When I started out in affiliate marketing and blogging, I didn’t know much. I knew what I wanted to write about and I knew it was possible to make money online using my computer, an internet connection and the skills I already had. I also knew that making an income from writing was entirely possible (and an attractive way to make a living) as I have been doing that on a small scale with some scripts I have previously published for a few years. Although I published them over 20 years ago, I still receive a small income from them every year. But how to do that online was a different matter.
So I searched the internet and located a training program from Wealthy Affiliate that I liked and I joined up. Wealthy Affiliate use a hosting site called SiteRubix based on the WordPress publishing platform. This website and article are the result of my efforts and I can honestly say I have learned so much going through the excellent training offered. I followed the training and made notes and in the spirit of giving something back,
I found that there are a few things that you can easily forget to do when you write a publish a post as well as some tips that I found and gleaned from other members. I thought I’d put them down in one place as a checklist for myself and others when publishing articles, pages and posts. So here are my top 10 tips and tricks to anyone interested in using WordPress to make the best of their affiliate marketing business.
Tip 1: Make sure you add your keywords and SEO description
Keywords are crucial to generating traffic for your site, so make sure you add your keywords and add them correctly. Double check your spelling as even though Google may have a way of discerning the correct spelling from a misspelled word, it’s better not to take the risk. Keywords should be separated by a comma. This is due to the way that the search engines work to decipher keywords. You need to add keywords manually – they will not be generated in the same way that the title will be, so go to the bottom of the page and add them in the keywords box. If you are using SIteContent through Wealthy Affiliate to write your blogs, you need to edit the post in WordPress after you have published it in order to add the keywords and other admin things. Also remember to add your SEO description keeping it under the recommended length of 160 characters. You can see what your results will look like by looking at the “Preview Snippet”.
Tip 2: Check the author
When you start using WordPress, the author defaults to “Admin” and any posts or pages that you subsequently publish will be under this user. You may want some posts to be authored by ‘Admin’ but if you are writing personal blogs or reviews, then it is better that your work is authored by a real person whom people can relate to. To publish under a different user, create an additional user through the “Users” menu item on the left-hand side of the dashboard then log in as that user and write the post under that name.
If you forget to publish under your own name or pseudonym, you can easily change from admin to another user manually once you have published a blog by using ‘Edit’ or ‘Quick edit’ and changing the name of the author.
Tip 3: Add some tags
Tags are similar to keywords that you can add to help to categorise and sort your content. Adding tags is a useful additional step in navigating through your site for yourself or your readers. You can add as many tags as you want to your post so that when people search using the search box, they can easily find your most relevant posts.
Tip 4: Add images
Most of us respond well to visual images and much prefer a blog or article that doesn’t look like a version of War and Peace (no offence Mr Tolstoy). You can easily add images using the “Add Media” button at the top left of the WordPress page.
You must ensure that you either own the copyright for images you use or you have the permission of the person who does. But you can always take your own images and upload them and then you will have both!
Some affiliate programs such as Wealthy Affiliate offer free images for you to use on your site. The benefit of this is that there are over 1,000,000 images to choose from and they can easily be inserted into posts using the SiteContent platform. SiteContent also allows you to frame images for the best effect too. This is accessed from the “Add Image” button within SiteContent.
Add images using this button from SiteContent on the Wealthy Affiliate program.
Tip 5: Set your “Featured Image”
The featured image can easily be forgotten when writing your article since it is at the very bottom of the right-hand side bar, accessed by clicking on the text saying “Set featured image”. However it is essential if you want your posts to have an image displayed in a post carousel for example, or to look good on a social media site. Just click on the “Featured Image” button and choose the image you want to be the main image for your post. Tip: Choose a different image than the first image in your article otherwise that same image will appear twice at the top of the article when you publish it. I usually use a different image altogether or set the featured image to be an image from further down the article.
Tip 6: Check your preferred category
Remember to check your preferred category box – don’t leave as uncategorized as this does not look as professional on your site as it might. You will find the category box half-way down the right side bar and you can easily add your own categories and organise your categories as you want to.
You can tick more than one category if you want to and this will then sort your posts into relevant categories. If you use a widget to show your categories in a side bar, then they will be listed on the pages of your site for easy access.
Tip 7: Check your spelling
This is essential if you want your articles to be considered in a professional way by the reader. An article that has lots of spelling errors or typos in it will tend to reflect badly on the writer and undermines your authority on whatever subject you are writing on. There are many spelling and grammar checkers available that will run check your article automatically highlighting things that are not in their dictionary but they do not tend to pick up whether you have used the right version of ‘their’ or ‘there’ or if you have used ‘an’ instead of ‘and’ since both will be within the dictionary. It is best to read and re-read your article before publishing it. You can get others to proofread it if possible as well. And if you get feedback or comments from others that point out spelling errors or typos, make sure you edit the post to change them as soon as possible.
Tip 8: Check the layout
We all know that sometimes the layout goes awry and what looked to be a wonderful layout in Word, is suddenly all over the place in WordPress. That is because Word and WordPress do not work on the same programming system and they are basically following similar but different rules. Check the layout once you have published your article and go back and correct it if it is not how you want it. Remember you can use the “Toolbar Toggle” button on the top right of the toolbar for more ways to edit and format your work such as text colour, size and indents. See the red highlighted box in the image below.
You can also format your work using the preset headings and paragraph formats “H1, H2, H3 and P”. One other tip I have found useful is that “Shift/Return” can be used for single line spacing which can sometimes be useful in lists.
Tip 9: Add links
If you are an affiliate marketer then remember to add your affiliate links or links to other areas of your site. Search engines like links to other areas within your site and it promotes authority and trust and will also help your user experience by leading them through your site more easily or to other products and services that you sell or promote.
Remember if you are adding affiliate links which are HTML banners or other HTML code, you should do this by switching to the ‘TEXT‘ tab instead of the ‘VISUAL‘ tab. This is found at the top of the main writing window. You can toggle between the two easily to see how your HTML code or banner will look to others.
Tip 10: Remember to hit UPDATE!
This might seem a little simple, but if you don’t hit the “Update” button before navigating from the page, then you will lose all your changes!.
It is found in the bottom of the “Publish” box at the top of the right side bar.
I hope these few tips and tricks are helpful and wish you all the best in creating your online business.
If you want to know how to overcome writer’s block, click here, and if you are just starting out, see my other posts about how to start an online affiliate marketing business on a budget.
All the best in your blogging career.