How To Build A SEO Friendly Blog In 15 Minutes (Or Less)

Are You Ready To Learn How To Build A SEO Friendly Blog In 15 Minutes (Or Less) And Write Your First Blog Post? Then I’m Here To Guide You One Step At A Time…

As an entrepreneur one of the most critical pieces of your success online will be building a website that has long-term success in the search engines. Consider what happens when someone searches for a solution to a specific problem online. They type in a few keywords in a search box and waits to see what results are returned. When they see what looks to be like content that will solve their problem (usually in the first 5 results they see), they click the link and go read the content. That is what is called highly qualified organic traffic. Many small business owners believe that getting good rankings involves some sort of complicated series of SEO steps, but trust me when I tell you that in today’s post Panda/Penguin world, it isn’t that difficult. You just need to know what to do and when you do you can get it done rather quickly.

In this post today (this is a long article but worth the read:), I have outlined the steps that you can take to create a really SEO friendly blog as well as write your first post and you can do it all in under fifteen minutes.

STEP 1 – Selecting A Good Great Domain Name

It use to be that SEO experts and marketers taught clients that it’s better if you pick a domain name that has your top keyword phrase in it. We did so because for years that’s what Google showed us and told us they liked. Domain names with keywords in them because it showed relevancy. Yet with recent updates affecting exact domain names as well as Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, now everything we know has been turned upside down.

So the advice now is to not go with a domain name with an EXACT match to your keyword phrase; but to purchase one with your keyword inside. So for example, if you sell blue shoes on your site, do not buy a domain name such as Blueshoes.com — what you could buy though instead is LisasBlueShoes.com or PhiladelphiaBlueShoes.com which is not an exact keyword match but still contains the relevant keyword of blue shoes.

You can also go with a brand name  (such as LisaAngelettie.com) and forget about selecting a keyword rich domain name, yet focus your SEO optimization in other ways, which we will go over in step four of this tutorial.

TIP: You will buy a domain name once and renew it annually with any company you buy it from. Most companies charge between $10 to 15 dollars per name and the same for renewals. It is best to buy a .com name as it is the most widely recognized and used. In a pinch, you could go with a .net or a .org. Do not waste your money on a .info name or a .biz. I have yet to see these do well in the search engines.

RESOURCE: Whichever type of name you decide on, using this link you can purchase one for only $5.99 with my preferred domain hosting company GoDaddy.

godaddy domain names

STEP 2 – Fast & Reliable Website Hosting

Many moons ago, I once founded and ran an article directory for coaches. It was really becoming a great niche resource in my industry until I started running into major problems with my website hosting company. They were constantly shutting me down because of the amount of resources I was using because my traffic was good, submissions were high, and the platform that the directory was built on used a lot of resources. At the time this host didn’t have any other options for me. Shared web hosting which is fine for most sites, was all they provided and I needed something a little more robust.

I went searching for a new webhost and found Hostgator. Someone recommended them as a host who had experience handling resource heavy sites like my own under a completely affordable shared hosting plan. No need for my own server and the cost of that and they were right. I’ve been with them ever since.

One of the major factors that the search engines have been warning webmasters about for months is that page load time and site speed matters when it comes to ranking our content favorably. If it’s between sites that have near identical content but one site is faster than the other, the faster one will be ranked higher. While there are many factors that affect site speed, one of the major ones is using a webhost that is reliable, secure, and speedy.

SIDE NOTE: You can also buy your domain name with Hostgator which will cost a little more at $15.00, but I like to keep my domain name registrations separate from my web hosting just in case one of them goes down. If that happens (and I have stories about that!), I can always switch the name to a new host or move a new name to my hosted site. If you purchase your domain name with a separate company such as GoDaddy, then you will need to create your new account using your existing domain name.

existing domain name

TIP: You will need a web hosting company to host your blog. Think of it as “office space” for your blog. Free WordPress hosting will not work for a for-profit company because of their terms of service which they fully execute. You will pay for your web hosting on a monthly or annual basis and packages are rock bottom cheap now (not like when I first started out:). Make sure to write down or record your username and password after you open your account and keep it in a safe place. I use 1password for my password management.

