263 comments

How to Start a Blog

turntable_georgeWhat an interesting hobby this has become. I started this “just typing some shit into the computer” hobby almost two years ago, and it has totally shaken things up in the Mustache household (which is only even called the Mustache household because of this blog).

I’ve had the privilege of meeting many new people, surfing on quite a few couches, and eating several free lunches provided by generous visiting readers. Several trips (including Hawaii and an upcoming one to Ecuador) are a direct result of this gig, with more sure to come. On top of that, there has been challenge, learning, and nowadays even some significant earning. So, although I was reluctant to add this new thing to an already-busy life back in 2011, now I’m glad I did (and most of the credit for that goes to the lovely Mrs. MM for forcing me to do it).

Many people email me these days asking for advice on starting their own blogs. Since I’ve only ever started one, I can’t claim to be an expert on the topic. But given the number of requests, I figured it might at least be helpful to share what we have learned over this time, in case it helps the other people on the fence get going more quickly.

Why would you even want to start a blog?

In my opinion, the only reason you should do this is because you enjoy writing and learning. Maybe you discovered an aptitude for busting out some fine phrases in high school English class, but then got shunted into a career path that leaves those skills neglected. Maybe you would like to learn more about computer, web and internet technology, and prefer to learn by doing. In general, if you really notice differences in writing style, and passionately enjoy some of them while actively hating others, you might be a writer yourself. But blogging isn’t reserved for people with some magic bit of proven talent. You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone. It just matters that you enjoy it.

What are the benefits of having your own blog?

The neat thing about these things is that if you’re lucky, they force you to write. Maybe you’ve always wanted to write a book, but you find the idea daunting. 200 pages or more of carefully-edited and researched stuff.. who has time to make something like that? So you never get started.

This is where a blog comes in handy. You can write a 500-word diddy, or a 1500’er like most of the ones you see here, or any other quantity. You still wrote something, which means you have greased your mind and wiggling fingers for more writing in the future. It all adds up, and you get some practice and refine your ideas, and at some point you might have everything you need for a book, without even realizing it while you wrote posts.

But it’s not just for aspiring authors. A blog is also just a place to tell the world how you think, or connect with other people, or record your progress on something that is important to you. It can serve as a place to be publicly accountable. Or maybe just to post funny stories about your cats or your kids. And its purpose can change at any time.

There is also a strong business case behind learning blog skills and technical skills in general. This is a real and growing industry, with jobs and real money flowing about for organized people. For example, the job title ‘WordPress Developer’ didn’t even exist when I was a software engineer, and now it is a field were a software person can earn a six digit salary or start her own similarly lucrative business, and get a job entirely by demonstrating things they have developed – no degree required. ‘Blog Advertising Consultant’ is another that came out of nowhere, and of course there is the King of self-made internet entrepreneurs, Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income.

But I’m not a programmer. Aren’t these things difficult to set up?

Not really. The simplest way to create a blog is to simply visit blogger.com or wordpress.com and sign up for a free account. Following the prompts and poking around will have you writing your first post within five minutes, and it might be all you ever need to do. Although it’s a good way to start, that is not the subject of this post, since I’m going to cover how to start a larger-scale, self-hosted blog instead.

Why would I want to have my own hosting?

If you are starting a blog for just friends and family, you wouldn’t. Those wordpress.com and blogger.com accounts keep millions of people happy. But if you’re planning a blog that might become a business, and have things like advertising, affiliate links, or high traffic, you’re better off going for a blog that you really own, because it allows you to control many more aspects. With your own hosting, you get much better visitor statistics via Google Analytics (which works well with blogger.com and a self-hosted WordPress blog, but not wordpress.com), the ability to control your look and feel with more plugins and customizations, plus the ability to run your own advertising (which is not allowed on wordpress.com and blogger – in fact, they reserve the right to run their own ads on your site to pay for the free account).

Plus, your web hosting account can serve as your personal online headquarters, since you generally get unlimited storage space and fast transfer speeds even with starter accounts. Store your backup files there, create additional websites for your family, share those 8GB video files with your friends in other countries via HTTP or FTP, and much more. Mrs. MM and I have had dedicated web hosting accounts for 10 years or more for all of the reasons above, long before blogging was invented.

So how do I do it?

