Creating affiliate sites using Joomla

I’ve just a really great article by Kieron Donoghue about the evolution of PPC landing pages from single page gateways into fully fledged content sites to comply with Google’s Quality Score

I thought I’d pull together some Of the components of the open source Content management system Joomla, that will help you build a site like the one he’s writing about.

The full article is here, you should read it to understand what each of these elements are.

The Joomla Content Management System

First off you’ll need the Joomla CMS itself which you can download from Joomla.org

The files you need are the version 1.0.12 full stable package, most likely in a zip format.

(Joomla is currently testing version 1.5 but many of the components listed below may not work with it yet so stick with this one)

You’ll also need a hosting company that gives you PHP and a MYSQL database. Something Like the business hosting package from 1&1 will do what you need.
OK, once you’re up and running with an empty Joomla site, the next thing you should probably do is go and get yourself a decent template. There are plenty of free ones out there, but it’s also worth spending a few quid to get a custom one built, it will look so much better. By spending about £30 you can get a whole host of nice themes at Joomlart that you can makes easy changes to colour and images to give it a fresh feel.
Sitemap – The Joomap componenet will build you an automated sitemap that will show all your content on one page, all nicely indented to show what menus to follow to get to it also. It also creates an XML file for Google sitemaps
Put a menu in the bottom of your site and link to it from there

Privacy Policy – Static content, get an example from Kieron’s link and put one up, especially is you are collecting email addresses, again link from the bottom menu

Terms and Conditions – Same as above

Contact Us – Joomla comes with a contact module straight out of the box that can hide your email address and provide a form instead

About Us – More static content, worth putting in the main navigation

News – Joomla excels as a news portal, just create a category of content called news and post stuff to it regularly
Sign up to Google alerts and PR news sites like PR Web to get interesting stuff emailed to you that you can comment on

Blog – Set it up just like a new section, this is more like your own opinions than other ‘official’ news, alternatively you can go the whole hog and install WordPress especially for this.
How To or What Is Guide – This depends a lot on the product, it might be just one page or a whole raft of them

FAQ’sEasyFAQ will help you organise your questions and answers

Glossary – Add the Glossary component and link to it from one of your menus. This excellent online PR Glossary will show you what can be done by a good copywriter
There is also a cool little tool that can show these definitions within your content just by rolling over a word. This means your readers don’t have to leave the page to find out what you are talking about. Here is a great example talking about blogging for PR

Deals/Offer pages – Standard functionality within Joomla, you might want to use the built in directory if you have a lot of them

Individual product/pages– Again, standard content pages, or you might want to use an e-commerce catalogue like Virtuemart. Turn all the shopping buttons off and just use it as a catalogue if you have a lot of products to talk about
Submit your review – Us the contact forms, or let your users comment directly on the page with a component like Joomcomment

Lastly, I’d also recommend one of the more beefed up extras to create nice search-engine friendly URL’s
like

www.mysite.com/myproduct.html

instead of something horrible like

http://mysite.com/component/option,com_mtree/task,viewlink/link_id,677/Itemid,35/

OpenSEF is a good one to use that gives you a lot of control over the URL’s you display

For anyone who has not used Joomla before there is online documentation and a very helpful forum

I hope this helps some of my readers build themselves some more substantial sites and keep their sites up to the quality that Google is demanding before it lets you promote them using PPC.

Good luck with getting stuck in!

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