Starting a blog is the latest fad among internet users, and every other guy wants to launch the next multi-figure earning blog.
However, the one thing they don’t understand is – a blog is like a real job.
It takes some investment, seriousness, and a lot of hard work to achieve something meaningful.
But, not everyone is ready to invest in starting a blog. There are relatively good options available to those who want to test the waters before making any investment.
If you want to start a free blog and make money from it, then this guide is JUST for you.
In this tutorial, I am sharing everything you need to know about starting a free blog, pros, and cons, and if it’s possible to make money from it.
Let’s get started.
Why Start a Website?
A website gives you a way to connect with people on the internet and share your views. You can also express your thoughts and unique ideas.
It can be used as a diary where you share your daily happenings or keep track of something you want to achieve.
Advantages of a Free Website
- It’s Free
The very first benefit of a free website is that you don’t have to invest any sum of amount. You don’t have to worry about buying a domain, web hosting, themes, or any other paid products.
When you haven’t made any investment, you won’t worry about losing anything but time.
- Unlimited Traffic
Unlike premium websites where your host can handle only a limited traffic, a free website need not worry about it.
The servers used are highly scalable, and it can manage the spike in the traffic without downtime.
- No Technical Knowledge Needed
When you buy a domain and web host, you need to connect both with the help of DNS name server. You need to know how to install your CMS and other technical parts.
However, with a free website, everything is handled for you. Upon sign up, your site will be ready, and you can start writing right away.
- No Loss of Money if Failed
As discussed earlier, you won’t be worrying about losing the investment if your blog failed to generate traffic.
You can just move on and start a new website from scratch.
A free website will let you test the waters and see if blogging is your cup of tea. You can scale up and move to a paid site if you see potential in your idea.
On the flip side, there are certain disadvantages of a free website – as discussed below.
Problems with a Free Website
- Looks Unprofessional
If you want to start a website for your business, then stop. A free website looks unprofessional, and it’ll only lower the image of your business.
You will find it hard to convert visitors into paying customers.
- You Don’t Own Your Site
With a free website, every part of your blog is hosted on someone else’s server. You don’t own your contents, images, or any other media uploaded to the server.
So, if for some unexpected situation, your blog may get banned, then everything in it will also be lost. You have no other way to recover the data and continue your website.
- Limited Customization
The majority of the free website platforms support only a limited set of themes. Due to it, you have very limited set of customization available.
If you aren’t familiar with HTML/CSS, you may never get the design you want.
- Limited Monetization
Some of the popular free website platforms do not allow you to monetize your blog. You can’t add ads on your blog which disturbs the whole purpose of this tutorial.
Other platforms allow monetization but with limited networks like Google AdSense.
Popular Platform That Allows Free Website
There are tons of free website platforms available on the internet, but only a few are well recognized. Below is the list of most popular free website platforms –
- Blogger or BlogSpot
Blogger is the child of Google, and all the content you create is hosted on Google’s servers.
When you create a blog, you get a yourwebsite.blogspot.com extension. Blogger can easily handle a high amount of traffic and also allows you to monetize your blog with certain restrictions.
WordPress.com is the next popular platform owned by the team behind Automattic. It is a hosted version of Open Source CMS.
WordPress.com has a user-friendly interface and starting a free website is just a matter of clicks.
Your site will have a sitename.wordpress.com extension.
Weebly is a drag and drop website builder suitable for small business owners. It is primarily used to create few page websites with little to no data.
Weebly’s free plan includes unlimited bandwidth, over 500 MB storage limit, multi-page support and free cloud backup facility.
Website built on Weebly have a second level domain name – mysite.weebly.com
Wix perhaps is the most famous drag and drop free website builder. It has an extensive collection of website templates and is suitable for small business owners to showcase their services on the internet.
The free plan comes bundled with a second level domain name, 500MB limited storage space, 1GB bandwidth, built-in Google Analytics, quality support and Wix brand ads on all pages of your website.
Since the goal of this tutorial is to start a free website and make money; we’ll only focus on Blogger and WordPress.com
Let’s compare both and see which should be ideal to start a free blog for making money online.
WordPress.com Vs Blogger
|Second Level Domain||.blogspot.com||.wordpress.com|
|Custom Domain Name||The user must buy the domain name; integration is free.||The user must purchase the domain name and pay for a plan to add it to the blog.|
|Theme/Design||Choose from blogger-provided free themes or upload themes from the internet. Allows editing HTML/CSS.||Choose from WordPress-provided free themes. Can’t upload third party themes and edit HTML/CSS without paying.|
As you can observe, blogger seems to be a better platform for creating a free blog and monetizing it.
How to Create a Free Blog with Blogger
Below are the exact steps you need to start a BlogSpot blog –
- Head over at blogger.com and log in with your Google account. If you don’t have one, you create a new Google account for free.
- Once logged in, click on ‘new blog’ button which would pop up a window.
- Decide on your blog name and see if it’s available. A good rule is to avoid personal names, hyphens, and numbers in your blog name. Also, try to keep it short and easy to remember.
- If your blog name is available, click on the ‘Create blog!’ button.
- Your blog will be created, and you’ll be redirected to the BlogSpot dashboard. The panel gives an interactive way to manage your blog, add and delete articles, and tweak with the blog design.
- Click on the ‘new post’ button to create and publish your first article. Once posted, you can view your analytics using ‘Stats’ option.
Refer to this video to get a detailed tutorial of each option in your BlogSpot dashboard.
How to Make Money from Free Blog
Once you’ve established a good amount of traffic to your free website, you can put ads on your site and earn some money. Remember, without traffic; it won’t be possible to make any significant amount of revenue.
There are various ways you can monetize your blog, including –
- Contextual Advertising
It is the most commonly accepted way to earn money from a free website. In this type of monetization, you use an ad network and place codes on your blog.
The network will automatically show the most suitable ads based on the reader’s interest. The revenue is usually calculated on CPM (cost per thousand impressions) or CPC (cost per click) basis.
The major contextual ad networks are –
- Google AdSense
- Pop-Up/Pop-Under Ads
If you have a website in music, movies, and other entertainment niches, then PopUp and PopUnder ads will work perfectly for you.
Instead of showing ads on the website layout, these ads will pop up on the screen or pop under the screen when a user clicks on the site.
They are often annoying to readers but makes a good amount of money. If you have a personal blog and want to have a loyal reader base, then this type of monetization is not fit for you.
Popular PopUp & PopUnder Ad Networks are –
- Propeller Ads
- Link Shortening
If your website shares contents from other websites and include a link back to those sites then Link Shortening might do wonders for you.
The process is simple, you shorten links and share on your site. Your readers click on it and are redirected to the website with few seconds ad in between. The payment is calculated based on 1000 visits.
It is a good option for software sharing websites.
Popular Link Shortening Services are –
- Affiliate Marketing
And the better choice to earn a sufficient amount of money is Affiliate Marketing. It works great with self-hosted blogs but may work with free websites as well.
In Affiliate Marketing, you share links to products (with your unique ID attached), and when a user make a purchase, you earn a fixed commission.
There is a blogger like Pat Flynn who generates more than $1ooK every month with Affiliate Marketing.
Well-Known Affiliate Marketing networks are –
- Web Hosting Services
There are more ways you can earn money like CPA, textual advertising, selling ad spaces, etc. but the ways above are the most profitable ones for a free blog.
Anyone can earn money online and having a free blog makes the process a lot easier. You can get started with a free website in less than 5 minutes and earn money from it.
I hope this tutorial will motivate you to take action and you won’t hold back yourself due to the investment issues.
Feel free to ask questions and share your views about starting a free website.