Blogging is all about having fun, creating a community, and sharing your expertise. But is that it?
Unless you’re only doing it for fun, blogging should also be a good source of money. In the end, you’re spending a lot of time and effort on your blog, so you should expect to make some money out of it.
Granted, making money out of blogs is now easier than ever, with all of the available hosting services that make your life much easier. Back in the day, ConvertKit was a mere idea, WordPress was in its infancy, and creating a website or a blog used to cost thousands of dollars. That’s not the case now, though.
The variety of blogging platforms available is a two-edged sword. You have multiple options to choose from, but you can easily fall into a trap and subscribe to mediocre service. So even if your blog looks elegant and trendy, you won’t be able to get cash out of it.
To be able to make a profit, you’ll need to explore the best blogging platforms to make money, and that’s what I’m here for. I’ll review the best platforms with their pros and cons, so you can make a decision quickly. But first, let’s see the aspects you need to consider before subscribing.
Your blogging platform of choice should be affordable enough to enable you to make a profit, and it should be easy to use. But that’s not it. There are a lot of aspects to consider if you want to keep running your blog without much hassle.
Here’s a roundup of the essential things to look for in a blogging platform to make money.
1. Ease of Setup
If you don’t have a technical background, you’ll need a blogging platform that’s easy to set up. Some websites only require you to create an account, log in, and start posting immediately. Other services will need some technical skills, such as coding.
In addition, some hosting services require you to install the software on the hosted server. To be fair, that’s not a hard job, but some bloggers would rather do without it.
2. Simple Interface
You may accept a blogging platform with a challenging setup process because you’ll only have to do it once. After all, you won’t need to set it up again after you start posting. However, if you choose a blogging platform with an interface that’s hard to use, you’ll be stuck with it forever.
That’s why you’ll want to check the ease of everyday tasks, such as posting, adding images, changing visual elements, etc. If they’re hard to do or beyond your technical skills, it’ll be a huge hassle to deal with the platform.
Plus, you’ll want to make sure the interface is intuitive and easy enough to figure out. That’s especially essential for beginner bloggers.
The customization options of the blogging platform you choose can make or break the deal. You need to see if you’ll be able to easily change the theme, layout, colors, and fonts of your blog. Plus, if there are specific features you’d like to hide or add according to your preference, you’ll need to check if you can do that.
Each blogging platform offers different customization options. For example, some platforms allow the use of add-ons and plugins for various purposes, while some services don’t. That’s vital to take into consideration when choosing because it’ll affect your ability to make money out of the blog.
With most blogging platforms, you’re giving up partial control over your content and posts. Meaning, if the platform changes any of its policies, you may not have control over who sees your posts and engages with them. Likewise, you’ll be giving up control over your content, which not all bloggers will be okay with.
So that’s one more thing to consider. On top of that, you’ll want to see if you have enough control to move all of your content to another blogging platform, granted you need to do so at some point.
A lot of blogging platforms allow you to integrate your blog with third-party applications, which helps you make money easily and gather more subscribers. These third-party applications may include connections with video services or social media tools. Some services also include carts if you want to sell something from your blog.
On top of all that, an essential service you may need is an email marketing tool, such as ConvertKit, most famously. When you integrate such a service, you’ll be able to send newsletters to your subscribers and market for your blog via email.
That’s aside from the other integrations that’ll work in your favor for making money.
If you’re reading this article, this means your goal is already to make money out of your blog. In that case, that’s the first thing you need to consider when choosing your blogging platform.
You’ll want to check if the blogging platform allows you to display affiliate links since that’s the most common way bloggers make money.
You can also check if the platform allows you to sell products—not all services allow you to do that, especially if they’re free. This way, you won’t be able to make money out of your blog.
If you want to make money out of ads, you’ll need to make sure your blogging platform allows that as well.
Although the theme of your blog won’t directly affect your ability to make money out of it, it’s still a vital aspect to consider. The theme needs to be versatile and flexible for changes. It also needs to fit your budget, or else you’ll be paying more than necessary for a relatively unnecessary feature.
