Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

How to Launch Your Blog Like a Pro

This week, we’re running the Blog Like a Pro Challenge, and you’re going to want to be a part of it. What does this entail? 7 days. 7 blog posts. 1 epic challenge that will leave you a better blogger.

launch like a pro

But before you jump in, you’d better have a blog. So let’s talk about that.

Why do you need a blog?

Three important reasons:

  • Because blogging is accessible. Anyone can do it.
  • Because blogging is relatively easy once you understand the tools, which I argue even your grandma can figure out.
  • And lastly because blogging is powerful. It’s a simple way to get your words out into the world. If you have something to say, why wouldn’t you have a blog?

But lots of people launch blogs that never make an impact. How will yours be different? Well, there are a few things that I think set a professional blog apart from the rest of the clutter on the Internet:

First, a professional blog is owned by the author. In other words, it’s self-hosted, which really means that you pay to host the website elsewhere as opposed to letting a free service like WordPress.com or Blogger host it. There’s nothing wrong with those services, except that they can put up ads or any kind of other distractions on your website whenever they like. Why gamble by placing the controls to your content in someone else’s hands? Own your words.

Second, a professional blog is branded well. What I mean by that is you should be using a .com or .org version of your domain name if at all possible (the domain name is the web address people will use to get to your site). A good domain name should be short, memorable, and relevant to the blogger’s message. In other words, dancing-girl-1352.net doesn’t work. Find a good domain name and use it.

Third, a professional blog is designed well. This is why I recommend WordPress. It’s free to download, cheap to host on any number of sites (like Bluehost, for example, which I have an affiliate relationship with and love recommending), and has a ton of free resources including a treasure trove of nice-looking free themes. What makes a theme design a winner? Clean layout, simple graphics, and nothing that distracts the readers from the copy. Invest in the design of your site, and you won’t regret it.

Ready to start blogging?

Okay, so now that I’ve made my case, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Set up your blog. I recommend a self-hosted solution like Bluehost (watch the 8-minute video below to get set up). For less than $4/month, you can get rolling with your very own, customized website. Pretty amazing, right?
  2. Choose a domain name that matches your brand and message. It could just be your name, the subject about which you’ll be blogging, or some kind of mashup of the two (for example, my name is Jeff Goins and I’m a writer, so I chose Goinswriter.com).
  3. Install a WordPress theme. These range from free to fairly expensive (a few hundred dollars). I recommend something simple to begin with like the Twenty Sixteen Theme, which doesn’t cost a thing. You can always upgrade later.
  4. Start blogging! The first thing you want to write is your about page, because that’s one of the most important pages on your website that many bloggers ignore.

If you get stuck, there are tutorials for all this stuff (Google is your friend). But keep in mind, that’s why we’ve built this community of bloggers — so that you can get the help you need. If you need something, just pop into the Intentional Blogging Facebook group and ask your question. I’m sure someone will help you.

And if you don’t have a self-hosted blog, I highly recommend getting one. You can follow my quick tutorial here. Or watch the video below.

So that’s all for today. Get started blogging and make sure you’re signed up for the daily email updates on the challenge if you don’t want to miss a thing. A week goes by pretty fast!

Assignment: Set up your blog. Share the link in the comments.

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

It’s Not Too Late to Become a Writer

Download my free eBook on why now is the best time to become a writer.

In this book, I share everything I’ve learned bout what it takes to start writing for a living — and how you can get started today.

Click here to download the free book now.

  • Chris

    Check: http://travelthedr.com/blog/
    Thanks Jeff. Looking forward to the rest of the week

  • I’m really enjoying this series. I set up my blog in January, and referred to the resources page here on goinswriter.com for assistance. The URL is: http://writezu.com

    Thank you!

  • Elizabeth Bookout

    This year I decided to finally self-host my blog after blogging through Blogger and WordPress over the past few years. After finally purchasing my domain and hosting last month, I’ve spent the last few weeks learning lots and switching things over, tweaking plugins, and contemplating designs. My blog is http://www.elizabethbookout.me. Looking forward to this challenge to keep me moving forward!

  • Greetings again. Shared the link in the Facebook group already. What a great group of people. There is a lot of very positive energy in there. My site is http://www.EpicGermany.com. I can’t wait to get this started and help each other grow and learn.


    Joe Cerda

  • bomongtbn

    Thanks for the great information. Check out my blog…

  • Liz Ng

    Thanks for helping us all get started! http://thrifttoriches.com

  • Thanks for this free challenge, I will have to add a page most likely for this challenge since my blog is on many topics, Jackie Paulson Your FAN, http://bookreviews1966.com/

  • Ashley

    Looking forward to this challenge! http://www.preservetherepublic.com

  • Kathryn Bingham

    A launched blog [check – leadistics.com/leadr-board]. Downloaded the Beginner’s Guide to Building an Audience [check]. Heading over to Lesson One [on my way].

