Why You “Never Have Any Good Ideas”

Why You “Never Have Any Good Ideas”

This is a guest blog by Edeline Wrigh artist, writer, and creativity coach.

“I wish I were creative like you. I just never have any good ideas.”

I have heard this sentiment more times than I’d dare to try to count. This isn’t a reason not to make stuff – it’s an excuse. If you believe you’re incapable of having a “good idea,” there’s no sense in trying to make anything.

On the other hand… if you truly want to generate more interesting creative ideas, here’s a key mindset shift to reframe your struggle: The more ideas you come up with, the more likely you are to be someone who comes up with good ideas.

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The truth of the matter is that EVERYONE has bad ideas. I have never heard of a writer, choreographer, visual artist, filmmaker, entrepreneur, or other creative types who only had good ideas (let alone only pursued good ideas). That “obvious” or otherwise “bad” idea you came up with is probably one someone full of “good” ideas thought of, too.

My guess here? You thought of one or two bad ideas and got caught up in how bad you are at coming up with ideas instead of coming up with more ideas.

why you never have any good ideas

Here’s an activity to try:

Choose an object. It could be a coffee mug, chair, umbrella, paintbrush, towel… you get the picture. You don’t need the object with you, though it may be helpful to see it.

Set a timer. Say, 2 minutes, maybe 3.

Grab a sheet of paper or open a word processing document.

When you start the timer, start listing every possible use for your chosen item. Don’t self-censor – write literally any idea that comes to mind. Your goal is to get as MANY as you can; aim for 50 or more. (You probably won’t get that many, but aim high anyway.)

Let’s say you chose a coffee mug. I’m going to guess that your first item is something along the lines of “to drink coffee.” So is mine. In fact, here’s my first ten:

to drink coffee
to drink tea
to drink soda
to wear as a hat
to use as a stand
to use as a prop
to bail water out of a sinking ship
to make a wind chime
to use as a flower pot
to dig a grave

“To drink coffee.” This is a very sensible and boring idea. “To wear a hat” – kind of silly but not interesting. “To make a wind chime” isn’t something that appeals to me, personally, since I don’t do many craft projects, but if I DID I could easily be excited about it. “To dig a grave” opens up all kinds of interesting story possibilities for me.

Practice this activity with different objects if you need to get your creative juices flowing. If you’re trying to solve a particular problem, you can do this or a variation on it too – “Why did character A do X?”, “How can I organize my earring collection?”, or “What should come next in this piece of choreography?” can all be put through this test.

When you have your list of ideas, focus on the ones that intrigue you. Let yourself explore them in your head. Do a mind map, if those help you. At this point, you’re just deciding which of your awesomely creative ideas is best for your purposes.

And remember – this is a skill. It might be hard the first time or first couple of times, but the more often you practice this kind of thinking, the easier it will become… and the better the ideas you’ll come up with will be.


Edeline WrighEdeline Wrigh is an artist, writer, and creativity coach who specializes in helping people build lifestyles full of inspiration, slay their inner creative monsters, and apply productivity techniques to actually finish their projects. Edeline uses a blend of intuitive and practical, empirically-backed strategies to approach the creative process from a place of holistic happiness and wonder that empowers individuals to take creativity into their own hands. Connect with her:

Website: edelinesfairytale.com
Facebook page: facebook.com/edelinesfairytale
Instagram: instagram.com/edelinewrigh
Twitter: twitter.com/edelinewrigh

How to Make Extra Money During The Holidays

How to Make Extra Money During The Holidays

We’ve all had the income streams that ebb and flow much like the ocean. Sometimes the tide is high and you’re just rolling in dollar bills, much like the couple in Neighbors 2 (seriously, one of my favorite movies, feel free to judge). Instead of one consistent revenue stream, the new normal is to have multiple revenue streams to keep yourself balanced during the slow seasons.

Read more about multiple streams of income.

