I know. You’ve already seen a gazillion blog posts and articles about branding. And there are some good resources out there about getting started with WordPress (and I WILL provide links to some of my favorites!). In my work with job seeker I see a lot of really good information that is not communicated to the market very well. For instance, if you are a marketing professional, a web developer, a graphic artist or ANY professional with visual work product you can share and promote, you really NEED a website of your own in this market. But, starting a website can cost some money – hosting fees, domain registration, design, etc. That’s where WordPress can be an excellent resource for you.
Why WordPress? For me – that’s a pretty easy answer. It’s free AND it’s reasonably easy to use. The link above will take you to a pretty easy to use comparison of various blogging tools. I am not a technical person, so I am not going to try to explain the steps of setting up your site. Other resources are better for that. My personal favorite tutorial is at www.SiteGround.com.
Here are a few things I recommend – again from a totally non-technical perspective to make a WordPress web page work for you.
1. Select a theme carefully. There are many excellent themes or templates you can use. The choices can be a little intimidating, so remember, WordPress has a wide audience, so many of the themes reflect this diversity. Select a theme that effectively promotes your brand. I chose a simple, clean, minimalist theme. It suits my efforts to market myself. I am a big fan of minimalist web design, and you might want to read a little about this theory of web page design as you get started.
2. Pages & home page. Your “home page” is the space within the blog where your “posts” or updates articles ought to appear. Pages are designed to be static and are perfect vehicles for displaying portfolios and/or examples of your work. You don’t HAVE to post articles to make use of the site, but a little activity will help push the blog forward on search results. Here are some suggested pages you can use: contact information, resume or CV, slide shows (might be good to offer a substantive title), portfolio, web sites, etc.
3. Custom URL. For a really good explanation of some simple steps to get started, I recommend Marci Reynolds’ excellent post on the subject at J2B Marketing. I will say, however, that moving a domain from GoDaddy to WordPress was not quite as easy as some might suggest. There are four things to remember:
A. Domain registration is not free, but it’s also not expensive. Follow Marci’s advice, and just get the basics and I recommend Go Daddy.
B. You must “point” your domain to the WordPress servers. It took me a while to sort this out, but here is a link to a WordPress article that helped me solve the problem. You need to enter the NAMES of the WordPress serves in the appropriate boxes at GoDaddy, and from there it’s a simple matter of follow the prompts.
C. UPGRADE your WordPress account is necessary to add your own URL, but it’s not expensive – about $10.00 a year or so.
D. You have to go to your DASHBOARD and use the link that says “Register Another Blog” to find the correct starting place. It’s NOT intuitive, but once I found the right place to start at WordPress, it was not too hard to finish.
Okay – hope fully these hints and links will get you going. The screen shots below will help you find the right places to start at your WordPress dashboard.