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How to Start a Blog for Fun or Profit

by Ryan Guina

I’ve had many readers and new bloggers e-mail me for tips on starting a blog. I love answering e-mails and helping people, but I often found myself answering many of the questions multiple times. So I thought writing a series on how to start a blog would be a more effective method of helping people realize their goal of starting their own blog.

This “how to start a blog” series is intended to help you decide if blogging is for you, and if it is, how to set up a blog and get it going. There are thousands of other topics that can be covered outside the scope of this series, but I will leave it to the hundreds of blogger that blog about blogging, getting traffic, making money and similar topics. At the end of the series I will link out to several other resources that will help you on your journey of improving your blog once you get it going.

What is a blog?

Blogs, or weblogs, originally started out as a way to share links and stories with others on the web. As time and technology evolved, so did blogging. Now blogging is something that anyone can do – from a teenager, to a CEO from a Fortune 500 company, to your grandmother who may have only recently learned how to use the internet.  Blogs can be set up for free within minutes or you can buy a domain and hosting and spend hundreds of dollars on customization, advertising, and other miscellaneous expenses. The quick answer is – a blog is what you want it to be – there are no rules except those that you set for your blog.

Why start a blog?

Blogging can be a great creative outlet that you share only with friends and family, it can be your full-time job, or it can be anything in between. The internet is the cheapest and most accessible way to communicate quickly and easily with a large amount of people. The internet also keeps a permanent record of what you post, which can be a nice way for friends and family members to keep up to date, or for businesses to share their product or services with the world.

There are many benefits to and reasons for starting a weblog:

  • Informational: sharing news, information, photos, videos
  • Professional: enhancing your business, as a career journal, to display your writing skills, market yourself or your business
  • Personal: personal or family blog, thoughts and musings, as a family photo or video journal
  • As a business: internet marketing, consulting, brand development

This list is by no means comprehensive and there can be overlap between the categories. The uses of a blog are limited only by your imagination.

Who should start a blog?

The beauty of blogging is that it is incredibly easy to do – anyone who can surf the internet or use a word processor can start a blog. But that doesn’t mean everyone should start a blog. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you enjoy writing?
  • Are you passionate about a certain topic?
  • Do you have specialized knowledge you want to share?
  • Do you want to enhance or grow your business?
  • Do you want to create an online journal to share with family and friends? What about a career journal?
  • Do you have a portfolio of photographs, artwork, or web designs you want to market?
  • Do you want to earn money?

These questions are just the tip of the iceberg, but they are a good place to start. If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you may want to consider starting a blog. Note that I added “earn money” last on the list. While some blogs are profitable and there are some professional bloggers, blogging can be hard work and it is not a get rich quick scheme.

See if your preferred domain name is available for purchase!

Does starting a blog interest you?

Good! Stay tuned – Over the next few days I will continue this series and explain some of the key elements of starting your own blog. The topics covered will include deciding which topic to write about, where and how to set up a blog, how to get traffic to your website, and yes, even how to make money blogging. At the end of the series I will include a list of additional blogging resources that I recommend.

There are many other aspects to blogging, so feel free to ask questions or suggest additional topics. I will do my best to give everyone a solid overview and enough information to go out there and start their own blog!

More in the How to Start a Blog For Fun or Profit Series:


Published or updated June 29, 2010.
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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jules @ Money Feuds

Great post! I look forward to the other ones in this series.

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2 Ryan

Thanks, Jules. I’ll try to work them in with the rest of my regular scheduling so I don’t turn this blog into a blog about blogging. I’ve known several businessmen who have successfully added a blog to their website to bring extra attention and sales to their business, so hopefully this will help others have similar results. :)

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3 Marko Saric

Sounds very interesting! I am subscribed to your feed and looking forward to this blogging series.

Questions you asked are important. Finding one topic that you have passion for, and that you can write a lot about, and that you are ready to blog about daily is the key.

Do not focus on how much money money you can make etc, find something that you would be able to do daily even when it goes bad and you do not see results…

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4 Craig

I’m really looking forward to this series, hopefully it will help me out a lot with my new blog. I need to learn the basics, would great if I can make it half as successful as your blog.

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5 Ryan

Thanks, Craig. The basics is about all I plan on covering. ;-)

Good luck with your new site!

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6 ABCs of Investing

Neat stuff – I’m looking forward to hearing your ‘blogging” thoughts.

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7 DDFD at DivorcedDadFrugalDad

Good topic– Looking forward to the balance of the series.

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8 Curious Cat Investing Blog

Good advice. Blogs are best when the blogger is passionate about the subject.

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9 Kristy @ Master Your Card

Good start to what promises to be an interesting series. When I first started blogging, I had no clue! Jonathan has been a big help in that department for me, but I still don’t have the guts to go out and work my own blog. I sort of started a free one on Blogger, but it was just more of a place to write my personal thoughts, I didn’t even make it public. Eventually, I’d like to consider my own blog and move into another topic I love – film!

