A personal website isn't just about selling yourself or conveying your message--it's about controlling the narrative. You are restricted by how you can portray yourself on other websites and social media. However, your personal website allows for creativity! Here are some reasons you need a personal website, plus how to create one and a FREE checklist for creating your own. Subscribe to my Saturday Digest email list you'll get access to my Freebie Library, which includes this free checklist.
Disclaimer: This article contains some referral links. If you make a purchase through one of my links, I may receive a small discount that allows me to pay for this blog and continue to provide free content. Every tool or website I recommend is one I stand behind and personally use or have used in the past. Thank you for your support!
If you are a writer, designer, photographer, or other type of creator, I highly recommend creating a personal website. I'll outline reasons why you should in this post, as well as ways to go about it without spending a lot of money! Even if you aren't considered a "creative", a personal website can be useful and serve as a portfolio, resume, or both.
1. Control the Narrative
Other websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, allow us the option to connect with others and open ourselves up. That being said, they have their limits. A personal website that you own provides you with the option to show your creative or unique side. What makes you different? You can use your own website to sell yourself to clients, employers, and everyone else on the world wide web.
2. Selling Yourself
Your personal website can help you sell yourself in many ways, including with:
Great pages for your personal website are an about me, contact me, services, and resume page. Feel free to use these pages to show off your creativity, like I did with my resume page. You can obtain my FREE personal website checklist here.
You can create a personal website to showcase your talents and you don't need a blog. But a blog can serve as proof of your industry knowledge and writing samples. If you're a writer, a blog allows you to connect with readers and fans. Even if you aren't a writer, a blog can still be useful. Here are some examples of how:
Now that you know why you need your own website, I'll outline the X steps you need to take to create one. Download my FREE checklist so you can reference it.
1. Choosing a Website Host
Every blogger will direct you to a different website host. Many love WordPress.com. I've had four or five websites on WordPress and I don't recommend it. It has some benefits, but there's one drawback that I really can't get over: you don't own your own content. Also, the fact that you are limited in how you can monetize your website or blog and that they add spammy looking ads to your site turns me off of WordPress.com.
Here are some other places to host your website and/or blog:
2. Domain Name
Once you've chosen a hosting platform, you'll need a custom domain name. Mine is www.victorianahley.com. If you don't get a custom domain name, your website will look like this: www.victorianahley.weebly.com or www.victorianahley.wordpress.com. If you can't afford a domain name at first, that's okay, but I would recommend getting one as soon as you can because:
I recommend buying your domain name from Hover. That's the service I use and prefer. When I bought my first domain name about five years ago, I bought it from GoDaddy and regretted it. They have a lot of charges and their website wasn't something I enjoyed looking at. There was a lot going on and I didn't like it. I transferred that domain to Hover.com and never looked back.
I really like Hover because they are affordable and constantly have sales. For New Year 2020, you could buy many domains for $1 each! I've even seen some domains like .design for only 99 cents. Their website is easy to navigate for people who don't know much about working with domains and connecting them to websites. Here are some other benefits of Hover.com:
If you want to check out Hover.com, you can use my link for $2 off the price of any domain!
3. FREE Professional Email Address
My email address is email@example.com. And I paid $0 for it. Having an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org is important because:
I love Zoho! I had never heard of them before researching to find out if I could obtain a free email address for my website. They do offer paid plans, but I use the Forever Free plan. That being said, they have other affordable options:
Here are the reasons I love using Zoho:
You can run your entire business from Zoho. Whether you're running your website alone or collaborating with others, Zoho has both free and affordable plans (starting at $1!) If you use my link, you'll receive $100 credit to use on any Zoho apps after making a purchase.
Now that you have your hosting, domain, and free professional email address, you can begin working on your website. Be sure to download my FREE personal website checklist:
Do you have your own website or are you working on one? Let me know in the comments: