There is a lot of information out there about how to start a blog — but don’t click that link. The following instructions are a lot easier and you’ll get the same result:

1. Ignore buzzwords.
RSS, SEO, AdSense, Technorati, Digg. If you have a buzz word buzzing in your head and you’re not sure if it belongs on the ignore list, assume it does.

2. Pick a topic — you can change it when you know what you’re doing.
This is like dating. Pick something that seems good, and if it isn’t, try again. Don’t get hung up on topic. As in dating, you’ll know when you’ve found one that’s the right fit. There are some obvious things, like pick a topic you have a lot to say about, pick something that interests you, pick something that will help your career. This is great advice, but you already know that if you look for a perfect match you’ll never actually go on a date.

3. Spend two seconds choosing software.
Ignore the fact that there are lots of choices. I will give you two: Blogger and TypePad. Pick one. It doesn’t matter which one. Click on the home page where it says open an account. Don’t worry about what you click during setup. It’s very hard to do damage that you can’t fix later. Finding good software to host your own blog used to be really complicated. But sites like Hosting Facts have taken everything you need to know about hosting your blog and put it all in one place.

4. Post something right now.
Don’t tell yourself you’ll do it tomorrow. Blogging is about courage to say something. Don’t worry about being stupid because trust me, no one is reading your blog. Post anything. You can nix bad posts later. For now just start writing.

5. Practice, practice, practice.
Post, post, post. Soon you’ll find the link button and make a link. Maybe you’ll find a category button and make a category. Maybe you won’t find those buttons for weeks. Don’t worry. You’re practicing. And if you happen to write something really good you can feature it later, when people are reading.

6. Ignore your lack of readers.
The hardest part is sitting down to post on a regular basis. Don’t distract yourself with blog promotion until you’re sure you can actually do the writing. If you can blog regularly for a month, you can be a blogger.

When you get to number six, and you’ve made it through a month, go back over this post, and click all the stuff I told you to ignore.

140 replies
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  1. roberta
    roberta says:

    hysterical! especially the fact that no one is reading our blogs anyway. Love it. I now have the courage to try. thanks.

  2. Roseann Higgins
    Roseann Higgins says:

    Hi Penelope,

    I discovered you tonight through Keith Ferrazzi’s blog. I need to do as you say. Start my blog right away. Just start the entries. Build the archives. I have enough material. I’ve interviewed 6,000 plus single people, have a profession I’m really good at that everyone talks about…matchmaking and dating (since 1994), have lifetime experiences from the Navy to 9 colleges (moved a lot…not just a loser who kept getting kicked out!) with GWU the degree donor, etc. etc. I just gotta learn what Mashable is saying about WordPress 2.8.4, come up with a blog name and git ‘r done!

    I actually am highly thinking of two separate blogs. Any advice on that? Different focuses.

    You don’t mention WordPress. But I see you use Thesis Theme WordPress. I know. Barrier to entry/higher learning curve, if I could guess.

    I was in the Navy. There’s no mission that we can’t handle.

    But thanks for the kick in the butt.
    Roseann Higgins
    Phoenix, Arizona

  3. Carla
    Carla says:

    Thanks so much, Penelope. I’m new to blogging, and after reading your “how to”, I’m really excited to get started! I see myself using blogging as sort of a 21st century diary, where I can record not only personal happenings, but current events and random musings.
    I’m gonna’ give it a try… today! Thanks again.


  4. ronald
    ronald says:

    hello, my name is ron and i want to start a blog, but i dont have any knowledge about doing so. I have alot of knowledge about a certain subject and would like to share my knowledge with others. Any advice?

  5. Rickey Benns
    Rickey Benns says:

    I’ve been blogging about 8 months now and at times I get a little discouraged because I don’t feel like enough people are reading. Sometimes I’m not sure if anyone is reading. Nevertheless, I keep on blogging because I love getting my voice into cyberspace. This was some great advice that encouraged me to write another post today.

  6. Angela
    Angela says:

    Thanks for sharing your insights to blogging! I’ve been following for the last couple years and just started blogging for my company. Love it!! Not nearly as witty as you… yet.

  7. Alexis roberts
    Alexis roberts says:

    Its good information but i just couldnt get it i can blog but i just couldnt ge4t registered it just didnt like me all well i’ll try different website

  8. OilyandPissed
    OilyandPissed says:

    It is the one month anniversary of the British Petroleum explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. I want to start a blog about the oil spill and the seriousness of it. They do not know how to stop the oil from spewing into the waters. The irreversible damage before long will be felt the world over. How can I get this to peoples attention from other countries as soon as possible that will pull together to help stop this before its to late!!!

