6 Steps to get your own personal website/blog
I remember watching Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending science fiction movie Inception. There is a scene in the movie where the main character of Cobb played by the super talented Leonardo DiCaprio says the below:
“What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient… highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed – fully understood – that sticks; right in there somewhere.”
(dialogue excerpt is from IMDB)
An idea. This is where it all starts. Whatever it is that we want to do, it all starts with a simple idea.
During February/March of 2020, right around the time when the lockdowns/circuit breaker was announced all over the world, I got an idea. An idea to have my own website/blog. With little to no understanding on how to go about this, I began to find out what needs to be done. In this post, I list these out, which I’m certain will help you as well if you are venturing in a similar direction.
Step 1: What is my personal blog/website all about?
I began brainstorming on all the genres, topics, domains, hobbies, niche areas that I could write about. For days I researched online on how several folks designed their website, what they wrote and most importantly, why they wrote.
What I found and learnt: Figure out what is your goal/objective of your website, identify the genre/topics that you will write about – because at the end of the day, your website is all about you.
Step 2: What is the name for my blog/website?
While I was researching what my website will be about, I began jotting down various names for my website, the domain names. Initially, I wanted it to me catchy followed by some funny and weird alliterations made from my name. It was a funny phase for sure. Even now when I recall some of the names, they crack me up.
What I found and learnt: There is no point in having a name that you cannot connect with. The website/domain name should mean something to you. After much deliberation and contemplation, I decided to just keep name, thus my site mithunivalkar.com was born.
Step 3: The technical details – domain registration
Now that I know what my website will be about and what will its name be, I began exploring on registering my domain. There are several domain registration providers out there. Some offer all the three as mentioned above. You get various options too – register domain for a year, or two years, or five years, or even ten years. This depends on your personal preference. There are several players in the market to choose from – Bluehost, CrazyDomains etc.
What I found and learnt: Registering domain for longer number of years is a cheaper way. Compare the plans from different providers and choose what is best for you.
Step 4: The technical details – Website Development and Website Hosting, Emails
At this stage, I knew what I will write about, what my website name will be, got it registered. It was now time to develop the actual site. WordPress is quite famous and the most popular way for themes and templates. There is a plethora of templates for every type of website using WordPress. I was so fascinated with the creative minds out there who have developed hundreds and thousands of templates for people like you and me to choose from, for our first website. However, I ran into a problem. I had heard a lot about it but I was not sure how to use it.
On Udemy, I found a course titled “WordPress for Beginners –Master WordPress Quickly” by Andrew Williams. This was perhaps the best thing I did and would recommend you to take as well. This helped me understand WordPress and also learn how to use it.
In addition, you might want to explore about website hosting services as well.
After several failed attempts with few, for my website, I chose a fantastic team at TechnoMind to transform the vision in my mind to the site you are seeing now. They got all the three covered for me – made my website, host it and enabled emails for my domain.
What I found and learnt: If you are technically savvy and are quick to learn, you can create WordPress sites by yourself. Alternatively, you can buy a theme that you love from the store and customize it to your liking. If you choose to get your site developed by a professional, make sure you do a thorough research before finalizing one.
Step 5: Logo for my website
One thing that I noticed on hundreds of personal blogs/websites that I researched was that they all personalized it, to depict their individual personalities. Some had animations, some had avatars, some had pictures. They all had a logo that was their own personal brand. I explored several sites online to create my own. Some were good, some turned out meh. The professionals I chose for my site, helped me visualize and do my logo.
What I found and learnt: Free versions of apps, websites have very limited options to create logo. Most of them offer exhaustive features for a paid subscription. Either ways, do not give up until you get what you want.
Step 6: Website Content
All that I’ve said above is the easy part of getting your website. The toughest part is the content. This is where most of the time is spent. I remember how overwhelmed I was at one point in time when I began doing a mind map of the content. I first began by listing out various categories that interest me. I then began listing out various sub categories within it. For example, book reading is something that I really love. So naturally Book Reviews became one category. Within it, Fiction, Non Fiction, Tech, Self help, Financial IQ became sub categories and I began listing all the books that I had read in each of these sub categories. This helped me visualize all of the posts/articles that will be on my website. I did this for every category. When my first draft was done, I had listed close to 1200 items. It would take me 6-7 months, realistically, to have all of that written. So I prioritized which ones will go first and began working on them.
What I found and learnt: Website content needs to be unique and not plagiarized. Make sure you check for plagiarism before you post. Do not overwhelm yourself by having unrealistic targets. Small but achievable number of articles/posts is the way to go. You could target to have two per week, or five per week. Figure out what your pace is and go with it.
I hope my experience helps you in your journey. I would love to hear from you, so get in touch with me by dropping a note.