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Make Money Online- the baby steps part 25

We still have the other part of our list to cover, and we attempt to do just that. In this part of our guide, “Make Money Online- the baby steps part 25″, we will complete the list by looking at the remaining 9 items on it. Without further ado, let´s get down to business.

10. Plan the menu, categories and navigation. You would do well to plan for a navigational strategy before you start producing loads of content. The importance of this has to do with the user experience. A balanced and well-engineered site will keep a visitor busy and entertained for hours at a time, simply by enhancing and simplifying the navigational process. Not only is there a question of a logical, clean and functional page menu. Your posts need to be categorized with care as well. And since you want to keep your visitors happy and occupied, you want to add suggestions of further related reading by the end of each post. This will not only enhance the user experience and the value you are offering, it will also improve the stats for your site immensely. There are a number of plugins that will do this one for you, and we encourage you to check them out and install it, unless you want to go down the manual road. Keep your menu intuitive and with a clean logical structure. Don´t do too many submenues or go too much into detail. If you do, chances are you willl lose visitors.

11. Install must-have plugins. We have already covered some of the most important plugins you are going to need previously in this guide. Just read through part 6 and 7 of this guide again and you have a good road-map for what needs to be done initially. You are going to need more plugins than these, but these are the ones you are likely to come back to each time you set up a new site. You don´t want to have too many plugins as tytnd to slow down your site and can cause other nasty complications later on. A classic example of plugin blues would be each time WordPress ugrades its software. You don´t want to overdo your plugins, but the ones on our least each do their part in making your site a better place. As far as we are concerned they are mandatory, and you neglect them at your own peril.

12. Create the static background pages and contact form. Every website has them. The not overly exciting background pages that are a part of the overall professional feel of your site. Among other things you are probably going to need  a contact page (with an easy, functional contact form), an about page, a privacy policy and a home page. Just get them up. No need to spend more time than neccessary initially, you can always come back later and add some final touches. Just get this one of your list. Need help or inspiration? Go visit one of the major websites on the web and see how they´ve set it up.

13. Start producing content. There are several ways to approach this one. We believe in an aggressive all-out assualt. Whenever we do a new site we give ourselves a ridiculously tough content plan. This initial rush only lasts for a month or two (shorter if we are doing a niche website), and really that´s all you need. After that period you should have plenty of material in place in order to at least make it seem like a large-scale website to first-time visitors. By now you should have your content plan in place and a weekly and daily plan to go along with that. The vicious pace of the first couple of weeks establishes good working habits. You will be amazed at how much you can actually fit into a day if you become a man on a mission. Forget about silly little breaks or lazy weekends. You will have plenty of time for that later. We promise you that those initial months of slavery will result not only in loads of quality content, you will be a lot more efficient once you go back to your “normal” working habits as well. We know we are asking a lot. But nobody told you this was going to be easy.

14. Do some elementary design. You have a sketch of what you are looking for. Do a web logo. Put in some effort if you have some photoshop skills, if you don´t just go for something clean and simple. Don´t go for bold, shiny, complicated or flashy. If you still feel you have done a lousy job and it makes the website look cheap, you might want to consider buying a logo on the internet. This should set you back around $ 100-300, but you will get a nice web logo created by a professional, that you can be proud of. This is also the time to play around a little. Change the colours, try a different font, place your widgets in a different order and decide what structure you are going to employ for your theme. Spend an hour or two making a good looking favicon. We know it is a bit cheasy, but it does ad a professional feel for your website. Your website should begin to look quite snazzy right about now. Good work! Now, don´t get stuck on details. You are probably going to make millions of small adjustements to the way your website looks over the coming years. There is no reason to try to do it all at once.

15. Add additional features. Want to make a custom plugin or add a custom feature to your website. Well, if you feel that you must, now would be a good time. A word of caution is in order. Don´t mess too much with your theme unless you know what you are doing. Always have a backup ready before you “give it  a try”. Better be safe than sorry. If you´re not sure if you have the neccessary skills, you probably don´t. Go get yourself a professional at odesk or some similar service and focus your energy on doing what you do best.

16. Consider options of monetizing. If you must, now would be a good time to add some Google AdSense ads to your site. You probably have little or no visitors, but it could take you a while to approved by Google anyways. If you want to go further down this road you are better of postponing some of the other stuff (including affiliate programs, PayPal and/or Google checkout, e-commerce shop with card payment in place et c). While some of these features can be added in a lot less time and with a lot less effort than most people realize, it is way too early to get into this. Also, this is not the time to spend days on perfecting a mouthwatering media-kit. Go with AdSense if you must and do that silly victory dance once you get your first earth-shattering click. We know we did.

17. Test links, payment processing, contact forms, mailing list functionality, loading time. You´ve done a lot of hard work. Now its time to evaluate the end-result. Take a critical look at the potential short-comings of your website and adress them. Once traffic starts to pick up your visitors will expect a fully functional, complete website. If you don´t have it, they will move on to someone who can deliver the goods. This is your time to identify, analyze and fix anything and everything that is not working the way it should be. This part can be a lot more fun than it may sound. By now your website is actually looking relatively presentable and you might just find yourself surfing your creation with joy and even some pride. Good work soldier. Don´t forget why you are here, though. Be thorough but don´t get yourself buried into tiny details. Just check for bugs or things that are out of place. Fix them. And move on.

18. Analyze, improve and keep adding content. Building and mastering a content-rich website is really a seemingly endless iterative process. Come to think of it most business oriented ventures are iterative. Or, rather most of them should be. Try, fail, try again, fail again, try one more time, succeed, look for another target to improve on. That´s the iterative process. Spend your time repeating these steps and you will be amazed at what you will accomplish. Look for customer and visitor feedback. Formulate what you need to adress in order to upgrade the user experience. Enter the iterative process, and stay there until you have reached the desired result. This will at times be boring and time-consuming, but it will bring some serious traffic and goodwill your way if you only have the stomach to keep it up. We believe you do.

That about covers it. We have concluded our list. There is a bunch of other stuff we could include, but most of that stuff should come at a later stage. We thought about providing you with advice on mailing lists, event calendars, surveys and polls, e-commerce details, direct advertising, forums and how to enable and set up contributors in the best possible manner. We feel most of those topics should be tackled at a later stage of the process,. Right now our mission is to help you get started in the best possible manner. Uneccessary diversions and a flawed focus will only delay your success. When you start out on a new parth the secret is to keep it simple and put one foot in front of the other. Don´t try to do it all at once. If you do, it will all take longer than neccessary.

In the next part of our guide, “Make Money Online- the baby steps part 26″, we will have a detailed look at your business plan, content plan, and weekly and daily plans. If we can only force ourselves to work our plans, half the battle will be won and that is what the next part of our guide will teach us how to do. Join us for a magnified view of detailed planning.

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