1. get a domain name for your blog (well, I have a few...I recommend GoDaddy.com);
2. get a self hosting solution.
The 2 features allows you to have better control over your work....If you want to monetize your blog, then you have to do it seriously. You can't afford that your work for a few months or years to be on other people's hands!
Also, by having a domain name, you increase your search engine ranking.
As far as I've seen, the greatest majority of professional bloggers & Internet Marketers, choose WordPress - state-of-the-art publishing platform...When I've started my "1 Million in 1 Year Challenge", my previous amateur-blogging experience was with Blogspot and small with Wordpress, so I thought I can choose the same. But as daily I try to learn more & improve, I've reached the conclusion that WordPress is the best choice, so from now on, you can follow me on my new blog (I've imported the posts from here):
Soon enough I promise you to come with a more professional looking theme, like "big guys of blog": John Chow, Problogger, Yaro Starak, etc.
I wish you all funny & profitable blogging, see you at my new blog address: