By now, you would have selected a niche, registered a domain name and got your hosting up and running. It is time now to build a website using WordPress. A website is where you will host your content, promote your product and build your list. Again, the focus here is to use WordPress as the main platform to build your website.
Here, you will learn the following:
Instead of putting all this in one long wordy guide, I think the best way for you to learn this is by a mix of videos, pictures, and guides. So besides sharing my own information, I am going to give some great resources to watch and learn the technical aspects of going through the process of setting up your own website. Follow this guide and you will be able to get your site up and running very soon.
In the web hosting guide which I have provided, I mentioned that the 2 recommended hosting providers would be HostGator and Bluehost. Here are 2 videos that will show you step by step the process of installing WordPress in both the providers.
Installing WordPress is much more easier than you think. Go through the steps confidently.
Once you have your WordPress installed, it comes with a default theme. You can change the theme easily to suit your style and interest. Themes come in the paid and free version. You can get started with the free version. It is just as good enough. as your site gets better, you can opt to upgrade to a paid version to enjoy more features. The type of theme that I like is clean themes. A clean theme is a theme that is free from clutter, it is minimalistic and can be used for all types of online business.
Here are a few popular free themes that you can use.
You can change a WordPress theme within the dashboard itself. You can even find the themes above within the dashboard.
(1) Go to your dashboard and select Appearance. Click on ‘Themes’.
(2) Select ‘Add New’
(3) Type the name of the free theme that you want in the search bar. Here, I have typed Shapely and the result will bring up the respective theme.
Hover over the result and an install button will appear. Click on it.
(4) Go back to Appearance – Theme. You will see that your selected theme is now installed and appears in your menu.
(5) When you hover over the Shapely theme, you can do a live preview to see it in action or you can click Activate to make it the default theme for your site.
Once you click Activate, your previous theme will be overridden.
Websites come in many different looks and feel. Each to one’s own taste. It also depends on the type of business model. A membership site looks different compared to a blogging site or a news site. You are here to learn about affiliate marketing and building a website that makes money in that model. In order to have a simple but effective looking site for this business model, you can take 4 different types of approach in designing your site.
For me, the way I built ClickBasics is by incorporating 4 important elements which I think make a website look credible and valuable from a monetization perspective.
You do not necessarily need to have a blog. This is something I learned quite late. My earlier exposure has always been among people who blog, I naturally felt it was a must-have component. You can have a blog if you like to write and publish new content on a consistent basis. As for me, I choose to have a blog because I like to write.
You need to have pages on your site. Pages are stand-alone content that can be published and be left alone for a long time because the information on pages is evergreen and does not change frequently.
Pages will carry important information about your site and can be categorized into 2 groups:
These are information that will not change very often and will stand the test of time. I also have generic pages on my site.
This is extremely important. I cannot stress this enough. The main objective of your site should be to collect the email list of your visitors. This is even more important than selling a product. The only effective way to collect email addresses of your visitors is by placing an opt-in form on your site. You can create an opt-in form by signing up with email marketing companies like Aweber and Get Response.
This is not a must-have but a ‘good to have’ component of your site. Having affiliate links and banners monetize your site. It also gives an appeal to the site. A lot of banners are well designed with a catchy call to action and it helps your site to look more vibrant and not dull.
However, a word of caution here – do not fill up your site with it. Having too many makes your site look spammy!
A mix of blog, pages, 1 sidebar with an opt-in form, affiliate banners, category, and policy.
This design does not have a blog. Made of pages with 1 sidebar, opt-in form, affiliate banners, category, and policy.
No blog and sidebar. Full-width page content. An opt-in form is placed at the bottom of the page. You can also place it on top after the Page Header if you want to. The policy page link is placed in the footer area.
This is a static opt-in form page. Also known as a squeeze page or landing page. There is a navigation header on top that allows visitors to access your pages if they want to.
Pages make up an important element on your website. Pages allow you to create essential content that is easily accessible and evergreen. Writing content on pages is similar to writing a blog post.
When you write a blog post. The most recent post overtakes the past post. Your older blog post gets pushed down while the new ones take the top spot. In pages, these are stand-alone content that is placed on your navigation bar. All your pages will be visible directly to your visitors.
Creating pages is easy. Below are 3 different types of pages you can create.
Go to your dashboard and look for Pages section. Under Pages, click Add New. Type the content that you want and click Publish.
If you want to change the type of your page, go to Page Attributes which is located at the sidebar of your dashboard and one of the drop-down options.
You don’t have to know all your options. You can create a great page using the default template, full width, landing page template or plain white.
Default Template retains the site header, navigation bar, page title and sidebar
In Full Width, you get the site header, navigation and page title. The sidebar will not be visible on this page.
In the landing page option, you only see the page title. The rest will be hidden on this page.
In plain white, you will only get a white canvas to work on. Nothing else will be visible.
You also have the option to go to the Elements section located in the sidebar to hide your page title, header, etc. Once you have selected, click Update.
You can also use free plugins to enhance the features on your site. Here some recommended plugins that will help your site rank better.
Once you have these elements on your site, go ahead and start writing content in your niche.
Building a website is not as hard as you think. When you are building a website that makes money in affiliate marketing or information product niche, keep your site simple and clean. Focus on the information that you are providing and not the flashy design of the site. Headers, important pages, quality content, some banners, and opt-in form are the essential stuff that needs to be on the site. Plugins help but use them only if you need them. Start building your site and you will learn as you go along.