PIP Module 2 – Building Your Niche Affiliate Site

Passive Income Project - Niche WebsiteIt seems no matter how hard I try – Posting on my own blog and building passive income, among other things, always seems to take the back seat.  Let’s not forget to mention that I currently have no means of recording audio (no microphone/mixer is out of commission due to a fried preamp).  So, rather than be a complete douche bag and use this as an excuse for not continuing my Passive Income Project series, I’m going to write out this next module with hopes of recording a video later.

In the first video, I talked about various ways I do my gold digging to uncover profitable keywords, products and domain names. Once you have everything in place they next step is to build your website, and even if you suck, I’m going to give you some tools and tips to make a killer site regardless.

Remember – I AM NOT A GRAPHIC/WEB DESIGNER! But I do know enough to make things look and perform well.  How did I learn?  I did the same thing anyone does when they want to develop a new skill… I scoured the Internet until I realized that I could just harass the living daylights out of my bud Jay aka Suite J to teach me every ninja photoshop, CSS, HTML trick in the book.  This was so much easier than reading about code and it was also free!

So TIP NUMBER 1 is if you suck at building sites like Justin Bieber sucks at growing chest hair, find someone to take you under their wing and absorb absolutely everything from them until you vomit on your keyboard.  Watch tons of photoshop tutorials on YouTube and TRY everything.  Don’t be afraid to mess something up or get crappy feedback on your sites – because the more you do, the better you get.

Here are some killer places to start:




TIP NUMBER 2 – If you don’t want to do it yourself, find someone good to do it – for really cheap!  When it comes to outsourcing your niche websites, the name of the game is FOREIGN EXCHANGE. How much is your dollar worth around the world? Find a great market and take advantage of the conversion, for example, $10 USD could get you a great looking website if you outsourced it to the Philippines – where the US dollar is of great value on the market.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

TIP NUMBER 3 – You’ve decided on how the site is going to be built, and which niche market/keywords you’ll be targeting, it’s time to find a killer advertiser to promote.  Now to make this really work, you want to have one primary keyword, with the domain for that keyword, and promote one single advertiser.  You’re not necessarily trying to build a micro niche website, because you might have a keyword/domain that is in a larger market, but you are trying to keep the website as targeted as possible and rank on the first page/first spot for your primary keyword.

I use LinkShare because they have every niche, great resources and make most other networks look like the bottom of Lindsay Lohan’s purse on a Monday morning. Click here for more on LinkShare.

TIP NUMBER 4 – For my passive income project website, I chose to promote LampsPlus.com, which is a reputable lighting and home decor franchise.  When it comes to designing your website, you want to make sure that it shares a similar look and feel to that of the advertiser you’re promotiong.  Why? Because when people find your site online and click on the ads or links, they won’t realize they’ve been sent to the advertisers website.

Is it okay to copy your advertisers website? No.  Is it okay to mock their colors and styling to increase conversions?  Absolutely.  Just take a look at my website, MissionTiffanyLamp.com and click any of the ads referring to LampsPlus – doesn’t it feel like you’re on the same website?  This is the whole point.

TIP NUMBER 5 – Keep your website as frequently updated as possible. If you can only write one post per week, great.  One post per month is fine, as long as you’re compensating with an increased amount of social bookmarking per new post published.  Every article you write or have written for the website will essentially be a short summary post, reviewing a product in particular – using your affiliate link for the image as well as throughout the content.

This is very important****IF YOU DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOUR NICHE WEBSITE, OR DON’T CARE HOW IT LOOKS AND PERFORMS, YOU WON’T MAKE ANY MONEY.  So the opposite of that would be to actually care, work hard, and if you don’t know how to do something – learn or hire someone for dirt cheap to rid you of the burden.

In the next module I’ll actually take you guys through how I set up the WordPress niche site in the back end so you have on board stats, click tracking, link cloaking, etc..  I’ll show you how to make your website run like a champ (Rocky to be exact).  Not sure when I’ll get around to doing the video – but I will!