When I first started freelancing in February of 2013, I was in high demand. Finding entrepreneurs to work with and making a steady income that year was not an issue. February of 2014 was a different story. Even though it was the same season when I had been busy, work slowed down, projects weren’t coming in, and I had nothing to do. Thankfully, I had an alternative source of income that kept me balanced while I searched for new projects to work on.

Read more about creating income streams.

Sometimes, when revenue isn’t flowing the way you’d like, or if the holiday season is creeping around the corner and you need extra funds for gifts, or events like birthdays, weddings, and trips, you’ll want to make some fast cash! Here are the resources I recommend when you need money, like, yesterday!

How to make extra money fast during the holidays and other tight times.

Ebates

Do you shop online frequently? If so, make it habit to get cash back. While there are many credit cards that offer cash back, I personally like to stay out of the habit of using credit. Enter the app, Ebates. It’s a Chrome extension which detects you are on a website and tells you how much cash back you could get. Plus it has several other special offers. To date, I’ve already received $20 in cash back on purchases that I’ve made online. Although it feels like you’re getting a paycheck when you get your cash back bonus, it’s actually paying yourself to shop.

Sign up for Ebates here plus you’ll get $10 when you make your first purchase. That’s easy money.

Affiliates

Now, most times you won’t actually want to spend money to make money, and you don’t have to! Sign up to be an affiliate for an entrepreneur your respect, possibility even one you’ve taken a course from.

Affiliate marketing works well if you already have an online tribe or community and can make recommendations to them because they trust you.

Personally, I’m an affiliate for Alex Tooby. I’m in her tribe, interact with her on Instagram, and am a huge fan of her courses. When you use my affiliate like to enroll in one of her two Instagram Marketing Courses: Hashtag Hero  or Infamous to Influential, I make money!

It’s nice to see those commission checks roll in each month, but to make it worth your while, you’ll need to be an affiliate for people that have payouts that will be beneficial to you. Personally, if a payout is $50 or more, I’m more likely to be an affiliate.

Interested in being one of my affiliates? Sign up here.

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Ridesharing

This one is for you if you enjoy driving, have a fantastic driving record and have a newer vehicle. Ridesharing apps such as Uber and Lyft are seriously competing with taxis and other ride-sharing services.

Immediate out of pocket expenses are as simple as washing and vacuuming out your car. Once you apply, you can be approved in as little as 48 hours and then you’re good to go.

I’m actually an approved driver for Lyft which I use when I’d like to make some extra money and I want that money today. The best part is, you can set your own hours and easily make $100 or more a day. Once you make $50 you can deposit it directly into your bank account.

Personally, I recommend Lyft over Uber any day. With Lyft you have a mentor who will go over the ropes with you, however, neither Lyft, nor Uber are available in every city.

Learn about driving for Lyft here.

Care Services

Is caring for others a skill you have? Providing care is also something that earns you quick money when you need it. Whether you’re interested in babysitting, housesitting, or petsitting, there are many people who need someone for one-time services and some who need short-term or long-term care.

Here’s the deal, since I don’t have any kids, I get my parental needs out by nannying for a family each week. They are low key, flexible, and completely get it when I’m out of town every month. While I’m only there a minimum of 4 hours a week, at the end of the month, it adds up. If you’re not particularly fond of kids, look for housesitting or petsitting gigs near you.

Resources for caregivers:

Couch Surfing

Have you noticed that all of these alternatives include working for other people? You can always say yes or no to any of these, or if you prefer to rent out a room, you can do so. Couchsurfing allows you to network with people who are new to your city and in town for a day or even a couple of days.

Airbnb allows you to become a host and rent out a room, or your entire place if you prefer. Honestly, I haven’t done either of those but I am a member of the Couchsurfing community and I use Airbnb for traveling.

Learn how Airbnb can help you save when you travel.

Have an Event

One of my favorite ways to make extra cash is by having a book signing event. If you sell products, having an event is a fun way to do what you’re passionate about and turn it into funds.

For the most part, whenever I have a book signing or go to a book festival or event, I make at least $100, most times, much more. The audience size doesn’t tend to matter at all, I had an even recently where about 13 people attended, and it still resulted in book sales.

