Blogging is using writing to share information.
Text can be slow at delivering data, so you’ll normally also see other engaging media, eg. video, images, audio... (in fact, ‘audioblogs’ mostly use audio clips as content).
Today, a good blog can generate a reliable income, help others, or simply organize your thoughts.
On one hand, you’re giving out high-value content, sparking decisions and thoughts . On the other, you’re sharing your personality & boffin mind – building credibility, a readership and trust.
Best Blogging Sites UK 2021
As blogs hit #1 in our online business idea list, a guide to the best blogging platform was in order.
We’ve curated a list of the best platforms for getting started quickly and effectively. There’s something for all levels of technical know-how & time available to set things up…
In the Buying Guide section, there’s also a walkthrough to setting up your first blog and monetizing it.
#1: WordPress + SiteGround Hosting
The Most Experienced Blogging Platform Out There🥇
WordPress is known for having over nearly two-thirds of the market for Internet sites. Websites made with it are consistently able to compete in the top-three ranked positions in search engine page results (SERPs).
Created in 2003, this is the gold standard for most businesses, offering a massive number of project outcomes: small businesses all the way up to corporate enterprises. To get the most out of WordPress, you should have a clear strategy…
Try to do too much without proper training and you’ll be frustrated beyond hell!
Blogging with WordPress
You could start a WordPress blog in under 15 minutes, as long as you don’t get fussy with it…
First, know what you want to do and how to go about it so that you don’t waste time clicking around.
Our top recommendation would be to find a YouTube tutorial that has a great number of views and looks to be what you are looking for with the final product.
Do things in stages:
- Set up the basic blog from start to finish
- If you want eCommerce (online store), that can be a future addition.
Related Read: Cheapest Website Builder
Pricing and Plans
WordPress is free to use (unless you are using the ‘.com’ website: see WordPress org versus WordPress com, for more). For the most flexible premium themes, you’ll need to pay for a licence. But you can find very capable free themes on their store.
Once again, you can save a lot of time by finding a tutorial that looks to have the outcome you want – and make sure it’s for beginners!
The best SEO friendly WordPress themes 2021:
- Divi, which is a bestselling WordPress theme that is very SCO conscious
- SEO Crawler, which is very customisable and SCO friendly, offering lots of professional designs
- MH Magazine, which is ideal for websites that want to publish and tons of content regularly
- TheGem, which focuses on fast loading times and mobile responsiveness, with clean cold for quality SCO and high security
Find an appropriate tutorial for beginners online. The Divi theme comes from the Elegant Themes company, containing loads of features – and demos you can use as a spine for your own content. They’re also the best free blog platform in the UK.
Google certainly rewards this theme, giving you a good start and it integrates with all of the most popular WordPress and plugins. Creating your own pages from scratch shouldn’t be hard if you find good, simple-minded instructions.
Just a few popular WP blog sites:
The longer your site is down, the less time visitors can check out your blog. That could lose you money, credibility and advocates. The first step to starting a blog, therefore, is to choose a quality web host. The next step could be taking a refresher course in how to write a successful blog.
Recommended Host: SiteGround
They give you a 100% uptime guarantee, speedy load times, lots of WordPress integrations, blog support, free CDN services to speed up page performances and daily backups. A great value-for-money option.
Related Read: SiteGround Review
Mobile Responsive and Quite Affordable 🥈
Unlike WordPress, Wix (Wix review) will host your website on their own platform (no self-hosting), essentially taking care of all the infrastructure, even giving you a free custom domain if you go with their annual plan.
This drag & drop creator has been around since 2006, currently serving almost 200 million users from nearly the same number around the globe.
This is your fast go-to tool if you want to make professional looking websites at warp speed, and little technical knowledge needed, that can compete in the search engine page results (SERPs) – if you strategize well.
Blogging With Wix
Wix stands out as the most in-demand – non-WordPress – website builder for the average user. But is Wix good for blogging?
We’ll have to look at several dimensions, to answer this question. For ease of use, it’s an intuitive option for people who do not know about the back-end aspect of web development (user-friendly).
It’s also mobile responsive, which is good for SEO. If you want a totally free blogging option, you can get a free Wix subdomain: your website name.Wix.com.
The pricing is affordable. Wix keeps himself updated, adding in new features more than something like Blogger does. And it integrates with social media. Overall, this is a comprehensive tool that can get the job done.
Pricing and Plans
There’s a free plan level, although we wouldn’t recommend this for any blog you want to make money from. The first premium plan level is the Combo plan, which gives you a custom domain, 3GB storage, 2GB bandwidth, freedom from Wix ads, Google Analytics and 30mins high definition video. This’ll cost you £4.40/mo.
