Best Blogging Platforms to Make Money (2022)
If you’re looking to start a blog to make money, then you will want to find a blogging platform that can expand as your business grows. One that provides you with the tools you need, is easy to use, maintain, and budget-friendly.
Thankfully many of the best blogging platforms let you create websites that can be packed full of the features you need and integrate well with other software that provide you with the option to increase the functionality within a few clicks.
Some come with built-in hosting and offer other website tools like analytics, SEO help, and email marketing.
My pick of the best blogging platform is to use the Self-Hosted WordPress CMS with hosting from Hostinger.
Many web hosts have dedicated WordPress hosting packages with one-click installs getting you up and running in minutes.
Plus, there are thousands of free and paid themes and plugins to pick from, offering you the tools to take a basic layout into a fully functioning blogging website, ready to grow traffic and make money. The WordPress blogging platform gives you the flexibility to do anything you want with your new site.
My number one choice needs a bit more tech knowledge than others, and not everyone is tech-savvy and can build websites. Many people just want to get on a start writing content.
That’s why many of the best blogging websites on this list take care of the technical setups for you. However, I’ve found to get the most out of platforms for blogging, you’ll want to learn how they work and how you can change things when they go wrong unless you have access to great customer support or the budget to hire a developer.
Take a look and see which is the best fit to create a blog for your business, whether writing for a living or for fun.
Top Blogging platforms
- Self Hosted WordPress CMS – best blogging platform
- Hubspot CMS – best for marketing tools
- Wix – easiest to set up
- Squarespace – best for blog templates
1. Self Hosted WordPress Websites
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world with over 455 million of the 1.3 billion websites on the internet using WordPress.
There are two options when it comes to blogging with WordPress.
1. Get a Free WordPress Blog
The first is to use the free version on the WordPress.com site, where you can set up a blog for free within a couple of minutes. The downside to this is that you don’t get your own domain name, and it’s limited in terms of themes and plugins you can use.
You can pay for a Starter or Pro plan, which gives you access to a custom domain, hosting, and more plugins. Still, if you’re serious about creating a business from your blog or want even greater flexibility, you’ll want to go the self-hosted WordPress route.
2. Setup Self Hosted WordPress
The second is to create a self-hosted WordPress site, which gives you the advantage of being able to do whatever you want with it. You can download the CMS files from WordPress.org or choose a hosting provider like WPEngine that offers WordPress one-click installs and does all the hard work for you.
You can download and install themes from theme websites, add third-party plugins, and hire a web developer from Upwork to do custom coding for you.
You have control, which might scare some people, but it’s not as scary as all that. Many web hosting companies like WP Engine allow you to manage your WordPress install for you from £20/month. This managed option means WP Engine will take care of updates for you with their services tailored to maximize your site’s speed and performance, which can affect your search rankings.
If you’re after cheap WordPress hosting, Hostinger is a good option with plans from £1.99/month. Of course, with any of these options, you’ll still have to buy a domain name from a reputable domain registrar like Namecheap, which will set you back another 5 – 15 bucks for the year, depending on the domain extension you pick.
The benefits of using WordPress for blogging are:
- Easy to use editor – use the drag and drop Gutenburg block editor to change up layouts and pages quickly
- There’s over 55,000 plugins available to extend the functionality from SEO tools, Forms, Security, Tables etc. (some are free some are paid)
- Regular advances and updates in the underlying CMS
- Customizable to work with any JS, CSS,
- A WordPress community that can help solve any problems
- Over 31,000 themes available with over 9,000 of being free themes
You’ll be in good company if you decide to build your blog with WordPress, with 36% of the top 1 million websites based on traffic using WordPress.
Building a website with WordPress is as easy as installing it, installing a theme, and then going to the editor to start adding your content and creating pages and posts. You can quickly upload images, and if you install the ShortPixel plugin, optimize it to reduce its file size, keeping your site loading faster.
WordPress should be your first port of call if you’re looking for an all-in-one platform to blog with. Of course, there are other ways to blog and set up a money-making website, including many of the best website builders for small business like Zyro.
- Easy to use
- Fully customizable
- Lots of plugins to add extra functionality
- Thousands of themes to choose from
- Lost of community support available
- Many web hosts offer one-click installs
- Takes more time to setup than others
- Needs some technical knowledge to fully customize
- Needs hosting
2. Hubspot CMS – great for marketing
Hubspot is a powerhouse of content marketing tools, one of which is the Hubspot CMS Hub which provides you with a way to set up a blog and gives you the tools to market it.
Hubspot CMS is built for developers and marketers, as it’s easy to customize a theme from their library using their drag-and-drop editor, or you can create your own custom design.
You can add various elements to your posts at the click of a button, including images, headings, and call to action buttons helping drive sales and make you money from your blog.
Much like WordPress, you’ll be able to preview your post before you publish it and ensure it looks how it’s supposed to maximize your efforts once you hit that publish button.
As CMS Hub is part of Hubspot it means that you can get access to all of the free tools available to help promote and market your new blog site to the best of your ability. These free marketing tools include but are not limited to:
- Landing Pages
- Email Marketing
- Reporting Dashboard
- Mobile Optimization
- Custom User Permissions
- Free Sales Tools, Free Service Tools and Free Operation Tools
Each CMS Hub plan from £19/month (billed annually) comes with premium hosting, CDN, SSL Certificate, Themes, App Marketplace, and Web Application Firewall.
If you have the budget and want to take advantage of the additional marketing tools, then Hubspot CMS Hub is a great alternative to WordPress and other website builders.
