How to Start a Weight Loss Blog

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how I started this blog.

344 Pounds, without a doubt, is the greatest form of accountability I have available to me.  It’s hard to imagine my journey without this blog.

I know of countless readers that have realized this as well and started their own blogs.  Within the past few days alone I’ve been notified of a couple new blogs that have been started by readers following in my footsteps.

So, how exactly do you start a weight loss blog?

Create a Free Weight Loss Blog

You need a place to put your blog — this is called a “host.”  There are numerous weight loss blogs that are placed on free hosts, such as Blogger and WordPress.

Pros of Free Blogs

  • They cost nothing and can be setup within a few minutes
  • Small learning curve to get started, but running it is fairly easy

Cons of Free Blogs

  • Generic URL. You can’t have a “short” web address with most free blogs.  I couldn’t have 344Pounds.com on WordPress.com, for example, my web address would have to be like 344pounds.wordpress.com.
  • Limited customization. You can choose color schemes, upload images, etc., but you’ll never have the ability to do everything that you can do on a standalone blog that costs a little bit of money to setup.
  • Upgrading difficulty. While you may be fine with a free blog for now, what happens when your blog gets more popular and you want more features available to you?  It’s hard to upgrade from a free blog.

That’s the free option.  Then, there’s an option that costs a little bit of money.  This is what most weight loss bloggers decide to do.

Create a Standalone Weight Loss Blog

This is how I created 344 Pounds.  It costs under $10 a month with Just Host, but I consider that an extremely small price to pay for the accountability.

Pros of Standalone Blogs

  • Takes only a few minutes to setup.
  • Full control. While you may not need it at first, you can do anything with your blog.  As you become more serious about blogging and learn of different things you can do, you’ll love the limitless capabilities.
  • Short web address. This signed the deal for me.  I wanted to have my own short web address, 344Pounds.com — something that is only capable with going through Just Host or a similar hosting company.

Cons of Standalone Blogs

  • Price. Just Host charges $7.95 a month for your blog.  That’s obviously more than “free,” but for me, the value is there to spend $8 a month to have a short web address and have full control over my blog.

Starting a blog isn’t that technical, it just involves a few terms that you’re probably unfamiliar with.  If you do decide to start your own blog, whether through Blogger, WordPress, or Just Host, feel free to post a comment if you have any questions and I’m sure either myself or someone else will help you!

Make sure to share the link to your weight loss blog in the comments, too!

36 thoughts on “How to Start a Weight Loss Blog”

  1. You can host a blog for far less than $8/month. Check out Web Hosting Buzz and do a search for some coupons. It ends up being something like $35/year for their cheapest hosting package.

    1. Just Host has an option to get it around $40 a year, as well. It’s just you have to pay for it all upfront — making the monthly fee less than $4 a month.

  2. I’ve looked into this a little bit. Keep in mind, if you go with Blogger, there are lots of free templates (just google Blogger templates or go to http://btemplates.com/) so you’re not stuck with just the default ones that they have.

  3. Hi Tyler,

    Blogger will let you purchase through them your own URL which would then allow you to do what you wanted with it.

    I’ve resisted to date but think I may bite the bullet soon as my URL’s not too memorable.

    Regards,
    Yoni

  4. Actually, Tyler, because of your example (after seeing you on a consumerist post back in April), I decided to start my own blog. I chose blogger, mostly because a lot of my friends and my old pastor have used that. I would love to have my own url, which I might upgrade to (not sure if I can now, but I’ll look into it).

    Hey all you 344pounders, check mine out, I could SURE use the accountability, too:

    http://www.journeytosanctification.blogspot.com/

    (Special shout out to South Beach Steve for being such a support so far!).

  5. I started off at Blogger, then went to WordPress and finally started self-hosting (via WordPress.org). You can actually quite easily import a Blogger or a WordPress blog into a self-hosting blog – I did – so it may be a good idea to start off with a free blog, because many blogs get abandoned. Once you know that you like blogging, and will be doing it for at least the next year, you can register a domain and get a standalone blog. By that time you’ll have figured out a lot of the know-how too!

