284 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 have always wanted to write a book, but you find the idea daunting. 250 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. Another great platform is the public-essay/newspaper thingy called Medium. 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?

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:

Special thanks to Mrs. Money Mustache, who wrote the original version of this guide.

Step 1: Go to Bluehost.com (affiliate link) and it will take you to this 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 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 1.5: choose a plan. Basic will do just fine, although “prime” is a good deal if you value the extra options. Domain Privacy is an important one, available separately for $0.99 per month even if you don’t get the prime package.

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.

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: https://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

  • Jane October 23, 2013, 12:50 pm

    Thanks so much for this very informative post. I ended up switching from wordpress.org to wordpress.com, though, because of my inept technological skills. I’m happy with how it came out, though: http://www.SheAgesWithClass.com.

    I follow your blog regularly and love it.

    Cheers!
    :-)

    Jane

    Reply
  • Nikriosity October 25, 2013, 10:16 am

    Thanks for the detailed tips. I started my blog after reading this. Many thanks MMM.

    My blog is http://www.nikriosity.com

    A common man’s perspective on the world around him.

    Reply
  • Isaac November 10, 2013, 4:53 pm

    Thank you MMM!

    This post gave me a tremendous jold of inspiration. I followed your steps and created heyyoupoorkid.com

    Let me know what you think!

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache November 11, 2013, 12:13 pm

      That is some good shit! You had me scared with the first post title, which sucked me in to read the good investing message.

      Reply
      • Isaac November 11, 2013, 6:07 pm

        THANK YOU!

        Okay, so you motivate me to start a blog on your “How to Start a Blog” post. I post my blog on your post and you further motivate me in a reply? Do you know what that is?

        COMPOUND MOTIVINTERST

        I’m earning motivation on my inspiration that gave me my original motivation.

        Reply
        • Ron July 9, 2017, 7:55 pm

          Isaac, this post is the best thing I’ve read in a long time!

          Reply
  • ballnchainz November 15, 2013, 1:37 pm

    I read this months ago and said i would do it but never got around to it. a month ago i finally decided to dive into the blogosphere and created a relationship blog.. ballnchainz.com . Thanks for the tips with blogging and mustachianess. now if I could just figure out how to help people and make money!!!

    Reply
  • Ryan November 22, 2013, 12:55 pm

    Thanks for the info MMM! I started with self hosting and wordpress, and just ended up frustrated with the difficulty. Granted, I knew nothing. I’ve gotten things rolling by using Weebly Drag and Drop, but it has limitations not on wordpress. Anybody have experience with Weebly? Any suggestions or recommendation? Thanks!

    Reply
  • ARand December 1, 2013, 9:37 am

    Used this post from Mr. Money Mustache to begin my blog at http://takenextsteps.com/. Thankful for this starting tutorial. I have since spent time with Wordpress and Studiopress to fine-tune the blog. Would appreciate any comments!

    Reply
  • grltrvlr December 6, 2013, 7:42 pm

    I am in love with blog-stalking you! I started my own blog called Journey to Early Retirement (http://journeytoearlyretirement.wordpress.com/) and it is basically my hubby and I morphing our money, and ourselves, to achieve early retirement. I love reading your blog and telling my story from your advice and others. I went with basic themes on wordpress and I just started writing. I am going to try and make money in 2014 but I am pretty excited to retire in 10 years or less! Thank your for all of the advice and encouragement. I am also in Denver so maybe I will find you around town!

    Reply
  • Grump December 10, 2013, 1:04 pm

    Hello Mustachians,

    Although I can not consider myself a Mustachian my Wife and I have decided to start working towards financial independence and documenting our successes and failures at http://www.grumpyandannoyed.com after reading all of MMM’s blog posts.

    Our blog is going to chronicle how my family as consumers is making the transition to being self-reliant and wealthy. We have some rather large goals in mind but we need to make considerable progress before wealth building begins.

    The blog just started so be sure to follow from the beginning…

    The link is http://www.grumpyandannoyed.com

    -Mr. Grump

    Reply
  • Will December 28, 2013, 6:22 pm

    Hi MMM,

    You inspired me to start writing about something I think about constantly, saving hard. My thought process is, if you work hard everyday, why then would you not save hard too? I find many of your posts insightful and enjoyable to read. I’m just beginning, but I hope to help others find a path to financial freedom sooner in their lives.

    My site is http://workhardsaveharder.com

    Best,

    Will

    Reply
  • Mr. Maroon January 2, 2014, 9:56 am

    I only discovered your website in the last couple of weeks. My wife and I are looking to completely change our lifestyle and have opted to start a blog as a way to chronicle the adaptation and help motivate us to keep moving in the right direction. Thanks for all of the information you provide herein and I will continue to utilize your site as a valuable research tool to help our family make better financial decisions for the future.

