Five Beginner’s Blogging Tips

When I was asked to appear on The Lab with Leo Laporte, the producer wanted me to just give three to five beginner’s blogging tips because my session was only six minutes long and there would be not be enough time to go any deeper. I made up the five points I wanted to talk about before the show. However, during the actual taping, Leo was only interested one of them. Since I didn’t get to talk about all five beginner’s blogging tips on The Lab, I figure I would talk about them here.

Beginner Tip #1 – Blog About Something Your Passionate About

If you are not passionate about your topic, you are not going to stick to it. The best way to decide what to blog about is to ask yourself, “Would I do this for free?” If the answer is yes, then you have found your topic. People who blog only for money seldom succeed.

Beginner Tip #2 – Get Your Own Domain Name

While it certainly is possible to start a blog for nothing by using a free service like or, I recommend every blogger starting out to get their own domain name. The cost is next to nothing and you can still host it for free if you want (Blogger allows that).

If you do not wish to use the Blogger platform, you’ll have to pony up for web hosting but that’s pretty damn cheap as well. BlueFur (they host this blog) has hosting solutions starting at $5 per month and they’ll give you 15% off if you enter JohnChowRocks in the coupon code.

Having your own domain makes you look more professional. While it may not make you a pro-blogger, the ad networks will take you a lot more seriously. Some ad networks will not accept a site unless it has its own domain name. If you do it right, having your own domain and web hosting won’t cost you anything because the income the blog generates will more than offset the cost.

It’s better to get the domain name at the start than down the road. The last thing you want to do is build up a blog with Blogspot, get a ton of backlinks, PageRank, Alexa and Technorati rankings, and then have to move it to its own domain and start over. I’m sure Kumiko can relate. 🙂

Beginner Tip #3 – Update The Blog Often

A non-updated blog is a dead blog. If you cannot commit to a consistent blogging schedule, then it’s best not to blog until you can. This is where blogging about your passion comes in. If you’re passionate about the topic, then chances are you’ll keep blogging about it. Ideally, you should update the blog everyday.

Beginner Tip #4 – Get To Know Your Readers

Blogging is a two-way street. You cannot exist without readers (well you can, but what’s the point?), and readers don’t exist unless they have something to read. Blogging is about forming relationships. There’s the relationship between you and the readers and relationship between you and other blogs in your niche. It is up to you to get to know them and form this relationship. Many readers have stated that when they’re reading my blog, it’s like a one-on-one conversion. That was not done by accident. It’s all part of relationship blogging.

Beginner Tip #5 – Monetize The Blog With Multiple Sources

When the time comes to monetize your blog, don’t stick with just Google AdSense. There are now tons of ways to make money from blogging. Check out my recommended moneymaker list. If I were to use only Google AdSense, there is no way I would have been able to pull down nearly $12,000 last month. Google accounted for less than 10% of April blog income. Do not put all your eggs there.

I use eight different methods to make money online. Only two of them are banner ads. During the Lab interview, Leo pointed that my blog doesn’t looks it has that much advertising at all. When he found out how many different advertising models I used, he was shocked. The key to monetizing a blog is to run as many advertising products as you can get away with while still providing a good user experience.

These were the five begginner’s tip I wanted to get across on The Lab with Leo. However, the only point I was able to talk about was the last one, which isn’t that surprising since everyone wants to know how to make money online. I hope that the next time I’m on the show, I’ll be able to talk more about the other tips.

57 thoughts on “Five Beginner’s Blogging Tips”

  1. Peter Koning says:

    Tip #6 – make checklists 🙂

    1. Nomar says:

      Good tips, and I agree on the # 6 to

  2. Ali says:

    The number 2 point is one of the most important ones I feel, because if you don’t start off on the right foot you could end falling over yourselves.

    Though is you have a loyal fan base they will follow you even if you shift your domain.

    Free blogs on blogspot and wordpress never attracted me since the moment I set my eyes on blogging.

    1. Ali says:

      I meant “Though if….”

  3. I like the term ‘relationship blogging’. That really made me think about the kind of blog that I want to have! If you build relationships, other things will flow from there!


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    1. Marc says:

      Branding is so, so important with any venture, but is amplified on the web. There are so many choices on the web that there is no chance you’ll be the “only shop in town” so strong branding efforts are a must.

  5. Merija says:

    Interesting post.. Not every point is equally difficult..

  6. To me Tip #1 is the most important

  7. Daniel says:

    I’d say from my experience, the #1 tip is the most important. It will keep you going in the tough times, when you think you and your neighbor are the only ones reading the blog.

    Too many people these days start blogs just so they can monetize the hell out of it, and when they see they aren’t getting rich, they just abandon it.

  8. Dj Flush says:

    Lol John I simply cannot believe myself

    Do our chemistries match or wat lol?

    1. John Chow says:

      See, they should have asked you to go on the show!

      1. Dj Flush says:

        Oh well 😛 don’t you know I rejected the offer that is why they called you 😈 hehe 😆

  9. Tim Spangler says:

    Number three is, in my opinion, the most important. When I set up my blog I took your advice and established a schedule of a post per day. Some days I miss, and the traffic drop is noticable. Pick a posting frequency and stick to it!

