How to Launch a Blog on a Budget

How to Launch a Blog on a Budget

You can join the club. The club I started for the ba-gillion people I know, moi included, who don’t have 1.2 mil laying around to invest in a blog launch or relaunch. Yes, ba-gillion is a big, actual number; I’m offended you thought otherwise.

If you don’t want in on my club, that’s fine . . . weirdo, but if you do, then as a benefit of your club membership, please enjoy this guide on how to launch (and start to grow) a blog on a budget. There are 10 main sections to read through, each with resources (free, inexpensive, mid-range, and high-end –> if you want to ball out in certain areas) and tools you can start using today.

If I may say, before we get into the blog launch guide: Launching a successful blog, whether on a slim budget or super duper budget, takes a lot of work. When launching on a budget, you’re going to have to get a smidge more crafty, research-y, and DIY-y than the next person, but the process of learning and doing will be valuable. Every popular + useful blog takes a huge investment, whether it’s almost all time, almost all money, or a healthy mix of both.

Also, this guide is more like a class on how to start your blog (with a small budget) than it is a blog post. I just want to warn you that this is probably best for people who are really serious about starting/re-starting a blog, because it’s intense. Feel free to pin it or share it with someone you know may benefit from it. Thanks.


Feel free to jump ahead to any of the sections below, if you’re feeling froggy that is. {Get it? Because frogs jump. –That’s a completely original joke I just made up. I’ve never heard it anywhere else before. Have you?}

1. Planning // 2. CMS or Platform // 3. Brand Identity // 4. Domain + Hosting // 5. Blog or Theme Design // 6. Images // 7. Style Guide // 8. Making Money While Your Blog is Still New // 9. Plugins + Extras // 10. Promotion

1. Planning Your Blog on a Budget

Saving money/stress/headache/time on your blog launch will require good planning. There is a ton to think about when you get into the details of launching or relaunching a blog that you hope to truly start #winning with. We’ll address many of these important topics in this post, but . . .

There are a few crucial things to plan out first: your topics or niche, your blog’s ideal audience, your blog categories, the types of posts + content you will create, and your blogging frequency. I recommend waiting to finalize the name of your blog until you’ve done the “ideal blog reader survey” activity and formed your “ideal reader brief” linked in the DIY Tools and Tips of this section.

If you want to get started on planning the items above now, feel free to download, print, and fill out the simple “getting started” Blog Planning Cheat Sheet directly below. Also check out the questions below the worksheet to get you thinking.

Blog Planning Cheat Sheet


Some questions you may want to answer:

  • What are your goals and desired outcomes of this blog for your life and lifestyle?
  • What are your goals and desired outcomes of this blog for your readers?
  • If you were breaking down what you will blog about into 3 – 5 categories, what would they be?
  • What are five example posts you might create? (Just the title or gist of the post will do.)
  • Do you want to set your blog up so that you can make money from it? If so, how much would you ideally make per month from it in the future?
  • Is the idea “worth it” to you if it doesn’t make any “real” money for the first nine months to a year?
  • How often do you see yourself posting to your blog?
  • What is the amount of time you can reasonably expect to commit to writing for, promoting, tweaking, and improving your blog each week?
  • What is your ideal timeframe to launch your blog?
  • What does success look like to you with your blog? “I’ll feel my blog is successful when __________”

If you plan well, and can give an honest answer you feel good about to the questions above, then when it comes time to make all the other decisions you have coming up, you’ll have a lot more clarity. Can you try to trust me on this one? Me who has done it the very disorganized and unclear way in the past? Thanks.


Resources/Investment
Free: How to Decide What to Blog About via Amy Lynn Andrews + 51 Types of Blog Posts to Help Grow Your Audience + How to Find Use Your Voice on Your Blog
Inexpensive: Fizzle.co’s Start a Blog That Matters
Mid-range: A Beautiful Mess Blog Life eCourse
High-end: Personalized coaching + blog planning from a blog coach (Sarah Von Bargen, or XOSarah.com, or moi)


DIY Tools + Tips
>> Create a Blog Business Plan
>> Discover Your Ideal Blog Reader
>> Check out some books on blogging: Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community + Blogging for Creatives: How designers, artists, crafters and writers can blog to make contacts, win business and build success


2. Picking a Blog CMS on a Budget

Since you’re planning to blog regularly, a CMS will make your life happy. A CMS is simply a content management system (in other words: a way to easily manage your blog content without knowing code). Your blog’s CMS is also often referred to as its platform.

Each blog platform has its own advantages for different types of bloggers and blogs. There isn’t one platform that is always the best solution for everyone. I used to actually believe WordPress could solve every problem and fill every need. Don’t judge me. I was in love. Actually, I’m still in love and it’s what I use (screenshot of the WordPress CMS below), but there are other great platforms out there. View the posts in the “Tools + Tips” section below for some well-explained overviews of the benefits of each of the main CMS platforms available.

The WordPress CMS Dashboard

Resources

Free: Blogger, WordPress.com, Tumblr
Inexpensive: WordPress.org, self-hosted, which is free software that will need to be used with an inexpensive hosting account (explained in Section 4)
Mid-range: Squarespace, Typepad
High-end: Shopify (if you’ll be selling a whole lot of items, this is a highly useful platform)

Tools + Tips
How to Choose the Best Platform for Your Blog
Best Blogging Platforms (which does not include an overview of WordPress.org, so please view the article above for that)
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

3. Creating Your Blog + Brand Identity on a Budget

So, not only does your brand identity need to match your style, match your audience, and match the type of content you’ll be sharing (as in, you don’t want your fun lifestyle blog to have a corporate/bank feel), but your blog identity should also be something that you won’t have to change twice a year. It should be long term, beautiful, and functional for the foreseeable future.

In addition to the resources listed below, I’ve included a sample of my $5 Brand Identity Workbook that you can download and print by clicking on the image below. For the full 20-page version, feel free to check out The Epic Brand Identity Workbook if you wish. P.S. The sample below is only for really nice, friendly people. If you’re mean, there’s a fee. P.P.S. Tag me on Insta (@byReginaTV) if you print it out and use it please. You’re the best.

Brand Planning Workbook Sample

Resources

Free: DIY (obvs), but CreativeLive’s classes are free while they’re live, so check out their great lineup to learn how to DIY. Thanks Jon King for making me aware of this resource.
Inexpensive: These Skillshare classes >> Beyond the Logo: Crafting a Brand Identity // Basics of Photoshop: Fundamentals for Beginners
Mid-range: 99Designs.com or a graphic designer who is still establishing themselves.
High-end (but amazing): A professional, established graphic designer.

Tools + Tips
Design a brand identity in 10 easy steps.
99 graphic design resources.
Designers I’m loving right now: Margo // Jon King // Saffron Avenue
Also, below is a checklist to work from to make sure you get all your necessary brand identity items. Don’t tell anyone in my Creative Coaching class that I shared this with you, okay? I’m counting on you.

Brand Identity Checklist


4. Getting a Domain Name and Hosting Account for Your Blog on a Budget

As one of my BFFs (@BMaysDesign) always says in a WordPress class we teach together, “Your domain name is like the street address of your house (so people know where to find you), and your hosting account is the plot of land that allows you to build your house (and hold all your digital files).” Makes sense, right? You need both a domain name (ex: byRegina.com) and a hosting account (through a company like the ones I share below) to hold all the code, files, or friendly CMS goodies necessary to make your site work.

Domain Name:

Choose something memorable, brandable, and that allows some wiggle room (room for growth). Then make sure your name passes the following tests:

  • The name sounds good to my ideal readers. Ask trusted friends, clients, business people, and anyone you know in your target market.
  • The name is not already a registered trademark. Use the United States Patent and Trademark Office electronic search system to check this: www.uspto.gov/trademarks
  • There is not already a similar brand/company with a similar name. Use Google or Bing to search this.
  • There is not any other brand/company with a similar name that has a bad reputation, a pending lawsuit, or products I don’t want to be associated with. Use Google to search this.
  • There is not already a related or unrelated brand/blog with a similar name that dominates the first two pages or more of search results. Use Google to search this.
  • My brand name passes the “radio test.” It’s preferable to have a name that is easy to spell upon hearing it.
  • My brand name is globally and socially appropriate. Make sure your brand name doesn’t mean anything negative in slang or in another language.
  • My brand name is available as a domain name, or there’s a good alternative if not. Use a service like smallbusiness.yahoo.com/domains to search for available domain names.
  • My brand name (or a good variation) is available in the social media accounts I want. Use a service like namechk.com to check multiple social media accounts at once.
  • If my brand will be an official business, the name is available for registration in my state. Check your secretary of state website or state’s commerce division for current business entity registrations.

Hosting Account:

The quality of your hosting account has an effect on user experience, SEO, readership, and even sales (if your blog is down for several hours, you’re not making any money from it). This is one area I recommend you invest in. Choose a host that has good reviews, minimal downtime, and happens to be super secure. My current favorite option is “managed hosting,” which is a type of hosting where the host checks for malware (hackers and whatnot), makes daily backups of your site, keeps your site loading at a fast speed (good for SEO and users), and keeps your software updated (if you use WordPress, for example).

