Dec 18, 23
Blogging Tutorials

How to Open a Successful Personal Blog, The Right Way (Laly’s Way)

       

There is a strategy to open a blog the right way, which no one has ever came up with. I dare to say it because I did my research. Since the beginning of times, blogs and websites have been copying and pasting one formula with “simple steps”, making you believe that is the right way to do so. They are wrong.

Probably many bloggers are doing what I will share with you, but they don’t say it. Why? “Money.” (This is a business after all)

I could say, “if you want to open a blog as a hobby, go for it with a free blog.” But if you open a blog and “just start writing”, soon you’ll find that your hobby feels like a job you didn’t sign up for, and that learning the game takes so much time that you’ll have none left to play.

So, even if you open a blog at WordPress.com, carefully following the steps, you’ll be doing it wrong.


In this post, I am gonna address those series of steps everybody is using, explain why the approach is wrong, and show you how to open a blog the right way:

  • with a clear goal and path to follow,
  • without wasting money or time,
  • and by making the most of all the free tools available.

Even though my main goal is to help those who want to become professional bloggers, if you want to open a blog as a hobby or to see what is about, you’ll find this strategy extremely useful.

In this post I am going to assume that you…

  • … have something unique to share; your craft, your purpose;
  • … are decided to follow your dreams, and that you believe you could do it with a blog
  • … would be willing to spend hours doing things that will make you want to quit (sorry about this).

A Quick Intro of My Journey as a Blogger

I began blogging in 2009. With a few clicks, I opened a blog at WordPress.com and began publishing my humor monologues (in Spanish). Back in those days, blogging was almost literally about “open a blog and start writing”, mainly for three reasons:

  1. WordPress was in diapers. The platform had few features, so it was easy to learn to use it.
  2. Social media was in diapers as well. Hence, preparing the posts for “social shares” or creating “social media campaigns” was not something an aspiring blogger was thinking about.
  3. The rest that followed (editing video, editing images, email marketing, plugins, monetizing with memberships or ads, SEO!) was not even in our wildest dreams. Aspiring bloggers would focus on what to this day matters the most: the content.

I did open a blog in 2012 (nkotb.blog) which is now successful, following those steps. But I didn’t see many visits nor a penny for years, because for me it was a hobby that was also helping me – very slowly – to learn. 


By 2016 I had been working for over a decade as a ghost writer, and I felt it was time to make it with my own writing. I thought I knew everything I needed about blogging, so I followed one more time those “famous steps” and I failed epically.

I followed prompts I shouldn’t have followed. I invested money that was not necessary, and, honestly, it was a nightmare. 

Over the years I realized I should have done everything the other way around; plus, I should have done important tasks nobody mentions. 

I did well with neurodivergent.blog, which I launched during the pandemic, but I also made a few mistakes which led ultimately to relaunch this blog, “Laly”, following my strategy.


For a while I thought my way of opening a blog was based on how my “hyper” brain works and learns, but now I am sure that is bulletproof and the most efficient way to do it, for all kinds of brains.

Looking back, I feel lucky to have started so early, because I grew as a blogger hand in hand with the growth of WordPress, social media and “the rest that followed”.

This is a job for at least seven people, and nobody tells you that.

How to Open a Blog in Five Simple Steps: The “Formula”

Go to WordPress.com, open an account, follow the five steps and … may the force be with you. And, if you don’t do it at WordPress, you’ll find that most people are, as I said, replicating WordPress’ steps.

What nobody is telling you, is that following those five steps should take you months.

The first step almost everybody mentions is “choose a host and register a domain”, which is like renting an office and registering your enterprise when you have nothing to share and don’t know what you’ll be facing.

For instance, the moment you open an account at WordPress.com, you are choosing a host (for free, but still) And even if you skip the step to choose a domain, one will be set up for you (sort of speak)

If you want to have a successful blog, don’t think about how to “open” one. Think about becoming a “professional blogger” instead. Learn the trade and “develop” a blog. Then, you can think about “opening” it without having wasted time nor money.

Blogging is Like Running a Magazine

Imagine you want to have a magazine, one that will make your name shine on the newsstands. Would you rent a place, register a name for your company, hire people (writers, photographers, an advertisement team, architects, designers, etc) without a business plan?

Because that is what the web is telling you to do for your first online magazine. They are telling you to invest money and time, and then “just start writing.”

If you’re a writer, you know a first draft is like a toddler’s firsts mumbles. So, for how long you’re going to be paying for your office, the people you hired and else, before having one copy to publish… Twenty at least! It is a magazine after all what you want to have.

This is best example to explain all there is to do to develop and maintain a decent blog that will give you money, and to help you to avoid quitting on your second week “live”.


Take a moment to reflect on what a magazine needs before it starts printing:

  1. A business plan (concept; branding; segmentation of audience; budget; research the competition; etc)
  2. Find the right building and floor size according to:  
    1. our budget,
    2. its management: is it efficient? Will they help us if the power goes out?
  3. Build the office (with a constructor)
  4. Design the office (with a designer)
  5. Bring a printing machine, install it and bring people who know how to make it work;
  6. Register the enterprise;
  7. Hire people to run the magazine (writers, editors, photographers, advertisers, a marketing team, etc;)
  8. Develop the content
  9. Develop advertisement and marketing strategy, and schedule everything
  10. Start printing

From point 1 to 9, you’d be making big decisions that take a lot of time and that can cost you a lot of money. And those famous “five simple steps”:

  • include points 2 to 8
  • do not include point 1!

The Tricky Thing About Blogging

The most important thing we are to do when we seek to open a blog, is to come up with a business plan and develop its content.

There is no need for you to pay for a host, install a blogging platform and learn how it works and etc, when you haven’t got anything to share.

If you are googling if you can make money with blog, how much money you could make with a blog, you are beginning with the wrong foot. The big question is: Do you have something that is worth sharing? Do you believe with all your might that you can succeed? Are you willing to spend time doing things that are boring and not creative at all?

A blog, whether you choose WordPress or any other blogging platform, is simply a means to an end: it is a tool to share your craft.

Of course, in time, with your design and your personal touch, your blog will become much more than a tool. But until then, it is just a tool and what matters the most is that unique thing you’ve got to offer.

How to Open a Blog Successfully

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