Can You Start A Blog Without A Domain? (5 Ways To Begin Today)
Last Updated on May 25, 2023 by Jordan Alexo
So, can you start blogging without a domain name? Well, the quick question is, “Yes.”
You have several platforms like Medium, Blogspot, and others offering free blogging. But before you jump into it, you have to understand that there are drawbacks to going this route.
For instance, it’s not ideal if you want to build a business online.
In this guide, you’ll learn about these free blogging platforms, their pros and cons, and which option is best for you!
Also, I’ll share some tips if you decide to take the business route and get your domain.
- Blogging Without a Domain: It’s possible to start blogging without a domain name using platforms like Medium, LinkedIn, Blogspot, WordPress.com, and Wix. They all offer distinct advantages but also significant drawbacks like limited customization options and control over the content.
- Importance of a Domain Name: A domain name is crucial for a professional and business blog as it offers uniqueness and helps with brand identity. Also, having your own domain and hosting means you fully control and own your content.
- The Benefits of WordPress: WordPress is a popular CMS (Content Management System). You have thousands of themes, plugins, a supportive community, strong SEO capabilities, and the flexibility to build different types of sites.
- Potential Disadvantages of WordPress: It comes with a learning curve, especially for non-tech-savvy users. Also, it needs regular updates and backups and can involve additional costs for hosting, a domain name, and premium themes or plugins.
- Steps to Start a WordPress Blog: To start a WordPress blog, you need to buy a domain name, select a hosting provider, install WordPress, choose a theme, and, finally, create content.
What Is A Domain Name?
A domain name is your website’s address on the Internet. For instance, imagine you’re in a new city and trying to find a specific coffee shop.
Without an address, it would be nearly impossible to find it, wouldn’t it?
Your domain name works similarly. It helps people to discover your site online more easily.
Also, one of the fantastic things about a domain name is its uniqueness. See, there can’t exist two domain names with the same name.
For this reason, your domain name reflects your brand identity. I suggest choosing one that is short (so people can more easily remember it) and represents your site’s content.
Do You Need A Domain Name For A Blog?
Quick reply: Yes, if you want to build a successful business blog where you have full control over it.
However, if you’re just starting out and want to test the waters first, you have several free options. For instance:
- WordPress .com (free version)
The problem with these platforms is all your work is stored on their servers. So, if something goes wrong or, for some reason, they don’t want to host your content anymore, you could lose your blog.
You should keep that in mind! Anyway, if you want to build a blog to make money, you must get your domain name and web hosting and build your site on a content management system like WordPress.org.
What is CMS?
CMS is short for Content Management System. As the name suggests, a CMS helps you manage and create your website’s content.
Here are a few examples of popular CMS:
Each CMS listed works differently. However, they all allow you to design a professional-looking website without knowing how to code.
Back then, you had to learn HTML and CSS to create a blog from scratch. And that could take several months, and often you ended with something that looked like garbage.
Nowadays, you only need to learn to use these CMS platform’s interfaces. With some practice, you can build a blog similar to Jordan Alexo’s in weeks!
I admit I never tried other CMS except for WordPress. I consider this one of the best platforms to create a blog. You have access to thousands of themes (website designs) and plugins (functional add-ons), so you can customize your website as much as you want.
5 Ways To Create A Blog Without A Domain Name
If you still want to go out there and start a blog without a domain name, here are five ways to do it:
1 – Medium Blogging
Medium.com was launched by Twitter co-founder Ev Williams back in 2012. This platform lets people create and share blog posts.
One of the main advantages of Medium is that it already has a built-in audience, which could help you get your content seen. Also, it’s simple to use, and you don’t need to worry about web hosting, domain names, and other complex things.
You can create a free account and start blogging after a few minutes.
- High-Quality Audience: Medium has a diverse and intellectual audience. If your blog post resonates with them, it could get significant attention.
- User-Friendly Interface: It has a minimalist design and intuitive interface. This allows bloggers to focus on what they do best – writing.
- Monetization Opportunities: Medium’s Partner Program lets bloggers make money based on how members engage with their content.
- Limited Customization: Medium offers limited options for personalizing your blog. This could restrict your ability to create a unique brand identity.
- Medium Owns Your Audience: You don’t own the relationship with your readers. If the platform changes its algorithms or policies, it could impact your blog’s reach and visibility.
Medium gives you a user-friendly interface. Also, you already have an established audience and potential for monetization.
However, it has limited customization options, and the audience and content are not entirely in your control.
So, it’s a great place to gain visibility and practice your writing skills. But if you want more control over your blog, you need to consider other options.
2 – LinkedIn Blogging
Linkedin is known as a professional networking site. However, it also has some blogging features. You can publish posts directly on your Linkedin profile. And it’s a great way to share your expertise and knowledge with other professionals in your niche.
