How To Set Up Your First WordPress Blog

If you’ve been blogging or have done your research about blogging, you’ve probably heard of WordPress by now.  It’s one of the most popular platforms to blog on and offers tons of features and customization options to create the blog of your dreams.  I get asked this question a lot, and I have decided to put together a quick and simple express guide to get you started and set up your first WordPress blog in under 15 minutes.

What I will be covering:

  • Purchasing your domain name & hosting
  • Using cPanel to install WordPress
  • Logging in and setting your WordPress blog up

Purchasing Your Domain Name & Hosting

I am going to show you how to purchase both your domain name and hosting at the same time in HostGator.

Choose Your Hosting Plan

Once you’re at the HostGator website, scroll down just a bit to see their hosting plans they offer.  If you’re just doing one domain, and plan to keep it that way, I would suggest going with the Hatchling Plan.  If you plan to be addicted (like myself) and buy multiple domains down the road – I would suggest going with either of the other 2 plans, whichever fits your needs.

Choose Your Domain Name

Click on “Sign Up Now!” and it will take you to where you choose your domain and enter your account details.  If you’re a blogger newbie, I would suggest going with 1-3 years of hosting. You can always upgrade and add more later.

Additional Services

Under additional services, I highly recommend to purchase the Secure and Accelerate Your Site option.  This will protect your website from fraud and malware – which is everywhere nowadays.

You also have 45 days from your purchase to receive a refund if you decide its not for you.  This is great for someone just getting started and wants to try it out.

Once you have completed your purchase, use your credentials which were set up to log into your account.

Using Your cPanel to Install WordPress

Once your account is confirmed, click on the link that HostGator creates for you to log in to your account, cPanel.

Once you’re logged into your account.  Scroll down until you get to the “Software/Services” section almost all the way down the page.  Then choose “QuickInstall.”

QuickInstall

Once you get into QuickInstall, you will want to scroll about halfway down the page and select “Install WordPress” and it’ll take you to your Type of Installment screen.  You want to choose “Install WordPress for FREE” which will then take you to the installation form.

  • From here you will want to select the arrow and choose the new domain you purchased from HostGator.
  • Leave the install/path/here blank.
  • Admin Email is where a current email you use.
  • Blog Title is where you put the name of your new website in. This can always be changed later.
  • Admin User – Put your first name.
  • First Name – Last Name, self-explanatory.

Click “Install WordPress”

Your login details

Once installation’s complete, check your email.  WordPress will email you your login URL which looks a bit like http://yourname.com/wp-admin.

Logging In and Setting Your WordPress Blog Up

Go to your WordPress login URL (which is http://yourname.com/wp-admin) in your browser.  This is where you will be able to log into your website every time you want to post, comment, or create your site.  Your username is the WordPress Admin User which we had put your first name in on the last step.

Once you’re logged in, you’re at your main hub called the “The Dashboard”

WordPress: basic settings

Welcome to your new site! Your new login profile is for the “admin” user role, which means you’ve got access to all WordPress features. You’ll see many options down the left-hand side of your screen. At minimum, scroll down to Settings > General and update “Site title” with your blog’s name, and “Tagline” with your tagline. Also, go to “Permalinks” and select the “post name” option.

You are officially the owner of your own website.  I would advise taking a look around WordPress to familiarize yourself with it.  Sign up for my newsletter to receive tons of WordPress tips to create the site you’ve always imagined.  Please contact me with any questions you may have, or if you would like some help designing your new blog.

Now, start exploring!

(Side note: If you’d prefer to learn WordPress in a more in-depth way I will be offering a free class on the basics of WordPress.  Please contact me for sign up information.  Limited seats.)

Holistic Branding Tips for Your Business

It is nearly impossible to have a serious conversation about today’s dynamic business world without mentioning the word “brand” at some point. Still, no matter how much people like to use it, very few of them understand the true meaning behind the word and mistake it for a product of some elaborate marketing campaign. Brand is how someone experiences your company, product, or service. Therefore, the very classification “holistic branding” may be unnecessary because you cannot limit someone’s experience to some isolated area. You have to cover all existing touchpoints between you and your potential customers to succeed. Let us see how & here are some great branding tips for your business.

Creating Visual Language

The looks of your brand will create first and therefore the strongest impression on your potential customers. If you have a problem finding the desired visual language that will represent your company the best, try starting the search with an effective logo or a mascot. They will give you an insight into your brand’s personality and key visual elements. Use them as a foundation from which you will build the complete visual identity of your brand. Don’t try to pursue current trends, and strive for a timeless look that will help you to retain continuity as the years go by.