RESOURCE: You can get started with Hostgator webhosting for as little as $3 bucks a month (at the time of this writing) and you can save $9.94 on your entire package only when you use my affiliate link and special coupon code: CONTENTRICH

hostgator webhosting


STEP 3 – Installing WordPress

Once you’ve purchased your web hosting plan, it’s super simple to install your own self hosted WordPress blog. First, you’re going to log into your new web hosting’s account CPANEL area. So for instance, you’d go to the url: http://YourWebsite.com/cpanel, which will lead you to a login box. Add the USERNAME and PASSWORD you used when you created your web hosting account. (I told you to write it down earlier:)

Now you are logged into your cpanel administration area. You can and you should spend a little time playing around in your cpanel area at a later date and get familiar with it. For now, I’m going to have you scroll down and find the links for QuickInstall or Fantastico De Luxe under software/services.  This is the program that you are going to use to install your blog. If you see QuickInstall, go with that one.

wordpress install

Once you’ve clicked on QuickInstall, then you will look to the list of software programs on the left and click on WORDPRESS. You’ll see information to the right describing the version and installation size of WordPress and a button to click to continue installing the software.

wordpress installation

Once you click continue, you’ll see another box appear on the right hand side where you will input some required information for your new blog. The first thing you’ll see is a drop down menu with your domain name in it. It’s here where you decide if you want your blog to be hosted at the root meaning http://yoursite.com or on a separate directory such as http://yoursite.com/blog. If you want it hosted on a separate directory, then you’ll have to write the name of it in the box next to the drop down menu. For example: blog. You need to be sort of sure how you want to do this because to change it you would have to uninstall WordPress then start all over again.

Examples of both scenarios would look like this:

Hosted at the root: http://LisaAngelettieBlog.com [You see blog posts on the first page of my site because it’s hosted at the root]

Hosted on a separate directory: http://clickbank.com/blog

wordpress quick install

Add an administration email for your blog, your blog’s title, your first and last name (you can change any of these details later) and click INSTALL NOW. Let the magic happen:) You’ll see a progression bar and after installation you’ll see notification of its completion. Congrats!

STEP 4 – Optimizing WordPress

Now it’s time to login to your new WordPress blog. Now you’ll go to your WordPress admin area by going to the url: http://YourSite.com/wp-admin. Once there you will need to input your username and password. Before we start writing your first post, we need to tweak some things to make your blog super SEO friendly.

There are two shortcuts to optimizing your WordPress blog. You can either use a plugin such as the wildly popular WordPress SEO Plugin, or you can use a premium template to do the job such as Thesis, or a combination of both. (I use a combination.) Whichever solution you choose, these are the basics you’ll start with when setting up your site:

Site Visibility – Make sure that you’ve published your blog to the public. You’ll find the option in the privacy area under SETTINGS in your WordPress dashboard. Believe it or not a lot of people forget or don’t know to do this after setting up their blog.

wordpress privacy settings

With the WordPress SEO plugin and Thesis Template you can set up these other three items:

Titles & Meta – Set your title & meta information for your blog the way you want people to see it in a search.
Permalinks – Change your permalink settings to a more SEO friendly one such as /%postname%/.
Sitemaps – Set up a XML sitemap so that search engines can easily crawl every post and page on your site.

RESOURCES: I highly recommend to invest in the Thesis WordPress Template and to download the FREE WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.

STEP 5 – Writing Your First Post

Whew! You’ve set up and optimized your blog. Now it’s time to write your first post. WordPress is really simple to use. Go to the POSTS link and click on ADD NEW. Give your post a reader friendly title that includes a relevant keyword. WordPress will automatically use that title as the url for the post, but you can edit the url in case it’s too long. (I do this all the time).

When writing for the first time, sometimes it’s a good idea to write an introductory post which explains who you are and the types of content you’ll be writing about in the future on your blog. Some people just dive in with a really meaty, info-packed post. The choice is yours. Tweak your SEO settings for your post and then publish your post immediately or schedule it to post at a later date.

Thank you for taking the time to read this tutorial. I will be posting a series of supporting mini posts for this tutorial to take your blog publishing and optimization efforts to the next level, so be sure to subscribe to get notification of them or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

Please leave any questions or feedback you have on this tutorial in the comment section and be sure to share this post with someone you think would benefit from it.

 

How To Fix Paypal Button In WordPress Thesis

How To Fix Paypal Button In WordPress Thesis: The Quick Fix!

