The best source for website templates

The best source for website templates

How to Start Your Blog or Authority Site in Just 7 Simple Steps [2022]

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Let’s make this as simple as possible. With your carefully-chosen domain name at hand, let’s walk through the seven simple steps that will register your domain and order your web hosting package. In the next few minutes, you’ll have taken the incredible leap from “idea” to actually having your first authority site or blog!

I, therefore, recommend that you follow these steps now in order.

Let’s get started!

1) Click Over to Bluehost

Navigate your way to Bluehost and click on the big green “Get Started Now” button.

2) Select Your Web Hosting Package

Bluehost offers a range of different packages. I would personally suggest you opt for the “Plus” account as it allows you to host more than one website and offers unlimited everything.

This is important because many bloggers end up setting up second or third blogs in time to grow their income yet further. The “Plus” account therefore can save you considerable money in the future as your empire expands.

If you’re on a really tight budget you can of course opt for the lowest package, but just appreciate that the limitations present might get a little frustrating in time.

3) Choose Your Domain

Simply enter the domain name that you chose earlier into the box on the left of the page and click the button.

4) Enter Account Information

Once you’ve selected your domain, simply fill in the form with some basic details.

5) Package Information

Here you’ll confirm your package. Take some time to double-check that everything is correct. Remember, also, that the longer you register your site for, the cheaper the monthly cost becomes.

6) Enter Payment Information

Pop your card number in, click the “Submit” button and prepare to become the proud owner of your brand new blog!

7) Select Your Password

As soon as your payment has been processed you’ll be able to take the final step of selecting a password for your account.

Then go check your emails, where you should have a confirmation message.

Believe it or not, you now have your own website! 

In truth, there is still a little more work to do in order to make your new site look beautiful, but the “hard” work is already done. Congratulations!Action Step: Register for Bluehost now using the step-by-step instructions above. This is important to do as soon as possible to ensure that nobody else snaps up your chosen domain name before you get around to registering it.

How To Install WordPress on Bluehost

By now you have found a suitable domain name, registered it, and set up your web hosting. Believe it or not, in these few steps you’re already well on the way to having your own blog. 

The next step in going from a web hosting account to a functioning blog is to install WordPress on it. 

After that, it’s just a matter of “playing about” to give your blog the look and function that you’re after. And if I’m honest, that bits kind of fun. This is, then, really the very last bit of “real work” you’re going to have to do when setting up a new blog. And luckily it’s simplicity itself.

When you signed up for your web hosting account you should have received an email, providing information on how to access your own web hosting control panel. From here you can control what happens to your web hosting account, including setting up email addresses, uploading files, and so on. 

You can also, if you’re lucky, install WordPress with just a few clicks of your mouse.

Here’s how to do it…

1) Navigate to Your Control Panel

Do you remember the email you got yesterday when you signed up with BlueHost? Go grab that, and follow the information so you can log into your web hosting control panel.

2) Go to “WordPress Tools”

Once you’re logged in, select the “WordPress Tools” option at the top of the page.

3) Enter Your Details

Here we’ll install WordPress in a matter of moments.

You’ll want to fill in some basic details, using the tips below…

Domain – Make sure this box shows the domain you chose above.

Path – Leave this blank.

Site Title – Give your site a name. You can always change this later so it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Admin Username – A username that you will use to log into your blog to add content. Make this whatever you like as only you’ll see it.

Admin Password – Choose a password for WordPress, making sure it’s different from your BlueHost password. Be sure to make a note of both the username and password you’ve chosen.

Admin Email – Just enter your email address here.

Then click the green “Install WordPress” button and you’re good!

4) Go Visit Your Site!

Once you click the button, WordPress will be installed. Try visiting your domain name and you should see your own shiny copy of WordPress ready to show the world: at this point, you could honestly say that you had set up your own blog.

Note that it might not look great, and it’ll be full of junk content, but this is all easy to change.

In fact, we’ll start making the necessary changes to take your site from “ok” to “wow!” in a short while. First, however, let’s show you around your WordPress website…

Recommended WordPress Technical Changes

Whenever I start a new WordPress website there are a few changes I like to make to the core settings. 

In this section, we’ll discuss exactly what I like to check, why I make these changes, and exactly how to do exactly the same yourself. 