Making an Effective Website

Once you have found the right “visual vibe” you will have to make sure that all elements of your business should follow the same pattern, and your website is included. What’s more important, though, is to make it presentable, intuitive, and easy to navigate. As much as 95% of distrust towards a website is a product of bad design. You should also know that if your website is devoid of quality and regularly updated content, visitors will eventually migrate to your competition. Finally, the majority of today’s visitors use their smartphones as a go-to web-search and purchase devices. Alienating them by not making your website mobile-friendly will make the holistic branding impossible from the get-go. It goes without a saying that your website should be accompanied by strong and adequate social-media presence.

Offices, Shops, and Promotional Material

While decorating your offices and shops you will have to strike the perfect balance of conveying the brand’s message without looking desperate for attention. The easiest way to this is by combining some simple two-tone color scheme with the representation of your brand’s values. If you are, for example, presenting yourself as a more traditional company, respectful of family values, you will want some warmer colors, wooden furniture, rugs, etc. Regarding the promotional material, find quality printing service and feel free to experiment, but always keep the look and feel constant to your brand’s identity. While there is no bad way to distribute promotional material, narrowing the target market and creating sustainable word-of-mouth will spare you from wasting your valuable resources.

Customer Relationships

No matter how well you tackled all the previous topics, if you fail to make an impression in the point-blank contact with your customers, your efforts will be fruitless. Your employees’ look and behavior should be an extension of your brand’s identity. Be sure, though, not to confuse casual with messy, and conservative with downright arrogant. The second matter you should pay attention to is consistency. If you are trying to establish yourself as a respectful, and professional company, keep the same tone on every level of communication, be it an email, or face-to-face conversation.

As we can see, holistic branding means nothing more than leaving no loose ends while trying to appeal to your potential customers. While it is not possible to instantly connect with everyone, if you are persistent, and you are always conveying a coherent message, your company will surely stand out in the crowd.

12 Great Reasons to Start a Blog

It’s a place you own and control, allowing you to develop any type of personal brand or reputation you desire. A blog makes you approachable and helps you establish authority.

1. Want to work from home?

Blogging is a perfect way to connect with potential clients and customers as you offer useful information on your blog. Blogging allows you to turn a hobby or passion into income without a lot of overhead, little risk and a low barrier to entry.

2. Want to write a book?

These days, most publishers won’t even consider your manuscript if you don’t have a blog.

3. Want a new job?

A blog demonstrates to potential employers that you’re technologically aware and competent. It also gives you a place to highlight your expertise.

4. Are you a small business owner?

Traditional marketing and advertising is interruptive and it turns customers off. Content marketing is the new way to spread the word about your product or service. With content marketing, you provide useful information and therefore establish yourself as a trustworthy authority. Because you’ve established trust, customers seek out your product or service.

5. Want to save time communicating with customers?

If you deal with a large group of customers, having one place to communicate can save you a lot of time and energy. Sure, you could field separate emails all day long, but what if you could write it once and then direct everyone to the blog post with all the details?

6. Trying to spread the word about a cause?

A blog gives you a platform to easily tell others what you’re doing. You could knock on doors, pass out flyers or show up at meetings, but what if you could reach a whole lot more people for a lot less effort?

7. Want to find like-minded individuals?

Maybe you have an interest that isn’t shared by anyone in your immediate circle of friends. A blog would allow you to connect with people who share your interest. You’ll learn, grow and build community. You might even make some money too.

8. Moving soon or worried you might get laid off?

Your blog stays with you and remains under your control, no matter what life throws at you. The connections you make with readers are always at your disposal.

9. Hoping for a scholarship to college?

What better way to showcase your accomplishments than by having your own blog or website? And how impressive would it be to say, “For more information, check out my website.”

10. Want an easy way to stay connected with family or friends?

It’s not uncommon for us to be separated from our loved ones. A blog allows you to keep connected, post photos, etc. “But that’s what I do on Facebook and Instagram!” Maybe so, but social media platforms don’t last forever. If they die, so will your content. On your blog, you’ll own it.

11. Want to hone your writing skills?

There’s nothing like a blog that will get you practicing your writing. It can also be a source of great feedback from others who are not your mother.

