How To Start Up a Blog

Figuring out how to start up this blog was a difficult journey.

When I first considered starting a blog, I literally knew nothing about code (HTML, CSS, etc.), website development, widgets and plugins, back links, or any other phrase you may see used when blogging is referenced.

I spent countless hours researching advice, tools, and products to help start up a blog. Finding this information in-and-of itself is difficult, but finding things that are REASONABLY priced is an entirely different story. I found that a good website designer, alone, charges $1,500 (minimum).

When I realized that paying somebody to design the site was out of the question, I instantly knew that I bit off more than I could chew. It even got to the point where my wife questioned if I would follow-through on my vision. …when the wife questions/challenges you, you know you’re in trouble.

Fortunately for me the research paid off. I was able to find a number of helpful resources that made my life infinitely easier, and the “How to Start Up a Blog” page is dedicated to detailing EVERYTHING I used to create this blog.

I was able to get this site professionally designed, hosted (for 2 years), and launched, along with buying some additional tools all for $500.

If you’re wondering how to start up a blog, my hope is that these products and tools will help you get one step closer to making that thought a reality.

Tips & Tools on How To Start Up a Blog

Website and Logo Design

Genesis WordPress The work that StudioPress does is amazing. Sure, there are other pre-designed blog templates out there, but nothing compares to the professional design, detail, depth, and SEO-friendly Genesis Child themes. This blog would have never gotten started if I had to design the site myself. To invest only $75 for this look was a no-brainer. For reference, I use the Streamline Child Theme.

Click here to download The Genesis Guide for Absolute Beginners (PDF – 1.4 MB)

Nuts and Bolts Media Andrea at Nuts and Bolts Media is probably the great person in the entire world. Not only does she offer reasonable prices, but she’s a rock start at designing things! While it’s necessary to buy a theme as that determines the “feel” of your website, you still have to build out that theme to make it look the way you want it to. Everything that you see at WorkSaveLive today is thanks to Andrea and Nuts and Bolts Media. She created my newest logo, the website layout, my social media buttons (twitter, FB, Pinterest, etc.), and she also created my e-course cover. So, if you’re looking for any design services, then I’d highly encourage you to give Andrea a shot at your business.

logo nerd I’m pretty sure that I don’t have a creative bone in my body, so when it came to designing a logo I was completely lost. Logo Nerds did a good job creating the first logo ever here at WSL (although one I no longer use). For $47, I was given 6 concepts to choose from. All 6 designs were great, and I was able to choose the design I liked most and have it revised any way I wanted (for free).

Domain Hosting

bluehost There are a number of domain/web hosting services out there. Prices are comparable between all of the companies, so you have to compare the details. Bluehost does an amazing job and I’ve had no issues with them. I did quite a bit of research and gathered information from various bloggers and Bluehost seems to be a popular choice. The starter package comes with unlimited file transfer, hosting space, and an easy WordPress setup. If you’re figuring out how to start up a blog, this is the first place you should look.

Landing Pages & SEO

Premise Landing Pages are the hidden sales secret for most bloggers. Premise landing pages allow you to focus a specific page on a particular product or topic. There are very few links to click out of the landing page and they’re designed to basically trap the reader and force them to focus on whatever product you’re trying to sell. If you want increase your conversion rate, then getting a few landing pages are key to starting up a blog.

Long Tail Pro While Search Engine Optimization (SEO) software isn’t necessary to get started, it is important for your site’s long-term growth. Long-Tail Pro is the holy grail that has helped my blog grow and expand into what it is today. I started with 3 visitors/day and now I’m well over 400 visitors on a daily basis. The only way to get consistent traffic is to rank highly in search engines, and Long-Tail Pro allows you to do that. It’ll help you do keyword research and if you upgrade to Long-Tail Platinum (almost a MUST) they help you analyze how competitive a particular keyword is. Frankly, I couldn’t live without this tool.

Other Tools

Here are a couple of useful websites that helped me get started:

  • WordPress – the two primary blogging platforms are Blogger and WordPress. Within WordPress you can choose .com or .org. Going with the .org involves more setup and design responsibilities – which is where StudioPress comes in. Going with limits what your website and blog is capable of. Choose wisely.
  • Notepad++ – free code editor. This will help you to write your blog posts and save the files to your computer. It is also useful to help manipulate stylesheets.
  • FileZilla – this free file transfer tool gives you a way to upload various files onto your website or blog. WordPress does allow other options and I really haven’t had to use this much (other than when I originally started)
  • WordPress Plugins – plugins and widgets are the greatest secret for any newbie starting a website. The RSS window, archive page, social media tools on my site, and the “About the Writer” and “Contact Me” sections at the bottom of each page are all examples of widgets. You download the Plugin and they become a Widget you can insert into various spots of your site. This may sound confusing but you’ll understand what I’m talking about if you start a blog.
  • CodeAcademy – writing words on a website is not as it appears: it’s not like writing in a Word document. If you don’t know code, then CodeAcademy will certainly be of help to you.
  • Somacon – changing the colors of words, and on pages, is also a little different. There are various ways to “code” in the colors, but one option is using the actual color codes. This site should help you out with that. There are other sites out there that help with this, but this site will at least get you started.


If you’re wondering how to start up a blog, there are a couple of steps that you really must take:

1. Decide whether or not you’re really willing to invest the time. Starting a blog isn’t some picnic. If you want to grow your site and be successful, then just like anything else, it takes work. If you’re not willing to make the sacrifices, then you should stop while you’re ahead.

2. Figure out what you’re going to blog about. Figuring out content is very important. Knowing whether or not you should focus on a one subject or on a multitude of things is a big step in the planning process.

Peoples’ opinions vary, and you’ll certainly get a different thought with each person you speak to. Here at WorkSaveLive, I decided to blog on a multitude of topics. My rules for what I would blog about simply entailed two things: (1) I must be passionate about it and (2) I must be willing to blog about it on a relatively consistant basis.

3. Develop a plan on how to grow and monetize your site.

While there are a myriad of blogs that will help you on that 3rd step, there are 2 that had significant influence on me:

  • ProBlogger – Darren Rowse is brilliant. He’s been blogging for nearly a decade, and his ideas helped me come up with countless ways to grow my site and monetize it. Whether you’ve been blogging for a couple of years or just looking to get started, I’d highly recommend you read through as much of Darren’s work as possible.
  • CopyBlogger – Brian Clark’s company, Copyblogger Media, created StudioPress, Premise, and Scribe. Brian’s style is quite a bit different from Darren’s, but they talk about similar things (just in very different ways). I’d highly recommend reading through his blog too.

Disclaimer and Stuff

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