When push comes to solve, get creative with the ways you make money. Remember, money is not a 4 letter word and you have nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to making that extra cash, and making it now.

What creative ways are you making extra money?

 

Email Marketing Tools to Help You Get and Retain More Subscribers

Email Marketing Tools to Help You Get and Retain More Subscribers

Email Marketing was one of those things I ignored when I first started blogging.

It was much more important to write my words down, much like a dairy. It wasn’t until I was taking a 30-day blogging challenge that the term email marketing came up. Back in the day, it was called a newsletter and at first, I started using Mailchimp to send out the roundup of blog posts for the month. Sending out a newsletter was hard because I had to design the email each time, create images to go in it, and figure out how to entertain the three people on my email list.

Yes, you heard right, I had three people on my list and I was already sending out a newsletter. It’s important for people to hear from you, no matter how large or small your email list is. In fact, earlier on I wrote an article about why the size of your email list actually doesn’t matter. What’s most important is being authentic with your emails and actually nurturing your email list with your content.

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In the post, EBooks are Dead – Do This Instead, I shared how to grow your email list using content updates. Once someone is on your email list, the next step is to show them you care and help them get to the next level. The how is something I struggled with for a long time, but now I’m happy to report my email list sees daily growth and very few un-subscribers.

How to get started if you’re a beginner

When I first started out, I used Mailchimp as my email provider. I wasn’t monetizing my blog and I didn’t need automated systems to help me reach my readers. Simply put, my #1 goal was to increase my blog’s readership. Here are some tips to help you if you have a similar goal.

Use Free Email Marketing Tools

The reason I recommend having an email account in the first place is so you can collect email address and message those people whenever you’d like. It could be that your blog is a starting point and may turn into a business. You could start offering services and products, which means even if you’re starting from zero, having an email list is a must have.

When you do have exciting news about your blog, the release of a new product or a special suite of services, you already have readers to tell. Since you aren’t in monetizing mode, free email marketing software is for you, especially since we want tools that will ultimately pay for themselves.

Use the RSS email campaign

Mailchimp allows you to connect your blog to your email account, and can automatically send out your new blog post to your email list. I’ve seen this done well, and it done wrong. Make sure you make the title of your new email unique, some people leave the default setting which means an email that looks like this gets sent out:

Here’s the latest from [insert name of blog]

I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly want to open that email for some news. I can just turn on the television. But if you’re telling me about the photo shoot you did at the waterfall, sharing that new pumpkin pie recipe, or even chatting about your novel and what surprised you about your fans, I’m all in.

If your #1 goal is to increase the readership of your blog, follow these tips:

  • Using free email marketing software
  • Create a creative subject line for each email, for example, your blog title
  • Include the whole blog post in your email – this is optional but is one of the best ways to get more reads, simply because a lot of people don’t click on to read the actual blog post
  • Encourage engagement by asking a question at the end and asking readers to share their opinions using your
  • Include a Tweetable (click to tweet) in your email so others can share your blog post

Using Email Marketing to Level Up your Influence

There comes a time when, as a blogger, you decide to get dead serious about what you’re doing and turn it into a revenue machine. There are many ways to make money from your blog, these include:

  • Services – things you offer to clients for a specific $ amount
  • Products – ebooks, printables, clothing, mugs etc.
  • Courses – step by step guides to creating massive success
  • Affiliates – selling others’ products and services
  • Influencer – promoting products and services by other people

Now when you pivot to making money from your blog, a few things change, including your #1 goal. Instead of being focused on readership, you want to turn your readers into sales by letting them get to know you and the value you provide. While it’s easy to do this face to face using video, webinars, and in-person meetings, I can also be done via email.

In order to show value via email, you need to start using automation. Automated emails are a number of emails sent automatically based on the action subscribers are taking. Once I started using automation, it’s crazy how engaged my email list become. People actually started replying to my emails, inviting me to be on their podcasts, run webinars with them, and speak at virtual summits. Here’s how it works.

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Create a welcome sequence that is anywhere from 5 to 7 emails long.

