The Top 8 Best Blogging Platforms for Influencers & Micro-Influencers

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@emily_

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The Top 8 Best Blogging Platforms for Influencers & Micro-Influencers

Whether you’re just starting out on your influencer journey, or if you’re a popular influencer looking to expand your presence from Instagram to the web, there are a lot of things to think about.

Most likely, you’re thinking about starting a blog. And if you’ve done even a little bit of research you know that there sure are a lot of blogging platforms out there.

The good news is, the influencer blogging platforms that exist out there are all a bit different. While they all allow you to blog easily and freely (for many of them, literally for free), they all have different customization abilities, SEO features, and analytics dashboards that favor influencers with different goals and experience levels. 

So, we went through some of the top blogging platforms for influencers, and came up with the following list. 

The best blogging platforms for influencers

WordPress.org

When you think of a blogging platform, WordPress is probably the first one that comes to mind. And with 30% of the web using WordPress to power their blog, it’s hard to deny that it’s a good option for creating and hosting your influencer blog.

Fun fact: there are actually 2 WordPress platforms for blogging, WordPress.org and WordPress.com (which we’ll go into later). The main difference is that WordPress.com offers hosting for your site — WordPress.org offers a downloadable software that you’ll have to install onto a site you’ve hosted elsewhere.

For newbies, hosting your site means paying a service to store and manage the data from your website, so that other people can access that data online. A domain name will sometimes be a part of the package you get from your web hosting service, but you may have to also purchase a domain separately.

While it is possible to host your own site, it’s definitely not recommended, and using a web hosting provider will be cheaper and more reliable in the end. Some popular web hosting platforms include:

  • Bluehost

  • DreamHost

  • SiteGround

You can read all about web hosting for WordPress.org sites here.

Anyway, back to WordPress. The platform is an open source software that you can use to build a blog on your website, and it’s super customizable and relatively easy to use.

Pros

  • WordPress is by far the most commonly used platform when it comes to blogs, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down — so they must be doing something right.

  • With tons of design customization options and plugins, you’re able to make your blog look exactly the way you’d like it to look.

  • There’s a huge community of users who use the platform, so if you run into an issue, it’s almost guaranteed that someone’s been through the same thing before, and hopefully worked out a fix.

  • WordPress has the best options for SEO, which can help new people discover your blog when they’re searching on Google.

Cons

  • WordPress is not as easy to customize as the website building platforms we’ll feature a little further down the list.

  • You’ll have to pay for your own hosting (which some people actually recommend).

Hosting

No, WordPress does not host your website. You’ll have to use a hosting service service to get your blog up and running on the web.

Domain included?

No. As mentioned, you might get a domain with your hosting service, or else you’ll have to purchase your own.

Notable features

The largest user base of all of the blogging platforms, and endless possibilities when it comes to what type of influencer website you want to create.

Blog number

19.5 billion websites on the web right now use WordPress.org.

Plugins

WordPress has over 55,000 plugins, making customizing your blog a breeze. Plugins can help you to add a feature to your site — on the back end or the front end — that would take you way longer if you were to try to code it yourself.

These can be as simple as adding a contact form to your webpage, or adding SEO support to your back end to let you know if your content is optimized for the SERPs.

Customization

When it comes to the design of your site, WordPress has a ton of themes for you to choose from — 3,123, to be exact. Anyone can upload a theme to the WordPress theme database, so it’s always a growing list.

And if you aren’t happy with the themes there, the website ThemeForest.net has over 41,000 WordPress themes and website templates, starting at $2.

Stats & Analytics

The site stats & analytics tools for WordPress.org blogs all come in the form of plugins. They have a Google Analytics Dashboard plugin that can show you real-time site stats, as well as myriad analytical data – you name the data point, it’s probably on the Google Analytics Dashboard.

Mobile-friendly?

Yes, depending on the theme you choose.

Coding required?

No, but you’re able to format your site with code if you so choose — it does really help to know some basic HTML/CSS, which is super easy to learn. (remember MySpace?)

