Home > Blogging Tips > The Ultimate Guide to Starting a KDrama or KPop Site in 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Starting a KDrama or KPop Site in 2018

How to Start Korean Drama Blog 2018
There is so much to know about starting a website that I was absolutely clueless about when I got going. I mean, I really just started this site because I loved the Korean drama Oh Hae-young Again (you should watch it!) and it went from there. But now, I have gained some substantial knowledge about starting and building a site that I want to pay forward.

Honestly, there were no guides on starting a KDrama website or blog when I started. There are so many people who love dramas, but only a small dedicated group of people who are blogging about it. I know, what’s up with that? I say the more the merrier. There are thousands of fashion blogs out there and I think there should be thousands of KDrama ones too. I want to read about your passion so if you are at all considering starting a site to gush about your favorite dramas, music, OSTs, actors, etc. what is holding you back? If it is knowledge then you will get everything you need right here.

I mostly looked at the fashion and home decor blogging community/industry to figure out simple how too’s on starting a site and my knowledge grew from there. I converted all the knowledge I learned into my area of interest which is Korean dramas and entertainment, but anyone can use what I have learned to create any kind of site you want.

Disclaimer: Thank you for reading this part! Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and we will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. This helps us pay for our server which keeps us up and running. We have used all of the items mentioned and highly recommend them because they are very useful and are from companies that we trust. Okay, let’s get back to it!

So, without further ado,


Guide Starting Korean Website 2018


Question: I want to start a blog, but I’m super clueless about how to make one! What do I do? How do I start it? Who should host it and, um, what is a domain name (asking for a friend)? Somebody help me please!

Okay, I feel you. I was super clueless when I started, didn’t know what a domain name was and I didn’t even know what hosting was either. I needed a lot of help. After basically educating myself for months and going through a lot of trial and error, I am happy to say that I have figured it out and I am more than happy to keep you from making the same mistakes that I did. I am also constantly learning along the way and plan on updating this post frequently (things be changing on the internets y’all!).

The great news is that it is easy to start a website. The absolute best site for beginners that grows with your site and audience is: Bluehost.

I honestly cannot gush about Bluehost enough. If you only get one thing out of this post it is to just go to Bluehost and start from there. Bluehost + Bluehost’s customer service is all that you need.

When I first started Bah+Doo, I didn’t know what I was doing so I started with WordPress.com. *Big mistake* because I soon realized that with WordPress.com you cannot use all of the plugins that are available with WordPress.org which is where the secret sauce lies. I had to manually switch over to WordPress.org which was a stressful headache. I stayed up all night for hours and hours trying to figure it out and finally had to talk to Bluehost customer service several times about getting locked out of my site, parked domains, and all sorts of craziness (Pro tip: Bluehost’s customer service is excellent). I wish to save you from that headache, so here is my recommendation. Start with Bluehost right away. It will save you countless countless (countless) headaches plus their customer service is so on point it is ridiculous (but more on that later).


Guide Starting Korean Website 2018


Three easy steps to starting a website:

    STEP 1. Use Bluehost as your domain & host
    STEP 2. Use WordPress.org as you platform (which Bluehost endorses).
    STEP 3. If you have any questions ask Bluehost customer service (available 24/7)

It is really as simple as that to start a site that gives you so much freedom in what to post and what type of site you want it to be. You basically do everything through Bluehost (which is what we use here at Bah+Doo). But let’s go into a bit more detail.


Guide Starting Korean Website 2018


Question: Um, you are going a little too fast for me. What is a WordPress? What is a host? I am really the most beginner of beginners. Can you help me out?

Yes, because I was in your shoes! Okay, let’s rewind. The simplest of simplest ways to start a blog site is with a free blogging platform.

Blogger platforms are like fully furnished apartments. They provide everything for you and give you enough space to store tiny items like your toaster and 10 step Korean face cleansing system.