The following guide was written with enormous help from Mrs. Money Mustache, so all thanks go to her:

Part 1 – Think up a Domain Name and Get Yourself a Hosting Service

Perhaps you’ve already got the perfect domain name. If not, let me offer you some advice. Don’t name your site something like mydebtfreerevelation.com or billyissavingforretirement.com. Make it something catchy, like the catchyfisherman.com or thoughtful/artsy, like texanmuse.com. (I just made those up, if you can believe it, and they’re still available until some lucky reader claims ’em :-))

I’ve grown pretty content with Bluehost hosting. People keep telling me, “Man, you can’t run a site as big as Mr. Money Mustache with shared hosting! My site is 10 times smaller and I upgraded long ago!”. But after upgrading to their “Pro” service and running some speed tests, I find that we still have capacity to spare, even with over 1.5 million pageviews per month, and often more than 200 simultaneous readers clicking away. Although a costlier hosting plan may still be in the cards after additional growth, I’m amazed at how much output we’re getting right now. The biggest benefits, however, are just in the ease-of-use of using a bigger provider like this:

  • domain registration and hosting are all done in one step
  • wordpress blog installation can be added with the click of a mouse
  • automatic backups save you from accidentally erasing your own site, as I did a couple months ago
  • forums (like our own Money Mustache Forum) are easy to install
  • FTP and email accounts and all sorts of other stuff come for free as well

So anyway, if you decide to follow the same path, here’s how you’d sign up with bluehost:

Step 1: Go to Bluehost.com (affiliate link) and it will take you to this page:

bluehost-home-page

The cost varies, but due to the number of MMM readers flowing in, they give us a special. Right now it looks like it’s only $3.50 per month – still amazing to me since I remember paying much more for 100 megabytes of storage (about 20 modern digital pictures).  Click “Get Started Now.”

Step 2: If you want to register your newly-invented domain name, enter it on the left.  If you already have one registered elsewhere, enter it on the right.  Since you can register a free domain name with every new account, it might be worth locking in one either way, depending on your needs.  Click Next.

bluehost-signup

Step 3: Oh look at that… CatchyFisherman.com is available.  Lucky me!

bluehost-signup-congrats

Here’s where they tell you about your Free primary domain registration.  Enter your account information and then choose your package details.  It looks like they’re trying to sell me a bunch of extra stuff.  The only thing we chose was the Domain Whois Privacy for an extra $10 per year (this prevents your real name and mailing address from being publicly associated with your domain name).

bluehost-package-info

The drop down will show you the current account plan options.  We picked the ‘plus’ plan, when first starting MMM, because I wanted be able to accomodate other hobby sites as well.  No need for a pro package just yet — you can upgrade your site at any time once the traffic is a flowin’. I found basic hosting was good up to at least 10,000 pageviews/day.

Step 4: I’m assuming that once you fill out the page in step 3 and click Next that you will get some kind of login information for your Control Panel (‘cpanel’).

You now have a domain name and a hosting service.  Congratulations!

Part 2 – Create your WordPress Blog in 4 Steps using Bluehost

Step 1 – Go to bluehost.com and click Login in the top right corner. This will take you to something called your cpanel.  Under the “Website Builders” category, choose WordPress.

iheartwordpress

Step 2 – Now you should be in the Mojo Marketplace. Click the Start button for a brand new install.

bluehost-mojo
Step 3a – You will need to choose a location for your install — this will probably be the root of your new URL, so you would leave this unchanged. In my case, I’m installing a new blog under www.mrsmoneymustache.com/catchyfisherman. Click “Check Domain”.

bluehost-mrsmm-catchyfisherman

Step 3b – For the last step, check “Show Advanced Options” and see what’s there. You can change this information if you like. Leave the “automatically create a database” box checked. Check the terms and conditions box and click “Install Now”.

bluehost-almost-done

Step 4 – Bluehost will automatically install the whole WordPress system. In the meantime, you can click “No thanks” to their attempt at selling you a theme.  Once this is complete, you will receive an e-mail from Mojo Marketplace letting you know that your new WordPress install is complete. You will also find the information to login to your new site in this e-mail.

bluehost-progress

Your wordpress blog is up and running already!  You’ll now see the site in the “My Installs” section. Check it out by going to the URL (in my case: www.mrsmoneymustache.com/catchyfisherman) or login to the admin section of your site by clicking the green “Admin Login” button.

bluehost-my-installs

That will take you here to login. You are logging into the backend of your wordpress site (more on this under Part 3 below):

catchy-fisheman-login

Note the URL to this login page. For me, the URL is: http://www.mrsmoneymustache.com/catchyfisherman/wp-login.php.