Ease of use

WordPress is pretty easy to use, especially if you’re just creating a basic blog site. There are a few website building platforms below that we’ll dive deeper into, like Wix and Squarespace, that are much easier when it comes to the look of your site.

Also, the process of hosting your own site can be a bit of a pain. You should be ready to do a bit of research if this is the first time you’ve ever take a deep look into creating a website.

Support

WordPress has a huge community of users, a dedicated support page, and a support forum that you can search — because someone has definitely had the same issue as you before. So don’t worry.

Price

WordPress is completely free, which makes it a really great option for influencers looking to start their own site. Keep in mind, you’ll have to pay on your own for web hosting, a domain name, site security, etc.

Which type of influencer is this blogging platform good for?

WordPress is great for any type of influencer. As mentioned before, it’s the most widely used platform, and for good reason.

It’s easy to set up when you’re just starting out, but as you grow as an influencer and get more technically skilled on the platform, there is a ton of roof for growth/expansion/site updates that you might not be able to achieve with some of the other platforms on this list. Overall, this is probably your best bet for an influencer blog.

Wordpress.com

As mentioned, WordPress.com is similar to WordPress.org, except they take care of hosting your site for you.

Pros

  • Easier that self-hosting, since everything is taken care of on one platform.

Cons

  • Not as customizable / not as much room for continuous growth as using WordPress.org, so many people will end up just securing their own web host and using WordPress.org to run their site.

Hosting

Yes, WordPress.com hosts your website.

Domain included?

With a basic plan, you’ll be stuck with blogname.wordpress.com. But with any of the paid plans, a domain name is included in the monthly subscription fee.

Blog number

About 76.5 million.

Plugins

While self-hosted WordPress has literally tens of thousands of plugins, WordPress.com has less, since they don’t have any third-party plugins available. However, the important plugins are already built-in, so you don’t have to search through a database to add them to your blog.

They have extensions for backend things like analytics and SEO, and they also have some front end plugins that enable users to do cool things, like infinitely scroll down your blog, or like your individual posts.

You’ll get access to custom design plugins and video uploads with a premium membership, and business profiles have access to many thousands of plugins (although you shouldn’t need a business profile if you’re not planning on selling anything from your blog).

Customization

Again, the self-hosted WordPress greatly outperforms While the self-hosted WordPress platform offers a boatload of customization options and design themes, WordPress.com only has a couple hundred themes available. Plus, you aren’t able to customize a theme unless you have one of the paid subscriptions.

Stats & Analytics

As with the self-hosted version, analytics on WordPress.com are run through a plugin. Although in this version, you’ll only have access to stats provided by WordPress, not any third party app.

Mobile-friendly?

Depending on the theme, yes.

Coding required?

No, coding isn’t required to set up a blog on WordPress.com.

Ease of use

WordPress.com is easier to set up than setting up WordPress on a self-hosted site, but once you get to the meat of running the blog, both platforms are just as easy.

Support

With all plans, you’ll have access to the WordPress.com support site, as well as a contact form where you can reach out to a customer service representative for help. With any paid plan, you’ll also have access to email and live chat support.

Price

WordPress.com is free, but to remove WordPress ads and access things like more storage and advanced design, you’ll need to get one of their premium plans. There are two options for bloggers, and one for business — the two you’ll need to worry about are $48/year or $96/year, with the more expensive one allowing you to monetize your site.

Which type of influencer is this blogging platform good for?

WordPress.com is a good platform for almost any influencer, especially one who might be intimidated by the prospect of securing a web host and setting up the initial site.

That said, I’d still recommend taking the time to research self-hosted sites and trying to get one of those set up. As you grow your influence, you’ll have more customization options, and the option to include third-party plugins that could provide an amazing experience to your site visitors.

Blogger

Blogger is probably the most basic of the blogging platforms, and that’s probably why it boasts the most blogs of all the platforms on this list. The simplicity, however, can make the platform too basic for advanced / more experienced bloggers. But, overall, a good place to start if you’re completely new to blogging and managing a blog.

Pros

  • Extremely easy to use.

  • A Google product, so integrates extremely easily with Google AdSense (for when you’re ready to start monetizing).