  6. I have been using another free blogging type site, check out tumblr.com. It will let you use a custom url (ie. Canadiantape.com), Easy to use interface, Easy to post text, photos, video…etc, Also a nice IPhone app to add posts. They have a couple dozen templates that are all very easy to customize with a little bit of research. Plus Tumblr is always adding new useful stuff to their free service. I have been using it for over two years; I have always been looking for something new but always seem to stick with this service. Worth checking it out

  7. the other thing you can do is put a blog up on blogger for free, have complete control, and buy a domain name for $10/ year to get your short url.

  8. Tyler, THANK YOU for linking to my blog! I just discovered again that blogging really helps. Last night, I had a bit too much of a snack and felt bad. This morning, instead of falling into old habits because of the guilt, I felt driven to get back to the program, mostly because of my blog. Also, thank you for the inspiration.

  9. You can have a “short” URL with wordpress.com, too. You have to purchase the domain name through them. It costs $30/year. If you ever wanted to upgrade your free wordpress.com blog, there is an option to “export” its database, which can then be migrated over to a self-hosted blog, etc.

  10. Great summary Tyler. I was really looking for the accountability when I started this journey, and I thought I would find it in forums, but that wasn’t the case. My blog has been an integral part of my weight loss journey. I would encourage anyone beginning or on a weight loss journey to look into a blog for accountability. If you do so, get out and visit other weight loss blogs. When you do, leave comments. That is the best way to let others know you are out there. Without readers on your blog, the accountability is a little weak.

  11. Thanks so much for the mention – it’s amazing how much keeping “Losing Some Weight” updated helps me keep myself in check.

    “Do I really want to skip the gym today? If I don’t lose weight this week I’m going to have to fess up and disappoint the tens of readers of my blog.”

    Seriously though, it’s so inspiring to see someone stick with it and make the progress that you’ve made. Thanks for putting it all out there for us to read!

    -=Danielle=-
    “Losing Some Weight” http://loss.nuchereno.com

  12. You’re doing very well, but I think you are losing weight too fast. You are at about 4 pounds a week when 4 pounds a month is more like it.

    You can actually afford to slow down the remaining part of your goal. When you get the rest of it down you will want to have habits you can live with going foreward.

    You may be interested in reading my blog http://allabouthealthat70.blogtoolkit.com

    Good luck to you, but seriously consider a slow down. you’ll get to where your going soon enough.

    best regards
    Richard

  13. Thanks for all the comments, guys! I’m just getting back from a small vacation, so I haven’t had time to reply. I’ll have a nice, big blog post ready for you all on Monday!

  14. Thank you so much! I have been following you from nearly the beginning and just last week thought, “Self, you should do something similar.” This was just the nudge I needed.

  15. After seeing you on Consumerist.com a few months back, I started my own own blog at http://www.mywastedlife.com

    I certainly haven’t been losing at the rate you have, but that hasn’t been the goal I’ve been setting, so I’m happy with the progress I’m making.

    Thanks for your inspiration, it’s helping to change my life.

  16. What an awesome blog you have here. I started one about a month ago on blogger, and I’m thinking of spending the 10 dollars to just buy a real short domain name and have my blog redirect readers there.

  17. I really like your site. I have had trouble losing the weight recently. It was all so easy at the beginning when the weight was rolling off. But things have slowed down a bit.

    Your site has renewed my courage to struggle on down that happy road of merky weight loss.

  18. After reading your weight loss blog, I think I’m going to start my own weight loss blog!!! Congrats on your success and I hope I can send you an email in a while with a link to my blog.

  19. Thanks a lot for the interesting posts guys, have been following your blog for the past several months while trying to lose weight on the Cambridge diet and it’s going really well. I’ve lost about 20 pounds in the past couple of months and your website has really inspired me to keep going. Great job.

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