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When you start a blog, it can feel super exciting, but it also comes with a lot of choices. One of the biggest choices that you can make is choosing your blogging platform. When you make decisions for your blog.  I most often say that you should just make a choice and figure it out later, but that is not the case with choosing the best blogging platform to make money.

And I’m going to tell you why.

More of visual learner? Watch as a video instead!

Transcript from: The Best Blogging Platforms To Make Money, Ep 03 – The Blog Biz Podcast

Okay. So why did I say that this is a decision that you should not just make and then figure it out later?

The reason I say this is because the longer you use the wrong platform for whatever your end goal is with your blog, the harder it’s going to be. And the more technical it’s going to be to change it.

And by that, it’s going to take more technical knowledge and technical skill to move and change after you’ve made that decision the longer that you’re blogging. So the biggest thing here that I want you to understand is that you need to know what you want out of your blog before you make this decision.

You need to have given this some thought before you actually settle on the blogging platform that’s going to be ultimately right for you. So my biggest question for you is:

Do you want to make money with your blog?

Big question. Do you want to make money with your blog? This is such an important question because whatever blog platform and blog host you wind up choosing.

It will directly impact your ability to make money. So we’re going to go back to that in just a minute, but first I want to talk about what is a blogging platform. When we talk about a blogging platform, what exactly do I mean by that?

What a blogging platform is

So essentially this is going to be the framework of your website. So back when I started, back in the day when I started building websites. I’m just going to say that I’m far too young to be saying anything back in the day. I think maybe I just want to believe that.

But, when I started building websites, I had to build them from scratch. I had to code every single thing in that sucker.

If I wanted to put an image into the blog, I had to code it into the blog. And luckily, you don’t have to do that anymore.

And so essentially your blogging platform is going to give you that framework where you’re not going to have to code everything. The platform has written code already for you.

It does the majority of the legwork so that you don’t have to worry about the technical stuff. So it’s actually quite easy to build a website. Now when I started doing it, took a lot of technical knowledge.  Ultimately I’m glad that I know that, but you don’t need it. And so that’s okay.

I want you to also know the distinction, that blogging platforms aren’t going to cost you money.  Technically they don’t cost you money. So when I talk about free platforms versus paid platforms, it’s really more about your hosts. Are you paying a host to be able to access that platform.

What a blog host is

So then that brings me to what is blog hosting, because that is extremely important to know when you’re talking about choosing your blog platform. So your host is essentially a gateway to your blogging platform. They’re going to give you access to that framework.

There are freed host free hosting plans, and then there are paid hosting plans.

Having a self hosted blog

When you go with a paid hosting plan, that’s considered being self hosted.

The thing that I most commonly hear, the question that I get –and I completely understand this – is: wouldn’t it be better to start with a free host and then wait until you’re making money to choose a paid host?

And my answer is no, this is not the better option.

So real talk here. You’re not going to make money with a free host. That’s just, it’s possible. You could technically make money with a free host, but it’s like the analogy that I like to use for this is you’ve decided to run a marathon and  you didn’t have a pair of running shoes. So you were like, I’ve signed up for the marathon. I’ve committed to doing this, but I’m just going to run it without I’m going to run that marathon without a pair of shoes.

Which you would never do in a million years, like you would go buy a pair of running shoes. You wouldn’t be like, oh, I’ll just use a pair of Keds, or I’m gonna run in my ballet flats or something. Instead, you would just go buy a pair of running shoes.

So that’s essentially like building a business.

And if you want to make money with your blog, that is a business building. A business is like running a marathon.

Don’t do it without investing in the right pair of shoes. Just pay for a host. It’s like a catch 22. If you want to make money with a blog, you’re going to have to spend money.

Why you need a self hosted blog

One does not happen without the other. So being self hosted, which means having a paid hosting plan, is going to allow you to make money with ads. If that’s something that you want to do, eventually, it’s going to allow you to have your own domain name. And this is you. Honestly, you want this, it’s going to make you look so much more professional and reputable.

So if you do want to start working maybe with brands one day where you are getting paid to write blog posts or to review different products on your blog, which is a great way to make money with with blogging, it’s going to make you look legit to a brand, right?