- Targeted Audience: It’s a platform meant for professionals. For this reason, your blog posts only reach a specific audience interested in your niche.
- Greater Visibility: All your connections can see your blog posts, and they can also appear in search results, which may increase your visibility as a blogger.
- Limited Creative Control: LinkedIn provides limited blog design and customization options, which could restrict your creativity.
- Content Restrictions: LinkedIn is a professional platform, so it may not be ideal to share personal anecdotes or blogs unrelated to business or industry.
LinkedIn is a fantastic platform to connect professionals from all over the world. It can also expand your reach as a blogger in a particular niche. However, you have a few customization options and content restrictions.
If your focus is mainly B2B, then LinkedIn blogging is definitely worth considering. But for more general blogging, you should choose another platform.
3 – Blogspot Blogging
Blogspot, or Blogger, is a free blogging service by Google. It is one of the oldest blogging platforms and is still widely used because of its simplicity and integration.
You can integrate your blog with other Google services like AdSense, Analytics, and more.
- Simplicity: Blogspot is perfect for non-tech savvy users and beginners. You can set up your blog easily and start posting within minutes.
- Google Integration: Being a Google product, Blogspot offers several powerful integrations with other Google services such as AdSense, Analytics, and Gmail.
- Customization Options: It has more features to customize your blog than other free platforms. For instance, you can choose several website designs and customize them to your preference.
- Limited Design and Functionalities: It has fewer design options or features than other modern blogging platforms. This may limit your blog’s look and functionality.
- Less Professional: Often, blogs on Blogspot look less professional compared to a self-hosted blog. This could make your blog appear cheap and less credible to your readers.
Blogspot, with its simplicity and strong Google integration, is an accessible platform for beginners. However, it has limited design options and functionalities.
This might restrict your blog’s growth and make it harder to attract readers.
Usually, the designs on Blogspot make your blog look less professional compared to other platforms.
While it isn’t a bad starting point, you may eventually want to migrate to another platform as your blog expands.
4 – WordPress.com
WordPress.com is a free blogging platform. You can create a blog quickly and easily and enjoy many of the features provided by WordPress without the need for self-hosting.
- Easy To Setup: You can register an account, and after a few clicks, you have a site ready.
- Great Community: WordPress.com has a great community, which means you can easily get help and support from other bloggers.
- Customization: You have access to popular and well-designed themes. With a theme, you can change the look and functionality of your site.
- No Audience: Unlike Medium or LinkedIn, there is no built-in audience. You need to learn to SEO and market your blog to attract readers.
- Limited Control: You’ll put a lot of work into your blog, but you won’t have complete control over the website.
WordPress.com is a beginner-friendly platform. It’s easy to set up and has a supportive community.
However, building an audience can be challenging. As your blog grows, you might want to migrate to a self-hosted platform like WordPress.org.
This gives you more options for customization and control. But WordPress.com is still a good starting point for new bloggers.
5 – Wix
Wix is a cloud-based web development platform. It lets people create HTML5 websites and mobile sites using their online drag-and-drop tools.
You can start from scratch or choose from over 500 fully customizable templates requiring no coding.
- User-Friendly Interface: Wix offers a highly intuitive and user-friendly interface. With its drag-and-drop editor, even beginners can design professional-looking websites.
- Extensive Template Library: You have a wide selection of great-looking templates for your website.
- Wix App Market: You can extend the functionality of your website with numerous apps available in the Wix App Market.
- Limited Flexibility: Once you choose a template, you can’t change it. You’ll have to transfer your content if you decide to switch templates manually.
- Wix Ads: On the free plan, Wix displays branded ads on your website. To remove these, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.
- SEO Limitations: While Wix offers basic SEO features, it might not be as comprehensive as other platforms like WordPress for advanced SEO needs.
Wix can be a good choice for beginners due to its ease of use. However, as your website grows, you might find the platform somewhat limiting compared to more flexible CMS platforms like WordPress.
Why Should You Have A Domain And WordPress Blog?
So, now you know you can blog without a domain name. However, if you want a business and more professional-looking site, having your domain name is crucial.
Besides, having a domain name and web host can cost as low as a cup of coffee per month. For this reason, it makes no sense to put all your effort into a platform you don’t own and control.
My favorite blogging platform is WordPress—currently one of the most popular content management systems (CMS). In fact, over 43% of all websites use WordPress.
And there’s a good reason why so many people enjoy this CMS. For starters, it has over 9,000 themes. You can choose from many free and premium themes to make your website visually appealing.
Also, you can change your site’s look in a few seconds without losing any content. The other part is all the plugins available. With plugins, you can add several features and capabilities to your site.