7 Must-Have WordPress Plugins For Newbies

7-must-have-wordpress-plugins-for-newbiesThe more time I spend with WordPress, the more tempted I become to ask it out for dinner because WordPress is sexy and I can’t keep my hands off it – but don’t tell Veronica 🙂 .  If you’ve used WordPress before then I’m sure you’ll understand what I’m talking about.  It is by far the most versatile blogging platform on the market today, and while some might argue, WordPress has proven time and time again that it’s a force to be reckon with.

If you’re ready to get moving in the blogging world, you will have to be ready to invest a small amount of money for a custom domain name and web hosting – I highly recommend Godaddy.com for your domains and Hostgator.com for your website and blog hosting.  If you Google “godaddy coupons” you will find tons of updated coupon sites that will get you domain names for dirt cheap like this one OYH3 for $3 off and .com or OYH1 for 10 % off anything.  Sweet! 🙂

Now assuming that some of you already have a WordPress blog set up, I’ve taken the time and compiled a list of the 7 Must-Have WordPress Plugins for 2008.  I find that if you do a search query on “best wordpress plugins” many of the results are outdated and not that great (shitty) so I figured I would revive all these garbage lists and condense them into 7 powerhouse WordPress plugins that will make it easy for beginners to improve your blogs performance, increase its search engine optimization, and start bringing in some traffic.

  1. Akismet – I have no idea how to properly pronounce this, but I do know that this plugin is an absolute spam destroyer.  Askimet was developed by Matt Mullenweg to perform one main objective – stop all crappy spam comments from hitting your blog, and make sure the good ones get in.  This blog has been up for a little over 2 weeks, and Akismet has already stopped 16 spam comments!  Pretty scary shit.  Click here for some more info.
  2. All In One SEO Pack – Michael Torbet developed this plugin to act like your own little SEO personal assistant.  When you are writing a post, you can scroll down and access all the SEO features that search engines love – meta title, meta description, meta keywords… It’s awesome.  If any of you have ever used Build a Niche Store, or BANs, then you will be familiar with adding these elements to a web page or post.  Having the ability to input your own meta information will improve your blogs rankings for keywords, as well as give you the control over what people see when your site pops up in Google.  Click here for some more info.
  3. SEO Friendly Images – I love this plugin because it’s a huge corner-cutter and saves a butt load of time.  Vladimir Prelovac designed this app to automatically add the alt text and title attributes to any image files that you upload or post, and if you remember from my 5 Traffic Techniques For New Bloggers post, naming your image files correctly could be the difference between no traffic and a traffic grande with a side of curly fries!  Personally, I still name all my titles and alt attributes manually – due to the fact that I’m a Virgo and like to have control 🙂 .  Click here for more info on this super easy plugin.
  4. Google XML Sitemaps – Think of a sitemap as an index, and your blog as a book.  Every book needs an index to help its reader determine the content before buying it.  Comparatively, every blog and website should have a sitemap to assist the search engines and readers in determining the content.  Arne Brachhold developed this plugin to automatically create a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of your blog which is supported by all the major search engines i.e. Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc… and search engines love blogs with sitemaps!  Click here for more info.
  5. Feedburner Feedsmith – By default, WordPress automatically creates feeds for your blogs.  The Feedburner Feedsmith plugin detects every way to access your blog’s feed and redirects them to your Feedburner account – enabling you to track and manage every subscriber!  If you want to be a pro-blogger you need to have your Feedburner widget in the top corner, right?  Not necessarily, but Steve Smith has made our lives much easier with this plugin.  This is a definite must-have if you are looking to build a subscriber base and utilize the power of Feedburner.  Click here for more info.
  6. Robots Meta – I’m sure most of you who have dabbled in web development or blogging have stumbled across the term robots.txt.  In laymen terms, every site should have some sort of permissions protocol which communicates to the search engine spiders what to crawl, and more importantly, what NOT to crawl 🙂 .  Developed by Joost de Valk, the Robots Meta plugin allows you to add all the necessary robots meta tags to your feeds, pages, posts and comments as well as mediating the nofollow aspect of your links – preserving your link juice and page rank.  Click here for more info.
  7. WordPress Automatic Upgrade – Pretty self explanatory.  Rather than manually downloading each wonderful update provided by our friends at WordPress, Keith Dsouza developed this plugin to provide us with an automatic, 5-step process to upgrading our WordPress software.  It comes with ample instructions and a simple point and click interface which saves tons of time.  Click here for more info.

