Choosing a Theme
So, by now you know what angle you're going to go with, the characteristics of your market and who your character will be. It is now that you must choose a wordpress theme for our site. You can download a variety of free wordpress themes direct from their official site:
http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/ or from within wordpress.
Now, your wordpress theme should reflect the overall `story' behind your site. So, if you were targeting a problem keyword (e.g. how to lose weight fast) and you were using a story to presell, then you would have a simple blog type theme.
Because you wouldn't want a black, graphical, flashy website if you're targeting mature women. Really, the keyword here is congruence. Your wordpress theme MUST be congruent with the rest of your sites content.
Another example is if you were doing a concise review type site, you would want the theme to be simplistic and to look like an actual website, rather than a blog. If I were you I'd stay well away from any of the graphic, `work of art' type themes because although it's tempting to use them (trust me, some of them are GORGEOUS), but for the markets we as affiliate marketers usually target, it's probably not appropriate.
And therefore your conversions will suffer as a result. Don't forget that our aim is to convert the maximum number of visitors into buyers, NOT win design awards.
Now, an exception to this rule is if you're creating the website for the online gamers (the World of Warcraft niche springs to mind Big Clickbank niche), graphic designers and similar audiences where they might associate a poor design with a poor quality website. For the vast majority of niches it's better to keep things as simple as possible.
In fact, do you know what theme I use most often? The default wordpress theme, truthfully. I'll often spend upwards of 30 minutes looking for the perfect theme to compliment my site, only to land right back where I started.
It just seems to fit so well with such a variety of websites. If you're creating a story site then nothing screams "I'm just a nice guy with some helpful friendly info" more than the plain blue wordpress theme, with a big portrait picture on the right hand side.
Seriously, it works wonders particularly for health and fitness type websites. I don't know why, my best guess is that it's a balance between `natural looking', personal and easy to use.
Finally, here's some key things to remember when choosing a theme:
Small header The above the fold section of your site (the area visible to the visitor without having to scroll down) is extremely valuable real estate. Don't waste it with a gigantic graphical header. Clean, simple and with a sidebar Don't go for themes with fancy but unnecessary graphics.
And make sure it's got a simple sidebar for links and the Who am I with your picture section. Professional looking for a review site. Personal looking for a story site The default wordpress theme really is great for this.
Some proven theme/story combinations for popular niches
Any smart marketer would have offered this as a bonus probably :-) But anyway, being the nice guy I am I've decided to give you some proven theme and story combinations for some of the most popular niches on the internet today.
I've had experience in all of these niches and what follows is what's worked best for me personally. This is an absolute goldmine of information constrained to a single sub chapter. And if you're looking to get your feet wet, then just copying one of my proven combinations is a great way to start.
Ok then let's get to it
Here are the most common markets you'll be creating websites related to:
Lifestyle type products: weight loss, six packs, muscle building, acne, panic attacks e.t.c.
Beginner money making products: Products targeted at beginners with no experience of affiliate marketing e.t.c. Products promising Ferraris e.t.c.
Advanced money making products: Products like this one (usually of much higher quality than the beginner type).
Now obviously, there are thousands of other markets out there, but these are the most prominent ones today. Note: a quick tip is that for most of the smaller markets you can use the lifestyle type products style to base your websites on.
Lifestyle type products
Your style of writing should vary depending on the product, but should always have points that the target audience will empathise.
Six pack/Muscle building
This market's interested in power (from having a better body), improving their confidence, attracting more females and pure results. So try to incorporate this in your writing. And as for the results, many of these guys will think in black and white so to speak, so they'll want to see real results and they want them fast. They'll also want proof, try a before and after picture if you can get hold of one. Try the sales page for the product.
A whole different approach (as well as a different character) is needed here. Your character would ideally be a woman between 30-50, who's now a much more `well rounded' person since losing weight.
Now, these women have excellent scam detection and will leave your site straightaway if it appears to be selling them anything. It really is key here that you come off as a helpful individual. If you're a man, then come off as a very helpful reviewer.
The weight loss market responds very well to emotional triggers such as empathy: "The passion in our relationship seemed to be at an all time low, my husband just didn't appreciate me anymore". So make sure your story has points that these women can identify with.
Beginner money making products
A great example of this sort of product is the Rich jerks e-book. The first book I ever read about making money online actually. But note that these type of products don't just teach affiliate marketing.
You can include all the so-called `Gambling systems', Forex robots that target beginners and even all the pyramid type schemes available. Often these types of programs will be associated with the words `get rich quick scam'. And scams they are. Well, they don't represent value for money at least. But here's a quote of mine that summarises this target market perfectly: "everyone loves a get rich quick scam". And they do, the products convert at a phenomenal rate and are one of the biggest niches on the internet today. But here's the key to preselling this market.
This was a very powerful realisation for me, and this single point could make you thousands in the future... While this market is VERY responsive to copy promising the world, they want an opinion from a seemingly `honest' source as well.
You do NOT want to hype up the product on your presell site. In this niche, your presell site will serve as a kind of proof, proof that all the promises made on the sales page really are attainable.
Essentially, you want to tell the story of how you really did make money with the system, from a personal non-salesman perspective. The demographics for the market don't really matter because you'll get such a variety of visitors it would be impossible to target one group. Just make sure that whoever your character is, that your story corresponds. A favourite of mine is to just use my own picture (I'm quite young by the way) and tell the story of how I quit my removals to work from home.
Now, I wouldn't be able to do that if I was a middle aged guy because he wouldn't work at Burger King in the first place No disrespect intended if someone reading this does in fact work at Burger King by the way...
For themes, I wouldn't recommend the basic wordpress theme and instead go for something simple but slightly professional looking. As if to come across that you know a bit about web design and therefore know quite a bit about the internet. Here's a favourite of mine: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/inove
Internet Marketing Products
This applies to all products marketed to people who have a basic understanding of internet marketing. Whether it be a pay per click product, CPA product etc, it's basically products that appeal to both veteran and beginner marketers.
First of all, this is definitely not the niche to start off in. Why? Because you'll be expected to know quite a lot about internet marketing or there will be clear, visible `holes' in your story. Also, more than the other niches, good copywriting is essential or your visitors will just get bored and leave or not trust you.
Now, the key to selling to this market is to be an authority, (that's why I only recommend you try it after having actually made good money online).
You want to give honest, in depth reviews that really get down to the brass tacks of how good something is (or isn't, as the case may be). This is the only niche for which I won't usually create a story (unless it's my actual story) and instead provide useful how to articles, then saying where I got the info from or `to find out more click this (affiliate) link'.
I tend to stay away from this niche for niche websites because there are so many excellent, free sources of information that it's hard to compete and show them something they haven't already seen.
What I do instead (almost exclusively in this marker, in fact) is target product keywords. This can be hugely profitable, particularly if you write a real review and offer bonuses. Offering bonuses is absolutely essential, or potential buyers will just read your review then go elsewhere so they can get bonuses along with the product Or even use their own affiliate link. As for themes,
I recommend that you use a professional (not too fancy though) looking theme. Once again I recommend the inove theme specifically... http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/inove