The Zen of Getting Started Online: How to Get Started Without Losing Your Mind

by Linda Lee Askmepc

Getting Started Online-How not to lose your mind

Getting started online consists of several components. First, you will need some type of online presence, such as using a WordPress blog as your website. Now breathe and just realize that this is not as hard as it looks. People have lots of fear around working online. Some of the things I hear almost daily are, “I am so stupid with computers”, “I don’t know anything”, “I am a technophobe” and so forth.

When you work on the computer, no matter where your skills are at currently, you need to realize several things:

 

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  • You can do it. (Please do not tell yourself you are stupid. You aren’t.)
  • Take it one task, one item at a time.
  • Take a break when feeling frustrated.
  • Google for help. I find answers to almost every problem I run into online by typing the question into my Google search engine. There is almost always an explanation and even a video showing you what to do.
  • Do not compare yourself to others online. You will get there.

The most important thing I have learned the last 10 years working online is to stay focused on what you are trying to achieve. When you work online there are literally millions of things that will be clamoring for your attention. You will suddenly begin to notice all these internet marketing ideas, and “get rich online”, and this tool and that tool, and then your friends will start to tell you things you simply must be doing, like Twitter and Facebook and tons of things you may of never even heard of! Everyone will tell you that they know best, you simply MUST try this or that and before you know it, you feel overwhelmed, and frozen in fear and confusion.

Right now, please find an index card or a note card and write this down:

What am I trying to accomplish online?
Is what I am doing right now, getting me closer to that goal?


When your head starts to spin with information overload, take that index card out, take a deep cleansing breath, and read it.
This will help you stay focused, and not get distracted from your primary purpose.
I also suggest that you do not start buying any internet marketing products until you have at least gotten a website or a blog up somewhere and have spent some time developing some content. This is always the first thing you have to learn, no matter what your goals are. Staying focused on the basics will allow you to get a little experience before you invest in some of these internet marketing products that have an entirely different learning curve and can be complex and a distraction from your purpose

So, let’s get started on that WordPress blog:

1. You will need a domain name.

You can buy a domain name from a variety of places. Again, use Google Search to find domain name purchase.  The pricing varies from $6.95-$14.95 a year. Places that offer a very cheap price will usually charge you full price upon annual renewal.

2. You will need to select a hosting company.

This is where your website will live, or be “hosted.” Be sure to look for a company with telephone support and a control panel, so you can login into that control panel and work on your website yourself.

3. You will need a website or a blog.

Once you have gotten your domain name, selected your hosting and registered it, you are now ready to set up your website or blog.

What is the difference between a website and a blog?

The first thing you need to know is that they both are websites.
Blogging started out as more of a journaling tool, and the name blog comes from

“web log”. What has evolved is very exciting. WordPress, which has become the major blogging platform is now more powerful then most websites in what it can do for you. It is what is called a “content management system.” What this means is that you, as the user have control over your website. You can login and add articles or “posts” and “pages” and images and videos, and audio all on your own, without the need to pay a webmaster.

4. One option to get started right now, is to get yourself a FREE blog

You can sign up for a free blog at WordPress.com or Blogger. I recommend WordPress.com, since they are the number one content management system out there, and if you learn the system in their free version, if you decide to host your own site, you will be able to transfer your work over to your own self-hosted blog and domain with ease. (video and text instructions-click here.)

5. What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

WordPress.com hosts your blog and they run the entire site, which is full of blogs.
You are in control of the content, but your site “lives” with them.
This is fine for starting out and if you want to get used to blogging for free.

WordPress.com has their own communities you can join. They get great results in the search engines, if you are on a budget or want a great place to learn, I think it is perfect. You cannot beat the price! (FREE.)

WordPress.org is for people who are self-hosting their own WordPress blog or WordPress website.
This is a support community with people helping each other who use a self-hosted WordPress.

6. Maintaining a traditional website and adding a blog.

Many of my clients already have a website, and they want to add a blog.
This allows you to maintain your website with your webmaster, and you can update
pages on your blog yourself. Blogs get lots of “search engine love” because they are fresher and updated more frequently. If you add a blog to an existing website, you will see your traffic increase almost immediately.

Remember every journey begins with one step. Did I mention it can be a lot of fun too?
Don’t be scared, just get started and have faith in your ability to learn a something new.

The word I hear the most after I work with people is “hope”. That would seem a funny word for someone helping people with their computers, but  I do give people hope. Belief in that they can do it, hope that they will be able to accomplish what they want and be proficient at it when they are finished. That is a very empowering.

So jump in, remember to breathe and have fun!

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Linda Lee is the founder and owner of AskMePc-WebDesign and SmartWomenStupidComputers. She is a writer, speaker, educator, and website designer, currently working on her book “Smart Women, Stupid Computers:  The Savvy Guide On Using the Internet ”. Available for consulting, she helps people launch blogs and websites and trains them in how to get traffic to their sites and to maximize their website presence. Linda is passionate about empowering people to take charge of their computer. With laughter and enthusiasm, she shows her clients that they can make the internet  work for them.