There has been a big jump in money-related blogs recently, and I would like to support that with my new free blog community – mBlogs.org (short for moneyBlogs). I’ve been sitting on this idea for months now, mostly because it won’t be very profitable considering the amount of work I’ll have to put into it. But I think if I don’t give it a try I’ll probably regret it too, so I spent most of today working on it.
If you’ve thought about starting your own money weblog to share tips or track your own financial progress, and would like to join a community that will help you do so and that is free, read on!
First, let me start off by saying that if you really want full control over your site and are serious about blogging long-term, I think you should consider finding yourself a ‘real’ webhost and buying a domain from the very beginning. I even wrote up a piece on my Recommended Webhosts, including previously-mentioned Dreamhost (where this blog is hosted).
But what if you aren’t really sure? Or don’t want to pay money upfront? I created mBlogs to be a better alternative to Blogger.
Reasons I Don’t Like Blogger.com
- Hard to find free unique designs
- Seems to go down a lot recently
- No categories for posts
- No built-in trackbacks and limited customization
- Can be hard to move to WordPress and other hosts later on
- No community!
Why WordPress Is Better
- Also Free and Open Source.
- Thousands of free themes and powerful plugins
- Most popular blogging software out there by far
- Categories, trackbacks, and more powerful features
- Can easy move from one blog to another with MySQL database backups.
Why Use mBlogs.org?
# Free domain at http://yourdomain.mblogs.org.
# Free full installation of WordPress, just like the big boys
# Access to the thousands of WordPress Themes and Plugins available.
# I will include several popular themes and plugins with each new install.
# Complete control over your blog’s look and function.
# Upload images and documents
# You do not have to put any ads from me on your blog
# Make money for yourself! You can put up whatever ads of your own you like.
# 100 mb of disk space to start. This should be plenty for a blog, but if you need more I will give it to you as long as it’s blog-related
# You can leave whenever. If you want, I can give you a database backup so that it’ll be really easy to set up your new blog elsewhere.
# I want mBlogs to be community-supported. I have set up the mBlogs Community Forums for everyone to help each other get their blogs set up. Of course I will be sure to spend time there as well.
# I will help promote your site on the mBlogs.org main site, and your post excerpts will be on there via RSS.
What’s missing from a ‘real’ webhost?
- You don’t have FTP or shell access. You can still edit your .htaccess file, as well as upload images and documents, however. If you want a theme or plugin installed, just e-mail me the link and I’ll add it to your themes/plugin folder.
- You don’t have a full www.yourdomain.com name. This is a feature that I think I can add for a small fee.
- No e-mail addresses. (Just use your own or get a new one at Gmail.)
- No direct support. All technical support questions must be done through me, but since I am only giving you a blog that should be kept to a minimum. All blog-related questions should be directed to the Forums, where I will be a moderator and help others. This way the same question doesn’t have to be answered multiple times.
What’s the catch?
» You agree to keep your content at least 51% (a majority) related to money, personal finance, or investments. I am trying to make a community of money blogs, not just offer free hosting to everyone.
» You agree to place two links on the main page of your blog. One to mBlogs.org, and another to MyMoneyBlog.com.
» You must post at least once a week to keep the domain. Otherwise, I reserve the right to take it back due to inactivity.
» If you abuse the site, I will delete your account. I don’t want a bunch of spam blogs like on Blogger. However, you can put whatever ads to you want to the site, I don’t care about that.
How are you going to make money off this?
Well, to start I really don’t think I will make much. I actually set up a separate Dreamhost account (also for $43 the first year) to host mBlogs, so as long as I cover that I’ll be happy.
I may put ads on the mBlogs.org main page, and some money may come from referring members to things like Google Adsense or other programs. With enough traffic, I can hopefully broker some advertising across all the member blogs that accept ads. I may also offer my own webhosting for people who want to upgrade to their own domain.
What’s my site going to look like?
I have made a Test Blog available to the public to tinker with, complete with password to the administration panel. See what’s under the hood!
Sound interesting? Well, go on over to mBlogs and sign up! It’s free! Questions and feedback welcome as usual.
By Jonathan Ping | Entrepreneurial | 4/15/06, 9:29pm