How To Setup Your Niche Sites The MWR Way!

In the past few weeks we have been working on setting up niche sites to promote high paying affiliate products in niche markets. We started this niche site series following my announcement of taking part in the niche site challenge, Niche Site Duel 2.0 being hosted by Pay Flynn.

Thus far, we have covered:

1.  Riches in Niches Power Challenge – Niche Site Duel 2.0 Announced!

2. How to Pick a Profitable Niche Market!

3. A Practical Guide to Choosing a Profitable Niche!

4. Niche Site SEO Strategy That Will Put You Ahead Of Your Competitors!

And so, having picked a profitable niche market and the right keyword phrases around which we will be creating our niche site content, our next move is to set up our niche site. In this post therefore, I want to give you a few thoughts on how to set up your niche site for maximum results.

Setting up Your Niche Sites for Maximum Results

Setup Your Niche Site To Fulfill Your Dreams!

I’m sure you already know that we are using WordPress to setup our niche sites. One reason for this is because; setting up your site using wordpress is quick and easy and free – many  webhost already have it as part of the webhosting package. Also many of these hosts have some one-click installation scripts that make installing your niche site a breeze!

Another reason why we want to use the wordpress blogging software is the ease with which wordpress sites can be customized and optimized for the search engines.

So, What Do You Need To Effectively Setup Your Niche Site?

The following guide is my personal strategy. I use it for nearly every one of my niche sites and it’s the same strategy I have used for the site I’m currently using for the Niche Site Duel 2.0 (this will be revealed later!).

I want to assume that you already know how to install a wordpress blog and so we will not go into details about that here. However, here are the things you need to ensure that your niche site is setup the right way:

1. A Domain Name – For this you may decide to go for an “exact match domain” (EDM) name or a brand name.

2. Webhosting Account – For this, I purchased a shared hosting account with the ability to host unlimited domains! Why I choose that? I did because like I mentioned in another post, I plan to set up more niche sites in the coming months and this is my simple way of saving some cost. If you have plans to set up more niche sites like me and also if you want to save money some money doing so, then you will need a plan like the one I’m using right now.

Click here to check it out!

3. WordPress Theme – I do not recommend some premium theme for your niche sites except you want to build an authority site with unique branding. So, for the theme a decent looking theme will do. Only remember to have a custom header and logo for your niche site. This will help to differentiate your niche site from the rest that use the same theme.

4.  Plugins – There are thousands of wordpress plugins you may want to experiment with but instead of that simply install only the necessary ones. Here are the few I recommend for now:

All in One SEO Pack – This is superb if you want to optimize your niche site for the search engines.

AdSense Privacy Policy – If you’re monetizing your niche site with adsense, then this is one plugin you will need. It’s a simple way of automatically adding an AdSense-compliant privacy page to your site.

Google Sitemap Generator – This is another plugin that is necessary for SEO purposes.

WP Smush.it – You definitely will be adding a lot of images to your niche site. This plugin is necessary to reduce the sizes of the images in order to speed up your site’s load.

WP Super Cache – You may not need this for now but as your site increases in size, you will need it to help with the load time.

Strictly Auto Tags – I love to use this to automatically add tags to every post instead of doing it manually.

SEO Internal Links – Linking your blog posts is a good thing for your site’s SEO. There are different options that can be setup with this plugin.

Related Posts – Offer your site visitors a few ways to stay a little longer on your site.

Jetpack by WordPress.com – This will give you an easy way of adding a contact us form, sharing button, subscription to both comments and posts, traffic stats and a few other options.

Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin – Fight spam comments the easy way.

5. Add the Necessary Pages – Some necessary ones include: Privacy Policy, T.O.S (of applicable), Reviews, Resources, Links, etc. This is to give your niche site some “professional” outlook!

6. Optimize for The Search Engines – Make sure your blog has search engine friendly URLs by using the “custom” permalinks together with your installed SEO plugins.  Use the All in One SEO Pack to optimize your home page putting in the appropriate title, keywords, description, etc. You should also do this for each post and pages.

A Word about Customizing Your Niche Blog Site

Niche Site Strategic Setup!Setting up your niche site is not simply about installing a custom theme or the right plugins. You will need to ensure that the site is setup with your MWR in mind.

So, what is MWR?

MWR simply means your Most Wanted Response!

This is one site design strategy that I don’t hear many bloggers talk about. A few years ago, I read an ebook, the Affiliate Master Course, from where I got the idea of the MWR.

Now, MWR is a strategic approach to website design which allows you to take into consideration what you want your site visitors to do when they first land on your site. It is therefore not enough to simply choose a wordpress theme for your niche site. You must understand that the different wordpress themes out are built to do different things!

Without deciding on your Most Wanted Respond (MWR) before choosing a theme means you will be throwing away most of the traffic you’d be generating to the site. So, first of all, prioritize what you want people to do on your blog before choosing the theme for your niche site. For example, as much as a magazine theme look so great, if it does not help you with your most wanted response, installing a premium magazine theme on your niche site would amount to a waste of precious space!

