A podcast can be a great foundation to your online business. The best way to create a steady flow of potential customers and raving fans is to add value and serve them on a consistent basis.
A weekly podcast allows you to do just that along with a connection that a blog or email campaign can’t rival. Your audience gets to hear your voice. Just image you get to ride along with them on their morning commute, or afternoon run. They actually look forward to hearing you week after week.
A Place to Call Home…
In order to create a podcast you need to have a platform. You need a place your audience can gather together. Your podcast needs a home. My recommendation is that this place be a self hosted wordpress website.
If you have never set up a website before it can be a little intimidating, but don’t worry it’s easier than you think. In this post I’ll walk you through the basics step by step. By the end of the post you will have your own website up and running in less time then it takes to watch a Game of Thrones episode.
Setting Up a Self Hosted Site
1. Set up a hosting account. This is where your blog will live. It’s where all the files are stored. It’s a server in the cloud (i.e., a remote computer), where you will rent space to install the WordPress software and manage your website. Don’t let your eyes start glazing over. The details aren’t that big of a deal. Stay with me here.
Bluehost is the hosting service I use for every website I build. Why? Because it’s incredibly easy to use with 1-click automatic WordPress installation and excellent customer service – via phone and via chat. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using Bluehost for your first site.
Note: I am a Bluehost affiliate, which means the company pays me a commission every time someone signs up via one of my links. But this didn’t influence my recommendation, because all hosting services have similar programs. I recommend Bluehost because I honestly believe they offer the best hosting available.
Bluehost offers a thirty-day, money-back guarantee. I have personally tested this and got my money back within a few hours. Meaning there’s really no risk on your part.
First, go to the Bluehost home page. Click on the Sign Up Now button.
You need to decide whether you need a domain name or you already have a domain name. Another reason I like Bluehost is that they give you a free domain with the hosting service so no worries if you haven’t gotten a domain yet.
Now enter the domain name you want in the left-most box, choose the appropriate extension (com, net, biz, whatever) and click on the Next button.
I strongly recommend you use a service like GoDaddy.com to research what domains are available. As a general rule .com’s are THE BEST. If the domain name your are looking for is unavailable, consider options like adding “podcast” at the end of the domain or “the” or “your” etc. to the beginning in order to get a .com.
On the next screen, fill in your account information and then scroll down to select your package. As you can see, the prices range from $4.95 to $6.95 per month. It all depends on the length of your commitment.
Remember, you will need to pay the annual rate at the time of purchase. That’s how Bluehost is able to offer these extremely low prices.
Personally, I don’t ever get any of the other services that they offer, but that is a decision you will need to make.
Now enter your billing information. Confirm that you have read and agree with Bluehost’s Terms of Service, and then click on the Next button. The system will now verify your credit card information.
Bluehost will next ask you to “Select the Upgrades that Best Suit Your Needs.” Again, I would skip all of these. Click the Complete button at the bottom of the page.
Now you need to choose a password for your account. Click on the Create your password link:
Use the Password Generator option to create a strong, difficult-to-hack password. Copy this to the clipboard by pressing Command-C if you are on a Mac or Control-C if you are on a PC. Now click the Paste button to paste the password into the appropriate fields. The click the Create button. This creates your new Bluehost account.
Then you will be asked to login to your domain. Your domain should be automatically inserted for you. If it is not, type it into the field provided. Now use the password you just selected. Since you previously copied it to the clipboard, you can paste it with Command-V on the Mac or Control-V on the PC. Now click on Login.
You may have to click through another upgrade offer. Feel free to decline by kicking on the “No thanks” link and proceed to the next screen.
You should be at the Welcome screen. Now click on cPanel (short for ”Control Panel”). You should now see a page with a lot of buttons.
Step 2: Install WordPress. Don’t be intimidated by the number of buttons in this step—it’s amazingly simple. The process used to be complicated, and you had to be a semi-geek to pull it off. But Bluehost now makes it super-simple. Trust me, anyone can do this.
Scroll down the page to ”Website Builders.” Click on the WordPress logo and wait for the new page to load. You should now be looking at a page full of ”scripts.” Again, don’t get overwhelmed. Simply click on the ”WordPress” logo under “Blogs.”
This will tell you it’s loading up your Mojo account. Mojo is simply a system for managing automated scripts. Don’t let this confuse or overwhelm you. This is what you should be seeing.
A new ”Install WordPress” screen appears. Simply click on the “Start” button. Now select the domain on which you want to install WordPress. It should default to the correct one. Click on “Check Domain.”
You should get a new screen with an error message. This is normal. Check “Oops. Looks like something already exists there. I understand that continuing will overwrite the files.” Since this is a brand new blog, you do. So select the checkbox that says, “Directory Exists! I understand that continuing will overwrite files.”
If we were running this on a website that we already had up and running, we would not want to do this. But it is not an issue here. Now click again on “Check Domain.”
The next screen will say “You are almost there.” You don’t need the “Advanced Options,” so leave that unchecked. Click on the item that says, “I have read the terms and conditions.” Now click on the “Install Now” button. The installation process should begin and will keep you updated on the process. Be patient, this will take a minute or two.
When it is done, you will get a screen with your Blog URL, Login URL, username, and password. Bluehost will also e-mail this information to you, but I like to have a backup. I would write it down or take a screenshot. Also, copy the password to the clipboard (again, using Command-c on a Mac or Control-C on a PC).
You’re making great progress! Now things will speed up considerably.
Step 3: Load your new blog. Simply click on the blog URL address. Your new blog should load in a new browser tab.
As you can see, there’s nothing very fancy here. WordPress uses a very generic theme by default. But that’s the beauty of WordPress. There are thousands of themes available. I will recommend one in a minute.
Step 4: Log into WordPress. While you’re still on your blog’s home page, scroll down to the Login link in the lower right-hand side of the sidebar. Click on the link.
You should now be looking at your WordPress login page.
Now enter your username and password. (Remember, you wrote these down in Step 3. You also copied the password to the clipboard.)
You are now looking at the WordPress “Dashboard.” Sometimes, bloggers refer to this as the WordPress back-end. The front-end is what your readers see—your normal blog site. The back-end is what you see—how you control what appears on the front-end.
If you have followed my instructions, you now have your very own self-hosted WordPress blog. Congratulations!!
The next step is to install a theme. There are literally thousands of free ones available. Personally, I suggest spending a little money and buying a premium theme, soon I’ll be writing a post on my top recommended themes for podcasters. Sign up for the email list to be sure you don’t miss it.
Note: If you need to move an existing blog from WordPress.com to your new self-hosted WordPress blog, I recommend you read this article: “How to Properly Move Your Blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.”
If you want to learn more about WordPress, and how you can use it to get business as a speaker, check out my course How to Build a Website for Speakers.
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