In this way, you can follow along with me, making all the changes necessary to set yourself up on the right foot from the very beginning. 

General Settings

Let’s start with some general settings, as you’ll find in Settings > General. 

Here I like to check that everything except the tagline is filled incorrectly. 

For example, is my site title correct, and are my WordPress Address and Site Address the same? Is the email address the one that I want to use for this site?

If so, we can move on to the next step…


One of the few downsides of being a blogger is that sooner or later you’re probably going to get bombarded by spammers. They’ll pelt your site with dozens – perhaps even hundreds – of junk comments in the hope that you publish some of them. In this way, they’ll get links pointing to their website – which will help them to rank better in the search engines. 

It is the “Discussion” area (Settings > Discussion) that decides how people can comment on your site. 

It’s a lot easier to make sure the settings are correct before your site starts to get lots of visitors, as opposed to trying to fight thousands of automatically submitted spam blog comments at a later date. 

In essence, what I want to do is to ensure that blog comments are not published automatically. Instead, I like to manually approve comments to ensure that only high-quality comments are getting added to my site. 

Also, as most of my sites get a fair number of comments, I don’t want to receive an email every time a comment is left or my inbox would unmanageable. 

Here are the settings that I personally use in the Discussion area of my websites…

I would suggest you change yours to match these in order to help control spam comments and keep your site in good condition. 


A permalink is the full address of any individual blog post on your site. So, for example, in the case of this article, it’s the bit after is the permalink. 

Including keywords in the URL of an article brings two distinct benefits. 

Firstly, it can help you to rank higher in the search engines for the phrase within the URL. 

Secondly, a keyword-rich URL can help potential visitors to understand what your article is about before they visit. 

As a result, I change this setting to ensure that rather than using random numbers or the date that a post is published, the URL (permalink) is keyword-rich. Fortunately, this is easy to do, by just ensuring that your Permalink section (Settings > Permalinks) look as follows:

Delete Old Content

Lastly, when you installed WordPress on your Bluehost web hosting account you will have found that a standard page, post, and comment were added. 

The goal here of course was to help you see how these different elements look on your site – but they’re not something you’ll want to retain when you start your site properly. 

To avoid forgetting to delete these elements at a later date, I, therefore, like to do this when I am first setting up the site. 

Luckily it’s very simple to do. 


To delete the dummy page on your site navigate to Pages > All Pages. Here you’ll likely see a page that you didn’t create. 

Simply hover your cursor over the page title and you’ll find that a little mini-menu appears, with a “Trash” option. Click this and you’ll remove the page from your site. 

We’re now going to follow a similar process to delete the dummy “Hello World!” blog post and comment. 


You will likely have a dummy comment on the dummy “Hello World!” blog post that comes with WordPress. Removing it isn’t strictly necessary, because when you delete the blog post itself in the next step you’ll also remove the comment. 

However, I include this step here just to give your first opportunity to see the comments section and to delete one. 

Simply navigate to the Comments section, hover over the text of the comment, then select the “Trash” option. The comment will be removed. 


To delete the “Hello World!” blog post from WordPress simply navigate to Posts > All Posts. Follow the same process above, hovering your cursor over the blog post title, then select “Trash”. This blog post should now be gone from your blog. 

With these simple steps completed, you’re ready to move onto the next stage of setting up your WordPress blog. In this case, we’ll discuss themes, and how to use them to give your site a unique appearance…Action Step: Make the above changes to your new WordPress site to ensure you are set up correctly from the beginning.

Using WordPress Themes

If you’ve taken a look at your brand new WordPress website then you’ve probably realized that the default styling of your blog isn’t very appealing. 

One of the most exciting things about building a website with WordPress is simply how flexible it is. As you’re going to learn, it’s super simple to change the entire appearance of your website including colors, fonts, layout, and more to perfectly suit your content. 

The way we do this is through the use of “WordPress themes”.

What is a WordPress Theme?

Forget about the old days of piecing together a website design bit-by-bit – a long and complicated process. A WordPress theme can be thought of as a whole new “outfit” for your website – covering every aspect of its appearance. 

A single WordPress theme will have an effect on the layout of your blog, the color scheme used, fonts, and more. 

In other words, changing the appearance of your site is as simple as uploading a single theme (we’ll cover how to do this a little later on). 