To boost your performance level, you may want to hop onto the Unlimited plan, which gives you unlimited bandwidth, 10 GB storage and a plug-in to boost your website performance. This comes in at £6.60/mo.
And the business tiers begin at £8.70/mo. The Business Basic gives you unlimited video and the ability to start doing eCommerce… If you want to sell products and services on your blog, you may need to choose this level of provisions, although you could link to a third-party store in your content or do affiliate marketing/advertisement commissions.
Take a look at our detailed comparison of Wix vs Shopify when it comes to eCommerce.
AHREFs did a piece on how well Wix compares to WordPress in terms of its ability to be visible on search engines. The results were inconclusive and suggested that Wix could be effective in limited situations – and perhaps even in general.
(Wix’s $50,000 challenge that they could rank #1 for the search query “SEO Hero” failed, with them losing – reaching third position instead… But, that isn’t so bad.)
Our recommendation would be to use it in an instance where there’s very low competition, high-volume, and low paid difficulty.
Beginner Friendly 🥉
Weebly (full Weebly review) is easy to set up, mobile friendly and can create good looking websites – you’ll also be able to do eComs.
This is perhaps the simplest drag and drop website builder. The generous helping of free features:
- Basic E-Commerce
- No Page Limits
- Opt-in Forms
Find a good number of template themes for a range of different niche brands: cleaning services, photography, personal training restaurants, and lots more
Blogging With Weebly
There are some drawbacks when it comes to SEO. Weebly lets you do much of the basics such as adding in key SEO elements to your posts or pages (meta descriptions, page titles, page descriptions, and so on), using the built-in editor.
Have a look:
You’ll have to watch out for duplications occurring, which could happen if you add in descriptions for both the page editor and settings tab.
But the main issue is with the cleanness of the coding. If you want your website to load quickly, you want minimal coding done in an organised manner.
Pricing and Plans
Weebly does, however, have one advantage over Wix: letting you host with a third party provider…
This means you can combine the super simplicity of Weebly with great speeds of a quality cheap host. If you only need a very simple website, there are plenty of options.
Just hop onto the support section and ask them to connect your website with your host of choice.
Bonus- And if you found a very low competition, good search volume niche, you could perhaps get an advantage on Wix by grabbing the best VPS plan – to snap up that opportune traffic! Possible good ROI win.
Overall, this is a choice if you have a clever strategy in play.
A Vast Library of Knowledge 📜
Another top way to make one of the best blogging sites ever – no code knowledge needed. Although not as popular as WordPress / Wix, they’ve been around since 2009.
The parent company is 123-reg is older and claims to be the U.K.’s largest accredited domain registrar in the world. Overall: recommended if you want a very fast blog set up and making money isn’t important:
- You want to teach yourself how to blog.
- You want something low maintenance and personal.
- Making money from your blog isn’t yet a big consideration.
Later on, you can migrate your content to a different platform.
Blogging With Site123
There are 10 different website template types you can find with Site123 (full Site123 review) – and blogs are one of them!
As should be obvious from the screenshot, the templates are rather simple and clean, and optimised for mobiles.
Do basic search engine optimisations. And choose from a selection of landing pages. Just don’t expect anything complex or advanced scalable options.
This may not be the most customizable but you can edit specific visual elements on pages: images, videos, colours and fonts. Access free images, icons and videos. Edit them with image filters and make galleries.
Add in contact forms and your social media. If you’re a brick and mortar business, you can slot in a Google Maps section, where people can find you.
There’s support 24/7, with online chat – and there are video tutorials on using the system. Site123 supports 16 languages.
Pricing and Plans
The free plan will give you a subdomain, 1GB bandwidth, with 500 MB storage – which should be good enough for a personal blog who doesn’t expect to have much traffic.
If you want basic SEO, eCommerce, and boosted storage / bandwidth – with a free domain for one year – the premium plan will cost you £6.03/mo.
Let’s say your writing skills aren’t up to scratch. Maybe you want to give yourself a few months to post on a regular basis, using a super simple system that you don’t care about.
Practice getting the right combo of text / media. Tackle the basic SEO elements like ‘meta tags’ and ‘alt descriptions’ for images… Over time, as your confidence increases, you can target a specific niche and upgrade to a platform higher up in this guide.
Simple and Effective 🪶
Squarespace (full Squarespace review) is a design-focus company that gives you lots of very attractive looking premade templates.
While these can seem generic, it does give you something that looks very professional without needing to manipulate the layout extensively.