When I run into little glitches building and running my websites, I like to post the workarounds I find for my readers. This was one that was driving me crazy a few months ago and that a few of my clients have also recently run into (I forgot to warn them:)

So here’s a little weird thing that happens primarily on Thesis WordPress blogs. When you create a PayPal payment button and post the code for the button in your WordPress blog’s html editor and save, you’ve probably noticed that your PayPal button looks ENORMOUS and as a result also — distorted.

After searching the web (thank you Andrew :)), I found that the quick fix for this is simply copying and pasting a little bit of code in your CSS code file:

1. Open your Thesis Custom File Editor.

2. If you open this file directly through your blog’s admin, your custom.css file should open automatically or you can select it from the drop down menu. Select EDIT to edit the file.

3. At the end of the file add the following code:

.custom .format_text input, #commentform input, #commentform textarea { width:auto;
}

fix paypal button4. Save your file and refresh. Check out the page where you pasted your code. Your PayPal button should look a normal size now.

Hope this was just the FIX you need today:)

WordPress Thesis Skins – New!

WordPress Thesis Skins – All New!

Thesis Skins

I’m very excited to say that slowly but surely there is movement in the WordPress Thesis Skin community. As you know, I love using Thesis as the framework for all my highly-optimized websites. The SEO features kick butt! My rankings definitely improved when I moved to this theme. So I use it for myself and my clients. The only problem is that while Thesis is highly customizable, I don’t want to do the customizing! And neither did anyone else. That’s why so many people’s WordPress Thesis sites look the same and honestly kind of boring.

While I have made a few tweaks to my own sites, which I’m perfectly happy with, I know that what the world needs now is a lot more Thesis customization done for us:)  That’s why when a new Thesis skin is created, I try to post them to my site so that you have the opportunity to use them.

These latest WordPress Thesis Skins that have been released are not free, but they are excellent premium skins. Well worth the money, especially considering what it would cost to pay someone to create a customized WordPress Thesis site. They can all be found over at the ThesisThemes site. (I am not an affiliate of these skins, this is simply a good faith referral.)

Business – WordPress Thesis Skin

Business Thesis Skin

Magazine – WordPress Thesis Skin

Vizio WordPress Thesis Skin

Feedpop – WordPress Thesis Skin

Feedpop Thesis Skin

Thesify Social – WordPress Thesis Skin

Thesify Thesis Skin

Thesify Business – WordPress Thesis Skin

Thesify Business WordPress Thesis Skin

*For other Thesis skins, you can check out my comprehensive list of WordPress Thesis Skins

Google Analytics WordPress Plugin

Google Analytics WordPress Plugin

When I work with a new client, I find that one of the reasons that many of them are floundering in their marketing is because they have no idea who is visiting their site(s), how they found them, what pages they visit when they are there, how long they stay, what keywords they may have used to find them, and the list goes on and on.

Without knowing how people find and use your site – you really have no clear idea of what content to create, what products and services to offer, and how to attract more traffic. Without the knowledge of what’s going on inside your website, you are flying blind. How can you possibly expect to make more money than you did last week, last month, or last year flying blind?

That’s why I strongly recommend using the free website statistics tracking tool – Google Analytics.

If you take a look at your statistics through the admin panel of your webhost (Bluehost, Hostgator, GoDaddy), you can get a somewhat general overview, but nothing like all the robust and user-friendly information that Google Analytics will give you. And it’s so easy to get started with Google Analytics if you have a WordPress blog (and you should:).

All you have to do is install the Google Analytics WordPress Plugin. It’s fast and easy.

1. You need to sign up for a free Google Analytics account: http://Google.com/analytics

2. Download the Google Analytics WordPress Plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/

You can either download the plugin to your computer and FTP it to your blog, upload it through the Install Plugins section of your blog, or you can search for it and install it right from the plugin section in your blog’s admin.

Google Analytics WordPress Plugin

*Please note that if you use Thesis as the framework for your WordPress blog that you will not need to download this plugin. All you have to do is sign up, get your Google Analytics code and paste it in the section for tracking scripts in Thesis:

Thesis Script Installation

What’s New In Thesis Version 1.8?

