If you are really serious about building and starting a website like Unilad and be successful; then prepare for real hard work, prepare to invest money and be prepared to learn everything I am going to show you in this tutorial; most especially on the impact of Facebook and getting loved by Google search engine.
Unilad is the biggest and the most successful blog website in the United Kingdom, it is ranked 6,143 according to Alexa ranking and their model of operation is much similar to Buzzfeed and other viral websites.
To build , create and launch a website like Unilad, you need:
- A start up capital cost of approximately USD200-USD1000
- A mobile WordPress themes template for the design
- Registration of a unique domain name that will maintain a brand attribute
- An economically cost friendly but strong webhosting company ( Bluehost is recommended)
- Installation of WordPress software and its configuration
- A robust, well solid plan of getting and publishing contents plus serious hardwork
Table of Contents
- Get WordPress themes for the Site Design
- The Domain name acquisition and registration
- Webhosting, registration and configuration
- Introducing WordPress software – installation and activation
- Detailed set up and configuration (MUST READ)
- How to maintain your new site
- Getting indexed in Google- Steps to take
- Fixing SEO- Search Engine Optimization
Success Tips / Marketing Promotion
- Success secrets of unilad – The four factors explained
- How to actually use Facebook to get viral traffic
- Investing in Guest Posting
- Leveraging and networking with influencers for massive exposure and traffic
- How to make money using Unilad model
Get WordPress themes for the Site Design
Having a design that looks exactly like unilad may be impossible because the site is a custom built design, having programmers and coders working on it nearly every day.
However, the beauty of WordPress is the ability for you to have a design that looks like it or nearly like it. The purpose of this tutorial is not just having a design like Unilad but having a site that works and functions like the site in question.
Unilad is a viral site, a news website and an online magazine site; it combines three in one concept together.
With this concept, we can come up with a design built using the power of WordPress themes, formidable templates called WordPress themes.
The following are recommended WordPress themes that can be used to build something like Unilad; these themes (templates) are search engine optimized and they are mobile responsive for viewing audience, thus conforming to the requirements of what Google and other search engine requires.
These themes are premium themes that you will need to purchase from reputable companies; because they are premium, you have the guarantee of receiving monthly and yearly updates on the theme.
A starter needs to go in this direction, instead of paying thousands of dollars to unreliable web programmers and designers; even professional websites are now being run with WordPress (WordPress powers more than 85% of websites in the world as at present).
The following companies are recommended for the purchase of these themes (I use them, and they have proven to be reliable, dependable and trusted over the years).
These themes needs to be viewed and checked thoroughly for you to be sure of what you are actually paying for.
Once you are satisfied with the themes of interest, you will need to buy it (average cost of these themes ranges from USD 45 – USD 129).
After making the purchase, you will be given login details to access the site, you will need to download the purchased templates on your system or computer, PC, palmtop or laptop in form of what is called a ZIP file.
The Domain name acquisition and registration
Unilad is the name of the site, while its domain name is ‘unilad.co.uk’ and the URL address is ‘www.unilad.co.uk’
The above example illustrated the explanation of what a domain name means and represents. For example, the following are also typical examples;
- Site name: Buzzfeed
- Domain name: Buzzfeed.com, Buzzfeed.co.uk, Buzzfeed.ca
- Site name: Facebook
- Domain name: facebook.com
- Site name: Instagram
- Its domain name: Instagram.com
The standard domain name format ends in .com; however, domain names like .ca, .co.uk, .co.za are all examples of what is called a domain name extension.
Your first major task to getting started is by starting with the right domain name and registering the name.
Standard protocols expected when coming up with your domain names are:
- The name should be easy to remember and spell
- It should be classy, short and unique; it should not contain numbers
Once you have all these fact at the back of your mind, the next step is for you to start checking for the availability of the name whether it is free, being used by other people or simply registered by other people.
To do that, you will make use of bluehost domain name checker form below;
If you also need the domain name extensions e.g. country specific extensions (e.g. .ng, ca, co.uk etc.; you can also make use of the form above).