  • Antoniya Koleva Zorluer

    Not new, but still decided to share 🙂 http://mintyhideout.com/

  • done estherfink.com

  • Samir

    It’s been around for a long time, but very inactive in recent years:


  • Brian Evans


  • Just wrote the about page 🙂 http://mytinygreenliving.com

  • disqus_xRAZYtwrZL

    Just started my blog a few days ago and I need direction. I’m not sure I even set I up correctly, haha

  • Lynne Bright

    G’morning – here’s my rant for the day: http://telly2222.blogspot.com

  • Perfect timing! I’ve just re-branded my website bestpeoplebusiness.com and decided to begin blogging 3 times a week beginning today.

    My developer is building the final pieces of my blog and I can’t wait to begin.

    I created a content calendar with my first blog post being published today!

  • Started blogging last September, wrote 3 blogs, now let’s see if this challenge pushes me a bit 😉 Blog is at http://www.LeadershipFocusHQ.com/blog. I guess my Assignment #0 is done! Done is a good thing 😎

  • Michelle Kafka

    Started awhile ago. Not kept up with. Getting back into it. http://www.IslandWhispers.blogspot.com/

  • http://EvaPScott.com – Mine has been set up for a while.

  • Jeanette Chiapperino

    Thanks for the blogging challenge. My site is http://www.journeyupward.wordpress.com

  • Tracy D

    I am glad I saw this! I am relaunching http://www.careersforformerteachers.com

  • Lisa Cordes Mullen

    I created a website for my business a while ago but never worked up the courage to do anything with it. I want to take this opportunity to at least attempt a blog for my company. You can find me at http://www.renovatewithelle.com

  • It’s finals week for school (quarter system). I’ll see what I can do. http://www.epicjason.com

  • dustinchristian.com or legosinmyscotch.com

  • Just rebuilt the blog over the weekend, following your webinar, last Thursday.


  • Ron


  • larryeubanks.com

  • caseycraigie.com

  • Elizabeth Elliott


  • Raj Daniels
  • Justencourage.com

  • Sarah Hollow Gorsuch
  • mindysanto.com

  • undercoverBAT


  • Bright Works PR/MRKT
  • patriciabentham.com


      I’d like to know what u write about. I may need to change my name… thx.

  • Iola Goulton

    I have two: http://www.iolagoulton.com and http://www.christianediting.co.nz (which needs rebranding and updating).

  • Todd Marsha

    The Holy Spirit is always at work at…www.witnesspath.com

  • Michelle Cochran

    I have a blog established and ready to get moving! Thank you.

  • Established, but not super consistent. http://www.vitalmommy.com I look forward to working through the challenge.

  • Matt Karamazov

    Here’s the link to mine: http://godlikediscipline.com/

    Self-discipline, human rights, books, and ultimately…slowing down and actually living.

  • Diane Saulon Levine

    OperationGoosebumps.com. It started as a personal quest to do 40 daring things after I turned 40. After hearing from many friends who told me about the daring things they’d like to do, I’m trying to grow this personal project into a community of people that helps each other achieve their dreams. A tall order, I know, so I could use all the help I can get. Good luck everyone!


      I. AM. IN! Just today I w/thinking the same way. Last year I saw a man and exchanged less than 10 words. Today I saw him, introduced myself, told him I’d had a crush on him since last year, gave him my card and said call if you ever want to talk to a new person! Whew! Yeah, Buddy, I’m so in!!!

      • Diane Saulon Levine

        Wow, now THAT took some guts. Way to go! I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story. 🙂

        • Honey, I tell u, there comes a time to move and then there’s a time to sit and think! I’m all about moving! There’ll likely be nothing more of it: when I finished speaking, he smiled as if he’d just wet his pants and said nothing… oh well, it’s kinda like this building an audience: do it often enough, long enough, well enough and somebody WILL bite! be good! sd

  • Thanks for the challenge! I needed it! http://abetteryouproject.com

  • Signing up for this challenge. I’ve had a blog for quite a while, but had admittedly been on-and-off with writing. 😀



    Yikes, I many need to change my blog name as well as location…

  • This is perfect timing. Thanks Jeff!

  • May Chappell

    I started one a while back but have been working on it recently and changing the name! I haven’t written in 2 years. But here it is, http://www.stillbeautifullybroken.com

  • J Rivera

    Wow. I am less tech savvy than I thought! I hope I did this all correctly. I already had my own domain, but I haven’t done anything with it, so this challenge, in conjunction with the 500 words a day challenge, is going to be a big jump for me. I’m hoping to learn how to hone in on audience (target market) and topics more. I want to write about a lot, but it’s unrealistic. So here is to taking the leap: http://www.levelleadership.us

  • Miriam N

    I just finished doing mine, hopefully all the bugs are out, hope it works and everything. (totally not tech savvy but i guess everyone can learn) Here’s my address http://strengthtostruggle.com/ still working on that manifesto though. Might have to do it tomorrow ran out of time with getting it up and running… hope that this week is going to be a good one for me!