Here’s the Mrs. MM Catchy Fisherman blog after the initial Install.  You can customize the look in the WordPress admin panel.

bluehost-new-blog

As you can see, using Bluehost makes a WordPress Install quick and easy.  You can set up numerous sites this way on the same host by using the same 4 steps above.

Part 3 – A few customizations within WordPress

Now you have a site and you can start typing and publishing right away, but you may want to do a few things within WordPress first.  I’m far from a WordPress expert, so if any of you recommend any other setup steps, please let us know.

Step 1 – Login to the wordpress admin section of your blog by entering the username and password you were given.

catchy-fisheman-login

Step 2 – You will arrive at your WordPress Dashboard.  This is the “back end” of your blog.  This is where you go to do almost everything, including adding posts, changing the look and feel, adding plugins, etc.

For added security, the first thing you’ll want to do is change your login by removing the Admin username (unless you already did this during the install, like I did above):

  • Choose Users -> Add New
  • Invent a memorable new username and password for yourself
  • Choose “Administrator” in the drop-down box at the bottom labeled “role”
  • You should now have two Admin level users.
  • Logout as “admin” and log in using your new username.
  • Then, delete the old Admin account. Now you should only have one admin profile.

Step 3 – you may have noticed that your dashboard gave you a notice to sign up for a WordPress.com account. This is an account with the actual WordPress company, which is different from the accounts just created here on your own server.

You do want this, because it is required to enable an essential plugin called ‘Jetpack’ (which is valuable for site statistics as well as other plugins). So click “Connect to WordPress.com” and then register for an account there (I have no idea why you need to sign up for a separate account for this, but hey, whatever). Save the login information religiously.

Once you have an account, you can authorize Jetpack and you will see a new option under the left hand menu for “Site Stats”. Your site stats will start to display in a little while, although at first you will get a “Take ‘er easy, dude.” message.

You may have also noticed that there are some updates to install. Like most pieces of software, WordPress is under constant development (and it’s amazing that it is free to use!). Under ‘dashboard’, choose ‘updates’ and let WordPress do its thing.

Step 4 – Finally, you can now check all your settings and learn about them. Go to ‘Settings’ and poke through each menu item. Under ‘General’, you can type in your site name and tagline (i.e. early retirement through badassity), your e-mail address, as well as your time zone. Be sure to click the ‘save changes’ button for every page.

Advanced option: check out the ‘Permalink Settings’ to ensure the links to your articles URLs show up the way you’d like them to.  This will be handy when your catchiest articles later go viral on the Internet, as well as increasing the number of visitors you will get from search engines. The default of using Post Name seems pretty good, especially since an MMM reader friend of mine who is a Search Engine Optimization expert recommends leaving the date out of the permalink.

At this point, your site probably looks blank but enticing and ready to go. If you added a site name and tagline, you’ll see that. Since we deleted the Admin account, your hello world post is probably gone. Note that you are currently set up using the default theme (a theme is what dictates the look and feel of your site). The default theme is called “Twenty Fourteen” in this case, and mrmoneymustache.com is running one called “skeptical” at the time of writing.

bluehost-new-blog

Part 4 – Updating your blog’s look and feel

Step 1 – when you choose Appearance – Themes, you’ll see the theme that is currently installed on your site at the top left. The range of available themes is almost endless and people are making hundreds more even as you read. I also see that the Mojo Marketplace has been added as a convenient quicklink, which is a clever way to get you to buy one of their themes. I’m sure their themes are great, but start with something free and get to know your site before buying a theme.

wordpress-themes

After initial install, you have the option to choose another theme (in my case Twenty Thirteen or Twenty Twelve) from the Themes tab, or search for free themes using a keyword under the WordPress.org Themes tab at the top of the page.  You can search by keyword or by filter (as I’ve done in the image in Step 2).

