By John Doe December 11 2017

The 5 Best Blogging Platforms For Business Blogs

Choosing the right blogging platform for your business blog can be a bit of a challenge. Should you start from scratch and create a unique website for your blog? Or, should you simply focus on writing and publish your articles on an existing platform?

To help you make that decision, here is a look at 5 of the best blogging platforms for business. To round things out, we’ve also included an additional 4 key considerations to make before choosing the platform for you.

Best Business Blog Platforms: WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Medium, and LinkedIn

1. The Most Flexible and Customizable: WordPress

WordPress (wordpress.org) is an open-source web development software that is completely free for anyone to download and use. What makes WordPress so great for business blogs is that it gives you extreme flexibility in terms of the design, monetization, and the overall management of your website.

There is a catch, though. Unlike other web development platforms, you must coordinate your own web hosting and domain name. While this is a simple and straightforward process for most people, it does mean that using WordPress isn’t necessarily free for users.

While some basic knowledge of CSS/HTML comes in handy when using the software, you don’t need to have any prior web development experience to be able to use it effectively. And because it is so widely used, there are a ton of free resources available online for newbies. With a little time and patience, anyone can use WordPress to build the perfect business blog.

Key Features

  • Access to a huge library of themes and add-ons. With WordPress, you gain access to thousands of themes, add-ons, and plug-ins – enabling you to create the exact website that you want.
  • Built-in SEO optimization tools. WordPress is known for its robust and thorough SEO capabilities. Its code is not only clean and simple for search engines to crawl, but you also have access to an extensive library of advanced SEO plugins.
  • Extensive monetization tools. If monetizing your blog or website is a goal, WordPress is by far one of the most flexible and thorough platforms to use for long-term monetization purposes.

Pricing Considerations

Using the WordPress software is completely free for everyone. However, you will have to find your own domain and web hosting, which can vary greatly depending on which service and domain name you choose to use. On average, this can cost anything from $40 per year to well over $100 per year.

You should also consider the cost of any additional themes or plugins you choose to use on your business blog. While there are many free options available, some themes and plugins do require a one-off or monthly payment.

Pros of using WordPress

  • Tons of freedom, flexibility, and capacity for customization.
  • Easy to monetize your website over time.
  • Allows you to invest in your own real estate on the web.
  • Little to no coding experience required.
  • Lots of resources available online to teach you how to use it.
  • Most popular website builder worldwide.

Cons of using WordPress

  • You must coordinate your own web hosting and domain name.
  • There is a definite learning curve for new users which can take some time.
  • You are responsible for all security and maintenance updates – though you can use an external service for this.

Ideal platform for…

  • Business blogs looking to grow and monetize.
  • Teams with the capacity to invest time in learning how to effectively use the WordPress platform.
  • Blogs in need of a ton of flexibility and capacity for customization.

2. The Most Cost-Effective: Wix

Wix (Wix.com) is another great platform suitable for any business blog. Unlike WordPress, Wix makes things easy on you, the user, by bundling its web development tool, a domain name, and free web hosting all in one.

One of the best features about Wix is that you can use the service completely for free – as long as you use a Wix domain name. You can always upgrade your plan at a later date; enabling you to grow your blog over time.

In terms of usability, Wix is one of the most user-friendly web development platforms out there. Its intuitive drag and drop editor is simple and straightforward, and there is no coding knowledge required. Wix websites are not as flexible or customizable when compared to WordPress websites, however, its layouts and features are typically more than enough for most basic business blogs.

Key Features

  • Drag and drop editor. Wix’s drag and drop editor is both flexible and easy for anyone to use. It is intuitive, straightforward, and no coding or prior web development experience is required to understand how to use it.
  • Free hosting & custom domain names available. Wix allows you to bundle your web hosting, domain name purchasing, and web development all in one. For busy or beginner teams, this is one less thing to worry about.
  • Additional support services. Unlike WordPress, Wix provides extensive customer service support via email, chat, and callbacks. They also provide some basic graphic design support within the platform, including the Wix Logo Maker.

Pricing Considerations

Wix is one of the only web development platforms that lets you create a website for free. Even though the free version has a Wix domain and includes ads, it is still a great option if your business blog is just getting off the ground.

Once you’re ready to upgrade, Wix offers a number of different pricing options depending on a few factors such as storage, e-commerce, and level of additional support required. Wix’s cheapest plan is as low as $13/month, with enterprise-level plans priced at $500/month.

You can also purchase additional plug-ins, add-ons, and extras in the Wix marketplace.

Pros of using Wix

  • Intuitive and easy to use website builder and editor suitable for beginners.
  • Hosting and domain name bundled together.
  • Plenty of customer service support available.
  • Free plan available for as long as you want.
  • Allows you to invest in your own real estate on the web.