The entire process of taking your blog from it’s current basic look to something super-professional takes a matter of moments. 

What’s even better, is that many premium themes even come with their own control panel within your WordPress back end. This theme control panel gives you control over the overall design of your site, letting you just turn things on and off at will, to get the exact design you’re after with no technical knowledge. 

Sound good? Great – then let’s dive in…  

Free WordPress Themes Vs Premium WordPress Themes

When you start looking at WordPress themes you’ll quickly realize there are two broad categories. To start with, there are hundreds of free WordPress themes, perfect if you’re on a very budget but still want a professional-looking site.

On the other hand, there are paid WordPress themes – so-called “premium themes”. 

So why would anyone pay for a WordPress theme when there are so many free ones? 

Here there are a number of answers:

More Choice 

While there are plenty of free WordPress themes available, the range pales in comparison to the premium theme market. This does of course make sense, as web developers are far more motivated to create themes when they can earn revenue from their work, rather than having to give it away for free. 

Being willing to stump up for a premium theme, therefore, gives you plenty more choice in getting your site to look just how you’d like.

By the way, don’t think you’ll be paying a fortune for one of these premium themes – many of them can be bought for $50 or less – which is quite a bargain when you consider what you’re getting for your money. 

How many times would it cost to hire a professional web developer to make a bespoke theme specially for your site? 

Better Designs

There’s no denying it; experienced, professional WordPress theme developers know that their work has value. You’ll invariably find that premium themes look much, much more professional than free themes. This, in turn, makes your whole site look more established. 

If you’re someone who really appreciates the “wow” value of having an attractive site will find plenty of options in the premium theme market. And don’t forget that it’s not just your friends and family members that you’re trying to impress; you want your normal visitors to feel comfortable and confident in your website when they arrive. 

Only in this way will you make the most money possible from your site – so a premium theme can be thought of investment into future profitability in this way.

More Control

As mentioned previously, most premium themes come with their own control panel which you can access from your standard WordPress back-end. These control panels allow you to change fonts, colors, layout, and so on at will simply by clicking a few buttons. It’s almost like you just magically became a web developer. 

This greater level of control – rarely seen in free WordPress themes – ensures that you can modify your site’s appearance with ease. 

In such a way, you can feel confident that your site’s appearance is not only exactly what you’re looking for, but that it is also unique from anything else your visitors may have seen before. This brings us to… 


Premium themes help to make your site design unique thanks to two factors. Firstly, as mentioned, you’ll be able to modify and change your site’s design with no technical knowledge. Secondly, of course, as there are so many more premium themes than free themes you’ll struggle to find another blog out there using the same theme as you.

When you combine these two factors it’s easy to see how unique your eventual design can be. This ensures that your site does exactly what you want it to while standing out from the crowd of “me too” websites using the same, tired old free themes. 

Advanced Features

One final aspect worth mentioning when it comes to premium WordPress themes are the advanced features that a new generation of themes are including. 

These can include anything from the ability to accept bookings for conference calls, to adding directory listings, showing related posts, attractive modern sliders, and more. 

Indeed, many paid WordPress themes come bundled with premium plugins that make them do all sorts of cool stuff. 

As you can see, premium themes really are the way to go if you’re serious about building a profitable authority site or blog from the outset. Only if you’re on the tightest of budgets would I suggest you use a free theme. Even then, I would prioritize saving up for a premium theme as soon afterward as possible if you want your site to scream professionalism.

Where to Find Free WordPress Themes

While I want to focus on helping you find the perfect premium theme in just a minute, I also don’t want to ignore those readers who simply can’t afford the $50 or so to make their site look its best. 

So before we talk about where to find premium WordPress themes, and how to install them on your website, let’s take a quick look at where to find free WordPress themes. 

Possibly the best way to find free WordPress themes is to actually log into your WordPress control panel itself.

In the navigation menu down the side select “Appearance” then “Themes”.

This will bring up a page that shows all the “standard” themes that come with WordPress.

Simply click on the “Add a New Theme” box. At this point, you’ll find a search box that allows you to find free themes.

Simply scan through to find one that you like the look of.

However, if you don’t find a suitable option, or you really want to make your blog beautiful, you might want to consider one of the many “premium themes” that are for sale.