The Add New link at the top of the page also allows you to upload your own theme. It’s a flexible option, but be careful only to use themes from a trusted source lest you end up installing malicious code.  A few reliable sources we’ve used are the Free WordPress Themes (which are built into the search), WooThemes, and Elegant Themes.

WooThemes has some free themes that you can use and Elegant Themes allows you to have access to ALL their themes for $39. I have purchased themes from both places and have never had any issues. I’ve also heard that ThemeForest is a good place to purchase themes, although I haven’t done so myself. I’m assuming that the Mojo Marketplace is also a reputable place to purchase themes.

Note that it is often difficult to change the basic look and feel of a theme, so make sure you start out one with basic positioning that meets your needs. If you have experience with CSS and PHP, you can dig in and change almost anything, but without that knowledge you may be stuck with a theme’s default options.

Note the “Live Preview” link under each available theme. This allows you to see what your site will look like using the new theme. If you save and activate, then the new theme will be used and your previous theme settings will likely be erased… so be careful!

Step 2 – If you decide to use one of the free WordPress themes, just use the built-in search box. For example, suppose you want one using the color orange, with two text columns and a right side bar. I’d also like to be able to upload my own logo so I choose Custom Header. Check the appropriate boxes and click ‘Find Themes’.

wordpress-theme-search
My search results look like this:

wordpress-theme-search-results
From here you can preview themes and choose one to install. Note that the themes won’t look the same on your site as they do in the thumbnail, as your site currently has nothing on it (you’ll notice this as soon as you click the “Preview” link). It can look the way they show in the thumbnail with some work.

Step 3 – You could spend all day or all month looking for just the right theme. This is one of Mrs. MM’s weaknesses. For this example, we will stick with the default theme. After updating a few options under Appearance – Theme Options, we end up with a web site that looks like this.

wordpress-final-site

Note: this screenshot is from the original article (although updated with the new theme), so it is for mrmoneymustache.com/mrsmm instead of mrsmoneymustache.com/catchyfisherman.

Another Note: I uploaded some sample data from a theme at Elegant Themes (which I’m a member of). This is a great option within Elegant Themes to get your theme to look just like their demo. Here’s a video that explains how to do it, if you have purchased an Elegant Theme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXSOEkR5xFY.

Part 5 – Start Blogging!

Once you have the theme you want, you can start creating blog posts (under Posts) and pages (under Pages). You’ll probably want to link to your social media accounts and start letting people know about your blog once you have some good content.

Under Settings -> Privacy, you can choose to make your blog visible to search engines or not.

Under Appearance -> Menus, you can create a menu which helps users navigate to key pages in your site.

Under Plugins, you can add any of the thousands of plugins developed by other people. These are like phone apps for your blog, and many are quite powerful. But again, be careful since some may have bugs or security holes.

The MMM site contains the following plugins that might be useful: Ajax Edit Comments, Akismet, BackupBuddy, BNS SMF Feeds (for the forum feed), Jetpack, LinkWithin, Random Redirect, RSS to Email, Subscribe Sidebar, WP-Optimize, WP-Table Reloaded, WP Security Scan, and WP Super Cache.

You can see the new example blog we just created here: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/mrsmm/
or
http://www.mrsmoneymustache.com/catchyfisherman/

If you do create a blog as a result of reading this article, and you feel it might be useful to other Mustachians, feel free to share it in the comments. It is normally considered bad form to blatantly plug your own blog in somebody else’s comment section, but in this case, we’re here to support each other in the wonderful world of self-publishing. Happy Blogging!

Here’s that Bluehost link, in case you choose to support this blog while creating your own.
(It doesn’t affect price to you, and many thanks if you do!):

MMMBanner

  • Jen April 25, 2015, 6:37 am

    Very useful article and easy step by step process. It was even enough to push me to start my own blog and I’m less than tech savvy. I’m doing it for the learning aspect and a way to reflect on my experiences. I have a total of zero readers but I’m hopeful I’ll get my first soon! Many thanks for the great explanation and push to learn something new.
    My blog: http://www.singlemomsoars.com
    Thriving as a single mother

    Reply
  • Travis Hornsby June 22, 2015, 7:35 pm

    Thank you MMM for inspiring me , I quit my job at 25 to pursue early retirement and will be blogging about the experience with my site millennialmoola.com , if it wasn’t for you I never would have pursued starting my own blog

    Reply
  • Travis Hornsby June 28, 2015, 12:51 pm

    I started a blog thanks to the help of MMM called Millennial Moola focused on helping people in their 20s and 30s get to financial independence and make smarter money decisions. Trying to put practical advice together with entertaining content. Never would have done it if it wasn’t the MMM community and site so thank you!

    millennialmoola.com

    Reply
  • IAmNotABartender July 21, 2015, 6:45 pm

    Completely unrelated, but my wife and I were at Target yesterday, and my wife found a bike trailer on clearance for $40. So now I have a bike trailer! Looking forward to trying a big grocery trip up the hill home.

