Today there are millions of blogs on the Internet but what is the best blogging platform to make money?
I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I’m given too many options, it becomes so confusing I find it almost impossible to make a decision.
Since this is a question I also had to consider, I’m going tell you exactly what you should look for when choosing the best blogging platform to make money. I’ll talk about three popular options and finally tell you why I chose the platform I did.
what is a blogging platform anyway?
Loosely speaking, a blogging platform is the software or service that makes it possible for you to publish your content to the Internet as a blog.
This can consist of one or a combination of the following features: content management system, website builder and web hosting for your site.
There are a good few to choose from. Some are definitely better for making money than others.
WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR?
When evaluating blogging platforms, I suggest consider the following as essential requirements:
- Easy to set up and use – As a beginner you don’t want more technical overload than necessary. You should definitely not be using anything that requires coding skills, unless this is a skill you already have.
- Suitability – Is it suitable for beginners who want to earn a living from blogging?
- Possible and easy to get help – When you start anything new, you always have questions. You’ll also frequently run into challenges along the way. It’s essential you can get support easily, when you need it.
- Flexible – Can you easily customize your blog, and is there plenty of room to grow in the future? Like any business you will want to change and expand what you offer. Changing platforms down the line is possible but it’s usually a huge task and something you must do your best to avoid.
- Feature rich – Does the platform offer all the features you require? Some examples are – domain names, content management, web hosting, site builder, design options, applications to enhance functionality etc.
- Monetization Options – Since your goal is to make money it must be possible to include features like advertisements, E commerce, and collecting email addresses from visitors.
- Search Engine Friendly – You want your blog to easily be found by anybody searching for what you have to offer.
- Control – You want full control over all aspects of your blog otherwise your success will be dependent on a third party.
- Mobile friendly – Mobile devices are used more and more to read content online, so you require a platform that can support this and which will also adapt to future technological advances.
- Cost – Not only should it be affordable for your budget in the long term, but it must also offer the best value for money.
Now let’s have look at how three popular options stack up:
I should also point out that there are two WordPress platforms. WordPress.com is a blog hosting service which I don’t recommend for business bloggers.
WordPress.org gives you complete control over your blog since you need to have your own domain, whereas this not the case with WordPress.com.
Whenever I refer to WordPress below I am referring specifically to WordPress.org.
- Easy to set up and use? – While not difficult, WordPress does come with more of a learning curve than some other platforms. However, its also continually being updated and with each new release, the platform becomes more user-friendly. Once you get used to using it, managing your site is very straightforward.
- Suitability? – Yes. Completely suited to beginners and bloggers at more advanced levels.
- Possible and easy to get help? – Yes. Because it’s so popular there is a massive community of users who are available to help you whenever you require it.
- Flexible? – Yes. You can grow your website to include a membership option, forum and E commerce stores.
- Feature rich? – Yes. WordPress offers thousands of free and premium themes which makes it easy to create a great looking website. There are also over 50 000 plugins which can extend features and enhance functionality.
- Monetization Options? – Yes. You can collect email addresses, run advertisements and sell products and services to your readers.
- Search Engine Friendly? – Yes. Your posts can be very effectively optimized which means search engines know they are there which in turn means it’s possible for people all over the world to find your content.
- Control? – Yes. You will have full control over every aspect of your website since this is a self hosted option.
- Mobile friendly? – Yes. Although this can depend on your theme, newer and recently updated themes are all mobile responsive.
- Cost? – Yes. There is a $0 cost for WordPress itself, however this is a self hosted platform so you will have to pay for your own domain name (About $14.99/year) and also for web hosting (About $7/month). There are premium themes you can buy which have varying costs but it is not necessary to use one of these.
I score WordPress.org 9/10, losing only a point because it’s not the easiest platform to use and maintain compared with others.
Squarespace is a great all-in-one solution catering for anybody who wants to create a website, blog and online store. Millions of people have used Squarespace since its launch in 2004.
- Easy to set up and use? – Yes. Squarespace offers a very intuitive and easy interface. Publishing blog posts is easy and they also have a great drop and drag function which lets you arrange your content as you please.
- Suitability? – Yes. Especially beginner-friendly and suited to both individual and business needs.
- Possible and easy to get help? – Yes. They offer 24/7 support for both of their paid plans.
- Flexible? – Yes. Lots of business expansion capability, perhaps even a bit too much for most business bloggers.
- Feature rich? – To an extent. While they offer some wonderfully designed themes these are limited. Also, advanced E commerce features are not a strong point if you are require this.
- Monetization Options? – Yes. You can sell an unlimited number of products and services to visitors.
- Search Engine Friendly? – Although Squarespace offers SEO capability there is a quirk in that you are forced to use blog excerpts as meta descriptions which some people don’t like. It seems to be more fiddly process than what’s offered by WordPress.
- Control? – Yes. Since you own your domain you will be able to move your website elsewhere if you decide to do so.
- Mobile friendly? – Yes. All themes are mobile responsive.
- Cost? – This is an all-inclusive option, meaning you receive one domain with your subscription and they also host your website. For websites, they offer two plans which range from $22 to $35/month, paid monthly or $16 to $25/month, paid annually.
Squarespace offers a one stop solution which is secure and easy to use, however, it does come at a cost compared with WordPress.
Even if you were to buy your domain and hosting for WordPress, you could so for less per month than the cheapest Squarespace plan. I score Squarespace 7/10 overall.
With similar features to Squaresapce, Weebly has been around since 2006 and offers a wide range of easy to use features.
- Easy to set up and use? – Yes. Weebly uses a drag and drop system and a what you see is what you get (WSIWG) site builder which makes for very easy site set up.
- Suitability? – Yes – Mostly suited to beginner and Intermediate levels. Due to limited coding options, advanced users will find it too restrictive.
- Possible and easy to get help? – Yes. It depends on the plan you choose. A community forum, chat and email support as well as phone support is available.
- Flexible? – Forum and membership features are available. Limited integration with third party platforms.
- Feature rich? – Yes. A good selection of themes is offered, although built in features are limited and new ones can’t be added.
- Monetization Options? – Yes. Banner Ads, Google Adsense and E commerce options are available.
- Search Engine Friendly? – Limited SEO optimization available.
- Control? – If you own your domain you will have control and can move your website if necessary, although this is not an easy task at Weebly.
- Mobile friendly? – Yes. Themes adapt perfectly for mobile devices.
- Cost? – Another all-inclusive option, meaning you receive one domain with your subscription and they also host your website. Paid plans range in price from $14 to $30/month, paid annually. This also includes your domain cost for the first year.
One plus is that they do offer a free plan so you can try it out before buying. Weebly is definitely the easiest to use of the three platforms although it is probably better suited to E commerce than blogs. I score Weebly 6/10
WHAT IS THE BEST BLOGGING PLATFORM TO MAKE MONEY? – WRAP UP
It probably won’t come as a surprise to you that my pick of the three is WordPress.
I believe it’s more powerful, easy enough to use, affordable and the most flexible option for anybody looking for the best blogging platform to make money.
While the paid options above may be tempting because of the ease with which you can set a blog up in one place, if this is something you value, then I recommend you consider a one stop business platform called Wealthy Affiliate.
It’s also a paid service which costs $29 per month/ paid annually, however what you get for your money is far more than any of the above paid options offer. So this means better value for money.
Wealthy Affiliate are also WordPress specialists which means you’ll get all the training and help you need to set up your blog.
They offer training, tools and a wonderful community that supports each other.
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