8. Optimization Options
If your blog has a perfect theme, layout, and content, but it can’t be optimized for SEO or speed, you’ll be able to do little with it. You want people to visit your blog easily, and you want it to rank at the top of Google search results. For that to happen, you need optimization options for SEO, and your blogging platform of choice will determine that.
Now that we covered the features you need to consider before choosing, we can move on to the reviews. Here’s a roundup of the best blogging platforms to make money. Some of them are paid, and some are free. You may choose according to your goals and budget.
1. WordPress – For Everyone
If you’re a blogger and you haven’t heard of WordPress before, there’s a high chance you’ve been living under a rock for the last five or so years.
WordPress is now the leading hosting platform for blogs and websites, although there are many similarly good options. You can call it good marketing or good luck. In both cases, WordPress is probably the most used blogging platform on this list, powering nearly 35% of the internet’s websites. The fact that it’s free and open-source makes it the most sought-after content management platform on the internet.
WordPress.org allows you to host your own site, which is a huge bonus if you know your way around. Plus, it’s free, which allows you to save money for third-party tools or plugins you want to get.
To create a blog or a website on WordPress, you’ll have to integrate it with your hosting provider. Luckily for you, it’s a pretty easy step. One click, and you’re done. The platform will also change the DNS for you if you get your domain from the hosting provider.
Generally, WordPress is best known for its customization options. It allows you to use custom themes, install plugins, and do all you want on your blog. You’ll also be able to monetize your blog easily.
The platform is an ideal choice if you’re building your blog from the ground up. You’ll be able to completely control its functionality, so WordPress is your go-to if you want to be independent.
- Pretty easy to set up and use for beginners
- Thousands of free themes are available if you’re on a tight budget
- Ideal for independent users
- Free for tight budgets and easy monetization
- SEO options available
- Customer support isn’t available
2. Ghost – For Tight Budgets
If you haven’t heard of it before, Ghost is a free, open-source platform that’s created explicitly for blogging. It works similarly to WordPress, providing you with a domain name and hosting. And, it offers you the option of using a ghost server to host your blog.
The significant difference between Ghost and WordPress is that Ghost is meant only for blogging, so you can’t create a website on it.
When it comes to ease of use, Ghost is one of the best options for beginners. Its setup may require mild technical skills, but other than that, it’s completely user-friendly.
Regarding pricing, Ghost offers plans starting from $29, which is ideal for beginner bloggers. If you’d like an advanced level, you can go for their expensive $100 monthly plan.
Moreover, Ghost allows you customization options like those of WordPress blogs. You’ll be able to upload themes and integrate plugins as much as you want. On top of that, you’ll be able to connect Google Adsense and similar services to your blog.
If you want to make money using affiliate links, Ghost allows you to do that as well.
But the best thing about Ghost is that it offers SEO options, along with built-in social media tools. Typically, those make your mission much easier when marketing for your blog.
Ghost also offers live post reviews, so you’re able to see how your post will turn out while you’re still writing it.
Generally, the open-source platform is an ideal choice for beginner bloggers and those on a tight budget. It may not be the best option for advanced bloggers, though.
- Easy to use and suitable for beginners
- SEO options available
- The software is entirely free
- Not the best option for professional bloggers
3. Kajabi – For Coaches and Creators
Although Kajabi isn’t as commonly known as WordPress and Wix, it’s a pretty versatile blogging platform for making money. It enables you to post articles and sell courses, products, and even memberships. It also allows you to get blog analytics and have static web pages.
Kajabi has a feature called pipelines. When you build them, you’re able to lead the blog visitors to your sold items, whether they’re products or courses. Plus, the platform allows you to create community forums.
Not only that, but if you create your blog on Kajabi, you’ll be able to send out emails to your list of subscribers. And, you can tag your subscribers and enjoy features like those on Aweber and ConvertKit.
If you want to integrate third-party apps to your blog to add interactive buttons or advanced options for visitors, you’ll be easily able to do so through the platform.