The very first email should be a welcome email. You can introduce yourself, what you do, why you do it, and who you serve. You should also let your readers know what they can expect from you.

For example, are you sending out your latest blog post? Maybe you will send reminders about upcoming trainings and resources that can help them reach their goals.

The next emails should continue to provide that value and the next steps you recommend for helping them reach their goals. This is a soft sell because while you are providing value, you also want to introduce your products and services.

Now, if you start with Mailchimp, you’ll need to pay to use automation, which is why I love MailerLite. It’s free for the first 1,000 subscribers, whether or not you’re using automation. If you love high design emails and lot of reporting, MailerLite will do the trick while you focus on getting those sales so you can pay for the tools use can use to run your business.

Email Marketing Tools to Take your Engagement to the Next Level

At some point, you may want to start doing even more with your email marketing. For example, my goal is to reach authors, writers, and bloggers, however, the emails I send to each group are slightly different.

You can segment your email list by using tagging, so you know who’s interested in book launching, email marketing, or straight up blogging. This is why I personally use ConvertKit.

I can track interest based on tags automatically assigned to subscribers, based on which opt-in they subscribed to. This helps to ensure I’m sending content my readers are actually interested in. For example, I’m running the Indie Book Challenge, but if someone decides they don’t want daily marketing emails, and they purchase the full book, I don’t have to unsubscribe them from that automated email sequence. It happens automatically!

Now these things get a bit techy which is why I write out everything I ideally want to happen with my email marketing. For example, if someone enrolls in the course How to Plan a Book Launch, they are automatically unsubscribed from any sequences that sell the course. It’s simply annoying for someone to encourage you to make a purchase you’ve already made!

There you have it. Email marketing is one way you can get more subscribers and turn them into fans. You’ll get to know them, they’ll get to know you, and who knows what opportunities will open up because of it.

Need more help with email marketing? Download the checklist and let me know: What questions do you have about email marketing?

7 Book Marketing Challenges and How to Overcome Them

7 Book Marketing Challenges and How to Overcome Them

As an author, I find the most joy in actually writing. I’m talking head down, fingers flying over the keyboard, cup of coffee in hand and the sounds of nature. Often, sitting outside brings me the most inspiration as well as listening to movie soundtracks to stir up the right emotions for the scenes I’m writing. It’s an honor to be blessed to write, and more importantly, share those words with others.

Sharing is where most authors tend to get stuck, and if that’s you, you’ve come to the right place. Yes, the writing process is the best part, but ever since planning a book launch for The Five Warriors, marketing has become one of my favorite things to do. Let’s be honest, when you see a killer 5-star review about your book, doesn’t that make you want to dance?

The biggest hurdle though, is the fact that there isn’t a formula for going from 0-2,000 book sales in 60 days. Much less, every book is different and marketing can get tough, especially if you have a terrible book cover design. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, people actually judge your book by it’s cover. You also won’t get far if your book isn’t edited or has a ton of typos and errors, especially book formatting errors. If you have those 2 things covered, next up, you need reviews in order to seal the deal and sell your book.

Which brings me to the whole reason for writing this post. Book Marketing helps you sell more books, but how do you get started if you aren’t sure where to start? Here are the 7 book marketing challenges authors have told me they experience and how to overcome them.

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Where should I market my book to get the most bang for my buck?

This is a popular question among authors, but the answer is, there isn’t one. Not what you wanted to hear, is it? Here’s why. There are over 7 billion people on the planet, and there’s not a single source or one global way for them to discover all the books on the market today.

So, why do you think there’s just one thing you can go to get the word out about your book and then stop? The truth is, if you only want to do one thing to market your book, focus on reaching different audiences.

Your goal should be to sell more books, not market your books to the same people over and over again. Focus on finding new audiences and telling them about your book.

Read my guest blog: 7 Ways to Market your Book to a New Audience

How do I get more reviews?

The simplest thing you can do to get more reviews is just ask. It’s not rocket science.

