Hi everyone! This is the 4th part in a series of how to monetize the home and garden niche – a courtesy series brought to you by me for my readers and members of Home and Garden PLR. I wanted to address some questions I got after yesterday’s part 3 in the series. Some people asked about the hassle of updating a static site, because let’s say you wanted to add a category – you’d have to add it to every page, right?
Right. But… two things I want to remind you of.
1. Every platform has its drawbacks. For instance, I had one vulnerability in an old WP blog and it allowed hackers to get in and wreak havoc on all my blogs that Hostgator had to clean up. A static site is less likely to get hacked, but not bulletproof, either. Plus, I don’t like the layout as much as I do a static site, regardless of theme.
2. If you map out the organization of your site ahead of time, rather than just start slapping stuff up on the site, you won’t have to do a lot of revisions.
I personally don’t worry about this in any panicked way. Let’s say worst case scenario happens and I discover I need to add a MAIN category to all of my 50 pages I’ve built so far. I’ll make a little sticky note about it and the next time I open and edit a page, I’ll add that main category. I don’t waste a lot of time going through 50 pages at once (unless I have the time). but still, all it means is cutting and pasting some HTML code, saving and FTPing.
To me, it’s no big deal compared to the payoff of being able to customize everything to my liking. To YOU, it may not be worth the payout, so please consider static versus blog carefully because the last thing you want is to get frustrated and have to switch platforms.
Question to other static site owners: Do you have any advice for those who worry about having to update a bunch of pages? How do you do it? Why do you tolerate having to do this over just using simple WordPress? Please put your $0.02 or more in the comments section below.
Okay, on to today’s lesson!
Today’s lesson isn’t glamorous or fun, but it’s necessary – the boring, behind-the-scenes stuff you have to do to make sure your site is findable and presented the right was in the search engines and to your visitors.
You are going to have your domain(s), have decided your slant, and mapped out the organization of your site. One of the things I want you to make sure you do is create a sitemap for your visitors AND the search engines. Watch this video later for more info on why this is important.
In blogs, you can search for a WP plugin to do this for you. On this blog, for instance, I use Google XML Sitemaps. If you’re using a static site, you can create a manual page that you add to whenever you add a new page to your site.
So how do you do this for a static site? First, sign up for Google Webmasters tools here. It will walk you through setting up a new site there. You have to download their file and upload it to your server and have them verify that it’s there. Then you’ll be able to get all kinds of information back! For the sitemap, I used this free tool for XML sitemaps. It has you download the sitemap and upload it to your server, then submit the URL to Google Webmaster tools.
I have not started any promotional efforts yet, but Google comes back frequently. I’m using a pen name and persona for the site. I don’t want to dilute the Tiffany Dow name for multiple niches and this is what I do for all the niches I’m in
Steps for Today:
1. Create your Home page. People need to know your slant. Are you budget conscious? Are you the gnome spy? Are you a busy family sharing convenience reviews? Make it short and sweet. I try to make people not scroll for this page. Everything should be “above the fold.”
2. Load your home page or, if using a blog, set your home page to be a static page – do this under settings/reading. Regardless of which platform you’re using – on your home page, offer your slant, include your opt in form if you have one, and set up the arrangement for the categories you’ll be using. I have interior so far, and then I’ll be adding exterior.
3. Set up Google Webmaster Tools and Add a Sitemap.
This is all of your framework for the site. Now I want to tell you about a couple of important things for search engine purposes. If you’re blogging, go into Settings –>General and set up the title and tagline. Then go under permalinks and set it to this: /%postname%/ so that your blog URLs will be maximized for keywords. So for instance, instead of yourdomain.com/page238, the search engines and visitors will see yourdomain.com/kitchenappliances – much better for everyone involved 😉
Static sites should have pages named according to the category or product like I gave in the last lesson.
Tip: If you’re borrowing an old index.html file from another site for your new one, make sure you go into the code and check the meta tags. I launched my new home and garden site with an old template (until I have Oki design this new one) and didn’t realize I had left my meta tags in for the old site. I discovered it when I did a Google search for site:mydomainname.com and it showed me the titles of the site were all marketing related instead of home and garden! LOL!
I’ve updated them and some have fixed in Google, but not all. Might be a bit confusing for the visitors Eventually Google will update them. Maybe faster now with the sitemap in place.
By the way, some people have emailed me confused about FTP. FTP is soooo convenient because you open it up and you just drag a ton of files over into your server file and it takes much less time than if you add each file one by one in your cpanel. A long long time ago, Craig had me get CuteFTP and its an easy little sweet FTP program that is wonderful for tech idiots like me.
Okay next time, we’ll be uploading our actual home and garden stuff! We’ll be creating pages with links to Amazon, or info products – however you prefer to do it. And I’ll be giving lessons later on rewriting the PLR content, or tweaking it for maximum usage.
Ready for your free PLR? we’ve done a broad home and garden one, one for garden ideas, and another for kitchen appliances. Today we’re moving back outside with a free Lawn PLR article. Download it, use it free, compliments of our Home and Garden PLR membership site. It’s an article called The Best Tools for Lawn Maintenance. It’s 561 words.