In this tutorial I will be guiding you through the complete installation and set-up on a WP-Answers powered WordPress site. WP-Answers is a plugin that I created to turn WordPress into a Question & Answers community similar to Yahoo Answers, it also lets you pull auto-content from Yahoo Answers itself and post it as if it was from your sites’ members. You can read my review of the plugin here.
The Domain / Niche Selection
The domain I have registered for this tutorial is BlackFridayQuestions, if you dont know, Black Friday is a very lucrative period for online retailers. It is the friday following Thanksgiving day in the United States when traditionally a lot of money is spent online and retailers go out of their way to offer discounts and try to attract as many shoppers as possible. I chose this domain as the search traffic around this period will be huge, I want to try and attract some search engine visitors looking for coupon codes and details about sales etc.
Black Friday falls on the 26th November this year, so I have just over 2 months to establish my site for the rush. I like building seasonal sites as each year they get stronger, having been around for longer and gained more backlinks and more authority in Google’s eyes. Each time a holiday or seaon comes around, the search traffic increases like mad and you cash in for the period – its like a bonus payment that comes around each year. Build enough of these sites to cover all the major holidays and you are always earning extra bonuses!
WordPress & Plugin Install
First of all you need to get a default WordPress installed, I offer wordpress installation and complete WP-Answer installs as a service via this site.
Next, make sure you have your copy of WP-Answers, you can purchase it here. WPLift readers can also get a 20% discount by using the coupon code : WPLIFT99 at checkout.
Download WP-Answers and unzip the contents of the file, you will have 2 folders: plugin and theme. You will need to use an FTP program to upload these to your hosting, a good free FTP client that I use is Filezilla.
In the plugin folder, upload WP-Answers-Pro folder to : wp-content/plugins
In the theme folder, upload all the folders in there to : wp-content/themes
Activate the Plugin & Theme
Once they are uploaded, in your wordpress admin panel, click “Plugins” and then “Activate” next to WP-Answers-Pro.
Next, you need to choose a theme to use. WP-Answers comes with 6 different colors, so choose one appropriate to your site. For BlackFridayQuestions I have chosen to use the blue theme. Click “Themes” under the “Appearance” menu, and then click “Activate” next to your choice of theme.
Your theme and the plugin are now installed, next its time to install some of the widgets that come with WP-Answers. This is how the site will look :
Activate the Widgets
WP-Answers comes with some custom widgets for you to add to the sidebar, to activate these, under the “Appearance” menu, click “Widgets” and drag them over to where it says “Sidebar 1″. I also use some default WordPress widgets; Archives, Recent Posts and Recent Comments. Here is the order I like to have them in :
Now that you have the widgets installed, I like to add some extra plugins. I wont go into details here, but the plugins I like to use are as follows : Wp to Twitter (read my guide to installing this here), All in One SEO, Custom Query String, Akismet, AutoTags.
Setting up WP-Answers Options
To get people to register on your site and start participating you need some content to start you off, otherwise there is no incentive to join. Also a great way to start feeding the search engines some content, WP-Answers includes a system that auto-posts questions and answers from Yahoo Answers. It makes it look like regular members on your site are contributing.
First off, you will need a Yahoo Answers API key, you can signup and get one for free here. Choose “Generic” for the authentication method and then enter information they ask for.
Under the WP-Answers menu, click “Setup Options” and enter your API key, you can also choose the points that people should earn for asking and answering questions here :
Click “Save Changes” and we’re ready to start entering some kweyword search terms to populate your site.
Choosing Keywords for Yahoo Answers Auto-Posting
We can now begin populating the search terms for WP-Answers. To help me get ideas, I visit the Google keyword tool – I enter some relevent keywords such as : Black Friday, Black Friday Coupons, Black Friday Sales and then click “search” and see what suggestions Google gives me. I also click the “Global monthly searches” link so it orders them with the most at the top :
Now that I have some keywords I can use, I will head over to Yahoo Answers and run a few searches just to check there are results for the keywords I want to use.
Once that is confirmed, you need to create the categories for the questions to go into. For BlackFridayQuestions I have chosen the following categories : Black Friday, Black Friday Deals, Black Friday Sales, Black Friday Coupons and Thanksgiving Sales.
Now we start entering the search terms into WP-Answers, under the WP-Answers menu, click “AutoPosting” and then “New Auto Posting Campaign”. Now you can begin filling out the details for the keyword, because Black Friday is a United States thing, we will use the US site for this :
I will set each keyword to post at around the 8 – 12 hour mark, you can see my settings above. Repeat this process for as many keywords as you wish to add. I’m going to add around 10 keywords for this site :
I like to start my WP-Answers sites off with some initial content, to encourage people to join up and to start feeding the search engines. Click “Post Now” and enter 5 posts and tick all the “post it” boxes. This will provide 5 questions + answers to start off my site. I will also go through each of the questions that are posted, and click “Select me as Best Answer” for the answers I think are most helpfull, this again makes it look like the site is busy.
Adding Advertising to Monetise the Site
Now we have our site setup and some initial content, we need to add some advertising to start making money.
First thing I do, is add some adsense within the questions. To do this, under the “WP-Answers” menu, select “Contextual Adverts” and then “New Contextual Advert”. Paste your adsense code in the large box (I use a 300px x 250px block) , name it and choose the “Before Post” option. Hit “Save Changes” and you will now have adsense integrated with your site :
I then repeat this step and place it at the “End of Post”, that now gives me 2 adsense blocks per page.
Your WP-Answers site is now setup and ready to start earning money for you, building some backlinks is my next step but I will cover that in detail in a future post. I have set up a support forum for WP-Answers, here I give advice and help to our buyers, I’m also on hand to answer any pre-sales questions you may have.