How to Optimize Your Word Press Blog

Read my previous article if you want to learn How to Start a Blog

If you want to attract search engine traffic and get thousands of visitors to read your content you need to optimize the structure and content of your Word Press Blog.

7 Steps for Optimizing Your Word Press Blog Structure

The plugins below are highly recommended as they save you lots of time, no knowledge of coding is necessary and it’s easy to accomplish.

1. Install the headspace plugin

This plugin allows you to easily add titles and descriptions to your posts and pages.

2. Install the Google Sitemaps plugin.

A site map provides a way for Google to index all your pages. It functions similar to a table of contents so your visitors can also view the contents of your glob without scrolling through all the categories. The site map plugin submits your pages automatically to Google whenever you create new posts on your blog.

3. Install the Google XML Sitemaps generator plugin

This plugin will generate a compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog which is supported by, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO. It helps Google to index and crawl your pages better which may result it attracting more visitors from the search engines.

4. Install the similar posts plugin

The beauty of this plugin is that it helps visitors to stay longer on your blog. After a visitor reads your post they can view other content related to it. It displays a highly configurable list of related posts. Similarity can be based on any combination of word usage in the content, title, or tags.

5. Create a permalink structure

The basic Word Press installation will display the pages with unfriendly URLs in the browser. This means the URL will have a bunch of numbers after it. It not makes them hard to remember should a visitor try to type it into their browser but it makes it more difficult for search engines to index your pages.

To change your permalink structure you need to login to your WordPress admin panel, then go to Options > Permalinks. Choose custom. To create a permalink structure like enter the following code:


If you prefer a permalink structure like enter:


6. Add a newsletter sign up form

You’ve probably heard “the money is in the list”. If you have a large list of subscribers you can send a newsletter to them every 2 weeks thereby keeping in touch with them. From time to time you can promote your products to them and make money from your list.

To add a contact form to your blog download and install this plugin:

7. Allow visitors to comment on your content.

To encourage visitors to comment on your blog posts make sure you enable comments in the admin panel. To do this login to your admin panel then go to: settings-discussion settings and check the boxes for allowing comments.

Now you’ve taken the 7 steps to optimize your Word Press Blog Structure you need to optimize the content of your blog.

How to Start a Blog – Setting up Word Press

If you want to know how to start a blog Word Press is software that is freely available and often included in your hosting plan.

To read my previous article on the 7 benefits of starting a Word Press Blog visit: How to Start a Blog

7 steps for setting up your Word Press blog:

1. Register a domain name and set-up a hosting account.

Visit get a domain name and sign up for a hosting plan. The reason I suggest going here is that you will receive personal attention and have everything “under one roof” so any technical problems can easily be solved.

2. Install WordPress

Within your hosting account manager you will find a link to Fantastico. This allows you a one click installation for your Word Press blog.

If you wish to install it manually please read Word Press Installation

3. Choose a template

The default installation of Word Press provides a basic template however you can view 1000s of free templates at:’s an article on How to Select a Word Press Theme.

4. Customize your blog.

The reason you may want to customize your blog is so that it clearly reflects your particular online business and makes I stand out from 1000s of other free templates. For example you may want to change the header graphic or set-up a blog that looks more like a web site. Here are the steps I took to customize a blog theme for a client:

5. Theme your content

Instead of haphazardly writing about anything, choose a theme that you’re passionate about so you’ll be able to write lots of content without getting bored. There are lots of blogs on the Net that have been abandoned. It takes a solid commitment to create a online business that is profitable. Create a list of topics that tie into your theme then segment those topics for writing your blog posts.

6. Set up categories, links and pages

After logging in to Word Press (version 2.7+) you’ll see a vertical dashboard where you can easily add categories, links, posts and pages based on your theme. You are almost ready to start blogging now however I suggest optimizing your blog for the search engines so you can attract lots of visitors to read your content.

7. Optimize your blog

Optimizing your blog consists of installing plugins, creating search engine friendly URLs, and writing lots of optimized content on a regular basis. I’ll go into more details about this in the next section.

