Updated: December 20, 2016
Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog You Love.
This guide was created for bloggers of all levels to get that idea out of their head and out into the world so that they can finally build something that people love.
In this chapter you'll learn a little bit about me and even more about this guide.
About This Guide
Why did I bother creating this huge and awesome free guide?
I run a site called Obstacle.co where I teach awesome individuals how to turn their blogs into profitable businesses.
The problem is that there are a lot of steps that need to happen before that takes place. I've spoken with 100s of people since launching the site and many of them come to me with the same problem.
They have no idea where to begin.
There is just too much information out there and a lot of it conflicts or is incomplete.
Can you really start a successful blog in 15 minutes like all of the online guides say?
Is it really as simple as installing WordPress and writing about stuff you like?
The answer to these questions is no. There is a lot of stuff that goes into buiding a successful blog.
So much so that the only resources that might be of some help to you costs hundreds or thousands of dollars.
The reason why I created Obstacle.co was because I believe that every single person deserves an opportunity to create the lifestyle that they want. I choose to try and provide that opportunity through blogs.
Now if I am going to provide that opportunity to as many people as possible does it make sense to do so in a $997 course or a series of random blog posts in no particular order?
I figured it was time someone created the ultimate resource to blogging. Something that goes above and beyond anything anyone has ever created.
When someone thinks about starting a blog I want this to be the sole resource that they turn to.
I want you to go through this guide and feel completely confident in starting a blog or improving the blog you run now.
Throughout the guide there might be links to other resources or tools that I use for my own blogs. In many cases, these are affiliate links. Please know that I do not recommend things that I myself have not used before.
You're trusting me to help you out and I would be a fool to break that trust.
A Bit Different
If you perused through the table of contents for this guide you will notice that you don't dive right into making a blog. The reason why is because there are a lot of things you can (or should) do beforehand to ensure the best chance of success in the long run.
If you check the history of many popular bloggers they all follow the same story:
- Decide to start a blog (like you!)
- Start blogging
- See some things work and some don't
- Fix those things and learn some more things
- Things finally start to click
- Write a book or create a course letting you know they have the secret to creating an awesome blog (they've done it once)
Of course, this doesn't hold true for everybody and you can definitely write the ultimate resource for blogging if you've done it once, but why not try to do it again?
This guide is as much of a challenge as it is a resource to you. It's a challenge to me to see if I have the right framework to create a successful blog over and over and over again.
If someone in my family wants to start an awesome blog I want them to be able to trust this guide to walk them through what they need.
What worked in blogging a decade ago won't work today. For that reason, you should consider this a living document. It will evolve as I continue to tweak my methods and new strategies appear.
When you are learning about blogging (or anything really) you have to go in with the mindset that you will never stop learning.
If you are able to build a successful blog then you shouldn't think about the job being done. What else can you do to improve? How can things evolve?
Not once do I want you to come back to this guide and think that it is outdated.
The One True Way
I have to throw out a big caveat here. There is no one true way to creating a successful blog. Ask 10 different bloggers for advice on how to start a successful blog and you will get 100 different answers.
This guide simply maps out my thought process when trying to create a successful blog.
It shows my approach to creating businesses that I want to last a lifetime. That's a big distinction because there are some blogs created quickly to make some advertising revenue and be sold off later.
If that's all you want to do then this guide is probably way more extensive than you need.
Not a Silver Bullet
Bad news. This guide will not create a successful blog for you. It won't sit you down and type out all of the words.
Successful bloggers are hard workers. Whoever made you believe that blogging was easy and a nice way to free up time lied to you. It takes a lot of work initially if you want to do well.
If you only put in a little bit of work then it's going to take a very long time for things to pan out. Some people have the patience to see things through while others abandon ship long before they should.
The blogger that took a month off to vacation in Europe was able to do so because they grinded for 2 years getting everything into place.
You will have to make sacrifices to get things up and running. You might have to cut out a TV show or two. You might get one less hour of sleep each night.
This guide won't do you any favors by blowing smoke up your ass. There are plenty of other blogs that do that for you.
For all of this to work out it will require time, commitment, and patience. If you lack even one of these things you are in for a rough ride.
First, my name is Paul Scrivens.
I started my first blog in 2003, but that's not important. What is important is why I started the blog.
I had a terrible job with a terrible boss. At the ripe old age of 23, I could already feel the walls closing in around me. I wanted to grow as a professional and so I wanted to learn more about web design.
Because I was never someone with money I could never buy books or courses so I would resort to free resources like you are doing now. I figured that starting a blog would be a great way to learn web design since I could practice design on my blog and also share what I was learning.
I didn't know anything about blogs back then. I just knew that people wrote stuff like it was a public journal. I'm all about opening up and being vulnerable so I decided I wanted a blog as well.
I began to write about my opinions in web design and at some point a blogger that was much bigger than me came across my blog and linked to it from his. I started to get more traffic and even more exciting more comments.
I loved the comments because it meant I got to have conversations with people from all around the world that shared my interests. You see, all of my friends were the cool kids while I was the geek. They didn't share my love of computers so I didn't really have anybody to talk to when it came to these things.
My blog allowed me to find others with my interests and to build awesome relationships with them that still last till this day.
The Blog Network
Because I was able to create a popular blog mainly through luck I had people email me all the time asking how they could make their blog popular as well.
Of course, my only answer was to get linked by a more popular blogger, but that wouldn't help most people so I came up with an idea to create a blog network.
However, unlike old school blog rings where people just a random link going to another blog in their footer, this blog network would be invitation only. You had to have a quality blog with quality content.
That was the only criteria.
The network had a beautiful homepage that linked to all of the other blogs in the network and therefore helping people connect with others they might not have ever encountered before.
Bloggers helping bloggers. It was a beautiful thing.
It worked well because we were all beginners just trying to figure out how this blogging thing works.
That was over a decade ago and blogging has changed a lot.
Just having quality content isn't enough. In fact, that's the minimum needed to even get into the game.
Since I sold that blog network a long time ago I've created a number of different blogs, sold them, got jobs, got married, left jobs, and started working for myself.
The majority of my online income comes from the help of blogging and that is why you are probably here. You want to understand how to start a blog to provide you with some extra income initially and then allow you to quit your job later on.
I now run 9 (!!!) successful blogs doing over hundreds of thousands of pageviews a month and bringing in 5 figures of revenue a month. Don't worry, you won't have to create as many blogs as I do.
I did so because I believe in understanding something completely before teaching it. I can't tell you how to build a successful blog if I've only done it once so instead I've done it over and over and over again.
I like to believe that I am around to help as many people as possible so here I am helping as many people as possible.