LMAOS, Richard. That was way too amusing, even though it probably shouldn't have been. ^^
As for advice, I might not be the best person to give it. I tend to get ditsy a lot. But maybe you can learn from my mistakes. ;
Like others have said, you have to want it. You need to be willing to write regularly, no matter what happens in your life. I've had weeks where I've been in the hospital, and still had to punch something out the next day. Wanting it means being willing to do whatever it takes to post, to share, and to tell that story. If that means staying up until midnight every week, so you can post exactly as the clock strikes midnight, so be it (I had to do that for a few years, since I didn't have fancy technology). If it means writing on every break from work that you have, so be it. Etc.
Wanting it means sharing that dream and ambition with your family and friends, and getting their help wherever possible. If that means that they tackle some chores for you, because you have a deadline in two hours that you need to meet, great. If they can help by proofreading, designing graphics, or what-have-you, you'll already be a step ahead. And with friends and family, usually you can weasel something out of them, even if it's just a refill on your coffee when you're mid-chapter.
Another big thing for serial writing is to know yourself, and how you work best. Do you handle pressure well? How do you handle criticism? Are you able to commit and devote yourself to something? How much are you willing to give up to pursue your web fiction dreams? These are all things that we each need to know and consider when deciding our update schedule, our level of critique before posting, how 'epic' the series should be, etc. But remember, it's okay for these things to change as you go on -- I know they have for me. ^^
With serial fiction, all of the advertising falls onto you. Decide when you're ready for a larger audience, and then look at your options. Networking helps, as well as being able to put aside some spare cash for ads.
Most of my advice was general, but there are plenty of good places to find some specifics. Eli has an interesting essay on the topic of getting started here. Epiguide has an article on the more technical side over here.
As for your last two questions, here's my experience: I've always used someplace like Weebly/Freewebs/Livejournal/etc to initially host my stories. That way I can be sure that I've got an audience before I spend the money on getting a devoted URL. The downside is moving all of the content, but it can definitely help save money if the project falls through early-on. I also don't advertise before the story's up - I'm on a tight budget, and would prefer to get visitors when I actually have work up. I also know that I, personally, get annoyed at ads that lead to a "coming soon" page. ;