12. It will expand your horizons

You have no idea what kind of opportunities will come your way as a blogger. I sure didn’t! I’ve known bloggers who have traveled to places they never thought they’d go, get jobs that were only pipe dreams, made friendships that were deeper than anything they’ve experienced and completely restructured their lives so they could get out of the rat race that was killing them.

9 Morning Habits of Successful People

1. Wake up really early

Surely you know that time is an invaluable asset. Highly successful people take it up a notch by waking up at 5:30 am, 4:30 am and even 4:00 am. Not only will they have more control over their early hours, they’ll also have more opportunities to do things that matter to them.  Start with waking up 15 minutes earlier than your usual time. Then, gradually adjust.

2. Burn your calories

I don’t mean just the intense exercise regimen – you can simply do yoga like Christies CEO Steve Murphy does. Exercise will not just make you think clearer, be healthier and scientifically happier, it allows you to combat stress as well. Make time for exercise. An hour-long routine seems too daunting, so try running, dancing or even walking around the neighborhood for at least ten minutes.

3. Do an “Hour of Power”

Motivation doesn’t last forever, so you need to replenish yours regularly. Highly successful people know this, so they dedicate ample time to increase their supply. You’re more likely to continue accomplishing a task once you’re emotionally invested in it, right?

Spend thirty minutes listening to inspirational anecdotes and empowering quotes.

4. Jot down on your gratitude journal

Happiness is about wanting the things that you already have. By enumerating the blessings they’re grateful for, highly successful people become more open to optimism and inspiration and improve their outlook in life. I use: The Five Minute Journal Everyday, write down at least one thing that you’re thankful for. Learn to count the small wins.

5. Ask yourself one important question

“If today was the last day of your life, would you still want to do what you’re about to do today?”

This hard-hitting question gets you right where it wants you. If you find yourself saying “no” several times in a week, then go out there and change something. You never know when you’ll have the opportunity to do it the next time.

6. Eat that frog first

In the morning, the willpower of highly successful people is fresh and ready to go. So, this is the best time to take advantage of it – do your hardest task, your “frog” first. This way, you’re more likely to get it done and you’re more likely to finish it without other people barging in on you. Choose your “frog” of the day – only one – and stick to completing it before you even get to eat breakfast.

7. Connect with your partner

Use your morning hours to reconnect with your partner. Talk about your plans, your finances and even your beloved hobbies as a way to always be present in their lives. In the morning, highly successful people know that you’ll have more energy and more focus so making this a ritual is paramount. You can even set up one day of the week as your “breakfast date”. Go to the nearest cafe for breakfast or run around the neighborhood with your partner. It may do wonders for your relationship.

8. Plan and strategize

If you don’t take a few minutes of your time to map out the direction of your day, how will you know if you’re headed towards the right direction? Take at least 10 minutes of your day to visualize your life goals, review your tasks for the day and allot schedules for breaks. It’ll help your day be more manageable and less stressful.

9. Meditate and clear your mind

Keep calm and let your inner peace guide you: spend a few minutes to say a prayer or to meditate to keep you relaxed. Remember, 90% of illnesses are stress-related, so forget the rush, don’t dash and enjoy a few “hush” moments with yourself. Focus on your breathing. You may even recite an empowering mantra during your routine.

Blog Inspiration | The Death of Writer’s Block

So, you’re stuck on what to write next?  I have put together some tips and ideas to inspire you while you’re searching for your next blog post idea.  I always seem to run into writer’s block, and am always looking for some Blog Inspiration!

Your Tips & Routine

  • Your daily routine is broken down
  • Websites you use often & your opinion
  • Create a “Top 15 List”
  • Tools you use every day for your blog
  • Time management tips
  • Meditation tips
  • Recap an event you attended
  • How you stay focused

Self Reflection

  • Your personal life story
  • Your inspiration
  • Your resume
  • How you see your future
  • Your dreams & goals
  • Reflection on a story from your childhood
  • Share a book which has made an impact on your life
  • Talk about your favorite blog and why you like it
  • How you created your business and why
  • Share a “Step-Up” moment
  • What motivates you when things are difficult

Business Talk

  • Write about your next goal
  • Talk about a charity your business supports
  • Share a success story
  • Talk about your awesome team and how you make things work
  • Interview an idol and write about it.
  • Talk about affiliates
  • Write about a client
  • What you are going to launch soon
  • Share images of your workspace & explain why you have it like you do
  • Write about what you’re working on
  • Inspirational blogs
  • Talk about the type of work music you listen to
  • Milestones of your accomplishments