Blogging With Squarespace
Squarespace is probably very ideal for blogging because of how well-designed it is and the directory of blog templates you can choose from.
We like the organisation of posts. If you don’t mind having a somewhat rigid structure that looks beautiful (not a great deal of customizability), you will potentially love this platform for blogging.
There are some question marks around the page loading speeds at the SEO may hit some hard limits when it comes to the advanced side of things, but this is a solid choice for blogging. The SEO it’s clean and easy-to-use.
Pricing and Plans
The Personal pan plan should cost you £13.50/mo (£10/mo on the annual plan). You’ll get a free SSL security certificate, analytics, apps, basic SEO and mobile optimised themes.
Whereas the Business plan will cost you £22/mo (£15/mo annual). This will give you the ability to accept donations, get 0% transaction fees on purchases made via your site, full e-commerce solutions and other premium integrations / blocks.
Buying Guide 🛍️
Make A Blog Website UK
I’m just guessing, these are the things you want-
- A fully functioning blog
- Thousands of visitors each day
- High levels of conversions (semi-passive/passive income)
#1 Web Host
First things first, you’ll want a web host nearest to your audience.
Once again, our recommendation is SiteGround, who’re very good with WordPress in particular. Also find high-level data centres located across three continents. Currently they have data centres in:
Check the location of your audience and choose one nearest to them so that your server response times optimised (meaning that your pages will load for those visitors faster).
SiteGround’s data centres use high security redundancy to shield you from data loss 24/7. They’re also environmentally friendly, with some of them using 100% carbon neutral renewable energy.
#2 Choose Your Blog Name & Niche
Before you set yourself up with a quality domain registrar.
You need to know what your company is about and the kind of content you’ll be making.
To do that, simply think about the following:
- What do you enjoy?
- Where do you see high demand & low supply?
During the week, keep a notebook with you and shut down whenever you are consuming the continuing joy and have a thought of what would be cool.
Perhaps you see somebody requesting more information on the topic, for me particular angle that the content creator hasn’t supplied.
One example could be if you enjoy watching videos about introducing Bengal cats to the home. Perhaps there’s a lot of scattered information but no single piece of wisdom of what to expect.
You might decide to create content that summarises key aspects using highly digestible whiteboard animations:
- What to expect when you first introduce the Bengal cat to your home
- PROs & CONs of having a Bengal cat in the home
- How to choose a Bengal cat for your home - and where to buy from
Notice that each video idea is specific to Bengal cats and the home. Type in these ideas to Google to see how much demand there is (if the search query pops up before you finish typing it, this is a sign that people are demanding that content).
You can verify the numbers using a free SEO tool such as UberSuggest, which is simple to use.
The first screen will be a bar where you can type in a keyword idea. I’ve typed in “Bengal cats”, which takes you to a new overview screen.
Here, you can see the search volume, SEO difficulty, pay difficulty, and cost per click.
The lower the SEO difficulty score, the more likely it is that something like Wix, which makes website building very simple, will be appropriate for you building up your content marketing strategy.
Of course, “Bengal cats” is way too short a keyword string, which means competition will naturally be high. We want to narrow down our search query and target a much more defined market … by looking for keyword ideas. To find this, head to the left-hand menu.
You have to sign in (for free), in order to see more of the suggestions available. In this example, I’ve scrolled down to an option with a moderately low SEO difficulty score of 21 for “how much do Bengal cats cost?”
But you’ll notice that their pay difficulty score is high, at 53. The score down to another option. This one: “personality of Bengal cats” is ideal, with a very low SEO difficulty score of 7 and an even lower paid difficulty score of only 4.
You’ll also notice that there’s a variation which is roughly the same ratio of paid difficulty (although the entry prices much lower at only nine cents) and SEO score with a high search traffic volume: “personalities of Bengal cats”.
Get the idea? Here’s what you want:
- Low SEO and paid difficulties
- High search volume
- Low ‘cost per click’
In order to get organic traffic, those metrics suggest that you can more easily enter into this niche and get visibility. It’s also a good sign that something very fast to make a website with - like Wix - can compete well.
#3 Set up Your Blog
There are loads of tutorials for any of the providers listed in this guide. Note that WordPress will have a steeper learning curve and this may be extreme if you try to do something complicated.
If you want to use WordPress, keep your theme and strategy simple. And if you want something very fast like Wix, keep in mind that the best chance you have of getting visibility on search engine pages (SERPs) would be if you get a great ratio of low cost per click, high search volume, and low SEO/paid difficulties.
