Instant Success: How To Start A New Blog – THE RIGHT WAY!

by Robb Sutton

Probably the most common question asked in the blogosphere is “how to I start a blog?” With thousands of new blogs popping up a day, it is pretty obvious why that question is asked. Recently, I started a new blog over at, so I thought I would use this opportunity to show you how easy it is to setup a new blog and be successful starting in the first month of operation.

There is no secret to success…just some fundamentals that give you a head start on everyone else out there staring at a “Add New Post” screen. Warning…once you read this…you are going to say…”Wow. It is really that easy.”

How To Start A New Blog – The RIGHT WAY!

So I had this idea to start a coffee blog for quite some time. Let me just warn you…I am literally obsessed with coffee. I don’t drink beer or any other alcoholic beverage (drank myself silly and college so that was enough for me) so coffee is my liquid outlet. I wanted to share this passion obsession online and a blog is a natural progression into this arena.

So what did I do first? – Domain Selection

I picked a domain name! Typically, I would tell you to research your niche, really think about what you want to blog about, etc., but I already had all of that covered so I needed a URL I could call home. I headed over to GoDaddy and started looking for domain names that fit what I was trying to accomplish. was open so I snatched it up and it was off to the races.

What did I do next? – Hosting Setup

After I had the domain name I wanted, I hit up my boy Alex at Sliqua and told him I had just bought a domain at GoDaddy and I needed to get it hosted. He set me up and I was ready to start the install process. If you are not ready for high end hosting, I recommend using HostGator for their price and ease of use. When you are ready to step up to the big boys, hit up Sliqua for your hosting needs.

Let’s Get to Blogging! – Wordpress Setup

Forget Blogger, Typepad or any other blogging engine. If you really want to have a successful blog off the bat, you need to drop the 20 bucks it cost to have your own Wordpress install self hosted. Anything else is going to cripple you from day one. I installed Wordpress, setup my plugins and was ready to blog. I am not going to go into that entire process here. If you want to know how to do that, download Ramped Blogging. There are step by step instructions.

Getting Everything Looking Good – Design

I know what you are thinking. Robb has a successful blog off the bat because he has a team of designers behind him that make everything look perfect. It takes a ton of money to do that and I don’t have a wad of cash to drop on blog design. Guess what? You are wrong. Here is what I did with Coffee Obsessed.

I went to WooThemes and bought the Therapy theme. I took the stock background included with the theme and added a coffee cup. Once uploaded…it is the theme you see live on the site as we speak. That was all the customization I did. Easy right?

Then I must have had a pro jump in and design the logo right? Wrong again. I headed over to and looked for a coffee cup icon I liked and matched that up against the logo written in a font I liked. Logo complete and the site is up and running. See? It really doesn’t get much simpler than that for a professional looking blog.

Beginning Article Setup – The Writing Process

Now…I have a pretty good Twitter base to pull from, so I knew I needed to spark conversation right off the bat if I wanted the blog to do well in the first 30 days. I wrote 3 articles that all asked questions and then hit up my social media circles (specifically Facebook and Twitter) asking them to check out the new site and comment on the articles. While not everyone did…a pretty good number chimed in and I had double digit comments on each of the brand new articles.

I Need Coffee! – Product Reviews

A large part of a coffee blog is writing reviews of different coffees and coffee equipment. I started off with the coffee I already had on hand and got to writing. I included pictures, my honest opinion and hit publish. After a couple of reviews hit and people commented…I had a new blog off the ground and rolling along smoothly. So…I used that success to contact some specialty coffee roasters for review coffee.

After a couple of emails back and forth, I was sent coffee from some of the top roasters in the country. I published their “first look” articles and later the reviews. Everyone is stoked about the publicity and honest reviews and now coffee roasters are contacting Coffee Obsessed directly for reviews on coffee and high end coffee equipment.

Rinse and Repeat – The Ongoing Process

From here…I just rinse and repeat. Everything is sipping up smoothly and I know have a great blog that I really enjoy. I get to form relationships with private coffee roasters which is a true pleasure in its own right (I have met some really cool, passionate coffee people) and I get to taste coffees from all over the world.

What You Need To Take Away From This Process

So…looks easy right? It really is that easy. So what do you need to take away from this process to insure your success in your blogging whether you are starting up today, starting another blog or trying to squeeze more success out of your current blog?

