Development isn’t domaining, but it is another route to monetization. No doubt there are times when you are thinking, “Man, I should develop that domain myself, it’s awesome.” Either that or a buddy who also happens to be a savvy internet marketer is telling you that you could make bank with a domain like that. So where to start? You don’t have time to mess about coding and getting stressed with design work, and you certainly don’t want to pump more money into a domain you already paid a hefty price tag for. The reality is you can have a site up and running in 24-hours, probably less if you don’t take too many food breaks or your usual afternoon nap. Start now and follow this 10 step guide:
1. Install WordPress CMS
Why WordPress? Because it’s simple, themes are free in abundance and even your grandma could find her way around the dashboard. For affordable, highly reliable hosting see Hostgator. Their dashboard is user-friendly, help threads are actually helpful and customer service is efficient. As far as themes go the Thesis theme is well worth looking at. It’s user-friendly, SEO friendly and enables you to get going within minutes. Advanced stuff in Thesis like “hooks” will require some study, but don’t get caught up in that for now. Just get your layout and main pages up and running for now. Check out this thread for some awesome tips that go beyond the basics.
2. Start Posting Valuable Content On Your Blog
Even if you aren’t building a blog-type site you should have a blog attached to the site. A blog gives you the power to attract more traffic through valuable, reader targeted content. By all means keyword-target your posts by using the Google Keyword Tool to see what people are searching for, but remember first and foremost that people love valuable content, and non-spammy titles are far more attractive. Moreover, we are going social, so you won’t solely need the search engines to rank your posts for traffic. Provide content people are likely to share; stuff like this post – a handy DIY , step-by-step post.
3. Get Social
Register a Facebook page and a Twitter account to begin with. If you have time left at the end of the day get involved with Google + and Pinterest. First though, use your blog posts and pages of content to target people interested in your line of business/industry. Optimize your Twitter profile using keywords that will attract relevant followers; also follow some key industry figures to get the ball rolling. Now gather 20 friends and get them to “like” your page. Once this is done, install the Facebook developer’s plugin that shows the faces of those who like your site in your widget bar. All you have to do is generate this code thru your Facebook page and paste it in a widget area of your WordPress theme. This presence of followers on your site will encourage others to “like” your page.
4. Share Your Content
Now install a sharing plugin on your theme so that users can share your content around the web at the click of a button. There are many to choose from; see here. Make sure you include the key buttons: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Digg, Email, Pinterest, LinkedIn.
5. Start Building Links
Link building never stops, and this isn’t something you can complete within the 24 hours, but to get the ball rolling, start by posting on related blogs and leaving a link back to your site. Don’t be spammy; make sure you read the page you are posting on and leave a relevant reply that links to a post on your site in a contextual way. While you’re doing this, contact other blogs in your industry and try and secure some guest posts. Twitter is also a great place to chat people up for guest posting opportunities.
6. Hold Back On Monetization
If you have started a blog you will be tempted to monetize the page with ads and affiliate links. Don’t. You have no traffic yet, nor do you have an online presence. Build a readership first and go gently. It’s very off-putting when a site so obviously exists for ad clicks. Build a readership first through valuable content and trust in your expertise. Once the traffic is flowing then subtly introduce monetization.
7. Be Responsive To Interaction
If you get a comment don’t wait three days to reply. Get on it! Reply promptly and encourage the conversation to continue. Comments are gold. They encourage others to comment and are a sign that your content is stimulating enough to provoke a response. The same goes for Facebook page comments and Tweet replies. Be in the conversation as much as you can. All this can be handled from your smartphone using social apps. WordPress also has an app for you to handle comments from your phone.
8. Build A Mailing List
Sign up for free account with a mailing list provider like Mailchimp or Aweber. Follow their instructions for embedding a simple email form in your sidebar. Collect the email address and first name; second name isn’t necessary and will put people off signing up. Offer a free monthly newsletter or simply “updates to your inbox”. You may choose to develop another lure going forward, like an eBook or email course. Again, the more value the more takers you will attract. Remember, every opt-in is a potential future monitization opportunity, and so this is an area you will want to optimize over time.
This won’t happen today, but once the traffic is building, the comments are coming in, the retweets and follows are swelling daily, the likes are accumulating and people are joining your list, consider monitization. Perhaps bolt on a store, join some affiliate programs of respected products and conduct reviews or add Google Adsense to your page (top right sidebar is a proven place to earn decent click money). Don’t overdo ads. i know some big blogs do. But these are guys and gals who’ve spent years building a following and can pretty much do whatever they please with a page and still attract a plethora of new readers each month. Remember, you don’t need to monitize on page. You can use email marketing to promote offers to your list.
10. Other Set-Up Considerations:
24 hours is almost up, and you’ve come along way. If you have time squeeze these things in today. If not, spend the next week fine tuning and implementing the list below:
- Set up an RSS feed for your site
- Pin all images on your site in folders on your Pinterest account and follow some relevant boards
- Spend an hour exploring Google+ and joining relevant circles
- Create a LinkedIn Page and add a social profile button to your site
- Get a decent banner/logo made try Elance.com
- Provide an easy to find contact form
- When you start gaining social popularity, install a social profile counter to show off
- Spend time on interlinking relevant posts and pages in your site. Use relevant anchor works to lead users from one page to another.
- Invite guest posters
- Seek joint ventures for email list marketing
Feel free to add to the list!