If the name is available, I highly recommend you register it immediately so that it will be yours and nobody else will be able to register it first.
During registration if successful, the next step which I am going to discuss next will be presented to you.
Webhosting, registration and configuration
Webhosting of a site is the most important step and stage when running a business online. There is no way an online business can be online without being hosted by what is called a web server.
The next step after the registration of the domain name is the web hosting of the name; in actual fact, the hosting and the registration of the domain name happens at the same time on the Bluehost platform.
Though, some people may not want to host their site on Bluehost, however, from my own experience, they are reliable, dependable and price friendly.
For a starter, I recommend the bluehost webhosting Company starter package of USD3.5, then as your site starts growing in popularity and traffic, then you can upgrade. It is better to minimize cost when starting out a business project and the same ideal is welcomed in this business venture of yours you are about to start.
Aside from this stated fact above, the following are some of the reasons why I always recommend bluehost:
- Bluehost has a fair pricing model: You can start from USD3.5 and upgrade to as high as USD25 per month.
- Bluehost has an active 24 hours customer support services; their support services runs 7 days a week non-stop.
- The company is the best and most recommended web hosting company for any WordPress powered website. They are number one most recommended company by WordPress, at wordpress.org/
- They have high security, not hacked; and their entire hosting platform is solid and safe
- They have excellent uptime record with zero downtime record.
I recommend getting started with Bluehost, then you upgrade but if you decide to host your site with another hosting company, the two companies I can recommend to you are:
WordPress software – installation and activation
WordPress is a respected, open source software; mostly recommended by web designers. It is the number one recommended software in building software because:
- It is being supported by over 2000 coders and programmers in more than 8 countries globally
- It is the best software for CMS (Content management system); very good for a content based site, a site with more than just one page.
- It is built with PHP and is excellent for data base storage; very much ideal for a site like Unilad look alike
- It is very fast, most secure and very easy to use for a non – programmer who can easily understands English language.
In building a site like Unilad, we are going to make use of WordPress software and its accompanying tools (the earlier mentioned WordPress themes and WordPress plugins).
Now, after the successful hosting, we are going to install WordPress; if you are with Bluehost, all these things become easy for you because the company handles everything for you.
Follow the image below for your understanding;
Important points to note:
- After the successful installation of the software, then everything is set for you to start running the site. Anytime you want to access the site, you will need to login.
- Your WordPress login address is in this format: www.example.com/wp-admin/
- When you press enter after typing the above, the image below will displayed on the screen
- In this case, you will need to type your username and password (username is either your email address or admin; and your password is the password you created during the installation period.
- After this, you will be brought to the WordPress dashboard (shown below); however if you are already logged in, you will be brought to the WordPress dashboard directly instead of the login page shown above.
From the dashboard, we are not going to start with the main tutorial, take a cup of coffee, relax and follow the teachings below.
Detailed set up and configuration
Practical teaching on how to really set up the site in Unilad format; the following are areas to be discussed.
- Installing the purchased WordPress themes
- Arranging the header, footer and logo
- Proper menu Set up
- FrontPage set up and arrangement
- Arranging the pages, widgets, category and post set ups
- Fixing the permalinks
- Installation of WordPress plugins
Step 5 (1)
Installing the purchased WordPress themes
Notable Unilad WordPress themes are available ( I listed them above), magazine or online newspaper themes are all over the place ( I listed them above also); I also mentioned reputable companies from where you can get all these templates.
Now, if you have bought the needed templates and have download the ZIP file, it is not time to make use of it.
We are going to upload the themes and the demo contents (doing this gives your site the initial impetus and the drive to excel with ease); the following steps must be taken to achieve this.
- Go to appearance, and under appearance, go to themes; when you are on themes, click on add new themes.
- On the themes settings page, click to upload the ZIP file you downloaded
- Upload this file and activate it immediately; wait for about 7 minutes and everything will be completed.
