My Two Favorite Internet Marketing Wordpress Themes
Though I am an SEO specialist I am not very good at web design. I used to really only think about ranking well and grabbing that search engine traffic, and though I was always able to do that, I felt that I really didn't get the conversions that I deserved.
In short the sites i were using were pretty ugly basic free WordPress themes.
As internet marketers it is important to not only have decent looking themes but also have them be really easily customizable. Since we should always be split testing, we need to find a good combination of aesthetics and functionality.
So here are a couple of my favorite themes:
Recommendation #1 Socrates Theme
Probably the theme that I used the most these days for my sites is the Socrates Theme. It allows for easy ad positioning and rotation of banners, and the default options to change the header, background, color etc. I also like the fact that it is easy to custom code the navigation bar (I always had trouble with that), which allows me to easily add a new tab for say an Amazon store or something else.
Some of the features include:
- Custom Header Design System
- 220 + Niche Headers
- 1000ís of Design Combinations
- SEO Optimized
- Built in Clickbank Monetization
- Built in Social Media Slider
- Squeeze Page Templates
- Sales Page Templates
- WordPress Tutorials and Training
- Internet Marketing Training videos
I think the thing that I like best about the Socrates Theme there are literally thousands of looks that you can customize right out of the box. The ability to upload your own headers, backgrounds etc. is a really great option that is perfect for those with say Adsense sites as the customization allows you to make your sites look not so "spammy".
Visit The Socrates Theme Website
Recommendation #2 HeatMap Theme
The HeatMap theme is the theme that I actually switched over from to the Socrates Theme. That being said it is a great theme that offers even more ad positions than the Socrates Theme (my only complaint about Socrates).
However my biggest beef with the HeatMap theme is that though it is very "affiliate" friendly meaning you can pretty much place your banners wherever you want, it is not very "aesthetically pleasing". With the Socrates Theme you can go from zero to beautiful in 5 minutes. If you wanted to build a site that most people would consider aesthetically appealing with the HeatMap theme, it would definitely take some time to customize on your behalf.
That being said if you care more about function than aesthetics, then the HeatMap is an excellent choice as well.
Visit The Heatmap Theme Website
It is very interesting to watch the video.
You should definitely check out the Socrates theme, it is great for anyone doing any sort of internet marketing that is not very good with web design.
Originally Posted by Mark87
As Internet marketers it is important to choose right theme for your business and make good reputation in community. If you want to use heat-map for your business then it is a right choice for your because it is SEO friendly method. Many people don't know about how to make good structure theme to attract more visitors.
If we are discussing about web design than it is very wide field and there are so many ready made templates as well as themes available in market, so it is in very large volume, there are many kind of content management systems available also, so when you will go for template selection than I am sure that you will be confuse in selection.
I'm familiar with Socrates and HeatMap, but I'm curious to know your thoughts on Thesis. I started using it a couple of years ago (probably ver1.4 or so). No one will confuse me for a programming wiz, nor a php guru, so it definitely was a bear at first. But I'm also stubborn as hell , self-taught myself quite a bit about CSS, HTML, am a decent code hack, and managed to tame it. I'm big on personalization and not a fan of the cookie-cutter approach, so I design my own headers and prefer to customize the look and feel of my sites for maximum uniqueness and aesthetic appeal.
I plan to start off building niche and semi-authority sites (with an exit strategy of flipping low performers), and feel the latest iteration (ver1.84 I believe) has progressed quite nicely in terms of "user-friendly" functionality. Based purely on its SEO prowess, the framework and structure is rock solid, which is the primary appeal for me.
Do you have any first-hand experience or opinions on it? Any other themes/frameworks you're partial to these days?
I am actually not familiar with the Thesis theme but I will definitely look into it now that you mention it.
Originally Posted by strivehi
I am just like you in that I am not a programming whiz nor was I ever good at web design. So I use more of the "cookie cutter" approach as I personally own a lot of sites and custom designing each would be a nightmare.
