In this article, I will help you find a great domain name, setup WordPress (using the self-hosted approach) and give you a quick overview of what’s inside.
You’ll be online in no time to get your message out to the world.
A self-hosted setup of WordPress simply means we will install WordPress on your own hosting account (also referred to as web server) as opposed to creating an account over at WordPress.com.
This gives you a lot of control over your website which is great for branding, flexibility, and functionality. I wrote more about what self-hosted means over here.
This setup can be as quick as 30 minutes to longer depending on your domain name and hosting situation, which we will get into down below.
Let’s get started …
Step 1: Three approaches to finding a great domain name
If you don’t have a domain name yet, you’ll need to brainstorm a good one, check if it’s available and register it at a domain registrar like GoDaddy or since you’re planning to build right away, I suggest you get both your domain name and hosting over at Bluehost.
There are three ways to choose a domain name that I’ve found best:
Approach One – Use your name for your domain name.
This approach will brand you, which makes many things easier – especially if your niche/market isn’t clear and you want to let it unfold (very common).
Approach Two – Use the word coach or coaching in your domain name.
This approach tells what you do and they love that.
Approach Three – Use your market’s desires in your domain name.
I love this approach because it aligns your website and business to your market’s needs and wishes – that’s incredibly attention-grabbing.
You could also mix and match these ideas.
You could mix your name, the word coaching and desires of your market into your domain name to find something powerful, special and unique.
Take time to brainstorm to find an awesome domain name. Do this …
While available domain names are becoming rarer, and cool names are becoming more expensive, I know that with a little wordsmithing, you can find a winner.
Go get a big coffee, sit by a window with a long distance view (opens the mind) and start making lists of the traits, situations, challenges, worries, desires of your ideal kind of client.
Some questions to help get those mental cogs a spinning:
- In the last 5-10 of clients you’ve had, who were the best?
- What common challenges do they face?
- What do they wish for?
- What do they want in the bigger picture of life/health/work?
- What do they fear?
See if you can fill a page with ideas, using small print.
And then use GoDaddy.com (or Bluehost.com if you plan on getting hosting there, which I recommend) to see if your name is available.
Consider 3, 4 or even 5-word long domain names. They are awesome.
Longer domain names are great because they are more likely to be available and they give you more words for creating a powerful message.
What to do with keywords
In short, for most, I wouldn’t worry about them.
If, however, you can quickly figure out which keywords are ideal for you and it doesn’t make your domain name excessively long, ugly, or confusing, then go for it.
I would NOT rely on keywords to make or break my business.
You can certainly reach your goals without them, which for many coaches is simply to build credibility, look professional, and attract an ongoing 5-10 paying clients.
And the fuss, the results, and the work involved in worrying about keywords is probably not your cup of tea. You can find better, more fun, easier ways to succeed.
Here’s a handy article to further hone in on a winner …
Decide and then do it.
Remember, you can think forever, brainstorm forever and plan forever.
But nothing happens (outside of your head) until you fire the trigger, get the name, get your site up and share it with the world.
So, once you’ve got your winner, refill that coffee mug because next we will register your domain name and get hosting.
Step 2: Buy your domain name and hosting
Here are 3 situations you may be in and what to do about them to secure your domain name and hosting. They are …
Situation 1. You bought hosting but have not bought your domain name …
In this case, if possible, register (buy) your domain name with your current hosting provider.
It’s great and easier to have both your domain name and hosting service by the same company.
If they don’t offer domain name registration (rare situations), then go ahead and register it at GoDaddy.com and avoid all their offers while you complete your order.
Situation 2. You bought your domain name and need to get hosting …
I love having my domain names and hosting at the same place. Support and simplicity are well worth it.
So, if your domain name registration company also offers to host, consider hosting with them.
Choose a low-cost, simple plan that permits you to install WordPress.
You may see advice to “get the right host” and it can be overwhelming to research. Much of that advice is for bigger websites with bigger needs like e-commerce websites or websites with a ton of traffic.