Cons of using Wix

  • Limited flexibility and customization when compared to WordPress.
  • Pricing plans can be confusing.
  • Not as many advanced SEO features and plug-ins when compared to WordPress.
  • Website not transferable to other web hosting platforms.

Ideal platform for…

  • Businesses looking to create a simple blog website with basic features.
  • Teams with little to no web development knowledge or experience.
  • Teams in need of additional support with things such as graphic design, security, and overall website management.

3. The Most Aesthetically Pleasing: Squarespace

Similar to Wix, Squarespace is another ‘drag and drop’ style website builder known for its intuitive user interface, stunning templates, and overall thoughtful design. Squarespace also takes care of your web hosting and domain name – making it a ‘one-stop shop’ for your web development needs.

Unfortunately, Squarespace does not offer a free plan, and you must invest in at least an introductory plan from the get-go. However, they do offer a 2-week free trial for new users.

In terms of usability, Squarespace is relatively simple to use and requires no coding or computer science experience. One downside to Squarespace is its use of templates, which are slightly less flexible and customizable when compared to Wix.

Key Features

  • Beautiful, modern website templates. This is the primary key feature of Squarespace. Each Squarespace template is well-designed and visually stunning, allowing you to create a sleek and modern website for your business blog.
  • All-in-one website hosting and domains. Another perk of using Squarespace is its ‘all in one’ approach to web development – which is similar to Wix. When designing your blog, you don’t have to purchase your web hosting or your domain name from a third-party provider.
  • Free maintenance, security, and privacy updates. When using Squarespace, you can rest assured that your website stays up to date with the relevant maintenance, security, and privacy updates.

Pricing Considerations

Unlike Wix, there are no free Squarespace plans available. After your free trial has finished, you must then choose a plan for as low as $12/month up to $40/month. You can also purchase additional plug-ins, add-ons, and extras should you ever need them.

Pros of using Squarespace

  • Sleek and stylish website design.
  • Basic customer service support available.
  • All-in-one website design, hosting, and domain names.
  • Allows you to invest in your own real estate on the web.
  • Extremely easy for beginners to use.

Cons of using Squarespace

  • No free plan available.
  • Customization is limited.
  • Supplemental marketing tools available are limited.
  • Difficult to transfer website to another provider.

Ideal platform for…

  • Businesses looking to create a simple blog website with basic features.
  • Teams with little to no web development experience.
  • Businesses that place a high priority on aesthetics.

4. The Best Place to Find Readers: Medium

If creating your own website sounds overwhelming, you can always turn to a platform like Medium. If you’re not familiar with Medium, it is simply a space for people to both read and publish blogs – primarily in the tech, business, marketing, entrepreneurship, politics, and design sectors.

Setting up an account with Medium is completely free, and you can publish as many articles as you want. You can either set up an account for your business to publish articles from – or, you can establish accounts for key individuals within your business.

Medium is super easy to use and there is absolutely no web development experience required. The only downside to Medium is that you are not investing in your own domain on the web – however, it’s a great place to start if you are new to business blogging.

Key Features

  • Simple to use publishing platform. Unlike WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace, you don’t have to build your own website. Using medium allows you to focus all of your energy on creating high-quality articles.
  • Access to a large audience of readers. When you publish on Medium, you are publishing in a place where readers already are. You don’t have to worry about attracting visitors to your website, you can simply write your article and publish it.
  • Practical engagement metrics. Once your article is published, you have instant access to practical engagement metrics including the number of views, the average read time, and how many times your article was recommended.

Pricing Considerations

Medium is a completely free platform for both readers and writers. However, a free account only allows you to read a maximum of 3 ‘premium’ articles per month. You can always upgrade your membership for $5/month, giving you access to additional content and an ad-free experience.

You may also run into costs if you choose to have your articles written by a third-party content provider. Typical costs for business writing can be anything from $0.03/word to $0.50/word.

Pros of using Medium

  • Allows you to focus on the quality of your writing, not creating a website.
  • Publish your articles on a well-known platform with an audience of readers.
  • Easy to monetize as your presence grows.
  • Publisher accounts on Medium are totally free.

Cons of using Medium

  • Your writing is subject to Medium’s rules and terms of service agreement.
  • You are relying on Medium’s website instead of building your own online presence.
  • It can take years to monetize articles.
  • You have very limited control over the look and feel of your articles.

Ideal platform for…

  • Teams who do not have time to build their own website.
  • Companies looking to build up the reputation of individual employees.
  • Companies looking for a captive audience quickly.