Learn the step-by-step formula to start and build a money-making blog
by picking up a copy of WordPress Goldmine

* Provides you with a money-making formula that has been tested and proven to work
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* Provides you with the blue print to building your very own Internet marketing empire even if you know absolutely nothing about marketing right now.

How to Start a Blog – Top 7 Benefits of Word Press

One of the easiest ways to get a web site online is to start a blog. You can sign up for a free one at however I highly recommend getting a real domain name and getting it hosted so you’ll have much more control over it.

Top 7 Benefits of a Word Press Blog

Word Press is the best platform for starting a blog as it includes a large community from which you can get help any time you need it.

1. No need to learn html

WordPress has an editor built into it that functions similar to Microsoft Word however it’s a little simpler.

2. Keep content separate from design

This allows you to change the design whenever you like without affecting the content.

3. Create unlimited pages

WordPress is database driven. This means you can easily add 1000s of pages to the database.

4. Choose from many templates

There are 100s of free and paid templates to choose from. These can be customized to suit your business web site. You can also get a custom built blog by hiring an experienced web designer.

5. Search engine friendly

Word Press blogs can be easily optimized for the search engines using plugins. Posts on your blog are automatically pinged and RSS feeds are automatically submitted to RSS directories.

6. Integrate social media marketing

Blog posts can automatically be sent to social marketing sites (ie twitter, facebook etc) by installing the appropriate plugins.

7. Active forum support runs a very active community forum where you can ask questions related to the functioning of your Word Press Blog.

Download this free guide How To Start A Blog
The beginner’s guide to successful blogging

Web Hosting – How to Choose a Reliable Web Host

Say you a running a marketing campaign to drive thousands of visitors to your web site. The server from the web hosting company you chose goes down so your web site goes offline. You lose time, money and customers…an ugly thought but it can happens if you made the wrong choice.

Types of web hosts

Free web hosting

Free web hosts usually incorporate advertising to cover their costs of providing free web space and associated services. The other down side is that free web hosts often disappear because they can’t support the free services they offer. This will result in your web sites and email suddenly disappearing. Also technical support is often non-existent which is a must if you want reliability.

If you don’t need a professional domain name but wish to have an online presence, set up a free blog at or The company provides free hosting as long as your web site remains with them.

Shared web hosting

This is the most common because it allows the web hosting company to host multiple web sites on one server. Beware of those companies offering unlimited space and/or bandwidth as too many web sites on one server will quickly use up all the resources. This may result in your web site disappearing or loading slowly for for your visitors.

Dedicated web hosting

If your web site needs a huge amount of space and bandwidth opt for a dedicated server. It allows your site to use all the resources it needs since it will be the only one on the server (unless you choose to put other sites there). It typically costs over $100/month or more so make sure you need it before making your selection. Sites that need this type of server may have 1000s of pages, images, data, videos, audio etc.

How to Choose a Reliable Web Hosting Company

If you wish to establish a professional online presence invest in a commercial web hosting company. It will be free of ads plus you receive the many services that come with it.

Features of a reliable web hosting company

1. Speed and reliability of servers and hardware

If your web site goes down you’ll lose visitors and sales because they’ll just click to another web site. Make sure the server has 99% uptime. This means your site will be online 99% of the time. Allow 1% downtime for server hiccups and upgrades.

2. Backup Systems

Good hosts will have back-up systems in place to guard against power failures, which will cause you to lose data and customers. Typically web hosts will do daily, weekly and monthly backups.

2. Fast technical support

Check the response time of technical support. Most will respond within 24 hours or less through email or phone support. This is crucial if your site suddenly goes down. It’s always a joy to experience fast, friendly, knowledgeable technical support.

3. Disc space and bandwidth

If you have a static html web site of 10-20 pages it doesn’t need much space. 75-100MB of space and 3GB of bandwidth will be sufficient. Make sure you have the ability to upgrade to a larger plan should you need it.

