How to Start a Blog: 2015 Edition

by Chris on April 2, 2015

Blog printingAre you new to this blogging thing? No idea where to start? Before I started blogging a few years ago, I didn’t know where to start either. But it really isn’t that hard and anyone can do it.

And why wouldn’t you want to start a blog? Doing it right can boost your brand significantly. You can use your blog to build your email list and use it to launch and sell products and services. It’s really a no brainer, so don’t let all this techy stuff get in the way of getting started.

Here is our step-by-step guide on how to setup your first blog.

Domain and Hosting

The first thing you need to do, is invest in a good domain and web hosting. For the domain, think of name that is brand-able and memorable. For example, Smart Passive Income is an example of a memorable blog name. Play around with a site like Bust a Name to help you come up with a cool name for your blog.

For web hosting, we recommend Media Temple. Media Temple offers shared hosting plans for people starting out, but you can also scale to their VPS web hosting packages when your blog starts getting more popular and receiving more traffic. Not only do we like Media Temple, but people like Josh Kotsay recommend using Media Temple as well.

Blog Platform and Theme

Next, you need to choose a blog platform to use. The most popular one out there is WordPress, and I would recommend using that. It’s usually available as a one-click install for almost any web host you go with. It’s used my millions, so it’s very easy to get help.

You want your blog to look nice, so you should install a nice looking theme to go with it. For the best all around theme that looks like and offers lots of customization options, I would go with the Thesis framework of course. It is highly customizable and you can install some great looking child themes to shape the look and feel of your blog as you like it.

Writing your Blog

Once you have all this setup, then you you just need to start blogging. Hopefully you have some ideas about what you already want to blog about, but if you don’t, read this post by Joshua Becker titled 15 Reasons I Think You Should Blog. It’s an excellent read, and it will inspire you as you start your journey into blogging.

One thing that is very important when blogging is to find your right niche. What’s the best niche? It’s the niche that you are passionate about. If you are not passionate about what you are writing, then your blog is not going to last long. You’re going to get bored long before you get successful. has an excellent article on Finding your passion if you are currently having trouble coming up with something.


While it might look daunting at first, starting a blog is very easy and it’s very beneficial to do. It can provide you with a creative outlet to express your thoughts, and give exposure to them to a wider audience. A blog is also essential if you want to sell your product. It gives you much more brand exposure and allows you to promote your wares to a loyal audience.


Thesis 1.8 Released

by Chris on August 10, 2013

Last week, Chris Pearson released Thesis 1.8 to the world. It includes a bunch of exciting new features that makes Thesis even easier to work with. It was painless to upgrade this site to the new version and I’m really liking some of the new changes. Below are my favorite Thesis features of this new release.

New Header Image Uploader – The best way to distinguish your site from other Thesis site’s is to add your own custom header image. Thesis 1.8 introduces a new Header Image menu item where you can upload you own custom header with a click of a button. What’s nice is that it also tells you the optimal image width for your header based on your current layout options.

Meta Field Character Counts – For anyone into SEO, you know how important it is to write good title and meta description fields. However, each search engine limits the amount of characters to display for each. Now Thesis 1.8 keeps track of the character count for these two fields so you will fit these constraints. A small thing, but really useful!

New Google Fonts – Thesis 1.8 now supports 28 additional fonts from the Google Font Directory. Each of these fonts is web-safe, so everyone will be able to see them correctly.

WordPress 3.0 Menu Support – If you haven’t played around with the new WordPress 3.0 menu support, you are really missing out. It’s a superior method of customizing your navigation menus the way you like them. With Thesis 1.8, you can now choose between using the standard Thesis menus or WordPress 3.0 menus. No matter which style you choose, you can still tweak how they look through the Thesis nav menu controls.

New Category SEO Options – With Thesis 1.8, you can now customize the titles and descriptions for each of your category and tag pages. This really useful for SEO purposes if you silo your sites in this way.

Favicon Uploader – Works almost like the new header image uploader. It’s a very simple way to setup a favicon for your site which is extremely important for branding purposes.

Thesis Custom Loop API – Thesis 1.8 now allows you to include custom html/php inside the content of any page on your site. For anyone that know how to code, this gives you unparalleled flexibility for your designs.

If you haven’t purchased Thesis yet, what are you waiting for? As you can see, Thesis is constantly evolving and some great new stuff is being added to each new release.

Download Thesis 1.8 Now


Thesis Theme Review

April 20, 2013

Simple put, I love the Thesis WordPress Theme. I use it for every one of my sites and it is simply the easiest way for me to setup a nice looking blog that can be customized for whatever niche I am in. I liken it more to a WordPress theme framework, rather then just a […]

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Customizing the Thesis Number of Comments Display

March 18, 2013

One question I always get asked is how to change the way Thesis displays the number of comments for a post. By default, Thesis displays the number in curly brackets like this: { 0 } comments. I am personally not a fan of how this looks, but fortunately Thesis makes this extremely easy to customize. […]

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What’s New With Thesis 1.7

March 13, 2013

It took a little longer than we thought, but Thesis 1.7 was just released today. So what’s new in this latest version of Thesis? Thesis 1.7 is faster and more efficient. Developer Chris Pearson has rewritten a significant portion of the code to make things noticeably faster. You should see the page load times in […]

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Upgrading To Thesis 1.6

March 10, 2013

I recently had to upgrade one of my older Thesis 1.5 installs to Thesis 1.6. Here are the steps to do it. In your existing Thesis install, make a backup of your custom folder and any images you may have added to your rotator folder Upload the new thesis_16 folder to your wp-content/themes directory. Rename […]

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Customizing the Thesis Nav Menu

February 2, 2013

In Thesis 1.6, the navigation menu design was given an overhaul. Now the basic Thesis Navigation Menu looks like this: Home About There are also a bunch of new navigation menu customization options in the Thesis Design Options interface. All the basic options can be tweaked including attributes like the link color, link background, hover […]

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Thesis Hooks Explained

February 1, 2013

To really customize Thesis the way you want to, you need to understand Thesis hooks. At first glance, hooks seem like a daunting concept to learn, but they really are quite simple. In this article, let me explain to you what Thesis hooks are, and how to take advantage of them on your site. Hooks […]

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Swap Thesis Navigation Menu and Header

January 31, 2013

In the default Thesis Theme configuration, the navigation menu is at the top, and the header is right below it. However, using Thesis hooks, it’s quite easy to swap them with a couple of lines of code. Just open up the file wp-content/themes/thesis/custom/custom_functions.php on your server and add the following to the bottom of the […]

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Installing Thesis Theme

January 31, 2013

Installing Thesis is quite simple. In this Thesis Theme tutorial, I’m going to show you how to install Thesis onto your blog. This assumes you’ve already installed WordPress already, but if you haven’t, check out this WordPress installation tutorial. Downloading Thesis Theme The first thing you will need to do is download is download the […]

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