How to blog without your own site: an overview of 9 free blogging platforms and publishing tools

This article is for those who want to keep an author or corporate blog - with clips, reviews, guides, notes, stories - or even to run a small media, but:

  • He does not want to pay (overpay) monthly to the site builder (Tilda, Nethouse, Wix, etc.).
  • Considers creating a site on a CMS (Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.) difficult and long.

In this case, the solution is specialized blog platforms. We have prepared brief reviews of six such.

The main selection criteria: free of charge, ease of writing and editing materials, mobile and SEO-friendliness.

Even in the process of updating the article, as a bonus, added reviews on publishing tools from Facebook, VK and Telegram. Their functionality is quite enough for the design of the portfolio / price lists / catalogs, long posts in social networks and instant messengers. It is convenient to write and edit them, but in terms of SEO, as a rule, such tools are inferior to full-fledged platforms.

Yandex.DZen

Yandex.DZen is a blog platform and recommendation service. In May 2017, Yandex opened a project for publications, brands, and bloggers, and in July 2018, selected it as an independent business area.

Features:

  • On the "Zen" authors can not only find their readers, but also earn from advertising (from 40 to 180 rubles per 1,000 impressions). The condition for the monetization of articles and narratives (analogous to Stories) is 7,000 reads per week.
  • Readability of materials is a major factor in ranking in the tape. Therefore, in order to get a good coverage, you should not make complex long texts and put links in the beginning and in the middle of the article (narrative).
  • The audience of the site is 13 million people, mostly users of the main search page and Yandex Browser. The main age category is 45+.

Zen’s visual editor includes basic functionality for writing and editing articles (by the way, additions and updates to materials do not affect the impressions in any way). What can be in it:

  • Make the text bold, italic and underlined.
  • Select frames and insert links.
  • Install H2 and H3 headers.
  • Embed photos, videos and posts from social networks.

About SEO: articles get into the search and pretty quickly, it can be seen with the help of the query "site: zen.yandex.ru". But, in order to make the channel name and the URL of the materials readable, you must first get all the same 7,000 readings. Separately, meta tags are not customizable, so keywords should be included in the title of the article.

Available statistics:

  • The number and percentage of readings, the average reading time.
  • Clickability, coverage.
  • The number of comments and likes.

To collect additional data about the audience (gender, age, geography, etc.), you will need to link the Yandex.Metrica counter to the channel.

Examples of channels on "Yandex.Dzene": "We and Jo", TexTerra (works through RSS-feed, it is also possible).

Teletype.in

Teletype.in is a powerful publishing platform.

Features:

  • No ads, free connection to your own domain and Google Analytics.
  • InstantView for Telegram and Facebook, setting up an attractive preview via OpenGraph.
  • SEO-friendly, simple and intuitive interface, minimalism.
  • High loading speed and adaptability.
  • Ability to create multiple channels, organize teamwork with other authors and editors.
  • There is a commenting system and the division of blog articles into categories (maximum of five).

In addition to the text in the article, you can add images, video, iFrame code. The material is made up with the help of quotations, H2 subheadings, delimiters, numbered and bulleted lists. If you need to refine the article, you can easily save a draft and go back to work later.

If you do not connect your domain, the blog will be available at the address of the type teletype.in/@channel. Unfortunately, the CNC cannot be configured for articles, but the service is young, perhaps it will be in the future.

Internal statistics are scant - under the article you can see only the number of impressions and comments, as well as the publication date However, this is not a problem, as it is possible to connect a Google Analytics counter.

Examples of blogs on Teletype: Zhenya Lepyokhin, Konstantin Shamin.

Blogger

Blogger (Blogspot) is an easy-to-use blogging platform from Google. Works since 2000.

Highlights:

  • Create up to 100 blogs from one account.
  • You can enable HTTPS and connect your own domain for free.
  • There is functionality for team work with several authors and built-in blog search.
  • By default, blogs are added to Blogger directories and indexed by search engines, but this can be disabled in the settings.
  • There is a commenting system and you can connect third-party (for example, Disqus).
  • A small selection of topics, but you can make the appearance of articles more attractive with the help of HTML and CSS.
  • In the future, you can monetize your blog through Google AdSense, but you can’t find the exact terms of participation in the program.

In the article editor, you can change the color of the text and background, insert lists, photos and videos, etc. There is even a transliteration tool and insert the "Next" link to neatly trim articles for the main page of the blog.

A blog address without connecting your own domain will look like blog.blogspot.com. In terms of SEO, the fact that the URL of the article can be written separately from the title.

The author is available detailed statistics:

  • The number of views in the dynamics.
  • Referring sites with their URLs, search keywords.
  • Summary of geography, browsers and audience operating systems.

