The Best Blogging Platforms and Blog Sites of 2019

The Best Blogging Platforms and Blog Sites of 2019

A guide on how to pick the best blogging platform or blog site for your needs When it comes to creating your own blog, you have two options. There are pre-built platforms like Medium, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Again, there are pros and cons to these: you’ll need to do a little more work at the outset and you’ll build your own audience from scratch, but you’ll own and control your site completely. If you’re not trying to make money from your site, then you should use a blogging platform (Medium, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook) and make content where your audience is already consuming that type of content. It’s a drag-and-drop editor that’ll get you up and running quickly, and you’ll still be building your blog on your own website, not on someone else’s platform. Best Blog Sites (If You Don’t Want to Build a Website) Traditional Blogging Platform — Medium If you’re not creating your own site and your blog is a classic blog — long form posts about a topic that’s meaningful to you — I like Medium. If you don’t want to make money, skip ahead to the blog sites — your choice will be based on the type of content you’ll write and the audience you’re after. Creating a Facebook page might be all you need to build a blog — post on Facebook like you would on your blog and build your audience right there on your page. In five years, you’ll have nearly 250 posts. From there, your posts will literally be Facebook posts.

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A guide on how to pick the best blogging platform or blog site for your needs

When it comes to creating your own blog, you have two options. There are pre-built platforms like Medium, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc. These can be considered blogging platforms, and with them you can get started right away. There are obviously cons to these, but one pro is that these platforms come with built-in audiences. I’ll also refer to these as blog sites.

Then there is blog software, like WordPress.org. I’d also group website builders like Wix here as well. Again, there are pros and cons to these: you’ll need to do a little more work at the outset and you’ll build your own audience from scratch, but you’ll own and control your site completely. With a blog platform, you’ll be beholden to the platform’s choices, settings, changes, and algorithms.

A quick summary of my recommendation: If you plan to make money from your blog, build your own site with WordPress.org. A good second option is Wix. If you’re not trying to make money from your site, then you should use a blogging platform (Medium, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook) and make content where your audience is already consuming that type of content.

In this guide, I’ll break down both ways to set up your blog in this post and help you pick which blog site, software, or platform is best for you. Let’s get to it.

Best Blogging Platform for Your Own Website

Best Overall — WordPress.org
I’d recommend going this route to anyone serious about building a blog that makes money. You’ll build and own your own site with complete control. (If you’re a beginner, this is still very doable for you.)

Website Builder — Wix
If you want to have to your own site, but don’t want to build it, then I’d recommend you go with a website builder. It’s a drag-and-drop editor that’ll get you up and running quickly, and you’ll still be building your blog on your own website, not on someone else’s platform.

Best Blog Sites (If You Don’t Want to Build a Website)

Traditional Blogging Platform — Medium
If you’re not creating your own site and your blog is a classic blog — long form posts about a topic that’s meaningful to you — I like Medium. It has a built-in audience that’s interested in reading and an interface that’s seamless.

Best Blog for Business — LinkedIn
Blogging about business or hoping to be a thought-leader in a certain industry? You could go with Medium, but a more rabid and useful audience might be waiting for you on LinkedIn. I know, it might not seem like a blogging platform, but LinkedIn users are really engaged and content hungry.

Best for a Creative Blog — Instagram
If you’re doing anything with images, art, creativity, or lifestyle, you’ll probably find your audience on Instagram. There are already so many people there and it’s easy for new followers to discover you through hashtags, comments, and the other people you and they are following.

Largest Audience — Facebook
Lastly, the biggest audience is on Facebook. There are millions of people there, and though organic reach on the platform isn’t what it once was, it’s still a massive platform. It’s also a great spot for building a community page element to your blog.

Which blogging platform or blog site should you choose?

The first question I have for you is:
Do you want to make money with your blog?

If your answer is yes, you want to build your own site. No question.

If you don’t want to make money, skip ahead to the blog sites — your choice will be based on the type of content you’ll write and the audience you’re after.

If you want to make money with your blog, go with WordPress.org.

There’s no better option than building your own blog on WordPress. You’ll own your blog and website and you’ll have true flexibility. There is no argument here. It’s the default content option and runs 30% of the internet for a reason.

