This third blog in the building an affiliate website series will be a little shorter than the first two have been.
Much of Jay's webinar this week had to do with setting up a static home page. I had already made that decision and covered most of that info already.
If you haven't read part 1 and 2 yet, I suggest you do that first. Just click the button to go to part 1 now.
Jay Neil's third webinar in his current five part series aired on Friday of last week. As you know, in am following along with my own website and applying what he teaches to my own site. In this blog series I share what I am doing with you. To get the most out of the training, you really should watch Jay's webinar replays too. There you will see it done in real time.
The main topics for this week include:
To do all that I will also be making more settings changes to WordPress and to my theme and plugin settings.
It just so happened that during this last week, WordPress updated there core version from 4.2 to 4,5. This was a fairly major update. It did update all my sites to the new version but, before I did that, I backed them up.
One of the plugins I added in an earlier post was WP_DBManager. This is a perfect example of how using a backup plugin is important. If anything had gone wrong during or after I update WordPress, I could have recovered easily because I backed up first.
Fortunately, I have not had any issues with the new WP version but some people have. So, always backup before updating!
When I did the setup of All in One SEO, I added XML Sitemaps through the Feature Manager but I didn't do anything with that sitemap at that time. Now I am ready to actually use it.
I go to All in One SEO -> XML Sitemap from the WP dashboard. This first time going there, the sitemap is empty. To actually generate one I first makes sure the prefix say "sitemap" then I click "Update Sitemap."
Click on images that display a magnifying glass to see them full size
Next I view the sitemap to make sure it worked and it looks OK. I see a list of links to my pages and posts and the last time each was updated. That looks fine so I can send it to Google.
I go to my Search Console account and select the new website that I set up in post 2 of this series (Fun Tech Gadgets). Click "Sitemaps" under Crawl. Then, on the right hand side of the page, I click "Add/Test Sitemap" and type in "sitemap.xml." Then I click submit.
Now Google knows where to find the sitemap for my site and should begin crawling the site soon.
One thing Jay did that I am going to do a little differently was to add a contact page to his site. I will add the contact form he used but, instead of making a separate page for it, I am going to add it to my About Me page. This is just a personal preference.
To add the for I am going to use a popular plugin called "Contact Form 7." To get it I will go to Plugins - Add New from the WP Dashboard and serch for the name.
Once I install and activate it I can set it up by clicking "Setting" under the name in the plugins list. Then I click Edit under the form name. I only have one.
The only change I need to make is to enter the email I want these contact messages to go to. I used firstname.lastname@example.org. Just make sure the user is set up in WordPress if you want to add the email here. Everything else is just fine as is.
Now, I have to get that form onto my About Me page. To do that I use what is called a shortcode and I get it at the top of the settings. Shortcodes are small macros that call other coding from core WordPress or from third party vendors.
To add the contact form I just have to copy the short code shown in the setup.
If you are using the built in WordPress editor, you can add the short code just by pasting it where you want it to appear like this:
I am using the Thrive Themes Content Builder so I enter it in there this way:
In both cases, you wont see the actual form in the editor, I will show up when you preview the page and after you publish it.
In Jay's presentation, he emphasized the need for internal links within the site. These are links within your content that point to other pages and posts on the site. They are an aid to your visitors but. also help the search bots navigate the site and that is good for SEO.
I went back to my existing pages and added a few links there.
Now it is time for the first real blog post that actually talks about a fun tech gadget. I chose to write about the Estes Syncro Quadcoptor just because there are two of them setting on my desk right now and, because I like them.
Before I start writing though I will need to do some keyword research. This will help me select a title for my post and give me some good keywords to work into the article. I will use Jaaxy and Google Search for my research.
Beginning in Jaaxy, I enter "Estes Syncro" to get a feel for what keywords I should consider. It looks like I might have hit upon a great title with this first search!
"Estes Syncro Radio Controlled Nano Quadcopter" looks very good to me. It has a very high search volume and a low QSR. If I use that title, I should also have a good chance to rank for "Estes Syncro" and for "Estes Syncro Nano Quadcoptor."
It almost looks too good to be true so I will use Google Search to get another look at the competition number. To get an accurate look at the competition you need to go to the last page of the search and check the number at the top.
97 is a good number to see. According to Jay, any number under 300 is good so 97 is very good! I will use this for the title but I will also work some of those other keywords into the text.
I continue searching for other keywords back in Jaaxy. I tried term like "nano quadcopter," "nano drone," and "rc drone."
These have good search volume but also high competition. Still, it wont hurt to use them in the article, especially if I can add extra words to make them long tail keywords. Phrases like "tiny rc drone" have much lower competition (and search volume) so they should rank well.
Now that I have some good keywords in mind I will begin writing my blog post. I am going to use Thrive Content Editor for that but the WordPress Visual Editor will do most of the same things. I wont go into every detail of writing the post here but I will highlight a few tips and tricks for making it easier.