Blogger platforms are free meaning that you will subscribe to a company like Tumblr, Blogger, or WordPress.com and they will include their company name on your site address (like www.bahdoo.wordpress.com instead of www.bah-doo.com).


Guide Starting Korean Website 2018


REAL TALK
If you are serious about starting a blogging site (and possibly using it as income one day) then I do not recommend using a free platform. The largest reason is because search engines like google do not take free platforms as seriously as paid platforms, so your lovely site will be on the 10th google page instead of the 1st which makes it difficult for people to find you.

In addition, these sites are the basic of the basic (ie. Beyonce would call them the basic bitches of the blogging world) and usually have a paid component to unlock more useful parts of their platform (like removing their name from your site address). If you are going to pay a free site (oxymoron I know) then you should just start with hosting at the jump. It will save you so much money, time, and headaches, I’m speaking from experience here. But if you don’t care about any of that then free sites are the way to go.

WordPress.com does have a lot of benefits when used in conjunction with Bluehost though. I highly recommend registering on WordPress.com after setting up a Bluehost account in order to benefit from several tools that WordPress.com uses, such as Jetpack. I use Jetpack and I love it. But I cannot state enough that I highly recommend hosting through Bluehost first.

Okay, now that you know about free platforms, let’s go more in-depth with hosted platforms which is where the magic happens. But to know about the magic of hosting and all those things, you need to understand the lingo. The following is a breakdown of some jargon that gets thrown around in the website world. It is better to know all of this upfront:


Guide Starting Korean Website 2018


THE SIMPLIFIED EXPLANATION
If you are as overwhelmed as I was when I started then let me give you a very simplified explanation before diving into a more detailed explanation. Jargon is king on the internet so it behooves you to know a few key words and phrases that people will just spit out like everyone knows what is going on. The wonderful Fashion and Lifestyle Blog Thrifts and Threads used a house to describe blogging and I love it to bits so I used it here as well, with a little tweaks of my own of course.

    Host: The Host is like an empty house before you move in. There is no furniture, pictures, appliances, food, or any of your stuff yet. Just an empty space with endless possibilities. So look at hosting like an empty house…your own personal home on the web. Bah+Doo’s personal home is Bluehost

    Domain: The domain is your homes street address. It is where people go to find you. For instance, if you want to find Bah+Doo then you go to www.bah-doo.com.

    Platform: The platform is kind of like the plumbing, electricity, insulation, and appliances of your home. It is all the things you need to start doing all the things you want to do (like cook!). This is the behind the scenes of how you post content on your site. Bah+Doo’s platform is WordPress.org

    Theme: Your theme is how your house looks. Mid-century modern? Cool. Boutique chic? Love it. The theme is all the pretty of your website and it is a direct reflection of you just as your house is. So think of a theme with that in mind. Our theme over here is Olsen with CSS Igniter.

    Content: The content is what you have at your home to entertain (think food, drinks, furniture, art, a place to sleep). All the stuff in your home are all the lovely posts on your site. It is all the lovely things that makes people want to stick around and hang out with you.

So to sum it all up, a website is stored on a host and can be found with a domain name.
So for example: Bah+Doo is stored on Bluehost and can be found at www.Bah-Doo.com
For all the mathematicians: Host + Domain + Platform + Theme + Content = Your website


THE DETAILED EXPLANATION
Okay, so for those of us who like getting into the nitty-gritty of everything and are basically perfectionists, this part of the post is for you. In this section I will go into a lot more detail on everything and if you are anything like me then you will love it and read it over and over again (or is that just me?).

