When I started my website in 2006, I didn’t even think to start a website. I simply signed up for a Blogspot.com account and started writing. It’s fun to go back to those early days when I couldn’t string a few sentences together. Some of the posts were only a hundred words long. Half of the words would be misspelled. The other half would have grammatical errors.
None of that really matters when you look at the Top Ten Ways Personal Finance Blogging has Helped Me.
Blogging was very different in 2006. Some online friends told me that it is possible to make money blogging, which was a foreign concept to me. They suggested getting my own domain name, which I did. Then the difficult part was to figure out which blogging platform to use. It seemed that everyone was equally split between Moveable Type, TypePad, and WordPress. The same online friends suggested I used WordPress and I’m so glad that I listened to them. Nowadays almost everyone uses WordPress. I’m not sure if the other platforms still exist.
I’m here to tell you, you should start a website today. It doesn’t have be anything great, but it’s a good learning experience. Maybe somewhere down the line, you have a great idea for a website. Well, now you’ll know to get it off the ground because you already did it.
The first thing you are going to need is a name for your website. You aren’t going to be able to get EasyMoney.com. Many of the obvious domains are already taken. That’s how I ended up with a monstrosity of “LazyManAndMoney.com.” What idiot is going to think to combine all those terms (this idiot). Sometimes people have gotten creative such as getting an “.in” domain from 1&1. This way someone can register something like “just.in” if their name were Justin.
After you buy the domain, you are going to need computer to host the website. It usually can even be the same place as where you buy the domain name itself. As a software engineer, I’m a little picky about what I use for a host and probably take the most complicated one… Amazon Web Services simply because I wanted to learn a bunch of other technologies. For you, I’d just keep it easy.
Most web hosts make it very, very easy to install WordPress. It’s often just a matter of finding a list of services and pressing a button. And setting up WordPress for the first takes about 27 seconds. That’s not exaggerating either. I’ve created websites for people, start to finish in about 5 minutes. Obviously, the websites aren’t very exciting. They all have a cookie-cutter look and don’t say much more than “Hello World!” (What did you expect for 5 minutes of work?)
All of that is the easy part. What really takes the time is creating a design, creating content, working with advertisers (if that’s a thing you do), and all that customization to actually make the website useful and a place that people want to visit and learn from. Now you know why I call the set-up the easy part.