Time. Once you’ve learned how to start a blog, you’ll learn that blogging takes a lot of time, especially if you’re as neurotic as we are (we spent over 10 hours testing the fonts on this site). And see those black Twitter and Facebook icons in the header? We spent hours on those, deciding what was right for us). That said, once you have your design set up, don’t tweak it too much. Instead, spend the time on your writing.
If you’re a little more technically inclined or up for getting your hands dirty, you could try these more advanced themes: Genesis, Thesis and X Theme are considered the top WordPress themes out there, and you can get any of them for less than $100.
Some free services limit monetization (i.e. making money) unless you “upgrade” to a higher level. You’ll have to pay for that upgrade of course, so it defeats the purpose of having a free blog in the first place.
As the majority of them are not full time bloggers, every hour more spent on the designing of the blog means one hour less for creating the content. And, using the chess terminology, if the content is king (and quality backlinks queen), the blog design is only bishop.
Add Value. Your blog must add value to its readers’ lives. This is the only way you will get Great Quality Readers to your site (and keep them coming back). Adding value is the only way to get someone’s long-term buy-in. We both learned this after a decade of leading and managing people in the corporate world.
A personal blog. A personal blog is a blog all about you. This will include a variety of topics, from things you do on a daily basis, to random thoughts and musings. This is a great way to share you thoughts with the world without having to stick to just one topic.
I think you may well be right if you are saying that few of us will have the skills required to attract and service a lucrative and large enough market to earn the sort of sums quoted. Nevertheless, may I just say that Jon has freely given us, not only a system but the commercial logic and reasonings behind that system.
My understanding is that you have to subscribe/pay for the business version of Word Press in order to use any of the monetizing functions. I think you should clearly state this in this article at the beginning. I think there is a degree of bait and switch here if people are just signing up for the free subscription and then finding out they have to pay for a subscription to make money. I am ok with that, it just needs to be stated up front everywhere.
Email marketing is too big a topic to cover well here, so I created a separate guide to email marketing for those who are interested (hint: every blogger who wants more readers needs to read this guide).
Now, once you and I have taken advantage of that info. (and I am still in the process of launching) then we will be in a better position to either thank Jon or criticise him. Of course, timing is almost everything but with the amount of free flowing, easy to read, writing that Jon provides, which is the hallmark of all good communications, plus incorporating such useful content, then I like to think that if we could follow that example then eventually we (yes, you and I, Bill) would be rewarded with fans and finance.
You’ll also notice that some hosting companies have WordPress hosting. These plans typically run on shared servers but can also be offered as cloud and VPS-based hosting. WordPress hosting is optimized for running the platform and will give you the most seamless WordPress experience.
The key with creating content is to make it as useful as possible. Focus upon creating content that changes people’s lives in some way will be the type of content that people will value the most and it will help people to feel like they know, like and trust you – which is really important if you later want to make money from your blog.
While I started out making money from my blogs through advertising and affiliate promotions today my #1 source of income is through selling eBooks and courses on my blogs. These ‘virtual products’ take work to create but have been lucrative for me and many other bloggers.
Informational. News, content curation and other information. Product review videos are very popular. For example videos where people are filmed taking products out of the box. Similar with “haul” videos where people show what products they have bought in shops.
Great article, Ramsay. I have a question about adding visual content. You say that it’s a good idea to belong to a stock photo site that has an attribution license. It seems like that’s how all of the stock photo sites are nowadays.
Domain name – This will be your personal blog address where people find you over and over again. For example, Google’s Domain is www.Google.com. Your new blog domain name will be www.YourBlogName.com, except you’ll choose what’s going to be behind YourNewBlog. The cost of a domain name is usually $10/year, but if you follow this guide all the way, I’ll show you how to get one for much cheaper.
Try pixabay.com, they have a good range of freebies to get you going, try also, as a newbie, keyword research, this will be critical to your early success, no matter what you want to talk about, there’s a ton of video’s online, worth investing some time before you get going!
I started my first ever blog by writing on a consistent schedule about myself, my hobbies and interests. People found me via Google, Facebook, social media and my readership gradually grew over time to where it is today.
Ramsay, top post, I really like updating old posts and bringing them back to life. It just shows the importance of caring for your blog visitors and giving them accurate picture every time they visit. just shared it on FB, Tw.,FB and LI.
The major thing to remember here, however, is that we will see more competition for organic links because more and more people are moving away from the old “link building” methods of the past in favor of a “quality content” approach to to SEO that sites like MOZ. tell us to follow.
WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a free blogging platform that is hosted by WordPress itself. There is no software to download, you don’t need a web host to store your data for you, and there is no need to maintain a web server. Plus, you don’t need to pay for a domain name. There are built-in customization options for making changes to your blog as you see fit, though the design and functionality of your blog is limited.