    Host: Your web host or hosting service is where all of the files that make up your blog are stored (think “the cloud”). They are stored right at the host site, so it is similar to “the cloud” but for blogging. It is best to start with a basic hosting plan while you build your audience and then upgrade as your audience grows. I started with the most basic service, but had to upgrade (which Bluehost customer service did for me!) about a month in because we started doing live recaps that got a lot of hits. Our site even crashed a few times during the live recap so I had to address that issue asap. Bluehost can handle millions and millions of hits a month so you are more than safe with them. If your site does grow to like a Dramabeans or maybe even a Soompi level then perhaps you need something bigger like Liquid Web. I cannot comment on the usability of Liquid Web, but if you have that many readers than that is one option you can check out. (Also, you should probably write a post on how you grew your readership, I would love to read it). I hope I have sold you on the fabulousness of Bluehost. Here is where you can get a domain and hosting package with them.

    Domain: This is your website’s address or URL (for example, ours is “bah-doo.com”). The problem with using a free service like WordPress.com, is that they will put their name in your websites address (like bahdoo.wordpress.com). Buying a domain does cost a little bit of money each year, but it is worth it. The cost of a domain is included in all Bluehost packages which is why we went with Bluehost. They honestly make it really simple (and you always have their customer service to fall back on).

    The domain name is what people will be trying to remember when accessing your site so try to pick a domain name that is easy to remember, easy to spell, and somewhat unique. You don’t want it to be so unique that no one can remember it, but you also don’t want it to be super plain either. I settled on Bah+Doo because I thought it was catchy and had some sentimental value. Unfortunately you cannot use + signs in url’s yet, so I had to use a – for my domain. You (and your readers) will be typing this a lot so make it easy and quick to understand. For instance, dramalamma.com might be a good one because it is catchy, but dramalammaforyourmammasmamma.com would not be because it is super long. In addition dramagrlz4-eva.com with “grlz” instead of “girls” and “4eva” instead of “forever” would be hard as well because it would require a lot of explaining.

“Yes! Drama girls forever! But girls is with no “i” and a “z” instead of an “s” and “forever” is with a four…no, the number 4…yeah, that’s right, and “ever” is spelled e-v-a, but you have to put a dash between the “4” and the “eva”. You got it? I can text it to you.”

Don’t do that to yourself.

    Blogging Platform: This is basically how your blogging site works. It is something that is installed on your host (Bluehost customer service can do this for you) in order to start posting content on your site. Here is where WordPress.org comes in. I use WordPress to run Bah+Doo and honestly most people use WordPress. It is the most used platform for blogging and website creating which is amazingly beneficial if you choose to use it. I say it is amazingly beneficial because thousands of people have created cool themes and plugins to use on WordPress to make your site not only pretty, but also amazingly functional. Themes and plugins are basically apps for your blogger site (and I love them so much). Bluehost can get you all set you up with WordPress, but if you want to do it yourself then you can download WordPress at WordPress.org and follow their 5-minute install instructions.

    Themes: Basically all the pretty, it is how your site looks. There are thousands of themes out there depending on your particular style. Bah+Doo uses the Olsen theme by CSS Igniter. This theme is hot with fashion bloggers because it focuses on images. KDrama and KPop entertainment blogs are also very photo oriented (hello recaps) so I was very cognizant of that while choosing a theme. I also wanted a theme that had a blogger feel, but also had a strong site feel to it as well. In addition, I wanted a theme that had a lot of flexibility. The Olsen theme has 11 layout options and infinite style variations. It was the one for me. But it might not be the one for you. You have some options. You can go to CSS Igniter and search through their themes, or I suggest googling top WordPress themes and see what pops up. That is exactly what I did when trying to find a theme that worked for me.

    CSS Igniter does have some drawbacks though which is in the customer service. The Olsen theme is amazingly easy to use, but if you want to tweak it a little then you have to dig through their forums and hopefully someone has addressed whatever issue you have a question with. I have done this a few times and I found what I was looking for around half the time. For savvy bloggers (and you are savvy or you wouldn’t have found this page) google is your friend. Honestly if Bluehost customer service cannot answer your question (ie. fix any problem you have) then googling it is the next best option. (Pro tip: Usually in Bluehost the first customer service person can help you with everything, but if one Bluehost customer service helper cannot fix your problem, just wait 5 minutes and try again. Another customer service person can probably help you. I have done this a couple of times with amazing results.)