Truthfully I do have more than 7 WordPress plugins active behind TheAtHomeCouple.com but I really wanted to avoid the “Top 78 WordPress Plugins” type of post because that equals information overload for you guys, and that wouldn’t be too friendly.  If you are thinking of setting up a new WordPress blog, or currently have a blog and would like some more functionality, security, and optimization – then my 7 Must-Have WordPress Plugins For Newbies will transform your blog from effin’ ordinary to an effin’ rock star!

If you guys have any plugins that are a must-have in your opinion, let me know!



7 Must-Have WordPress Plugins For Newbies

Addiction To Social Networking SitesWhat is social networking? This term could be broken down into many concepts. When I initially hear the term social networking, the last thing that comes to mind is the Internet. If I had no idea what the hell Digg or StumbleUpon was, I would assume social networking was some sort of event where people meet other people and try to find similar interests. I also associate the word social with being in a group of people participating in some sort of discussion, activity, or drinking game.

What I’ve noticed though is that most social networking and social bookmarking sites aren’t really used to “network” at all – at least by a majority of it’s users. I’m not by any means implying that sites like Digg, Twitter and StumbleUpon aren’t great networking tools – they are in fact brilliant mediums for building contacts and traffic to any website or blog. But it seems to a giant majority of the Internet population social networking sites are yet another form of addiction. These sites can easily suck up 2-3 hours of time that would have been better spent doing something else, and as I am setting up accounts on all the major social networking platforms I’m beginning to notice this more and more. I just spent an hour and a half stumbling through random WordPress blogs giving thumbs up, or thumbs down before I recognized what time it was – and that I had a blog post to write.

Here is what our good ol’ friends at Wikipedia have to say about Social Networking:

A social network service focuses on building online communities of people who share interests and activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. Most social network services are web based and provide a variety of ways for users to interact, such as e-mail and instant messaging services.

Social networking has created powerful new ways to communicate and share information. Social networking websites are being used regularly by millions of people, and it now seems that social networking will be an enduring part of everyday life. The main types of social networking services are those which contain directories of some categories (such as former classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages), and recommender systems linked to trust.

Personally, I have never had the time or patience to be sitting on the Internet trying to find my old crush from high-school or the bully that used to throw rocks at me during recess (you’d better run if I ever see you again). When sites like Facebook and Myspace surfaced I immediately set up profiles and began experimenting with the functionality – but my intentions were always results oriented, especially when it came to Myspace. Myspace has been a great marketing tool for me to promote my music, and collaborate with other musicians and artists around the globe, yet I still suffered from a slight addiction at one point in time – becoming obsessed with adding friends, increasing my plays, and commenting instead of strategically marketing and promoting.

I strongly believe that an addiction to social networking sites can become a serious problem. We struggle enough trying to filter out the copious amounts of information fed into our brains on a daily basis – and the last thing we need is a society of unfocused, twitter-fied zombies. There is more to life than the little graphic on your blog or web page which spits out how many “votes” you have, and I give warning to anybody intrigued or interested in discovering the value of Internet social networking sites – if you don’t have a reason to be using them, DON’T! Unless you have no job, live at home and don’t pay rent. Make a list of how you could benefit from social networking services and determine the value of using this medium to increase the presence and web-awareness of your company, brand, or blog. Having a list of benefits should at least help you keep focused and utilize these tools to generate traffic and awareness to your selected source destination.

I’d love to hear what you guys think about the value of social networking sites, and the possible addiction associated with these types of services.