P.S. An exceptional and/or managed hosting account will be your best friend if your website goes viral or mini-viral. With regular host servers, spikes in traffic can cause your site to crash or go verrrrrrry sloooooooowwwwwly. Check out the high-end hosts below ($20+ per month) for managed hosting. I also use Bluehost for some of my sites and client sites ($4 – $8 per month).

Resources

Free: any of the free blogging software such as Blogger, WordPress.com, or Tumblr
Inexpensive: Bluehost (I host approximately 73,000 sites here)
Mid-range: Squarespace
High-end (but lovely): WPEngine (I host four sites here–for WordPress only) and Media Temple

Tools + Tips
It’s okay to start with one host that’s more affordable for now and move to a premium host when you see that your blog is growing, but either way you go, always, always have a system in place to get regular backups of your blog (in Bluehost, this is the Site Backup Pro option for about $20/yr.). You’d never want to lose all your content, and yes, it has happened to real people before. Lastly, make sure you are the one who owns your blog’s domain name and hosting account (don’t leave that to your blog designer or developer). You always need access to your files.


5. Getting a Blog or Theme Design on a Budget

With blog design, you have the option to completely DIY, or hire someone else for everything, or do a mix (ex: you buy a pre-made theme and modify it yourself or you have a designer create a blog header for you and you plug it in to a free theme within your CMS). Below are some basic layouts to have in mind as you plan your blog, but don’t forget to poke around the web and view samples of what you like. What features will you want to incorporate? Do you like how others lay out their sites? Take notes as you research. Take screenshots as well or pin some items in Pinterest.

There are four main options (with many variations) you can choose from for your website and blog’s home page layout:

Traditional (London Lane, below): Best for blogs/brands that want to highlight their services or core message + visuals before anything else.
Blog integrated with home page (WifeMomSuperwoman.com): Best for sites that want to show visuals and snippets of helpful/informative blog posts (and optionally highlight a service or two) immediately.
Blog as home page (byRegina.com): Best for blogs/brands that want to provide information and resources as their “selling point,” hoping clients will explore the other pages after viewing the brand’s utility. Also good for blogs that are “strictly blogs” with no services for sale.
Full screen home page (Bottom left theme): Best for blogs that have strong visuals or video, which will entice potential readers and clients to explore the rest of the site. These images should be compelling, stunning, engaging, or should cause great curiosity.

Sample web layouts Site-Layout-Blog-as-Home Traditional Website Layout

Resources

Free: One of the built-in themes in Blogger, WordPress, or Tumblr >> Also, if you choose the self-hosted WordPress.org option, there are thousands of free themes available
Inexpensive:
For DIY, try these Skillshare classes >> Build Your Own Website Using WordPress for Creative Professionals // Intro to Web Design: Friendly Design for Startups and Small Business

For professional, pre-made themes try some designers such as Shanice Cameron + Pretty Blog Themes and Noor + Blog Me Pretty themes

Mid-range: Blog/web designers who are still establishing themselves may charge moderate prices but still provide good quality to you. Once you decide on what platform you might like to use for your blog, do a search for “[insert CMS type here] blog designers” >> Take a good look at their portfolios, terms of service, and response time to make sure they’ll be pleasant to work with.
High-end (but amazing): A professional blog/web designer with super nunchuck skills, such as ELEMBEE

Tools + Tips
>> 10 BLOG DESIGN DOS AND DONT’S via Amy Lynn Andrews


6. Finding Blog Images on a Budget

Your blog’s images can make or break your blog’s popularity and “shareability” on the web. Your images include post photos, photos of you, sidebar graphics, product images, and more. You have the option to take your own photos (here’s a guide to pro selfies), hire a photographer, illustrate your own work, hire an illustrator, get stock photography and/or add elements and graphics to your photos.

Resources

Free Photos:

Inexpensive Stock Photos:

High-end Stock Photos:

  • iStock: Mid-range to higher-priced editorial quality images
  • Stocksy: Beautiful, professional photos

“Embeddable” Photos:
Getty “Embed”: Allows you to embed many Getty images into your blog/site or social media for free

Free Photo/Graphic Editing Software:

  • Canva: My favorite graphics creation tool outside of Photoshop
  • Pixlr: Advanced, online photo + graphic editing software
  • PicMoneky: Photo and social media image editing software

Inexpensive Graphics and Designs:

Tools + Tips
Study the most effective images you see in use on Pinterest, blogs, and other social media platforms, then head to the next section and create a style guide for your blog.


7. Creating a Style Guide for Your Blog on a Budget

In order to create and maintain a cohesive blog that engages readers, you may want to consider a style guide for your blog. A style guide is a document (PDF/binder/digital file) you create to keep you consistent on important blog elements like fonts, colors, and image styles.