Cons

  • Blogger only has around 55 themes for you to choose from, so it’s somewhat limited when it comes to the design of your blog.  

Hosting

Yes, Blogger offers hosting.

Domain included?

No. Blogger assigns you a subdomain when you sign up, but doesn’t offer your own domain. However, since it’s a Google product, you’ll be able to easily use a domain hosted by Google Domains (which, for the most part, run between $12 - $30 per year).

Blog count

Unknown.

Plugins

You can add what blogger calls “Gadgets,” which are sort of like plugins for your blog. As of right now, they’re offer 807 Gadgets — things as basic as a search bar and contact form, and also some more obscure offerings, like these:

The majority of Gadgets are contributed by third-party developers, but Google has separated out its 28 essential or “basic” Gadgets for ease of use.

Customization

As mentioned above, Blogger only has about 55 themes when it comes to blog design.

You’re also only limited to the 807 Gadgets listed above, many of which are either in different languages or are extremely obscure.

Stats & Analytics

Since Blogger is a Google product, you'll have access to the full suite of Google Analytics, where you'll be able to see in-depth analytics for your site.

Mobile-friendly?

You can make your Blogger site mobile-friendly, and Google offers a tool to check this here.

Coding required?

No, but you’re able to use custom HTML/CSS and JavaScript if you’d like to customize your site even more.

Ease of use

Blogger is extremely easy to use — someone on the internet for the very first time could probably figure out the platform.

Support

Since it’s a Google product, Blogger has a wealth of knowledge in the Google support forums.  

Price

Blogger is free, you’ll just have to pay for your own domain name if you want to get a site up and running using blogger.

Which type of influencer is this blogging platform good for?

Blogger is great for the influencer who is new to the blogging world, and wants something quick and easy. If you’re a big fan of Google products, you’re sure to like this platform, too.

Website building platforms for influencer blogs

Weebly

Weebly is a website builder, so it can be used to create all different kinds of sites. It’s very easy to add a blog element to your site, though, so that makes it a good platform for influencers.

Pros

  • It’s easy to customize your site without coding, since you can drag-and-drop different elements into place to create your ideal blog.

Cons

  • You can’t do too much with the free plan, but it’s a good way to test out if you like the platform before actually diving into a paid plan.

Hosting

Yes, Weebly will host your blog.

Domain included?

With a free account, you’re not able to connect your own domain to your weebly site — you’ll have a weebly.com subdomain. With upgraded site plans, you get yearly access to your own domain name.

Plugins

Weebly has an App Center with just under 300 apps that you can use to enhance your site. These can be apps that allow you to drag and drop features (like a comments section) onto your blog posts or site in general, or they can be what Weebly calls “Snippets,” that are features that run across every page of your site (i.e. a contact box in your footer).

You can also integrate even more in-depth APIs. Weebly supports third-party apps (made by developers who don’t work at Weebly), which means that their App Center is growing everyday.

Weebly also offers a full Marketing tool (not free) that can help you with things like email newsletters.

Customization

Weebly only has a little over 50 themes to choose from when it comes to designing your blog. While they are all customizable on their own, if you’re looking for a unique premade blog theme, there aren’t that many options here.

You are able to create your own custom fonts on Weebly, which isn’t something normally offered.

Stats & Analytics

With a free account, Weebly offers basic stats like page views and unique visitors, by day. Upgraded accounts have the ability to view their top performing pages, the search terms people have used to find your blog on Google, and which other webpages are directing the most traffic to your blog.

Mobile-friendly?

Yes, all of Weebly’s theme designs are responsive, so they work well on mobile devices.

Coding required?

No, but you’re able to use custom HTML/CSS and JavaScript if you’d like to customize your site even more.

Ease of use

Weebly isn’t hard to use, especially if you’re just looking for a quick and dirty way to set up your blog.

Support

Weebly has a full Help Center to assist with any issues, and paid plans have access to the community forums, and chat & email support. The highest tiered paid plans also have access to phone support as well.