    -Mr. Maroon
    http://www.mixingmaroons.com

    Reply
  • Graduate Hope January 4, 2014, 9:06 am

    Thanks so much for the awesome “how to” guide! I’ve been a fan of yours for a while now. I’m one of those people who was already fairly Mustachian before I realized there was a term for it. So sometimes you validate ideas I already had, sometimes you help me to improve what I’m doing, and sometimes you just completely blow my mind with something I never even thought of. I could go on and on about all the posts I love but suffice it to say I think you’re providing a fantastic service! Anyway, this guide finally gave me the push I needed to start my own blog. It could be described as Mustachianism for Recent College Graduates. The address is http://www.graduatehope.com. Thanks again for everything you’ve done with your blog and specifically for this very helpful guide!

    Reply
  • The Frugal Flirter January 5, 2014, 12:33 pm

    Thanks for your advice, I’ve just set a webpage up following your post, and found it straightforward even for a complete novice like me! FF xxx

    Reply
  • Justin Gesso January 10, 2014, 11:16 am

    Still an awesome post on year later! Your article and this site inspired my personal development, self improvement, and “how to achieve ambitious life victories” site http://www.victorycoaches.com

    Reply
  • Michelle January 22, 2014, 8:16 am

    Been thinking of starting this for a while but had no idea how to start so thank you Mr and Mrs MM for the extensive info. I haven’t started to set up the steps yet but it was very informative and can’t wait to start. Really appreciate you doing this!! If I run into issues I may be back to ask advice! :)

    Reply
  • Eric February 8, 2014, 5:46 pm

    Great post!

    Just used this walkthrough the other night to set my site up – http://www.bigguymoney.com. Pretty cool also seeing that other blogs that I read religiously also used this post.

    Reply
  • David Michael February 12, 2014, 10:44 am

    I’m thinking of setting up a wordpress.org blog. Thanks for your help here on steps to take, etc.

    Would you be willing to share what you make (money wise) from your blog. You have done a great job, with an impressive following, and lots of comments.

    What advertising/affiliated marketing techniques work for you? Thanks.

    David

    Reply
  • Feeg February 22, 2014, 7:03 pm

    Great piece! I am really interested in creating a blog but curious about the business side of things. Should you form an LLC to register all of the blog info if your goal is monetization? Also, how do you suggest researching to find names that aren’t infringing on others? It seems like all of the good names are taken!

    Reply
  • Ryan March 8, 2014, 7:32 pm

    This is probably one of my favorite posts on this site. It provided me the extra push and guidance I needed to start my own site. Gladly used your affiliate link to sign up :) If anyone else is debating about whether to start your own blog, don’t wait, just do it. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Laura aka "Mrs. Nickels" March 9, 2014, 3:19 pm

    Took the plunge! Between MMM and Johnny Moneyseed, I was inspired to finally start my own personal finance blog. I’ve been told I have a unique writing style, and have something worth saying, so I went for it. Took your recommendation and went through BlueHost. (http://www.mySHINYnickels.com) Mr. Moneyseed was especially helpful with some one-on-one coaching via email. Thanks Johnny!

    I’ve got some traffic already, mainly from doing a few blasts out on some social media outlets, but it’s crazy to see friends of friends sharing the link to my blog. People I don’t even know are sharing my posts, and I’ve got nearly 700 views after less than a week online. The feedback I’ve received is overwhelming, and nothing but positive (for now, ha!).

    Let me end by saying THANK YOU to you, MMM. (At this point, you might want to grab a kleenex.) You have inspired me in more ways than I have room for here. My finances, the way I view money, and how I strive to live a happy life EVERY DAY is because of you. Uh oh, they’re starting to play the theme music, that’s my cue, I better wrap up my thank you speech…Thanks MMM!

    Reply
  • Richi Tam March 17, 2014, 5:06 pm

    Thanks so much for the help! They actually gave me a discount to $3.95/month :) Just wrote my first blog post: http://www.tamtattletales.com/my-biggest-fear-regarding-my-first-real-job/

    Reply
  • Yossif March 18, 2014, 12:54 pm

    Hey fellow MMM’ers, I hope all of you that took the plunge into blogging are doing well. It’s been well over a year since I started my little health blog and I’m already to the point where I get roughly 100-200 visitors a DAY and my facebook page is getting closer to 1000 likes!

    Thanks again for all the helpful hints and tips, MMM! Next step is to start trying to make a bit of pocket change off my work. My first priority is to help people change their lives like I did (via weight loss), but a few extra bucks would certainly not hurt in the long run!

