Once you have a niche (or niches) selected, it’s time
to get started actually setting them up. We’re going
to need to get a domain, get web hosting, set up
WordPress, configure it, and start making posts.
I’m also going to show you how to schedule posts with
WordPress so your blogs will update whether you’re
around to do it manually or not. That way your blogs
can run on autopilot while you travel or work on
anything else you want to do.
Choosing a Domain
Choosing a domain name is a relatively simple process,
but a lot of people don’t do it correctly. There are a
few important rules to observe when buying domains.
1. Since these domains are primarily for search
engine optimization purposes, and not for
branding, you should incorporate keywords into the
domain. For an office supply site, you would want
something like officesupplies.com, not
2. You should only buy .com domains. While other
extensions will work for SEO purposes, .com
domains seem to perform better overall, and will be easier for people to remember if they forget to
bookmark your site and wish to return.
3. Don’t use dashes in domain names. They are
unattractive, may look spammy to visitors or
search engines, and visitors would rarely remember
to type them when trying to return to your site.
4. Don’t use numbers in your domain name. Domains
like 123officesupplies.com are just as
unattractive and spammy-looking as domains with
5. Try to avoid double letters whenever possible.
Domains like arttablets.com would also be
potentially confusing for people who try to type
them in and forget one of the “t’s”.
6. Try to limit domains to two or three words.
Longer domains won’t be memorable.
7. Try not to get domains that contain words that
might be difficult for some people to spell,
unless of course they are absolutely necessary for
the niche. Obviously if you were building a site
about a medical condition that is tricky to spell
you would want to have that word in the domain, but generally you should try to use common words
that are easy to spell and type.
Once you have found and registered a domain name you’re
happy with, it’s time to find hosting.
I always choose hosting companies that use cPanel and
Fantastico. CPanel makes it easy to perform all of the
maintenance tasks I need to perform with regards to my
hosting, and Fantastico makes it a snap to install
WordPress and many other scripts.
WordPress can take several minutes to install by hand,
but it takes only SECONDS to install with Fantastico.
And since hosting companies like HostGator.com have
Fantastico and cost less than $10 per month, it’s worth
it to make sure I have Fantastico available!
Setting up WordPress
WordPress is a remarkably flexible script. It doesn’t
have to be used only for blogs. You can use it to set
up and manage standard-style websites, too.
I still call them blogs, simply because some people get
confused when I try to explain that I make websites
using WordPress. They say, “Don’t you mean blogs?” They’re not really blogs, because they don’t use the
more personal style blogs typically use, and they
aren’t updated as often as blogs typically are. But I
still call them blogs just because it’s easier to
Anyway, WordPress is really a snap to install with
Fantastico. Just log into your cPanel account and look
for the word Fantastico and click it.
Now you’ll see a link on the left for WordPress. If
you click this and select a domain, you will be guided
through a very simple setup process. It’s step-bystep,
extremely easy to follow, and only takes a few
Once WordPress is installed, you will see a link to the
admin login page. Visit the link and log in. Once you
have logged in, you will need to make a few
The first think you need to do is look at the menu on
the left side of your admin area. You will notice a
section called “Settings”. Underneath this section,
click the link that says “General”.
Here, you will notice two URLs that look like this:
http://yourdomain.com I always change this to http://www.yourdomain.com by
adding the www to the beginning. After to save the
change, you will be logged out, and you will have to
log in again.
Now you need to change your permalink settings. Under
the “Settings” area, click “Permalinks”.
Here you need to set a custom permalink that looks like
This makes your post URLs look like this:
Instead of like this:
I have found the category/postname permalink to be the
most effective for SEO purposes.
Next, you will probably want to install a new theme.
The default themes that come with WordPress are very
boring, and they don’t have many spots that work well
for advertising. You can do a search on Google for “free AdSense-ready
WordPress themes” or other similar searches to find
plenty of free themes, or you could use a paid theme.
I like the themes from WooThemes.com. They are clean,
attractive, professional, and have plenty of spots for
ads. They are fairly costly, but if you purchase a
developer’s license, you can use them on as many blogs
as you want.
Installing a theme is easy. You just need to upload
the entire folder of the theme you just downloaded into
this directory on your server:
If you uploaded a theme called “red”, it would be found
Once you’ve uploaded the entire theme, you can click
“Themes” under the “Appearance” category in the left
menu of your blog’s admin area.
Click the thumbnail image for the theme you want to use
and activate it. It should now show up on your blog! Plugins are essential. The main plugin you’re going to
want to use is one of the two main SEO plugins.
All-in-One SEO Pack:
Platinum SEO Pack:
You can use either one you wish. They are basically
exactly the same, except the Platinum plugin will
automatically redirect URLs with a 301 redirect if you
ever change your permalinks. Most people use the Allin-
One plugin because it’s been around a lot longer,
but the Platinum plugin is just an updated version of
There are other plugins you may find useful, but as
long as you have one of these SEO plugins installed,
that’s all you absolutely have to have.
After the blog is set up, it’s time to start making
posts. I generally make about 10 posts to start with.
I actually publish these normally so they appear right
away. This will get some initial traffic going to the
blog. Then I set up some posts that will be automatically
added to the blog at specific intervals. For very
popular niches, I always make posts every week or every
two weeks. For less popular niches, once per month is
Whenever you make a post, you can schedule when it’s
actually posted. If you look on the top right of the
screen when you’re making a post, you’ll notice this:
Publish immediately Edit
If you click edit, you will be able to set a date and
time for the post to be published. You can write as
many posts in advance as you wish.
You could write 52 posts and have them publish once
each week, and you would have a blog that was updated
every week that you wouldn’t have to touch for an