Initial WordPress Setup

So you’ve just installed WordPress and installed your plugins, What Now?

In our last Getting Started Post we covered Installing your Plugins after signing up for your account and installing WordPress.

Your next step is to change all of your basic settings in order to get off on the right foot with your new blog.

Below I’ll go through how I initially set up each of my WordPress installations. We’ll be reviewing the pertinent menu items to the left in the WordPress Sidebar.

The Settings Menu

When you hover over the word Settings in the sidebar you will see the Settings submenu items. These are:

General Settings

These are the most basic settings and some may be pre-filled by your WordPress installation process.

  • Enter the name of your blog in the Site Title field.
  • Enter your site’s slogan or catchy phrase in the Tagline Field.
  • WordPress and Site Addresses should be refilled, but should normally be the web address that people will use to reach your site for example http://www.swivelchairmillionaire.com. Don’t change these to something else, as your site could stop working!
  • Enter your contact email in the Email Address field.
  • Membership – if you want your readers to be able to create accounts and log into your site check this box. I never do!
  • New User Default Role – ensure it is set to Subscriber!
  • Then select your timezone, date/time formats, what day you like the week to start on and language

Then click Save Changes.

Writing Settings

Here are settings which have to do with creating posts.

Only a couple of things to set here.

The three Default drop-downs, Post Category, Post Format, and Link Category can be set to automatically start a new with a specific category and format. Set these to what you use most often. I don’t usually set the link category. Note you may have to return to this later after you establish some post categories.

The rest of the settings can be disregarded by most people. The Post Via email is if you would like to be able to email your blog and have the content of the email immediately posted to your site as a blog post.

Save after making your choices.

Reading Settings

Settings for how your readers will view your site.

Front page displays – When people come to your home page if you want them to see all of your posts in chronological order, click on Your Latest Posts. Or you can select any page that you’ve created such as one to introduce your readers to your site as a whole.  Click A Static Page and select any previously created page by name form the drop-down. When you do this you will need a page to be a home for your blog posts. Simply create a blank page and name it Blog, then select it from the drop-down.

The next 3 settings: Blog pages show at most & Syndication feeds show the most recent allow you to set the number of posts that will show on your blog and RSS feed before a page break. You can also select whether the full post or just an excerpt will be displayed.

The last setting here will allow you to discourage search engines from indexing your site. While not 100% effective, this is useful while you are still setting up things and preparing for your readers.

Remember to Save.

Discussion Settings

Default article settings – I check all 3 of these. The first 2 go hand in hand, when you link to another blog they will receive a “track back,” a mini blog comment to advise them you have linked to their post, the second allows you to receive track backs form other blogs. The third allows your posts to accept comments by default.

Other comment settings – These settings control how your readers are allowed to comment and how your blog displays the comments.

Email me whenever – Here you set if and why you want to be notified about comments. I check both Email me whenever Anyone posts a comment & comment is held for moderation.

Before a comment appears – These settings control when comments left on your site will be seen by others. If you want comments to immediately go live, leave both Comment must be manually approved & Comment author must have a previously approved comment unchecked. I always moderate comments, to prevent spam.

Comment Moderation – Spammers tend to fill comments with links . Another way to prevent them from using your comments section for back-links is to limit the number of links that can be posted in a comment. I suggest allowing 2 links. You may specify key words that will cause a comment to be held for moderation, you can place typical spam words here like ones related to male performance.

Comment Blacklist – You may also specify key words that will cause a comment to be sent directly to the trash

Avatars – Allows you to decide if you want Avatars to display for your commenters and how they will display.

Again Click Save before moving on. I think you get the drift, so I won’t mention saving again…

Media Settings

I usually leave these settings alone. But you can set the default size of your thumbnail, medium, and large images. You can select these default sizes easily when adding pics to your posts. You can always use a custom size and set it manually when posting if your presets do not work for that particular image.

Permalink Settings

ON this page you will set how your URLs look. These are the web addresses of each post.

You can see there are several presets the you can pick from, or create your own custom one. I recommend the latter.

Click Custom Structure and then put /%category%/%postname%/ in the box. by doing this all of your posts will display your site name, the post category, and post title in the web address bar. This is much better for Search Engine Optimization (helping Google to find your post) that a post number or date in the address.

 

Adding the WordPress Plugins that Your Site Needs

why doCongratulations, you’ve just finished your WordPress installation! Now What?

Next on your list of things to do is to install your WordPress Plugins.

What are Plugins? Plugins are additional code that can be added on to your WordPress site to add various functionalities, such as a Contact Form, Social Media Sharing Icons, or additional Security to prevent hackers from accessing your site.

Plugins are very easy to install, it only takes a couple of clicks.

Below are the Plugins that I always install right after I finish my WordPress installation. I’ll mention little about what they can do for you and why each one is important.

