Starting a blog?

edited July 2013 in OOC Chat
I want to preface this discussion by saying that I have two failed blogs, one from three years ago and one from yesterday, both on blogger. I love blogging but I'm having some issues finding the appropriate layout. I'm looking for a stone I haven't turned, so to speak. 

I'm looking to start a cooking and review/plus size fashion/whatever-the-hell-else-I-want blog. I'm looking for a layout similar to this one. I would of just gone with who powers it but the cheapest hosting is $250. I want to find something cheap (preferably free) and similar. Does anyone know of a hosting service? I have heard about successful blogs with shops attached and I like the idea of that. I wouldn't mind making a few bucks off my blog reviewing products and advertising for local boutiques. I'm a little overwhelmed and wondering where to start. 

"To be awkward or unkempt, to talk or move wrongly is to be a dangerous giant, a destroyer of worlds...any accurately improper move can poke through the thin sleeve of immediate reality." - Erving Goffman


  • EleanorEleanor FOR SCIENCE
    You should be able to make something like that fairly well out of Wordpress, it's flexible and pretty powerful. A nice theme will still cost you, but you might be able to pick up something approximating you want at the $20 thereabouts.

  • The easiest way to attach a shop is to use Amazon. They have an easy app you can add that will let you earn a portion of click-thru sales. I am pretty sure they have it set up so that if someone gets to that item through your site, but purchases later, they still attribute you for the sale.

    There are a TON of great articles about getting a quality blog set up via Wordpress, and wordpress is definitely your best bet. You can get good free themes and other add-on stuff, but you'll have a lot less headache if you pay out a small amount. 
  • @valenae I'm assuming you're looking to run it on its own domain (e.g. instead of a subdomain of a larger servuce (e.g.

    As others have said, WordPress is awesome and powerful. We routinely develop Websites for large companies using WordPress, and the blogging functionality is great. One point to make: 

    There's and - the first is a blogging platform, which is free for a basic blog, and then asks you to pay for addons (I think a custom domain name, for instance, runs you about $15/month, they'll hit you for space upgrades at 5gb, and theme choice and customization is limited). The free levels of are ad supported. 

    The second is the open source software that releases for the public to use. That's generally the way you want to go, because it offers a lot more flexibility (and lower cost) in the long term.

    To set up WordPress (the open source version) you'd need to register your own domain name ($10-$15/year. is a good option) and hosting account ($10-$30/month. Hostgator, Dreamhost, or WPEngine are good options) and then install WordPress. @minarael is right, there are heaps of guides, and it's good to understand what's going on. That said, most hosts also offer a service called Fantastico, which will let you set WordPress up in a few clicks. 

    In terms of finding a theme, For Paid themes, is always a solid bet, and has a massive range of options. For unpaid check out the WordPress theme directory at: as @minarael said, your best bet is probably to shell out $20-$50 and get something that's been coded well, but the themes in the WP theme directory are getting better in terms of design.

    For your shop, it depends if you're looking to sell your own stuff, or sell other people's stuff and earn an affiliate commission (basically what @minarael was talking about). If you're looking for the former, check out WooCommerce ( If you're looking to do the latter, then check out Commission Junction and Clickbank. Amazon is an OK place to start, but the commission amounts suck.

    The only other thing to consider is, if you're -really- looking to focus on eCommerce, think about instead of WordPress - it's an eCommerce platform with decent blogging functionality.
Sign In or Register to comment.