You don’t have to be an expert — we have step-by-step guides on How to Start a Blog and How to Make Money Blogging.

You can also build your blog using Wix. It’s an all-in-one drag-and-drop website builder. It’s an easy option if you’re looking to have your blog on your own site, rather than on a blog platform or service like Medium or another form of social media. The downside is you’ll be paying a subscription fee and you’ll be locked into Wix’s themes and tools. So, you’ll trade some convenience for some flexibility.

If you’re not trying to make money, then definitely consider the free blog sites.

They are great if you aren’t trying to create an income: They have built-in audiences and you won’t have to pay anything. My recommendation of which one to choose is based on the outcome that you’re trying to achieve — what is your blog like and who do you hope will read it?

Medium is the best all-around traditional blogging platform. It’s where the majority of readers who’re looking to read classic blog-style posts are right now.

Deciding to blog on WordPress vs Medium isn’t an either-or choice. You can also publish your site and re-publish some posts on Medium to take advantage of its benefits, just like you would any syndication deal. You can thoughtfully approach this, but there are some technical how-tos we’ll get into below. You’ll need to import your posts to Medium properly and set the canonical tag, so you’re not penalized by Google (at worst) or simply out-ranked by the Medium version of the post (at best). Overall, though, I prefer to see each channel as a separate channel and create and publish unique content for that channel.

If you’re blogging about business, or something related, like management, then I’d say to build your blog on LinkedIn. There’s a pre-existing community of people there talking about those topics and ready to read your posts too. You’ll be able to build business followers, which is different than a “connection.”

The audience on LinkedIn is premium: 45% of LinkedIn article readers are in upper-level positions: managers, VPs, Directors, and C-level. If you’re building thought leadership, brand value, or community, rather than trying to make money, I recommend going to where your audience is rather than trying to woo them over to where you are. Build content for them where they already are and they’ll love you for it.

If you’re a creative — especially in a visual field, then your blog should really be an Instagram account. You can post images of your work and use the caption field for your written post. If you’re not used to this idea, it might seem kind of zany: That’s not a real blog. But it is. People read Instagram captions of the accounts they follow like they’d read a blog — and your visual work will be well highlighted in your feed and the general feed.

And, of course, Facebook is the juggernaut in the room. It has the largest audience of any of these platforms. Creating a Facebook page might be all you need to build a blog — post on Facebook like you would on your blog and build your audience right there on your page. The comments and interaction on Facebook are even better than a traditional blog. You can really focus on building true fans on Facebook.

There’s another warning due here. If you build your blog on a single platform that you do not own, well, then you’ve built your blog on a single platform you do not own. That means you’re beholden to another person’s business and their algorithm for your business. What’s good for their business and algorithm may not be what’s good for yours. That’s why I say if you’re here to make money, you should own your site. You’ll have more control.

Best Blogging Platform For Your Own Website

Best Overall Platform for Blogging — WordPress.org

WordPress is the hands-down king of websites with content. It’s the default choice here. If you’re building a blog on your own site, that means you’re building with WordPress. (Quick Sprout is on WordPress.)

To build your own site, you’ll need to buy a domain name, get web hosting, and set up your WordPress account. It’s all pretty simple. There’s more information on our post The Best Web Hosting for Small Business and on The Best Web Hosting for WordPress, which is about selecting a managed host that’s designed for WordPress. It’s more expensive but also super premium. If you have the coin, go for it. If you’re budget minded, you can skip it.

You’ll pick a theme, apply it, and honestly you’ll be just about done. We have some recommendations on SEO WordPress plugins you’ll want to add. The backend of WordPress is pretty intuitive, and if you get lost there are so many tutorials out there to help.

Backend of WordPress blog post

Like I said before, the choice between WordPress and Medium isn’t either/or. You can build your own blog and then use Medium selectively as a syndication tool. It’s worth thinking about if you want to grow your audience, but ultimately build your own site.

Ready to build your own site with WordPress? We walk you through how in our posts How to Start a Blog and How to Make Money Blogging.

How to repost your blog on Medium

  1. Make sure your content has a long enough life on your own blog so it is solidified as the primary source in Google’s eyes. Two weeks is enough time.
  2. Use Medium’s Import…

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