Although this might not seem too “personal finance” related, it kind of is…most everything I use for blogging is free of charge. Sure, there is the cost of the domain name and the hosting account, but most everything else can be found for free or very cheap. The reason I am writing this is because I got an email from a reader asking what kind of tools I use to run my site, and instead of just answering him directly, I figured I would put it out here for anyone else who might be interested. And away we go!
- Google Reader for keeping up with my RSS subscriptions and the news. I was using NetNewsWire, but I recently switched to Google Reader and am trying it out to see how I like it compared to NNW. Cost = $Free.
- I use the WordPress web interface or Scribefire (Firefox) for actual writing and posting. Cost of both = $Free.
- All the images that you see on this site are edited with Image Well. I believe that this is OS X software only, but the cost cannot be beat, as in it is free. I do have Photoshop for my freelance work, but Image Well does everything a website owner would need an image editor to do. Cost = $Free.
- Although I have Word and Excel, I oftentimes just use Google Docs to read and/or alter any documents that come my way. Why? Because they are integrated with my Google account and can open documents in seconds. Saves time and of course…they are Free.
- Communicating with other bloggers and friends is always free with instant messenging. I use Adium for OS X, which handles all my different IM accounts: GTalk, AOL, and Yahoo. Cost: = $Free.
- When I am not at my computer and have an idea, it does not just disappear…I write it down. And sure, you could use regular paper folded up into your pocket, but I like to have a small notebook from Moleskin on me at all times. Makes me feel more like a reporter than anything else, but still, I like it. Cost = $6.00
So you can see that for everything other than my domain, hosting and my time itself (which is a lot, really), the tools I use to run this site are widely available for either free or very cheap. Mind you, the computer I own was incredibly expensive and the monitor I use (23 inch widescreen from Dell) was not cheap either, but those are mainly for my real moneymaker – my job and my freelance work. Hope that helps the person that emailed me, as I think they were looking at starting their own site. Good luck!