If you are, then they’re going to be like that doesn’t really look like a professional operation and they’re probably not going to want to invest their marketing dollars on that.

So you want to look professional. You want to look legit, you want to look reputable, so you need to have your own domain name. You are not going to have your own domain.

You could technically have a domain name and forward a free site to your domain. It just not going to look good.

So invest in paid hosting, invest in having your own domain name, having a self hosted. So you’re paying for your hosting is also going to give you the ability to customize your blog way more.

It’s going to give you a lot more features, access to a lot more features. And it will give you access to your specific platform’s features that are going to help your blog get seen in search engine traffic, which ultimately is going to be something that will probably be on your radar when you’re looking to grow your blog and grow your traffic more on that another day.

Is your blog a hobby or a business?

So my question that I like to ask people is, do you want a hobby or do you want a business? I’ll ask that of you. Do you want a hobby or do you want a business?

Anything that makes money that is a business. If you want to start a blog, or if you have started a blog in order to make money, then you’ve started a business ultimately, and in business.

And I can tell you this with full confidence because I have started many businesses in my life. I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was a kid, designing websites. Coincidentally, when I was in middle school web design was my first business. I’ve made many since then, but if you want to start a business, you have to spend money to make money.

That’s just the way it works. Fortunately blogging is a business that you can start with far less money than it would take to start other businesses.

But let’s let’s even say that maybe you’ve decided you want to start a business and you’re going to start a roadside coffee shop. So in this coffee shop, just right off the bat, you’re going to have to buy coffee grounds.

You’re going to have to buy the coffee. You have to invest in the product. And you’re going to have to pay for water somehow. Someone’s having to pay for water somewhere. And then let’s just say, you’re like, that’s it like, I’m just going to have the coffee and that’s all I’m going to supply.

So if somebody wants to buy coffee from you, then they’re going to have to bring their own cup. If they want cream or sugar in it, they’re going to have to bring their own cream.

That’s probably not going to work out super well for you. no one would do that, right? If you are going to, if you said I’m going to start a coffee shop, not even like a brick and mortar coffee shop, where you’re paying for, for rent and all the other overhead that would come with having a brick and mortar business, I’m just going to start a roadside coffee shop.

You’d still have to invest in supplies. You still have to pay for the coffee. You’d have to pay for someone to have to pay for the water somewhere. If you’re borrowing it from your mom’s house or whatever. You’d have to buy cups, you have to buy sugar, you have to buy creamer. You’d have to invest in some kind of signage.

All of this stuff costs money.

But consider as you start your blog and you start that business, consider that paying a host is the cheapest rent you are ever going to have to pay in your life. Like truly a few dollars a month. That’s what you’re going to have to pay.

Okay. So now that we’ve settled on, you’re going to have to pay for a host because – guys there are a lot of things that you can argue with me that there are no definites in, the world. And I’m completely with that. Anybody who wants to argue with me that, you can. If you want to build a profitable blogging business, you have to invest in hosting.

If you are not investing in hosting, I don’t know… I’m here for that fight because I will fight that one. You just can’t do it.

The best blog host

So now that we’re on the same page that you are going to pay for hosting, and we’re just gonna knock that out of the way, then I would definitely recommend using DreamHost. We’ll talk about this more on a different day, choosing an actual host, but if you just want to hit the ground running, I use DreamHost.

I’ve used them for more than a decade. I think I used them even back when I first started back in middle school. I’m I cannot confirm this fact, but I’m 99% positive that even way back then, I used DreamHost.

There was a period of time where I didn’t have a web host at all. And and there was a lot of transition stuff that happened because it’s a lot different building a website now than it was then, but I’m pretty positive that literally I’ve always used DreamHost.

My whole life, every website that I’ve ever built really has been with them. I used one of the suggestions that I’m going to talk about later on for a different website, but it wasn’t for a blog. I highly recommend DreamHost. I’ve been with them for sure for more than a decade, but I think more like two decades.

They’re very affordable. They offer month to month, which is really helpful if I think if you’re just starting out, because most other hosts are going to require you pay for a full year and make it, make that commitment upfront.

And when you see BlueHost or SiteGround or whatever people will say, oh, I love them, I recommend them, and you can get started for as low as $2.75 a month. It’s only $2,75 a month. But only if you pay for 36 months in advance. Just to get that out of the way.

