As a nurse, you probably can reprogram many healthcare devices in less time than it takes for an IV pump alarm to sound.
But setting up a website from scratch?
Yeah, that might feel daunting.
How much do you need to know about design and coding and programming and integrations…and on and on?
No wonder so many aspiring nurse-writers procrastinate about setting up a website!
That’s unfortunate, because I truly believe a website represents the most essential tool in your marketing arsenal when you’re just starting out as a writer. A website not only serves as a billboard for your business but also as a destination where editors and clients can learn more about you and check out your previous work.
And here’s a secret: You can set up your own, professional-looking website without knowing a thing about design, coding – or any other tech nonsense. The key lies in using WordPress.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular web publishing tool in the world. In fact, the entire online publishing experience changed dramatically when WordPress was born. Prior to that, a person (cough:me:cough) had to either teach themselves how to code HTML (cough:me-again:cough) or pay a professional a ton of money to do it for them.
But then, in 2003, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little invented WordPress, and suddenly everything about publishing content online became easy.
WordPress is easy because it’s based on the idea of themes and plugins. Themes are pre-designed website templates that you can customize to suit your branding. Plugins are small programs that perform handy functions – like operating a contact form on your site instead of just putting a text link to your email address. Plus, WordPress was originally designed for blogging, which means blog functionality is built right in. Just install and start blogging!
Any nurse can easily install a standard WordPress theme in minutes – and then take more time to customize the design to your satisfaction. I’d estimate the basic four- or five-page site you need to launch your business can easily be completed in half a day.
I’m going to tell you exactly how to do it.
Step One: Register a Domain Name
Before you sign up for hosting, make sure you’ve registered a domain name. This is your internet address, like “RN2writer.com.”
I recommend Namecheap for domain registration because it’s fast, easy, and – you guessed it – cheap! To register a domain name through Namecheap, set up an account and then use their Domain Name Search to find the perfect name for your site.
Step Two: Sign Up with a Web Hosting Company
If Namecheap had been around when I was designing my own sites, I definitely would have signed up with them. I use them for all my domain registrations – and they even host my email services for RN2writer. The only reason I don’t use them for hosting my sites today is because both RN2writer and Hanes Health Content have grown to the point where I really do need a professional designer (and my developers host my sites, as well). If not for that, I’d totally be signed up for hosting with Namecheap.
Namecheap is awesome for many reasons, chief among them:
- Easy-to-use site
- Ridiculously detailed help pages and videos
- Responsive customer service via live chat (not sending an email into a black hole and wondering if anyone ever read it)
- Cheap prices!
Namecheap offers a very inexpensive service called “EasyWP.” For a nurse-writer who’s just starting out, you can sign up for the least expensive plan, which costs just $3.88 per month (as of the date of this post).
I mean, c’mon! Four bucks to get a website?? It doesn’t get any better than that.
Not only is EasyWP cheap, but you can use it with your own domain name – if you’ve already registered one – even if you registered through a different company, like GoDaddy. To use Namecheap’s EasyWP hosting with an existing domain name, just follow these steps.
Step Three: Install WordPress
One-click installation is one reason I recommend EasyWP. Setting your site up just couldn’t be easier.
As soon as your EasyWP purchase has been confirmed (usually instantly), you just click on your domain name in the drop-down menu that appears on the next screen.
And then you simply click the big, green button that says “Create WordPress Site.”
On the next screen that appears, you’ll click the “WP Admin” button to view the “dashboard” of your new site!
Step Four: Get to Customizin’
Now the fun really begins, as far as I’m concerned. Once you reach the dashboard, you get to choose a theme (from the thousands available), customize the site colors, add images – and more. You can really exercise your creative muscles as you make branding choices for your site.
I’m just going to say: Have fun with this!
Promote Your Services with Confidence
You’ll feel so confident promoting yourself and your writing services to prospective editors and clients once you’ve set up a website using EasyWP. With a professional web presence, you’ll have no hesitation referring people to your site to review your clips, discover the services you offer, and get in touch to work with you.
And no one else needs to know you created your site for just a buck and spent only a few hours designing it! It will be our secret.