Resources

Free: Here’s my current post on creating a style guide; I plan on revamping that soon. Here’s a post from XOSarah.com on creating a style guide.

Inexpensive: Here’s a Skillshare class on Creating a Style Guide.


8. Making Money When You’re Just Starting to Get a Readership

When your blog’s readership is still growing, you have to be very purposeful and creative about earning money from your blog. I plan to make this topic into a full post of its own soon, but for now I’ll recommend that you choose monetization methods that don’t rely solely on high traffic, such as:

  • Product-specific affiliate programs: #3 on this list of non-sleazy ways to make money online
  • Associate/affiliate hybrid programs: #4 on that same list
  • Selling your own services: #5 on that list
  • Selling your own products: #6 and #7 on the list above

With affiliate programs, you’ll want to make sure you create useful resources around them, instead of just linking aimlessly or posting random pictures/ads in your sidebar. Let’s take a beauty blogger for example, and let’s also say that you make a small commission every time you link to products on Site X.

Here are some ideas of posts that you can create around Product Y that is sold on Site X:

  • A video tutorial on how to use Product Y, with your link included of course.
  • A challenge for readers and friends to participate in that includes the use of Product Y.
  • A text + photo post on “10 Ways to Use Product Y.”
  • An epic DIY project using Product Y with tons of pretty pictures.
  • A giveaway of Product Z, that pairs well with Product Y (again, include your link).

Resources

Free: 10 Ways to Make Money Blogging // How to Make Money Blogging (overview resource with multiple links) // How to Make Money Blogging (great overview)
Inexpensive: A Beautiful Mess Blog Life eCourse has a few sections on monetizing your blog


9. Adding Plugins + Extras to Your Blog

As you search around for inspiration for your blog, you may run across cool features and extras you want to include in your blog. Depending on your CMS, these extras might range from free to expensive widgets, plugins, or hand-coded functionality.

Some of the things you may be looking for are:

  • social media integration in your sidebar
  • a rollover “pin it” button to encourage people to share your images on Pinterest (example below)
  • a way to sell products or services on your site
  • a way to integrate ads in your sidebar
  • a way to make sections of your site a “membership” site so you can teach private classes
  • etc.

Custom Pin It Button Plugin for WordPress in Use

Resources

Free (if you’re using self-hosted WordPress): Check out Erika’s excellent list of 11 (More) Best WordPress Plugins (I love #1, #3, and #6, and want to try almost all the others) // My list of 11 Pro WordPress Plugins
Inexpensive (for multiple CMS platforms): CodeCanyon plugins and scripts
Mid-range to high-end: Search for “Premium [insert name of function you desire] plugins or widgets for [insert your CMS name here]”


10. Promoting Your Blog on a Budget

When you first launch, you probably don’t want to spend half your life savings to promote your blog and start to grow your readership. I get that. So let’s get creative.

First, check out these 30 ways to find your first clients for ideas on spreading your brand + blog (even if you won’t be selling services/products), then check out the resources below. And yes, I’ll be expanding promotion into a whole post of its own in the near future. The people have asked. And around here, the people usually get what they want.

Tools + Tips

Follow byRegina (blogging // business // design)’s board Social Media for Champs on Pinterest.

So, if that post wasn’t log enough for you, feel free to read it one more time. That’s a joke my friends. Which of the topics above should I turn into its own post first? Any questions? Any resources you’d add?

Click to share this tweet with others, please: . . . and that’s the complete guide on how to launch a blog on a budget (http://byregina.com/launch-a-blog-on-a-budget/)!

Photo: © Eduard Bonnin

142 Comments on “How to Launch a Blog on a Budget”

  1. What a useful post! Thank you so much, I’m just starting out and this has really helped me organise my thoughts around what needs to be done. Your site offers wonderful advice and resources

    • Sabine, thank you. I’m still very excited about your blog launch. Looks like it’s just a few days away.

      I appreciate that you checked out this post and thank you for that excellent compliment to my site. You’re sweet to come by and support.

      • Just launched today! Thank you so much for checking my blog out and noticing.
        I’ve really enjoyed reading all your posts, so I’ll definitely be sticking around to support for a long time.

    • Maria, thank you. You’re one of my favorite, most supportive people on this here Interwebs. Glad our paths crossed.

    • Thank you for being awesome and featureable. (<--I need the red squiggly line to not act like that isn't a real word.) I appreciate your comment Erika.

      • I aim to be featurable (and to find more words that do require a red squiggly line, they’re more fun that way).

        • Hilarious. I debated on spelling it without the second “e” that I put in there. Not sure which one I like better, but I do like this movement we’re starting for more squiggly lines. You’re a real pal.