If you use Thesis as the framework for your WordPress blog, then you may have been notified that a new version: Thesis 1.8 has just been released. As with any upgrade, I always want to know what new and improved functionality will I get (if any), and I figured you would want to know the same before bothering to upgrade.

Feature 1 – Header Image Uploader
Yippee! One of the things that most of my WordPress clients need me to do for them when customizing their Article SEO optimized site, is to add their header image. This has been made totally easy with the new image uploader. And if your image is too big, Thesis will resize it to fit your site. This qualifies as a feature worth upgrading for.

Feature 2 – SEO Character Counters
Search engines only show a certain amount of characters in a search result. That’s why your titles and descriptions need to be air tight, but this feature will show you a word count and how many characters you have left. Typically like you see in an article directory interface. This is a pretty good upgrade for SEO novices, but pros pretty much know how to keep my titles, etc. short and sweet.

Feature 3 – New Google Fonts
Now you can give your site more personality by choosing the right font. We were limited to a few “boring” fonts, but now there are a lot more choices. Best of all, the fonts are all web-safe, directly served from Google’s server, and FREE! There were ways to get around the boring font thing, but this feature  just makes things a lot easier. Go right to Thesis “design options” and choose fonts for different sections of your site. New look in 3 seconds flat!

Feature 4 – WordPress Nav Menu Support
This feature supports WordPress 3.0’s new navigation menu builder. I haven’t used this yet so I can’t say whether or not this is a great feature.

Feature 5 – Category/Tag/Taxonomy Page Options
This feature was in 1.7 but upgraded in 1.8. Basically in a nutshell, what this does is allow you to add SEO details to your category and tag pages. PLUS you can add a unique headline and description for each category and tag page. This feature also adds full support for custom taxonomies if you choose to use them. This SEO feature is great because I have ranked for specific search terms based on the fact that I had those keywords as one of my tags. I imagine if I tweak that tag’s SEO, I’ll probably rank even higher.

Bottom line – the new features added in 1.8 are totally worth the effort of upgrading or buying the theme if you haven’t already.

*If you want the advantage of good SEO but don’t want to put out the effort, I will be offering a new service that will address both of those issues really soon. Stay tuned!

Thesis: How To Expand Text Area Columns In Thesis

When you install the Thesis template on your WordPress blog, it comes pretty much ready to rock. Of course what makes a blog unique and this template so fabulous is the fact that there are so many tweaks you can make which are user friendly. Learning how to expand your text area and sidebar columns is one of those easy tasks.

In your blog’s back end, there is a Thesis widget on the left hand side. You will see a variety of options to choose from, but for this task we are going to:

Thesis Example1.  Click on “design options”.

2. When you are on the design options page, look for the site layout section.

3. Click on the columns menu. You will see a dropdown box for choosing how many columns you want on your blog. Below that you will see the boxes that allow you to determine the width of each of those columns.

4. If you have a two column blog, you need to put values in for the main text area and the sidebar. If you have a three column blog, you will need to put in values for the main, and two sidebar sections. If you want to increase your text area or switch from a two column to a three column, AND you want your blog to stay the same size – you have to adjust all text area and sidebar numbers to add up to the same TOTAL width you had before.

5. For example, my advice column it a two-column Thesis blog at the total width of 855 px. My content text area is 490 px. My sidebar is 356 px. If I wanted to expand my main text area,Thesis Text Area all I have to do is increase the 490 number, BUT if I want my blog to stay the same total width of 855 px, then I need to also decrease the width of my sidebar.

6. You can always increase the width of your main text area and sidebars while increasing the total width of your site. Just keep in mind that you want your site to stay a size that can be viewed on an average sized computer or laptop with a typical browser (Internet Explorer). The numbers for this are a bit fluid as desktop screens increase, etc. But as an average rule of thumb, you can set your blog to a total width and height of about 1024 x 768 or lower, and your site will be readable on most browsers.

Thesis Skins

Thesis Skins

Thesis Skins – For The Thesis WordPress Theme

The Thesis framework is a great way to build a highly search engine optimized WordPress blog. I highly recommend it (and practically force it:) down my clients throats. Yet one of the drawbacks to using the Thesis theme is that only about a handful of people know how to design custom backgrounds. You have to know how to write the code for the “hooks” in Thesis to at the very least upload a background image you may have, add a custom banner, etc.

