Very useful, applicable and dare I say inspiring post, Jon! I feel I’m ready to systematically implement all of your solutions (and similar ones offered by others) but I often wonder if I would have more success starting a new blog from scratch, than trying to up the ante with my existing blog. It would be nice to have time for both! Great post though, I will be bookmarking (and sharing, cuz you asked) this one.
Heres my suggestion: Before you start a blog, make sure you have some ideas what to write about. If you dont have any think about your hobbies or things youre passionate about. This helped me to find my niche/topic for my blog.
I have to agree with you and also put some emphasis on uniqueness. The most successful blogs today are definitely those that have an individual personal twist. People love new content and the more unique the likelihood that it will be shared more and draw in more people.
If you would like to add a picture to your post, click on the “Add Media” button and click “Select Files” to upload a picture from your computer. You can make adjustments to the picture size on the next screen. When you are ready click “Insert into post” to add the picture.
Theme. A good theme gives you the look and feel you want for your blog, allowing you to make a blog that looks exactly how you want it to look. If you’re not a coder (we certainly weren’t), then a theme makes the design work a million times easier. Plus, once you purchase a theme, which are inexpensive for the time they save you, you own it for life. A theme has two halves: the framework (the bones) and the Child Theme (the beauty):
Once completed, you will receive an email with details on how to login to your web hosting control panel (cPanel). This is where you manage everything from support, emails, among other things. But most importantly, this is where you install WordPress.
Will it be possible to set up a blog where comments cannot be posted and emails cannot be sent to me? My only interest in blogging at this time is for a limited number of friends and family. I don’t want to deal with comments and such from random visitors.
You always share valuable messages with your readers, Jon. Sharing your wisdom and what you’ve learned from your experiences is appreciated. I still recall one of your suggestions in your original April 2014 version of this post to begin by offering services. I followed your advice and learned loads of insight from conversations with clients and referral sources. It’s interesting that you mentioned your success with guest webinars in the original post and with hosting webinars on your own site in this post. Hmm… It may be worthwhile to think about growing blogging businesses by speaking more often with your current or potential audience. ~Keri
You will see several themes are already installed on your blog: Twenty Seventeen, Twenty Sixteen, etc. These are well-designed, clean-looking themes that can work for just about any type of blog. In fact, many of the world’s top bloggers use one of these themes.
At the very top of this blog post on the things you need to know to start a blog I mentioned that I still think a self-hosted WordPress blog is the best bet for serious, professional bloggers. Well, that doesn’t mean that we should totally ignore the other platforms.
Similarly, it’s an even worse feeling realizing that you spent so much time working on paying the bills that you’ve forgotten to launch those long term projects that are your main source of passion/interest.
Great post, Ramsay. 🙂 I agree with all of your points. I especially need to focus on visual art sides of my blogging. I use images here and there but I need to integrate them better into the blog. I also need to start taking them myself as I have a several thousand dollar Nikon SLR sitting around not being used. Thanks for writing this for us.
Starting a blog is the start of opening new opportunities online. It may not be easy because crafting a blog’s content is challenging with all the the writing original and personalize content but in the end it is worth the hard work.
The answer is yes. However, I would caution against it. The reason is, when you use a free service, you don’t have as much control over your blog—the free service does. This can be risky, especially if you will rely on your blog for income. A self-hosted WordPress blog is my recommendation and can be started very inexpensively. See my step-by-step tutorial here.

My name is Jamie Spencer and I have spent the past 5 years building money making blogs. After growing tired of the 9-5, commuting and never seeing my family I decided that I wanted to make some changes and launched my first blog. Since then I have launched lots of successful niche blogs and after selling my survivalist blog I decided to teach other people how to do the same.
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.
Disclosure: I do earn a commission if you sign-up using my link at no additional cost to you. Please know that I only recommend products that I find helpful and useful. If you do choose to buy through my link, thank you for your support!
Creating your own blog can take a little while, probably up to 30 minutes. So grab yourself a coffee or juice (whatever you fancy) and let’s get stuck in. If you need any help during the set-up process, get in touch with me here and I’ll help as best I can and answer any questions you might have).
You can save your draft or publish your content live by using the box menu on the far right of the page. You can even schedule the post to be published later – or make the post private so only friends can see it.
For instance, we have a guest blogging course that retails for $497. In exchange, we promise to help students get featured on a big blog or magazine like The Huffington Post or Forbes. I think it’s fair to say that exposure is worth $5,000 to the right person. So, the product sells easily and well.
For instance, our $10,000 product is a year-long coaching program for bloggers — a group that’s not exactly known for their wealth, but I always fill all ten spots within minutes of opening the program. Here’s why: the last time we opened it, I notified 40,000 bloggers. 2% of 40,000 writers is 800 people. By only accepting 10, I’m creating a situation of extreme scarcity.
When you put the AdSense code on your blog you have a choice of the style of advertisements (large images, small images, text, etc.) and also where they are placed. The more prominently the ads are displayed the more likely they are to be clicked.
Signing up for Tumblr is easy. Enter your email address, a password, and a URL you’d like for your blog. This URL is how people can visit your website — for example, you can make your URL “behavioraleconomics.tumblr.com” if you were interested in talking about behavioral economics. Usually, people choose something personally meaningful, like a nickname or a catch-phrase, or what you’d name your autobiography. Get creative!
So how much is hosting and a domain name? Not as much as you’re thinking, fortunately. It usually works out to about $5 to $10 per month, depending on your hosting provider which is less than a couple of coffees.
In our opinion, there are three “must have” WordPress plugins that every blog should have. Go ahead and grab these for your blog right away. On the WordPress dashboard, go to “Plugins”, then “Add New” and search for them by name.
Great post ! Thanks. Personally I see a tendency that is becoming more and more important. Small and medium size bloggers getting to work together on a range of projects. Contests, swap of content, NGO’s and charity actions…
WordPress.org software is free, but you’ll need to buy a domain name (about $14.99/year) and hosting (usually starting from $7.99/month). However, WPBeginner users can get started for only $2.75 per month with Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider. They are offering our users 60% off on hosting and a FREE domain name.
In 2018 we plan to extend Inn8ly, a product we’re developing, into the blogging space. We have deep expertise building custom websites on the WordPress CMS but honestly we aren’t that expert in blogging so we’ve been and will be following what you are sharing with some interest.