Price

Free to start out and build your site, but you’ll have to upgrade if you want your own domain name. Upgraded site plans start at $4/month, and actually include access to one year of your own domain name. So if you haven’t purchased a domain name yet, this is probably the best way to go.

Which type of influencer is this blogging platform good for?

Weebly is good for any type of influencer, but probably best for someone who’s had some experience on a website before. As far as website building platforms go, this one tends to be most useful for e-commerce sites, and not blogs — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

If you’re a photography influencer, and you also want to add an e-commerce section to your site where you sell prints, Weebly might be the best option for you.

Wix

Wix is all about creating a “stunning website.” Seriously, it’s all over their site. And while a “website” can mean anything from an online shop to a local musical’s calendar of events, it’s a really great option if you’re serious about taking your influencer to the web.

Pros

  • Has options for bloggers at all different experience levels

  • Wix probably has the best SEO tools of any of the platforms, aside from WordPress, which has some really great SEO plugins like Yoast.

Cons

  • Most expensive option on the list, since you’ll have to pay to hook up your own domain name, but you’re definitely getting what you pay for.

  • If you don’t pay to upgrade, you’ll have Wix ads on your free site until you do.

Hosting

Yes, Wix hosts your website.

Domain included

If you’re not paying for a Premium plan, you’re not going to be able to connect your own domain name to your site — you’ll be stuck with username.wixsite.com/sitename. The most basic Premium plan allows you to connect your own domain name, but you’ll have to get it from another site first. The remaining premium plans all come with a free domain name for you.

Notable features

Wix has what they call ADI, or Artificial Design Intelligence, to help you build and design your custom site just by answering a few questions about yourself, the site’s purpose, what content you plan to share, etc.

Blog count

Over 115 million blogs are powered by Wix.

Plugins

Wix offers a ton of features and web apps that you can integrate into your site. Their App Market is where you can find any available apps, and they have everything that you could ever dream of adding to your site.

You can add popups to get people to subscribe to your email, add a Spotify playlist to your site, and many more. Many of the apps are free, but a lot of them are reserved for users with Premium plans, so make sure you take everything into account before signing up.

Customization

Wix is extremely customizable. They offer over 500 templates for a site, and everything is drag-and-drop.

Since Wix is a website builder first, you’ll have to add a blog element to your site to be able to start blogging. But, as mentioned earlier, that’s super easy to do.

Stats & Analytics

Wix has a number of different apps in their App Market that can measure site analytics — Visitor Analytics is one with great reviews. With the free plan, you’ll be able to see where your site visitors are coming from, live site stats, what days you get the most traffic, and other stats.

With a premium plan, you can see that plus more advanced data, and be able to export your data (a neat option for your influencer media kit — including a report of your latest blog stats).  

Mobile-friendly?

Yes, Wix sites have great responsive design, and every design template they have is mobile-optimized.

Coding required?

You can get by with no coding on Wix, but there’s a ton of room for super-experienced engineers to play around with their Wix site. People run full e-commerce businesses using Wix Code, which enables you to use the Wix Editor along with your own code. So, there are a ton of opportunities to develop a really robust site with JavaScript, and even integrate Wix APIs, etc.

Ease of use

Wix can be as easy or as hard as you’d like it to be. For those with little experience, Wix can literally build your website for you. They also have easy drag-and-drop capabilities, so you’re able to move different elements of your site around to make each design customized to your needs.

Support

Wix has a full, searchable Help Center, and with the highest tier Premium plan you get a VIP support line.

Price

It’s free to host your blog on Wix, but if you want to connect your domain name, Premium plans start at $5/month. At this lowest plan cost, however, your site will display Wix Brand Ads. The next plan up, at $11/month, will remove these ads for you. From there, the plans only go up, with the most expensive coming out to $300/year.

Which type of influencer is this blogging platform good for?

Wix is a very good option for any type of influencer, especially if you’re getting really serious with your personal brand. While it might favor those who have at least some type of web experience, their ADI tool is really helpful for those who are newer to blogging.

Squarespace

Squarespace is another website builder that isn’t necessarily made specifically for blogs. But, it’s still easy to create a blog-based website in no time.

