When you know that something hot is happening right now and you want to support it, here’s how you can get a good looking, self funding, great work promoting website up and running within a day.
In the example, we’ll use www.oneandonlymadonna.com, which is the site we have set up for our friend Evelyne Brink, who is currently on her way to winning the BBC1 prime time show hosted by Graham Norton: “The One and Only”. When she wins, she’ll have the opportunity to take her Madonna tribute show to Las Vegas for three months!
Here’s a 10 step plan on how you can create your very own site just like it…
Step #1: Get A Domain Name
Think up a domain name that you know people will be searching for. In our case, we chose www.oneandonlymadonna.com because our intention was to promote Evelyne Brink and help her get to Vegas, and the phrase “one and only madonna” was certainly catching on – Evelyne is most certainly the “one and only Madonna” on that show! See our article on Descriptive Domain Names for guidance.
Then go to GoDaddy.com and purchase the domain name that you think is ideal for your promotional campaign. You can pick one up for about £5. Sometimes you can even get a discount of 10% by searching Google for “godaddy promo code“and entering that code when you make your purchase. Hey, every penny counts!
While you’re getting this domain, you’ll need to point it to an external web host such as Dreamhost, by entering the relevant name servers – in this instance, you’ll need ns1.dreamhost.com. ns2.dreamhost.com, and ns3.dreamhost.com
Step #2: Get A Hosting Account
Next you need a place to actually host your website. We recommended Dreamhost for their hosting package, and you can get a terrific deal of approximately £60 for a year’s worth of hosting an unlimited number of domains.
Step #3: Add Your Domain To Your Hosting Account
Once you have opened your hosting account, you can add your new domain to be hosted at your new Dreamhost account. At this time, also create a new FTP account to upload files where necessary, and an email address to receive email correspondence specific to this campaign.
Step #4: Load Up Your Content Management System
The next step is to install the application on your host that lets you design and add content to your website quickly – for this you’ll be installing WordPress, which is commonly used for blogs.
When logged into WordPress, along the left hand menu, select Goodies –> One-Click Installs, and proceed with the instructions for setting up your new WordPress site on your domain.
Once installed, you’ll want to log in to your new WordPress website and set up the permalinks to show URLs with the full date and post name, as well as set the title and description for the site.
Step # 5: Install A Decent Looking Revenue Generating Theme
Now that you have the core website set up, you want it to look good and set up in a way that it generates revenue for you through contextual adverts such as AdSense and Amazon Associates – you’ll need to sign up with these services and enter the codes it generates into your theme.
The quickest way to find a decent theme that achieves this is by searching “adsense optimized wordpress theme” in Google, downloading a theme you like, and following the instructions given to you on how you can install the theme on your site.
Another way to make further revenue is to sell affiliated products – i.e. products that other people have either created or are distributing, and you are simply referring people to them and making an affiliate commission on each sale. You can set up your very own affiliate store by signing up as a My Affiliate Store member.
Step #6: Add A Mailing List
Set up a mailing list on the site that can capture your visitors’ name and email addresses so that you may keep in touch with them and send them regular updates by email about the artist, to keep them engaged on the site. We recommend you use Professional Cart Solutions.
Step #7: Add Quality Content
When the look and feel of the site is set up, you’ll want to start adding relevant content. In our case, we located videos from YouTube, pictures of Evelyne as Madonna from Flickr, and Diva Eve’s music from the Last.fm playlist.
Evelyne has many fans around the world, so we have also been in touch with some of her most dedicated fans who are more than happy to write about Evelyne and how she progresses in BBC1’s The One and Only show with Graham Norton to be selected to perform as Madonna in Las Vegas for three months.
If you’re asking other writers for content, you may even want to create an account for them on your site so that they can contribute content as and when they are inspired to write.
Step #8: Help Visitors And Search Engines Find Your Site
To let search engines know that your site exists and ask them to list you, simply send them a request to add your site to their database. With Google, just go to their Add URL page.
You’ll also want to further optimise your site so that your description and keywords meta tags have something useful in them for search engines to pick up when visitors are searching for your content. The plugin we recommend that you download, install and configure is the Add Meta Tags WordPress Plugin.
Step #9: Get Fans To Rave About The Site
Finally you want fans raving about this promotional fansite by telling all their friends about it on social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. Help them do this by installing the I Love Social Bookmarking Plugin.
When fans are on your site, you can build stronger relationships with them by leveraging comments. Read our article on 6 WordPress Comment Plugins To Build Stronger Relationships With Site Visitors.
Step #10: Sit Back And Enjoy
So there you have it – get your very own buzzing money making promotional website like www.OneAndOnlyMadonna.com up and running within a day. Now sit back, watch your favourite performer being helped along the way by their fans, and see some money coming in to make up for the time you spent building the site.