Where to Find Premium WordPress Themes

Premium themes cost money, but perhaps not as much as you might think. For $50 or less you can land a stunning theme that really sets you apart from the competition.

There’s more. Premium themes also come with a whole host of premium features; with a good quality WordPress theme, you can customize almost any element quickly and easily. Most of them come with a “configuration” page which lets you change the color scheme, typeface, homepage layout, and more. They, therefore, offer far more opportunities to really customize your blog and make it your own.

Just as importantly, there are many, many times as many premium themes as there are free themes. What this means is that using a premium theme increases the odds of your site looking totally unique.

Personally, I always use a premium theme for my blogs thanks to the professional appearance and flexibility that they offer. Remember that the better your site looks, the easier it will be to market and promote in time.

OK, so where do you find premium WordPress themes?

Well, here there is a range of options. My personal choice is ThemeForest. Here you’ll find thousands of different WordPress themes, all categorized and searchable.

How to Install a WordPress Theme

Once you’ve chosen your theme, the installation process is surprisingly easy.

Here are the four steps to installing a new theme…

1) Download It

Start by downloading the theme that you have purchased from ThemeForest onto your home computer.

2) Upload It

Once the theme is on your computer, next you’ll want to unzip it. Within this unzipped folder you’ll find a variety of files and folders, including an “installation guide”. Have a quick scan through this guide to figure out the exact name of the folder you need to upload to your site – it’ll invariably end in “.zip”.

Once you’ve isolated the folder you need to upload, it’s time to actually get it onto your blog.

Go into WordPress, select “Appearance”, then “Themes”, then “Upload Theme”.

On the theme installation screen simply locate the theme on your computer, click the “Install Now” button and let the magic happen.

If all goes according to plan you should receive confirmation that your theme has been uploaded.

3) Activate It

At this point your shiny new WordPress theme is sat on your blog – but can’t yet be seen. To actually show the theme you’ll need to “Activate” it.

Fortunately this is the simplest step of all. Simply navigate within WordPress to “Appearance”, then “Themes”. Find the theme that you just uploaded, and click on the “Activate” link.

Now go and take another look at your blog homepage and you should find that it has changed to the new theme!

4) Customize It

All premium themes have a “control panel” or “options” area that lets you change the overall design of your new theme.

This is arguably the most fun bit of all. You can simply go through the options, changing font sizes, colors and so on until you’re happy with the final design. While it can take a little time to get things “just right” it’s a fun and very rewarding exercise.Action Step: Explore Theme Forest to find a theme that will work for your site. Take your time, choose carefully, then upload it to your site and activate it.

Adding Functionality to Your Site With WordPress Plugins

Plugins are one of the single most exciting features of WordPress in my opinion. 

WordPress plugins essentially allow you to extend the functionality of your site. There is virtually nothing that WordPress plugins cannot do. 

  • Want an easy way to add copyright-free images or social sharing buttons to your site? Easy. 
  • Want to collect email addresses or your visitors, or accept orders for products. No problem. 
  • Fancy adding great-looking tables, charts or videos to your site? Bring it on. 

Once you’ve got WordPress installed your site’s functionality is really only limited by your imagination. Any idea you come up with can be implemented with one plugin or another. 

This not only makes building a site a whole lot more fun, but also makes it easy to add advanced features to your site, which improves the overall visitor experience of people landing on your carefully-crafted content. 

In this section, therefore, we’re going to take a closer look at WordPress plugins. You’ll learn how to find WordPress plugins for your site, and how to quickly install them with no technical knowledge. 

Then, possibly most valuable of all, I’ll give my my own list of “must have” plugins after years of testing hundreds of the options available. You’ll find a huge range of tested solutions to the most common issues that bloggers and authority site builders experience. 

Where to Find WordPress Plugins

Just like WordPress themes, you’ll quickly find there are two different types of WordPress plugin. The first of these are free plugins. The second are – as you might have guessed – paid (or premium) WordPress plugins.

The cool thing is that there are so many high quality free WordPress plugins available that it is only in rare situations where you’ll need to pay for a premium version. Even then, most paid plugins are very cheaply priced and can be sourced for much less than a premium theme. 

These two kinds of plugins, however, mean there are two ways of finding plugins for your site.

