One of the first things I’d recommend doing after launching your site (or even right after you come up with your brand name) is to go out and register your username on the top social media sites. This is great for both reputation management and to start participating in relevant communities.
Your logo is often the first thing that people will see when they visit your website. While it’s possible to just use a text header when starting out, I’d highly recommend getting a really good logo from the beginning (bad logo design can actually cost you). Logos help establish your brand and credibility.
Now that you have your Wordpress blog installed and setup, you want to make your website look good and stand out. In Wordpress that’s done by downloading and installing themes (they’re basically skins or designs for your blog). What you will want to do is download or buy a theme, pop in a new logo, customize some parts of it to make it your own, and install some plugins. Let’s tackle themes first.
Once you have your hosting covered, go ahead and install Wordpress – it’s the best blogging system out there and every single professional I know uses it. If you are on Dreamhost, Nick does a great job showing you the process of installing it (video #2) via Dreamhost’s One-Click Installation Panel. If you are on VPS.net, ask their customer support to do it for you. If you are hosted elsewhere, just follow the instructions on the Wordpress site.
Picking out (or buying) a good domain name for your website can take a lot of time & creativity (or money). There are 3 basic ways to get a good domain name. Alternatively you can buy a an existing website at a place like Sitepoint, but I would avoid this option unless you really know what you’re doing and are an expert at valuing sites.