A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I started a new blog. I’m not quite ready to tell you about the blog I started. It needs a lot more work to be “ready.” You only get one chance to make a great first impression, right?
While I was going through the process, I thought to myself, maybe people would be interested in this? Maybe readers would like to read why some starts a blog. (Hint: If it’s just money you are probably not going to be successful.) Maybe readers would like to read how to start a blog. In any case, I’m sure there are people out there who find this stuff interesting.
Why Start a Blog?
The answer to this is most easily found in my Ten Reasons Why You Should be a Personal Finance Blogger. I learned a lot about the subject (personal finance), the technology, web design, the business of running a blog (including negotiating advertising), and how the Internet works. You can substitute a topic of your own interest and you’ll likely learn more than you ever imagined possible. It can even get to be a bit like Brewster’s Millions where you get too much of good thing.
How to Start a Blog
Keep in mind that this is step 1 of starting a blog. Starting a blog isn’t exactly rocket science, but it isn’t something that comes naturally either. There are a lot of little steps. Don’t worry, most of them are very easy. I’m going to start at a high level. We can drill into the details later.
Choose a Topic
If you are thinking of starting of a blog, you probably already know the topic you want to write about. That’s a great first step. However, depending on your goals, it’s not enough to be successful. Before I start a blog, I ask myself two basic questions:
1. Am I Passionate About my Topic?
There’s a lot of nonsense on the internet about “following your passion.” It sounds great, but as I turn 40, I realize that you need more than passion. For example, being quarterback of the New England Patriots is not in the cards for me. I would say that “passion” is just one ingredient in the “Success Cake.” It isn’t the “Success Cake” itself.
2. What Are My Reasons for Starting this Blog?
When I started Lazy Man and Money in 2006 it was about learning how to manage money, compound interest, and reaching financial freedom. I also wanted to connect with other people looking to make the most of their investing dollar. I was seriously considering a Condohotel at the time and it was obviously a very bad idea. To understand how bad an idea it was, this is the W Las Vegas that I was looking into.
We all make mistakes, right?
I created Lazy Man and Money in hopes that I could find a community of people who could help expand my ideas of expressing a goal of achieving financial freedom.
I never expected to make money. In fact, after 6 months of writing, another personal finance writer wrote in a forum that you can make a $100 a month blogging. I was amazed. Who doesn’t want an extra $100 a month? That’s a utility bill for what I was doing anyway. So instead of watching reruns of Seinfeld, I put some time into learning how to add advertising and get to $100 a month. As it was 2006, blogging was very different… which means that making money with a blog was very different.
You should start a blog to learn more about the topic or connect with people of similar interests. If someone wants to throw money at you (like they did to me) to add advertisements, that’s awesome!
How Do I Get Started?
Once you have a topic, there are three basic steps:
- Pick a Domain Name – In hindsight, LazyManAndMoney.com was probably not the best choice, but it worked. I usually go to InstantDomainSearch.com to see if what I want is available.
- Find a Hosting Service – I recommend Bluehost and used them for my new blog
- Install WordPress – WordPress probably powers 99% of all blogs and 25% of all websites. Bluehost makes it really easy
I should probably be more verbose in explaining these steps. If you agree, tell me in the comments, and I’ll work on another post fleshing these details out.