How to Find & Install Free Plugins

Most of the free WordPress plugins available are stored in a central WordPress theme directory. Here you’ll find thousands of plugins, all tried-and-tested and many of them are even reviewed and rated by other WordPress users. In this way it can be quite easy to identify the “best” solution to any problem you may have. 

The easiest way to search this directory to find the plugin you’re looking for is from within WordPress itself. 

Within your WordPress control panel simply navigate to “Plugins”, then “Add New”.

You’ll find a search box at the top.

Simply search for the name of a free plugin, then click the “Install” link.

Once installed, just “Activate” it and you’re all good. The whole process takes a matter of moments and you’ll find that after your first few installations you can add plugins in your sleep.

How to Find & Install Premium Themes  

There are lots of web developers who sell premium WordPress plugins. Some sell their plugins from their website, while most of them use an online marketplace. Over the years I’ve tested out dozens of these different theme marketplaces, and my own personal preference now is for Code Canyon. 

Of course, as these premium plugins aren’t housed in the standard WordPress plugin directory installing them involves a few extra steps. All the same, these steps are well within the ability of almost anyone – even brand new bloggers. Here’s how to do it…

Start off by downloading your chosen plugin after purchase, unzipping it, find the filename of the plugin and then upload this to WordPress manually.

This is very easy to do. Simply go to “Plugins”, then “Add New”, then “Upload Plugin”.

Once the plugin has been uploaded to WordPress all you need to do is to activate it just as you did with the free plugins and you’re ready to go. Easy as that.

My Top Plugin Recommendations 

Before we discuss my top plugins that all bloggers and authority site owners should know about it’s only fair to make a disclaimer. Adding hundreds of plugins to your blog will slow down how quickly your site loads. 

As a result, I don’t recommend that you install all of the following plugins in one go – unless you really need them. 

Instead, carefully read through the description of each one and decide if the functionality discussed would be beneficial for your site. If so, then you know exactly what to install. If not, then move along to the next description. 

If in doubt, bookmark this page now so that you can refer back to this list in the future. I’ll be keeping it continually updated, adding and replacing the list as I discover and test new plugins.  


We talked previously about the issues surrounding spammers firing junk blog comments at your site. Logging in to find you’ve got thousands of low quality comments sat there that need sifting through is nobody’s idea of fun. 

Luckily, Akismet helps to resolve this issue. This free WordPress plugin looks for common signs of spam comments, and automatically filters out those that it thinks are junk.

If it makes a mistake, it’s easy to publish a genuine comment. A massive time-saver that every blogger should consider.

Auto Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

Many advertising networks (such as Adsense) and some affiliate programs demand that you have a privacy policy and a terms of service page on your website. These pages help visitors to understand what data you gather from your visitors, and how this information is used. 

In other words, they’re a sign of a responsible, professional website.

That said, getting a lawyer to create these document for you can be expensive and inconvenient.

The free Auto Terms of Service & Privacy Policy plugin makes it easily to generate these pages by just filling in a few fields in your WordPress control panel. A real time saver for most bloggers.


Slow-loading websites should be avoided for a whole host of reasons. They make for a bad user experience, they reduce the chances of your visitors seeing your adverts and/or affiliate links, and a website that loads slowly can also rank lower in Google. 

Autoptimize is a handy plugin for speeding up the loading speed of your WordPress website. While the results can be impressive, I would issue a warning as I have seen cases where the plugin caused some pretty serious issues. If you’re in any doubt I recommend you take a look at WP Rocket (discussed below) which is far easier to run.

Broken Link Checker

Broken links can lead to frustration for your visitors, as they click on a link only to find that it doesn’t go anywhere. Worse, of course, is if your affiliate links suddenly stop working for some reason without you noticing. Lastly, as Google is paying ever more attention to user-experience, a website with plenty of broken links can find it’s rankings reduced. 

As it’s name suggests, Broken Link Checker regularly scans your site, looking for any links that aren’t working any more. You can then tell the plugin to ignore the issue, to correct the link URL or to remove the link entirely.

Note that Broken Link Checker can be a bit of a “resource hog” so it is often best to just activate it, run it, and then deactivate it again from time to time. This is in contrast where the plugin runs continuously, which can slow down your site or frustrate your web host.


