For me, the learning curve was steep. Here are a few tips.
Start with Darcy Pattison’s 30 Days to a Stronger Author Website. Darcy provides step-by-step instructions to setting up a website. Thank you, Darcy!
Learn to use Photoshop – at least Photoshop Elements. Photographs all need to be specific sizes and shapes to fit a website template. (I’ve only just scratched the surface of this program and look forward to figuring out its other features.)
Pick a WordPress theme, any theme. If it doesn’t work out, change it. I spent a long time first choosing a theme, then trying to make it fit my vision. When I abandoned the first theme, the Live Preview function let me see how my pages would look on new themes. The sidebar options allowed me to experiment with layouts and colors before I activated the theme.
Get a little help from your friends. I wish to thank Tim Bogar for his advice on picture sizing. Deb Pilutti generously helped with many aspects of this site, including figuring out plugins. She also was unfailingly encouraging. My critique group, as always, offered wise and thoughtful suggestions.