Watch this video
Demo upload, installation and configuration
After this, the upload of the demo is the next step;
- Go to the ZIP file and unzip it
- Check in the unzip file and locate demo or the xml file
- Go to your dashboard, scroll to tools and click on import, on the import page, install the import plugin
- The plugin is installed, make sure you activate the plugin
- Then, use the plugin to import the demo; this time, the plugin will locate and import the demo file or the xml file from the unzip file
- Follow all screen instructions and the demo will be uploaded
- If everything works out successfully, then your site will be like the template or the themes you bought.
Watch the video below on how to install the demo:
But, we have not finished, we need to edit the entire contents to reflect yours.
Step 5 (2)
Arranging the header, footer and logo
I am using unilad website as an example in teaching you the practical instructions on what to do. The image below is the meaning of an header and footer.
The header is the uppermost part of the site and it contains the menu, the logo and description (sometimes advertisement also).
You cannot put pages, posts or categories directly on the header, but only inside the menu; but unlike the footer, you can put and arrange specified pages, posts and categories in it.
But no matter how it looks like; it is important and the following guidelines are necessary if you want to edit the header.
Follow the steps to edit your header, footer and the logo;
- By going to the theme options/panel
- By going to the widgets
The theme options/panel is a separate entity on the dashboard (though not all themes have it); it is mostly before the appearance and from there, you can edit the header and the footer.
The widgets is important to edit the header and the footer, but not just these two; it can be used to adjust and edit nearly most items on the site. Tutorial on how to use the widget is discussed below).
For the logo, uploading of your own logo and/or removing the present one shown can also be done from the theme options and also from the widget settings.
Just check and look for the link and editing guidelines to do all these.
Step 5 (3)
Proper menu Set up
The menu is part of the header and editing of the menu is quite different from the guidelines stated above. See the menu of Unilad below;
Study carefully the menu of unilad above, copy their style and use it to craft out the pages and contents you will put in your own menu.
The menu is the most important navigation element of the entire site structure; having a properly functioning menu helps your conversion success etc.
To create or edit a menu, the following steps need to be taken by you.
- Go to the menu settings page (it is seen under appearance, click on menu and the setting page will appear).
- As seen above (you may have an already established menu, remember that we uploaded the demo contents!!)
- So, in such a case, study the menu and remove the elements/pages/posts o categories you do not want in the category
- However, you will need pages, posts and categories for a menu set up (so, create these elements first).
- So, inside the menu settings, click to the left hand side and any elements you want in the menu, you click on it and it automatically gets added.
For more comprehensive understanding on how to create or edit a menu, I recommend you watch this video I have uploaded for you below
Step 5 (4)
FrontPage set up and arrangement
I want you to study and look carefully at the way Unilad structured and arranged its FrontPage/homepage.
For you to have this sort of arrangement, then you will need to configure and set up your own FrontPage likewise.
No matter the present structure of your homepage (because of the uploaded demo), you can still make adjustments.
To set up the FrontPage, there are four main methods to achieve that;
- From theme options/panel
- From published post editing settings
- From Widgets
- From the overall WordPress settings page
From theme options
As earlier mentioned, the theme options if present on your themes contains the guidelines to set your site. It also contains specific instructions on fonts, background color, fonts size and color etc. You can also get to see arrangement on how the FrontPage should look like, including placement of monetization codes etc.
From published post editing settings
Every published posts has their settings; when you about to publish a post, scroll down the page or look carefully, you may see an optional instruction that is asking ‘ do you want this post to appear on the FrontPage or be used as Featured post or featured images?
Just be observant and check your posts; this development is mostly seen in the edit pages of most published posts.
This feature is common with most magazine and newspaper focused template and themes.
I should not repeat this again; you can set up the entire FrontPage using the widgets. Visit the widget which can be seen under the appearance.
From the overall WordPress settings page
This particular settings turns your site to a blog format style in which every published posts appears on the FrontPage/homepage and they are arranged systematically according to the various dates of publication.
