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How to Set Up Your First Blog the Right Way the First Time

Are you convinced you need to start a blog, but you’re overwhelmed by the setup process?

getting-started-blogging.pngIf this describes you and you’d like a little hand-holding in setting up your own blog, I’ve been secretly working with Chris Garrett on a free resource that’s designed just for you. It’s called:

Getting Started Blogging

    It is a six-part course that will walk you through everything you need to know about setting up your blog the right way, the first time.

    Set up your blog with good foundations

    In a recent survey of ProBlogger readers, I discovered two fairly large groups of visitors with similar needs:

    Group 1. Readers who were yet to start their first blog.

    I was a little surprised to find this out at first, but it makes sense. Many people reading this blog are PreBloggers—they’re convinced that they need a blog, and they’re now researching how to do it.

    When I drilled down into the needs and challenges of these bloggers, I found that many felt real apprehension and fear about the setup process, and wanted some hand-holding in getting started.

    Group 2. Readers who had started their first blog, but had regrets about the way they’d set things up.

    This group had taken action on their desire to start a blog, but they’d done it in a way that left them with regrets. Perhaps they’d made poor domain choices, hadn’t thought through platform selection, or hadn’t thought carefully about content and technical issues that hampered them as their blogs grew.

    Many of this second group were reading ProBlogger as a way to research setting up their second blog in a way that was better than their first.

    Getting Started Blogging

    Whether you’re just starting your first blog, or you’re setting up your second, third, or fourth, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by the options and how to do it right. Chris and I would love to walk you through the process and help you set up a blog with good foundations.

    This course will walk you through six lessons:

    1. Preparation. In this lesson, you’ll get tips on naming your blog, keyword research, and domain names.
    2. Platforms. Where will your blog live, and which platform is right for you?
    3. Types of Blogs.  This class is an introduction to some of the different blogging approaches you might consider.
    4. WordPress. Here, we cover how to install and customize WordPress.
    5. Adding Killer Content to Your Blog. This lesson is an introduction to the types of content you’ll want to add to your blog.
    6. Introduction to the Pillars of ProBlogging. Once you’ve got the foundations right, I’ll walk you through four areas you’ll need to work on moving forward to build a successful blog.

    Lessons contain a mix of both video content and articles. This course is completely free and is being run over at SitePoint’s courses area. And you’ll get immediate access to it all six lessons when you sign up.

    We’ll send you daily reminders over the week to help you keep on track, but you can take the course at your own pace—all in one go, or over a longer period if you choose.

    Interested? Sign up for Getting Started Blogging now.

    Too Basic for You? Check out the ProBlogger Academy

    getting-started-blogging-academyGetting Started Blogging is unashamedly for those at the beginning of their blogging journey—those who are starting their first blog.

    If you’re more experienced, you’re still welcome to take the course, but you might also be interested in a new series of short courses that Chris Garrett and I are putting together at the ProBlogger Academy.

    These four courses can be completed as a bundle, or you can pick and choose the topics that are most suited to your needs from the following:

    1. Creating Killer Content
    2. Boosting Your Blog Traffic
    3. Building a Community on your Blog
    4. Monetizing Your Blog

    Each course will be held over a week, and will have a forum area as well as Q&A sessions with Chris and myself.

    These courses are not live yet, but they will be rolled out in the coming months. You can sign up now or leave your email address to be notified of them as they go live.

    About Darren Rowse
    Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
    1. This material is great for new bloggers like me… Came just at the right time….
      And on top of that it’s free. What can be better than that.
      Thanks a million Darren and Chris.

    2. hi there! thanks for this… i actually just setup my blog but I still am wanting to know and learn lots of things since there are lots that I need to know. great post and free order!

    3. Hi Darren,

      Creating a sound platform is critical if you want to scale.

      One of the mistakes bloggers make is to build on quicksand (ie use free products and services) and then get tied into them.

      For example, using feedburner is fine but… if you use aweber, then you can do split testing, segmenting, and other more advanced marketing.


    4. Great post Darren..it amazes me how many people have little education on the start of an blog..but you guys have solved that now.

      “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

    5. This seems to be an awesome course. I have started blogging just recently.

      The lesson “Adding Killer Content to Your Blog” will be of real help to me.

    6. Darren,

      Just in time – I have only just started a new blog and I would like to take things from the start, I’m OK with setting up the blog and its configuration – the lessen relating to creating killer content is something I am looking forward too.

      I look forward in joining up.

    7. Not sure if this is the course for me, but it can’t hurt. I have just started blogging this week, so the extra tips should be useful.
      Thanks for the free course :)

    8. This is great information for newbie bloggers and those who have been blogging for some time. Most get stuck at the content stage.

