The main purpose of this blog is to write about financial topics and value investment strategies. When I first thought about setting up a blog, naturally I explored a number of free options including wordpress.com and blogger.com (what kind of value investor would I be if I had shelled out cash without looking at the free options…). I ended up going with a paid service for a few reasons. I thought I would share some pointers regarding blog setup from the perspective of someone entirely new to all of this.
After experimenting with Word Press, I decided that it met my needs very well, but being somewhat of a hacker, I wanted to have the option of editing the themes available on wordpress.com. I also wanted my own domain registration. To do this requires paying a fee and the free service is no longer exactly “free”. Since wordpress.com uses the outstanding Word Press freeware which anyone can download and install, I decided to open a hosting account on bluehost.com. Blue Host offers some outstanding features including free domain registration, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited storage capacity along with as many email accounts as I could ever want to set up. At $6.95/month with a pre-paid 12 or 24 month commitment, it seemed very reasonable.
So now I had my domain name (rationalwalk.com) and my bluehost account but no blog. I wanted to get my own copy of Word Press up and running quickly. This was easy to do through a utility provided by Blue Host with the somewhat weird name of “Fantastico De Luxe”. This utility installed and configured Word Press in under a minute. I then exported my test blog from wordpress.com into my new blog and was up and running in minutes.
By now, I was getting ambitious and had all kinds of ideas about placing ads on my blog. Surely enough, I found the excellent ProSense Theme available at no cost which I downloaded and then uploaded to my site via FTP. ProSense has pre-built areas intended to hold AdSesne banner ads and content. AdSense is a revenue sharing advertising system provided by Google. Once my AdSense account is approved, context aware ads will appear in some of the areas that appear as blank white space right now.
With just a few hours of effort, I had my own domain, my own hosting account, and a respectable looking theme. Now all I need is some decent content that people will want to actually read!
My experience shows that setting up a blog is very simple. Although I have a technical background, I didn’t have to touch a line of code other than tinkering with the theme files which wasn’t really necessary to get up and running.