I will describe the process of setting up WordPress on a brand new domain with the intention of creating an affiliate store within a blog that you will post to on a regular basis to build online income over time.

This is the post #2 of the series How to Build an Affiliate Store in WordPress

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you would realize that I try to feed you information one chunk at a time. All my posts together, are a recipe for creating online monthly income working online regularly, and the more experienced you get, and the bigger your sites get – the more money you will make. I got a very timely email last night from a nice person in Norway who is starting out and wants to know how to get (new sites) indexed and ranked in search engines. I’ve talked about this before, but some of these posts may be buried in the archives by now. I’ve also blogged a LOT about setting up WordPress too, but much of that is now a year old – and probably in dire need of refreshing.

Why Use WordPress to Make Money?

If you don’t already know the answer to this question – you have some reading to do. My post Should I Use a Blog or A Niche Store? talks about this in great detail and provides my best case as to why you should be using a blog to make money in the root of all your domains instead of BANS, or StoreStacker. Notice I didn’t say not to use BANS or Storestacker – I just said don’t use them in the root of a domain.

Google Loves Blogs. Google Hates Cheaters.

To google a blog is a person. It’s a person that writes original content. If you blog regularly and people link to you – you will gain authority (and traffic). Google also likes RSS and RSS subscribers (they own Feedburner for god’s sake). Don’t you think they keep track of how people get to your site, and who views what pages? Remember, they own analytics too, AND they keep track of everyone’s search history (unless you opt-out). If you create and maintain a quality blog, you will always stay on Google’s good side and within their TOS and “quality guidelines”. I don’t mean to be sappy here and talk about their “Don’t Be Evil” philosophy too – but my advice as an online affiliate and marketer is “Don’t Be Spammy”. This will always keep you out of google’s target for being a “thin affiliate” site (heavy on affiliate links and light on content). Only create web properties that you would read and shop at yourself!

There’s nothing like the immediacy of a blog post getting indexed in less than 5 minutes. If you want to make money online – WordPress is your best bet for a starting point in the root of your domain. You can build any domain or site out from that point forward over time any way you like.

Getting Started with WordPress

WordPress is easy to use, and easy to learn. It’s free, and easy to setup. There are thousands of free themes and plugins to do just about anything you want. I have WordPress installed on nearly every domain I own. I’ve set it up so many times in fact, I wrote Best Practices for Setting Up a New WordPress Blog in 60 Minutes or Less last year (and it’s been viewed almost 5,000+ times). That post is a great quick and dirty list to get WordPress up and running on your new domain in no time.

Your goal with a new domain is almost always the same…

  • Get WordPress uploaded to the new domain
  • Create the database and set the config file
  • Upload a new theme
  • Upload the plugins
  • Write some content
  • Create some backlinks, work on getting indexed

The Best Practices guide I linked above will help you get WordPress and the basic required plugins setup. What it doesn’t tell you is how to setup WordPress up specifically for an Affiliate store.

WordPress Specific Plugins for an Affiliate Store

If you’re going to create a blog with the intention of making money, than you want to place relevant things for sale on your blog that people (reading your content) will want to buy. You can do this in your sidebar, header, footer, and even in the blog posts and pages themselves. You can even revolve posts around reviewing and price comparing actual products with your own expertise too. To do this – you need to have the right plugins installed, and a LOT of options available.

The best options (for me) are usually eBay, Amazon, and Commission Junction as a base, and then anything else that’s relevant and beneficial. I also like a couple of different plugins for ad management – depending on the blog, theme, and type of visitor. If you’re reading yesterday’s post you might be confused since all I talked about was “datafeeds” and how powerful they were to add products to blogs. They sure are, but you should get used to always using every single thing that’s available to you at all times. There’s no reason a blog can’t have merchant products, amazon items, eBay auctions, and more if they’re all relevant to the niche topic of your blog.

datafeedR: I mentioned yesterday that this was my new holy grail of WordPress affiliate plugins. You can add products, pages, and categories within WordPress from Clickbank, Commission Junction, ShareASale, AND LinkShare with this little gem. I will be doing in more in depth posts on how to set it up and use it as part of building affiliate stores. This plugin has a monthly subscription fee (but it’s well worth it).

*update: I no longer recommend BayRSS – follow the link if you want to know why. I now have my own eBay plugin, visit the WP-Easybay web site.
BayRSS: BayRSS is currently my eBay affiliate plugin of choice for WordPress. It’s half the cost of PHPBay and works great. There are other options available, but most aren’t as featured (especially the free ones).

Amazon Machine Tags: This is a great plugin for adding Amazon items to blog posts with just the ASIN number in a tag. This plugin is free.

Max Banner Ads: Manage multiple banner ad campaigns for your header, sidebar, footer – it even tracks clicks! This plugin is free.

OIO Publisher: OIO Publisher can manage banner ad campaigns in your header, footer, or sidebar just like Max Banner Ads, but it can also manage “selling” ad space on your blog – including subscriptions, paypayl payment form, and more. You can also sell text links with it, and many other things. This plugin is $47.

MaxBlogPress Stripe Ad: A great unique way to add text ads to any blog, I get clicks (and sales) from it every month. This plugin is free.

Psychic Search: This plugin is essential for keeping track of what people search for on your blog, and provides detailed search and keyword stats beyond what WP-Stats and Google Analytics provides. This plugin is free.

Getting your new WordPress Blog Indexed in Search Engines

Creating an affiliate store is no good without content, and content is no good if your domain isn’t even indexed in the search engines. Before you do anything – write at least 2 quality posts, fill out your “about” page, setup a “contact” page, delete the WordPress default “blogroll” links – and replace them with other relevant blogs in your niche. Setup your blog with an SEO plugin like WP-SEO or All in One SEO Pack, and then start the process of getting your blog indexed. You want to have your blog as setup as possible before calling on the army of search crawlers.

How to get a new blog indexed in Search in 12 Steps or Less

  1. Create 2 quality posts as listed above
  2. Fill our your about page, and create a “contact” page as listed above
  3. Create a “privacy policy” page, as required by both eBay and Adsense
  4. Register your site with google webmaster console, Yahoo! Site Explorer, and MSN Webmaster Tools
  5. Claim your blog with Technorati
  6. Save a bookmark to one of the posts at del.icio.us, Furl, Propeller, etc.
  7. Create a Feedburner Feed for your blog
  8. Setup your robots.txt file for WordPress
  9. Add a MyBlogLog widgets, maybe BlogCatalog too.
  10. Add an entreCard widget “above the fold”, not because you want either the traffic or the exposure, but more because an “above the card” entreCard widget will get you on card droppers lists, which will get you bookmarked, visited, linked, AND indexed!
  11. Blog in a half dozen forums using they keywords in your domain name as text and your new blog URL as a signature link
  12. Leave comments on a half dozen blogs using your domain name as the “Name” (separated by spaces of course), and your new blog URL

I know I promised to tell you how to setup datafeedR today, but I almost forgot, you can’t put the cart before the horse. Stay tuned for more affiliate store goodness!