For someone who now works in marketing and publishes content on a company website for a living… I’m embarrassed to admit that my own personal website site is seriously neglected.
Okay, that’s being modest… it’s a complete and utter dumpster fire.
Back in late 2020, I thought it might be fun to start my own blog about the things I’m interested in: homemaking, motherhood, faith, and holistic health. There weren’t any grandiose dreams of it being a money-maker, just somewhere to put some thoughts and perhaps build a community of like-minded people.
Having never built a website from the ground up, I did what any logical human being would do.
I hit up Google.
And that’s when it all went downhill.
I searched for things like “how to build a personal website” and “easy WordPress tutorials”... I even searched “WordPress for beginners”. The internet said that WordPress was the best blogging platform for sleek and smooth-running websites. That’s what I wanted.
Not knowing any better at the time, I jumped in.
I had exactly zero website-building skills and Google assured me that it was “so easy, anyone could do it!” and “you can make a website in only a few hours!”...
Lies, lies. It’s all lies.
Suddenly I was met with words such as
I needed a Ph.D. in websites just to understand what was going on and hadn’t even made it past the intros.
I just wanted to put words on a page and reach people who could use the knowledge I had to share. The barrier to entry felt steep.
I struggled through it. I read articles and several of “the ultimate guide to” building a personal blog (turns out they were in fact not the ultimate). I managed to get my WordPress website to the point where I could choose a theme and get words flowing.
It worked out for a little while until I decided I didn’t care for the theme anymore.
So, feeling a little dangerous, I decided to change it.
And it jacked everything up. Pages went missing, headers were all over the place, formatting took a sabbatical… it was chaos. I prayed that a hearty CTRL + Z would take me back to functionality. But it was too far gone.
Feeling defeated, I walked away. Maybe you’ve been here, too.
Fast forward to present day, and I’ve made it my goal this year to build out my website. I’ve even gone so far as to say (out loud, nonetheless) that I’ll put 50,000 words on the blog this year.
Why? Because it’s my own little experiment. I am in marketing after all…
I want to see how quickly and effectively I can take a website from a ground-level dumpster fire to a mean, lean, lead-generating (and converting!) machine using the knowledge I’ve gained since I began my marketing role.
The trouble with building a personal website is that without prior experience, you really don’t know what you don’t know… until you know you need to know it, ya know?
I’ve compiled a high-level overview of what I’ll be doing and have done so far to build a personal website. My hope is that it streamlines the process for you. Read on.
This step-by-step is for WordPress and Bluehost users, and while there are many other ways to build a website, this is what I went with. Here is how I built my personal website:
That’s the quick and dirty of it. Once your site is up and running, you can tinker with the customization as you see fit. I’ll be doing my best to not accidentally set it on fire.
Now that I’ve got a semi-functioning site, here’s what I’ll be doing to make every one of those 50,000 words count:
Building a personal website can be daunting, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t have to be super complicated. Be brave, be courageous, go forth and share your knowledge with the world!
If you’ve got your website on lock but need help getting your message across, contact us at Hire a Writer.