Database-driven web sites (ie content management systems) may need large amounts of web space and bandwidth as they grow. If you intend to host lots of videos on your web site look into getting a dedicated server.

4. Type of server

The 2 types of servers are Windows and Apache. I recommend Apache because it is less expensive, reliable and contains many features that are needed for running a web site. These include blocking email harvesters, creating 301 redirects, creating error pages, installing php scripts for contact forms,
protecting your images, blocking IP addresses etc.

5. Control panel

This allows you to manage your web hosting account e.g. create email accounts, autoresponders, check site statistics etc.

6. Check features

Here are some of the typical features to look for when hosting your web site or blog:

* At least 100MB of allocated space
* At least 3GB bandwidth
* Site statistics
* Free Technical Support
* POP3 E-Mail Accounts
* Email Forwarding
* Email Auto-responders
* Email Aliases
* FTP Access
* Front Page Support
* Own CGI-Bin Access
* Free Perl, CGI
* Server Side Includes (SSI)
* Password Protection
* 30 day money back guarantee

7. Price

Don’t go for the lowest priced host as you often get what you pay for. First determine what your needs are then look at pricing. Check how long the company has been in operation, test the support response time and look at the features it offers.

If you follow these basic guidelines, you will have a reliable, efficient and satisfying hosting service that will contribute to the success of your business for many years to come.


Check out my affordable web hosting plans at:

The servers provide daily, weekly and monthly backups, 99% uptime, site statistics, email accounts and many other features.

How to Choose a Domain Name for Starting an Online Business

It’s not easy to choose a domain name these days because most have already been taken (especially a dot com name). This has grown the business of buying and selling domain names.

For example if you wanted to buy (if it was for sale) it would cost you millions of dollars to acquire it.

Why you shouldn’t get a free domain name?

If you wanted to save the $20.00 it costs to purchase a professional domain name you could use one of the services that offer a domain, web site and hosting for free.

For example you could sign up for a free blog at You could start with this if you’re short of cash. The problem with this method is that if the company goes bust you lose your online business. If you’ve created lots pages with optimized content that ranks well in the search engines, you’ll lose all your hard work.

How to choose the best domain name


If you wish to brand your company name (ie use it in the domain name. This will help visitors to easily identify your business online.

You may even use your own name to brand your business. Chances are, it may not be taken if it’s not too common..

Include keywords

People often associate the keywords in your domain name with the type of business you are in. For example I chose because I build web sites. I chose to offer my web hosting services.

Action steps

* Create a list of possible keywords that reflect the type of business you have.

* Visit and enter your suggested domain name. If it’s already taken it will offer many alternatives. It’s best to get a .com name because it’s the most popular for business names online however if you’re not particular try .net, .org, .info, .us.

You may have to try many different keyword combinations to find a domain name that’s available and reflects your company.

* Keep it short. Long domain names are them hard to remember. A short one is easy to type. When you add web pages your domain name already gets longer ie

* Make it easy to spell. Don’t keep your visitors guessing. They’ll avoid mistakes when typing it into their browser. A mistake on their part will take them to another web site.

* Avoid dashes. Dashes in a domain name makes it harder for visitors to remember and spell. Only use dashes after exhausting all your options.

* Register your domain name. Depending on the extension it will cost a little over $10.00. Godaddy runs you through mine field of features you can add to the purchase of your domain (ie privacy, hosting, etc). If you don’t need all these extra features opt for the quick checkout to bypass this.

If your chosen domain name is not available and is one that you have set your heart upon, you may be able to buy it from the owner. As I mentioned above, many people buy and sell domain names as a business. Be careful though..a domain name containing high ranking keywords may cost several thousand dollars.

Learn how to start and build a profitable online business with a

Highly Effective Article Marketing Strategy

Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
owner and author of Web Design and SEO Services

Keyword Research – How to find profitable niches

So you’ve found a niche you’re passionate about but you don’t know if it will be a profitable one. You’ll waste a lot of time and money building a web site and writing lots of content for your niche only to find there’s no demand or interest for it.

