Niche site update 3.0 – the past few months

Niche site update: August 2017

As it has been a while since I posted about PowerPoint Training Online I will have quite a few updates on what is happening. To make it easier to read and skip to different sections I have broken this post into sections. These are –

  1. Website design updates
  2. Material and content creation
  3. New software
  4. Social Media
  5. Analytics
  6. Monetisation
  7. What’s next
    1. Bulking tasks
    2. Create a social media plan
    3. Build a monetization plan
    4. Change the Homepage

If you missed the other updates, no worries you can find then right below.

  1. Building my first Niche site: A journey through PowerPoint Training Online
  2. Niche Site Update – PowerPoint Training Online: The story so far

Website design updates

From the original posts, I said I had selected my theme and was happy with it. I was to start. It was going great. My content looked awesome with the theme. And I am still using the same theme. But I have made a few minor changes.

  1. I increased the font size. The reason and thinking behind this was that it was a little hard to read any of the content on the main article pages. Both on mobile and desktop. The idea behind PowerPointTraining.Online is to help people with PowerPoint problems and to pass on the knowledge I have picked up over the years. I would never be able to do that if people struggled to read it.
  2. I got rid of the sidebar. This was a difficult decision, I went backwards and forwards many times thinking about this one. Positives of the side bar are that you can use it to have additional content such as similar articles, featured content, sign up forms and advertisements. Drawbacks are that it can make your pages look cluttered. It can take away from your main content due to flashy adverts. It annoys people looking at it. I know it annoys me. Personally, I prefer a nice clean look.
  3. I changed the feature image style. The feature images is the image that you see on the posts page and on top of the article page. Originally, I only had the title of the article in the image. Now I also include an image. Something that is relative to the post. This will help the reader see exactly what it is that we are going to be talking about in that post. And it is also more eye grabbing.
  4. I have added a similar posts section at the end of each post. It is all well and good keeping the page looking as clean as possible. Hence why I got rid of the sidebar. But you can too far. I want people to learn as much as possible from PowerPoint Training Online as possible. And I also want to make it as easy as possible for readers to go between posts. That is why I introduced the similar posts bar. It will allow a reader to see what else they can learn in relation to the article or video just went through.

Material and Content creation

When this post goes live I will have completed and set live twelve posts. These include a mixture of written articles, graphic design tutorials and PowerPoint tutorials. Over the past few months, I have writing material for the site when I am off from work. So usually on Saturday and Sunday. I write an article, then design any graphic work I need. This will be done in PowerPoint and Affinity designer. Once I have designed and written up the content I will record a video if it is required. Then it all gets added to a new WordPress post. I press the live button when only after I run the article through my SEO keyword tool. Going forward, how I create my material and content will change. You can learn more about that in the ‘What’s next section’.

New software

Since I last gave an update on my niche site I have changed some of the software that I use to help me create content and the website. My first change of software was Affinity Designer. This replaced Adobe Illustrator. I have always been a fan of the Adobe suite. In the past, I have used programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Premier Pro and InDesign. In terms of features and what they can, they are incredible. However, they do come at a price. £19 a month for one program or £45 a month for the whole suite. I love them but I could not justify paying that much for them. So, in comes Affinity. These guys are great. The have created and sell a tool which is very similar to Photoshop, it is Affinity Photo and one similar to Illustrator, It is Affinity Designer. Both tools are available at a low one-off payment of £50. And they come with a lot of the features that Adobe offer in their two programs.

The second change of software was my screen recorder. Originally, I was using Screencastify. It is a Chrome extension that allows you to record any tab in Chrome and your Desktop. It is a nice piece of software that is free but places a water mark over your recordings. I had paid for the premium addition which was just under £30 for a year. Great price if you ask me. It saves the videos automatically to your Google Drive and allows you to crop the videos. It is a great piece of software but I required a little bit more. I was in the market for video editor as I needed to edit my videos before I uploaded them to YouTube and then to my site. After a week or so of searching for an affordable option I came across Wondershare’s Filmora. Filmora allows you to edit video, edit the soundtrack for the video add in fancy writing and transitions. But it also has a built-in screen recorder. As you can see, I no longer needed to pay for Screencastify. Filmora cost me £50. Again, another bargain once you take the time to look for them online.