  10. Wolf Stone says:

    All very valid & important points john…another solid post !!

  11. Helen says:

    I have a blog on wedding mainly Indian Wedding. well nice tips. You earn a lot nice!!

  12. simon says:

    Very good tips. Tip#1 is the main point, if you don’t have passionate about your topic, you won’t update your blog(Tip#3) often. Then tips#2,4,5 will not do much to help your blog growing.

  13. I think one of the most important tips for new bloggers, this includes me, is to start building a relationship with other bloggers and join communities. It gets you links and helps build a sense of camaraderie. I’ve only started blogging a couple of weeks, but have already been in contact with many other bloggers who have been so helpful… including John!

  14. Kiltak says:

    “The last thing you want to do is build up a blog with Blogspot, get a ton of backlinks, PageRank, Alexa and Technorati rankings, and then have to move it to its own domain and start over.”

    Yeah, I should have done this a long, long time ago, but I guess now is better then never. My old blogspot blog has 10’s of thousands of incoming links, and a PR of 6, and now that I moved, I lost all of this.. well not really because I still get traffic from google over there, but I would have prefered to get all those link pointing to my new site.

  15. text-links says:

    Tip #1 is the most important. If you don’t like what you’re talking about and you have some skills on it, you will never succeed.

  16. I have $1.99 invested in my blog at the current moment. Blogger allows you to point your domain name to them. This way I’m getting a free blogging service and I get to use my own domain name. This is a great way for someone to start blogging to find out if it is really for them.The free wordpress will allow you do buy a domain from them, but ends up costing a little more plus you do not have very much control over your blog.

    1. Kiltak says: actually gives you the option of customizing your template, but you have to pay extra for that….

      I also heard back in January that they are soon going to allow people to stick google ads over their wordpress hosted blog.

      1. Yeah I saw the css option. Everything starts to add up. It would be awesome though if they would allow people to put google ads on.

  17. Kumiko says:

    Yes, you’re spot on with #2 John! I have a lot of regrets but not getting my own domain is the biggest! I certainly relate and wish you’d published this 6 months ago!!


  18. Rhys says:

    #5 has been a big regret for me but I’m glad that I have now rectified it 🙂

    Now I’ve gone too much the other way. Any space is taken up with ads. But it is important – as you said – to not put too many ads on the site (garden knome theory)

  19. Adsense Tips says:

    Great tips as usual. I need to work on #4 more since I just started my newest Adsense blog.

    Hoping to uncover a gem there. Thanks for all the relevant info, John.

  20. Relationship …. where is our relationship John? 😀

  21. Aimee says:

    I agree with #3. The more you update the better, as long as the content you’re adding to your site is high-quality.

  22. well said..i believe building relationships is important

  23. felixooi says:

    Hi John

    Wow…thanks for sharing really is a true quide for a beginner like me.

    Wrong start would take us to a ROADBLOCK.

    Good start would give us some xtra mileage.


  24. I’m dealing now with the moved to own server problem. It hurts, it really hurts.

    I spend hours and hours, sometimes days and days, working up to a post, and I always stick to my original promise to produce all original work, and still the ones that repeatedly report on their experience repeating someone else’s original work do as well or better than I.

    I otherwise agree with you completely, and using the date changing ability you pointed out, I’ve become much more regular, too.

  25. Great post John. These are simple steps but many fail to follow them. It seems some think that being successful at blogging has to be rocket science!

    It’s not that difficult, like anything else it takes time and dedication, but heck, a 10 year old could do it! :mrgreen:

    ➡ Don

  26. Sometimes it’s the easiest guidelines we forget or fail to execute because they’re so elementary that we completely take them for granted. It’s good to brush up on these things from time to time.

  27. fgsfds says:

    That’s “you’re” not “your”. Jeez!

  28. Chicago 2016 says:

    Tip #7: Brand the hell out of your content. For every regular feature, brand it. Create icons and brand them. Hell, brand the alt tags.

  29. Frokk says:

    good article, helpfull tips. thx.

  30. Chicago 2016 says:

    And why not brand your plugins as well? John’s done a pretty good job of that on this site.

  31. gelo_14 says:

    well, after reading this, i feel that i can start my own blog now and earn from it. good job mr. john chow and i hope that you can post other helpful tips for starters like me. MOre success on your career.

  32. gelo_14 says:

    more power Mr. chow 🙂

  33. gelo_14 says:


  34. gelo_14 says:

    thanks mr. chow

  35. I’m very glad that I got my own domain name from the very beginning. I can’t imagine the hassle of trying to move everything over and get the SEO up to par with wherever it would have been at its old home.

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  37. Ankur says:

    Finally starting a blog now. Lets see what i can do ❓

  38. I think number 2 is huge. So many people make the mistake of starting at blogger or something instead of building up their own brand and PR.

  39. simon says:

    BlueFur coupon code “JohnChowRocks” doesn’t work now!! 😕

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