  9. Jim
    Jim says:

    Please do it! I would be interested in reading about the matter from someone who is directly affected.

  10. narriman
    narriman says:

    Thank you. This helped me alot, made me smile and made me giggle. And now I’m gonna go blog – just like that. thanks once again for sharing.

  11. bernitta boyd
    bernitta boyd says:

    Thank you for the advice. I would like to start a blog but had no idea on how to go about it. Your post has definitely given me the courage to just do it. If its okay, I would like to follow up after my one month of blogging. So until next time……..

  12. villa mallorca
    villa mallorca says:

    Information sharing and communication is very important because without proper information, advancement and improvement is not possible.
    Thanks for sharing information.

  13. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    I have to agree with you on this. Especially about sitting down and writing something every day. I guess that is the hardest for me. When I finally do start letting the words out, I usually go for sensory overload. Not really, but somehow I get off topic over and over again. So instead of just saying it to the point, I will ramble. But then while I am writing I am having fun…so I don’t know why it is so hard to do it every day. I started out my blog about my life with fibromyalgia….and that is in the web address. But I hardly even discuss that..just about life with me and my kids, husband, grand kids, how I feel about stuff. And by the way, I hardly have any readers. So that was what I was going to say..and see how I get off topic…write every day or at least several times a week.

  14. Peter
    Peter says:

    Good tips Penelope. My biggest issue for my very first blog was a simple as picking out a free WordPress theme. Not having done it before I didn’t really know what I needed.

  15. Rachael Norris
    Rachael Norris says:

    This is fantastic advice! especially point 6! I’ve just started my blog and have been so caught up in doing EVERYTHING all at once. Thank you so much for making the obvious obvious to me, of course no one is reading yet, it’s only been 4 days. I will definitely be back in a month to click on your links =) Thanks again! I best be posting away now =)

  16. Tamar Harrington
    Tamar Harrington says:

    I was wondering…is there an important reason to specifically choose blogging software over just getting a basic webhosting service (like FatCow or something) and coding your blog in html/CSS? Other than that it won’t look as fancy if you’re not an expert coder? I’ve been thinking of doing the latter, and I just wanted to know if that’s a particularly bad idea.

  17. DWL
    DWL says:

    HUGE thanks – I have not figured out in the last 2 years how to start a blog and thanks to your article I have done it in 10 minutes, up running, blogging, I owe you one, let me know when you need to collect. D

  18. DWL
    DWL says:

    HUGE thanks – I have not figured out in the last 2 years how to start a blog and thanks to your article I have done it in 10 minutes, up running, blogging, I owe you one, let me know when you need to collect. D

    • Emoravekandi
      Emoravekandi says:

      yes it does and if your the parent being bullied then you should get help from a childrens counslure or from the goverment like csd or iys children,service,department. integril youth services. and if you are the one bullieing the parent stop because there programes that children can be sent to for behavior modification like boys ranches or in grantspass there is an in patiant treatment center that will take them for six months two a year or untill there behavior improves to a noticable extent

  19. emoravekandi
    emoravekandi says:

    i think this was veary good information and im pretty shure that it is going to help a lot of people wanting to start a blog

  20. emoravekandi
    emoravekandi says:

    i think this was veary good information and im pretty shure that it is going to help a lot of people wanting to start a blog

  21. Rajesh Chaudhary
    Rajesh Chaudhary says:

    This is really very much commendable. I like the post. I have been blogging for quite a while and I have got three blogs, though I post same thing to all those blogs. I use Windows Live Writer for my writing and posting it right from there. The good part is, it updates all my social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter. 

  22. Ann Martinez
    Ann Martinez says:

    I would like to start a blog : I am test driving this blog so here it goes.
    I am a phlebotomist (for 20- years) I have been in the medical field as a CMA.  
    I am looking for 40 hours a week M-Th. with every Friday, Saturday and Sundays off.
    So if an employer reads this send me an e-mail: to PLEASE  only serious employers need send me an e-mail.

  23. Sobhi Mohanty
    Sobhi Mohanty says:

    Hi Penelope! Just took your advice after combing through your blog, and talking to you during my consultation. So here’s my blog. Oh and I linked to one of your blog posts… it was so apt for what I was writing about that I couldn’t help it!

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