    -Yossif

    Reply
  • Melissa Wannabe Blogger March 22, 2014, 6:50 pm

    Hey MMM,

    I hope it’s not too much trouble but do you think you could publish a new post about how to start a blog. A lot of how the pages are presented have changed since this.Sometimes set ups don’t look like the images you’ve included. I am really using this as my guide. :P …You know since I’m a wannabe blogger. Also I think what they provide for free has changed too… Like the themes… As far as I can tell today i only have 3 choices the other you have to buy. …Just wondering. I would appreciate it.. Or if anyone can direct me to another good source.

    Reply
    • Mrs. Money Mustache March 24, 2014, 7:51 pm

      Done! Thanks for letting me know. There are still a couple of old screenshots in there, but for the most part, the update is pretty complete (as of today, March 24, 2014).

      Note that you don’t need to buy new themes. You can still choose the Wordpress.org Themes tab (linked in blue) from the Themes menu.

      Reply
      • The Roamer September 14, 2014, 6:16 pm

        Thanks so much Mrs.MM. It really did help!
        I’m a slow learner still figuring stuff out. But I am glad to be learning!

        Reply
  • Janet March 24, 2014, 9:14 pm

    I’m ready to sign up for hosting, but the “Domain WhoIs Privacy” option is no longer available. At least I don’t see it no matter what plan I click on.

    When I first registered my domain (via GoDaddy), I purchased that option. Do you think it will transfer over that way to BlueHost? If not, I’m hoping it’s an option I can add after I go through a few more steps.

    Reply
  • Capitalist in Progress March 26, 2014, 10:52 pm

    Hi Mr. Money Mustache,

    I’ve been following / returning to your blog for ages and finanlly decided to start blogging myself.

    I’m having trouble finding my “voice” and figuring out what to write about.

    I’m a compsci, econ double major and still in school so I don’t have a ton of free time but I’m really interested in personal finance. I’m no expert so I don’t really know where to start.

    My blog is here: becomingthecapitalist.com

    Do you have any advice about finding one’s own voice / theme?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • Drew April 26, 2014, 9:47 am

    Thanks for the guide MMM! I didn’t realize it could be so simple. Just started my blog the other day!

    http://www.makeyourmoneywork.org/

    Reply
  • Even Steven May 1, 2014, 7:17 am

    Thanks for the great article on setting up the blog, it was really helpful. I’ve only been blogging for about a month, but it really gets you going. It would be great if you would check it out one day. Thanks again.

    evenstevenmoney.com I’m working on paying it all back, becoming Even Steven and Building Financial Independence.

    Reply
  • Alex P May 23, 2014, 8:38 am

    Wanted to share my blog that you helped set up!

    http://www.liveliftsit.com/

    I’ll be approaching how I try to live a fulfilling life through zen, powerlifting and bodybuilding, and financial freedom!

    Reply
  • Dale June 10, 2014, 6:48 pm

    Thanks for the tips on setting up a blog among other things, MMM.
    You might enjoy my new site as it combines two things you seem to appreciate–bikes and blogging at http://www.crashcoach.com
    I’ve also got a stumper of a student loan question for you for another time.

    Reply
  • Rob June 28, 2014, 5:21 am

    Hi MMM, thanks for your site. Going way back I found your blog when Jacob of Early Retirement Extreme passed the torch. As well as being incredibly entertaining (I love the bike and construction related stuff) your blog has changed me and my family’s life. We finally decided we are there and I quit my chip design job six months ago. Never happier. I wanted to start a blog for sometime so I can have more conversations not commonly available with people around these parts. Better late than never. I followed your instructions and here it finally is:

    http://www.engineer2freedom.com

    Cheers and thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

    Reply
  • Michael July 14, 2014, 9:31 pm

    Thanks MMM- I just created my new blog yesterday- in about 2 hrs including customization.

    This post was extremely useful for me when creating a blog- Before I read this article I never planned on making a blog- once I learned how easy it was, I literally followed this guide step by step to create my blog-
    I’ve made 4 posts so far and am making progress at having good financial content.

    Perhaps you could write a post on how to acquire readers- and get site traffic through the blog- thats the stage I’m at now-

    Thanks Again!!!

