Best Free Blog Sites - Top 10 Blog Websites

by Tolovaj

Where to create a blog for free? It seems there are hundreds of possibilities out there, yet only a handful of them meet my strict criteria.

There are numerous blog sites out there, many of them free to try or even to use for an infinite time, but only a handful really useful if you imply my criteria. There are also many lists of free blog sites with mostly copy-pasted info from out-dated and irrelevant sources, written by inexperienced users. This post is different. I use all of the presented weblogs as the only user or collaborator and am familiar with their pros and cons.

I also implied certain criteria which is much more rigorous than any criteria in any other similar post in the web. I'll list my personal demands which should be met to make my list of Top 10 best free blog sites. As you'll see despite hundreds of candidates a top ten list was almost impossible to assemble.

What do you need to make my top 10?

  • It should be a blog site, not a site builder. Although there is no big difference for an average user, a blog differs by format (the last post is by default on the top, the date of publication is much more important and adding new posts from time to time is expected, while classic websites looks much more static) and it has at least some kind of community behind. Wix, while being found on most of the similar lists can't make my top 10 (or any kind of top useful blog sites), because it's not a blog (and it has some other downsides as well, so you won't find it on my list of website builders either - when it's made).
  • It is indexed by search engines. This is very important. Not only to me, it should be important to you too. While some people start writing only for the sake of their souls, the potential of a good blog should be its ability to reach millions of readers. Exercising my writing skills in a closed box for only a handful of my friends is not good enough for me. Never was. Sorry, Edublogs, you are out of the competition. It was nice meeting you, but we are not on the same side when we talk about sharing a knowledge.
Free blogging sites - picture of user
  • Links in my favorite free blogs should be indexed by search engines and followed (no no-follow tags or redirects here, please!). There is a long and tedious debate about the importance of nofollow tags but I am tired of listening people who never did a single test. I did many and nofollow is simply not good enough. I believe a link coming out of my blog, even if it's made with a free account, should be followed. I am willing to earn authority, I am willing to provide fresh, original content for my blog and promote it, building the authority of the blog service at the same time and it seems fair to have a quality link pointing from this blog to the site I believe it's relevant and deserves an upvote. Sorry Tumblr, I have brought thousands of visitors helping your owners to earn some money but got absolutely nothing in return. Not a single vote after a full year of hard work. Out of competition are also LiveJournal, Ghost, Typepad and many others who decided to exclude spammers by the easiest way - making a whole site nofollowed. The easiest way is not always the best way, so thanks, but no thanks.
  • It's harder to explain this point, but I also excluded HubPages, Wizzley, Infobarrel and similar services where affiliate marketing is one of the major sources of earning for users and providers. Free blogging services on my lists are in general meant to inform, make some connections (optionally) with similar minded people, but not for promotion of products or services. In general, you can't earn any money using them although some of them give you this option (or you can get this option by going premium).
  • It's not full of spammers. Several blog services look cool at first sight, allowing you to write easily, promote your content and experiment a bit with different formats of posts, but when I check the feed and find 90 percent of fresh content is dealing with best divorce lawyers in (enter town of your choice) or cheap dentists in (enter town of your choice), I can't risk my reputation hanging around. Sorry, Blogigo, you should be a bit more strict to make my list.
Do you use free blogging services?
  • It has to be easy to use. The basic idea is to test the service and decide if it's right for you, so beginners are very likely the majority of users there. But some services are after a full decade of experience still too techy for me or simply not user-friendly. So Dudamobile and Freeblog didn't fit in either.

Here is the list of top ten best free blogging services:

1. Wordpress.com

It should be no surprise to have this popular site in the first place. It's de facto web standard of last decadeor more and it is here to stay. Their service is robust, well-supported, they make you very easy to create, publish and trasfer free blog to premium, where you can monetize your traffic (if any traffic is built). There is very nice community and not too many spammers. Having a free blog on wordpress is a must - at least in my opinion.

example:

https://childrensandhouseholdtales.wordpress.com/

wordpress logo as art

2. Blogspot.com

It's still not clear what Google wants to do with this service which should be number one if they invest at least a fraction of time and money invested in numerous other projects owned by Google. Well, it's still a solid blogging service, easy to use, with fewer options then at Wordpress, but with the ability to monetize it through Google AdSense and other options if you play your cards right. I like some other services more, but considering how good and quality traffic I managed to build with Blogspot, it's only fair to put it in number 2 spot.

Example:

http://just4fairytales.blogspot.com/

3. Joomla.com

While everybody knows about Wordpress, most people never heard about Joomla, one of their biggest competitors. Joomla is also a content management system created for larger systems with hundreds of articles and if we are dealing with such amount of posts in Wordpress we experience some problems like slowness, while Joomla should be more capable of dealing with them.

Well, in reality, I never worked with so huge systems under my control, so I can't say if this is true. It's still great to have an opportunity for testing Joomla under their official site, like we can under Wordpress and here is my blog:

example:

https://vintagebooks.joomla.com/

What you'll instantly notice is Joomla's lack of SEO efficiency. URLs of the posts are numbered by default. If you don't want these numbers, which are lowering your chances in the competitive world of search engines, you'll need to install a special widget or create a menu helping search spiders to deal with your posts.