      Blogging is an art and who better to teach it than Darren Rowse?

    9. Hi
      I think targeting best keyword for blog is also needed what I learned from my experience.

      Thanks For Sharing

    10. Darren – Great resource! I fall into category #2. I have been blogging for a year and definitely would have done a lot of things differently. Thanks for sharing this!

    11. Hi Darren, I’ve used your courses before and they were very well written and informative. I expect this one to be as well. Good luck to you!

    12. Darren,

      This looks great. It really is important to set up a blog right the first time you do it. If you don’t, there is a lot of head-ache to deal with later.

      Thanks for putting this together. I’ll definitely be checking it out (signed up for it already).


      • thanks everyone for the feedback. Please know that this is just version 1 – we intend to build upon it as your feedback comes in so do tell us via the feedback forms in the course what questions you have and what is not clear. We’ll keep adding to it as we see trends in your questions. It’s not perfect yet but the feedback already has been great so we’re excited to see we’re on the right track!

    13. Just checked out some of the content over on Sitepoint. Looks really good. I’ve been doing this blogging stuff for a couple of years now, I’m sure I’ll learn some new things.

    14. This is the kind of information that everyone needs when starting a blog.

      There are so many hurdles when starting a blog- technology, blog focus, relevant content, monetization, and so much more.

      Given the teachers, I really look forward to seeing the course!

    15. Good to see the Academy running on. I will join it for the latter part of the foundation i.e. To get a base of problogging.

    16. This is exactly what I need to read now :-) I want to start another blog for different niche I use to deal with. I need to make sure, I do not miss anything essentials. Thanks!

    17. I could have used this info about 5 months ago. Man, this is great! Again, another quality product from Darren!

    18. Sounds like a great lessons series, and I am glad it is free and many new bloggers do not have much money to start off with.

      Looking forward to hearing more about problogger academy too.

    19. Oh, this is perfect timing. I began my first blog back in July as a “practice” blog and did ok figuring out some basics. I would like to begin a second blog with a different focus and purpose, but feel stuck. I realize it is important to make a good first impression and hesitate to get this second blog started. This sounds like it’s just what I need.

    20. I got the WordPress part down. I will let you know how I am doing on the other pillars as soon as I know.

    21. I just started a blog at http://www.articulateblogger.com as an online portfolio of my writing. I’ve been doing freelance writing and every time I apply for a job they want to see writing samples so I started a blog to showcase them. It’s only 2 weeks old and I’ve been putting a lot of your ideas into use. My hope is that it will eventually get to the point where website owners find me for work instead of the other way around.

    22. This is a fantastic post and timely as well as I am just in the process of setting up a blog for my business. I can’t wait for the next 5 instalments, and for the day that I get to graduate to the “Academy”.

    23. This is a great resource for beginning bloggers, but has some good reminders for those of us with more experience. I look forward to looking into the Problogger Academy.

      I have been blogging for more than a year, but need to step it up a notch to increase my subscribers and income.

    24. I am looking forward to the courses. I fall in group #2. There are things I would have done differently if I knew them earlier on.
      This course will help me greatly.

    25. Hey Darren,
      Do you know I have a guest post at MillionClues titled Starting a Blog the Right Way? I never imagined that I’ll be first to start a signup course on this but of course I feel a bit envious that you did. Anyway, I wish you success with the great idea.

    26. I also think that I fall in #2. And I want to take the cources. It was a fascinating post I have read above. Thank you! Darren.

    27. I would just like to say thank you for explaining this very well. Not everyone actually have the capacity and ability to set up their very first blog and oftentimes it turns out that they become lazy eventually. Your post might be a great start to do it the right way and I appreciated it a lot. Hope you do more of this and encourage everyone to do their best. Thanks.

    28. What a fabulous resource you’re offering! I’ll share it with my network.

    29. How important is the url structure to a site’s popularity? I went with the url structure that has the month, date and year as a part. But I see a lot of high page rank sites that do not include these values in the url structure.

    30. Darren and Chris,

      I just went through all 6 lessons of the course as an overview as soon as I discovered it late last night. And I even caught some sleep between lessons 3 and 4! I plan to go through the lessons again and work through each specific area in detail.

      I reiterate the comments of many that it would have been great to have this before setting up a blog (I started mine 1 1/2 months ago). I have been reading and reviewing lots of materials about blogs recently. This is the most concise and comprehensive overview about getting started that I’ve seen.