Thanks to today’s superfast broadband speeds, including eye-catching images in your blog posts is more important than ever before. Finding suitably images can be challenging, however. What’s more, you need to make sure that you’re using images legally; publish a blog post with “borrowed” images and you could find yourself in some hot water. 

Compfight helps to eliminate this issue, allowing you to search through thousands of royalty-free images from within WordPress. 

Just click the image you want to use and it’ll be added to your article instantly. In other words, this plugin makes it easy to find and use images legally in your content.

Compress JPEG & PNG Images

The images used on your website can have one nasty side-impact – they can greatly slow down how quickly your website loads. Over the years I’ve tested out all manner of different tools that compress down your images. In essence these tools reduce the file size of your images without impacting their appearance.

The end result is a website that loads much more quickly. In all my tests, this free plugin from TinyPNG has performed most strongly. A highly-recommended tool if you’re going to be using a decent number of images on your authority site.

Contact Form 7

If you’re a blogger or authority site owner then it makes sense to let your site visitors contact you. You may find ideas for producing new blog posts, you may get offered products to review or new opportunities to monetize your website. 

That said, publishing your email is a very bad idea, as it can result in spammers finding it and then deluging you with spam emails. A better alternative is therefore to create a contact form on your site, which then hides your email address from prying eyes.

Of all the various forms I have tried over the years it is Contact Form 7 that seems to be the easiest to work with while giving the most reliable results.

Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress

There are dozens of different social sharing plugins, and I have tried most of them. Most are painfully slow to load, or give very few options for deciding exactly where you’d like your sharing buttons to appear, or to style the appearance of these buttons.

This is one of the few premium plugins that I now rely on. If you want a fast-loading plugin that offers complete control over the design and placement of your social sharing buttons then Easy Social Share Buttons is the plugin for you.

Feature Box Pro

As we will see here, starting your own email newsletter is a critical part of the blogging puzzle. The question is how you build attractive signup forms for your newsletter, which are both highly visible to your visitors but without being intrusive. The answer is a “feature box”.

A feature box sits at the top of the your blog, typically under your standard navigation. It is designed to be eye-catching and to maximize optins without annoying your visitors with popups. While this is a premium plugin, the cost is minimal, while the impact of gathering thousands of email subscribers quickly outweighs this small investment.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the best-known free service for tracking your website visitors. In order to install the Google Analytics code on your authority site, however, you’ll need to have a little technical knowledge.

The free Google Analytics plugin removes the technical knowledge necessary, allowing anyone to quickly add the required tracking code to their website.


ManageWP is a tool designed to help you to manage a variety of aspects of your WordPress website. For example, it makes it super-simple to update plugins and themes as new versions are released. 

More importantly, however, are the various security and backup features offered by ManageWP. Set up is super-simple, and now my websites are backed up every single day like clockwork, while being regularly monitored for any malicious activity.

Whilst the ManageWP plugin itself is free, I recommend that you combine it with a paid account for maximum results. In this way, you can feel confident that you’ve always got your blog backed up incase of problems. Re-installing your site is a piece of cake, ensuring that all the hard work you put into your site isn’t going to vanish one day thanks to a hacker or other technical issue.

Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions

Your WordPress website sits on top of a database that holds all the data, images, blog posts and more. As things are added and taken away this database can get bogged down, which makes your website load more slowly.

This plugin helps to speed up your database – and so makes your site more quickly – without needing to understand all the technical aspects of dealing with MySQL databases. Just run the plugin from time to time and see just how much space you can save in your database.

Optin Monster

Possibly the best-known and most feature-rich plugin for creating attractive opt-in forms, if you’re serious about growing your newsletter subscribers this is my favorite plugin of all. Now, in truth this is a premium plugin, but in my experience it stands head and shoulders above similar competing products. 

Optin Monster comes complete with a huge range of premade, eye-catching templates and the ability to create an almost unlimited range of optin forms including slide-ins, popups, welcome mats and more. 

Just as importantly, Optin Monster lets you split-test different designs to find those that get you the very best results. Worth it’s weight when it comes to growing your newsletter – and hence the income produced by your authority site.


We’ll talk later on in depth at the concept of “push notifications”. In essence, this is an alternative to your visitor needing to sign up for your email newsletter to receive notifications of new content. They simply click a button, and then when you publish a new article they receive a little message in their browser.