    PS. Gotta add a Shameless Plug:
    IWFreedom.com – Independence Wealth = Freedom

    Reply
  • Angela August 5, 2014, 7:26 pm

    Thanks for the step-by-step info! I ended up going with Blue Host and these were really helpful instructions. If anyone wants to check out my blog, it’s http://www.agoodstewardess.com/ :)

    Reply
  • Adam August 16, 2014, 12:31 am

    Thank you so much for writing this post! It has been really helpful in starting my own personal finance blog, http://www.mentalmoneymuscles.com/. The blog showcases my journey to pay of debt and live a more frugal financially independent life. I could not have done it without you. Thank you Mr. Money Mustache, you are inspiring so many, keep doing what you are doing.

    Reply
  • Lance September 5, 2014, 9:56 am

    Better late than never! Thanks for the help and guidance along the way with this blog.

    http://www.healthywealthyincome.com

    Fun hobby to help others out and share a lot of personal experiences. Lots of stuff about how to get out of debt, but how about we don’t get in to debt to start with and just pay ourselves instead of others. I like me, I like money, I really like both together!

    Reply
  • Paul Andrew September 10, 2014, 2:41 pm

    I have to say that you are one of my blogging inspirations. Great content and above all, great humor in every post. It helps to avoid some of the preaching that is evident in other blogs.

    I have been inspired to start thefrugalgraduate.wordpress.com and hope to grow it into an inspiration and resource much like yours has become.

    Reply
  • Ms. Feisty Finance September 14, 2014, 2:01 pm

    Hey guys,

    Thanks Mr. Money Mustache for this amazingly simple and straightforward guide to starting your own blog! If I can do it, anyone can! :)

    I’ve started a new blog at http://www.feistyfinance.com for anyone interested (I’ve been blogging under http://www.mydebtemergency.blogspot.com until now… but will be transitioning that blog to the new one). Feisty Finance is a personal finance blog for feisty and ambitious women.

    I’m still working on adding posts, so check back frequently and let me know what you think.

    Ms. Feisty Finance

    Reply
  • Joshua October 4, 2014, 12:23 am

    Thanks for the information. I have been looking to change my blog to a self-hosted one, and this was a great guide. http://www.LivingToTheUtmost.com is now up and running. Great site, currently reading all the articles and enjoying them.

    Reply
  • Kim Flournoy October 7, 2014, 9:44 am

    Hi MMM et al,

    I’m one of those professional WordPress Developers, and I have an addendum to your instructions above. Since I’m sure that traffic is still coming to this page, it would be great if you could update your information at the top of the page to reflect this. If not, hopefully people will scroll down this far…

    Dear potential (or current) WordPress blog owner: Stop everything you’re doing, take 5 minutes, and do both of these things. No, seriously, whatever else you’re doing can wait.

    1) If you are self-hosting WordPress on your own website hosting account (Bluehost or wherever), you MUST MUST MUST keep it updated. The underlying WordPress software and any plugins you install will have updates from time to time – if you do not keep fairly up to date on this, your website WILL be hacked. Updates don’t take very long to do, and WordPress will even alert you when you’re logged into the Dashboard that there are updates.

    Or you can sign up for the WordPress.org mailing list to get an email for each new release (a few times a year):

    1. Go to http://wordpress.org/support/profile/

    2. Log in (or create a new account if needed, then log in).

    3. Click “Edit” on the right.

    4. Scroll down to the “Mailing Lists” section.

    5. Check the appropriate checkbox. You’re looking for “Subscribe to WordPress Announcements (a few messages a year)”

    6. Click the “Update Profile” button at the bottom of the page.

    You must do this even if you never use your blog (especially!). You must do this even if you don’t think your blog is important enough to hack. Your site *is* a target for hackers, and they have banks of computers running day and night to try and hack into literally any website they can find. Don’t let it be yours.

    2) Backups. This will save your ass one very stress-filled day, and you’ll either be thanking me for recommending it, or cursing yourself for not listening.

    For backing up your WordPress database and files, I personally like the BackWPup plugin ( https://wordpress.org/plugins/backwpup/ ) – you can sync to Dropbox (probably the easiest option) or another service. Don’t back up to your same server.

    If you’re also using this hosting account to store photos, music, etc – make sure they are also backed up somewhere else! If this is the only copy you have, you might as well kiss it goodbye now, because one day it will be gone, and a $100 credit from your hosting company as an apology will not help dry your tears at forever losing that video of your kid’s first steps.

    Good luck, and happy blogging!

    Reply
  • Scott @ InsourceEverything October 8, 2014, 6:20 am

    MMM,

    This post inspired me to start a blog at http://www.InsourceEverything.com The blog has a DIY theme to it, especially how to learn on your own, be more productive, and also save money

    Scott

    Reply
  • Cameron October 27, 2014, 1:20 pm

    Great article! It inspired me to create me very own blog at TheFilmBox.org! Hoping to follow in your footsteps and grow my own money mustache! Thanks!

