Top Free and Paid Blogs for your Ecommerce Store 3 weeks ago

Blog written on table

One way to drive sales and rank higher for SEO is to publish useful and helpful content on a blog. No matter what you’re selling, you can always drive traffic to your site by publishing informative content on your blog.

Short articles and videos about your business, products, or services, not only help customers, but they’ll also help with your website ranking when done properly.

We’ll take a look at some of the top free and paid blogging sites that you can use for your business. Even if you’re using Shopify and its blogging module, you may want to consider hosting a separate blog site for more control and features.

Some of these sites may be more useful than others depending on the nature of your business.

Ghost

Ghost is similar to Medium in that it provides a clean, minimalistic look for your blog. Like Medium and Svbtle, Ghost isn’t necessarily setup for marketing and business. However, businesses that provide a service may find these platforms beneficial.

Ghost is a Platform-as-a-service, so a subscription means you can start publishing quickly.

If you self-host, then Ghost is free to use.

Pros

  • Clean, modern look
  • Some customization with themes
  • Open-source software
  • Supports non-profit goals for journalism
  • SEO optimization tools
  • Integrations with popular services like Slack, SurveyMonkey, and Youtube
  • Tools and features for teams

Cons

  • Requires technical knowledge for more customization like custom domains
  • Designed primarily for journalism and not necessarily for marketing purposes
  • Community isn’t as large or as active as WordPress communities

Joomla!

Don’t let the strange name keep you from using this software. It’s a free content management system that you host yourself, and it’s fairly popular worldwide. Its flexibility means you can use it as a business site or blog.

Pros

  • Free content management system allows you to build any type of online site
  • Over 7,900+ extensions
  • Highly customizable
  • Free if you self-host
  • Open source
  • Free Joomla tutorial videos

Cons

  • Not as many plugins as WordPress
  • More difficult to use than WordPress

Medium

You may already be familiar with this website. It has gained a lot of popularity because of its use by journalists, politicians, and other authoritative people.

Depending on the nature of your business, Medium can be a good platform for certain types of articles. Non-profits may find Medium an excellent platform for their needs.

While you won’t be able to market your business, you can still establish your authority in your field. Optimize your articles for SEO with the use of tags, images, captions, and meta descriptions.

Pros

  • Free
  • Recognized platform with a large reader base
  • Ability to embed images, videos, and other external links
  • Clean, minimalistic look to the site and articles

Cons

  • Only way to monetize is through the Medium Partner Program
  • No customization, plugins, or extra features
  • Prohibits marketing your business

Svbtle

An even more minimalistic approach to blogging than Ghost or Medium, Svbtle’s claim is that it’s designed to “work the way your brain does.” The service benefits writers because it helps with generating ideas and getting those ideas into an article.

This website is primarily aimed at writers and bloggers instead of businesses.

Pros

  • Cheap at $6 compared to other services
  • Promise that your content will be online forever

Cons

  • No customization with plugins or themes
  • Requires Markdown language to get more advanced publishing features
  • Minimalistic approach may be too basic for some

WordPress

This is the most popular blogging platform used worldwide by millions of bloggers and businesses. Its versatility means you can use WordPress as a simple blogging platform or as an ecommerce store. Or you could do both.

If you want to host WordPress on your own, you can download the software for free at wordpress.org.

Not familiar with technology or don’t want to go through the hassle of learning and configuring? You can also subscribe to WordPress hosting services. One such provider is wordpress.com. Read the terms carefully, as many of the prices are introductory, and some include domains free for only a year.

If you’re set on using WordPress, then opt for specialized WordPress hosting services. They may cost a bit more per month, but the features, like automated security updates and backups, can be worthwhile.

Pros

  • Used by millions of users worldwide, used by 32% of the web (according to WordPress.org)
  • Over 55,000+ plugins, including WooCommerce plugin used by businesses
  • High level of customization
  • Can be optimized for SEO with the help of plugins
  • Large user support base
  • Regular updates

Cons

  • WordPress hosting can be more expensive
  • Vulnerabilities as a result of failure to keep up with updates for self-hosted WordPress
  • Requires time to learn
  • Updates may break different plugins
  • Need backup solutions for self-hosted WordPress

Other Solutions

Shopify

If you’re already using Shopify to sell online, then you can also make use of Shopify’s blog module for free.

Squarespace

Squarespace has a lot of appealing and amazing themes to choose from. Squarespace also promotes its all-in-one platform with integrated marketing and productivity apps. No free plan, but there’s a free trial if you want to check it out.

Tumblr

While free, Tumblr’s microblogging platform has gained some notoriety because of some users. The app has even been removed from Apple’s App Store¬†due to its hosting of questionable content.

Weebly (by Square)

Weebly is more of a store than a blogging platform, but there are some themes available for those who want to use Weebly as a blog. There’s a free option, but visitors will see ads.

Wix

Wix also provides a free website, but it’ll show ads unless you’re subscribed to a premium plan.

Whatever you decide to use, you’ll want to be sure that you own the rights to the content that you publish. Most platforms state this in their terms of use, but you’ll want to confirm this to avoid any surprises later.

The option with the most flexibility would be WordPress. It’s highly customizable with tons of free and paid themes. With tens of thousands of plugins, you’ll be sure to find solutions for whatever your needs are.

Pay for WordPress hosting to minimize maintenance, choose a free theme, and start writing your blog today!

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