integrate Google Analytics to Your Blog

If you want to analyze your blogging success and make it more impactful, you need to integrate your site with Google Analytics. Google Analytics is an advanced and free tracking platform that can provide you with information about your site visitors. 
Using the tool, you can find out which blog posts get the maximum views, how much time your readers spend on your site, which devices they use to browse your blog, their location and all sorts of information that will help you to create a persona of your readers and tailor curated content for them. 

Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarized or copied content published on your blog can lead Google to penalize your site and take it down. Blogging ethically is mandatory if you want to make a mark in the online space and build a brand name. Focus on writing quality content and seeking permission to use something from another blog or site.
Remember to give credit to your fellow blogger when you add their content to your site. The same works for images, videos, and infographics. You should strive to create original images and other visual elements and avoid copy-pasting from other sites to prevent copyright violations. 

Prevent Keyword Cannibalization

Keyword cannibalization happens when you target the same keyword for multiple web pages on your site. If you cannibalize your own keywords, you’ll end up competing with your own keywords. This confuses Google as it can’t distinguish which article to rank for that keyword. To prevent keyword cannibalization, try merging your content or removing keywords that are causing cannibalization. 
You can also add a noindex tag to a cannibalized web page so that the search engines can understand which page you don’t want to rank or add a rel=canonical tag to help search engines know which is the main version of the web page for a given keyword. Sometimes, when you face cannibalization issues with low-quality web pages, it is best to delete such content. 

Refresh Existing Blog Posts

Content refresh is updating your existing content with relevant information so that users find it useful and up-to-date. Content refresh is necessary to increase your blog traffic for your existing posts, especially those you wrote months ago. 
There are many ways to refresh your content, which don’t necessarily refer to adding more content. You can refresh an existing blog post by optimizing it with keywords, finding new link building opportunities, etc. 
As we are slowly moving to the age of voice search, you’ll need to format your content in a way that it looks more conversational and targets a lot of long-tail keywords. If you haven’t been optimizing your blog posts for voice search, this is the right time to do so. 
A content refresh of your blog will ensure that your posts do not contain outdated content, broken links, or thin content. Therefore, you must conduct it often to help your blog posts rank well in SERPs and direct more traffic towards them. 

How to Monetize A Blog?

Monetizing your blog is a crucial step in your blogging journey. When you decide to monetize your blog, you’ll have to look at it as more than a hobby and take it seriously. On most ad platforms like AdSense and media.net, you need to have substantial monthly traffic or page views before you can start earning from your blog. 
This means that you need to put in much effort and establish yourself as a credible blogger before you can start earning from your blog. However, the amount of money you can expect to receive from blogging also depends on several factors, such as your blog niche, how frequently you blog, the amount of traffic that you get on your blog per month, etc. Given below are some common ways to make money from blogging. 

Affiliate Marketing

In affiliate marketing, you promote other companies’ products through affiliate links placed strategically within your blog posts. When people click on those links and make a purchase, you earn a small percentage of money from the merchant. 
A merchant who wants to increase sales through affiliate marketing will give a unique link to each affiliate (blogger), which will help the merchant to attribute the sale to the right affiliate. Amazon is a popular merchant associated with affiliate marketing. However, you can go ahead and choose a platform on your own. Then you need to apply for the affiliate program and wait to get approved. 
Once you are approved, you’ll have to create good content and optimize it with affiliate links. When people click on the affiliate links and make a purchase, you earn a small commission.

Ad Networks

Ad networks are companies that display ads on your blogs. They use cookies to store information about users to show them relevant ads when they visit your blog. Since ad networks display ads based on user behavior, they might not display ads related to your blog niche. However, they are certain ad networks that show ads relevant to your site content. 
Ad networks pay bloggers based on the pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) model. In the PPC model, you get paid every time a visitor clicks on an ad on your blog. The CPM model pays you a fixed amount for every 100 people who view an ad on your blog.