Ask your sister who read your book two months ago but forgot to post a review on Amazon. Ask your friends who have had copies of your book for years but haven’t said a thing. Ask book bloggers you find on social media, but make sure you develop a relationship with them first.

Build a network of book ambassadors for your book launch party, and ask them to read your book and post a review on launch day. The #1 mistake I see authors making is not asking or following up with the people they have asked.

Read this blog post: Build A Bigger Brand with Book Ambassadors 

Cover design is SO expensive, how can I get a beautiful cover without breaking the bank?

Face it, a gorgeous cover design is mandatory to help you sell more books. Honestly, selling paperback novels (you heard me, paperback novels, not ebooks) helped me recuperate expenses from my cover design. If you’re hardcore budgeting, you can get money to pay for some of the costs by pre-selling your book directly to people. Also, host a big book launch party on the day your book comes out, this is one of my favorite ways to make instant money and connect with fans in person. Think about it like this.

  • Your book cover design cost $500.
  • You order 100 books and spend $5/book on printing, shipping and handling, bringing your total it $500.
  • Oops, now you’re out $1,000. Yikes!
  • You have an amazing book release party and sell all 100 books for $15 each.
  • You make $1,500 which allows you to pay back the $1,000 and pocket the $500.

Of course, your numbers will vary, but think like that when it comes to investing in your book.

7 Book Marketing Challenge and the Steps You Can Take to Overcome Them

I don’t have time to market my book, what should I do?

Uh…this is going to sound a little harsh but, do you actually want to sell books? Set aside time whether it’s 2 hours a week or 15 minutes a day to focus on marketing. You HAVE to be talking about your book every day, online and offline in order to make those sales happen.

Get all the resources to help you market your book here.

Should my book be for sale in other countries? What’s the point?

It’s not every day I get a request to send my book to a book blogger in Norway. I said yes, especially since they were willing to pay for international shipping, which can get quite pricey!

Your goal with selling books is to appeal to a larger audience, so you’ll always want to be sending your book out to new people who have connections with other readers.

Do I need a blog for my book website?

No, you don’t NEED a blog for your book, but they sure help with getting more traffic to your website. Plus, you can turn that traffic into email subscribers and book buyers, who doesn’t want that? Of course, if you’re busy writing like crazy, you may not want to keep up a blog at the same time.

I recommend creating a schedule. If you’re super busy post once a month, or twice a month. If you have a writing vacation, write 5-10 blog posts and schedule those up. In fact, for this blog I usually write blog posts a month in advance, but that wasn’t always the case.

If you need blog ideas, check out this post: Blogging for Fiction Writers

If you have a blog but it sucks, learn how to make it awesome.

Should I create separate social media accounts and websites for my book?

If I asked you to name the authors of these books series, what would you say?

  • Lord of the Rings
  • Game of Thrones
  • Harry Potter

Do you have to Google those book series to find the author names, or do you know them right off hand?

When it comes to creating a website and social media accounts for your books, I highly recommend using your author name and just having one account. Why?

Build a brand using your name and people can find everything you do. I’ll take a gander that writing isn’t your only creative pursuit, and when people look at authors, they are curious about who they are as a person as well as the works they’ve created.

Only have one social media account and make it your personal one, don’t create separate accounts for your book. It can be a hassle to keep them all updated, especially if you run out of things to talk about. People like to connect with people, so build a brand around your name and even if you pivot and change, people will always come back to you.

Need a website? Learn how to create a website for writers.

In the back of my book should I include links and a request for reviews?

It never hurts to include a little something special in the back of your book for readers. When they get done and flip to the final page, what do you want them to see? A review request? A teaser for your next book? A special offer if they join your email list? All of these can help you further connect with your readers and get more fans and reviews which lead to more book sales.

Want more solutions to your marketing woes and answers to your FAQs about book marketing?

Join the free 30-day Indie Book Marketing Challenge and get relief from doing it all and going it alone.