    Reply
  • Jenn July 22, 2015, 11:17 am

    I’m a relatively new MMM reader and find all your posts extremely helpful. I’ve switched my cell phone carrier because of your recommendation (saving $32 a month now) and decided to pursue my goal of creating a blog where I can use my passion for writing and hopefully turn it into a full time job. Thank you for all of the information ( I signed up bluehost) and decided to purchase a flexible child theme from the Genesis Framework as it sounds like its more flexible in terms of customization, advertising and Google stats. Excited to learn everything as I go!

    Reply
  • Uncle Cheese-it July 22, 2015, 5:24 pm

    Hi MMM,
    thanks so much. Coincidentally I’ve been wanting to write a blog on early retirement. I like to write but I had no idea how to start a blog that looks good. This post and many others in your site not only showed me how, but also gave me much more confidence about how successful a blog can be if the writer is serious about it. Thank you, this is very inspirational.
    Here is the result (please have mercy :) , it’s a work in progress) : http://www.maestrolanguage.com

    Reply
  • Jesse August 5, 2015, 7:27 pm

    Thanks for all your help. Here I thought I was too old to get this new fangled “blogging”.

    Reply
  • EarlyExodus September 19, 2015, 3:05 pm

    Great post MMM. Just wish I would have seen it sooner! I may have to check out WordPress and Bluehost soon as my Weebly/GoDaddy combo is giving me migraines. While nothing beats an original, here is my go at a MMM-style blog for public servants living in high-cost cities: http://www.earlyexodus.com

    Reply
  • James September 20, 2015, 6:19 pm

    I just started a blog using this method. I’m hoping to reach out to my friends and family and maybe enlighten them. MMM clearly influenced my style, so I’ll be trying not to copy him too much. To do so, I’m not trying to solely focus on financial independence and early retirement. Instead I’ll focus more on the badassity side of things. I don’t think I’ll ever be as big as MMM but I’d like to get to the point where the blog can at least pay for itself. Please check it out and give me feedback. Thanks

    Reply
  • Gene October 11, 2015, 3:18 pm

    Thanks MMM for the inspiration to finally get my blog started. For several years I’ve been wanting to write a blog and failed to follow up with my desire. My wife kept yelling and saying “What are you waiting for?” After reading your blog a couple years later I realized how easy it was to write a blog. I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now and really enjoy posting what drives me crazy or hits my bald head. If you wish to read or pass on to your readers, or make suggestions, please feel free. We should meet up for a beer some time. I only live in Littleton. Thank you again.
    http://www.giggityonline.com

    Reply
  • Rach October 16, 2015, 10:17 am

    Thank you for this post. It was the helpful kick I needed to start my own blog. However, I am not technologically savvy, so although I followed your instructions and got set up, I have a few questions. I published my intro post, clicked to have the public see it, and added tag words. But my site does not show up when I search the Internet. Also, I don’t understand the difference between “menu” and “categories” or how to get the topics displayed where I want on my site (“About”, “Health”, “Home Improvement”, etc). And I assume once I’ve established that, I simply pick one of those topics for my posts to be displayed in when I publish each individual post, correct? I also don’t know how to attach pics and videos (mine or from the Internet) or what the rules are, if any, for using others’ pics and videos. How do I add links to other peoples sites/posts? I do I make money from this? Etc, etc. If you could either help me or point me in the direction where I could find practical help, I would truly appreciate it. Thanks so much. FYI: my husband loves your site. He’s the one who pointed me in your direction. Now I’m loving it, too!

    Reply
  • JPower October 19, 2015, 10:11 am

    Thank you for posting this! I started my blog: http://www.adventuresofboys.com

    My family and I are big followers, and I have introduced your financial badassity to my co-workers.