Sponsored Posts

You can earn by writing sponsored posts on your blog. To attract good sponsors for your blog posts, you have to first invest time and money in building a professional-looking blog. Next, you need to join some popular blogging networks and create a good relationship with fellow bloggers in your niche. They can sometimes help you to get in touch with suitable sponsors.
You also need to start pitching brands with your blog and convince them how you can promote their products or services through your blog. If you are just starting, finding sponsors might be a bit difficult. But once you establish yourself as a well-known blogger in your niche, you’ll find sponsorship requests for your blog posts knocking at the doors. 

Premium Content Service

Another way to earn money from blogging is to offer premium content service. In your industry, you have to be an opinion leader to convince people to buy premium content from you. Moreover, this premium content cannot be the blog posts that you write on your blog but content that will actually add value to your readers, like ebooks, case studies, podcasts, etc. 
You can offer premium content to your blog subscribers in exchange for a monthly fee. You have to target this plan to your returning followers as they follow your content ardently and might want to read more of your content by paying the price. For premium content, you can pick up various trending topics in your niche or analyze what your readers want to see on your site by conducting a poll or survey.

Offering Online Courses

You can earn money from your blog by offering online courses and webinars. There are many ways to provide such premium educational material through your blog. Imagine you running a photography blog and having some followers who don’t have the money to invest in a premium camera but are very keen on learning photography. You can target these people by offering them a mobile photography course because there’s hardly anyone today who doesn’t own a smartphone.
You can start by promoting your course a few days before its official release date. Try creating a buzz around the course by highlighting the pain points and how your course will be a savior for those aspiring photographers who want to start with photography. 
Keep a few things in mind, such as the price of the course. If it is high enough to meet the price range of a low-budget camera, why would people invest in your course instead of purchasing the camera itself? Moreover, many people offer free courses on the given subject, so what makes your content different from the rest?
The trick is to provide a bonus with your paid course, such as a certification. To pick up a course that sells like hotcakes, you have to analyze the industry and understand what skills are in demand. You might need to sign up for a free course yourself to understand the missing elements. 
Once you develop the course by combining the best content, you’ll also need to offer it in popular formats like PDF or a PPT presentation. Moreover, you should promote it on your blog by adding CTAs directed towards the course at the end of each post, through email newsletters or pop-ups on your blog. 

Offering Consultations

If you find online course creation a time-consuming and tiring process, you can choose to proceed with online consultations on your blog. If you are a home decor blogger, you can offer to provide paid consultations to people looking to revamp their interiors. You can add a feature to your blog that allows visitors to choose a time slot and day for consultation.
Initially, you may need to offer free consultations, but once you start gaining popularity, you may introduce a paid consultation service alongside where you can promise to offer add-on services such as a guide book to choose various elements of home decoration, such as color, space, material, etc. or offer discount coupons in collaboration with various home improvement stores. Online consultation can save your time and money as a blogger while helping you establish yourself as an expert in your target industry. 

Conclusion

We’ve covered most parts of blogging in this extensive article, so anybody who is looking to begin a blog or start earning from it can refer to this post. Blogging continues to offer a platform to millions of people worldwide to make their voices heard or make a difference in the world by sharing their knowledge in specific niches. Blogging continues to be an extremely profitable profession that can offer maximum benefits with consistent efforts. 

Author

Shreoshe Ghosh

Shreoshe is a content writer with 6+ years of experience and has formerly worked in academic and travel niches. In her current stint as an SEO content manager, she helps businesses voice their brands. Reach her @ Mail | LinkedIn | Facebook or View all posts by Shreoshe

Comments

16 thoughts on “Complete Guide to Blogging & 5 Best Blogging Platforms

  1. WordPress is so much better than blogger because of there are lots of plugin for WordPress to optimize in an easy way and you can easily set up SEO plugin which is perfect for google to boost your website or blog ranking.

  2. Being one of the first few Best SEO Company in Noida. Which made a difference, SDAD boasts an SEO team that is highly experienced in this area and is devoted to ensure that websites developed by the company are ranked and right of way listed in terms of search engines.

  3. Shreoshe write good stuff for blogging, I personally like wordpress with Yoast plugin. and other cms like wix shopify is paid and most people go with free stuff.

  4. Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate it that you shared with us such informative post, great tips and very easy to understand.

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