This is why you need to do keyword research first before you write even one word. The number of searches will determine if it’s worthwhile pursuing the niche you’ve chosen. If it doesn’t receive many searches move on to another niche your passionate about. This is why you created a list in the beginning.

Camping is my passion

Let’s go through the exercise of doing keyword research for the keyword “camping” since it’s one of my passions.

1. Enter “camping” (with the quotes) in the search box of the free keyword research tool…wordtracker. It will list the first 100 keywords and show the number of times people have searched on that word in one month.

Tip: Your main keyword should get 500 to 1000 searches. If it’s less than that move on to another keyword (topic) you’re passionate about.

Here are the first 10 keywords:

1280 camping world
1119 camping
645 camping gear
466 camping tents
441 camping supplies
314 camping equipment
218 motorcycle camping trailers
178 camping rankings
164 camping costa brava
161 camping trailers
130 camping recipes

2. List the top 10 web sites in Google

This will give you a bird’s eye view of your competition. I chose “camping gear” as my main keyword because camping is too general and “camping gear” receives over 500 searches.

Here’s the top 10 web sites in Google (this may change anytime)

3. Check the number of backlinks of competing web sites.

Backlinks are the links that point to your web site from another web site. The number and quality of backlinks determines the rankings of your web site. A great free tool to check backlinks is Yahoo Site Explorer

Enter the top web site… in the search box. In the inlinks drop down box at the top of the page select: “except from this domain” to “only this URL” It says this site has 114,510 backlinks. If you want to compete with this website you’ll need to get more than 114,510 links pointing to your own web site.

Do the same for the other top 9 web sites. Ideally you want to find web sites that have only a few 100 backlinks otherwise you will spending all your time finding backlinks to outdo your competition.

Do this same exercise for at least your top 10 keywords that were generated from wordtracker until you find one with few backlinks from the top 10 Google list.

Once you’ve found your ideal keyword phrase you need to do market research. This will show you where your customers go online to find information related to your niche.

Related Articles

Search it review

How to Optimize Your Article Before Publishing It

Research the Best Keywords Using the Google AdWords Tool – Part 1

Research the Best Keywords Using the Google AdWords Tool – Part 2

How to Use Keywords to Optimize Your Site for Search Engines – Part 1
How to Use Keywords to Optimize Your Site for Search Engines – Part 2

Learn how to start and build a profitable online business with

Highly Effective Article Marketing Strategies

Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
owner and author of Web Design and SEO Services

Google Cash Detective Software Review

How to spy on your competitors plus make money…FAST

Have you ever lost money on a Pay Per Click (Google AdWords) campaign because you spent more than you earned?

Would you like to know exactly which advertisers are running the most profitable PPC campaigns, how long they’ve run, how much they’re spending per click, what ads they are showing and what landing pages they are using?

What the Google Cash Detective (GCD) does.

With GCD you can find and clone profitable PPC campaigns within minutes by cloning your competitors profitable ads. By entering a keyword into GCD you’ll immediately get a bird’s eye view of all the PPC campaigns associated with that keyword. If you enter your competitors URL in GCD it will instantly show you all the ads they’re running.

How will the Google Cash Detective Software help you?

Generate cash..FAST

The GCA enables you to generate money online very quickly by finding and promoting affiliate products with PPC advertising. You’ll instantly see which products are making money by targeting the right keywords and creating the best ads. You don’t even need a product, web site or email list.

Save time and money

Instead of the trial and error approach (losing time and money) you can generate a profitable PPC campaign by cloning one that is already profitable (has been making money for several months).

Know if your product idea will be profitable

Before you spend time and money developing your own product use GCD to do the research for you. It will show you all the profitable PPC campaigns in your market.

Generate instant traffic

The Google Cash Detective will help anyone to promote their products (or affiliate products) or services online because you can generate visitors within a short time (within a few hours or days). You don’t have to spend time and energy trying to beat a million other web sites in the search engines to get ranked in the top 10. Instead your ad gets displayed on the first page of Google(Google ads are displayed on the right).

