Starting your online business must begin with the setup of a WordPress blog, whether you are promoting your own information products or those from affiliates you are recommending to your prospects. It used to be that WordPress was very technical and difficult to set up and manage, but those days are long gone. It has never been easier to install and set up a site to use for your online business. When you are starting, make sure to set up the site exactly where you want it to be, install the right plug-ins to make it run smoothly, and choose a theme to make it work most effectively for your needs.
I install my blogs at the top level of my domains, meaning that there is no forward slash and then a blog name. This is a personal preference, and you must make this decision when you are setting up the site for the first time. There is no right or wrong on this, so take a look at what others have done before setting yours up within your hosting account. It can be changed later on, but I am not technical enough to do this. It involves moving all of the contents of that folder from one place to another. I find it much easier to do this the way I want it the first time around.
Plug-ins are what make WordPress great. There are thousands of these at this point in time, so you will only want to install the ones that you need in order to have the best possible site. I have included the ones I use on every site I set up for myself or for one of my students:
- All in one SEO – to tell the search engines exactly what my posts are about
- SEO slug – to remove the articles and prepositions from my permalinks
- SEO friendly images – to add proper ALT tags to any pictures I add to my posts
- Google Analytics for WordPress – to have easy access to my numbers each day
- Google XML sitemap – to have all of my pages indexed quickly, except for my download pages
- Tweetmeme – so that I can connect Twitter to my posts
There are others I use, but they depend upon some special circumstances that may not apply directly to what you are trying to achieve. You can see that I am particularly interested in how I can use my site for SEO – search engine optimization – because that is what WordPress is most famous for doing for us. Being able to rank on the first page of Google for my search terms brings be more prospects and customers than I could ever have otherwise.
I have also been using a theme that makes my entire WordPress site run like a mini-website. Of course, I am referring to Armand Morin’s new Marketers CMS (content management system) theme. It is a complete content management system that also sets up my optin page and sales letter easily. It has never been easier to run an entire online business from a single site.