Over the next months and possible years, I will be adding a lot of products to this site. It would not be practical to set up affiliate programs with every manufacturer or retailer. So, since I am already an Amazon associate, most of my link swill be to there.
My goal , of course, is to sell these products and I do need to link to my affiliate ID within the post. But, it don't want to make it a hard sell. I will try to inform the reader and let them make their own decision about buying.I will use personal experience, product descriptions, benefits lists, images and video to build informative product posts.
A major plus for using Amazon is that, as an associate, I am allowed to use the images from their product pages on my website. That is an excellent source of product pictures.
Not only can I use them but I can also link directly to the images. That means they wont take up space in my database.
The drawback to doing that is that I will have to closely monitor my links. If Amazon changes or removes an image, I will have a broken link. Of course, that is also true of the products themselves. Any changes Amazon makes can affect my site. There re plugins that will check for broken link sand I will use one of them to avoid potential problems.
One way I like to use images is to add my associate link to at least one of the images in the post. The basic code to do that is:
<a href="ASSOCIATE LINK"><img src="IMAGE URL"></a>
Using WordPress Visual Editor, switch to Text mode and add the above code where you want the image to appear. In Thrive Content Builder, I use the Custom HTML element and place it where I want the image.
To get the links, I log into my Amazon Associate account and go to the product page I want to link to.
The associate link is at the you left of the page under Get Link -> Text. I just copy it and past it into my code in place of "ASSOCIATE LINK."
To get the image link, click on the image you want to use to display it full size. Then right click and select "Copy Image URL" or "Copy Image Location" depending on your browser. Paste that into the code in place of IMAGE URL.
Now the code should look like this:
If you want to add other images from Amazon but don't want the link, just use the img src part of the code to add the image only.
I also like to use buttons to link to product pages because the are attention grabbers and everyone like to click buttons.
In WordPress Visual Editor, you can add a button image and then add the link to the button. In Thrive, just add a button element.
Here is a part of the page with an Amazon image and a button link.
Video is another good way to display the product. It lets victors see it in action.
If you don't know how to add youTube videos in WordPress, I suggest you look at this training by Marion Black. It is much easier to understand when demonstrated.
Thrive Content Builder has just added some nice framing options for video and I like adding them with that editor, I just need the link from youTube.
Use the Responsive Video element and place it where you want the video. Choose a frame style and remember to Hide Related Videos so only this one is shown to your visitors. Also Hide Video Title Bar because this allows the visitor to go directly to youTube. You don't want that. You want them to stay on your site.
I really like the look of that lifted frame and how it makes the video stand out.
My last tip is to add some text that encourages visitors to leave comments. Engagement with your viewers is good for SEO and it helps you understand what they like and what they don't. Use that knowledge to make your posts better.
To see the whole page I created, just go to this link:
All in One SEO allows us to control the way the name and description of the post appear in the search engines. On each page or post, there is a place to enter these Meta Tags. Just go there and type in what you want. Your meta title should be your main keyword.
In Jay's webinar he suggested capitalizing the words in the first sentence. It wont help with search engine ranking but will be more likely to catch the eye of a potential visitor. I had never done that before but I will try it on this site.
You can also control how the post appears on social media. Here you have more space for a longer description. It is also where I chose a picture to display with the social media posts.
Before I hit publish, I will add a catagory for the post and a few tags. Tags don't play as big a role in SEO as they once did but they still help so I use them.
I am still not sure just what categories I want to use for this site so the list shown might change soon.
Now I can hit publish and my first real blog post is online!
One last detail before closing out this third post in the affiliate marketing website series.
I already covered setting up Google Analytics and Search Console but it is also important to be indexed on Bing and Yahoo. They are the second and third most popular search engines. Fortunately for us, since Bing also provides the search engine for Yahoo, getting on Bing Webmaster Tools also gets us on both.
I go to http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster and login to the webmaster tools. If you don't already have an account, you can add one at the same page. Then, on the main page, I enter the URL for the new website.
On the next page I can enter the same sitemap I used for Google. I need the full path the the sitemap file here.
Then I click "ADD" and move on to the verification page. Just like I did with Google, I ned to verify my ownership of this site by adding some code to it. Also like with Google, All in One SEO can take care of that for me. I only need the verification ID from Bing.
Now I go back to All in One SEO and and paste it into General Settings -> Webmaster Verification and past the ID there. Then "Update Options."
Then I go back to Bing and verify the site. Soon Bing will index the site.
That's it for this third post in the series. Please also watch the replay of Jay's webinar if you haven't already.
The website is starting to look like pretty good. Stop by and see how far it has come so far.
Have you learned anything new from this series? What question do you have that I didn't cover? What are you doing on your own website?
Your comments and question are always very welcome.