For instance, you can use SEO plugins like Yoast SEO to help optimize your site for search engines or social media plugins to share your content on different platforms.
What Are The Advantages of Using WordPress?
Here’s why WordPress is the go-to choice for bloggers worldwide:
- Customization: WordPress offers an extensive range of themes and plugins that enable you to customize your blog to suit your style and needs.
- Community Support: The vast WordPress community is always ready to help with advice, solutions, and recommendations. Whatever issue you encounter, chances are someone else has faced it and found a solution.
- SEO-friendly: WordPress has strong SEO capabilities. This makes ranking well on Google and other search engines easier for your site.
- Flexibility: Whether you want to start a personal blog, a business website, an online store, or a forum, WordPress can handle it all.
What Are The Disadvantages of Using WordPress?
However, there are a few potential drawbacks to using WordPress:
- Learning Curve: While WordPress is relatively easy to use, it does come with a learning curve, especially for non-tech-savvy users.
- Maintenance: Unlike hosted platforms, a self-hosted WordPress blog requires regular updates and backups. Although these tasks can be automated, they still require your attention.
- Costs: While WordPress software is free, you’ll need to pay for hosting, a domain name, and any premium themes or plugins you choose to use.
5 Steps To Start A WordPress Blog
Starting a WordPress blog is relatively simple and can be boiled down to these five steps:
Step 1 – Choose and Buy a Domain Name
As I mentioned, this is your site’s address on the Internet. I often purchase my domain names from Namecheap.
Step 2 – Select a Hosting Provider
You need to have a home for your website. In a way, your hosting provider is your website’s landlord. All the data for your site will be stored on their servers.
At the same time, they connect your site to the Internet. You have many companies to choose from, such as Bluehost, Hostgator, or Siteground. These web hosts aren’t bad options in the beginning.
But later, you may want to upgrade to WPX Hosting because of their fast loading speeds, excellent customer support, and free site migration services.
Step 3 – Install WordPress
Once you have a web host and domain name, it’s time to install WordPress. Often most web hosts offer a one-click installation. You must search for the WordPress icon on your hosting control panel and follow the steps.
Step 4 – Choose a Theme
After you have WordPress installed, you must log in to your dashboard. Usually, you can log in at “example .com/wp-admin” with your username and password.
In your dashboard, you can choose from thousands of themes to customize the look and feel of your blog. However, some designs are more appropriate for certain types of blogs.
Anyway, my favorite themes are Kadence, Astra, and GeneratePress. These themes have many customization options and are built to load quickly, which is essential for user experience and SEO.
Step 5 – Start Blogging
Now that your blog is set up, it’s time to start creating content and engaging with your audience.
If you’d like to know more about “how many times you should blog per week,” read here.
Although you can start a blog without a domain name, doing so also has potential drawbacks that can affect your blogging success.
You may use platforms such as Medium, LinkedIn, Blogspot, WordPress.com, and Wix.
All you need is to begin registering an account with one of them. But don’t forget they come with limitations in terms of customization and control over your blog.
However, you should get a domain name and web host to build a serious online business.
If you go this route, I suggest installing WordPress. This CMS offers thousands of themes and plugins and has a supportive community. Also, WordPress is customizable, easy to use, and SEO-friendly.
Just purchase a domain name from Namecheap. Choose a reputable web host like Bluehost, Hostgator, or Siteground. Head over to your web host’s control panel and install WordPress with a few clicks. And start blogging!
If you have any questions, please them below. Jordan Alexo will reply to you as soon as possible.
FAQ About Blogging Without A Domain Name
Let’s take a look at a few frequently asked questions:
1 – Can I monetize a website without a domain?
Yes, you can monetize a website without owning a domain. You can use platforms like Blogger, WordPress.com, Tumblr, or other free blogging platforms that don’t require you to have a unique domain name.
However, having your domain name has several advantages. It looks more professional and is easier to remember for your audience.
Also, you’ll have more SEO, design, and functionality features. Besides, some ad networks and affiliate programs may require you to have a custom domain to join.
2 – Do blogs still make money?
Yes, blogs can still make money. However, it has become far more competitive nowadays. Often successful blogs make money in several ways, such as with advertising, sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, selling products or services, and more.
Anyway, to make money with your blog usually takes time, publishing high-quality content consistently, etc.
3 – Can I make money with a free WordPress blog?
Yes, it is possible to make money with a free WordPress blog. However, your options might be limited compared to a self-hosted WordPress site.
For example, with a free WordPress.com blog, you can’t sell ads or use certain affiliate programs.
Also, they offer a program called WordAds. But you need a minimum amount of traffic to participate.
On the other hand, with a self-hosted WordPress.org site, you can monetize your site in whatever way you prefer.