Look How Easy it Can Be
It's now ridiculously easy to build your own web site. All you need is a computer and a few minutes.
The advent of "what you see is what you get" or WYSIWYG programs makes it possible to create a reasonable-looking creation, even if you have limited technological skills.
These no-HTML-needed webs are constructed with "drop and drag" formatting. So anyone who has the ability to place an article on a platform such as Infobarrel, Hub Pages or Wizzley can run a website. If they have a slightly higher skill level, the finished product may even look as if they paid someone else to do it.
What makes these platforms even more attractive is that a growing number of hosting companies offer their services at no charge. I hesitate to say "free" because your end of the bargain is allowing them to run their own ads on your site.
You won't receive your share of impressions or ad clicks, but you can use these sites to create links back to some of your other articles. (I don't think this is allowed on Infobarrel.)
A few of the free hosters, though, do allow you to set up e-commerce stores, so you can receive commissions on affiliate sales. One platform I'm aware of does take a negligible cut on the sales of non-paying customers.
My Experience with Jigsy
Jigsy is one of many competitors, and they offer to host one free site. You cannot have an e-store here unless you upgrade to a paid package, which currently runs $8.25 a month. Then you're able to build unlimited pages, and use various affiliate links of your choice.
My site took about two hours to build. But it would have required infinitely less time if I had written the content in another document and then copied and pasted it in.
The site I created has three pages. I think the free plan allows a maximum of five pages on your single site.
I chose from a long list of pre-made templates. Once you select a template, and even after you add content, you may still change it. That's something I tried a few times before settling on a design that worked. Users can also access the free stock photo library and add a picture to any of their pages, even the header photo on your home page.
Picking from a drop-down menu, I was also able to choose my background. This is a small checked screen that I thought goes well with the topic - food and how to buy organic items on a strict budget. Although I'm not able to monetize anything at Jigsy unless I buy a package, I'm hoping this project can drive more traffic to my organic niche on Hub Pages.
The Advent of Mini Sites
It seems as if a growing number of online writers are using mini sites, such as this, to spread their work around the Internet and to generate more visitors to their other projects. Other people are creating little e-stores built around very specific projects.
I see no real downside to this, unless you spend too much time putting up useless websites with no real focus, while neglecting more fruitful projects. These easy builders are so much fun that I could envision wasting time tooling around the different sites, but not getting much accomplished.
There is also the "risk" that your project could also take off. A couple of the hosters put a limit on the number of visitors you're allowed on the free plan. At that point, you'd need to upgrade or move your content.
Upgrading would allow you to stay put, but the monthly payments run anywhere from a couple of dollars to $20 a month more than lower-cost and very reliable hosts such as Hostgator.
Other Free Web Builders
Right now, there are more free web building services than you could use in several lifetimes of online writing. More seem to be coming into existence all the time.
The best known is Weebly, which allows you to create a limited number of sites at no charge, and also offers paid tiers. Because of its size, and authority, this would help your traffic more than putting up pages at one of the lesser-known platforms.
Weebly does allow monetization, even if you aren't paying for the hosting, as do some of its competitors. such as Moonfruit, Jimdo and Webstarts. There are also a number of more commercially oriented venues, such as Freewebsite that allow you to open an e-store, even though you're not a paying customer.