Pros

  • Squarespace is very easy to use, even if you have little-to-no web experience. 

  • You'll get SSL support with any Squarespace plan, which is great — you won't have to worry about site security on your own.

Cons

  • You aren't able to add too many other features to your Squarespace site, other than the ones they already offer. 
  • Might be too robust of a platform if all you're looking for is a simple place to blog. 

Hosting

Yes, Squarespace will host your blog.

Domain included?

Yes, a domain is included when you sign up for a paid plan (which you’ll inevitably have to do after the free trial ends). You’ll also get SSL support, which turns your http:// into an https:// — something you definitely want.

Plugins

Squarespace boasts a big list of pre-installed integrations. Each design template comes preloaded with apps like Adobe Creative Suite, Google Drive, and Getty Images, among others. 

However, there isn't much room for expansion once you've exhausted these plugins. 

Customization

Squarespace offers a bunch of themes with customizable layouts. Minimalism seems to be in recently, and they have a good number of minimalist site designs, as well as some more in-depth ones. They claim that their designs are award-winning, so that's definitely a perk if you're looking for a really professional-looking site.

Stats & Analytics

With paid plans, you’ll be able to track website visits, traffic sources, geographic locations of your site visitors, popular content pages, and more.

Mobile-friendly?

With the paid subscriptions, your site is guaranteed to have a mobile-friendly version.

Coding required?

No. There’s no coding required for Squarespace, it’s another one of those platforms with drag-and-drop site elements and easily customizable add ons and features. However, if you'd like to add some code to further personalize your Squarespace site, it's hard to do so.

Ease of use

Squarespace is relatively easy to use, and you don’t really need much experience going into it. All you need is an idea in your head of what you want your site to look like, and you’ll be able to customize everything on the platform.

Support

Paid plans give you access to 24/7 customer support, which is really great if you’re an influencer who does their best work at night. There’s also a searchable support site, for the more introverted influencers.

Price

A Personal website subscription on Squarespace starts at $16/month, and that comes with your site, a custom domain, and web analytics. There is no free option for Squarespace, but you are able to start out with a free trial to see if you like the platform before switching to a paid plan.

Which type of influencer is this blogging platform good for?

Squarespace is a great place to start your influencer blog, especially if you’ve never had blogging experience before. It’s super easy to set everything up, and you can personalize all parts of the site. 

Other blogging platforms for influencers

Medium

Medium is a good place to host your influencer blog, however there are some limitations that come with the platform (like not being able to hook up your own domain) that make it better as a social supplement to your main website.

Pros

  • Medium is great for writers — it’s basically a community for writers, made by writers.

  • Medium already has an active user base of over 160 million monthly visitors, so you’ll be able to reach those people fairly easily.

  • Very clean, minimalist platform for writing.

  • You might have the chance to be paid for your content, based on the number of claps given out by readers.

Cons

  • Not great SEO for your blog, making it hard for new readers to discover you.

  • You aren’t able to monetize your medium blog, or any of the content on it. However, you can join the Medium Partner Program. Registered Medium Members pay $5/month for unlimited content, and they have the ability to “like” your articles (on Medium, likes are instead “claps,” and you can give as many claps to a story as you’d like). You earn money based on the number of Medium Members who give your article applause.

Hosting

Yes, Medium hosts your blog.

Domain included?

No, and you can’t hook one up, either. Medium is one of the only platforms that doesn’t allow you to have your own domain name, so you’ll always be dragging around that medium.com/@username. Medium did allow you to add custom domains in the past, but according to their FAQ, they’ve halted this feature.

Notable features

The editor is super user-friendly, and is something that people call a WYSIWYG editor — what you see is what you get. As you’re composing your blog posts, the text your entering/formatting looks identical to what it will look like when you publish the article.

Blog count

Unknown

Plugins

There are no plugins available for Medium, however there’s a plugin for Wordpress that cross-posts your blog posts over to a Medium blog if you have one set up.

This is a super hands-off way to get your posts in front of the Medium audience as well as your own readership. One tip would be to add a line at the top of your Medium post that says something like:

“This post originally appeared on the [Name of Blog] blog.”