Create Almost immediate results

With PPC advertising you only need to open a Google AdWords account, then create some ads. Within a few hours or days you will see if your ads are profitable or not. The GCD is a competitive intelligence tool that you have at your disposal 24/7.

Who is it for?

It’s great for consultants, web designers, etc who help online or offline businesses by providing competitive intelligence, generating targeted traffic and improving conversion rates.

It’s also a great way for anyone to build a business online by marketing other people’s products or services.

You’re supported with lots of video training materials that show you step by step how to best use the Google Cash Detective.

Where can I get it?

For more information please visit:

Google Cash Detective Software


Is there limit on the number of users?

Yes, once the limit has been reached the GCD will not be available. This is to allow the creator of the software to work closely with people that purchased it and not flood the market.

Click here to get the FREE Trial of Google Cash Detective Software

Passion – How to Identify a Niche You’re Passionate About

Australian Outback

If you want to start an online business that will last for the long term you need to pursue your passion. When you have a passion for something, you will dig into it as much as you possibly can.Trying to just “make money online” will not see you through difficult times. Out of your passion emerges your vision..where you want to be in 10 or 15 years time.

How to identify your passion

1. Create a list of ideas you’re passionate about.

Think of the activities and interests that fire you up. These may include people, books, events, sports, traveling, etc. Create a long list by dumping all the ideas in your brain on paper. Don’t stop until you’ve run out of ideas.

2. Prioritize your list of passions.

Now go through your list and select 10 ideas you feel most passionate about. Keep in mind you will be writing lots of content based on the ideas you select.


I have an uncle in New Zealand who is very passionate about the flora and fauna in the Australian desert. Every year he goes on safari across the desert with his wife studying the plants and and animals he encounters along the way. He reads tons of books and magazines about the desert, paints, photographs and takes videos.

He’ll talk to you for hours if you’re interested. He’s an expert on his passion. He still goes on safari at age 90 (I think it helps him lead a thriving life in at his age).

3. How to profit from your passion

If my uncle were to start an online business about the Australian outback he would never run out of things to write about. There are thousands of others in the world who are also passionate about the same topic. He could market to this targeted group by writing articles and monetizing his web site with affiliate products (or create his own). By writing and publishing articles about his interest he could drive traffic to his web site. When visitors click the links to his affiliate sites he’ll earn a commission for every sale.

You can do the same once you’ve identified your passion.

4. How to keep in touch with your passion

It’s easy to lose site of your passion when consumed with everyday tasks. To prevent this from happening hang pictures on the wall that clearly illustrate your passion so they remind you everyday (ie beautiful sunset picture of the Australian Outback).

Spend a few moments each day before you start work visualizing your passion. This will keep your mind focused on the big picture while you work on the small steps you need to take for building your online business.

Learn how to start and build a profitable online business with

Highly Effective Article Marketing Strategies

Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
owner and author of Web Site Design, SEO, Hosting Services

Starting a Free Online Business with Article Marketing – 12 step tutorial

Are you skeptical about creating a profitable online business with article marketing?

I would be too, however after writing and publishing articles for 7 years I can confidently say it can be done. Read my 7 Strategies for Starting an Online Business with Article Marketing

Here is an outline of the 12 step process:

1. Find a niche you are passionate about.

It’s easier to write about something you have passion for because it will show in your writing and helps to build a strong foundation for successive articles.

I like hiking so I could write about why you should hike, how to enjoy hiking, where to hike and what equipment you need.

2. Do keyword research

Use the free wordtracker tool to find how many people search on your main keyword phrase.

If I enter hiking into wordtracker I get 579 searches. This shows people are looking for information on hiking. There are also searches for hiking trails, hiking gear, hiking tips, etc.

3. Do market research

To determine if your idea is in demand do a search on,, visit forums, blogs, article directories to read what people are talking about or questions they have (so you can help solve them with your articles).

A search on amazon books shows there are over 85,095 results on hiking.
A search at Ezine Articles shows 70,400 articles have been written.