          • I like it the way it is. We can incorporate red squiggly lines into our secret internet high five.
            (Side note, is this through gravatar? Stupid image not showing up.)

  2. You’ve done it again — another comprehensive instruction post that most readers will want to keep handy. Congrats on the fantastic work and thanks again.

    • Thank you Rick. I enjoy receiving your encouraging words. Thanks for taking the time to read through my wordiness and to comment.

    • You’re just so linkable Sarah. It didn’t feel at all ridiculous to link to you more than once in the same post. Love your site. Thanks for the comment.

    • Rebecca, thank you. I appreciate that you stopped by and left a comment. Is that a new profile pic on your blog? Congrats if so; ignore me if not. And how cool you have a twin. I always kinda secretly wanted one.

  3. Thank you so much for including me as one of your designers- I love this post, so much information, by following this guide, how could you go wrong?

    • Margo, that’s a sweet comment. Thank you. You’re definitely more than welcome. I enjoy your portfolio of designs so much that I HAD to share. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Pingback: Sunday Currently, vol. 18 | Challenge Accepted

    • Kerry, thank you, thank you for stopping by again. I appreciate your comment. Your domain name seriously always makes me giggle.

  5. Amazing post, as always, Regina! Really do love this, gonna be sharing up!! Elembee is amazing, love my Erika, and Bluehost is absolutely amazing, I’ve been using them for two years – so affordable and absolutely limitless!

    • Haha Reginald. We agree on so much; kinda feels like we might be related. Thank you for stopping by and for sharing. I’m with you on Erika. I’m one of her biggest fans.

  6. I just found your blog via Pinterest and I am so glad I did. I have been blogging for about four years now and I just decided I wanted to monetize my blog and all your tips have been so helpful thus far. This post is so amazingly extensive and helpful it shouldn’t be free, thank you for all this great information!

    • Thank you Shea. I really appreciate that because it’s kinda the best thing I can hear, that the tips are useful. Wow, that’s such a faithful amount of time to have been blogging. Congratulations on that alone. Good luck as you monetize your blog; it certainly looks fun. I’m just starting to get more and more into fashion, so I’ll be sure to check it out again. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment Shea.

  7. Great information here! Even though I don’t run a blog (and don’t really plan to), these are really helpful tips to keep in mind for my website, too. And of course, the planning part applies to, well, anything…

    I’d actually be interested in your take on a completely different topic: a cost/benefit analysis of blogging, and how you establish ROI. There are thousands and gazillions and quadrillions of blogs out there, and it’s a steep climb to establish a unique and valuable voice with a loyal following. So I’d like to hear from someone who’s done it – when is it “worth” it, and how should the smart entrepreneur prioritize with all the other work that has to get done? And for those of us on the fringe, whose businesses are products rather than services – and for whom credibility isn’t in what we know but in what we create – when is the “reach” of the blogger worth the effort instead of, say, creating/improving/selling/marketing more product?

    I have my own opinions, of course, but those are hardly as interesting to me. 🙂

    • Ahhhh, Melissa, I of course loooove this topic. (<-- Sorry for all the dramatic repeating letters, they are meant for emphasis.) I've often debated this and tried to establish ways to calculate ROI in some type of meaningful way. I'm actually going to make a blog post out of this because it's an incredibly interesting concept but I thought I was the only one who cared about it. Ha. You've inspired me. I hope you don't mind if I get back to you once the post is finished. It's just such a rich topic that my response to you would be a blog post anyways. Want to contribute some thoughts to the post? Could send you a few questions via email. Even if you get this message after the fact, I'd love your take on the subject. Thanks for the comment Melissa. I love your business mind.

  8. Thank you for this awesome post. Not only does this have great advice, but I’m eager to dig through the resources that you’ve linked as well. It can be overwhelming to look at the cost of hosting/domains/design/etc. but there are certainly a lot of ways to DIY it, if you have good resources to guide you.

    • Kara, yay. That is so sweet and encouraging, as usual from you. I appreciate that. I agree with you. There’s pretty much always a way to DIY for almost anything, but the number of resources or just the thought of the process can be overwhelming. Thank you for taking time to read and leave a comment ma’am.

  9. Amazing as always, Regina! You cover every aspect of starting a blog and maintaining it. I recently started using fotolia (thanks to you!) and I love it. Great post!

    • Maru, thank you. I always appreciate your comments and your support. I feel you on Fotolia. I’m definitely obsessed with that site. Thank you for stopping by.

  10. Once again you’ve knocked it out of the ballpark girl. Even though I’m not a newbie when it comes to WordPress and blogs, there is still a ton of great information here! I mean wow you really went all out here. I love #10 on how to promore your blog posts because this is probably my biggest struggle. I also want to say thanks to spending hours on your site and buying the epic brand book I have been totally distracted from client work and have been doodling with my brand identity for my site(s). Amazing as usual girl!

