So You Want to Start an Art Blog. . . What’s the Best Free Blogging Platform to Use?

Published Jan. 12th 2010

After much research, you’ve determined that having your own art blog would be a great way to enhance your online presence. But you can’t afford to pay a monthly hosting fee, or hire a web designer—just yet.

“Will a free blogging platform really work?” you might ask. The short answer is “yes!”

In fact, for most of us, a free blogging platform will not only work, but it just makes sense. And if you’re not tech savvy, or just not sure whether you’ll stick to blogging past a few weeks, free is definitely the way to go.

What features come with a free blog?

In the past, free blogging platforms were very limited in design options. They also had many rules and regulations that made blogging for business purposes impossible. Today, however, things are different.

Free blogging platforms are now:

1. Very flexible

2. Easy to set up

3. Easy to learn, and

4. Can be edited from anywhere—public or private computers.

They also include:

1. What you see is what you get editors (just type and press publish)

2. Free templates

3. Free widgets

4. Free image storage

5. Free maintenance, and

6. Free back-ups (though it’s wise to save a back-up yourself).

Later, when you start making a few bucks with your art, you can hire a blog designer for a modest fee to make your blog look just like your website.

Or, you might want to buy your own domain name and have it redirect to your free blog address—which is perfect when placing your blog address in advertisements or other publicity venues. (Read this article on redirecting domain names to learn more.)

Which free blogging platform should I use?

There are several free blogging platforms to choose from, with the two easiest to use being Blogger and (not to be confused with, which you should only use if you want to pay for your own hosting and domain).

Blogger is by far the easiest blogging platform to use. It has a true “what you see is what you get” interface and because it is owned by Google, it seems to get indexed in the search engines rather quickly.

You can choose to host your blog on Blogger’s platform or on your own web host account (most people choose to host on Blogger). If you want to do more than just sell your art, you can also monetize your blog through Adsense ads and affiliate links, though there are some rules you must follow in doing so.

Hosting images on Blogger can be tricky because once you load your images to Blogger, managing them is near impossible—that’s why many artists stick to using flickr’s image hosting service, for a low annual fee of $25.

WordPress is the most versatile free blogging platform, but it does take some time to learn how to move about its interface. WordPress is an open source project and has a large following of web designers who are always coming up with new widgets and plug-ins to make customizing one’s blog easier. There’s even a forum available for troubleshooting help.

Unlike other free blogging platforms, with WordPress you can truly customize your blog to make it your own. You can add static pages, categorize your blog roll, and turn your blog into a true content management system.

There is, however, one downfall—if you choose the simpler route, and host your blog on rather than your own web host, you cannot monetize your blog for profit by placing outside advertisers on your blog.

There are several other free blogging platforms similar to Blogger and WordPress, but they often include drawbacks like limited bandwidth and limited storage space for posts and images.

Some, like Xanga, make commenting nearly impossible since only members of the Xanga community can leave comments. Others, like Live Journal are only free if you allow the hosting company to place advertisements on your blog—ads which you have no control over.

So what are some good examples of art blogs?

If you’re concerned that you won’t be taken seriously as an artist because you have a free blog, take a look at the blogs of Claudine Hellmuth and Julie Haymaker.

Both are successful artists who have chosen to use Blogger as their blogging platforms. And while you’re at it, check out how well their blogs match their websites for a seamless and professional transition:

Claudine’s website –

Julie’s website –

So no matter what you may have thought about blogging in the past, it CAN be an excellent way to promote and market your artwork today.

If you’re interested in learning more about running your own art blog, stay tuned for more articles on blogging in the coming weeks!

Did you like this article? Share it!
Then check out the related posts below.
This week I decided to ask all artists who have their own art blogs what blogging program they use. Now, I personally use the Wordpress blogging platform (which means paying a small monthly hosting fee) but I know that's not the case for most art bloggers and I was curious to find out what you. . . read more
If you’ve read the EmptyEasel articles on describing artwork for Google, or the one on getting links to your art site, you know that there's more to having your art found online than just putting up a blog or website. So here's another SEO tip for artists: write unique "meta descriptions" for . . . read more
I know I probably sound like a broken record when I talk about blogging here on EmptyEasel, but I just can't help myself. It really is a very powerful marketing and promotional tool for artists when used correctly. And of course, the key phrase there is "when used correctly." When I first star. . . read more
Have you ever uploaded an image to Blogger and later wanted to pull it but discovered you don't know where that photo is stored? Or, do you host your art blog on another service which limits the amount of images you can share with your readers? Maybe you even have to limit the number of photos. . . read more
Artists who choose to use a free blogging platform for their art blogs often pick, and for good reason: it takes less than 60 minutes to set up your blog, provided you've already designed your banner and written your first post. Below are the quick and simple steps for setting up a. . . read more
Stay current.
Subscribe to EmptyEasel's free weekly newsletter for artists. Sign up today!
Art Contests
More art contests. . .
EE Writers
Cassie Rief Niki Hilsabeck Brandi Bowman Michelle Morris Lisa Orgler Adriana Guidi Carrie Lewis Aletta de Wal

If you'd like to write for EmptyEasel, let us know!

We love publishing reader-submitted art tutorials, stories, and even reviews.Submit yours here!