How to Create Blog Content
Companies that white out their blog strategy double their chances of succeeding… Data from the content marketing Institute says that 60% of companies with a written content strategy get success compared to 32% who keep it only verbal.
You need to ask yourself questions about what you’re doing and why:
- Why are you making content?
- What content is key? (See the UberSuggest guide above).
- How can we make content that succeeds at hitting our goals?
Why, What and How can help you to get a 3D picture of the production / project.
Check the Target Market
As I mentioned above, you want to verify that the content ideas you have are good: first, by visiting the content you enjoy and verifying whether viewers are commenting about wanting things that you are brainstorming.
Second, using UberSuggest to verify an entry point, with defined keyword strings.
Sometimes, you may have an idea that isn’t yet being searched for (not specifically, at least, but your idea SHOULD still involve products / personalities / topics that are in demand).
Yet, you sense it would be a big hit, perhaps because you are a fan yourself and so have an intuitive understanding of what the viewers want.
In that case, understand you’re taking a risk so try to create variations of that product and only create one instalment to test out how people respond.
If you double-down on one tactic, such as comedic animations on a subject people are interested in, you could spend months producing the content and end up having little to no success. To get around this, you make a test trial. In the production business, they call creating only one instalment a ‘pilot’ episode.
Blogging Terminologies/Glossary Definitions You Should Know
Run Google ads on your blog and it can draw in commission money.
Google AdSense is for bloggers and web publishers who want to display targeted media ads on their website pages – earning a commission each time a visitor clicks.
These are paid out via PPC (paid/cost per click) or by impressions (CPM).
#2 Split Testing
Also known as ‘A/B testing’. Essentially, you create two or more versions of the same content, and then track the different metrics of engagement from specific audiences. For instance, you might create multiple variations of an email subject line – then check how many people actually open the email from the same audience segment.
An automated piece of processing that lets bloggers create audio versions of text blog posts using RSS feeds. You’ll still need to set up a podcast with the right podcasting host, in order to get it online.
This means you mainly post content made up of audio clips and voice recordings.
#5 Above the Fold
The bits of your content or webpage that show up on the visitor’s screen without them needing to scroll any further. This is generally where you can capture their attention.
An affiliate is a blogger who creates content that incentivises visitors to choose a product, tool or service.
As a result, the affiliate marketer gets a commission of the sale. Good affiliate marketing is where the blogger has an understanding of the product or has used it themselves so knows what they’re talking about.
Also known as ‘reporting’ or ‘insights’. This data helps you evaluate the performance of your website, so you can better understand who is using your pages, how they’re using it and how you can improve content for them.
Google Analytics is the biggest name in website analytics, giving bloggers information on how much traffic is entering their blog and where from. Also see things related to Google AdSpends.
#8 Alexa Rank
You could think of this as something similar to ‘Page Authority’, which is an SEO metric letting you know how search engines value particular pages and websites related to specific search queries.
Alexa Rank gives you a popularity score on the Internet, a measure of your estimated traffic in combination with how engaged the traffic was over the last three months. Data is coalesced from the various browsers, with bias corrections.
The lower your Alexa Rank, the better, showing that you are higher up in the overall hierarchy of global websites.
#9 Anchor Text
This is an aspect of SEO, letting Google crawl your website more effectively. This is the text that you place inside of a clickable hyperlink. For instance, in this hyperlink: the best VPN providers, the hyperlink is “best VPN”.
#10 Alt Text
Alternative text is a description that tells search engines and readers what an image is.
This is very important for helping Google to crawl your website and adds to good SEO.
Also, if the image does not load—for instance, if an email client blocks an image—this ‘alt text’ will load up in its place, letting the reader know what the image would have been.
#11 Astroturfing (SEO)
The practice of paying people to pretend to be customers or visitors to your website, in order to influence other visitors and the Google search algorithms. This isn’t a recommendable thing for you to do.
“BBlogers” is a hashtag that’s oftentimes used by beauty bloggers so they can be quickly identified by others interested in that niche.
Alias for the blogging community. You could use it for the community in your specific blog or to describe all blogs.
Somebody in a blogosphere who blogs using a particularly cutting-edge attitude is sometimes called a “Blogoneer” (pioneering blogger).
#14 Backend and Frontend
This may be also spelled “back-end” / “front-end”. Front-end developers deal with things website visitors will actually see, such as the content and design layout.
Backend developers handle much of the infrastructure behind it that can’t necessarily be seen but which impacts the functionality (the deal much more with the coding side of things: HTML, CSS, PHP, etc.).
