We have been building websites for a while and have created a couple of successful niche sites. One such site is Colour My Learning (not to be confused with Colour My Income, which again I suppose is another niche site). Colour My Learning is a blog in the Education Technology (EdTech) space. The site is now a little over a year old. With real work started back in November 2012, it is now 15 months old with well over 103,000 views and showing no signs of stopping. It received nearly 10,000 views in December 2013 alone. At 9769 views, this is a big contrast from November 2012, with only 1621 views (see graph below).
Over the year, we have learnt a lot from our experience building niche sites and will be applying much of this and more to our new niche site project.
For this project we will be focusing more on monetisation, products, services, listing and return on investment.
After months of deliberation, looking at the content we have, the pros and cons of working on this niche and the research that has gone into it, we have decided to start our journey. To build a legal website on prenuptial agreements in the UK.
While, this post talks about setting up the site and all the things that we did on Day 1, as mentioned, a lot has gone into the planning it.
Before we even started, we had an e-book published, all the content ready and done the keyword research to correctly identify the market.
Using Google’s Keyword Planner Tool, we have established that there are at least 20,000 searches every month for ‘prenup’ and its related keywords in the UK.
From the Keyword Planner Tool, we have also identified from each of those related Ad group the relevant search phrases and keywords.
These are keywords used by advertisers to correctly target their adverts.
For example, under Keywords like: Prenup Lawyer, we get the following keywords
- family law
- prenuptial agreemetn
- what is a prenup
- cohabitation agreement
- child custody
- prenup uk and so on.
Clicking on the second tab ‘Keyword ideas‘ give you further information on relevant keywords and its search volume per month.
These are useful information that we will come back to as we continue to extend the content but for now, let’s dive right into what we did on Day 1.
Niche Site Project – Day 1
We have spent a total of 2 hours in Day 1. Inspired by Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Work Week, we thought we would take up that challenge too.
To spend no more than 4 hours on this project a week.
Time Spent: 2 hours
After having identified our niche, done our keyword research, prepared the basic content and designed our navigation,we carried out the following steps:
- Purchased our domain name www.getaprenup.co.uk. You can find tips on choosing the right domain here.
- Setup a new website based on WordPress on our host 1and1 Internet. You can find a quick video to accomplish this here.
- Log on to the site’s dashboard and install the following plugins; Google Analytics for WordPress, Google XML Sitemaps, Jetpack by WordPress.com, WordPress SEO by Yoast, ShareThis.
- Use the default theme Twenty Fourteen that comes with WordPress (for now).
- Proceed to activate and configure each of those Plugins. Also note that you will want to activate and configure Akismet which is installed with WordPress. Akismet stop spam comments and back links on your site automatically. Some of these plugins require that you register with the relevant services for API or tracking code; Google Analytics with Google, Jetpack with WordPress.com, ShareThis with sharethis.com. In any case, if you have not signed up to any of these services, there will be a link in the plugin’s setting page to help you do this.
- Optional, install BackUpWordPress, create and schedule your first backup job.
- Start creating pages and posts as well as building the navigational structure, post categories and menu for the site.
So here are 5 plugins that we installed:
- Google Analytics (alternatively Google Analyticator)
- Google XML Sitemaps
- Jetpack with WordPress.com
- WordPress SEO by Yoast (alternatively All in One SEO Pack)
- ShareThis (alternatively Digg Digg)
There will be other plugins or comparable plugins to the ones listed above such as Google Analyticator, All in One SEO Pack and other social sharing tools such as Digg Digg. We tend to try different plugins to see which one works best for the site.
Below are some of the essential settings that we have choosen to highlight:
- For WordPress, under Settings > General update your Site Title and Tagline with suitable keywords to describe your site, also check that you have the right timezone and date format.
- Under Settings > Reading change your Front page displays to A static page, if you have not create a home page and a blog page go back and create this, then come back here to set the corresponding Front and Post pages to Home and Blog respectively.
- Under Settings > Permalinks, choose the ‘Month and name’ or ‘Post name’ option depending on your preference. Personally we have gone for ‘Post name’
- For XML Sitemap Generator, under Settings > XML-Sitemap, generate and upload your sitemap to the Google and Bing.
- For JetPack, under Jetpack > WordPress.com Stats, click the Configure button, then tick the check box next to Hide the stats smiley face image and Save configuration
- Under Settings > Sharing in the Publicize section, connect up all the different social networking sites; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Path and Google+ as well as Google+ Profile to automate the process of sharing new posts to these networks. You may need to log in to these social network separately to authorise your website use those accounts.
- In the same page, under Sharing Buttons, drag and drop all Available Services to Enable Services section and customise the buttons to your preference and tick the check boxes to Show buttons on Post and Pages. Remember to Save changes.
- Finally, configure and test your ShareThis buttons or Digg Digg floating menu to make sure that it works.
Here is what the site looks like so far.