DreamHost, which we’ll talk about later, is less than $5 a month and that’s if you want to go month to month. If you want to start and then cancel it next month, it’s five bucks a month.

That’s their month to month price. Less than five bucks or a little less than three bucks. I guess it’s almost double when you look at it that way, but less than $5 a month and you just have the, and if you do want to pay for more time upfront, then, you have the option of doing that.

And it will become way cheaper as well. but it becomes cheaper than the, I think it becomes closer to $2.50, so it’s cheaper than $2.75, even if you want to pay for the full three years upfront. So it’s affordable. If you’re not going once a month, they give you a free domain name.

And then if you’re not getting a free domain name, it’s 10 to 15 bucks, something like that, you’re going to have to budget for. you can get free professional email with DreamHost and it’s going to work pretty well for you until you’re getting a significant amount of page views per month.

When I say significant, like you’re probably going to be fine up to 50,000-100,000 views per month. You’re going to be a-okay. And then you can just move to a different. plan on, there. So DreamHost has plans for, higher traffic sites as well. So to say it more bluntly, we’re going to not knock off the drew, the DreamHost stuff.

And I’m just going to say this more bluntly before we move on. If you want to blog as a hobby, then use a free host 100%. If you want to make money blogging, then pay for it. If you. Don’t if you want to wait until you’ve made money, you are probably going to give up before you’ve ever made anything, because it’s going to take you way too long to ever make anything.

Best blogging platform to blog as a hobby

Okay. So now that’s out of the way, the best blogging platforms for hobbyists, I just want to say this quickly, and then we’re going to move on because if you want to blog as a hobby, I fully support this. And so I would like to help you as well. If you want a blog, just as a hobby, Then I would recommend looking into, tumbler, T U M B L or

And I want you to note the cause we’re going to come back around to that in a second. they’re, free. You can just get started it’s you can have a nice little personal site and away you go. it’s going to offer you very little customization, but. Since you’re not looking to make money with this, and it’s just going to be a hobby for you, a place where you can self express and write, because you love to write, which is a beautiful thing.

Then it’s going to give you that creative space and that outlet to be able to do that. And you won’t have to pay a cent for it. And all three of those are great options for you.

Another free option is to use Medium

A different recommendation would be Medium. And so, anybody can post on Medium.

And it’s, a way where you could gain a following because thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people read medium all the time, right? So it’s a, it’s an easy way to gain a following. If that’s something you’re interested in and you don’t want to deal with having to design a blog and you’re not interested in growing an email list and you’re not doing any of that stuff, then you could easily gain a following.

And this could be a great option if you are a coach or if you’re some type of digital product creator, but you don’t want to actually invest in having a website. You could just go on medium and you could write a, and you could write your blog posts and then have your call to action within your author bio to send them to your coaching services or your digital product or whatever it is you have.

That’s a, that’s an option there as well.

If you’re trying to make money blogging

So here’s a good time to interject. You’re not here to be a hobbyist though, right? You’re here to make money. So this seems like a good time to mention that I do have a free class on how to make consistent $1k months blogging. Whether you have just started out or you have been blogging for a while and just full disclosure, there is an opportunity at the end of this free class to join Brilliant Blogger, which is my blogging business membership at the end of that training.

I think that Brilliant Blogger, my membership is a pretty great, it’s a pretty great membership. It’s super valuable if you’re trying to make money, but the class itself is just about 60 minutes and it goes over the biggest mistakes that bloggers who are not making money yet make, because I don’t want you to make those mistakes, as well as a whole bunch of other great stuff.

So you can access that free class. If you were interested at Cool. Okay. So now what you’re here for the best blogging platform to make money such a weirdo. Okay. So the best blogging platform to make money for starters, there is one singular best platform and one platform only that I’m going to recommend if you want to make money blogging, but then I’m going to give you some alternatives because I want you to be informed, however, My whole thing is like on your blog, biz BFF, and your blog biz BFF would not be doing you any favors by sugarcoating.

What I’m about to say. So I’m a person who likes options. I feel like options are a great thing, right? But in recommending the best platform for you, if you want to make money with your blog, it’s not like it’s not like you come to me and say, Adriane. Could you recommend a nice wine for my dinner? What could pair well with my eggplant Parmesan?

