Many of us are afraid to reach our full potential! When it comes to online publishing too many Internet users assume they can’t build a website themselves. They are wrong!
In 2019 we don’t have flying cars yet—or at least, they are not widespread— but we do have the opportunity to publish content online and make it available to a global audience!
Online publishing is not just for rich geeks anymore. It’s easy and affordable now. It’s not rocket science anymore to get a proper website set up and WordPress is the tool of choice.
#1 Website Mistake—Lack of Self-Confidence
You have probably seen them yourself: hardworking freelancers, small businesses, and startups who have invested most of their energy into building their online presence on social sites. But they were then were caught off-guard once they tweaked their algorithms and their website traffic became a mere trickle. Social networking is a great way to build an audience, yet you also have to create a place to direct that audience to—and show them more.
Plenty of bloggers, people behind brick and mortar businesses, and creatives like photographers have made that costly mistake. Others at least wanted to create a website but ended up using social media instead. Once they decided to move platforms they had to restart from scratch.
Why did all these smart, promising and diligent people all make the same mistake? It seems that lack of self-confidence is a major roadblock to creating a self-controlled online presence.
Back in the Day—The Lesson from Geocities
For many years, especially in the 1990s, creating a website required lots of skills. You needed to know how to code HTML, and you needed to know how to use FTP (file transfer protocol) software to move your content from your local machine to the server of your hosting company.
Yet even in those days, some services like Geocities allowed common people to create a site without those skills. One problem remained though—no, not just the design. Some of you may remember the animated gif-saturated Geocities websites that were so typical of the early Web.
But that wasn’t the problem. The real problem was it didn’t last.
When Yahoo! took over Geocities, the service lost its appeal over the years (the Japanese version ran until 2019). An era ended. Later Yahoo! also acquired Tumblr and a similar story unfolded. The service still exists, but its visibility and importance have dwindled steadily. In the near future, Tumblr may also disappear altogether now that Yahoo! has been acquired itself along with AOL.
Long story short: building a website on third-party services can backfire in the long run. Just do it correctly from day one. Even if you’re afraid— be more afraid of losing all your work down the road! Learn the lesson from Geocities.
WordPress Allows Independent Publishing Online
Sixteen years ago a new chapter of the Web began. What happened? In 2003 WordPress went live.
For the past 15+ years, this tool has allowed people like you and me to publish online with unprecedented ease. Back in the day, many other tools similar to WordPress allowed so-called weblogging. Blogs, as they would later be called, could use:
There were also hosted tools like Blogger or Typepad where you would publish on third-party sites, yet serious bloggers went for the actual software you could download and install like WordPress. Sadly these tools were very complicated and difficult to use, or they owned your content.
Yes—you had to manually do it back in those days, and it was also kind of tedious—yet still better than the competition. Setting up a database manually was one of the steps and moving the WordPress folders to the server using FTP another.
Even for Web-savvy Internet users, these steps were full of pitfalls. You could have the wrong database version, for example. Another possible issue was FTP software that stopped a transfer while the software was uploading.
So, in the early days of WordPress, it wasn’t as user-friendly as many of us would have liked. That’s probably one of the reasons why some people declared blogging to be dead a few years later, and many people flocked to Facebook to create “fan pages.”
One of the reactions of WordPress developers to this was to make WordPress more of tool for all kinds of websites. This trend became more and more apparent over the years so that blogs are just a secondary part of many (if not most) WordPress websites now.
The Power of Now—Everybody Can Create and Share Content
Fast forward to today and almost everybody can create content—be it textual or visual (think images or video)—and share it with ease on multiple social platforms. While Facebook is not a good place to establish your online presence, it’s still a viable option to spread the word about it.
Over the years, website creation and online publishing stopped being rocket science. You don’t need to code, meddle with databases or transfer files manually anymore. Even if you really have to for more complicated sites, there other people who will gladly do it for you.
Managed WordPress hosting takes care of most of the woes early webmasters had. Easy Backup and Restore probably being the most cumbersome until lately. Nowadays you are the content:
Other people are the geeks taking care of the technical infrastructure. Even the look and feel or custom features are taken care of by a myriad of experts. The online publishing process is focused on the actual text, images, audio or video you come up with.
Types of Website Creation Anxiety—and Their Cures
Once you realize that you don’t need to be a geek some more types of fears can pop up. The typical stages of WordPress, blogging or in general website creation anxiety are:
1. I Don’t Know What to Write About!
Write what you know. No matter what you do there are so people who don’t know how to do that and who would want to learn it or least to buy your services.
So whenever you demonstrate your expertise in some area, others will look it up and either learn from you or be impressed by your skillset and thus hire you.
It’s that simple! Again, no rocket science involved. Describe what you know that others don’t. Even as a beginner you can document your journey.
Many people lack self-confidence. In reality, they are experts but due to ‘impostor syndrome’ they don’t consider themselves to be knowledgeable. By writing and publishing, they will find out that it’s not true.
2. I Don’t Have the Time to Create Content!
Many people, especially small business owners, do not have spare time to write or create other types of content. Yet most of us spend a significant amount of time on social media like:
All of them are owned by famed billionaire Mark Zuckerberg in case you didn’t know. Whenever you feel the urge to create content for Mark, you can also just do it for yourself as well!
When sharing an update on Facebook just remember that you own a site and you share it there or collect a few similar shares and make a list post. Internet users love lists!
Every time you post a picture to Instagram make sure to save it on your hard drive as well and to upload it on your own WordPress site. You can create a post with several images at once! You can even create a gallery, which Instagram does not allow.
3. Nobody Wants to Read About My Boring Topic or Industry!
Some people think that their area of expertise is boring and nobody cares about it. There are no blogs yet about X, they will say. What is boring for me does not have to be dull for the next person though. Some people love fashion, travel, and luxury, while others prefer science, history, or planespotting. It was a great surprise when planespotters actually uncovered the “hidden prisons” scandal.
Even when your topic is considered to be boring by the majority, there will always be some small group of geeks interested in it! Just write for them. That’s often enough. You can thrive by finding the proverbial 1000 true fans:
“A true fan is defined as a fan that will buy anything you produce.”
Putting it a different way: you do not need to be very popular to make money on the Web. You just need to attract the right people and keep them coming back.
For any so-called “boring” topic there are fans, experts, and geeks caring about it. In case there aren’t yet, you can just find them by getting the word out there until those who are potentially interested find out about you.
Why This is Not a Tutorial or How-To Article
You will find plenty of how-to articles and tutorials on how to create a WordPress site online. When you use a managed WordPress hosting service like EasyWP by Namecheap there is no need to learn a lot anymore.
This is a video which shows the actual steps of setting up a site with EasyWP. It speaks for itself. It’s mainly about choosing an option, paying and clicking what you want. The actual work is done behind the scenes automatically. Try EasyWP now to see how easy it is for yourself.
In case you really need to find out how to set up WordPress, or rather to customize – as the installation is already taken care of – there is customer service and many in-house or external resources ready to help you get the best out of your new CMS-based website.