Whether you're an individual looking to blog about your passion, pastime or hobby or part of a company that wants to create a corporate blog to tell the world about your latest news and improve your search engine rankings through fresh content, there's a host of free blogging platforms that you can use. It's just a case of deciding which is best for you and your aims.
Here are five of the very best blogging platforms for you to consider, in no particular order. Have a look at them all and choose which one you feel most comfortable with.
1 - Blogger.com
Google bought Blogger a few years ago but they haven't made too many changes to it. It remains a perfectly adequate blog platform for those who want a simple, easy to use interface, a clean site to look at and the ability to post quickly.
As you don't need your own webspace to use Blogger - they host your blog for you - it is ideal for those new to blogging platforms who want to get to know the ropes, but it does offer the ability for the more experience and some skill with HTML and CSS to tweak the look and feel of their site and truly put their own mark on it.
While Blogger could, theoretically, be used for a company or corporate blog, there are more functional and better suited blogging platforms out there.
2 - WordPress.com
Like Blogger, WordPress.com will host your blog for you so you don't need to splash out on a host or worry about working with databases and file permissions. However, WordPress.com offers many more features, including WordPress plug-ins and widgets which truly make your blog dynamic and more engaging to the reader.
These include calendars, blog rolls, countdown clocks, all kinds of features that your readers will find useful.
WordPress.com also allows a certain amount of customisation to how your website looks without you having to know any HTML or CSS, as it offers a selection of themes you can use.
WordPress.com, thanks to its greater capacity for customisation would be more suitable to a corporate or company blog than Blogger too.
3 - WordPress.org
WordPress.org provides a blogging platform very similar to WordPress.com with two very important differences. Firstly, you'll need your own webspace to host your blog (this isn't going to be a problem if you're setting up a company blog).
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, you have total control over every aspect of your blog, along with access to every plug-in, widget and theme available - and there are literally thousands.
You can even use the WordPress platform to build a fully functioning website, not just a blog. There are plenty of cheap web design companies on the internet that will create a custom WordPress theme just for your company and configure it to be a standalone website, a standalone blog or even integrate the new blog into your existing website.
It might seem like WordPress.com and WordPress.org are the same thing but they're not and they do warrant separate write ups, hence they're included in this Top 3 list in their own right.
Other free blogging platforms are plentiful and include Typepad, Moveable Type and even Joomla, which is a content management system really but can just as easily be used as a blogging platform!