      I particularly appreciated your videos about taking a strategic approach before getting started and as we continue. Duh… why didn’t I think of that myself?

      Regarding feedback, I provided my comments for each lesson on the form. One area to think about for future revisions relates to you and Chris being such “whizzes” at WordPress that newbies may be left a little bit in the dust at times with terminology that is second hat to you but unfamiliar to us. Perhaps inclusion of a glossary of some of the acronyms and terms would help for next round. Other than that, excellent!

      I’m looking forward to working through it again and implementing what I learned, then on to the next level. Thank you so much for providing this first-rate resource.

    31. Thanks for the great tips! I’m just getting off the ground running myself, and of course I’m reading Problogger (the actual book). And anything free is always a plus. Thanks again for these great resources!

    32. Love your course!!! especially the “building traffic” bit

    33. Hi Guys,

      do you think it is possible to start the right way the first time?

      I like the concept of an academy and I’m sure that it will help lots of bloggers to make things in a better way for their first blog. But I’m also convinced that blogging is a learning-by-doing process and to be totally honest, this is one of the funny part of it.

      Like many, I started using free platforms like blogger or wordpress.com, then moved up to hosted wordpress and free themes, then paid for a theme, and so on.

      One one hand, skipping some steps can be a gain of time, but make sure your students learn what old-school guys learn from first hand experience.

      My two cents

    34. Yes Word Press is very good

    35. This sounds like it contains tons of great info.

      I teach a blogging for newbies class and I’m surprised by how lost some people feel starting out…….

      I had no problem starting, but then thought “what now”?

      Took a lot of research and learning….

      I wish I had found this blog and others with blog information BEFORE I started- would have saved tons of time learning :-)

    36. I think this s great,since you can get new ideas to make your existing blog even better.

      I wish I saw this before I started a few blogs of my own.

    37. This material seem’s to be right on when it come’s to developing, customizing , monatizing your blog.

      In my oppinion structure play’s a key role in the over all success to your blog. Starting with the selection of your Domain name, all the way down to getting your blog exposure.

      Back linking with social bookmarking and various other method’s is also an amazing proccess in getting your blog out there.

    38. I just set up a wordpress self hosted blog – all went smoothly but I had some difficulty with the sitemap XML plugin. I think I have it sorted now! WordPress has made my life so much easier as I now use it for everything I develop online from blogs to squeeze pages to sales letters! It is reall progress to have a workable template even a novice can use successfully! I have just purchased your book Problogger and am finding the 20 types of blog post section inspiring – I won’t be getting into a rut after this – many thanks Darren :)

    39. Hi Darren,

      thanks for all your info !

    40. Hello i just wanted to thank you for your information here. It helped me alot understand the process and make my own blog. I used blogger and have advertising up which is great. I’d like to get some feedback on what everyone thinks of my page.

      Thanks again.

    41. Fantastic – one of the biggest hurdles, I’ve found, for people doing awesome shit, is something as basic as this. Fear of the unknown overwhelms every time – will be glad to point others in this direction!

    42. Thanks…my wife is in the process of creating one…very helpful information for her indeed….

    43. This Information is great for someone like myself starting out. Because my knowledge about blogging is limited, I have started out with another blog platform. I have heard alot of great things about WordPress. Thanks for the info.

    44. This is a great idea to give some basic information for people who would like to start a blog… too bad you didn’t do it two years ago ;-)

      Now, I guess I will start saving up money to pay for academy course. Maybe you have something like studentship for promising young bloggers? In the end, it is problogger Academy :D

    45. Hi Darren,
      Now I am not kissing butt here, but any information that I can get from you and Chris has got to be worth it.
      31 days to better blogging increased my authority and traffic on an old blog of mine by 150% in 31 days.
      I am now starting the system again, for my new blog.
      Just left my email for your next academy.

    46. It’s more than 6 months I havestarted my blog and I fall into the 2n category.Very usefull lessonsthank you for sharing.

    47. Very informative, we need to start a blog with a plan, not just setting up a blog and writing on it. This article will give them to make their plan how they want to start a blog.

      thank you.

    48. First, thanks for putting up this great infor for free. I looked through the lesson content and I saw stuff about wordpress. I have had some people recommend tumblr to me. Right now I am debating between WordPress and tumblr.

      Does anyone have experience with both and can tell me the advantages and disadvatages of each? Also, if I wanted to switch latter on would that be difficult?

      Thank you.


    49. I like how you have segmented your course so that beginners can by it whole and those that are more established can purchase the parts that they need :)

    50. The problogger academy is interesting, i sure that i will get into that academy because it was from a problogger for blogger!

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