    Reply
  • Questioner October 29, 2014, 5:33 pm

    OK, I finally took the plunge! Here’s my shameless plug: http://www.questionsitall.com

    I wanted to start a blog where all sorts of conventional wisdom is examined and then affirmed as being accurate or helpful or inaccurate and unhelpful. I hope that everyone can read my blog with an open mind and learn something or teach me something.

    Thanks for looking!!!

    Reply
  • TheBreeze November 2, 2014, 1:31 pm

    Just made a blog using your guide MMM! At the moment I wouldn’t say it would be useful to anyone here, but down the line it will probably evolve into something useful! For now, though, it would be really useful to me if some Mustachians checked it out :)

    Reply
  • mschaus November 10, 2014, 11:49 am

    This post inspired me to get back into my own blog which is primarily where I write about cool maker projects I completed or how to fix things that I needed to fix but didn’t have good info on the web. The blog itself can be esoteric, but I feel that my twitter feed might be of more general interest for technology and maker goodies!

    http://mschausprojects.blogspot.com/
    https://twitter.com/mschaus

    I’ll probably make a post on personal finance lessons next!

    Thanks!
    Mike

    Reply
  • The Ranting Loon November 10, 2014, 7:15 pm

    Thank you MMM, I found your blog looking for resources about starting a new career and ran into this post. You made a new subscriber, and I made a new blog. It’s mostly just the random stuff off of my head and reviews about things I do, see and read, but I’m already loving the work. And to give a great big cherry topping, there are some awesome blogs linked in this very article that I’m looking forward to reading through as well, so hats off to you and the other intrepid bloggers out there!

    Reply
  • DebtAnatomy December 12, 2014, 3:26 pm

    I know I’m a little late to the party, but I started my blog last week. Ironically I didn’t this post existed until after I set it all up, but it was great to see that I did it right!

    http://www.debtanatomy.com

    It’s about living with student debt as I go through medical school.

    Reply
  • Brooks December 20, 2014, 9:44 pm

    My wife and I just started a blog based on these instructions. The blog will discuss our take on mustachianism and good reasons to be frugal. We see the goal as financial flexibility instead of financial independence or early retirement… similar but different. Check it out: pretendtobepoor.com

    Reply
  • Iris Hopp January 3, 2015, 1:17 am

    I did it! I even placed my first post & got Adsense in the side bar. I’d be honored if you took a look: http://www.colourcow.com/ (it’s about art, not money) :)

    Mr. Money Mustache, you mentioned in a different post that your blog is earning 6 figures… Do you have any how-to posts on blog monetization, or do you recommend reading through Pat Flynn’s website?

    While this is my first comment, you have been a great inspiration and my attitude changed greatly since I found this blog (just a few weeks ago…)

    – Iris

    Reply
  • Tony D. January 9, 2015, 1:10 am

    Yes. I just finished with BlueHost, Jet Pack all of the plugins and transferring over content from my WordPress blog. Here it is. http://www.WorldSavingBlog.com Any suggestions on how to improve it would be great. But I would like to give Thanks to Mr.MoneyMustache. One day I was searching for information on metal roofing for my house. It was this article that started a chain reaction. http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/03/24/how-to-install-a-metal-roof/
    I learned about metal roofing then started to click on some of the other articles. WOW. This was back at the end of April 2014. Since then I have cut my spending almost enough to become what I call semi retired. Cut my electric bill by 15%. Started going Primal. Lost 20 pounds so far. Have very little debt. And now started a Blog in December of 2014. THANK YOU. I would like to link back to many of your articles. But first I need permission. So how about it?
    Thank You for your time………
    WorldSavingBlog Guy

    Reply
  • The MC February 19, 2015, 11:29 pm

    Hey MMM, I wanted to come back to this old post and thank you for the detailed instructions. Doing some writing in public had been on my to-do list for a while. Both to keep us committed to our goals, and ust so I could practice writing more. With my wife’s encouragement (constant reminders) I finally got around to taking up the project, and this post was really helpful .So Thank you.

    Reply
  • Masternerd April 3, 2015, 1:55 pm

    Thanks for the post. It was really helpful for setting up my own blog: http://www.mynerdylife.com

    Cheers!

    Reply
  • Scott April 7, 2015, 8:57 pm

    This is $! I have been following this site for ~3 years now and finally tonight decided to take the plunge and start my own. What a humbling experience to say the least, but this guide helped me get through it. Anywho, my blog site is going to be about personal finance (I’m a learning amateur), travel and new experiences, and just some great general rants about the happenings of life. Here it is: http://www.lifesatripp.com/

    Cheers!

    Reply

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