Creating Your Own Blog: Getting Started

Ian Lurie

Thursday I’m giving a very brief crash course on building and writing a blog. As a warm up, I’m writing out a bit of the 90-minute curriculum. Here’s part one:

Creating Your Own Blog: Getting Started

Blog setup is a snap, if you can come up with a good idea.

  1. Figure out your theme. What are you going to blog about? It should be something about which you’re passionate and knowledgeable (hopefully). Go ahead and blog about your business, if you want – just make sure it’s something about your business that’s important to you.
  2. Get a pen and paper (or a text editor on your computer). Start a timer: For two minutes, list out issues, topics and categories within the theme you’ve selected. This will serve as your idea list.
  3. Get yourself a Google Reader account.
  4. Go to Google blog search. Search each of the topics you listed. Yes, I know, it’s a pain. But it’s worth it, trust me.
  5. Review the listings for each search. If one search result looks particularly juicy, use the link at the bottom of the page to subscribe to the RSS feed your Google Reader account:
    Google Search Results
  6. Congrats! You’ve created your starting ‘blog beat’. You’ll refer to this when you’re looking for topics, and when you build your community.
  7. Now pick your blogging tool. There are dozens. I’ll focus on the two I prefer: WordPress and Blogspot. Either one is easy to use and requires absolutely zero software or maintenance on your part.
  8. Go to the blog tool site. Follow their instructions, and you’ll have a blog in about 2 minutes. Seriously. One note: Choose your blog address wisely. You can’t change it once you choose it!
  9. Pick a design (both sites let you choose a design and click to use that look and feel). You can customize it later, if you’re feeling brave.
  10. On blogspot, you’ll then see a happy screen declaring you’re ready to start blogging. WordPress will ask you to fill out a bit more information, and then send you your password via e-mail. Once you get it, click the activation link, and you’ll get the same Screen of Affirmation.

That’s it. You’re done with the first big step. You’ve got a blog. So start writing. Or, do what I did, and stare at your screen. Check out my 7 steps for clearing a bloggage. Or, come back tomorrow, when I’ll publish step 2: Writing for the community.

Credit Where Credit is Due

I am borrowing and rearranging freely from Bob Walsh’s book and blog, Clearblogging, and from Brian Clark’s Copy Blogger. You should read ’em.

All set? You can go on to step 2.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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