And I could give you some recommendations on that, but it’s also dependent upon your preferences, right?

Like most things that if someone saying I’m going to give you some recommendations for something. A lot of it does come down to preference. but that’s, this is not one of those cases.

Imagine if you came to me and you said, I’ve decided that I want to start sharing videos on a video sharing platform. And I want to develop a following doing that. If I didn’t say YouTube, would you be like, I’m a little suspicious of your answer because I would be, if I asked you if I said, can you give me a recommendation?

I want to start, a, a channel where I can share videos and develop a fall of following based on my video content. And you didn’t say, you should just be on YouTube. there are options. You could go on Vimeo or you can go on what, there are other, there are alternatives to YouTube, but.

How many people are developing followings on them. I don’t know. if someone does not recommend YouTube for this, I don’t know that I trust their advice. Like it’s got the market cornered. And so that’s the way that this is, if you want to make money blogging, there is a market cornered on the platform that you need to be able to do this.

If you go look up other articles or what other people are saying on this other pieces of content, whether it’s other podcasts, other videos, other blog posts, or whatever that are giving you options. they’re just giving you a bird’s eye view of each platform so that you can make a decision waving my hands all over, like crazy right now.

They’re just trying to give you an overview so that you can make a decision. And they’re not really helpful for you. If you want to make money blogging. Okay, I’m just going to give you if you want to make money blogging. I’m just going to tell you what you should use. Now. I did, this with ad networks where there’s not really a right or wrong reason, or there’s not really a right or wrong answer.

[00:19:39] So this is not a case where I’m like, I just want you to use the thing that I’m telling you to do. if it were a thing where it merited, there, here are a whole bunch of options choose which one sounds the best for you. That’s what I would be doing with this. But there is a right or wrong answer for a blogging platform.

The best blogging platform to make money blogging

If you want to make money blogging. And the right answer is drum roll, please. That was obnoxious. WordPress, Tara. And you’re like, wait, didn’t you say not to use WordPress, so let’s make a distinction here. Remember I said, I want you to remember because I’m going to bring it up again in a minute. We don’t want that. That’s a good thing for if, you want a hobby. If you want to blog as your hobby, is your friend. is what you want. If you want to make money blogging, this is my one and only recommendation guys. You need So is a free version.

It’s limited. is a self hosted framework. And it requires you to have a paid host, to be able to access it unless you have some crazy technical skills. We’re just going to go ahead and say that you need to have a paid host, The WordPress framework is going to give you access to way more monetization tools, which.

That’s a good thing. So what I mean by that is, it’s going to have the best options of plugins and plugins are like little pieces of software for your website. No other platform can, match the. The plugins that are available to you as a WordPress user. And that is because WordPress has the market cornered, right?

Like it’s, it’s considered free ware. So WordPress itself does not cost money, but in order to use it, you either have to have some. Crazy technical skills, or you need a host and that’s what you’re paying for. But WordPress is built as a, this free were free licensed software, for yourself, not necessarily software, but framework for your, website.

And so a lot of other programmers have created plugins to help you with your business, that and those plugins are not going to exist in other places like with the other, alternatives that I’m going to mention. The other thing about this is if you, once you have enough traffic, if you want to add an ad network, which is a very easy way to make money.

I’ve, talked about this on a previous episode. So you can go check that out if you are not sure what an ad network is. most of the ad networks that are really going to help you make money, require a WordPress framework, then that’s just the way that it is. Basically every blogger that I know who does not use WordPress has said to me, I know I’m going to have to switch at some point and I’m not looking forward to it because they’re blogging as they wait, longer to make the switch, their blog gets bigger and bigger and it gets harder and harder every day that goes by and your site gets bigger.

So let’s also consider this: what’s the biggest blog in the entire world. Do you know the answer to this? this is like trivia. Ooh. I didn’t even think about framing it this way. A little piece of quick quiz time. What is the biggest blog in the world and the most profitable blog in the world? Does anybody know anybody to know Huffington post is the correct answer.