    • Haha Chrissy. Distracted from work? I was definitely part of that club yesterday. Thank you for spending time reading and commenting. I hope you know that I always appreciate hearing from you. I’m glad promotion is a favorite topic of yours because I’ve been working on developing some expanded content on promotion methods. I’ll let you know when it’s available just in case you want to check it out or add some thoughts. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Hi Regina:

    I always comment on how information packed your posts are, but this one hits it out of the park. Thank you so much for this comprehensive list of resources. I can’t even get through it all right now. I will be referring back to this for time to come, I am sure.

    Thanks for supporting us all in our dreams!
    Amy

    • Amy, so good to hear from you. Thank you for coming by. That’s a wonderful compliment and I appreciate your words.

      And, you’re welcome. Thank you for supporting my dreams by reading + encouraging me.

  12. Thank you SO MUCH for this comprehensive resource, Regina! As someone who still considers herself a blog “newbie” I’m looking forward to diving into this material and sharing it with others! Can’t thank you enough! ~Arianne

    • Arianne, I absolutely love your name. Thank you for your sweet comment. You are more than welcome and I appreciate your time checking out this piece and sharing it with others.

      P.S. Congrats on closing on your dream home (one day I’ll get there) and for your new channel on The Design Network. How wonderful. I learned so much cool stuff about you in one post on your site. Ha. Gotta love the Interwebs. Good luck with everything. I’m looking forward to keeping up with you.

      • Aww! Thanks! I’m excited about the new house and the new channel on TDN. I’m flattered that you even took the time to check out my blog. You’ll be seeing lots of improvements as I incorporate the suggestions and resources I’ve found on your blog! 😉

  13. Thank you for the little shout out my lovely friend!
    So many great suggestions! Its going to take me like 50 years to digest this info. 😉

    • Bahah. 50 years. You’re welcome for the shout out. You’re absolutely one of my favorite designers and creatives in general. Sorry for my ultra-slow reply time. Ridiculous, I know.

  14. Thanks so much. I am just getting started and there is soooooo much to learn. This will be my go to post or the next few days/weeks.

    • Michelle, thank you for the lovely comment. I apologize for my late reply; I truly do appreciate your taking some time to read and comment. Good luck with your blog.

  15. I’m going to have to go through and bookmark all these wonderful resources, especially for photos. This is such a great post, Regina! And thank you so much for linking my shop. 🙂

    • Shanice, you are more than welcome. I love your work, as your probably guessed since I’ve purchased some of it. Thank you for the sweet comment and I apologize for taking so long to reply. I always appreciate your support.

  16. This is a great list and so useful to everyone. thank you so much for including me you’re so kind.

    • Noor, thank you for stopping by. Sorry to be extra slow in my reply. You’re very welcome for linking to you. You’re one of my favorite theme designers.

  17. Thank you so much! This post is awesome. I am dreaming up my blog and can’t wait to get started. This list is just what I need!

    • Fleur, woo hoo! Good luck with your blog. Would love to see it if you feel like (pretty please) coming back and leaving a link when it’s ready.

      I appreciate your wonderful comment.

  18. Wow. Thanks so much for the extremely detailed and insightful article. I just found you blog and am really enjoying both the topics you cover, the quality of the information and your style of delivery! Looking forward to reading much more. And thanks for all the links to other resources and your downloadable worksheets. I love worksheets.

    • Helen, haha. I love worksheets too. They make life so beautiful. Thank you for your extremely sweet comment. I appreciate that you took time to stop by, read, and comment.

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  21. WOW! This is basically the best thing I’ve ever seen on the internet. Thank you SO much for putting so much time into creating this post. Super informative and amazing!! 🙂

    • Aww Caylee, and this is the best comment I’ve seen on the Internet. Thank you for stopping by and leaving it. I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. I have no excuse for being such a loser.

      P.S. Number 1 and 3 in your recent post are gold, and your blog looks great.

  22. Oh Regina, I wish I’d found you a couple of years ago, when I freaked out at my blog evolving slightly out of my control…poor neglected baby she is now 🙁
    No matter! I’ve found you now – you’re a perfect heart starter!

    • Alyson, I’m liking your clean blog theme >>> random note, I know.

      Thank you so much for your comment. I’m sorry to take so long to respond. Good luck with your blog. Are you on Twitter or Instagram? I like stalking bloggers on there.

  23. As the admin of this site is working, no question very soon it will be
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  24. Good Afternoon Regina,

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this post! It really just saved my life. I’ve had an idea for AGES on a blog I wanted to start but had NO CLUE where to begin!