    Content: Content is so very important because this is what makes people stick around on your site. Actually, this is basically why you started a site to begin with. For example, I started this site because I wanted to gush about this one particular scene in Oh Hae Young again and it grew from there. Now Bah+Doo has grown into a site that does live recaps, interviews, web drama recaps, and music lists. That is what we are passionate about over here, so that is what we focus on. But that might not be for you. For Dramabeans their content is mostly focused on drama recaps and castings, but they also have podcasts, vlogs, and fun dramaland posts from readers. For Koalas Playground, her content is mostly entertainment news. For Soompi, their content is focused on everything KPop but they also cover a lot of other KDrama entertainment news and their forums are outstanding.

Your thing might be dramas, but it also might be Korean fashion or beauty or food; or maybe it’s not even be related to the Korean industry at all. You should write about whatever you love because that is what will grow your site and your community.


Guide Starting Korean Website 2018


TO SUM IT ALL UP
Okay, we have gone through a lot on this post and I want to bring it back around to the essentials. Here are all the links you need from this post to get your own blog going. If all you get from this post are these four steps then I have done my job.

    STEP 1:
    Go to Bluehost
    Get a basic plan for 12 months (like $3-$7/month)

    STEP 2:
    Use WordPress.org for your blogging platform
    Have Bluehost set it up for you

    STEP 3:
    Use CSS Igniter to get you started on your theme

    STEP 4:
    Use Jetpack for all your security and statistics needs
    Jetpack is also offered through WordPress

And that is all you need to get going! I hope this was helpful. I know you have questions though, I had a ton of questions when I started Bah+Doo and I am so happy to help. Please ask me any (and all) questions you may have in the comments.

This is a series of posts so I’ll talk in more detail about each of those main topics (yes I can go into even more detail on them, I know!) including:

    – WordPress.com (free) vs WordPress.org (Self Hosting),
    – The many many WordPress themes out there,
    – Creating a Proper Post With WordPress,
    – How to navigate Naver (to get all the juicy content),
    – How to quickly edit images and fix grammar fast
    – and on and on.

This is going to be fun. Be sure to subscribe to our Newsletter if you want to make sure you don’t miss any. Did you read all the way to the end? Then you are a boss and should definitely start a blog. I would love to read your blog so if you have one, or are about to start one, and you would like to share it, then post it in the comments below. I will definitely click over and show some love ^_^ .

Next Article: How to start a Kdrama or Kpop Blog in 3 easy steps

*This post wouldn’t be possible without Thrifts and Threads as well as Young House Love‘s blogging advice and I would be remise if I did not mention @fragilemyths Instagram which is where the photo at the top of this post came from. For additional information on blog hosting, please check out Review.com for a comprehensive review on web hosting services.
*This post also contains affiliate links that help keep Bah+Doo running. Read here for more info*

51 Comments

  1. January 6, 2018 / 2:01 am

    Can I just say how much I’m grateful for this? Like you’ve just remove a lot of thorns in my head. Haha. What a relief. I’ve been searching and asking some people who have a site on how they got one and such. I even read lots of posts about setting up a site, the comparison of hosting sites and everything. It’s just that, I haven’t read someone write in a simple way how to make one. And your post just save me. Haha. Thank you sooo much!

    • V
      January 6, 2018 / 5:58 am

      You are so welcome! Ask me any questions you want! To get your feet wet you can always start with a free site and then switch to a hosted on later! I did that and it was a headache, but it’s possible 🙂

  2. 2018hereIam
    January 8, 2018 / 12:03 pm

    Thank you for this! I don’t have a website but I think about starting one all the time ☺

    • V
      January 8, 2018 / 1:46 pm

      I’m glad this can help 2018hereIam. I plan on having a few fun posts on navigating Naver and changing your vpn and all those things. I just need to find time to write them!