Why You Should Focus on Your Social Media Engagement (+ How to Grow Your Engagement)

Why You Should Focus on Your Social Media Engagement (+ How to Grow Your Engagement)

Today’s guest blog is by Melissa Hebbe. She is a social media strategist for boutiques, shops and product sellers and blogs all about social media marketing over at melissahebbe.com

As small business owners, we know the importance of social media.

It’s the modern day’s way of word of mouth. Have you ever seen old movies where they show a telephone chain reaction — when one person calls someone and that someone calls someone else to spread the latest news? The phone calls just keep going on and on.

That’s exactly what social media does! Just a little differently.

Now with social media, small business owners more than ever are focusing on having platforms that their followers engage with as oppose to just having a large but quiet amount of followers.

If you’re thinking that it’s important to have a large social media following, you’re not entirely wrong. Having a decent amount of followers shows good social proof — basically, it shows that people are interested in what you do and want to see more.

But more importantly, to keep your social media accounts moving forward for your business, it’s more important than ever to have accounts that your followers engage with. And that’s all because of algorithms.

What is engagement?

Engagement means that your customers respond to your social media posts. For Facebook, engagement means some liked, commented or shared your post. On Twitter, someone can either retweet or like your Tweet whereas with Pinterest, followers can save (also know as pinning) and like your pins. Of course on Instagram, people can either like your post or comment on it.

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Why do you want engagement?

With recent algorithm changes on many different social media platforms, it’s better to have a highly engaged audience as opposed to a large social media following that doesn’t engage with your content.

Social media platforms, especially Instagram and Facebook, believe that if people are engaging with your content then they want to see more of it.

You want engagement on your social media accounts now more than ever to please the platforms you are on. For example, earlier in 2016, Instagram updated their algorithm so that the accounts you are more engaged with will show up first in your feed every time you check Instagram. This replaced the chronological feed. If each social media platform you are on sees you as a highly engaged account with an audience who wants to see your content, they are more likely to give your content a higher reach, meaning even more people are more likely to see your content.

When more people see your content, there is a higher chance of them reading your blog post or watching your YouTube video. Once people get interested in your content, you’re even more likely to gain a client or a collaboration opportunity with another business owner.

It’s all about gaining that trust factor with your audience. If you’re posting content your audience is interested in, they will respond to it more with likes and comments and see you as an authority figure in their field.

If that’s not reason enough to want higher engagement, then I don’t know what is!

Why you should focus on social media engagement and how to get it

How to get more engagement?

There’s no size fits all answer to this one. If there was, it would be a no brainer and every business would have accounts buzzing with likes, comments and shares.

But there are a few tricks to receive more engagement.

1. Post consistently

If you post on all your social media accounts one day and then are silent for another five until you post something again, that’s not going to cut it. At minimum, you should be posting once a day. Ideally, you should be posting a lot more, especially with Twitter because the feed can move really fast.

You should follow a schedule that fit your business the best, but here’s my recommendation for how many times you should post on each social media account per day:

Facebook: 2-4 times per day
Twitter: 10-15 times per day
Instagram: 1-3 times per day
Pinterest: minimum of 30 times per day

If that seems like a lot to handle, check out how I’m able to plan and schedule out a week’s worth of Facebook and Twitter in just an hour, plan a minimum of 1 week’s worth of Instagram (though I’ve actually been able to plan a month) and automate my Pinterest with my Super Simple Social Media Scheduling template and step-by-step cheatsheet.

2. Post what your audience wants to see

You will get more engagement if you post what your social media followers want you to see. How do you know what they want to see? Well you don’t necessarily do unless you check out your analytics.

Each social media platform now comes with their own analytic program. Facebook has insights. Twitter and Pinterest have analytics and if you have an Instagram business account, you’ll also be able to see your analytics. If you don’t have an Instagram business account, you can use Squarelovin’ to check out your analytics (it’s free and my absolute favorite)!

By checking your analytics, you can see what posts have received more likes, comments or shares compared to other posts. The posts that receive more engagement should either be shared more frequently or you should create additional similar posts to share out.

3. Post at the right time

In my opinion, posting at the right time can really make or break your engagement. Yes, it’s important to be posting content your audience is interested in, but you also want post when your audience is on social media as well.

