One of the benefits of blogging is that you can start for almost nothing – it costs about $10 for a domain name and a few dollars a month for website hosting. However, if you’re really strapped for cash then you CAN start your blog for free, and this post will show you how. In fact, this is how I started blogging back in 2008 before I know it would end up being my business!
How to Sign Up for a Free Blog on WordPress.com
There are a few different sites that’ll host your blog completely FREE, and WordPress.com is my platform of choice. There are actually two versions of WordPress: one that hosts the blog for free with a domain name like “yoursite.wordpress.com” and one that’s hosted on your own website. Confused? Click here to read my post all about the different versions of WordPress.
If you want more help getting your blog set up without spinning your wheels then I actually have a FREE 1 week course to get you set up the right way…Click here to sign up to my FREE 1 week blog course... & get your blog set up the right way
- Head on over to https://wordpress.com and click “Get Started”
- You’ll now get to choose from a number of layouts. For most, the first layout (latest blog posts) will be a good choice, and you can change this later if necessary.
- Now you’ll need to choose a theme. Again, you can change this later. Choose a design that you like the look of (I personally like clean, modern looking themes that put the focus on the content).
- Next, you get to choose your domain name. Remember, this will be something in the format of “yoursite.wordpress.com”. It’s not the same as really owning your own domain name like yourname.com, which looks more professional, but it’s a good place to start when you have no money to spend.
- Now it’s time to choose a “plan” – thankfully WordPress has a free option, so choose that!
- Next, enter your details to create your WordPress.com account.
- Now it’s time to start blogging! Make sure you play around with the various options, change the site name and tagline to match your own, maybe create a logo etc. And then get posting!
The Limitations of a Free Blog
As you can see, it’s super-easy to get your free WordPress blog up and running. However, there are some limitations.
On the WordPress free plan you won’t be able to use your own domain name (without including “.wordpress.com”), and you’ll have to pay extra if you want to use certain extra features on your website, such as the ability to monetize your website with ads or to make customisations to your design code.
On the plus side, WordPress.com is easy to use and you can create a pretty nice looking blog, so it’s a good option for now if you need it.
How Long Should You Blog on a Free Platform?
If you want to take your blog beyond the status of a hobby then your aim should be to get up and running on your own website as soon as possible. Paying around $10 a year to have your own domain name, and a few dollars a month for website hosting, is a great investment in your brand – it looks way more professional than having a blog hosted on WordPress.
And remember, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan at WordPress.com if you want to monetize your website, edit code or use your own domain name. If you need any of those things, you’re best moving over to a self-hosted blog instead of upgrading at WordPress.com.
How to Move Your WordPress.com Blog to WordPress.org
When the day comes that you want to move to a self-hosted blog, the good news is that it isn’t too difficult. First, you’ll want to read my posts all about how to buy a domain name, how to choose a web host, and how to set up your DNS servers. Next, check your host’s documentation and my blog post on how to install WordPress (the good news is it’s usually very easy!) Once you’ve done that, Wordpress has a built in export/ import function that you can access in the “Tools” menu of the dashboard. Simple!
Remember, if you want more help getting your blog set up without spinning your wheels then I actually have a FREE 1 week course to get you set up the right way…Click here to sign up to my FREE 1 week blog course... & get your blog set up the right way
Creating a free blog is a great way to start if it’s your only option – and you can even start an email list for free too! Don’t forget to Check out the other posts in my blogging basics series.