How to Start A Website – in 3 easy steps
I am asked almost daily which are the best website and blogging resources I would use and recommend, so I finally decided to make a page dedicated to explain how to start a website. I am offered discounts for my readers, so I can finally share them with you here also.
Today is your day, start your website now!
1: Choose a website name and a host
For Beginners – I would highly recommend using worpdress.com . It is completely free and you can choose a website name and have a website running in a few minutes. Using wordpress.com gives you an insight into designing and running a website without the hassle of backups, upgrading software etc. The downside however, is because it is free, wordpress.com run adverts on your site, you can’t. You also cannot customise it and add widgets and plugins like you can on the self hosted wordpress.org.
Beginners’ next step is to go self hosted. What this means is that you host your website on a web hosting account such as Bluehost. Click on the box below and be taken to sign up at Bluehost. There is discounted membership for new clients, starting at $3.45 US/month. Jump on in and give it a go. Bluehost are the number 1 web hosting service.
Established websites I highly and thoroughly recommend the bigger and better host – Orange Geek. Hands down their customer support is second to none. Every single time I ask them a question they get back to me incredibly fast. Their hosting is super reliable, lightening speed and I have never experienced any down time. So do it once, do it right and start your hosting with Orange Geek now. If you enter the code ditchcarbs and you will receive a 10% discount on your first hosting plan. That alone will help you get started. Click here to start, and enter your discount code ditchcarbs
2: Choose a design/theme
Next you need to choose a website theme. This is the design and layout of your website. Worpress.org has hundreds of free designs, but you can spend weeks of customising it to just the way you want. Save time and buy a professional theme. I use the Genesis framework (the nuts and bolts of my website) and the Foodie theme (the layout and design elements of my website). Shay Bocks, the website designer of Foodie has brilliant tutorials on setting up your website, and always answers any questions I have had by email.
3: Get an email system
If only I had started my email system sooner, life would have been so much easier. Big mistake.
There are many systems out there, but by far the best is ConvertKit. I waited 3 years before I started my email system and researched every single one. It took me 3 years to grow my subscribers list, but within 6 weeks of joining ConvertKit, my email subscribers jumped by 50%. So why is ConvertKit so fabulous? Because it is so easy to use, you can personalise subscription forms and landing pages, you can create courses and email sequences. And the best part is, once it’s all set up, it works around the clock automatically doing everything for you.
This is just an image of one of the forms I use to collect subscribers and give them a free eBook as a thank you. You will see the real form at the end of this page where you can test the process.
Subscribers receive free eBooks automatically, email sequences go out as planned for my courses, I even send weekly newsletters in a sequence so all subscribers receive the same emails just at different times, AND I can send one-off emails for any news I have or a monthly round up. Genius! I can’t begin to tell you how powerful ConvertKit is.
The statistics are incredible. You can see how many subscribers you are receiving each day and where they are coming from. If you have a free incentive to giveaway to new subscribers (such as a free eBook), ConvertKit does the lot, automatically. It confirms your new subscribers then sends them your free gift instantly. You don’t need to do a thing. You can also choose to send new subscribers to a thank you page or to start a sequence of emails to guide them through your entire website (are you beginning to visualise the possibilities here?).
So for me, everything runs smoothly behind the scenes 24/7. Think of how much you might spend on a VA to do that for you. See the pricing plans here.
Starting at $29 USD/month you get unlimited
- Emails (yes, unlimited)
- Landing pages
- Automation rules
A money saving tip from those who have switched from Mailchimp to ConvertKit, is that ConvertKit doesn’t charge for duplicate subscribers. So if a subscriber has come into your site through 3 different forms, they will be counted as 3 subscribers, this simply doesn’t happen with ConvertKit. They’re seen as one subscriber and you are only charged once, not three times!!
Just look at all the automations they have to offer.
And so why am I writing about ConvertKit more than any other tool here? Because it’s the most powerful and useful tool you can invest in. So why not request a free demo now and try it for yourself. If you don’t choose any other resource here, choose ConvertKit, because it’s not just an email system, it’s an entire set of tools in one.
Additional useful resources for food bloggers
ConvertKit Club – FREE 40 minute training video
So if you want to take ConvertKit to the next level, join ConvertKit Club. I did and Lizzy helped me beyond all belief. She helped me truly understand how to run my subscriptions, tags, forms, landing pages and especially my subscriber sequences.
I made my own email templates just the way I wanted and it was sooooo easy, Lizzy will show you how (yes, there’s a video for that too). I also had a complete email audit to ensure I had everything set up correctly for my readers.
Whether you have 5 subscribers or 50,000 I highly recommend Lizzy and her incredible training she provides. If there is something you are unsure about? She’ll even create a easy to follow video to guide you through. Go and grab your FREE training video to get you started.
Another essential resource for food websites is Food Blogger Pro. They will teach you the essential tools to make a successful food website. Great training videos, online tutorials and helpful forums with other food bloggers. If you are serious about food blogging, and want to learn photography, design, writing, how to improve traffic, SEO, social networking, technical issues, backups, monetisation, ebooks, ….. Click the image below, join up and start learning. Save yourself hours of online searching and find all the answers at Food Blogger Pro.
To be a food blogger, you need great photos. And to get great photos, I really recommend you buy the eBook Tasty Food Photography. It teaches you everything you need to know from equipment required, lighting, aperture, shutter speed, styling, props, where to buy them and how to manipulate, edit and store photos. This is a must have resource for food bloggers, especially when submitting your photos to recipe sharing sites.
How To Monetize Your Food Blog eBook by Kiersten Frase, shows you how she successfully turned her blog into a full-time career. Learn how to set up ad networks, ad waterfalls, setting up ad pass backs, freelance work, and making the most of affiliate marketing.
Tailwind– this programme hands down will be the best money you have ever spent. You can schedule pins from any of your boards ONTO any of your boards at any time using Tailwind. Tailwind allows you to schedule times for pins to go out, or it’s clever analytics will actually suggest times that will get you the most engagement. Tailwind will also allow you to pin multiple pins to multiple boards in seconds. Once you are up and running, you can easily schedule an entire month of pins in an hour. Sign up for the yearly plan and there is a special discount if you click here. Why not give it a FREE trial? Start now by clicking here.
Pinterest can be an incredible driver of traffic which will help your website grow. Take a look and follow my Pinterest page. Let me know if you would like to join my group boards, fabulous for extra exposure.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I have used all of the products listed above and recommend them because they are helpful and are companies that I trust.
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