Ok, we’re almost ready to begin building the actual site. The last thing you’ll need to do before actually getting started is go get all the WordPress elements you need to create the site. There are quite a few, but luckily almost all of them are free. Here is a detailed list of all the elements we need to create our EPN affiliate site and where you can get them.
WordPress – If you don’t have a fantastico installer as part of your hosting account, you’ll need to head over to WordPress.org and download the latest copy of WordPress. If you host with Bluehost you’ll have the fantastico installer and save yourself a huge hassle, but either way, this one is no big deal
A WordPress Theme – I strongly recommend giving the WP Commerce Steel theme a go, since it’s free, you can get it right here, and it’s specifically made for this tutorial. Really, you can use any theme you want, so if you don’t like the WP Commerce Steel theme, go ahead and find a theme that you think is right for your topic. There are thousands of free themes out there. FYI, I really discourage using premium themes in general, and I especially don’t think they work that well with EPN sites.
Akismet – Akismet generally is included with every WordPress installation, however you will need to go get a WordPress API Key by creating an account at WordPress.org. This plugin is not technically essential, but you will pretty much be getting comment spamed from the minute you launch your site if you don’t have this activated.
All in One SEO Pack – This is an absolute must have, and by far the best SEO plugin you can get for WordPress. You’ll be able to completely customize your meta tags which is vital to grabbing good rankings – particularly the Title tag. This plugin is free to download and easy to use. Grab yourself a copy here.
WordPress Flexi Pages Widget – Probably the most important plugin needed to manage the look and feel of your site on the front end. This is a step people often miss. This is crucial for allowing you to create a dynamic page structure for your product pages that mimics that of an actual e-commerce site, and help keep your layout clean and easy to navigate. A must have. Pick up the Flexi Pages Widget here.
Google XML Sitemaps Generator – This is the other critical SEO related plugin. I feel this is probably one of the greatest WordPress plugins, and absolutely vital to any WordPress blog. What this plugin does, is it automatically creates an XML sitemap of your entire site, then submits it to Google and other search engines. Not only that, but whenever you add new content to your site, it automatically re-creates the sitemap and pings all the search engines to let them know you’ve updated your content. This plugin is so critical to the success of any WP blog. Get a copy here.
PHPBay Pro – You’ve absolutely got to have a copy of PHPBay pro. I believe it costs around $79.00, but you will make your money back on it so fast it will make your head spin. When I first bought my copy over a year ago, I literally made my money back within the first 3 days and I was only using it on one small blog at that time. I’m an open-source kind of guy, and I rarely pay for anything when there’s a free alternative, but this is just one thing you can’t be successful without. Don’t even bother with this tutorial if you aren’t prepared to grab a PHPbay license. You’ll be able to use it on every site you create from here on out, and it’s very well supported. Download PHPBay here.
PHPBay Search-2-Post Plugin – This is a lesser known plugin, but I think one of the coolest plugins available that has really boosted my earnings. What the Search-2-Post Plugin does, is creates a new search widget to replace the default WP search widget. When a visitor comes to your site and uses the search box, the plugin generates a NEW PAGE of ebay ads based on they keyword they used combined with your specifications you control in the widget administration. In a nutshell, this plugin makes it so your visitors are creating new content for you, not only that but it allows you to get a great feel for what kind of product people are really looking for in your niche. This plugin only costs $15.00. I don’t get any kind of commission for recommending it, but I’ve gotten so much mileage out of this plugin I’m happy to give Alan a free plug. This one is well worth your money. You can buy this plugin along with PHPBay Pro and be in for less than $100 on the whole deal. Purchase the plugin here.
There really isn’t much you need if you think about it. Once you’ve got all these things, save them in a folder together and reuse them over and over again.
Now that we’ve gotten all the prep out of the way, we can finally move on to the actual construction phase. Stay tuned, more videos and tutorials will be coming soon.