Static sites are great for narrow topics like a little minisite where you’re reviewing one particular coffeemaker and you want a page on brewing tips, a page on the specs of the machine, a page on comparisons with another coffeemaker, etc.
They’re also great for service providers like freelancer ghostwriters who want a page of samples, a page of testimonials, a page of rates, etc. But for most marketers, who are leading a niche, you want a blog.
Blogs provide freshness that Google (and humans) crave. As long as you stay committed to the topic and post on it continually, it will be an evolving online entity that grows in authority over time. Don’t worry about the thought of continual content – we’ll address that later.
For now, let’s just talk about the important elements you need to remember when you have a blog platform and want to profit from it. Before you get started, set your domain up with hosting and then log into your hosting account’s cpanel.
Click on QuickInstall and then WordPress and follow the prompts to install your blog. Ideally, your blog will be located at yourdomain.com – but some of you may have future plans to put a squeeze page on yourdomain.com, so you might want your blog installed at yourdomain.com/blog – either will work.
Once you have it installed, log into your WordPress dashboard. It will always be located at yourdomain.com/wp-admin. It’s time to set it up for maximum authority and monetization!
Install An Appropriate Theme
If you’re a newbie with deep pockets and want to start out with a premium paid theme, more power to you! But it’s completely not necessary. Free themes that are built into WordPress are great starts and you can always upgrade your theme and keep everything intact at any time in the future.
What you want to watch out for is downloading free themes off the Internet randomly. These often have things you don’t want in there, like hard to find links to seedy websites. Just keep in mind that nothing is totally free – they have a reason they put that out for the masses to use.
A better way to do it is to choose a free theme from those already installed. So in your dashboard click on Appearances and then Themes. You’ll see a variety of themes if you click on Add New.
You can sort by Featured, newest, Recently Updated – or check off theme specifics you want, like colors, columns, layout, features and subject. But there are some things you want to make sure you get.
Unless your blog is a photography-based blog, you want one where text is showcased more than images on the home page. It’s good to have some images, but not just images.
You also want a theme where the header doesn’t take up the entire “above the fold” area. The above the fold area is everything you see before have you to start scrolling down the page.
You want your above the fold area to show your header, navigation bar and the first snippet of the latest blog post as well as the sidebar that has your opt in form and freebie item in sight.
So you might notice the Twenty-Eleven theme has a huge header – takes up almost he whole screen. But the Twenty-Ten is much smaller. You can also upload your own theme if you want to.
There are some newbies who plan to launch an affiliate site for Amazon so they consider going with a specific review theme. That’s okay – as long as it’s not some automated system that simply pulls content in to your site.
In order to truly succeed, you want unique content with a personal style, not scraper sites that simply grab text from elsewhere. People don’t trust that. You might get the traffic, but when a consumer is looking for a review, they can tell the difference between a personalized post and scraped content.
In part 2 we will look at optimizing your settings…