Looking forward to the rest!

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10 Wise Finish

This is a great idea for a series. I’m glad you are blogging on it!

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11 kim sisto robinson

I’ve been thinking about starting my own blog for a while now. I know exactly what I want to do. How do I begin this? I want to inform, entertain, and make money at the same time. Help me! PS. I do have a blog now on another site…but I want my OWN SITE.

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12 Mary Thomas

I think your expertise would be helpful to me in also starting a blog. I am an older person who would like to hear from other “oldies gut goodies” on how they feel about this too rapidly changing world. Today’s events are all too reminiscent of pre and post depression era in this country. Unfortunately, we don’t learn from past mistakes. Anyway, as you can see I have strong feelings and would like to learn as well as share. Thank you for your assistance.

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13 Mo Vaughan

I am passionate about beekeeping and microscopy within the field of honey bees.
I have looked at forums and decided that they are not for me. So I would like to start my own Blog site but do not have a clue on how to start.

Any advice will be acted upon to make it a good site to visit.

Thank you for your time and sharing your expertese with me.

Mo

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14 Ronald Manengo

I’ve been searching the net to know about the blogging, how to start and how to be in. I know you can help with this. Thank you very and more power.

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15 Bianca

I wanted to start a blog to share recipies with friends…I was just wondering…is it against copy writes to post recipies that you find in books or other websites on a blog?

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16 Ryan

Bianca, It may be against copyright to republish recipes on the web. I recommend reading the copyright notice in the book or on the website where you find the recipe.

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17 Sheila

I want to start a online food product business. I’m currently a Director of a HomeHealth Agency and want to develop my own business. I have the product I want to start with and just started researching blogging for profit. What do you think?

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18 Ryan

If you have the passion and the knowledge, you are halfway there. Best of luck! :-)

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19 Mark

Great tips. I wish I had read this when I started my blog!

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20 larry davis

looks like you got an overwhelming response to this great idea.
not gonna burden with a request right now.
I’m a Handyman in business for myself for about 5 yrs.
I want to start a blog for DYI’s and explore the business side of this.
I’ll be watching. I know you’re gonna do well.
Larry

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21 Koren

I am beginning to research how to start my own blog with the long term goal of making it profitable enough to make it my full time job. I look forward to your follow up advice and comments!

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22 Katie

I am thinking about starting a blog chronicling my own learning process of implementing something I feel passionate about. I notice your advice is to write about something we already know a lot about–but will this chronicling approach work?

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23 Ryan

Absolutely. There are probably many people making the same journey as you who would love to hear about the things you learn while you are learning them. This is a great way to blog.

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24 Jamie Mauck

I’m starting a blog and you have good information to share. Thank you and I’ll be waiting for additional articles in your series.

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25 Phalewail

It is good that you emphasized that you need to be passionate about the topic if your going to blog, too many people are just trying to make quick money from blogging without realizing that in order to truly succeed you’ve got to love what you are doing.

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26 Richard D. Reddick

My daughter suggested I read your column about blogging. I am considering
taking my historical novel (in process) and using it as the basis for a blogsite.
There are several interest areas potentially so I am re-thinking this subject.
Thanks for you information and suggestions.
Cordially,
Dick Reddick

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27 Francis Z

I am a traveler , I really wanted to make a blog and post interesting information from my journey.I really wanted to touch life of other people as what encounter during my travel. please email me how make a blog.

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28 Henry Okwach

I am thinking of starting a profit making blog, so as I may earn some living. Please advice.

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29 Jurrell Kemp

Nice post this is great for all beginners.

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30 Ahfi

Hello,

I have also been wanting to start a blog for a long time. The quick question I have is this. Talking about copyright, way back between 1986-1989, I took some community cookery classes in London (UK), and for each recipe that we worked through during class, we were given a single paper hand out. I have a number of these handouts and really, I have not seen any recipe on the web which is the same as the ones I was given in class. These handouts have no identification whatsoever of the school or where from these recipes. Are these things that I can publish? Of course, I am not going to just copy everything word for word. Also, most of the terminologies are more British, so I have to change them anyway. On top of everything, I payed for these classes, anyway. PLEASE HELP.

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31 Ryan

Ahfi, I don’t have a firm answer for you regarding the copyright of the recipes. You can try contacting the school if it is still around, or you may consult with a lawyer or someone who specializes in copyright law and/or intellectual property. This isn’t my area of expertise. Best of luck starting your blog!

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32 Loki61

I checked into copyrights about recipes and I found that they shouldn’t be copy-written due to the fact that one person can change one ingredient and that recipe would be theirs. Of course you can copyright any recipe but the cost is not worth it.

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