This is already a good indication there is s high demand for information on hiking.

4. Register a domain name

Registering a domain name gives your online business a professional image. Try to include your main keyword in the domain name so it is obvious to your visitors what your web site is about e.g. ilovehiking dot com

5. Get a hosting account

You need a home on the Net for your future web site. Many web hosting companies try to sell you their services by offering huge or unlimited amounts of disc space or bandwidth. 75MB of space, 3000MB of bandwidth is enough for 100s of pages of content. The most important factors when selecting a reputable hosting company are fast, friendly and knowledgeable technical support.

Check out my hosting plans at:
My servers provide daily, weekly and monthly backups, 99% uptime, site statistics, email accounts and many other features.

6. Start a blog

A blog is actually a web site which can quickly and easily be updated. Some other main features include:

* Design and content is separate so you can change the design without affecting the content.

* Rapidly indexed by the search engines. Search engines love web sites which are updated on a regular basis.

* Integrates with social marketing sites. Plugins allow your content to be automatically distributed to social marketing sites such as Twitter, Facebook,,etc.

* Large selection of templates and plugins. There are 100s of free and paid templates to choose from. Plugins help to add more functionality e.g. control spam, optimize your content, etc.

7. Set-up your blog

I recommend using WordPress as your blogging platform because it has lots of documentation, a large number of developers that stay on top of security fixes and is easy to install.

Most web hosts have a one click installation from the web hosting control panel.
You can select a free template however I suggest getting a customized blog designed so it stands out from all the free templates and it is unique to your business.

Visit for more information about my web site design services.

8. Write your first 10 articles

Create a list of 10 related topics based on you main keyword then write an article on each topic.

Write your first 350 word article. This could be a how to or 7 tips article similar to how this article is written. Then build upon this foundation by writing the other 9 articles.

9. Publish your articles

Add the 10 articles to your blog and submit them to the top article directories and social marketing sites. Make sure you include a link back to your web site in the resource box of your articles. This will drive tons of traffic (visitors) to your web site.

10. Monetize your web site

You can easily monetize your blog by selling affiliate products. These are products sold by large companies where you receive a commission for placing a link to their website from your web site. When someone purchases from that link you receive an automatic commission.

If I enter “hiking” in the search box of hundreds of hiking products are displayed that I can sell as an affiliate from my web site.

Another easy method of monetizing your web site so to add adsense ads to your content pages. This can easily be achieved with a WordPress plugin. Every time a visitor clicks on an ad you get paid. If you place adsense ads on every content page you multiply your earnings.

11. Market your web site

One of the best ways to drive traffic to your web site is to keep adding optimized content to it and submit unique articles to the top article directories. This will help build links, increase your search engine rankings and ultimately attract lots of visitors. The more visitors you receive the more sales you’ll make.

12. Build your online business empire

The beauty of producing lots of articles is that they can be used to build a profitable online business. You can use them for creating ecourses, videos, audios, teleseminars, membership sites and products such as ebooks and reports.

You are only limited by your imagination.

Learn how to start and build a profitable online business with

Highly Effective Article Marketing Strategies

Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
owner and author of Affordable WebSite Design

Use Icons to Spice Up Your Content

Icons help break up the content on your web site in much the same way as bulleted points or paragraphs except you’re using images. Your eyes often get tired if you read lots of content online however adding icons will make it a lot easier.

Icons can also be used to draw attention to a specific area of your web page similar to what images do. For example I often use icons at the beginning of posts on this blog to help draw your attention to the content.

Examples of ways to use icons

Here’s an article on that lists (with examples) the ideal locations to use icons in the content on your web pages.

  • Spice up feature lists
  • Draw attention to new features in a Web application
  • List different applications and products
  • List your services and increase readability
  • Accent headers to give titles a creative touch
  • Engage readers on pages with extra long content
  • Offset headings and sections
  • Size doesn’t matter! Even small icons can be effective
  • Switch things up by placing icons to the right of the paragraph
  • Vary size and placement of icons