Hi Karen, I was just discovering blogging as a hobby to kill time, but your guide has enticed me into this inescapable world of blogging. I’ll definitely look forward to kick-start a blog soon. Thanks a ton!!!
Social Media. Yes, we recommend using Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to help connect with your audience and other bloggers, but don’t get too caught up in it. Focus on the writing first, social media thereafter.
Clarity.fm offer this and you can apply to be listed as an ‘expert’ within your niche on their site. In return, you’ll be able to run your consulting phone calls through them, and you even get a widget for your blog.
Great post, thanks for sharing. Couldn’t agree more as Blue Host with WordPress Blogging is an Excellent way to generate a Passive Income Online. Love the use of Plugins with WordPress, makes Search Engine Optimization SO Much Easier.

Know what you want. When you’re interviewing somebody for your site, always enter the interview knowing what story you want them to tell. Have a Skype chat or email exchange with them, before they’re in front of a camera. Do your due diligence: ask what they’re working on, and what interesting opinions they have, and agree in advance what you’ll ask them. During the interview is NOT when you should be deciding what questions to ask.
Hi, i’m stuck on this part. I already installed wordpress however when i go to myblog.com//wp-admin, an error says “Please configure your name servers. You’re seeing this page because your domain is setup with the default name servers: ns1.hostgator.com and ns2.hostgator.com.”
This is very helpful. I have a question.. I’ve had a family blog on Blogger for years.. if I switch to WordPress..is there any way to convert the data? Or is there any other idea to capture the original data. I’m worried now since it’s not a custom self-hosted blog. Thanks!!
I know that starting a blog can seem overwhelming and intimidating. My free guide was designed just for beginners, and requires only the most basic computer skills. So whether you’re 8 or 88, you can have your blog ready to go in less than 20 minutes.
Thank you so much, Jamie, for this valuable information! My blog is currently in it’s infancy stage and with all the research I’ve done to date, your site has given me the most informative information to help me succeed. Thanks so much for sharing your expertise!
Jon, it’s so disheartening to read this list. Not for my sake, but for the sake of all the hobby bloggers I know who keep asking me why their blogs aren’t getting the traffic, attention, or sales they were hoping for, and how in the world can I be building my email list before I even start blogging? Am I STUPID or something?!
Registering on social networks will protect your reputation, and prevent shady marketers from grabbing your name and using it for a rival site. Try to get the exact same wording as your domain (or a very close variant).
You are probably using WordPress.com. Please contact WordPress.com support and they will be able to downgrade your package. See our guide on the difference between self hosted WordPress.org vs free WordPress.com blog.
It’s important not to get too granular at this point. Your target audience should be big enough to incorporate the basic elements of what you want to blog enough, but not so small as to be non-existent.
The frequency of new uploads. The algorithm loves regular uploads. Consistent audience is built by publishing content consistently. Release your new videos often and on a recurring schedule. Tell your viewers about your schedule to build buzz and make them look forward to watching your new video.
No, copy pasting will help you in no way. Avoid copy pasting at all costs because it seems like it is your content when all you do is copy paste, and if you want to refer to some other blog post, copy paste the content and give them proper credit by adding their blog post link in the end. 🙂 Good luck!
Awesome. 🙂 Also, if you want a complimentary class for you to review or a promo code to share with your community, just let me know. My passion is getting the word out there and helping other people get over their blogging inertia!
Hi, thanks for this very helpful post! Is it possible to register a domain even if you don’t plan on using it immediately? Basically just ensuring that you get the domain name that you want (if possible). Also, if I’m planning to blog on varying topics what would you recommend to do as far as a name? Do you think it’s imperative that the name coincides with the topic? I only ask because I’ve seen fashion/beauty blogs where their names have nothing to do with fashion or beauty. I’m sooo stuck on the name I can’t move to the next steps! Ugh!
So while the world might not need another daily fashion blog, you can set your fashion blog apart by focusing on capsule wardrobes, refashioning clothes you have in your closet or limiting yourself to clothes you buy on consignment.
My dad and I invest in multi-family real estate. Through blogging, I’m hoping to chronicle our experiences and challenges, and provide tips to people who might be interested. Making money doing this would be awesome.
It looks like you’re sharing links from your personal profile instead of your fan page. When you want to post something to the fan page, just visit the fan page URL in your browser and post from it directly. You can also set up a service like dlvr.it that will post to your Facebook fan page automatically when you have a new blog post.
As with freelancing, there is no startup investment. You can start offering consulting services on your existing blog. All you need is to create a page with a form so users can request more information.
Web hosting comes in a wide variety of options. You’ll run into shared hosting, cloud hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers. If you’re starting a blog for the first time, you don’t need to worry about the last two.