You could be posting the greatest content ever, but if you’re audience isn’t on their accounts to see, you won’t be getting any engagement.

You can figure out what time is the best time for you to post on each platform by looking at your analytics again. Each platform’s analytic or insights program differs slightly, but you want to look for an optimization section or a section that tells you when your audience is more likely online.

Take a good hard look at your account. Is it receiving a reaction from your followers or potential followers? Or do you think you could do better?


melissahebbe-profilepicture-squareMelissa Hebbe is a social media strategist for boutiques, shops and product sellers and blogs all about social media marketing over at melissahebbe.com. Since Melissa likes to keep the social in social media, she believes all platforms are a great way for boutiques, shops, and small businesses to stay connected with their customers and audience.

Social Media Links
Instagram: http://instagram.com/melissahebbe
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/melissahebbe
Facebook: http://facebook.com/melissahebbe
Twitter: http://twitter.com/melissahebbe
Snapchat: http://snapchat.com/add/melissahebbe

How to Create Your First WordPress Website: A Step by Step Guide

How to Create Your First WordPress Website: A Step by Step Guide

The time has come. You have a product or service, and it’s time to tell the world! However, there’s just one small thing stopping you. You need a website, you’re not super techie, and you don’t want to hire a website developer to build one for you.
(But in case you do want someone to build it for you, check this out!).

You’re in luck because today I give you my step by step guide for creating your own website, whether it’s a business website, blog, or sales page. Here are the key things you need to know to get you started.

Wordpress Website Step by Step Guide

First off, I’m a huge fan of WordPress for websites, even over Squarespace. WordPress may seem more technical, but in the long run it’s a platform that’s built for writers and bloggers, plus it has a ton of flexibility. While Squarespace is fantastic for landing pages or websites without blogs, here are a couple of other reasons why I prefer WordPress:

  • The default font size on Squarespace websites is pretty small and you’ll need to call in someone technical to update it for you, unless you can figure it out yourself.
  • Social media sharing buttons are pretty much invisible on Squarespace sites – you’ll need to add custom ones and if you don’t know how to do it yourself – you need to pay someone.

Step One: Step up your hosting

Your website needs to sit somewhere. Your website has pages and files and a ton of code, so you’ll need to purchase space for it online.

While I’ve worked with several hosting companies, setting up websites, one of my favorites is Dreamhost. Their customer service is fantastic, my websites never go down, and they keep it backed up and running smoothly.

1. Go to Dreamhost and click “Explore our Services”

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2. Under “Managed WordPress Hosting” click “Learn More”

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3. Sign up for Shared Hosting. If you’re going to have thousands of website visitors, I recommend signing up for DreamPress, which is what I use for my website.

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4. Create your account using your email address and a password.

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5. Choose your domain name, and hey, guess what, it’s free!

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6. Choose your plan, you can pay monthly, a year in advance or even 3 years in advance!

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7. Finish setting up your account.

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Boom! You’re all setup!

Step Two: Install WordPress

You’ll get an email from WordPress with your login details. Click on it and follow the instructions which will take you to your WordPress Admin where all you need to do is select a username and password and login. How easy is that?

Step Three: Setup up your site

1. Once you’ve logged in to WordPress Admin, go straight to “Appearance” on the left-hand side of the screen.

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2. Select “Themes” and go ahead and choose a theme.

Personally, I use the premium theme Divi by Elegant Themes. While it does have a cost, it’s perfect for building beautiful websites, plus the builder is similar to Squarespace, so you can easily setup your website without the headache.

Go ahead and check it out here!

3. Once you’ve purchased the theme, you’ll need to install it. Click > Add New > Upload Theme.

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4. Upload the theme .zip file from your computer.

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5. Final steps? Active the theme and start adding in your own content!

Here’s the part that seems to trip up most people. You don’t have to add all the bells and whistles. Your website should always be constantly improving, so focus on keeping it simple.

Need some suggestions? Read 9 Ways to Make your Website More Attractive

What questions do you have about creating your website?

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