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Make Money Online- the baby steps part 7

In our last post we looked at some of the actions we considered mandatory once your WordPress website has been put in place. In “Make Money Online- the baby steps part 7″ we will take on where we left off. In our last post we covered items 1 through 8. Now we will cover the rest of the items on our checklist.

9. Establish Social Networking

In most cases it is a good idea to establish a Facebook Fan Page and a Twitter account as soon as possible. Widgetize these accounts in order to get the full benefits of your social networking presence. You will get extra traffic this way, and these tools are completely free of charge. While there are plenty of social networking channels and icons to choose from, you shouldn´t overdo it in the beginning. Facebook and Twitter will give you some traffic and exposure if managed properly, the other alternatives might be a good fit for you depending on what your website is about. For most websites the other alternatives will provide you with moderate or no additional traffic.

10. Establish a RSS Feed

RSS Feeds enables users the ability to subscribe to your content by a simple click. This way your reader base will be magnified and your readers don´t have to keep coming back to your site every time there is new content available, they will be able to follow you by subscribing to your feed. This can be done easily by using Google Reader. We recommend that you start out with creating a Google Feedburner account. Also you will want to widgetize the RSS Feed option on your site. This is often accomplished quite easily as the RSS Feed buttons are prebuilt options on most themes. Should they not be included in the theme you have chosen, you can just install a plugin that will enable this function for your website.

11. Install lightbox plugin

Most of you have used the lightbox plugin, although you might not have been aware of it at the time. The lightbox plugin simply enables you to see a larger popup version of an image when you click on it. Lightbox is a neat javascript that makes image viewing and image browsing more efficient and a lot quicker. There are instances when a lightbox might not be your best choice, but these are rare occasions. Lightbox is your best bet 99 times out of 100, and you might want to take a look at Lightbox 2 which gets the job done nicely.

12. Install Google Analytics (and Google Adsense)

You might want to get some Google Analytics in place, in order to follow and analyze the traffic your site is generating. It´s free of charge and provides excellent basic coverage of how many visitors you have, who they are, what they are doing, and what you could do in order to provide them with a better experience. Google Analytics is not as easy and straightforward as one might expect (coming from a company like Google) yet in conjunction with the other web master tools available from Google it can´t be beat. Once you get the hang of it, it´s really not that difficult and the integration possibilities between for example Google Analytics and Google AdSense gives these tools an extra dimension. We didn´t know whether or not to add Google AdSense to this list. When building your first website, we strongly feel that you should focus solely on creating a solid foundation and filling it out with great content. We know from our own experience that this is easier said than done. Most of us want to monetize our websites as soon as possible. We will never forget the first time we earned some money from Google AdSense. It was the greatest feeling in the world and although the money was trivial, the proud feeling of accomplishment kept us motivated for a very long time. So go get your AdSense code if you have to, just don´t overdo it. Always focus on reader experience and visitor satisfaction. If you do that the money will follow in the long run.

13. Widgetize

Apart from your posts and pages, there are usually areas in the outskirts of your page which you will need to widgetize. Simply drag and drop widgets to the different kind of sidebars, your header or your footer and customize the page according to your liking. Popular sidebar widget includes recent posts, popular posts, archives, menu, calendar or text widgets. But there are a huge number of plugins you can install and use to widgetize your website. Which tools you use is dependent on what type of website you want to create, and what kind of functionality you want to adress.

14. Write posts and pages and structure them

Once the structure and “beta version look” of your website is finished you should in our opinion start focusing on content. To some extent, it is the content that will make or break a website. You can always improve on the other things as you go along. You might want to spend some time (or money) on designing a cool logo for your website, you might want to play around with colours, settings and some other details. You might want to create your own favicon. All these steps are easily accomplished further down the road, but you need to start filling your site with unique, quality content as soon as possible. Also, you will need to establish some quality backlinks to your website. It will take quite a while before you start seeing some serious traffic, regardless of your efforts. You can spend that time adding content to your site on a continuous basis and fine tuning the last details on your site. But give those search engine crawlers something to digest as soon as possible, it will be time well spent when you consider the bigger picture. Other actions that may be of interest is adding a forum (bbPress is free of charge, vBulletin costs money but is a good product), joining an affiliate network/program (for instance Amazon) or add some e-commerce capabilities. It is too early in the process to cover these roads of action, but you will get there with some patience.

We have just covered some of the most important steps to put into place once you have installed WordPress. There are more things to consider and we will cover some of them further down the road, but we promise you that our check list is an excellent start to your project. Creating a good website with lots of traffic is an ongoing business. It is a large number of baby steps, rather than huge chunks of work performed all at once. Try to improve on your website on a daily basis. Always look to add quality content. Always try to enhance the feel and performance of it. Always look to add some nice features and improve the design. We have come a long way. Let´s continue our journey and learn more about what to expect from your newly created website, and let´s discuss some of the problems or issues that might need to be adressed in the future. Go to part “Make Money Online- the baby steps part 8″ in our guide and we will continue our adventurous journey together. And be proud of what you´ve accomplished so far. You´ve come a long way baby!

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