Examples of blogs on Blogger: Tretyakov Gallery, Dmitry Shakhov.

LiveJournal (LJ)

LiveJournal, LiveJournal or LiveJournal is the oldest and perhaps the most famous blog platform that has been running since 1999. Despite the fact that many consider the service dead, Similarweb shows 516 million visits (the majority of visitors from Russia, about 40% are mobile device users). This is many times more than blogspot.com.

Functionality:

  • There are deferred publications, autosave drafts, crossposting in the social network (Twitter, Facebook, VK).
  • You can connect "Metric" and Analytics, tools for webmasters (Google, Yandex, Mail.Ru).
  • There is a possibility of teamwork - for this you need to create a so-called community.

New (2017) LiveJournal editor looks good. It allows you to draw the text H1, H2, lists, sidebars and spoilers, add photos, videos, separators and third-party code to the article. Buttons "photo gallery", "media from dropbox" and "survey" are not clickable, they may be available only to users of paid accounts.

Package "Professional" allows you to connect your domain, provides additional options for registration and statistics, as well as the lack of advertising. By the way, yes - the abundance of banners and promo-posts is very annoying.

By default, the address of your blog in LiveJournal will look like blablabla.livejournal.com. Articles are published in the form of a set of numbers + .html, no CNC.

At the same time, the project team assures that "many search engines index public records in LiveJournal within seconds or minutes from the moment they are sent." However, do not be in a hurry to rejoice - “in the framework of the fight against spam,“ low-weight journals ”are completely prohibited from being indexed.

Like it or not, you can check in the file blablabla.livejournal.com/robots.txt. If the value of the disallow directive contains only a slash, you can not dream of search traffic until users show enough “interest in the magazine”.

Free account statistics is scarce, which is offset by the ability to connect both web analytics systems.

Many examples of LiveJournal blogs are in the top of Artemy Lebedev.

Postach.io

Postach.io is a blog platform from Evernote developers. Work with the blog is made through a mobile application or desktop program.

Opportunities:

  • Connecting Google Analytics Counter.
  • Posting without going to the website postach.io.
  • Subscribe to RSS, Disqus connection.
  • Teamwork, deferred publication.
  • Autoposting on Facebook and Twitter.

To work with a large number of blogs, to get access to premium topics and set up your own domain, you will have to pay from $ 5 per month.

Evernote editor allows you to change the text to bold or italic and highlight it in color, add photos, videos, lists, code snippets, etc. You can also attach audio, a file from a computer or Google Drive to the note.

To publish material, you need to add the label "published". If you want to make the publication static ("About Me", "Contacts" or others), you will need the tag "page". And to create a homepage (for example, with blog navigation), use the tag "home".

The free blog is located at blog.postach.io. CNC is - the service itself writes the article title in the URL in transliteration.

Postach developers assure that everything is fine with SEO: themes are optimized with twitter cards, OpenGraph and schema.org are supported, the latest HTML5 elements are used.

No internal statistics, not even visible shows. All hope for Google Analytics.

Examples of postach.io blogs: Vadim Bugayev, Tanya Bee.

Medium

Medium is a convenient, beautiful and responsive blog platform from the creators of Blogger and Twitter. Works since 2012.

Mostly English-language audience is published here, but the platform is also popular among Russian specialists: journalists, editors, designers, etc.

Features and capabilities:

  • There is a function of importing materials from other blogging platforms and social networks.
  • You can keep a corporate blog with several authors and editors (in Medium this is called publications).
  • You cannot change the appearance of personal blogs, but publications can be made up with headings, subtitles, "caps", logos.
  • You can take notes in the draft and share it with colleagues and friends before publication.
  • Easy to customize the preview for social networks, there is support for InstantView.

The editor is intuitive: it's easy to figure out if you have ever worked with Telegraph, Teletype or the editor of VKontakte articles. The text is made up of dividers, subtitles, quotes, videos and photos, you can embed a third-party code through.

Personal blogs have an address like medium.com/@user, and publications have medium.com/blog. Materials are well indexed in search engines, CNC is easily configured. Pages load quickly.

The main disadvantage of the platform is that you can only connect your own domain for a fee. At the same time, if you know English, Medium has an opportunity to earn thanks to an affiliate program for authors.

Google Analytics or Yandex.Metrica cannot be connected to the blog; only internal statistics are available. What is in it:

  • Number of views and posts.
  • The number of fans ("applauding" users).
  • Summary of traffic sources.
  • Interests of readers.
  • Income (if you participate in the affiliate program).

Examples of blogs on medium.com: Natalia Babaeva, "Mediator".

Facebook Notes

"Notes" - a tool for publishing long posts and articles, launched by Facebook in 2015.

