How to Make a FREE Personal Brand Website
Updated: Jul 13, 2020
Welcome to Part 1 of the Website Series!
This series is dedicated to helping you through building a website from beginning to end.
If you want to stay updated on the remaining parts of this series, if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter to be notified as soon as they are released.
Building a brand, whether it is personal or professional, starts with a website. It is a place for you, as the brand owner, to describe who or what you are, update your audience + allow them to contact you all in your unique way.
It may seem like a daunting task, but there are several resources out there allowing you to create a website hassle free. Yes, that means you do not need to be “Tech Savvy” or “know code” in order to make a great website.
Here are 6 easy steps to begin building your website.
Step 1: Find Inspiration
Find at least five websites that you like or something specific about them that you would like to replicate. This will give you a foundation to tweak to your liking.
The top five websites that I am currently digging are:
Step 2: Select a Website Builder and/or Host
Within this step of finding how you will build your website, there are details of exactly how it will be done.
Two methods of building a website
Use a website builder to create + host your site.
Use a website builder to create the website + use a separate host.
How to Create Your Website with a Website Builder
Besides paying for a designer or agency to develop a customized website, you can use online website builders.
There are many website builders online, which you can find by researching “free website builder.”
I will be sharing with you four website builders. Weigh the different features offered for each of them + choose carefully what works best for you + your business.
My website is now hosted by Wix. It allows me to utilize features + customize my website cost effectively using my premium plan. Here is an article with steps on how to make a website with Wix.
You may have seen some of your favorite YouTubers mention their video is sponsored by Squarespace. Beyond having a great marketing strategy, it is well-known for it’s clean + simple designs with 24/7 technical support + user-friendly shop features.
Wordpress.com is a good alternative if you are interested in blogging or interested in having a lot more control over your site.
How to Create + Host Your Website
If you are creating your site on WordPress.org (notice the difference .com vs .org), you can host your site with another provider, like BlueHost or Siteground. This does require you to download WordPress as an application + set it up. Here is a great article on the difference between Wordpress.com vs Wordpress.org to learn more.
Here is a video on how to set up your Wordpress.org website + self-host with GoDaddy.
Step 3: Choose a Free or Premium Plan
During this step you will choose what type of account you want.
Some of the website builders listed allow you to build a website for free. The catch is that they will display advertisements on your site, like this.
You can select a free or purchased template on all website builders above. Also, you can purchase a premium account to avoid ads promoted by the website builder.
If you want a completely free website with no monthly expenses, then leave the ads on + focus on posting quality content. No need for perfection the first time if you just don’t have the money.
Now that you have chosen the plan to use, let’s dive into what to put on your website.
Step 4: Pages of Website
If you are creating a portfolio, resume, or personal branding website, consider making a one pager. It is simple to create + easy to navigate. The main reason for considering this is while you may not have tons of content to spread out, your audience can find exactly what they are looking for on the main page.
If you fall within other categories, here is a basic page outline. Most websites have a Home Page, About, Services or Shop, Blog, + Contact page. Feel free to add + drop pages to fit your outline.
Among the pages that will be easily found from your navigation, there are some additional pages you should create to lead people to your site from other places. A links page for social media which is listed within your bio + offers quick links to resources or specific pages of your websites. An email subscriber page where you audience can provide you with their contact information to receive your news + offers directly. A landing page for your opt-in freebie that will be used to entice people to subscribe by giving them valuable information.
Step 5: Website Elements
Before you fill in your website, grab a free SEO Guide + Checklist to make sure your site + the elements of your site are optimized to attract organic traffic from your content.
Now, it is time to add in your content. Below is a master list of specific content you can add to each page.
Key elements to add to your Home Page are:
Video / Image to make a good first impression
Brief About section explaining your mission, products or services
3 Quick Actions:
Minimum of 3 Latest Blog Posts
3 Popular Services Offered
Sign up for consultation or more info
Contact, Book or Register
Key elements to add to your About Page are:
Background / story
How this company can help the client or customer
People who work at or contribute to the company
Key elements to add to your Services / Shop page are:
Use built in features of the website builder to assist in creating options
If you don’t have services or a shop yet, make a preview or coming soon box
Prompt people to subscribe for product / service releases
Key elements to add to your Blog Page are:
A brief description of the content the blog covers
Add categories to sort posts based on interests
An option to view All blog posts offered
Key elements to add to your Contact Page are:
Physical location if you have one + embed google map
People in the company with individual emails
Encourage people to just say hi + introduce themselves, reach out for press, or if they have questions
Key elements to add to your links page are:
Easy access to important links, blog posts, hidden resources etc.
Key elements to add to your Subscribe to Newsletter page are:
What kind of emails they will receive
When + how often to expect new content
Benefit of subscribing (freebie)
What type of content such as videos, articles, links, guides or lessons
What the freebie contains
Key elements to add to your Opt-In Freebie page are:
What is included in your freebie
Why they should subscribe to receive it
What are the benefits
Why are you qualified to offer this
A place to subscribe
Additional features to add to your site are:
Header: logo + navigation
Footer: social media
Disclaimers, Terms, Conditions + FAQ
Step 6: Domain Name
This steps covers how people will get to your site. Have you thought about your company or brand name? It’s time to make that your domain name.
A domain name can cost anywhere from $0.99 (Available to Purchase) to thousands of dollars. The cost depends on if it is already owned by someone else but still offered for sale + already has organic traffic.
Although a website builder gives you a free domain name when you create your site for example ayounglegend.weebly.com, purchasing a domain name prevents the builder from promoting itself in your link.
Here are a few domain name providers:
Once you choose a provider, search the name you would like to be your domain name to see if it is available. If so, continue with purchasing it.
If you have a premium account with your website builder, you can easily connect your domain name to the site. If you do not have a premium account you can choose to mask or redirect your domain name to that free domain name mentioned above.
Now that you have combined some of your favorite websites with the sample elements you need to be effective, you are ready to launch. You can put your website link on LinkedIn, your Instagram bio, Twitter profile, + email signature just to name a few.
Subscribe for Part 2 of the Website Series including 5 Reasons to Have a Website.
Comment below if you have any questions + let me know how you plan to build or have already built your website.