    Reply
  • The Drunk Millionaire November 12, 2015, 8:46 pm

    Thanks for the post MMM! I know that I’m late to the party but I just found your site about 2 weeks ago! Monetary principles have always been a passion of mine and you’ve inspired me to start a blog!

    TheDrunkMillionaire.com

    Any constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
  • Thehappyphilosopher December 20, 2015, 7:25 pm

    I’m a little late to the party as well, but I’ve started a blog a few weeks ago. Thanks you MMM for all the great work you have done around here making the internet a more awesome and bad-ass place! Your philosophy has been an inspiration and has heavily influenced my own. I’m very grateful you decided to just “type some shit into a computer” and create this blog ;)

    Since the MMM readers are some of the greatest on the web I would be honored if you all check out by blog. Please comment, sent me feedback, mock me, laugh at me – whatever.

    My blog is about freedom, happiness, philosophy self-help and all things awesome! And I may drop the occasional F-bomb or two…maybe.

    http://thehappyphilosopher.com/
    https://twitter.com/HapyPhilosopher
    https://www.facebook.com/thehappyphilosopher/

    Reply
  • Matt February 29, 2016, 2:40 pm

    Pete! After wanting to start up a blog for a little bit I finally did it thanks to this article. The steps were ridiculously easy to follow. Scary how easy it is for a dope like me to have a site. thoughtsfromthebus.com
    Thanks!

    Reply
  • Distilled Dollar March 14, 2016, 4:47 am

    I ended up making my own site and incorporated many of the tips provided here. Thanks for the everything!

    DistilledDollar.com

    Feel free to check it out.

    Reply
  • Nathan Wakefield March 30, 2016, 12:53 pm

    Great post, MMM! It helped me a lot while I was setting up my own blog, called Programmer’s Perspective. I don’t have my own domain or custom themes yet, because I wanted to make sure people would read it before putting much money into it! (I am a college student, $7/month + $40 for a theme is a significant $$$ amount)

    Anyway, since you said we can post a link to our own blog, I decided I would! At Programmer’s Perspective, I discuss the way I look at various things in life and the realm of computer science, and have tutorials for programming languages such as C#. Anyone who is interested, feel free to stop by and learn something!

    My blog is at programmersperspective.wordpress.com. Thanks!

    Reply
  • One Sick Vet April 4, 2016, 4:05 pm

    Thanks, MMM! Using these detailed instructions (and your affiliate link), I started a blog “for anyone, veteran or not, who wants to empower themselves through research, investigation, exploration, and action to live a healthier, more satisfying life.” I do talk about money when it applies to health, but mostly I talk about health.

    Since I had never built a blog before, your step-by-step tutorial was very helpful. For non-computer scientists, the procedure can otherwise seem a bit baffling in spots. Much obliged.

    Blog at: http://www.onesickvet.com

    Reply
  • Mr. Efficiency Nerd April 15, 2016, 7:36 am

    I recently started my own blog as well: http://www.efficiencynerd.com. Come check it out! I write about efficiency in money, energy, and life in general.

    Reply
    • Sam April 15, 2016, 4:26 pm

      Don’t get me wrong. I admire your effort in starting a blog, but you may want to come up with some fresh ideas if you have any hope of it taking off. Every one of your post is a rehash of an MMM post. You even took your first two posts straight from MMM (Mr. Money Mustache vs. The Realist –> Mr. Efficiency Nerd vs. Mr. Sceptic).

      Reply
      • Mr. Efficiency Nerd April 16, 2016, 7:20 am

        Thanks for the suggestion, and I suppose I have been relying on MMM’s stuff a bit too much. Perhaps I was doing this somewhat unintentionally out of fear – I wasn’t sure if I could “make it” based on my own, completely original stuff. I also do happen to like most of what MMM writes – so rather than write a post of “these are a bunch things to improve your efficiency, written by this other guy, go check it out” – I’d rather spend my own time evaluating them, and cover them with my own twist.

        I do have some topics I’d like to cover that I don’t think MMM has specifically, though – like the issues/challenges I faced while biking to work all winter, and Drain Water Heat Recovery systems.