It is doable, yet unnecessary investment of your time and energy. There are other problems as well (this robust system demands longer learning time than other blogging systems, file management is not nearly as easy and transparent as Wordpress's etc.).

While their content management system is often counterintuitive (to upload a picture you should, for instance, manipulate two sliders and jumping up and down, having useless options on the screen instead of simple and only necessary clickable buttons), in general, I am happy with my blog on Joomla. It's only one of supporting blogs where I can publish stuff which is not 100 % relevant to my main occupations. I recommend testing it, but not as the main blog and especially if you are a complete beginner in a blogging scene.

what-is-the-best-free-blog

4. Over-blog.com

Over-blog is simple blog service where you can start working after only a few minutes of initial learning. It's based in France but many people post in English. You'll find all kind of people there, including spammers, but there are so many legitimate bloggers I am not afraid to be punished for being in bad company.

The interface for blogging will look a bit too simplified for experienced users, yet I am satisfied with the performance of my blog. If you need something fast, easy and efficient, I cordially recommend it. They also have a plan for earning through advertisements, what can b another reason to give it a try.

Example:

http://justcoolstuff.over-blog.com

5. Canalblog.com

Another French service, pretty similar to Over-blog with its simplicity and popularity among real people with a low percentage of spammers. I only started working there, but I will add a few tidbits from my experience when I learn something important. So far so good:

example:

http://artyoushouldknow.canalblog.com

top-free-weblogs

6. Hatenablog.com

Hatena is one of the major services in Japan. Blogging in English and several other languages is allowed. It's easy to use, it has some lovely features and looks like one of the future contenders in the blogosphere in future. I like it a lot and was pleasantly surprised when I found out it was indexed by major search engines only a few hours after publishing.

Example:

http://artsandartists.hatenablog.com/

7. JC2.com

Another free blogging service with a seat in Japan with even more international feel. They offer free blogging in several major languages (English included of course), are fast, reliable and automatically indexed by search engines. Just like Hatena they meet all my standards and I recommend it to beginners, although they might improve several SEO features (check the URL addresses of my posts):

example:

http://blackandwhiteandmore.blog.fc2.com/

8. Myblog.de

This free blogging site is based in Germany. Blogging in English is allowed. Options are pretty limited and as a user, I can't imagine making a lot of posts with a lot of graphics and multimedia here. It's still worth a try. This is a link to my first post:

example:

http://amazingfacts.myblog.de/

list-of-best-free-blogs-picture

9. Jimdo.com

Jimdo is a lovely site builder where I have already created several sites. They bring me traffic and have measurable authority although my stats in free mode are very limited. They offer a blogging option as well and you can change your free site into a blog with an addition of blog module.

They even suggest several themes designed for blogging. Jimdo is one of the services where administrators understand the basics of SEO and are very responsive if you bump into a problem. They hate spammers, so your blog (or site) won't be indexed for search engines due to their robot.txt settings at first.

So I created a blog to test it as a free blogging alternative to major services. It looks like this:

example:

https://fairylore.jimdo.com/blog/

After two months and five posts, it's still not indexed, but I hope it will be eventually. Despite my good experience with Jimdo at past projects it's pretty frustrating to wait so long, so I can't recommend it if you are not very patient.

Using free blogging sites is not for everybody

For instance, you don't have control of the content ...
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Site123.com

They charmed me with the simplicity of their building tool and immediate response from their stuff when I asked if their blogs made with free accounts are indexed. They said yes and I decided to give it a go, even if it's actually a site builder, not blogging service. Yet they have a module with all basic blogging possibilities and I managed to make several posts.

Unfortunately after a few months despite some promotion on social networks search engines still didn't index it. In the meantime I have found at least one big downside of Site123 - they have very poor SEO structure of their sites. If you take a few moments to explore my blog, you'll notice each post has the same address - the address of the blog module. Not having separate URL addresses for each page is a very poor decision because search spiders don't have even the smallest possibility of ranking posts on the site.

example:

https://colors.site123.me/blog/

After a while, I noticed some distinction is actually made - each tag of each post has separate URL, but this has two more downsides:

- the amount of text filed under each tag is very short, so spiders won't care about it unless you somehow earn several links from major players like CNN or Huffington Post
- separate URLs are used for different tags of the same post, but they all have the same content what creates further confusion among search spiders

While I decided to put this example on the list to round a Top 10, I can't recommend using site123.com service at the moment. Being free is simply not good enough, not even for testing.

Well, this is my presentation. It's unique, not copypasted from bloggers who also copy pasted their material from old irrelevant posts collecting dust in the dark corners of the web. Each of presented services is tested first handed and I will gladly answer to your comments.

Updated: 03/19/2018, Tolovaj
 
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Tolovaj on 03/20/2018

Hi, Nelda_Hoxie, yes, they are still here and most of them can help us building good traffic without too much technical knowledge. If you need additional info about any of them, just ask me. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

Nelda_Hoxie on 03/20/2018

I had no idea there were still this many free blogging sites still around. I really thought they were a thing of the past. I am going to look into some of them. Thank you for compiling this list.

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