  3. CT
    January 8, 2018 / 8:00 pm

    Already loved your website because it’s so hard to come by translated interviews for actors but this is making me love you guys even more! I’ve previously tried creating a website before but became so overwhelmed with the options. Thank you so much for breaking it down like this and am looking forward to rest of this series!(Also, a HUGE thank you for the translations and live recaps!!)

  4. CT
    January 11, 2018 / 1:20 am

    Okay, I went in a downward spiral and couldn’t control myself BUT I found a ton of interviews!

    Don’t wanna bombard you but these are the 3 I’m hoping you can translate. I know you did a slew of PSJ interviews but his interviews are just too good, so I had to slide his in 😉

    http://www.smlounge.co.kr/nylon/article/36514
    http://www.marieclairekorea.com/2017/09/celebrity/%EC%9A%B0%EC%8B%9D%EC%9D%98-%EC%A0%95%EC%9B%90/
    http://www.smlounge.co.kr/arena/article/36478

    • V
      January 11, 2018 / 7:22 am

      OMG, I love all these! I think we can do the Yoo Seung-ho one right away since we are doing IANAR now. I loved Fight for My Way too so we can definitely fit in Moo-bin and Dong-man 🙂 We’ll start working on them!

  5. CT
    January 11, 2018 / 4:32 pm

    Yay!! Can’t wait to read them 🙂

    I know you’re still working on the next article in this series but Blue Host is having a sale that ends in ~30 hours so, I was wondering if you have any complaints about the basic plan or wish you went for the plus? Thank you again!!!

    • V
      January 11, 2018 / 6:14 pm

      I LOVE BLUEHOST! I think we started with their basic plan but if you ever want to upgrade then you can get their help to upgrade for you and they subtract the difference!

      • V
        January 11, 2018 / 6:15 pm

        Seriously, I cannot recommend them enough! Ask me anything if you have any questions! They periodically have sales so don’t feel too much pressure to buy it now. They will probably have another one in a month or so!

        • CT
          January 11, 2018 / 8:17 pm

          I appreciate the little tidbit about how they often have sales because I can be pretty impulsive haha. Not sure if the website will grow to the point of needing an upgrade but glad to know it seems like it’ll be a breeze! Thank you for being so responsive and answering all my questions!! I’m so happy I found you guys 😀

          • V
            January 11, 2018 / 8:20 pm

            I am happy to help! We are actually doing an upgrade right now and Bluehost is taking care of everything. It starts at 1am so our site might not be available for 4-24 hours. Just letting you know just in case you come to this link and it’s not here 🙂

  6. Anna
    February 25, 2018 / 11:46 am

    Thank you so much for this! I have been wanting to start my own kdrama blog too! But I have been discouraged because all of the other Kdrama blogs are so good already! How do you think I can make my blog stand out? After setting up your site, how long did it take you to use affiliates links? I have so much questions… lol. It’s hurting my head! But I’m glad there is someone encouraging like you. Please let me know (:

    • V
      February 25, 2018 / 11:22 pm

      There are so many ways to make yours stand out. If you like variety shows then you can concentrate on that, or OST’s, or Magazines, or daily drama’s. It is really wide open!

      We just started affiliate links in 2018, maybe ~8 months after we started Bahdoo. It was one of our 2018 goals to try and help us pay for our server. I googled “affiliate links for blogs” and “income reports” and got a lot of information about it! Right now we started super small and only recommend things we like, like Bluehost and our theme design, as well as music links. We are super beginners at affiliate linking though so I can’t really give any good advice besides googling those phrases above 🙂

  7. Merlot
    March 2, 2018 / 2:32 am

    Hi, thanks for sharing this. You mentioned that you had to upgrade from Bluehost’s basic plan because your website kept crashing. Can you tell me what plan you upgraded to? Also, how much traffic were you getting to have crashes? You don’t have to provide specific numbers but I’m wondering if the basic plan is easily overwhelmed by a handful of visitors. I want to avoid spending more money to fix problems. My budget is very limited right now.

