Step 2: The Content you need, for your blog or website
In case you have come to this article directly and are wondering where Step 1 is, please visit “What do you need to start an online marketing business – Part 1.”
Let’s quickly recap what we should have in place already.
- A Business Name and Domain Name.
- A Hosting Provider or Web Content Platform.
- A WordPress Theme.
- A Basic Design for your Front Page.
This last part may still be work in progress especially if you don’t have any content at all. So it is worth talking about the sort of content you will need as a starting point.
Main Content Pages
I recommend the following pages which should also be your main header menu items:
- Home or Front Page
- About Page or a “My Story” page
- Resources Page
- Blog (this isn’t strictly a page, but should be a menu item so people can find your latest articles easily)
You will need to write your About/My story page and the Resource page so that your menu links go somewhere. This Resources page may contain your recommended affiliate links, so an extra step is to sign up for the affiliate programs for the products you are recommending.
Affiliate marketing: this is where you earn a commission through selling someone else’s product or service, usually online. An example would be a software tool or a hosting service that you recommend. It is most effective if you have positive personal experience of the product or service you are an affiliate for. Don’t promote something just because it could make you the biggest commission from the affiliate program. If you don’t believe in the product or haven’t used it, people will some see through it and you will lose credibility.
The Front Page
The front page is really a navigation tool to direct visitors to the key areas of your website. Treat it a bit like a front cover of a magazine. It makes people want to look inside. It should also highlight the best things people will find on your site.
Main elements are:
- A top navigation menu – that links to main pages or sections or your site
- A headline – a tagline or brief summary of your business so people immediately know what you are about.
- Navigation sections – these may be excerpts from your latest blog articles and links to them or links to products or articles that make interest your readers.
- Images that represent your business and its aims.
- Footer Menu and submenu. These are optional menus that are useful if you want to direct people to several different places.
Putting all this together will be time-consuming especially if you don’t have content already written. It is easy to write an article, which could link to a more in-depth article about a particular topic. Guess what? You need to have that in-depth article written or you can’t have the link. This was certainly something I found one of the most challenging parts or putting together my site.
Recently, I have been experimenting with using Landing Pages instead of having a front page and I have found it much easier to get the look and feel I want. It also doubles up as a way to get visitors to opt into your email list, which is also important if you are going to scale your business. I use Leadpages as my landing page platform. It is relatively low cost and offers a wide range of templates. I am putting together an ebook on creating and using Landing Pages, so please stop by again, so you can get a copy. If you would like to join the waiting list, please complete the form at the end of this article.
The remaining item is your Blog. This is often the busiest part of your site and where people go to see what’s new. This is where you can write and publish articles about pretty much anything you want to talk to your audience about. People can search through it and your articles can be arranged so that the most recent is at the top. To start with you may only have one or two blog articles. That is OK. Everyone has to start somewhere and it won’t be long before you start churning our regular, quality articles to add to your blog.
Step 2 Result: You now have your site design and basic navigation with a front or home page and a small number of additional pages. You will also have your blog setup with your first few articles. At this point, you are ready to hit the ‘go live’ button and publish your site for all to see. It isn’t perfect yet, but it is ready to show to the World.
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