How to Start a Blog

Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost has published the fifth installment of a pretty good guidebook of interest to new or undiscovered bloggers:

There are a few things that I’d quibble with and some of the early steps Joe recommends are “nice” but not necessary. For example, starting with your own domain and a great template are a good idea, but most of us started on Blogspot and grew out of it–although Atrios and others are still doing quite well for themselves there–and tweaked our sites as we went along. His general advice about quality and the power of networking, though, is well heeded.

See also these previous OTB entries:

I’m sure there’s more in the archives somewhere, but it’s hard to locate things in an archive of 9000-odd posts! Most of the OTB links include links to other bloggers giving their advice, as well.

(Updated to include the 5th installment of Joe’s series.)

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Also, include part 5, Owning a Micro-niche.

  2. Zed says:

    Don’t forget a fair warning of the kinds of spam robots, which clog comments and trackbacks with silly or disturbing material. Also, someone should do a good peice on breaking down server stats.

  3. Zed says:

    and while I’m on the subject of servers let me get one more thing of my chest, the information available over the internet concerning MySQL and php is very limited. My server comes with a turotial but even that is generic. There are obviously master bloggers who have achieved greatness in manipulating these tools but they aren’t giving uip their secrets. This is where the race comes in.

  4. James Joyner says:

    Zed: I think the vast majority of us just farm that part of the operation out. Kathy Kinsley at BlogHouse takes care of that for me.

  5. Harry says:

    If you use Moveable Type, I found a nice plug-in that has (so far) completely stopped spam. It uses a randomly-generated numeric code that has to be entered before the comment is published. It’s been running for me since 11/12/04. Here’s a link that points to more info: