In this post we will be covering how to create the actual WordPress site for our Amazon affiliate case study site. For a quick recap:
- We decided on a strategy for our Amazon affiliate site. This niche site strategy will focus on building a successful Amazon affiliate site with ZERO back links.
- We did research into finding the perfect niche site idea. We were able to come up with an affiliate site based on Water Filters.
- The next step was to do keyword research and make sure there are at least 72 articles that we can write that would target ultra low competition long tail keywords.
We are now at the point where we need to start putting a website together.
Step 1. Domain Registration
The first item on the list is to come up with a good domain name. Unfortunately the days of obvious 1 and 2 word domain names are long gone. Three or more word domains usually scream “affiliate site”. You will have to get creative.
Check out this article on Moz.com about properly structuring your domain name URL.
EMD (exact match domains) are not as important as they used to be. Some circles still considered this a valuable SEO factor. My personal recommendation is to try to use the main keyword in the URL, but not at the cost of ugliness.
You will need to strike that balance between a human readable URL that also includes targeted keywords. APennyShaved.com is not only a great example of what a good niche site looks like, but also has a creative name and is catchy.
Once you have a domain name, you will need to register it. Normally this is done at the same place where you will host your website. My recommendation is BlueHost.com. I will go into more detail about this in the next step.
Step 2. WordPress Site Creation
At this point you will need to create a WordPress site. There are several hosting companies that specialize in WordPress sites. My personal favorite is BlueHost; they have special plans setup just for WordPress.
I recommend starting off with the $25 a month plan, which will allow you to have up to 5 WordPress installs on the same server. Finding the dedicated WordPress hosting can be tricky. First go to the BlueHost home page. Then on the menu select “products”, then “WordPress hosting”. Scroll down the page till you see the following:
BlueHost has set up a decent WordPress installation tutorial if you get lost, or you can follow my steps below.
BlueHost WordPress Installation in Four Steps
For those that are choosing to install WordPress through BlueHost, I will share my installation process. I use these same steps for all my WordPress sites.
1. Install Word Press from CPanel
Do not go through ‘Home’ to start the install. This will send you to a MOJO install and creates nothing but headaches. Instead, install through CPanel.
2. Select Your Domain Name.
If you have registered your domain name with another hosting company or registrar you will need to have the dns pointed to the BlueHost name servers.
3. Change the default Username And Password
Also ensure that the proper URL is selected.
4. Your Done: Screen Shot This Page
Ensure you screen shot the WordPress install confirmation page for your records. I learned this the hard way.
The next step would be to add this new WordPress site to your ManageWP account. You get a free account with your BlueHost account. This part is totally optional.
If you are not familiar with ManageWP, it’s a system that allows you to manage multiple WordPress installs from one location. This includes comment and plugin management, in addition to conducting site backups. Very handy if you plan on having multiple niche sites.
Before continuing, ensure that you can access your admin panel for the WordPress site that was just installed for you.
Step 3. Choose a WordPress Theme
Now that you have created your WordPress site, the next step is to choose a theme.
The type of theme that you will want to use will be a magazine style WordPress theme. These are perfect for niche sites. With these kinds of themes you will not have to worry about putting together a Home Page, since it will be auto generated based on your articles.
Since your affiliate site must breathe and air of authority, it helps to pay for a premium theme verses going with a free one. Premium themes also come with support and documentation.
Also make sure that the theme is Responsive which will allow it to auto size itself to whatever device the user is using.
I will usually buy a theme from:
- ThemeForest.net Great premium themes that look good and usually have a bunch of cool features.
- Theme-Junkie.com These guys provide over 60 themes for a very low price.
WordPress theme installations are straightforward, most premium themes will come with install directions. IF they don’t, then follow this guide for easy to install instructions.
Step 4: Important WordPress Plugins
Now that you have a good theme, it’s time to start adding in the different plugins that will help beef up your site and make your life a little easier.
Most of the following plugins are FREE with a few exceptions. You can find most of these plugins through the default plug in search directory within your admin.
Recommended Affiliate Niche Site Plug Ins
Akismet. This amazing plug in will help protect your site from comment spam. You will need to sign up for an Akismet plan (free) to activate.
Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd. This plugin will allow you to work on your site incognito. As long as you are logged in you will be able to view your pages, everyone else including the search engines will see a coming soon page.
EasyAzon Suit. This is a PAID plugin that make’s inserting Amazon Affiliate links a breeze. There is the base plugin with more add-on’s to beef up its ability.
Edit Author Slug. Plugin that allows you to change the author URL link. This is great if as the admin you are writing all the articles for your site and want to use a different URL name for your author page.
Jetpack by WordPress.com. This is a plug in pack, usually coming pre-installed with your WordPress install.
ManageWP – Worker. This plugin allows your site to be connected to your external ManageWP site.
Peter’s Post Notes. Allows you to add notes for a post or page. Only you can see these notes and can be handy when organizing your content.
TablePress. Use this with the Responsive Tables plugin to create amazing product comparison tables.
TinyMCE Advanced. This plugin adds additional tools to the default text editor.
TJ Custom CSS. Allows you to add custom CSS to your site without the need of editing a style sheet on the server. Needed if you want to tweak your theme or fix some CSS that’s not working correctly.
WP Server. My own preference as a Sys Admin ; ). Allows you to see average server loads and uptime. Very handy to get an idea of how stressed your server is.
WP Super Cache. A very fast caching plugin. This allows your sites pages to load faster and reduces the stress of the server.
Yoast Seo. Your go to SEO plugin for your articles. This plugin does an amazing job of letting you know how well optimized your articles/posts are for search engines.
The biggest problem I have run into with WordPress plugins are conflicts. This is where one plugins operation starts conflicting with another plugin which can cause site errors.
The easiest way to diagnose a WordPress plugin conflict is to disable all plugins and then start enabling them one at a time until the problem starts happening again. When a problem starts occurring, the last plugin you enabled is most likely the problem.
Additional WordPress Configurations
In addition to the plugins above you will need to go through the General, Writing, Reading and Discussion settings to make sure everything is set up properly. These can be found within the Admin panel under the SETTINGS column.
Step 5: Site Logo and Favicon
The next step is to add a site logo and favicon. If you are not a natural artist (like myself) you can easily hire this out. I have had great success with Fiverr.com in the past. You could use one of the premium sites and spend $100-500 for a decent logo, or you could roll the dice and spend $10-20 on Fiverr for the same quality.
I usually hire out 3-5 gigs on Fiverr and pick the best of the best for my Logo. I then take pieces of the logos and create a simple Favicon.
Now that your site has been set up your ready for content! In the next blog post we’ll cover the necessary support pages as well as a content strategy. Stay tuned!
What do you think? Do you do anything different?