    This was a life saver!

    -Kay

    • Kay, yay. Your blog is going to be epic. Just remind yourself of that each time you go to work on it. Alexandra Franzen wrote such a great piece that I consider very encouraging for when you’re just getting started.

      Thank you for coming by and commenting. I wish you success and fun with your blog. Please let me know if you come up with any suggestions or questions you might want to throw at me. Thanks again.

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  26. I am really panicking about step 4. I recently (like last week) purchased a .com from godaddy and mapping from wordpress for my blog. I just found out that there is a blog with a very similar name. I did purchase a .com and the other blog is a .wordpress

    What do you suggest I do in this situation?
    SOS
    thank you!

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  28. Hello there! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a group of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a marvellous
    job!

  29. Thank you so much Regina! We’re in the middle of relaunching our blog and just this one post has been an absolute saviour for us. It had everything we would need and more. So many things we hadnt thought of, and it really helped us get organised. And so so much more to learn! Cannot thank you enough!

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  32. Oh MAN. Regina, I just discovered your blog, and everything I’ve read here so far is mind-blowingly thoughtful and helpful. THANK YOU for putting together some really amazing, useful content here – I’m overwhelmed by how many of your posts I’m ready to dig into! Bookmarked.

  33. I love this article!
    I just started (almost embarrassed to say this) my 12th blog, in as many years. Until now, I mostly thought of them more as journals. Recently, I realized that I had a lot to say on a topic, to moms, that I never see in the mom-blogosphere. So I am going for it, going to try to make it grow. And all of my previous, “this is just for me and a select few chosen friends that I share my innermost thoughts with” blogging habits and attitudes are flying out the window. Like commenting on a post that already has a ton of comments 😉 And leaving my blog’s URL, lest anyone should happen across it…

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  35. Thank you for this! I just took the plunge and started my blog today (having spend many hours reading your posts and doing lots of background research). You offer so much useful high quality information and in a way that is so fun! While I do still feel a little overwhelmed by all there is to learn and do it is so helpful having things laid out in numbered points. I love plans and organization and there are so many great resources here.

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  37. Thanks so much for posting this! I found a lot of great resources that I wasn’t aware of and plan to use. While my blog has been around and consistent for some time, I’ve only just started to expand my reach and write for a larger audience than just friends and family.

  38. Wow there is so much great info here! I wish I had this as a reference when I was starting out. I hope to be able to do a true relaunch next year. Right now I don’t have the time to devote to blogging; my 9-5 is more like 7-7 and takes all of my brain power. I’m lucky if I can formulate a blog Comment, let alone an entire post!

    Bookmarking for future reference 😉

  39. I stumbled across your website via Instagram during a study break just now, and I am truly thankful! I’ve started up a new blog for the millionth time and want this one to be a serious project – the last one standing. I have a feeling that your resources are proving to be incredibly useful… Thank you!

    Jasmine xx

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  41. Hi Regina,
    I am really glad I came across your blog. Great Timing. I just worked on my blog today , worked on setting it up again I should say. I have a beer soap making business and I stopped blogging about 2 years ago. Well I never really started! Anyhow this is great. I will be frequenting your site as blogging is part of my 2015 plan! Melanie

  42. JUST getting started and can’t eat your stuff up fast enough. Thanks for such comprehensive and instructive pieces!

  43. Wow! And again I say, “Wow!” Thank you for the mother lode of information. This is a gold mine for me. I will be doing my homework here. 🙂

  44. Regina thank you, thank you, thank you! I have taken in all this valuable info and finally I was able to launch my blog last week. My dream is now a reality. Keep doing what you do girl. You rock!!

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  46. Sppot on with this write-up, I honestly think this web
    sitye needs much more attention. I’ll probably be returning
    to read through more, thanks for the information!

  47. Thank you so much for this post! I truly needed it. I have been trying to get the hang of blogging and sometimes it is hard. I can’t remember how I stumble on your blog but I am so thankful for it! Thanks again!

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  49. This has truly inspired me. I’m constantly looking for budget minded ways to do things and you rocked my world when I learned I could be budget conscious with my blog. And EVERYONE loves a worksheet. New follower and blog oogler. Thanks for rocking the inspiration!

  50. Hi Regina,
    I am BRAND NEW at with a WordPress.org blog- it’s “coming soon”!
    I am also totally OVERWHELMED with all this info! You should (if you haven’t already) create a blog post for newbies on figuring all this out! A “wordpress for dummies” guide, if you will…
    But I did want to say I love your blog! I’m in the designing stages and really like yours for it’s readability and design, and your sense of humor!