        Reply
  • Engineered Gains May 5, 2016, 11:32 am

    MMM Just wanted to take a second and thank you for this post. I followed it and found creating my new blog pretty easy after reading this. Also thanks for the free and recommended “Blog Plug” in the comment section. Please check out my site! Its brand new (as of yesterday) but I’m highly motivated and cant wait to continue growing it’s content and hopefully users! So thanks again and hopefully if you or any of your viewers are into working out and fitness/nutrition I hope you’ll check out my site http://www.engineeredgains.com

    Reply
  • The Cord Cutter May 11, 2016, 8:07 am

    This was super helpful post for me. I was really hesitant about starting my own blog until I read all the intel Mr. and Mrs. MMM outlined on their site. My web skills are still very caveman, but Bluehost has been a good starting point for me. Here’s what I have so far: http://www.cordcuttingreport.com

    Reply
  • Drewsky May 22, 2016, 3:10 pm

    Thanks for your post! Super helpful, and I just started my blog yesterday.

    Reply
  • Ben Diman July 20, 2016, 10:03 am

    Just wanted to stop by and say thanks again… 3 years later and I used this post to start my own blog. At the risk of being cheesy linkback guy, it’s http://www.prepareformedicare.com. It’s an extremely niche subject, but one that I think is really lacking out there. My target audience are people trying to wade through the very complex issue of choosing the correct Medicare insurance coverage for themselves, or for mom and dad without the insurance company or insurance agent spin. My goal is to post once a week, more if I can. Thanks for the inspiration and the instructions!

    Reply
  • Grasshopper October 5, 2016, 11:30 am

    Hello Mr. M and thank you for the inspiration. I have had a yen to jump back into writing, and this Post – as well as the Bluehost.com hosting discount you recently shared – gave me the push that I needed. Here is a link to my band spanking new blog http://www.grasshopperretiresearly.com/2016/10/02/i-am-the-grasshopper/
    Hope you like it :)

    Reply
  • John October 15, 2016, 8:19 pm

    This is some incredibly useful advice. I have been using Wordpress Premium to host The Wise Money Manager for almost 6 months now, but I was thinking about making the switch over to bluehost once my annual subscription runs out. It seems that Wordpress.org offers far better optionality as far as plug-ins go.

    Thanks for the tips Mr. Money Mustache! If any of you want some more money saving advice (per his approval in the above post), feel free to check out my personal finance blog at http://thewisemoneymanager.com

    Reply
  • Gabriel October 16, 2016, 10:00 am

    Do you recommend to start a new blog with Wordpress or continue with Blogger but new domain? I started a blog with blogger a couple months ago and I don’t know if it’s better to add a new top level domain or move the articles to the Wordpress platform.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache October 20, 2016, 8:47 pm

      Hi Gabriel, I don’t see a big difference between the two options – unless you need the extra flexibility provided by WordPress.

      Reply
  • Brandon October 24, 2016, 4:33 pm

    Hey MMM! Thanks for being an inspiration to live a different life. I’m 30 and I feel retired already! We’re a family of 3 (almost 4) living on less than 35k a year and trying to make the income work, raise and educate our kids and be more self sufficient without hustling a 50 hour work week at a job that we hate. I’ve been in the financial industry and tossed a blog together to talk about my journey. Keep it up MMM! Let me know what you think: http://beardedbudget.com/

    Reply
  • Pepe Peseta Patilla January 7, 2017, 11:56 pm

    Hi, everyone!
    Following the instructions in this post, I´ve finally launched my own blog, called http://www.pepepesetapatilla.es (the spanish version of MMM), and I hope it has half the success of yours.

    Reply
  • Richard Reis February 1, 2017, 2:58 pm

    Thank you for this post MMM!

    I actually started writing a blog using a lot of inspiration from you after reading ALL. YOUR. POSTS.

    Since much of it isn’t my original content. I’m writing on Medium so I can grow faster (even though the chances of monetizing are pretty much zero).

    I challenged myself to absorb your lessons by writing about them this year. So I condensed a lot of it (plus other financial resources) into 52 posts.

    I started with 0 followers but after only 5 posts my publication has 339 followers and growing faster and faster every week!

    All thanks to your teachings oh wise one.