While it’s not rocket science, a little reading over at diythemes.com, and web designers could dress up a Thesis blog quite nicely — but while we are waiting for web designers to catch up, many of us may have to rely on the available Thesis Skins.  Ready made templates for our Thesis blogs.

Last Updated: October 28

Here’s a list of places where you can find some of the best Free & Premium Thesis skins on the web:

NEW! 1. Marketing Skins – Premium Marketing-Style Thesis Skins

2. Thesis Awesome! – Premium Thesis Skin

3. Thesisthemes.com – Premium Thesis Skin

4. WPblogger Free Thesis Skins – Free Thesis Skin

NEW! Try WPblogger’s  Network News SkinFree Thesis Skin

5. Theme Thesis Skins – Free & Premium Thesis Skins

6. Matt Hodder Thesis Skins – Premium Thesis Skin

7. ThesisReady Thesis Skins – Free & Premium Thesis Skins

8. Kristerella Free Thesis Skins – Free Thesis Skin

9. WuFoo Thesis Skin – Premium Thesis Skin

10. Terracotta Thesis Skin – Premium Thesis Skin

11. Serious Business Skin – Premium Thesis Skin

12. Print is Dead Skin – Premium Thesis Skin

13. Classy Operation Skin – Premium Thesis Skin

14. Secret Agent Skin – Premium Thesis Skin

If you design Thesis skins and want to sell them try this site. They are looking for collaborators.

*If you know of any other great free or premium Thesis skins, please share them in the comments section and I’ll add them to the list:)

Articology article marketing course

Thesis WordPress Theme: Adding Custom Header With Thesis Openhook

How To Add Your Custom Header With Thesis Openhook Plugin In 60 Seconds!
This is an important post. I repeat. This is an important post. If you are about to build a WordPress Blog and are thinking of using the Thesis WordPress Theme as your framework, you can save yourself tons of customization frustration if you download the Openhook WordPress Plugin before you begin customizing your site. Why? Because it makes things so much easier. For example…

If you do a quick Google search on adding a custom Thesis header, you will find several tutorials by loyal Thesis users (such as myself:), teaching you how to customize your header by adding hook code either your custom.css file or your custom_functions file. These solutions still work but they can be messy if you don’t get the code right and you have to access those files via FTP or cPanel etc.

Instead, you can add a custom header with the Thesis Openhook plugin in about 10 seconds. No code to copy and paste, tweak, and publish. No touchy files to mess with. This is all you have to do.

Thesis Page Framework1. First, this tutorial works for adding custom headers with a Page-Framework. You can check this by going into your Thesis Design Options, then clicking on site layout, and then checking the page framework button. (This is usually checked by default when you install Thesis, but go ahead and check just to make sure.)

2. Make sure you have downloaded and updated the latest version of the Thesis Openhook Plugin.

3. Make sure you have added your header image to your media files and that you copy the complete url for where that file is located. For example: http://your wordpressblog.com/wp-content/uploads/xxxx.jpg

Your header dimensions will vary based on the dimensions of your site. You may be using Thesis out of the box or you may have had some tweaking done. You also want to consider how much of your prime “top of the fold” area you want to dedicate to a header. I don’t want to give much, so the dimensions for my header are 1010 x 142 pixels. My header does not have a white background so I wanted it to reach completely from left to right. That’s why it’s so wide. Typical out of the box dimensions could be 959 x 150 pixels, but if your header has a white background you could actually play a lot around with the dimensions.

4. Click on the Thesis Openhook link and scroll to the Header hook. You can simply scroll down to find the header hook area or you can use the “select a hook” scroll down bar in the bottom right hand corner to find the header hook area.

Thesis Header Hook

4. Now here’s the easy part, all you have to do is add a little html code to establish the image location. Example: <img src=”http://your wordpressblog.com/wp-content/uploads/xxxx.jpg”>

5. If you want to make your header image clickable, just add a little more html code: <a href=”YourSiteLink.com”><img src=”http://your wordpressblog.com/wp-content/uploads/xxxx.jpg”></a> *(This step is optional)

6. To finish, click on the “Remove Thesis Default Header” box, so that your title and subtitle doesn’t appear on top of your new header image. Instead, your header takes the place of the header title and subtitle.

7. Click on the Little Save Button.

8. Ta-da! Your header image will appear and all is right with the world.