A well-designed blog is a foundation for a successful content marketing strategy for many brands. That is because a blog can attract, engage, and convert leads simultaneously, a rare ability for any single style of content.
Even among the types of copywriting developed for a brand’s content marketing strategy, blogs have a high success rate, building lasting relations with prospective customers. That is because blogs are designed to influence the consumer into trusting the brand, thus leading to a sale. Conversely, content like sales copies fails to foster a trusting relationship and may end up losing a lead not yet prepared to buy your product.
With over 90% of the organizations globally using content as their primary mode of marketing, you, too, need to build a strong content marketing strategy to stand out and succeed. And what better way to start than to create a blog?
Why Do I Need a Blog?
There are several reasons you need a blog to market your business in 2021, including the one discussed above. From building a lead base to engaging and converting them, blogs are helpful for a company in various ways. As a content marketer, you can use blogs to:
- Disseminate information and educate people about complex topics or the latest trends in any industry. With high-speed internet and smart mobile devices available to billions of consumers globally, an intelligent marketer can easily make their mark.
- The creativity that developing a blog allows for can help a brand express and foster its own unique identity while simultaneously marketing its products or services. That will help your consumers remember your brand among a sea of competition and increase your chances of gaining new leads.
- Create a conversion funnel by developing articles that generate interest in your brand with quality content, informing them of your offerings. Once they build trust in your brand, your blog can help convert them into customers.
While it’s a good idea to start a blog, and you can set it up in no time, it may take some time for the blog to start driving leads to your website.
The Best Free Blogging Sites in 2021
If you are new to the world of blogging and content marketing, then you might be worried about investing in a blog. Understandably, if you are unsure about the blog’s effectiveness in attracting new leads, then spending your hard-earned revenue on it might seem foolhardy.
That is why, listed below are five of the most popular blog builders you can use to build your brand’s blog. Some of the options below are entirely free, while others offer a freemium version for you to try out before committing to a premium package. Let’s have a look.
The most popular option for people looking to build a blog, WordPress.org, is used by nearly 39.6% of websites available on the internet right now. Sites like the New York Times and Forbes use WordPress for their websites.
WordPress.org is a free CMS platform, allowing you to create a blog for your website, but it comes with a caveat. You will have to develop the website yourself to integrate it, and you will have to find a hosting service to host it. But if you are committed to starting a blog, an excellent hosting service won’t break the bank.
Before choosing a hosting platform, make sure that it provides:
- An SSL certificate
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Ample storage space
- A private domain
As you’ll be hosting WordPress privately, this ensures that you have complete control over your website, including its visuals, functionality, and monetization.
While WordPress.org and WordPress.com may share a name, they are pretty different in terms of functionality and accessibility. A free blog hosting site from Automattic allows bloggers to use the platform for free, albeit with limited functionality. Or they can opt for a premium plan to access several advanced functions and features.
It may not be an excellent option for established businesses due to factors like being hosted on a WordPress.com subdomain. But for bloggers just starting in the industry, or small companies with limited budgets, this can be a great option to create and host a blog. Most importantly, if you ever plan to migrate your blog to a private domain, you can move over to WordPress.org quite quickly.
The free account allows just the basic functionality needed for a blog. However, the paid plans, ranging from $4 to $25 per month, open up many new and exciting features like monetization, etcetera.
A popular blog and article publishing platform created by a former Twitter team member has seen its user base grow extensively since its beginning in 2012. Freelance writers, hobbyists, and readers visit this platform in great numbers.
Medium can be an excellent tool for an aspiring blogger to start developing their blogging profile or even draw traffic to their blog or website through blogs published on the Medium platform. Moreover, it features a limited social networking module, allowing readers to comment on the articles or give it a “Clap.”
To start blogging on Medium, all you need to do is sign up and start writing a blog post. The user interface is quite intuitive, making it easy to create and structure the content for efficient reading. The platform focuses on the content you provide while it takes care of the page design and site performance.
Unfortunately, as it is focused on developing a writer’s profile, there are no monetization options to earn from those articles. However, if you have your domain, you can easily link your Medium articles to it.
Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder that is designed for business owners. With no technical web development knowledge required, a person can use the tool to create beautiful websites with a blog added to them.
While lacking a lot of the functionality a number of its competitors provide, it focuses on empowering brands to create their websites without hiring a web designer or developer.
Designed for small businesses and creatives looking to showcase their offerings, Wix offers the ability to customize the site according to your needs. However, the extent of that customization depends on the pricing plan you’ve bought. It allows its users to build a website with:
- Several design options based on your subscription plan
- Easy setup process
- Free library of stock images
- Integration of free third-party apps and plugins
Additionally, Wix also offers an AI client designed to build a website for you according to your needs automatically. The premium packages start at $13 a month, and each successive package adds functionality and support, with the most expensive plan offering VIP support for almost $40 a month.
An open-source CMS platform, Joomla is used to build a variety of websites around the world today. Requiring a working knowledge of essential web development technologies like HTML and CSS, Joomla is best for websites that require a sense of finesse in their design and functionality.
As it offers a more in-depth approach to building a website, Joomla is perfect for:
- e-commerce stores
- business websites
- sites that require technical customization
With Joomla, you can build a blog and a feature-rich website to connect with your blog. Readily available templates for various business niches and an extensive library of plugins and extensions make this a great option to build a website.
Completely free to download and use, like WordPress.org, the only costs to develop your blog or website would be to buy a domain and hosting plan.
Choosing the Right Platform
Besides the choices above, there are many more options to choose from when selecting your blog development platform. Each of these platforms has its benefits and drawbacks, and you can choose the one that suits you best.
Your choice for a site builder depends on many factors like budget, business needs, and goals you’re aiming for. The options listed above are pretty versatile and will help you develop blogs and websites for various niches and industries