- Drag and drop builder makes it easy to use
- Built in SEO tools
- Choose from mobile-friendly templates
- Security features built-in
- Smart content can be added depending on certain requirements
- Combines everything in one place
- Not as cheap as other blogging platforms
- Big learning curve
- Added features outside the bundle cost extra
3. Wix for Blogging – easy to setup
Other alternatives for WordPress include the Wix website builder, an easy-to-use website builder that provides the hosting and blogging tools in one. It’s great for beginners looking for a no-fuss solution where all the complex stuff like setting up hosting is done for you. Wix is a trusted platform that’s used by over 200 million people around the globe.
With Wix, you can pick from their library of over 800 professionally designed templates, a good starting point for many as there’s no need to know how to code. Or, if you want to customize your website without using a ready-made template, you can.
They’ve even made it easier for you to get a website up and running using their Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) which takes your answers from a questionnaire and provides you with a fully designed site with content and images. All you have to do then is change a few things and start writing your blog content.
Is Wix the best platform for blogging? No. It’s great for blogging beginners who want to get something up and running quickly and have all the hosting managed. But it has many limitations over WordPress.
For example, once you’ve chosen your theme, you can’t change it without losing all of your content. Plus, you have limited control over what files you can access in the backend, making some customization options and performance gains unavailable. You also don’t have as many plugins or apps to integrate into your blog site as you do with WordPress.
However, Wix does have a huge array of templates to pick from. It’s easy to design and add new content without any coding needed, and it comes with some marketing and SEO tools built-in, helping give you a step up in the race to the top of the search engine results.
- Cheap platform for blogging
- Lots of templates to pick from – 800+
- Enhance your site with app integrations
- Secure and reliable
- Free domain name for the first year
- Templates aren’t always mobile-friendly
- You can’t export your data
- Can’t chance templates once you’ve picked one
4. Squarespace for Blogging – best for templates
Like Wix, Squarespace lets you create a blog within a few clicks of a button. Whether you’re looking to blog about personal training, photography, or beauty products, there are professionally designed templates to pick from.
In fact, Squarespace will get you to answer a few questions to find the best-fit templates for you, no matter what type of website you are trying to create. Each template comes mobile optimized, making your blog look good on mobile and desktop, no matter how your visitors will be browsing your written words.
With a user-friendly drag n drop editor, you’ll find it easy to change layouts, colors, and fonts, and you’ll get access to thousands of free images from Unsplash to use within your site.
Squarespace is easier to use than self-hosted WordPress for beginners mainly because all of the tools you have access to are only a few clicks away. For instance, you’ll be able to customize post titles and descriptions and add Schema markup straight away without the need to add any SEO plugins like RankMath to do it for you.
Squarespace also integrates with Google Search Console to see what keywords your visitors use to reach your site in Google search. A handy feature for keyword research and SEO optimization.
You also get analytics as part of your blog site’s backend, letting you track the most popular content on your blog so you can see where’s best to place your CTA’s and email signups and promote your services or products.
Unlike WordPress, the amount of plugins (extensions as Squarespace call them) you get is minimal. If you want to add extra functionality to your site, that’s more than just a blog; you could find yourself without the ability to do so.
You can get a free trial to build your site, then pick from 4 paid plans starting from $14/month (billed annually), which gives you free cloud hosting, a free SSL certificate, unlimited bandwidth, and access to their site builder, templates, and free extensions.
Squarespace is a good choice for a blogging beginner looking to start a blog that gives you many of the tools you need to create and run a successful blog.
- Great looking templates to pick from
- Templates are responsive & mobile-friendly
- User-friendly interface making it easy to navigate & build
- Good image management
- Has analytics & SEO features built-in
- Good live-chat support
- Lacks ways to add extra functionality
- Not as fast as some platforms
- Pages and posts don’t autosave
What’s the best blogging platform to make money?
For me, it’s WordPress with hosting. Even though it’s easy to set up and gets better with each new major release, self-hosted WordPress gives you the flexibility you need to create a blog that can expand to do anything you want now and in the future without having to chance CMS or provider.
With the thousands of plugins and themes available and great community support, you can extend your blog however you want. Even adding custom code and thirty-party resources to help develop precisely what you need. Plus, it’s super cheap to start at a minimum of $1.99/month at Hostinger, for example.
Hubspot CMS Hub is an excellent option for those looking to promote services and their own products as it is packed full of free marketing tools to help drive more sales and keep up with contacts and customer details.
For beginners and those with little design or coding knowledge, website builder software like Wix and Squarespace provide you with all you need to get up and running quickly.
Whichever you choose, make sure you plan your site before you build, do your research, and think about where you want your site to be in the future to ensure you don’t get stuck on a platform that doesn’t provide you with the flexibility you need.
Can blogging make you money?
Yes. You can make money with blogging by adding advertising on your site, sponsored content, affiliate marketing, selling online courses and merchandise, and starting a YouTube channel with paid adverts or sponsorship.
How much does blogging cost?
You can start a blog for as little as $1.99/month, including WordPress CMS and Hosting. You’ll also need to pay for a domain which costs between $5 and $15 per year. To succeed, you might also need to add extra tools to your sites like SEO, Image Optimization, Security, Affiliate Management, and Email Marketing Tools. Each of these can cost you an additional $20 – $50. At its most basic, a blog could set you back as little as $100/month; at its most expensive, it could be tens of thousands.
Are blogs free?
You can set up free blogs on free blogging platforms like Blogger, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and WordPress.org. However, these are limited to what you can do with them and what plugins or extensions you can add to develop your blog further.