    I’m debating between the basic plan and the prime plan, which are both on sale at the moment. The basic doesn’t come with domain privacy, so I would have to go through GoDaddy to purchase it. (GoDaddy is offering a sale price of $0.99 for domain registration but charging $7.99/annual for privacy protection.) Anyway if it turns out that I’ll have to upgrade within a few months from the basic plan, I don’t want to have wasted $10 for GoDaddy. I could really use your input. Thanks so much.

    • V
      March 2, 2018 / 5:28 am

      Whoops, I answered your question in the comment below!

  8. V
    March 2, 2018 / 5:27 am

    Hi Merlot, I think we went from Basic to Prime and that worked well until a few months later and then we went to cloud performance plan (loved that plan!).

    We are still a tiny site, we just broke 100,000 pageviews (total) in January 2018 after posting for about 7 months. But most of those hits came at the end of the year when we started posting regularly. Compare that to Dramabeans who gets millions of hits a month and maybe like 300-400,000 pageviews a day. I don’t know their exact numbers, but here is a place you can go to to get an estimate of site stats: https://dramabeans.com.cutestat.com/

    Our #1 problem was that the clicks per second was low on all of the plans we had so it would overload our server. This happens during our live recaps when people refresh and get the latest update every 10 minutes. I think the clicks/sec was 15 so if 15 people clicked refresh at the exact same time, it would overload our server. With cloud, I think the clicks/sec is 50 which worked much better for us.

    I would guess that shared hosting could handle 100-200,000 pageviews per month and I think bluehost Cloud can handle up to 500,000 page views/month.

    But upgrading is free with Bluehost so you could go with their lowest plan and just upgrade later. They subtract the difference in cost automatically. We did it 3 times with no problems.

    • Merlot
      March 2, 2018 / 8:24 pm

      Thanks for the explanation and information. I think I will spend a little extra and go for the Prime. And congrats on the milestone (of 100,000 page views total).

      • V
        March 3, 2018 / 7:14 pm

        Thank you! It snuck up on us 🙂

        Good luck with your site as well, let me know what it is when you make one!

  9. Cara
    March 17, 2018 / 10:32 pm

    Hi, I was wondering for your affiliate links did you guys use a business EIN or use your own SS? I’m planning to set up an LLC later this year, but I was hoping to sign up for affiliate programs in the meanwhile using my own SS. I’m now wondering if I should wait until I have an EIN first, because I’ve heard with some programs like Google Adsense it’s better to start with an EIN instead of switching from SS to EIN. Do you mind telling me what your experience has been and what you recommend?

    Also, thank you so much for the blogging tips. They are on point and very helpful.

    • V
      March 18, 2018 / 12:30 am

      I can’t really recommend what to do in this case, I wish I could! I will say that we plan on getting an LLC, but we don’t have one now or an EIN.

      We don’t use ads, only affiliate links so far, so I guess that would play a role? I know nothing about Adsense. For affiliate programs check itunes, amazon and whoever you have your host through (like Bluehost or the like)! For all those programs they said we can update our tax info at anytime, but it probably will cause some confusion during tax season. I hope that helps a little!

      • Cara
        March 18, 2018 / 2:17 pm

        Thanks for the reply! If you do use Google Adsense (which DB uses), make sure to have your LLC formed first with an EIN in place. My understanding is that Google makes it very difficult to update your account from a sole proprietorship to an LLC/Inc (or reverse – LLC to sole owner) or your EIN/SS. The same applies to updating your email address.

        • V
          March 18, 2018 / 3:23 pm

          Thank you so much for the info!!! We need to get on that LLC then. We’re trying to figure out the best way to pay for our server and Adsense was one of the things we had heard about. If you know of any good links that you don’t mind sharing, then please let us know! We would love to read up some more about it 🙂

          • Cara
            March 23, 2018 / 1:12 am

            I will need to get back to you with the links if I can find them. Sorry, I was reading about Google Adsense in a late-night reading blitz so I need to see if I wrote down the info beyond what I remember. One thing I remember reading is that Google requires that your website be active for at least 6 months before you apply for Google Adsense. In your case, you’re good to go, but for anyone else reading this I want them to be aware of this and not caught by surprise like I was.

    • Merlot
      April 10, 2018 / 9:28 pm

      Hi V,

      I’m still putting together my website, but I have a question about the affiliate links on your site. I know that the affiliate programs give you a url to paste. Are you using a plugin to embed them into your posts or are you manually inserting the url information? I have some basic HTML knowledge, and it seems to be a straightforward process to add the url, but I’ve seen other places suggest using a plugin. I was wondering what you did (and which plugin you used)? Thanks.

      • V
        April 11, 2018 / 11:03 am

        I manually do it. Though I do want to look into the plugins. It’s a really easy copy and paste for manually doing it, but it is time consuming. iTunes has their own plugin that you can add, but I haven’t looked into that yet. Here is a company that changes relevant text into Affiliate links: https://skimlinks.com/ I don’t exactly know how that works though.

  10. Cara
    March 23, 2018 / 4:38 pm

    The crux is Google AdSense is worthwhile using, but it can be difficult to impossible if you need to make any substantive changes to your account. The best approach is to make sure you have the final iteration of your company set-up, i.e. business type, EIN/SS, email address if it’s gmail, etc., before you set up a Google AdSense account.

    Amazon Associates is on the other end. I confirmed with Amazon that changing your EIN or business type is as easy as going to profile and updating the info. The only thing to keep in mind is that depending on the pay cycle, your payments may be processed later than usual while the account is being updated. Your payments will come to you, but it may take a few days or weeks longer.

    • V
      March 23, 2018 / 10:28 pm

      That is really great information! Thank you so much for letting us know about it, we will definitely be on our p’s and q’s with Adsense.

  11. Cara
    March 25, 2018 / 2:48 pm

    One more thing is you may want to speak to a CPA or a lawyer that specializes in LLCs/corps/start-ups. Many offer free 30 min consultation or introductory meetings where they will answer your questions without charge. However most people are capable of forming the LLC/corporation on their own.

    Given the fact that one of you is based outside of the States, you might just want a quick consultation to confirm whether an LLC or corp is better for you. In your case it will probably be an LLC because corps have a thing about foreign ownership. Also, see if you can have the S corp election which is favorable when it comes to avoid double taxation. Good luck!

    • V
      March 25, 2018 / 3:08 pm

      This is the best info! I googled LLC and I found some options. It looks like it is relatively easy to set up on your own? We might go through LegalZoom!

      What is going to be the name of your site? I want to check it out!

      • Cara
        March 25, 2018 / 11:15 pm

        Don’t feel that you have to use Legalzoom or a similar company. You should be able to do this on your own (and save money!): download the forms from your state (Secretary of State or SOS), fill them out and mail in or present in person with a check. Just make sure you want an LLC and check to see if your state permits S corp election. A few of the states do not automatically recognize S corp election. Best to check with a CPA or your state’s SOS. Also, a few states may have extra requirements like a publishing requirement, though the majority do not. It should cost several hundred $. though that also depends on the state.

        More info on S corp election:
        https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/why-you-might-choose-s-corp-taxation-your-llc.html

        As for the EIN, you just apply online on the IRS website.

        I am so far off from launching right now, but thank you for asking. At this point it’s more a concept than anything else.

        • V
          March 26, 2018 / 2:32 am

          I love you!!!! Okay, we are about to get on this right now. We were really thinking of adding adds to try and make our site pay for our server, so this is golden. Now we just need to figure out the best ad to keep our site operational while still looking clean. We don’t want to have a lot of ads, just enough to cover our monthly cost. Hopefully a banner ad or one sidebar ad should do it.

          • Cara
            March 26, 2018 / 1:16 pm

            Please incorporate ads. I was wondering if your affiliate links were paying enough to cover the costs of your website (not to mention your labor). I think it’s great that you are mindful of the appearance and not wanting to detract from your website. I think placement is key and if you can avoid pop-ups and videos that automatically play with sound, you should be okay.

            Don’t feel hesitant about using ads. Whether you use an ad-based model or a subscription based model or use the website to generate outside work, you still need some revenue to run the website. Clearly, I have no reservation about using ads or whatever it takes to make a website pay for itself. Haha.

            Also, forgot to add some states allow you to use credit cards (for a nominal extra fee) to pay for the LLC formation. Not all do, but it’s something to check out.

            • V
              March 26, 2018 / 1:28 pm

              Thank you for the thumbs up/go ahead because we are a little wary about adding ads. We heard it isn’t even worth it unless you have a large viewership of like 100,000 hits a day and we are no where near that. Our affiliate links are bringing in a little money, but at 6% commission on a 99 cent song, we are basically nickel and diming our way 🙂 . We are going to keep at it though! I feel like it is one of the best ways to keep the site clean and malware free (on those rogue ads that somehow slip through, eep).

              I did find out that it is best to diversify so hopefully we can look at a spread between affiliate linking, Google ads, paid ads, and promotional posts. But that is also a time consideration too. We need more time in the day!

  12. Cara
    March 26, 2018 / 12:42 am

    Okay, spoke to a friend who suggested a few reasons for using one of the services. If you want to maintain anonymity using a registered agent is one option (or that of your CPA or attorney). However not all states will allow you to stay anonymous. Some states require that members of the LLC be listed on the forms.

    Another reason is if you don’t feel confident or comfortable filing on your own without professional assistance.

    • V
      March 26, 2018 / 7:54 am

      We’ll check both options! Its’s great to just have a lot of different ways to go about doing it. It’s one of our 2018 goals, so hopefully we can get it checked off the list a lot sooner now.

  13. chogyu
    June 6, 2018 / 5:21 am

    I’m so so so grateful for this post really! I have been watching and commenting on korean drama and movies and shows for years (like 7 years hehe) and now I’m bit free after graduation so I really want to start my own blog or site. and I have been looking for all the stuff for the past few days, luckily my background is IT so hosting, domains and stuff are not a new thing for me but you have explained it so well. I do have a few questions if you could help me, one is how are you earning out of this blog since I see no ads? Also can you guide me a little bit on affiliate links? Please 🙂

    • V
      Author
      June 6, 2018 / 6:49 am

      Sure! We don’t have ads up but that is something we want to roll out soon. We are probably going to add 1-2 ads to our sidebar and maybe one ad as a header or a footer. We don’t want to clutter our site with them.

      Affiliate links are basically earning through a commission. It starts with us recommend something that we think our audience might like. If they end up buying it then we would get a commission on the sale through the seller. There is no additional cost to the person purchasing it. So if you buy something for $10 on amazon that we recommend, we might get 10% of that which would be $1. But only if you purchased it by clicking on our affiliate link. If you happened to see the same thing on Amazon and purchase it, you would still pay $10 but we wouldn’t get the commission for recommending it.

      Affiliate links range in commission. Amazon has around 5-8% commission and itunes is ~6%. But that is only scratching the surface of affiliate links. A lot of companies have affiliate programs, especially clothing and beauty companies.

      I love affiliate links because it’s less intrusive to an audience than ads are. Try googling “affiliate programs, making sense of cents.” She explains a good amount of it on her site. 🙂

      • Chogyu
        June 6, 2018 / 6:19 pm

        Thank you so much V for helping out, I will definitely sign up for bluehost using the link you guys provided 🙂

        • V
          Author
          June 6, 2018 / 8:24 pm

          I think you will be very happy with Bluehost. I really loved their customer service. 🙂

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