Updated: Jun 1, 2021
"We provide a shortlist of blogging site builders and platforms to help you get started with your blogging or journalism career with no technical skills required."
Editorial Note: Mysmallbank.com does not earn a commission and will not accept compensation for the products or services mentioned in the article, this review is of our own opinion.
By Allan R. Kirby
Start Blogging today and learn great skills
I recently wrote an article about how businesses are looking for people who have the experience and ability to developed rich social media and blogging content. These types of experiences can be learned by taking courses, but a quicker and less expensive method is by building and writing your own blog. The reason for building a blog is that you can and will learn practical and real-world skills such as:
1. Digital marketing.
3. Content development.
4. Customer relations, community outreach
5. Social media management.
These skills plus many others will help you build skills in-demand skills and improve your chances of find employment. Additionally, you can use your blog as a portfolio to showcase your abilities to prospective employers. But that's not all, blogging is a great way for serious writers and journalists looking to showcase their work and in some cases make good money writing.
The good news is Blogging does not have a high barrier to entry. You can start blogging in just a matter of minutes with free/paid online blog site builders and platforms. so in order to help you get started regardless of your intentions, we have provided a list of blogging platforms and blog site builders you can use!
“New Bloggers often do not realizing blogging helps them develop a number of marketable skills!”
The Top 5 Best Blogging Platforms and Blog Sites for 2021
Here are some of the best blogging platforms and site-building to use for 2021, I personally like and use both Wix and Medium but I have also used Blogger and WordPress in the past.
Wix — Best site builder to get started with blogging with little technical experience.
Blogger - Best free blogging site builder and it's run by Google.
WordPress — Best site builder for creating a customizable blog.
Medium — Best blogging platform for reaching an audience quickly and making money without building an entire website.
Substack — Best blogging platform for selling subscriptions for your blog newsletter.
I love Wix because you can easily build rich professional websites in minutes with no technical experience. This is great for someone who just wants to easily build a site so they can focus on blogging. There is a limited number of applications and features when compared to WordPress, but it is Cloud-based, no downloading required, and allows you to get your site up and running quickly. There are other alternatives such as Jimdo and Squarespace but overall I do like Wix better. Although there is a free version, you will need to spend money to get the ad-free version as well as getting your own domain name to make it a professional site. I should also mention that you can easily set up a subscription service if you want to have visitors pay for your content, it is a great add-on.
Google Blogger was the first blogging site I used, it's a free, Content Management System (CMS) ) for blogging and all you do to get started is to have a google account. Blogger can also be integrated with other Google programs such as Google Analytics as well as Google AdSense. You do have to purchase your own domain name if you want to remove blogspot.com from your blog domain name. Although this is a great free service, it does not provide the same level of professional rich looking websites that can be found with Wix.
WordPress is another Content Management System (CMS) and is free to use. However, unlike Wix or Blogger, You have an incredible amount of control over the building and maintenance of your website. There is also an incredible amount of applications and templates available for WordPress and allows website creators a low-cost way to design and build highly functional and very professional websites. It's considered the gold standard for setting up and building a blog site, however, you will need to spend money for hosting your blog site and you will also need to pay to get a domain name. Like Wix, you can easily set up a subscription service if you want to have visitors pay for your content.
Medium is an incredible blogging platform that allows you to publish an article in minutes. Medium is free to join, all you need to do is to sign up through Google or Facebook and within a few minutes, you can start publishing. Better yet, you can make connections with other writers and learn more about blogging. What I like most are the opportunities to get published on popular medium sites, which can help you quickly build an audience. Although free it's best to upgrade to a membership for about $5 a month, which will help you get complete access to the platform and make money. As a footnote, some articles are picked up regularly by large media organizations when they are newsworthy. I use Medium to repost some of my articles found on mysmallbank.com, however, I do admit I can get more readers through Medium at times over my main website. But it does point to the power of this platform to reach an audience quickly and easily without building a complete website.
Substack is something I recently investigated in, Substack is a platform that allows writers to monetize their work by setting up a paywall for their articles. Writers can send digital newsletters directly to their readers and monetize them through subscriptions. However you do need to be aware that Substack takes a 10% cut of earnings and payment company Stripe takes another 3%, writers pocket the remainder which is not bad for having all the payments done for you. One point of interest is Substack also offers writers various grants ranging from $3,000 to as much as $100,000. As mentioned in a Forbes article, In years and decades past, readers might follow a large media publication on social media, but, rarely, individual journalists. Now, as journalists are taking control of the distribution on Substack. I do not subscribe to substack but I do believe it's a top platform to leverage for new bloggers and journalists looking to make money writing.
Investing in yourself through blogging is an inexpensive way to obtain highly marketable skills and network, all of which can be handy when looking for new opportunities within your company's organization or even a new job/career. Remember to focus on what you want to write about, stay professional, and keep track of the skills you develop. You could end up becoming a great writer or journalist and the five website builders and platforms are a great way to get you started.