Here are some of the common MWR of most blogs:

— Build an Email List

— Sell Information or Physical Products

— Promote Affiliate Offers

— Offer Coaching/Consulting Packages

— Market a Freelance Service

— Get Visitors to Donate Money

— Build a Community

As you can see from the above, your MWR depends on your specific situation and your long-term monetization strategy.  Besides, you may have more than one MWR but the most important thing is that you should choose about 2 or 3 and focus on them while setting up the site.

For my niche site, my MWR are: (1) Guide the visitor to click on the adsense ads on the site, and (2) make them to click on my affiliate links and purchase the affiliate products I’m promoting on the site!

With this in mind my choice of a theme was a simple “Plugin-In-Profit” adsense wordpress theme designed to help the visitor do just what I wanted!

So, if you are setting up a niche site take some time to decide on what your Most Wanted Response is before doing anything.

Over to you: What are the best niche designs you have ever seen? What area do you think I’ve left out in this post? Share with us in your comments below.

How to Customize A WordPress Blog Theme

In recent times, I have read many bloggers who, while offering tips for making an impact in 2013, advice that you have a customized WordPress theme instead of a free theme!

Now, I totally agree that having a customized wordpress theme is very important. However, I’m truly surprised that many of these bloggers who give such advice simply ask that you buy a premium theme instead of using a free one. In fact, they even go as far as letting you know what theme they are using that makes their blog theme “customized”!

Question please: Does having a premium wordpress theme automatically make your blog customized?

Frankly, I doubt that!

You may have bought a premium theme but that does not make your blog different from the many others using that same theme except if your premium theme is specifically made for your blog. But this I found not to be so in many of the blogs I’ve seen.

What Makes Your WordPress Theme A Customized One?

To answer this question, let me use the case of the Web Income Journal. Some time ago a reader in a comment said,

“I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days”

I’m sure that reader saw something different in this blog’s look and feel for him to ask that question. So let me use this post to answer that question and also use it to help you understand what it means to really customize your wordpress theme.

BTW, I want you to pay careful attention because within this post you will discover how you can have a customized theme for free!

Ok, since I have gotten your attention there, let me quickly say that the webincomejournal.com is running on a Theme Junkie premium theme but there is no other blog running on that theme like it out there!

Being very familiar with the themes from Theme Junkie, I can say that when I see a blog running on that platform I can know without blinking an eye! But unfortunately I must say the only thing that differentiates most of these blogs is nothing but the name, the blog logo and sometimes the color. And of course, the content! 🙂

But, I don’t regard as that customization.

Do You Really Want to Customize Your Blog’s Theme?

If you do, you have two options:

1. Go the DIY way, or

2. Get a professional to do it for you!

For me, I want the DIY way because I offer professional blog customization services and I know what I was doing!

If you want to do it the DIY way please make sure you know what you are doing else…!

Now, let me show you what I did to customize this blog’s theme even when it was already a premium theme!

First, compare the original theme as is and then the customized theme on the blog right now:

how to customize your wordpress theme

Can you see the great difference between the two? So, how did I do it?

1. The Header

a. Removed the categories menu.

b. Move the primary menu (pages) to the right of the blog logo instead of the top position it was occupying.

c. Changed the header background color.

d. Created a simple logo to reflect the name and mission of the blog.

Files worked on: header.php and stylesheet.css files.

2. Home Page

a. Removed the recent articles at the center top and put a code to show the top articles (this was really trick-ish!)

b. Changed the font and look of the titles.

Files worked on: index.php and the stylesheet.css files.

3. Sidebar

The default theme had 3 sidebars, the top sidebar and then a right sidebar and left sidebar nestled under the top sidebar. Didn’t liked it this way and so, I removed two of the sidebars and made it only one. I also removed some other codes thus making the sidebar less cumbersome.

I also changed the title font by changing the h3 font in the stylesheet.css file.

Files worked on: sidebar.php and the stylesheet.css files.

4. Footer

For this I did not just removed the default links and changed the look, I also moved the necessary legal pages here instead of including them in the top menu on the header. The links were also moved from the left hand corner to the middle of the page.

Files worked on: footer.php and the stylesheet.css files.

5. Single Post Page

A lot of customization went into this page. Changed the post title font and look, added the author’s gravatar  and also instead of using a plugin to show related posts, I got a php code to do this. Besides, I removed some other codes which I considered not necessary for me!

Files worked on: single.php and the stylesheet.css files.

6. Fonts And Title Links

You will notice also that column titles like the sidebar titles, blog titles and home links are also customized. All of these were done by changing the font sizes in the stylesheet.css file.

Now, How Would You Love Me To Do This For You For Free?

Ok, I’m sure you will be interested in this. As I mentioned earlier, I offer professional blog customization for a fee here. However, as a valued reader of this blog, I have decided to give you the opportunity to hire my services for free! All I ask is this:

1. Tweet this post

2. Share this post with your LinkedIn network

3. Post a comment on this post expressing your thoughts about the post, and

4. You agree to give me a written testimonial once the work is accomplished. Of course, you are free to express your own opinion in your testimonial.

N.B. This offer is only for five persons and the theme to be customized will be provided by you!

Interested? So, what are you waiting for?

Over to You: Do you agree that customizing a wordpress theme goes beyond buying a premium theme? Have you taken time to customize blog’s theme or are you simply using it “as is”?