  • Caty Dearing

    My blog link is http://www.catydearing.com and I’m really proud of how it looks! I’d love feedback!

    • Caty, I looked at your blog. If you did it all on your own, u should be proud! I think it’s great. Now that I’ve learned how to enhance the appearance of mine, I’m excited. I’ll subscribe.

      • Caty Dearing

        Thank you so much! I used a template, but I built the whole thing including logo myself! I’d love for you to subscribe. 🙂

  • With nine minutes left in Day One, I made it! This manifesto is for all of you fiction writers out there, even if you don’t write about crime: http://www.writersdetective.com/blog/the-writersdetective-manifesto

    Congrats to the rest of you for meeting the challenge!!!


  • Lori Lennon

    Rather late, but blog is set up…looks kind of sketchy but we will work on that. Manifesto is finally done at http://www.mysouthernlens.com.

  • Josh Dsouza

    I am excited for the 7 day blogging challenge.
    Here’s my blog: thehowtobesuccessfulinlifeblog.com

  • Wela

    Umm…hope I’m not too late! I’ve got two blogs that need rebranding and updates! One is http://meetweldan.com/ and the other one is http://welawakesup.com/ (this one needs a total overhaul!)

  • Rick C. Langford

    My blog, Knights of Writ, has been up for a little over a year, and deals with the trials and tribulations of a writer’s life.

  • Ciaran O’Connell

    Here goes. My blog site About Me page (first draft!)

  • jccrosby

    I’ve been blogging for a while, but my current project has totally stalled: http://goodfamilyman.com/

  • Eric Clark

    Hello friend!

    You can find me at ericalainclark.com


  • Hey there! I’ve been blogging for a while, but need a jumpstart. Excited…. http://www.calistabaker.com

  • I just don’t know where i am, so i’ll post myself: http://www.thehealthreverend.blogspot.com/ Hope to c u there!

  • Hi guys, my blog is at thistruenorth.com 🙂

  • Heather

    My blog is at https://writingheatherlee.wordpress.com or heatherleedyer.com since I have my blog linked to my website. 🙂

    • I have a request: how did you decide to have both a site and a blog? I’m so thoroughly confused. I’m about to hire a fiverr consultant. this thing is giving me too much push back… thx.

      • Heather

        I started out with the free wordpress blog. Then when I published my first 2 books I needed an actual website, so I upgraded to a paid website on wordpress. I just linked my blog to the website so all the content was still there. If I had to do it over, I would just do the website, because you can just blog directly onto it with most themes. Hope that helps.

        • It does, indeed. in fact, i just engaged a fiverr expert and this morning read a blog that convinced me, indeed, to do so, except that i have a blogger spot, not wordpress. luckily, this virtual world all connects at some point! livewelltoday/drinkteaalways! sd

  • Lori Ann DeLappe-Grondin

    My blog is at http://www.inkandpen.co. (Nope not missing a letter.) Thank you for this.

  • riariaz

    My blog is here: riainthecity.com Excited for this challenge!
    I have been blogging since 2003 but don’t have the consistency. Using this to put me in the habit!

  • Retirement and financial planning blog: http://www.retiremeasapblog.com/

  • Being the TeaLover that I am, I suggest we all take a break, put our feet up, and DrinkTea!!!! Raise ur hand if you agree! xoxoxoxo

  • Moms Anonymous

    Sadly I couldn’t get a .com, but I’m *very* happy I got the name I wanted: http://www.moms-anonymous.net/

  • steven moore

    Been blogging for a while, but struggle to be consistent with posts and content consistency. Trying to clarify my voice. http://WWW.FindingMoore.com.

  • Jan Newman

    Had this in maintenance mode for months – closed my eyes and pressed enter. http://www.drjannewman.com

  • I did it! I was planning on taking longer (aka stalling) to launch, but this pushed me to launch last week. Introducing my new day job… You+Social: Authentic social media and digital marketing for creative people. http://www.YouPlusSocial.com

  • Lyn

    My blog is at http://www.scribblersden.com.
    I really hate having to sign in with anything besides my email address and name. I particularly resent Disqus. Why does anybody mess up a website with all these hoops? Under normal circumstances, I would not comment on any site that required special sign-ins.

    Ah, late in the process, I am given the opportunity to post as a “guest.”

  • Cheree Miller

    Starting late… I have been largely absent from the internet for the past month. Already had a website set up, but it has been dormant for quite a while. I edited my “about” page, and am looking forward to completing the challenge (even if it is, technically, over now!). Have also signed up for 500 words.

  • Julie Morgenlender

    Great idea to do a challenge! I give 20- and 30-something women the tools to budget and improve their finances at juliemorgenlender.com