Generally, Kajabi has more features than most similar blogging platforms, which is why it’s relatively more expensive than most of them. The plans start at $119 monthly if you pay annually, which is a high priced comparably. However, if you’re a professional who wants to make money out of their blog, the price will seem ideal. It’s just not targeted at beginners.
Kajabi is a powerful tool to start with.
- Third-party application integrations are available
- Highly versatile with a lot of advanced features
- It allows you to build pipelines
- The most affordable plan is relatively high-priced.
Like Kajabi, Joomla isn’t as well-known as WordPress, but it’s a pretty solid option for bloggers wanting to make money. In fact, it was an equal fee to WordPress until 2010, when the latter started to shoot to the sky with its numbers.
Even now, it’s considered the second most successful CMS around the globe, being the hosting service for nearly 2.5 million websites across the world.
Joomla offers an advanced system for user management. In addition to that, its modules are highly flexible, fitting for all content types. This way, you don’t have to do a lot of research for a blogging platform that suits the topics of your blog.
The free plan also allows you access to different templates and layouts, so you’re not only limited to one theme that’s used by everyone.
If you want to offer multi-languages on your blog, you’ll be able to do it easily on Joomla. The platform provides built-in multilingual support, contrary to WordPress, that requires you to integrate a third-party application to get a translation.
Furthermore, Joomla allows you to run your own ads, so you’re able to make money and gather more people to view your content and subscribe.
All in all, if your goal is to make money out of your blog, Joomla is an easier option to use than WordPress. Its interface is simple enough for most users to understand.
It’s worth noting, though, that it’s more suitable for complex blogs. It requires some skills to add features and plugins, so it may not be ideal for beginners.
- Free to install and use
- Built-in multilingual support for translation services
- Simple interface with flexible customization options
- You may face compatibility issues with some plugins.
Squarespace established itself as a leading competitor in the hosting field a long time ago. Now, you constantly see comparisons between Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and WordPress. Of course, there are multiple other options, but these platforms nearly present the same services, so readers are interested to know each one’s weak points.
Squarespace, in particular, is now powering millions of websites, quickly earning it a place in our top list.
Squarespace’s most significant selling point is its drag and drop system. It’s easy for virtually anyone to use, making it a suitable option for both beginners and professional bloggers. Not only that, but it also allows you to build your blog without any coding whatsoever. Of course, that’s a huge bonus because most bloggers don’t count coding as one of their skills.
Squarespace offers hundreds of customization options. This way, you can have your blog full of trendy designs and interactive buttons to pull users in. Although I can’t say that about most options on this list, it’s easy to make your blog look attractive on Squarespace.
If you want to integrate third-party plugins to make money, you’ll be able to do it easily. Squarespace allows you to add your plugins through Code Injection.
The platform’s cheapest plan costs about $12 monthly, which is ideal for users on a tight budget. The business plan also isn’t as expensive as other platforms, costing about $26 monthly.
All that said, there’s a huge downside in Squarespace, which is the inability to connect to Google AdSense. In other words, if you ever want to run ads, you’ll have to code your way through it. That may not be a problem if you make money through other methods, but it’s worth considering.
- Many trendy themes and designs are available
- Easy drag and drop system
- Moderately priced compared to competitors
- No free plan is available.
The best thing about Wix is its variety of free options. If you want to create a blog and make money out of it with a tight budget, Wix is your way to go. It provides a huge collection of free themes and layouts, so you don’t need to pay $100+ for a theme. On top of that, it offers multiple free plugins for advanced features.
You can create a blog completely for free on Wix, as long as you have your own hosting and domain registration. I can’t say the same about almost all other options on this list.
With Wix, you also don’t have to worry about SEO. The website will take care of that for you. And, once you have your blog up and running, you’ll be able to write and publish from the frontend directly instead of logging into the admin dashboard. This may not be an essential factor to consider, but it makes your life a little bit easier.
Like Squarespace, Wix has a drag and drop system that’s intuitive and easy for any user to follow.