This will allow people to see the original content, and they’re likely to click through if they like what you’re writing about.

Customization

For your main blog page, which Medium dubs a “publication,” you can choose different display layouts to showcase your articles. But as far as articles go, there’s only one template you can use.

Stats & analytics

On Medium, you’re able to view high-level analytics like 30-day views, reads, and fans, and also view those stats for individual posts as well.

Mobile friendly?

Yes, Medium looks great on mobile. There’s a mobile app as well, which is an even better experience.

Coding required?

There’s no coding required for a blog on Medium.

Ease of use

Medium is extremely easy to use, and their editor literally could not be more straightforward.

Support

Medium has a full Help Center site, where you can find answers to a lot of questions that you might have.

Price

Free to host your blog, but if you want to be a part of the Medium community (a.k.a. have the ability to award other Medium members with claps for money), it’s $5/month. But yes, blogging is free.

Which type of influencer is this blogging platform good for?

Medium is good for influencers who are very writing-focused. However, due to the lack of monetization abilities on the platform, it’s not recommended for influencers looking to make money from their work.

Also, you’re unable to hook up your own domain to your blog, and dragging around the Medium subdomain is surely not ideal.

Tumblr

Tumblr? What the heck is this one doing on here?  Well, although Tumblr is a social media site first, in can be a really great place for a visual-heavy influencer to host their blog.

Pros

  • As a social platform itself, you’ll be able to follow other blogs, and easily repost / curate content from other users to supplement your own content.

  • Along with this, aside from your regular influence on other social channels, you’ll have the added audience of millions of Tumblr users for each of your posts.

  • Super easy to use.

Cons

  • SEO is limited for blogs on Tumblr — you won’t end up very high in any search results with your Tumblr blog. You will, however, have the ability to tag posts within the platform, which greatly opens up the shareability of posts within the platform.

  • Very limited customization, you’re essentially trapped in the Tumblr design.

Hosting

Yes, Tumblr hosts your blog for you.

Domain included?

No. You will get your own subdomain when you create your blog, however you have the ability to attach your own domain to your blog after purchase.

Blog count

415 million.

Plugins

Tumblr does not offer any plugins or extensions.

Customization

Tumblr has many themes to choose from, and many are free to use. There are an abundance of Premium themes as well, that cost anywhere from $1 and up.

Other than that, the only things you can really change are the colors, layout of your posts (grid/continuous scroll/etc.), and other minor design tweaks. The overall nature of your blog won’t change too much, even with these tweaks.

Stats & Analytics

Tumblr does not have built-in analytics, but you’re able to connect your Tumblr blog to Google Analytics to view stats that way.

Mobile friendly?

Tumblr is extremely mobile friendly on their mobile app, as well as on mobile browsers. But if you plan to be sharing a lot of video content, beware — on a mobile browser, it will have to open the video in a new tab, which can get annoying.

Coding required?

No, coding is not required for Tumblr. However, you are able to customize some design aspects with CSS.

Ease of use

As part blogging platform / part social media site, Tumblr is extremely user-friendly. Their back end is extremely easy to use as well, and you can post any kind of content under the sun.

Support

Tumblr has a very active and helpful team who also runs their own blog on Tumblr, and you can follow them for updates, helpful tips, and even reach out to them with questions.

Price

Free, some themes are Premium.

Which type of influencer is this blogging platform good for?

Tumblr is not the best choice for an influencer, but if you're going to use it, it's probably best for an influencer who is doing a lot of visual content, as it’s a super image-oriented platform. I would recommend choosing another platform entirely for your blog, though, since the discoverability of a Tumblr blog is so low.

No matter if you’re a seasoned influencer with a huge following, looking to expand your presence past Instagram, or a blogger looking to start their first venture onto the web, you'll need to take a deep dive into the platform you want to use before you start — and hopefully this guide will help. 

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This guide was published on May 11, 2018, and last modified on May 11, 2018.
Stores related to this article: Squarespace, WordPress, Bluehost, Wix, Weebly

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