Step #3 Establish Your Home Base
So you have your primary audience and you have your primary means of delivery. Now you need to establish your home base.
What do I mean? You need to have your spot online where people can go to read your blog, hear or see your message, or purchase your products. That base is your website.
If you are just starting out, the idea of a website may scare you, but it’s much easier than you think.
Several years ago, this would have been expensive. Unless you were a “techie,” you would need to hire a web designer to accomplish this. And you would have to pay someone to keep it going, making the necessary changes. To put anything on your site would require understanding and implementing “computer code.” It was difficult and time-consuming. And, needless to say, very costly.
Today it’s entirely different. WordPress came on the scene a few years ago, and changed everything. This is free website software, which is incredibly easy to install and maintain. (Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can).
First you will need to obtain a domain name, which is your address on the internet. When people want to reach you, they will be able to type the name you choose in the URL bar at the top of the screen. You may want to choose your own name or the name of your ministry.
Next you go to a domain website. (GoDaddy is a good, reliable one). You check to see if that name is available, and purchase it for a year. (from about $7-$12).
Now you have to register with a server. (This is the service which houses your domain on the web). I have a complete bias on this one. Over the years, I have tried several hosting services, and one stands out to me. —Bluehost. This service costs about $6 a month, and you may have unlimited domains registered for that price.
The customer service at Bluehost is excellent. With other servers, when I had a question, I would have to e-mail them and wait for a reply. Sometimes that reply would come a day later, by e-mail, or the customer service rep could hardly speak English. (Obviously calling from a foreign country). With Bluehost, there is always someone available. 24/7. And they speak English and are extremely helpful.
There was one New Year’s Day when I couldn’t figure out something. I called and had my answer immediately. By the way, these calls were not because their service was bad. I called because I needed to learn how to do something, and they were always helpful.
Now you are ready to upload WordPress to your site. There is a C-Panel at your Bluehost site, and from there you can click on the icons to upload WordPress.org. There are tons of “themes” you can put on your site free. These themes are formats for your information. You can try several and see what you like.
One thing that I would recommend is that you look for themes which do well on mobile devices. (These are called responsive themes). There are some which look beautiful on your computer, but quite odd on a smart phone. There are others which adapt to the two devices. Since there are many who use their smart phones or pads exclusively, this is an important consideration.
You will find information with each theme, showing how to add your header, pages, posts and photos. Also there are tons of “plugins” which you can add to your site. If you add too many, you will slow it down, but there are several you want to add. You can add audio and video, social media share buttons, advertisements, and links to other sites. You will discover the ones you like as you go along.
So what cost several thousand dollars a few years ago, can now be obtained for less than $80 a year. With this small fee, you may be reached from anywhere in the world by your followers just typing your domain name into the URL bar.
This is so exciting to me!
In next blog, we’ll talk about refining your message. See you there!