If you guys having to post you, my friend are correct. So I just, the biggest blog in the world, it’s the most, profitable blog in the world. Technically it’s a blog. And it uses WordPress, like basically every major blog. If someone is making money with a blog, they’re probably using WordPress. I don’t know the exact number, but I’m guessing it’s at least 90, 95% of all the profitable blogs that exists that currently exist are on the WordPress framework.

Downsides of using WordPress

So the downside of this, like everything about WordPress is the pro the one and only con that I would have for this is that it is slightly more difficult to learn than some of the other alternatives that I’m going to suggest. However, it is worth it. All right. Worth it to learn. So might take a little bit more work.

Might take you a little more time. But that’s all right. I highly suggest that you use WordPress. So how do you get started with WordPress? Again?

Best host for WordPress

I highly recommend using DreamHost. DreamHost is four 95 per month. That is their month to month price where you can cancel it anytime. yeah, you’d have to pay for your own domain, which is going to be like an extra $10 or $15.

So it’s going to be like $15 or $20 out the door to get started. And then four 95 per month after that. It’ll be cheaper if you choose to pay for a year or two year or three years upfront, I’m, pretty sure that their three-year pay-in-full price is something like two 50 ish per month. So it work out to be like $70, $75 if I’m doing that math correctly.

And then I would cover your domain names. So it w it’s, a good investment. If you’re going to want to, if you’re going to want to be doing this for awhile, And if you want to try to make a go at it as a, blogger, making a money like. If you know exactly what you’re doing, it’s going to take at least six months to really start picking, up and gaining traction and gaining momentum.

If you either really, know what you’re doing, or you have someone like me who helps people like bloggers make money helping you, then you have to give it at least six months. otherwise you have to give it at least a year, if not two years, to actually see if you can make a, go of this.

So not a bad idea to just invest in a longer term posting commitment, because it does save you money in the long run. But if you want to go month to month, DreamHost is $4.95 a month.

The thing that I also like about DreamHost, that’s going to help you as a WordPress user is they will pre-install WordPress for you and then all of the plugins that you don’t realize that you need as a new blogger, because you are, you just, aren’t going to know the fact that you need, a good caching plugin, which you probably don’t know what caching means that I’m not going to explain it here, because it’s not the time or place, but you need a caching plugin.

And you want something for site speed and you want something for blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You need all these things that you don’t really know you need yet. When, DreamHost pre-installed WordPress for you. There’s. I don’t know if they do this anymore. It used to be B where you had to check, yes, I want the deluxe WordPress install, but it might just automatically do this now.

And so if, you sign up for WordPress, if you sign up for DreamHost, and they give you that option, they’re like, do you want the deluxe install? And it doesn’t cost any extra money it’s included in the price of their hosting every month then they’re going to, but they might just automatically do it.

Now. It’s been a, it’s been a while since I’ve psyched as a new DreamHost customer show, it’s been a, quite a long time about a decade. but I know that when I add a new domain from, within my preexisting, DreamHost panel, then it’s an option. So anyway, so if you do that deluxe install, it’s free. they will, pre-install all the plugins that you didn’t realize that you need and the, even better part the thing that’s going to be a little bit more tangible well for you because you’re like plugging.

I don’t know what I need with a plugin. I said, it’s going to give you a bit of a more premium, free theme. And, when I say theme, design of your site, like your, WordPress theme is what gives your site the look that it has and so paid themes. I’m just going to be honest, you can, catch me talking about this, any place else.

I don’t recommend free themes. In any way, shape or form. This is another, if you want to make money blogging, you have to spend money to make money sort of thing. I recommend having a paid theme, but if you are like, it’s not in my budget right now to pay for a theme.

And if you do want to pay for a theme, then I use Divi and that is a thousand percent my recommendation Divi is the best, WordPress theme I’ve ever used in my life. You could not like literally, if you came to me and said, I will give you money to stop using divvy and to use something else. I would refuse the money. That’s how strongly I feel about it. I will use Devi. I love it so much.

So if you’re going to pay for something that I would use, Divi, which is like $89 a year, I think, You can check. If you are not ready to make that investment, which I do recommend making, but if you just are not there yet, then DreamHost has, it is the best free theme I’ve ever seen.