While push notifications are still in their infancy, Pushcrew is my personal favorite from the available options and helps me to draw significant qualified traffic back to my site each and every month.

Search Meter

If your WordPress website is like most then you’ll have a search box somewhere, allowing first-time visitors to quickly find the content that they need from your archives. 

Search meter is cool because it actually records what people search for through your form. Why does this matter? Well, it’s like your visitors are suggesting content topics for you.

Every so often you can check in to see what people have been looking for on your site, and you can then create new blog posts to specifically address any search strings that aren’t already covered on your site.

Shortcodes Ultimate

Internet users – rightfully – expect a great visitor experience. The days of huge blocks of boring plain text are long gone. Instead, it is a smart move to format your blog posts beautifully with images, subheads and more. 

Shortcodes Ultimate is an easy and free way to deal with the “and more”. It lets you add everything from text highlights, to drop letters, tabs, quotes and more. And it does all this with no technical knowledge being required.

Just highlight the text and decide what formatting you’d like. In short, Shortcodes Ultimate makes it super-simple to turn your plain text articles into something beautiful, eye-catching and more interesting.

Table of Contents Plus

Have you ever got lost when reading through a long article, especially if you’re looking for a very specific section within the article?

Table of Content Plus, as you might imagine from the name, makes it super-simple to automatically add a table of contents to your articles. The various sections included in the table of contents is clickable, and will take your visitors straight to the section they click.

Just as good, Google is also adept at reading these tables of content, and may include these links under your standard listing in the search engine results. In other words, the Table of Content Plus plugin can mean a better visitor experience and improved search engine traffic. What’s not to like?


Sooner or later you’re likely to want to add tables to your WordPress site. Tablepress is the best option I have found to achieve just this. Easy to use and highly flexible, Tablepress makes creating product-comparison tables ideal when you’re reviewing products.

Thrive Content Builder

One of the few premium plugins mentioned here, Thrive Content Builder makes it super-simple to create mind-blowingly beautiful web pages. This is one of the “secret sauce” plugins used by many authority site builders and affiliates to create beautiful, professional landing pages for their site. In moments you can add beautiful text boxes, pricing charts, product comparison boxes and more.

If you’re someone who wants your affiliate articles to stand out from the crowd then the Thrive Content Builder is well worth the small investment.

Visual Composer

Visual Composer is another page builder tool like Thrive Content Builder, useful for creating almost any web page that your mind can conjure up. Personally I use Visual Composer in conjunction with the “Ultimate Addons for Visual Composer” add-on to give me almost limitless design possibilities. 

With Visual Composer you can easily make those modern-style websites that have big header images, text over videos and more.

WP Rocket

Getting your WordPress website to load as quickly as possible is far from easy. To this end, there are a whole host of different plugins designed to help speed up your site. Up until a year or so ago I was using a free plugin called W3 Total Cache, which is a decent option. The downside is that it can be downright muddling to set up, and requires a fair amount of “tweaking” to get things just right. 

Exploring other options I stumbled across WP Rocket, a plugin which I now use extensively. It’s much simpler to set up and super-charges your site’s loading speed. Just appreciate that as a premium plugin you will need to shell out for this service if you opt to go for it.

WordPress SEO

If you’re serious about building a high traffic, profitable affiliate site or blog then you’ll need to do everything you can to rank well in the search engines. WordPress SEO is a free plugin that helps you do just that.

Indeed, I consider this plugin so central to the effective marketing of my sites that we’ll cover it in depth later on in the website marketing section. You’ll see exactly what the plugin does, and how to use it to maximum effectiveness. For now, all you need to know is that this is one plugin that every WordPress website should use in my opinion. 

By now you should have successfully set up your own blog or authority site from scratch. You’ve chosen a domain name and a web host, you’ve installed WordPress, then modified it’s appearance with themes and its functionality with plugins.Coming Up Next…

The next obvious question once your site is set up, is what content you should be putting on it.

In the next section of the course we’ll therefore be discussing everything you need to know about content – from the different types of articles you should be writing, to finding keywords you can rank for, to my handy tips on writing content faster than you thought possible.

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Positioned to utilize solid design knowledge and conceptual software development skills to meet and exceed the organization's targets. In a deeply immersive agile environment, I thrive in identifying areas of optimization and injecting ideas on how things can be improved beyond specifications.