Installing Plugins

But first, let’s talk about how to install plugins.

As I said, it only takes a couple of clicks.

On your sidebar menu you will see “Plugins” among the other items listed. When you hover your mouse over Plugins you will see 3 sub-menu items: Installed Plugins, Add New, and Editor.

Click on Add New.

You will see a page like the one pictured below (click the image for a larger version).

Here you’ll see Featured, Popular, Recommended, and Favorite Plugins, based on download totals from WordPress users and recommendations from WordPress developers.

Search for Your WordPress Plugin
Search for Your WordPress Plugin

At the top of the page you will also see a search box. Here you can cut and paste the names of the Plugins that I recommend below in order to find them.

After you paste or type the Plugin name into the box, WordPress will start searching and the results will be displayed below.

Install Your WordPress Plugin
Install Your WordPress Plugin

Find the desired Plugin in the search results and simply click install.

Activate Your WordPress Plugin
Activate Your WordPress Plugin

After a few moments the installation will finish and the install button will change to an Activate Button.

Click on Activate. That’s it!

Some Plugins do require some setup or tweaking, but we will get into that in our next Getting Started Post: Initial WordPress Settings.

Now on to the Plugins.

Recommended Plugins

Security Plugins

Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security – Anti-virus, Firewall and Malware Scan

This is probably the most important plugin that you can install.

Having your site hacked (which happened to me twice early on) is no fun! It will cause a loss of income (google will de-list you from its search results which means no traffic) plus lots of anxiety while it is going on and plenty research and work to fix the issue. The second time it happened while I was traveling.

WordFence will secure your WordPress installation for you. the free version is what I use and it does an awesome job of blocking attacks. This site is new and is still receiving little traffic but here are some numbers on attacks that WordFence has stopped:

  • 227 Today
  • 1045 Week
  • 3478 Month

The paid version offers even more powerful features like country blocking.

 

Bad Behavior – Deny automated spambots access to your PHP-based Web site.

Bad Behavior keeps your blog free of link spam. Bad Behavior is a PHP-based solution for blocking link spam and the robots which deliver it.

A Plug For Strong Passwords! – All the plugins above will assist in keeping your site safe, but nothing, nothing, nothing will go further to keep your site safe than a strong password such as 9as$cyaT56ypu; ;avr rp4 and also a non obvious user name ie. not the name you post under, or a variation of the site name (the 2 most attempted usernames tried by hackers after “admin”) 

Reader Experience Plugins

Fast Secure Contact Form – Easily build contact forms to install on your site.

Fast Secure Contact Form for WordPress. is an easy and powerful form builder that lets your visitors send you messages through email. Blocks automated spammers.

Shareaholic – Add share buttons and related content

With sharaholic you can easily add share buttons as well as links to your related content in your posts and pages to keep your readers on your blog.

 

Comet Cache – Comet Cache is an advanced WordPress caching plugin.

Comet Cache takes a real-time snapshot (building a cache) of every Page, Post, Category, Link, etc. These snapshots are then used to speed up your blog for your readers.

Content Creation Plugins

Edit Flow – Remixing the WordPress admin for better editorial workflow options.

Designed more for teams of writers, I use it for the calendar display of your posts. You can see your schedule on a calendar and drag and drop posts to selected days.

Insert HTML Snippet – Add HTML code to your pages and posts easily using shortcodes.

This plugin lets you create a shortcode corresponding to any random HTML code such as ad codes, javascript, video embedding, etc. and use the same in your posts, pages or widgets with one click.

I use it to insert ads, or text blocks (such as a recommendation section) into posts, then I can change them all by editing the original shortcode.

Nofollow Links – Select which links in your blogroll you want to nofollow.

When you nofollow a link, it keeps search engine bots from following the link. This keeps your “authority” (one of the ways your site is graded) from transferring away from your blog.

Pretty Link – Shrink, track and share any URL on the Internet from your WordPress website!

Create easy to type URLs or hide your affiliate links from open display. I use this to shorten links I’m going to print in books.

“Backend” Plugins

Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin – Redirect Pages, Posts or Custom Post Types to another location quickly (for internal or external URLs).

Great to redirect readers from outdated pages to newer versions. I use this for annual posts about the same event. When someone searches and finds a post about one of the previous years, they are sent to the newest version when they click on the link.

Yoast SEO –The first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.

A must for all wordpress sites. Automates many SEO functions and alerts you about things that need your attention.

WP-Optimize – WP-Optimize is WordPress’s #1 most installed optimization plugin.

With it, you can clean up your database easily and safely, without manual queries. This will keep your blog running as fast as possible.

PubSubHubbub – A better way to tell the world when your blog is updated.