The functionality does not include teamwork, connection of domains and analytics systems, flexible SEO settings or attractive snippets on other platforms. Notes are well suited only for creating and distributing content within Facebook itself.

Great posts in @WebTexterra we make out using Notes

Writing and editing articles in FB is no more difficult than on other platforms. Features of registration:

  • The name, H1 and H2.
  • Bulleted and numbered lists.
  • Inserts for quotes and code.
  • Photo, video, audio and gifs, posts from Instagram and Twitter.
  • The picture in the "cap".

The URL of the published note looks like this: facebook.com/notes/pagename/status/123456789012345. As you can see, quite long and unattractive.

There are no statistics on browsing and reading up; you can only rate the article by involvement: likes, comments, sherami.

Examples of Facebook Notes: TexTerra, State Duma.

By the way, if necessary, you can restrict access to a specific publication: leave it only for friends or close altogether.

VK article editor

The publishing tool from the VKontakte team appeared at the end of 2017. In which he surpasses the FB notes:

  • Flexible configuration of the snippet: you can select a URL other than the title, as well as download the cover separately.
  • There is support for InstantView, pages are instantly loaded on mobile devices.
  • In the "header" - the "Subscribe" button, which gives a good opportunity to attract new members who have come, for example, from the search.
  • When one article ends, another begins immediately - the user does not need to click somewhere to continue consuming the content.
  • In the end, there is a night reading mode (perhaps someone is more comfortable).

Publications can be created both in the community and on a personal page. Dealing with the editor of articles is not difficult:

  • Use headings and subheadings, add quotes and sidebars.
  • Make text bold, italic, crossed out, insert hyperlinks into it.
  • Illustrate articles with pictures, gifs, video and audio recordings.
  • If you need to be distracted, just save the draft and come back to it later.

The finished article will have a URL like vk.com/@pagename-nazvanie_stati. Concise and convenient for publication on other sites. All articles of a personal page or community can be viewed at vk.com/@pagename.

VKontakte provides detailed statistics on articles. You can see the number of views (discoveries), the number of sherov (mentions), the number of readings and their percentage. Conversion funnel shows how users read the material.

Examples of articles VK: TexTerra, "VKontakte" with the authors.

Telegra.ph

Telegraph is an article publishing service developed by Pavel Durov and the Telegram team in 2016.

In April 2018, Russian providers began to block the service together with the messenger. At the beginning of 2019, telegra.ph is available again without a proxy and VPN.

Functionality:

  • Absolute minimalism - no advertising banners, third-party publications, commenting, basic navigation. You write on a clean sheet.
  • The simplicity and speed of publication - to post material, do not even need to register. You can simply write the title, text, name and click "Publish".
  • You can make a clickable user name, edit already published materials and view statistics if you log in through the official @telegraph bot.
  • Naturally, there is support for InstantView: Telegraph articles were opened inside the messenger, even with a valid lock.
  • The preview is not configurable, the header and the first picture on the page are pulled in the snippet for social networks.
  • Team work, connecting analytics systems, postponing posting either.

A fragment of one of our articles, before blocking, we additionally added them to Telegraph for publication on the @TexterraBlog channel

The editor is simple and straightforward. The text is in bold and italics, headings and subtitles, links, sidebars and quotes. Even in the article, you can add images with a caption, videos from YouTube and Vimeo.

The finished article will have an address of the form telegra.ph/title-MM-DD, after updating the published material, the URL can no longer be changed.

The statistics of the Telegraph are minimalistic, both in design and functionality: only views on articles are visible. To find out the numbers, go to the dialogue with the @telegraph bot and click the "My posts" button.

Examples of articles on telegra.ph: "How to build email marketing" (TexTerra), "As a sea captain drank beer with a bear cub" (Mash).

By the way, if the service is blocked again, there is a fallback: tgraph.io "revives" the articles of the Telegraph, allows you to read and share them. And for searching telegra.ph there is a tool TelegCrack.

What to choose

If you just want to try, do not plan to write regularly and monetize the blog, take calmly to the imperfect design and advertising - then you can choose LJ.

A simple design is okay, and advertising and foreign commentators are useless, then pay attention to Blogger and Postach.

There are plans to launch a serious corporate blog or a niche publication (or even several with your own domains) - take a closer look at Medium and Teletype.

You know how to write a lot and with high quality, especially in popular topics and for older audiences, and you want to make money on it - try Yandex.DZen.

If you are moving mainly in social networks and instant messengers, it may be enough functionality of publishing tools from FB, VK, Telegram.

Watch the video: How to Start a Blog in 2019 - Step by Step Tutorial for Beginners (February 2020).

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