And it’s because it’s like a freemium kind of thing, because you’re paying DreamHost for their hosting services. And so they’re giving you. a step up from a free theme without having to pay for it. it’s going to give you the most customization of anything that I’ve ever seen in a free theme.

It’s going to give you the most, mobile optimized design. It’s going to give you the most aesthetically pleasing design. As far as I’m concerned, I’m a. Kind of a design freak, because I started as a graphic and web designer. And so I’m very into what web design, what, my websites look like and free themes.

They just never looked nice. But the, free theme on DreamHost, it’s not something that I personally use. I’ve played with it just so that I know how to. Talk about it and it is hands down the best thing I’ve ever seen that you can get essentially for free, because you’re, it’s included in your, hosting plan that you’re paying for.

It’s pretty great. And so all of this to say, I recommend DreamHost.

Won’t cost you any extra, but I would make a small commission if you were to choose to sign up for either of those things. So thanks for that. If you choose to do it, I would appreciate it. and yeah, I highly recommend WordPress and I also highly recommend DreamHost as your host. To host your WordPress framework on

The best alternatives to WordPress

And I’m just going to start by saying that I don’t actually recommend using any of these for your blog. If you want to make money, just to re iterate that if you didn’t, if that wasn’t clear to you earlier. however, if you are a business owner who wants to boost your visibility as a business owner with a blog, then these could be better options for you because they’re a bit more, design friendly.

Without technical knowledge. So they’re appealing primarily because the visual editors are incredible. Like I’ll just go ahead and say that now, if you are using WordPress and you use Divi, it’s a visual editor and it’s going to be the easiest thing ever. But again, you’re paying for it. Like you’re paying for a premium WordPress theme, but it is so easy.

And I would say, in fact, it is a thousand times better than what any of these options could give you. If you just get Divi. but that is the appeal is they have incredible visual editors.


So the first one that I have used before is Wix. and this was for like, I had to design, I had the design for just like a brick and mortar business.

So I designed with Wix because other people could use it and it was easy and it didn’t require, it was just easy. And so essentially, if you can use PowerPoint, you can build a site with Wix. It’s known for the drag and drop editing capabilities. It’s really powerful in that sense.

However, the free version is quite limited and it looks tacky as heck, as far as I’m concerned because of the ads that they put on your site, if you use the free version. But it does have a blog feature. And so that tempts people, like I would say the most common platform for bloggers when they don’t use WordPress is Wix and it’s, I don’t know anybody who doesn’t regret this decision, ultimately like just putting that out there.

It does have a blog feature. It might be tempting to use, but in the long run. Not the best option. Okay.


So then the next alternative toward press that I would say would be Squarespace. If you want to get a site with Squarespace, your site will be beautiful. I’ve used it very briefly. I have, I know some people who use Squarespace and I have edited on their website before, and it is very easy to use.

They have, quite a beautiful site, has a lot of great design options. So if you have a small business, this is. This might be a better alternative even than Wix, just because of ease of design. But again, it’s not a good option for blogger, so we’re gonna just keep going from that. beyond just having the ability to design a really pretty site.


Like it’s not like there’s any other bells and whistles. It’s very similar to Wix as is. The, last alternative that I’m going to suggest, would be Weebly. They’re all very similar. Weebly is just a bit lesser known than Wix or Squarespace, but again, it’s a drag and drop editor. You it’s easy to have a nice design, for the limited planets, cheaper to start out with than Wix or Squarespace, but then it can get more expensive.

And so if you’re not trying to monetize your blog, then. Any of these three things could be good options. Wix, Squarespace, Weebly. They could all be good options if you’re not trying to monetize a blog. However, to recap, if you are trying to monetize a blog, the best platform to make money with your blog is WordPress hands down and in good faith, I could not make any other recommendation to you.

Wrapping up the best blogging platforms to make money with your blog!

If you have questions about WordPress, if you have questions about getting started with DreamHost, if you, if you have questions in general about some of that getting started technical stuff, then feel free to send me a message on Instagram @brilliantblogger. I would be happy to point you in the direction of some good free resources, that would help you along your way.

And again, if you want to make consistent income with your blog, whether you’ve just started out or you have been blogging for a while and are not yet making consistent income, then I would love to see you in my free training, How To Make Consistent $1k Months Blogging.

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