The final change of software which I decided to make was to my SEO tool. I had been using Yoast’s free plugin for WordPress. Which is a great tool and at the price of free I would recommend it to anybody who is just starting a blog. I upgraded to WebTextTool. I find it gives me more information in relation to how my post will rank on Google. It costs me £19 a month but I do feel that the investment is worth it. Since I switched to WebTextTool I have found that I am ranking better in both Google and Bing search. This is then helping to drive more organic search to both my website posts and my YouTube channel.

Social Media

I have never been a big user of social media. I use it to see what’s going on in the world. And that was about it. But I do know the importance of social media is to digital marketers. So, I am making sure I am using it. My PowerPoint Online Twitter account now has 52 followers. It is growing slowly but that is because I am only posting on occasions as opposed to posting every day. I do find that posting everyday does help to grow a following. As I do this on my personal atwitter account and I have broken the 400-follower count.

I also post on a Facebook page which I set up dedicated to PowerPoint Training Online currently I have over 100 likes/followers.

Aside from this I also use YouTube. I post my videos here first and then link them in the post. This, I feel is having great success. I even have a video that has reached over 1k views. This is one of those little feats that I am proud of.

Analytics

I am still getting my head around this. I am using both Google and Bing analytics. These tools are great and there are plenty of tutorials online on how to use them. They do give you very valuable information. They also allow you to categorize your audience. For instance, I have set up groups based on location and age so that I can learn more about my audience. This is something that I really need to look more into as I can really see how it would help me to grow my audience and create content that I know my audience will want.

Monetisation

I wanted to build a niche site for two reasons.

  1. To share my knowledge of a topic
  2. To make money

From the release of PowerPoint Training online, I knew I wanted to make money from it. My aim was to grow the traffic and then use affiliates to make money. Affiliates are where you recommend a product for a fee. I also placed ads on the site. As mentioned above I had these in the side bar, which I have now removed from the site. It is all well and good having the ads there but I want to make sure I am providing value more than anything else now.

Once I can grow an audience I will then start introducing monetization to PowerPoint Training Online.

What I want to do next for PowerPoint Training Online

Bulk create material

The very next thing that I want to do for PowerPoint Training Online is to start creating material in bulk. I want to be in a position where I am releasing content three times a week. As I currently have three categories on the blog, I want to have themed release days. For example, ‘How to Monday’ & ‘Creative Wednesdays’ & ‘Take a break and read Fridays’. Not only will I increase the amount of content that is available on the site for people to learn from but my audience will always know when and what material I will be releasing.

Create a social media plan

There is no doubt in my mind what so ever that social media is going to play a big part in helping to get my content out to the world. I have noticed already on my personal social accounts like Twitter and LinkedIn, how interacting with people helps me to get my personal brand recognised.

So, I am going to need to sit down and create a plan. The plan will include how often I post, when I post and what I am posting. I will need to look at how often I republish article links. My plan is not to over saturate the world with lots of old articles when there will be better ones out there in the world.

I will be putting together a calendar of posts to do and I will more than likely use a tool like Hootsuite to help me schedule posts in advance. Again, I will need to create posts in bulk and then have them ready to be sent out.

Build a monetisation plan

I am not overly worried about this yet. I know that I must create great content to entice people in first. But you always must have a plan. I have created PowerPoint Training Online with the aim of making money, I will never deny that. Something must pay the bills after all.

I will be putting together a plan of how I feel best to monetise PowerPoint Training Online. I do have some ideas whirling around in my head. Affiliate links, Google Ads, Online courses. The list is endless and I know I cannot do them all at once. My monetisation plan will help me work out what are the best steps to take based on what I want.

Redesign the Home page

The final thing which I feel that I must do soon is redesign the home page. The current homepage does not offer enough information on what it is that we do. And it most definitely does not provide a direct route to some of our best articles.

And there we have I folks, PowerPoint Training Online update 3.0. Very sorry for such a long post. If you managed to make it to the end, I thank you. Well done.

I now have a lot to do before the next update. So I better get cracking.

See you soon.

P.S fancy reaching out for a chat. Connect with me on Twitter, I always reply.

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About David Lewis