Setup Your Blog Correctly From The Beginning

I hear so many beginning bloggers say, “I use Blogger now and then switch to Wordpress if it catches on.” Be ready for disappointment if you are going to go that direction. If your blog does catch on, you are going to have a hell of a time converting it over and…worse yet…if you start your blogging with that mentality you are going to fail anyway. Your blog is going to be successful and that is why you are going to set it up correctly from the beginning.

Download Ramped Blogging…go to GoDaddy and get a domain name…go to HostGator and get a hosting account…get a good looking theme like the ones from WooThemes…make a quick logo and start off on the right foot instead of one step backwards.

Mindset Is Everything

How you start your blogging mindset is everything. If you start blogging wondering…doubting…or doing it half-assed. It is never going to work. You need to have the right positive mindset going into the whole process before you even write the first word in your first article. If you do not, you are just setting yourself up for failure.

Leverage Your Strengths

If you have Facebook friends or Twitter followers that would be interested in your blog, ask them for help in the beginning. Blogging is a collaborative effort and can not be done on your own. Your friends and family are going to be a massive resource for help in spreading the word and commenting. Do not spam them, but ask them to help in building your community.

Review Product Is Possible In The First 30 Days

Yes…you can get in review product in the first 30 days. No one in the coffee industry knew who I was before Coffee Obsessed but through a professional looking blog and a passion for all things coffee, I was able to bring in more coffee than I can drink and form really cool relationships with other members of the industry. Dealing with other passionate people in coffee has been the biggest reward of this entire process.

If you want to know how…check out Ramped Reviews.

Do not over complicate things…do not talk yourself out of success…believe that it is really that easy to start a successful blog and go after it. If you do things the right way from the beginning…you set yourself up for incredible success. If you go into it half cocked “just seeing how it goes”, you will get back exactly what you put into it…nothing!

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Dan Nisbet March 19, 2010 - 12:04 pm

Good article! While I haven’t created an instant-hit with my running website yet, I’m kind of doing the same thing you did by creating conversations with people. The big question I have though is the content. What is the best way to drive people to interact ON the blog article? I’ve tried a few different things with minimal success.

Robb Sutton March 19, 2010 - 1:07 pm

Have you tried asking questions? Having a defined (possibly controversial) opinion on a subject related to your niche?

My most complete articles generally have the lowest amount of comments because you cover everything. By leaving things out…you sometimes generate more comments as well.

Dan Nisbet March 19, 2010 - 1:25 pm

I have, but looking back, I suppose I could ask better ones. As far as opinions, I have ’em, but they aren’t always so controversial. Part of what I discuss involves people’s health and the last thing I want to do is stand by something that isn’t good to be doing- so I’m just trying to tread careful there.

Good suggestion on leaving some info out though- as I look back on the couple of articles I already have up, my most popular one is actually a bit vague. Funny how that works now that you point it out 😛

Robb Sutton March 19, 2010 - 1:28 pm

I wouldn’t go off moral values to be controversial at all. Integrity always comes first.

Example: An article on how running shoe companies are selling you features you don’t really need. (I talked to a tri-athlete a long time about this the other day) How traditional running is not good for your knees…cadence, shorter strides, etc.

Basically, break the mold of conventional thought and get people thinking.

J S March 19, 2010 - 12:40 pm

I like it. I didn’t know it was that easy to pick out a theme and make it look unique. Nice job.

One thing that helps your site out though is the fact that you already have a good following. It will naturally bleed over to your new blog. Much easier to have success, when you are already successful! 🙂

Robb Sutton March 19, 2010 - 1:11 pm

It really can be that easy. Typically…the simpler you keep things…the better they look.

Success breeds success…that is for sure.

Aaron Mielke March 19, 2010 - 8:33 pm

Excellent post, Robb.

This is highly relevant as I work on my new project. It’s great to see your success in getting review product for your blog within the first 30 days, as this is one of the goals I have laid out for my new blog as well.

Great tips in this post!

Robb Sutton March 21, 2010 - 6:59 pm

I am looking forward to your new blog Aaron (especially since I am a video/tech junkie).

Looks like you are on the right track.

Aaron Mielke March 21, 2010 - 7:39 pm

thanks for the reply Robb.

I really don’t have a choice other than to be on the right track – and I have you, among a few select others, to thank for that 😉

Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey March 19, 2010 - 10:26 pm

Great Post! I agree yes it is that easy to set up a blog! There is so much information online that people can use to apply themselves to setup a blog.

It just takes a little brainstorming prior to it and placing one foot in front of the other.

Thanks for the great information!

Robb Sutton March 21, 2010 - 7:00 pm

Sure thing Jarrod!