  51. This was a wonderful addition to my research on how to start a blog. I live in a state that unfortunately does not have a lot of opportunity, but is very beautiful. So, after being laid off, I have decided to try to make my empire. LOL. This information was very easy to read and understand for a brand newbie like myself and I really appreciate your tone and use of words. One of the few resources that has not made me feel like an idiot. Thank you again for the great information.

  52. Hi Regina,

    I have been reading your blog for 2 hours today and I am sooo inspired that I bought your work book!

    hugs from the Philippines,
    Gwen

  53. This is such a great read and resource too – thanks for sharing with other creatives. I’m going to have to re-read a couple of times as there’s so much good info to take in xox

  54. Thank you so much! I am a research-a-holic and this is one of the best guides I have come across. You have actually gone into specific detail, not just bullet pointed it. Thank you for being so thorough. I am now going to go forth with confidence to ACTUALLY get started…finally x

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  57. Ummm, you are awesome! First time visitor and I’m hooked! I want to read, buy, and listen to everything all at once. I’m new to blogging and about to launch my site. Your site is a god-send of goodies. Thank you, thank you!

  58. Hi Regina! I just found you and I’m so glad I did. I started a blog with 3 of my friends earlier this year and I must say we strggled a bit a it. There’s a lot to do! Way more that I was expected, but I love every minutes of it. All the ressources that you give us will allow us to have the blog that we are dreaming of (after a little more work :D)! Thank you very much!

  59. Thank you for the info. I do not have a purpose or plan for my blog. I guess I can say I just use it to practice my craft and get feedback from the public. I aspire to be a published writer of creative nonfiction novels.

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  61. Thank you for the helpful information! I am so glad that I came across your website! I don’t know if you have this answer on a different page on your blog, and maybe you can point me to the answer…….I’ve been trying to figure out if I have a deals blog, that showcases different sales or deals from stores, can I link to that sale/store and use their product image for my blog? I am having a difficult time finding out the answer to this question. I know there are several blogs that just show sales, but don’t actually sell on their site and I’m wondering how you go about that? I’m not sure if I have to contact all of these companies, or if I can just link to it and use their picture? Thanks so much. You seem very knowledgeable on the subject and I hope you can help me. Thanks again, and great work!

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  64. Thank you, thank you! This is so helpful – I’m just starting out and your blog is an amazing resource.

    Anna x

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  66. Thank you so much for posting this! My sister and I are just getting started with the blog process, and this post (and your links) are going to be a great help to us! Love this post, and the rest of your blog!

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  70. Hi, Regina! How are you? I am new in this website thing, and I have a doubt, is there any problem that I don’t have Google Adsense at my blog? Is there another way that I can make money? Thank you for the advices 😀

  71. I read this ’till the end, but had to save it to Pocket as there are so much useful information that I need to be coming back several times. Thank you so much for organizing all the steps we need to give for having a successful and awesome blog (as yours!). 😀

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  73. Effective wedding picture takers are sure about this, as a case of my point. Their “essential” client (normally the lady of the hour) has imagined about her big day for the greater part of her life. She isn’t searching for a vesatile picture taker. She needs a “wedding picture taker” that can make her “look” as great, upbeat and lovely as she has been in every last bit of her deep rooted longs for ‘her day’ – her big day. There’s a unique expertise to this kind of photography administration. Am working in candid wedding photographers in chennai.

  74. Thanks for sharing the information. You make some great points about starting a blog with little money. I love the WordPress platform.

  75. Dang Regina, that is a looooong post, but very, very useful! It’s awesome. Curious . . . how long did it take to put that together?

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  77. Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your site.
    You have some really good posts and I believe I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please send me an e-mail if interested. Cheers!

  78. Love this cheatsheet although, I’m quite experience with this however I learn a lot on how you design everything. They look great!

  79. Move over God there’s a new Bible writer in town!

    This post is exactly what I have spent countless hours pouring over the internet and newsagencies for, I wrote 8 pages of notes just from this one post/lifeline!

    Cannot thank you enough for breaking these basics down, covering every inch of blog and providing worksheets and links to help! I have pinned/screenshoted and saved your words and look forward to working through them to turn thought into action. You my friend, are better support than a sports bra, thanks again.

  80. Great post and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is actually the best place to ask but do you people have any ideea where to
    employ some professional writers? Thanks in advance 🙂

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  82. Fantastic read and great stuff! I have my website on wordpress.org for cms and it’s via siteground for hosting. My logo is from a designer on Etsy. I’m planning to add a blog to my service based business (event planning and catering) this year plus launch courses on how I do it and resources for planning and organization. Saving this for later. Thanks Regina!

    Ariette

  83. This is the right website for anybody who would like to find out about this topic.

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