5. The Easiest Place to Get Started: LinkedIn

An often-overlooked blogging platform that might be a fit for some businesses is LinkedIn. While it is not possible to publish blogs directly from your LinkedIn business page, you can still have key individuals within your organization publish articles from their own personal accounts. This not only positions your team as thought leaders within your industry, but it can also help to bring in potential leads and drive traffic to your business page.

Setting up a LinkedIn account is completely free and publishing articles is a simple and straightforward process – all you have to do is write! If your team members do not have the capacity to write their own articles, you can always have your marketing/communications team ghostwrite articles for them. Alternatively, you can hire an external content writing agency to do this for you.

Key Features

  • Easy publishing tool within your LinkedIn account. Publishing on LinkedIn is very easy – and the best part is that you do not have to build your own website like Squarespace or Wix. You can simply focus on writing articles and publishing them directly to your network.
  • Super shareable within the LinkedIn platform. Social media algorithms always prefer native content compared to external links. Publishing directly on LinkedIn gives your article the best chance of being seen by your network.
  • Utilize your existing audience. If you already have a LinkedIn account, LinkedIn publishing makes it easy to publish directly to them. You don’t have to worry about driving traffic to a new website – you can easily publish to your audience in a place where they already are.

Pricing Considerations

LinkedIn is completely free to use! However, you may run into costs if you choose to sponsor a post or if you choose to pay an external agency to write your content for you. Additionally, you may also want to consider the internal labor costs of writing the articles yourself.

Pros of using LinkedIn

  • Instant access to a large audience that is already engaged with business content.
  • You do not have to waste time building a website and can focus on writing.
  • Publishing with LinkedIn is very easy to get started and requires no web development skills.

Cons of using LinkedIn

  • Limited control over the look and feel of each article.
  • You are relying on LinkedIn’s domain name, instead of investing in your own digital real estate.
  • There are limited ways to monetize your articles.

Ideal platform for…

  • Teams who do not have time to build their own website.
  • Companies looking to establish key people as thought leaders.
  • Companies and individuals with an existing presence on LinkedIn.

5 Additional Considerations to Make Before Choosing a Blogging Platform for Your Business

1. Who is your audience?

Do you have an existing audience of potential readers, or, do you need to create that following from scratch?

If your company already has an engaged audience on LinkedIn, you may want to begin publishing your business blogs on LinkedIn directly. This is the best way to ensure that your articles can make an immediate impact on your readers.

If you want to build an audience for the long term, you may want to invest the time and effort into creating your own website for your blog using a platform like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace. Even though this option requires more work upfront, you will have more control over your blog in the long term. Bear in mind though that it may take some time and consistent publishing in order to build solid traffic to your site.

If you don’t have time to build your own following on a website, you can try publishing your articles on a platform like Medium. This allows you to have instant access to an audience of readers; enabling you to focus on creating quality content.

2. What is the capacity and capabilities of your staff?

Before choosing a platform to invest time and money in, it is important to think about both the capacity and capabilities of your staff who will be executing your plan. Do they have previous web development experience? Do they have the time to learn how to use a platform like WordPress? Do they have strong writing skills along with an eye for design?

Make a list of all of the strengths of your team and try to find a platform that will align well with their strengths. You may even want to consider investing in additional training sessions so that they can execute your business blogging strategy effectively.

3. What is your budget?

It is important to remember that blogging can be very time consuming – even for the most experienced bloggers. Consider your team’s budget in terms of both time and money. Do you have the means within your budget to build a separate website for your blog? Is that budget flexible in case you incur costs related to adding additional themes or plugins? Will you need to allocate funds for advertising? All of these things should be considered ahead of time before you make your decision.

Additionally, you may also want to think about how much time your team can reasonably allocate to working on your blog. If they are already busy, you may want to consider one of the less time-consuming options such as blogging on Medium or LinkedIn.

4. Do you need your blog to meet certain SEO objectives?

SEO is a huge part of any digital marketing strategy, and it’s important to be aware of how each different blogging platform can fit in with an SEO strategy. Building a WordPress website from scratch is by far the best option if SEO is one of your main goals. However, if SEO is not a priority and you already have a strong following on a social platform like LinkedIn, you may be able to get by with blogging either on LinkedIn or by building a basic website with Wix or Squarespace.

5. Have you done enough research?

Now that you have looked internally at your own capabilities and objectives, now it is time to research the blogging market that you will be joining. What are the most common trending topics within your niche? What types of articles get the most engagement? Which platforms does your audience use? Take a few days to explore successful business blogs/bloggers and look for new ways that your blog can serve the audience.

Remember, you can always set aside time to experiment with different platforms and article types. You may even want to begin by testing the waters on a free platform like LinkedIn or Medium. Publish a few articles and see how they perform. Once you have an idea of what your audience likes/dislikes, you can then invest in a more permanent blogging solution with the help of a website developer like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace.