You will need both a domain name and hosting. A domain name is really cheap, about $15 per year, while you can find hosting for about $10 per month. When purchasing a domain, include the name of your most important keyword for your niche. If your niche is about article marketing, you would post only articles about article marketing on your blog. So your domain could be something like "Article Marketing Tips". This will make it easier for potential readers searching for ideas on article marketing to find the articles you have written as they will most likely enter something like "article marketing tips in the search engine search box.
Once your article has been indexed by the major search engines, you will want to submit a slightly different version to an article directory. The reason why you do not want to submit the exact same article to the article directories is because you do not want someone who has reprinted your article to rank higher in the search engine results than you. Article writing is really not that difficult and the more articles that you write, the easier it will become. Just like anything else in life, "practice makes perfect".
By nature, articles tend to be viral especially when submitted to article directories as some newsletter or website owners will republish your article. Therefore it is very important that you include a resource box with a link to your article site at the end of every article, even those posted on your own site.
So, how do you become a successful article marketer? One of the first things you MUST do is commit yourself to writing or buying a minimum of 5 articles per week. It is fine if you cannot write every day as long as you write or buy a minimum of 5 articles per week, every week. Because you want to brand yourself as an authority in your chosen niche, you will need either a blog (preferred) or website where you will post your articles. Once you have written an article, post it to your blog. You will want to use WordPress as your blog platform and will want to have installed it on your own server instead of using a hosted version.
Article marketing is one of the most effective, easiest and cost effective ways to promote your business. All it takes is some time, the ability to write articles or the willingness to learn (or if you have the money, you can pay to have articles written for you), a blog (preferable as the search engines love blogs) or an online newsletter where you can post your articles and a list of article directories where you will submit a slightly different version of your articles.