The biggest thing is eliminating roadblocks that keep you from achieving goals. Hopefully, I have showed how you can do that in this post.

TheInfoPreneur March 20, 2010 - 7:49 am

Hi Robb,

Awesome I love it brother you can count on me to promote it for you !

Robb Sutton March 21, 2010 - 7:00 pm

Thanks man!

Curtis Chappell March 20, 2010 - 6:20 pm


You’ve given away your secret to running multiple blogs!

It’s the Caffeine!

Yes, from a technical point of view, setting up a physical blog as you’ve described can be done in a day. And I’m seeing this trend of setting up multiple blogs suggested by several probloggers and blog training courses.

But let’s bring this back down to reality for many people I know… I smile when I read about just how easy it is to have a successful blog.

As posted here before, keeping one blog going for most of us is tough enough, and then we have probloggers telling us within 30 days “you too can have a 2nd, 3rd or 30th successful blog”…

Do you actually remember when you only had 30-40 unique visitors a day? Or less than 200 followers on twitter? Or less than 50 RSS subscribers? Or had never been paid to review a product?

I taught scuba for many years, and every time I brought a group of new divers into the pool to experience what it’s like to breathe underwater for the very first time, I would take a moment go back to that very first time I breathed underwater.

No matter whether I had 100 dives or 700 dives in my logbook, I never forgot just how amazed I was that very first time I dipped my head below the water and inhaled air from a regulator…escaping the bounds of the surface.

It was always a humbling memory and allowed me to better engage with people who were also experiencing this for the first time.

When you do something again and again, it’s easy to become jaded toward the challenges faced by people with less experience.

I love your posts about taking the initiative and getting off your ass to make something happen, and I applaud you for making this new blog a quick success!

But, telling us just how easy it is to ‘launch’ a successful new blog in 30 days is like rubbing salt in the wounds of those of us who work hard daily to get that ONE next reader.

Maybe I’m just being hyper sensitive…

Write On!

Robb Sutton March 21, 2010 - 7:04 pm

Caffine keeps me running! Sleep is overrated.

I think you are missing the point a little bit though. Coffee Obsessed does not have thousands of subscribers or a large media backing to get it going. For the most part, I launched that site without the aid of my other blogs. I used Facebook and Twitter which are two outlets that many beginning bloggers have.

Also, I hear a lot of people spending a lot of time worrying about design, wordpress, logos, etc. and using those as excuses for why they can’t do things or why they haven’t seen success. In reality, the willingness to step outside of your comfort zone and realizing those are not road blocks are the keys to success.

You can have the same results with low numbers (Coffee Obsessed has low numbers right now). It is the willingness to look past that and simplify the process so you can really start to get to work.

It is possible…you just have to believe it really is.

Maren Kate March 21, 2010 - 12:49 am

Dig that interview! I may pick up that Ramped Review as well 🙂 Good stuff!

Maren Kate March 21, 2010 - 2:15 am

Okay, so I haven’t bought Ramped Reviews (Yet) but I did download your free eBook & wow I must say it is packed with info… I couldn’t believe how long it is… I am at page 68 and still going strong. I just wanted to say I think it is radical you gave that away for free 🙂

Robb Sutton March 21, 2010 - 7:05 pm

My main motivation for Ramped Blogging was to help as many bloggers as I can. The more I give…the more I receive. Thanks for the feedback!

Hchybinski March 21, 2010 - 7:27 pm

What if you have a blog you love – but started out on the wrong foot…would you try to move everything from blogger to WP-or just start fresh?

And if you say the 2nd one…which would be my guess, what are your recomendations for archiving (saving forever) that original blog? As a scrapbooker-I can’t let go of those memories & stories…


Robb Sutton March 21, 2010 - 8:55 pm

Wordpress has an option to import all of your previous posts. By looking at your blog, you should be able to follow the instructions for 301 redirecting your current posts to the new site using the linked instructions I provided in the following article by using the same url structure on the new Wordpress site.

Alvaro July 12, 2010 - 8:01 pm

hey i know this is out of topic but what woo theme are you using? looks great! and do you have any resources for branding, bought ramped reviews, it taught me a lot of new things i didn’t know thanks!

don’t have a blog yet but i’m working on it, just looking for a good theme so please tell me and what do you recommend me? theme, host, domain, and branding? please.

Robb Sutton July 15, 2010 - 7:44 am

I am using the Spectrum theme by Woothemes with my own modifications.

I run with GoDaddy for domains, Sliqua for hosting (use something like Hostgator to get you started for cheaper), Woothemes for themes and for branding.


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