Luckily, Wix has leverage over Squarespace when it comes to ads. You can connect to Google AdSense easily, but you’ll need to subscribe for a paid plan. That said, you won’t have to pay for anything else.
- Suitable for free blogs
- It can connect to Google Adsense
- Compatible with a lot of third party applications
- You’ll have Wix ads on your blog if you choose the free plan.
Blogger is powered and owned by Google, which is why it’s common and popular among bloggers, but that’s not the only reason. Blogger was the only platform available for blogging in the early 2000s. So, all bloggers in this time probably used it.
Blogger is one of the best options for beginner bloggers wanting to make money. For starters, it’s completely free to use. You’ll have access to hundreds of free templates and themes if you don’t want to pay for a premium service. All you have to do is have a Google account.
The platform allows you to use your own domain or use its subdomain.
Moreover, Blogger allows you to connect to Google AdSense and make money through ads, which is essential for any blogger wanting to make a profit. Not only that, but it also lets you add Google analytics to your blog to monitor your traffic.
If you prefer to make money by selling products or digital items, Blogger offers that service, as well.
Despite all the good things I just mentioned, the best thing about Blogger is that it allows you to convert to any other platform at any time. If you want to move your content across platforms, you’ll be able to do so easily without giving up control over part of it. This is an invaluable feature for some bloggers.
Blogger may start underperforming if your blog gets bigger. If you use a lot of advanced plugins, you may notice some setbacks. However, it’s the closest thing to perfection for beginners because its free plan includes almost everything.
- The free plan includes everything you’ll need
- Compatible with Google AdSense and Google analytics
- Migration to other platforms available
- Limited plugins and features
Medium isn’t very common among bloggers because it’s not available for everyone. If you want to read articles published on it, you’ll need to have a monthly subscription of $5–$50, depending on the number of articles you intend to read. Despite that, it’s an ideal platform to choose if you’re aiming at premium audiences.
Plus, the paid subscription for readers doesn’t come empty of benefits. The subscribers will receive daily emails with links to their articles of choice, along with monthly newsletters. They’ll also get audio versions of the articles they want to read, which is a huge bonus for a lot of people.
But let’s move on to Medium’s benefits for bloggers.
For one, it’s primarily designed for writing, so bloggers find it easy to use and enjoy its features. Additionally, it has multiple features explicitly for writers, which makes it easier for them to publish and post.
Although Medium requires visitors to pay, it’s free for bloggers, which is yet another reason to use it.
It’s worth noting, though, that the only way to make money through Medium is by writing high-quality content. The conventional ways to win money aren’t available on the platform. That includes Google AdSense, affiliate links, and selling digital products. If you want to win money through any of these, you’ll have to choose another service.
All in all, if writing is your only passion, and you want to make money out of it, it may be a good idea to use Medium. It’ll allow you to focus only on writing without bothering with the other details.
- No coding is required whatsoever
- Completely free for bloggers to use
- It provides a lot of partnering programs for winning money
- Limited to premium audiences
Weebly is a website builder like WordPress and Wix; however, it includes built-in features for creating blogs. Contrary to WordPress, which requires you to download the dedicated software and use other building tools to make a blog.
Weebly has SEO features and analytic tools already pre-installed, so you can use them without opting for third-party integration. In addition, it provides hundreds of themes and plugins for customizing your blog. If you don’t want to pay for a theme, you’ll surely find a suitable one for your blog in the extensive free list.
The only problem with Weebly is that its options get limited when your blog grows. If you want to take your business to the next level, you may find it challenging to do so. It’s still a pretty good option for hobbyists and regular bloggers, though.
The free plan of Weebly is pretty decent, and it’s empty of ads to avoid bothering the bloggers. Plus, it allows you to connect to Google AdSense. The paid plans aren’t too expensive, too—you can get a monthly subscription for as low as $5 if you want to monetize your blog.
Generally, Weebly is one of the easiest blogging platforms to deal with. It may be a suitable option if you don’t have a technical background or coding skills.
- Easy to use for everyone
- The free plan includes most features you need
- A list of free themes and plugins is available
- Limited options if you want to take your blog to the next level
If you’ve already made a decision for the blogging platform you’ll use, it’s time to choose how you’ll make money. With blogs, the ways to make money are endless, depending on the type of your content.
Here’s a roundup of multiple ways you can use your blog to make money.
1. Promote Affiliate Products
Almost all famous bloggers make most of their money through affiliate products. Some people make tens of thousands each month out of affiliate marketing only. If that’s not enough to convince you, I’m not sure what is.
When looking for affiliate products to market for, try to pick products with high prices. A great place to start is web hosting companies—they pay an average of $100 for each signup, which is an impressive rate. But that’s if it goes with your niche, of course.
2. Sell Digital Products
If you don’t want to go into affiliate marketing, or the idea of marketing for other people’s products seems odd to you, you may sell digital products instead. Those products may be eBooks, applications, plugins, or even videos. You can also sell music to people to use in their videos.
If you have enough expertise to create online courses, it’ll be a great opportunity to make some money. You can create the course or the workshop once and keep selling it to gain money.
Of course, before choosing the digital product you’ll sell, you need to consider if it’s relevant to your readers.
Don’t fall into the trap many bloggers fell into before. They think their visitors need a certain product, and when they start selling it, they don’t achieve the desired success. Before doing something like that, make sure to listen to your readers first and know what they need.
3. Sell Memberships
A lot of bloggers opt for selling memberships to make some money out of their blogs. For example, if you have a blog for startup businesses, you can sell memberships through forums. The people who buy the memberships will be able to get custom advice about their businesses.
Likewise, if you have a blog for careers, you can sell your user’s memberships for the job board.
What’s important here is to make sure you’re selling membership for something useful. Plus, it needs to be special and exclusive, which means it can’t be available for people who don’t pay.
4. Use Google AdSense
Google Adsense is one of the easiest ways to make money out of your blog. You’ll only need to add a script to your website, which you obtain from Google. After that, you’ll be able to display ads on it.
Everything a user or a guest clicks on the ad, you’ll get paid. These are called cost-per-click ads, or CPC ads in short.
The cost you get is decided by the advertiser, so you need to choose well.
There’s a different kind of ad called cost-per-thousand-impressions, or CPM in short. If you create those ads, you’ll get paid when your users view the ad rather than click on it. However, you’ll only get paid when you reach a certain number of views.
5. Offer Coaching
Coaching is definitely not for everyone, but if it goes with your niche, why not?
A lot of bloggers have plenty of expertise in their fields. They can use that to their advantage and offer coaching advice for their followers. Even if they have a small audience, they’ll still be able to make some money out of it.
Some bloggers can even treat coaching as a full-time job and dedicate their time to it.
Some people charge $1000 an hour for coaching, so you can definitely make some money out of it. That’s if your audience needs it, of course.
6. Offer Sponsored Posts
If you’ve been blogging for quite some time and you have a strong audience on social media, you can definitely use that to win some money. One way to do this is to offer sponsored posts to brands.
The way it’s done, the brand publishes a post on your blog and pays you in return. To do that, you need to have a strong followers list, and you need to prove you can benefit the brand and get them leads.
If you manage to do so, you can win a lot of money out of sponsored posts.
The Final Verdict: Which Blogging Platform Is the Best to Make Money?
In my opinion, the best blogging platform to make money out of the ones I listed is WordPress, and for all the good reasons. For one, it’s free and open-source, making it a perfect option for tight budgets.
On top of that, it offers an extensive collection of third-party plugins for all needs. Whether you need some free plugins or some premium, paid ones, you’ll find what you’re looking for.
The only downside to WordPress is the lack of customer support. That said, most users know what they’re getting in beforehand. In the end, you’re using a free, open-source platform, so you don’t expect everything to be readily available.
If your goal is monetizing your blog and making money out of it, then using WordPress seems like your best option.