This is a simple way to let people know in real-time when your blog is updated. Widely adopted and is used by Google Reader, Google Alerts and many other services

Multifunction Plugin

Jetpack by WordPress.com

Bring the power of the WordPress.com cloud to your self-hosted WordPress. Jetpack enables you to connect your blog to a WordPress.com account to use the powerful features normally only available to WordPress.com users.

One plugin for stats, related posts, search engine optimization, social sharing, protection, backups, speed, and email list management.

Contains:

  • Traffic and SEO Tools
  • Security and Backup Services
  • Content Creation Tools
  • Discussion and Community Tools

Use all or some of its features. Most of Jetpack’s features and services are free. Jetpack also provides advanced security and backup services, video hosting, site monetization, priority support, and more SEO tools in three paid plans.

Now You Are All Set

Your blog is protected and and tuned up! You are almost ready to get started creating great content.

Next you’ll do some initial basic setting modifications and then choose a WordPress Theme which controls how your blog looks to the reader.

 

 

How I Made $56,199 In 2016 – My December Online Income Report and Annual Wrap Up

Welcome to my monthly Income Report.

Each month not only will I look at the numbers, but I’ll talk about what’s going on that might have impacted those numbers. Plus what I’m thinking moving forward.

The numbers bellow are the  money received, not earned for the month. Some of the income generated each month pays weekly, some the following month, some 2 months later, some are quarterly, and a few only pay once they reach the payout amount, so it is much easier to report on “Deposits.”

When I started blogging, I did so solely with the intent to share knowledge. I had no idea that I would be making the amount of money that I am now!

Please note, that since I’ve just started Swivel Chair Millionaire I’m not making any income from it yet. All of the income reported below is from my Niche Sites (mostly military theme park info sites) of which I currently have 1 major, 5 minor, and 2 book sales funnel sites. 

2016 Year In Review

Before I move on to the December details, let’s take a look at how I did overall in 2016.

This was my best year so far! Total income increased 30 percent over last year. Continue reading “How I Made $56,199 In 2016 – My December Online Income Report and Annual Wrap Up”

What It Takes to Run a Successful Website or Blog

Running a successful website takes time and effort!

When deciding if creating and running a website or blog is right for you, you will run into catch phrases like 4-Hour Work Week and Passive Income.

You should know that these are just promotional terms and not the full story.

You can work four hours a week on your site, I did at first and this really is a viable way to start, to ease into it. But if you want to make real money from the site, real effort is required.

My income took off when I started treating my site like an almost full time job and put those kind of hours in (after work and weekends).

It Takes Work to Run a Successful Website

“Tim Ferriss the creator of the 4-Hour Work Week does not work just 4 hours a week! Nor does Pat Flynn from Smart Passive income sit back and do nothing, he has a full schedule!”

Phrases like 4-Hour Work Week and Passive Income speak to the goal of getting to the point where you can work on your schedule or take some time off whenever you want.

Starting out slow, you will begin to earn some extra cash from the limited time that you spend working on your blog evenings or weekends. Continue reading “What It Takes to Run a Successful Website or Blog”

How to Start Blogging Now In 4 Easy Steps

Whatever your passion, it is the time to start blogging now!


Do you have a passion and knowledge about a certain subject? Do people keep telling you that you should start a blog?

Don’t wait. Today is your day to start!

Running your own Blog can be fun and potentially profitable!

Today I will show you how to easily creating a blog on your own. Blogging allows me to make thousands of dollars a month, by doing something that I love. Plus, you can start a money-making blog for the price of just one Starbucks coffee a month!

Click here to start a blog on WordPress, then use the tutorial below for the easy directions.

I’ll help you share your knowledge of the subject you care about most. Just follow these 4 fast, easy steps and you’ll have your blog online very quickly.

Ready to Start Blogging Now? Let’s jump in. Continue reading “How to Start Blogging Now In 4 Easy Steps”

Welcome to Swivel Chair Millionaire

Join Me On My Journey to My First Million!

Hi there I’m Steve,

Welcome to my new site!

My Story

I started my first website in 2008 which was a very focused niche site, with then intent of assisting the US military community with finding information on Disney discounts. I’d been a member of both of these communities for many years and this particular topic area was a passion of mine as both a military member and a former Disney employee.

I put some adsense ads on the site hoping that I could cover my expenses, which at the time were comparatively low. I’d paid $9.95 for my domain name and was paying $9.99 monthly for hosting.

I put the site up in April and started to see small earnings almost right away, making $4.64 in May. My total for 2008 was a whopping $47.66.

For the first 12 months the site was up, May-April the income was $66.33, so I while I didn’t cover my expenses, I was encourages because I hadn’t even know that making 66 bucks online was doable!

I stuck with it and with lots of hard work (which we’ll get into as this site progresses) I saw huge growth in my income, to the point where I now make what many others might call a full time income, in my spare time! Continue reading “Welcome to Swivel Chair Millionaire”