What Is the Best Blogging Platform for Beginners?
For the best blogging site UK overall, we have to give this to Wix hands-down, for having the most versatility and value for money, while needing zero coding knowledge. On the technical side of things, the canvas is drag-and-drop. You don’t need a grasp of how website development works – intuitively build pages from beginning to end.
Squarespace is also known for having a single canvas that takes care of the ‘back-end’ and ‘front-end’ without needing to alternate between the two, or to handle overly technical aspects of design and layout (Squarespace is a primarily design oriented company).
While WordPress can be simple, yet have to be careful to choose a simple theme and design strategy. We recommend finding a YouTube tutorial that gives a simple blog website – something with good reviews / comments.
Do Bloggers Make Money?
Blogging isn’t a get rich quick strategy. It’s something that can grow into very stable passive or semi-passive income over the long term.
Build it from a hobby blog into a business blog. If you pay attention to SEO tactics, you can capture more and more organic traffic and dominate inside of a specific niche, earning while you sleep.
Can You Still Make a Living Blogging (2020 / 2021)?
If you’re passionate about a topic and can white well enough, blogging could be an extra source of income with unlimited upside. Truth is that most of the millions of bloggers today don’t make enough for a livelihood.
This Glassdoor pie chart for people who describe themselves as professional bloggers show that the vast majority earned under the living wage. Today, a blogger needs to pay attention to the changing landscape and be somebody who is willing to adapt constantly.
For instance, perhaps you need a way to feed in traffic to your website blog by using YouTube. While YouTube is nothing new, there are always new approaches to capturing attention with striking content. Savvy producers keep their eye on the culture and user behaviours.
- Are you producing efficiently enough? (right now I am writing this piece of content using dictation software)
- Are you producing enough volume? (people rapidly forget if you stop producing)
- Is your content good enough? (utilise: fame, sex appeal, originality, quality and pain point/relevance)
How Do Bloggers Get Paid?
#1 CPM / CPC ads
CPM ads: also known as ‘cost per 1,000 impressions’. These ads give you a set amount of money based on the number of people seeing your ad. This is how most people make money on YouTube (other than by adding extra providers like Patreon).
CPC/PPC ads: cost per click and pay per click ads. These are the same thing and mean the amount of commission you get each time a viewer clicks on an ad shown on your blog.
Google’s AdSense is probably the most popular provider for these ads. There’s no need for you to create direct contracts with advertisers, and Google selects the most relevant advertisements for your content.
#2 Sell Physical or Digital Products
This is very good for creatives and experts with in demand products that cannot be found anywhere else. This includes items such as:
- Online courses & workshops
- eBooks & physical books
- Copyrightable pieces of media like music, video and images people can purchase for their own content.
- Memberships (perhaps you’re a comic-strip creator and have a special VIP section for paying customers)
#3 Affiliate Marketing
We mentioned this in the Buying Guide. You recommend products you’ve used or understand. You could also do the same for your own product and have people advertise that on their channel.
The affiliate marketer gets a portion of the sale and the viewer gets value from the product itself. Simple.
Content marketing can be viewed as building trust over time. You don’t need to sell products each time with each post… Rather, focus on creating high-value content that gives visitors with a need or want.
Over time, you’re training Google to associate your website with particular keyword strings. If you also provide products and services or affiliate marketing, a portion of those visitors will also make purchases!
In Conclusion 🏁
Blogging is great for those with a great work ethic and in touch with how audiences think.
Lots of people talk about a time when AI will do everything we can (and even better). But… until that day comes, humans will always continue to have problems and need solutions.
Think about blogging and content creation as providing a need or want to the above:
- Alleviate boredom with productive something entertaining and productive
- Solve a difficult problem
- Condense information around topics people are really interested in – in an engaging / original way
No niche yet? Return to the Buying Guide section of this article.
That’ll give you in order to see the best strategy/ for figuring out the optimal SEO standings when choosing a standing for your niche.
When you figure out how much competition there is, you will need to decide how much money to invest in order to compete effectively.
If you’ve followed our guide and managed to find a low competition, high volume niche, now you have 2 main best blogging platform options:
WordPress is great if you have a bit of time to learn. It’s even better if you have a bit of money to invest in an SEO expert (acting without a clear strategy will leave you floundering). Start with SiteGround, which has one-click WP installation.
But if you manage to find a particularly low competition and high opportunity niche, Wix can get you started in the speediest way.… SEOeo is automated and you need minimal technical know-how.
Once you’ve been set up, all that’s left is for you to create content in a diligent way, adhering to your strategy and tracking how it grows over time.