If you are planning on building authority or semi-authority sites than I can see the use of a more custom designed theme as you will probably get a lot of traffic from return visitors.
The majority of my sites tend to be product reviews etc. where I don't expect my traffic to come back for next week's mind blowing review on a patio chair or corner shelf lol. So the basic themes work for me.
I guess it really depends on what sort of sites you build. Of course if you can manage it reasonably, then a custom theme is probably best.
Good point about the type and scope of the sites you plan to build. Honestly, I'm interested in exploring a few different avenues (Adsense, Amazon/Review, CPA/CPL, Kindle, my own content creation) and diversifying my portfolio as much as possible. That said, I also plan to view each of my properties as assets; thus want them to be attractive to potential buyers.
With that in mind, have you had much experience flipping sites thru Flippa or other marketplaces? Or do you tend to hold onto your portfolio? Reason I ask, is that there seems to be a serious influx of pure JUNK lately that's being passed off to unsuspecting buyers. I think it presents an opportunity for someone willing to create a high-quality property - hopefully with traffic and revenue of course.
I'm not trying to be the next Adsense or Amazon tycoon - those days are long gone. And I couldn't envision managing more than 40-50 sites max - preferably less. Sounds like you've got a mini-empire to look after, so I certainly see where you're coming from lol.
Perhaps the best approach would be to utilize both Thesis and Socrates, based on the form of monetization and long-term goal for the specific site. Do you still use Socrates for most of your sites? Track, test, tweak, repeat right?
Last edited by strivehi; 06-10-2012 at 04:09 AM.
For me typically I hold on to my sites as I am not in a "cash crunch" so I do have that luxury, however with all of these penguin, panda, alligator, elephant updates etc. I am toying with the idea of flipping some as these days Google seems so unstable, and the majority of the traffic to my sites do come via search engines. I do typically hold my sites though as you know these days its tough to get more than 6-10x monthly revenue, and if you aren't in a cash crunch, you are much better off building a giant portfolio rather than selling.
Originally Posted by strivehi
Again it really depends on what type of sites you are going to build. Ironically after Penguin you really have to ask is authority the way to go? Before all this craziness you had 2 choices, either the short-term micro-niche site or the long-term authority site. However these days even authority sites are not immune to the Penguin Hammer, so at this time I am still leaning towards smaller sites. Keep in mind that even my "small sites" will have 20+ pages.
I also don't think that being an Adsense or Amazon tycoon is out of the question. If you have enough diligence and patience you can definitely build an empire.
At the moment a good portion of my sites are on Socrates as they are easy to set-up and customize, and again I typically do not sell my sites so the aesthetics really isn't that big a thing for me.
Completely agree about all the knee jerk hysteria over "authority only" and "niche sites are dead." Major overreaction. Not buying it. Firmly believe quality content and a valuable user-experience still are, and always will be, the pillars of organic search. If you can accomplish that in 10, 20, 50pgs., so be it. As you mentioned, the rash of Big G animal algos clearly prove size (or authority) alone isn't the panacea many claim it to be. Is it a buffer? Sure. Does it increase your chances of surviving the next round of updates? Probably. But there's no magic bullet formula. Bottom line, just continually improve the user experience - give 'em what they want, and use common sense. It's "the natural" thing to do. That should be your core focus; not the hocus-pocus of trying to game the next loophole.
I'm not completely opposed to building a larger portfolio. With the proper tools (ManageWP comes to mind), system and outsourcing in place, I could see scaling up a bit. I'm definitely committed for the long-haul and encouraged to hear you still believe it's a viable endeavor.
Speaking of content, have any favorite sources/providers? Anything outside the usual suspects: The Content Authority, Textbroker, iWriter, oDesk, etc? Fiveer seems kinda hit or miss. Anyone on WF worth checking out? Not exactly looking for Pulitzer quality, but something in the $5 per 500w range. If I had the time, I would love to write my own content, but that's just not feasible at the moment. Maybe one day