    I’d love to know what everyone who’s read this far thinks about my blog. I try to aim at a younger, much less financially-savy crowd. My most popular post was this https://medium.com/personal-finance-series-by-richard-reis/the-only-thing-that-matters-is-your-net-worth-personal-finance-series-pt-3-of-52-63154200543d#.o3ja2kcvs

    Thanks for any feedback!

    Reply
  • John Olaf February 4, 2017, 6:21 pm

    MMM,
    FIrst, thank you so much for your whole site. I love it. I just finished reading it all the way through. It DID really inspire me to start my own. I’m sort of following in your footsteps: I’m writing about my finances a bit. But what I’m really doing is writing about the process of beginning a frugal life, as a TEACHER! I’m really excited to share what it is like to try to live more frugally on a teacher’s salary.

    I feel like I’ve woken up from a long dream after reading your site. I’m hoping to stay motivated and curious with my own. Maybe I can get some of you fellow teachers out there to comment with me and build a site for ourselves.

    Thanks again MMM.

    The(future)FIT
    thefiteacher.com

    Reply
  • Curtis Nash February 5, 2017, 3:44 pm

    I been reading for about 2 months and trying to follow your advice. I am an ER nurse and decided to try and add blogging about my stories to my past time (www.wnygroup.org). If if make money cool, if I never do thats fine too, I just hope people have fun reading my stories.

    Reply
  • Jason March 8, 2017, 1:09 pm

    MMM, just curious if the advice in this article still holds true? I notice you using newer tools for hosting down at the bottom of your website. Just curious as I’m thinking of starting a blog soon and love this tutorial but not sure if it is worth following anymore.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache March 8, 2017, 3:33 pm

      Hi Jason – YES! I still think Bluehost and Wordpress are the perfect combo for starting a blog. I switched to Pantheon because this site became huge – literally in the top hundredth of the top percent of websites in terms of traffic. It is very rare that a blog will grow too big to be hosted easily by Bluehost, but if that ever happens you’ll have the money to move it :-)

      Reply
    • Mack March 8, 2017, 4:52 pm

      Jason – from someone who has done this VERY recently, I can tell you this advice is absolutely up to date and spot on. I’m still in the process of tweaking things and learning about all the functionality of Wordpress, but it’s incredibly easy to get the lights turned on a new blog in an hour or two. Go for it, buddy!

      Reply
  • Henry March 15, 2017, 9:19 am

    I know I’m a few years late to the game, but I’ve started writing my thoughts down. Nothing nearly as prolific as MMM, just my own musings about money and my current consumer subset.

    You can find it at http://www.henrysmoney.com

    Reply
  • Mr. FWP March 20, 2017, 3:40 pm

    Took the leap and started a blog about personal finance and financial independence. It’s hard to ignore the Shockingly Simple Math of Early Retirement (per your post), so the blog will be a place to work towards that goal and share progress, as well as explore what to do once financially independent. Thanks for the encouragement!

    I have always been passionate about these topics, especially after paying off my student loans, and I am a writer in my day job/life, so I’m hopeful this will be a fun new adventure!

    Reply
  • Mike Reiche March 22, 2017, 7:53 am

    I wish I would have started a blog when this article first came out. I pussyfooted around for a long time. Read Gocurrycrackers advice on how to start a blog as well and didn’t dive in then either. Looked up a potential domain then but didn’t buy… turns out a year and a half later someone is sitting on it! Oh well. I finally started my blog. Probably won’t get any hits off this page since I am now 3 comment pages deep, but lets give it a shot…
    http://www.dontretireanddie.com
    Not necessarily about early retirement, but learning how to live now so retirement can be more comfortable.
    Thanks for all the advice and help over the years… also, relocating to Westminster, CO in a few days… looking forward to moving to the “Promised Land”. LOL!

    Reply
  • Tony Lima April 12, 2017, 12:34 am

    Just set up my brand spanking new wordpress site. Thanks for all the value you’ve provided me MMM. I was glad to use your setup. My new site is Livingtoadventure.com It is a blend of mountain culture, personal finance, and sustainability.

    Reply
  • Meredith April 20, 2017, 5:34 pm

    Thanks MMM!! After reading and discussing your blog with my sister, I decided to take the plunge to start my own blog!!
    Health and wellness is a passion of mine and I hate the current system of calories in/calories out. Health and wellness is so much more than what you look like!
    Thank you MMM!

    Reply

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