Your coaching website won’t be very complex so the simplest of hosting from a reputable provider will do the trick.
If in the future, as your business grows, hosting issues arise like slow speeds or too many outages, you can revisit this matter.
Situation 3. You don’t have both your domain name and hosting …
In this case, simply get both at Bluehost (I recommend) or if you have another recommended provider like GoDaddy or other, surely use them.
Having both in one place is ideal to keep things simple and avoid tech headaches.
If you do go the BlueHost approach and get both your name and hosting there, then you’re in luck big time because you get a super handy video to follow below.
Step 3: Install WordPress
If you buy your domain name and get hosting at BlueHost, here’s a handy video.
If you were in situation 3 above and chose Bluehost then watch this video that walks you through setting up all the tech stuff.
Be sure to click to full screen and I apologize for the annoying clicking sound that got in there.
If you are NOT using BlueHost, then …
Since each hosting company needs to update and enhance its technology, the best way to install WordPress is to follow their most current instructions.
Hunt down that info.
Do not hesitate to call them if you struggle to find it or get stuck following it. Don’t waste your time.
Here are some of the popular hosting providers and their WordPress Setup documents.
Bluehost – Again, remember you can use the video above to go from start to finish to buy your domain name, hosting and install WordPress. GO up to the video. But if you want their instructions for more detail, go here.
GoDaddy – You already bought your hosting and domain name at GoDaddy. Now follow this: Install WordPress. If your domain name is registered elsewhere, then I recommend you call GoDaddy and ask them to help you. The support phone number is right at the top of their website. The support is good.
HostGator – I wish they would update their website to something more modern. Here’s their How to Install WordPress instructions.
DreamHost – Their WordPress Installation instructions.
At this point, you can go complete the installation, and then come back for the WordPress videos below.
Step 4: Logging into your fresh new WordPress website.
To log into your website, once the installation is done, you simply go to the website’s address and add “/wp-admin” to the end.
Step 5: Have a play inside.
Here are two videos from the course, Client-Attracting Websites, to get you familiar with WordPress.
Video 1 of 2: A quick overview of what’s inside WordPress
Video 2 of 2: More play around inside WordPress.
In this video, we will install a theme, edit some content, and mess around with the menu.
Where to next, Kenn?
If you got this far, then a big congratulations on taking action. Sweet!
You’ve now got your domain name registered, your hosting account setup, and WordPress going.
You’re now ready to take over the world!
Here are a handful of things you can focus on next …
1. Plan for great content
In particular, here are 6 Big Questions Every Coach’s Website Should Answer. Be sure your website content answers those.
I suggest you begin by creating a sitemap (an outline) of the pages, purposes, content, and calls-to-action you want in your website.
Be sure to think about how the various elements of your website will strategically turn visitors into new client leads.
One model for a client-attracting website, the expert website, I discuss in The Coaching Site Guide.
2. Find a great theme design
A great theme has a modern design which means it’s visually appealing, well supported, mobile ready and very easy to start using.
Read about the Top WordPress Themes for Coaching Websites to find more ideas.
3. Be daring and choose a launch date
While you have WordPress freshly installed, your website is definitely not ready for the world because you need to add visuals, content, and functionality.
Getting the work done is a big challenge for many. Many coaches fail to launch due to procrastination, shiny object syndrome, and writer’s block.
The move to make is to choose a gutsy launch date. Here’s a launch time estimator you can use.
4. Create a welcome video
Pull together a short and simple way to introduce yourself to potential clients in a 1 to 2-minute video.
This exercise is a great way to get comfortable with verbalizing what you do.
Here are some articles to help you figure out what to say:
- Create a Short Message that Instantly Grabs Attention
- How to Get More Leads with Your Core Message
- A video about your core message
5. Write some killer articles
A super way to get your name out there (I do it, gurus do it, and I’m sure you’ve seen it before) is to write great articles or blogs.
Having a kick-butt article that people love boosts your credibility and drives traffic to your website.
To write awesome articles that people want to rip open and read, use Santa’s MV technique.