If you want this particular model of arrangement, then you can turn on the settings;
- From your dashboard, scroll down and locate the ‘settings’, from there, click on writing, then instruct it to show new posts on the FrontPage.
- Remember to save the page and you can then exit
- Go to your homepage and you will see the changes reflecting (remember to refresh the page by pressing F5).
Need any help, just contact me.
Step 5 (5)
Arranging the pages, widgets, category and post set ups
Thinking on how to launch a site like the one in question, some important pages needs to be published to avoid litigation problem, avoid SEO problem and also to make your site look like a professionally run online business.
Some of these pages are:
- DMCA (very important)
- Disclosure page
Check out unilad site, check the menu and footer, you will see the listed pages there; spy and emulate what they did to create yours.
Now, how do you create these pages or edit them (pages already published from the uploaded demo).
- First, go to the page settings area (shown below)
- Remove and delete the ones not needed
- Edit the ones already published (e.g. contact or about); edit it and publish it
- If you want to create and publish a new page, you will at the top of the settings page ‘add’, hover the mouse on it and click on ‘add new page’
- A new blank page will be opened and from there, you can publish the new page ( give it title and a featured image)
You don’t create a widget; the widget is automatically there and it serves as a building panel for you to edit, add and get anything practically done.
The widget can be located in the appearance link and it is the powerful of the entire building process.
Study the widget and get creative!!
Again, check the menu of unilad and you are likely to see the various categories present. You can also check on Buzzfeed and you will see various types of categories you can also use for your site building.
In the menu image above, the navigation in the menu are all ‘categories’; Following the footsteps of this great site, it is advisable to put your important categories in the menu.
You need to categorize and arranged your published posts. For example, any post on entertainment, celebrities, music stars etc. should fall under the ‘Entertainment category’;. To create a category, see the image above.
The image below is the entire post publishing area;
Please note the following:
- To publish a post, go to post, and click on ‘add new posts’
- The image above will be displayed
- Give it a title that is entertaining, amusing and captivating
- Always upload a featured image (this is very important for SEO advantages and also when you share on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter).
The image above contains the arrows on how to get this done; also, take note of the SEO settings on the page (courtesy of Yoast SEO plugin). Follow the above example!!
Watch this video on how to publish a post and also create a category;
Step 5 (6)
Fixing the Permalinks
The image below is self-explanatory for the permalink adjustment. One of the steps towards getting your site prepared towards perfect SEO (search engine optimization) is in adjusting the permalinks to a name based structured settings.
Step 5 (7)
Installation of WordPress plugins
I earlier made mention about the installation of WordPress plugins, these are some of the steps we have to take in setting up the site so that it will be robust, formidable and be success ready.
These are some of the plugins to install;
- Yoast SEO plugin: Solves the simple and complex issues with SEO.
- W3 Total Cache: A site like unilad is fast despite the heavy presence of pictures and videos; this plugin makes it possible, it automatically enables a site to load fast.
- Akismet Plugin: Destroys and stop all forms of spamming especially through comment.
- Jetpack plugin: Very important plugin, highly recommended.
- Sumo plugin: Personally, this is my preferred plugin of choice for social media networks e.g. Facebook, Instagram, twitter, Pinterest etc.
- Real Time chat plugin: Instant messaging plugin.
The installation of these plugins is very much straightforward; to install them, follow the guidelines below and also watch the accompanying video.
- You will see the icon for plugins on the dashboard, click on it and click on ‘add new plugins.
- Search for the plugin to install (type the above name inside the search box, the plugin will be shown, click and have it installed.
- After the installation, you will need to activate the plugin, click on the link to activate and it will be activated.
However, you can also watch the video below for the plugin installation and activation.
How to maintain your new site
Maintenance of the site is easy because it is a WordPress powered site; the three maintenance work you are going to do are:
- Maintaining the installed plugins
- Maintaining the uploaded templates (Themes)
- Maintaining the WordPress version
You maintain them by updating them to the most recent versions; to do this is easy, anytime you login to your site, a notification will be displayed to you informing you that update is available for these items, just click on it and they will be updated without you having to do anything on your end.
All the updates takes less than 5 minutes (and of course, no visitor will be able to access the site at that moment).
Getting indexed in Google- Steps to take
You will need the above mentioned Yoast SEO plugin to easily get your site indexed in Google, however, follow these steps to fast track the whole process;
- Go to Google search console and sign up for a free account at google.com/console/
- Using your Gmail account, follow all on-screen instructions and get your site verified
- To get your site verified, make use of the Yoast SEO plugin I earlier mentioned (read the guidelines below).
Also, watch the video below on the verification process
After this, you will submit your sitemap on Google search console and also use the ‘fetch as’ link to submit your new site to Google .
Doing this makes Google to start indexing and crawling your site immediately.
SEO means search engine optimization, without having a proper SEO of a site, such site can never be successful because there will be no organic traffic from the search engines at all.
Unilad is extremely and powerfully SEO packaged, from the structure of the design to the posts, images, videos and pages; the search engine optimization is professionally managed.
As a starter, you can get started with SEO by making use of the earlier mentioned Yoast SEO plugin.
When you install Yoast SEO plugin, go to the settings page and follow all instructions;
- With this plugin, you can manage and verify your site in Google search console
- You can make your posts nofollow or dofollow
- You can create Meta description for each published posts etc.
- You can create a powerful sitemap for the site.
See the image below of the settings of the plugin
If you need any help, just reach out to me, I will be glad to be of help.
We are done with all the technical details of setting up the site, the next step is the hard core guidelines you need to take to make it become successful.
SUCCESS TIPS / MARKETING
Success secrets of unilad – Lesson’s to Learn
The following points are the listed secret success of Unilad; I will be explaining all these points and also how you can leverage and benefit from them.
- Creation of top quality, unique contents that is capable of going viral
- Excellent SEO (search engine optimization) of the website and the contents being published
- High leverage and dependence on Facebook, they are one of the few sites that got loved by Facebook (I will show you the tricks to get this started).
- Creation and publication of videos ( collaboration using Front end submission features)
Now, the explanation!!
Creation of top quality, unique contents that is capable of going viral
People do not want to work hard; the present day Google and other search engines give credits to high quality articles and contents.
Unilad leverage on this simple but no so easy facts and they have been publishing unique and high quality articles.
Content is king, and it will forever remain like that!!
If you want to start a site like Unilad and be successful, then sit down and publish high quality contents; features of a quality content includes but not limited to the following.
- Articles, contents, blog posts that is more than the standard 300 word count
- Such article must be well detailed with references, linking out so authority sites
- The articles must contain original images and videos all embedded together in it
- It must be well researched, well planned and is not existing anywhere on the net before
- Again, you need to master the art of titles; giving your content/article the right article that will naturally make people want to read / share it is the simple technique of going viral. Go to Buzzfeed and study the way they give titles to their contents etc.
- Your articles and contents must be free of plagiarism; do not engage stolen or copied articles from somewhere else.
Excellent SEO (search engine optimization) of the website and the contents being published
The truth is, you need Google and other search engines; do not be surprised that over 70% of unilad traffic is from Google.
They followed Google’s strict law and practiced excellent SEO practices!! Read the following resource on the quality guidelines Google expected from you.
First, you need to make sure that your site is perfectly built and bulletproofed with standard SEO practices.
Watch the video below on using Yoast SEO plugin to perfect your SEO.
Read this resource on how to avoid Google’s penalty;
- 50 reasons why your site is under Google penalty by Neil Patel
- Read Google Quality webmaster guidelines ( from Google directly)
If you need help, you can reach out to me;
High leverage and dependence on Facebook
can you see the image?
Unilad is a form of viral website, in the same league with Buzzfeed, gag, Viralnova, distractify etc.; they depend on Facebook for massive viral traffic. I am explaining this detail in the next step. In the image above, Facebook accounts for nearly 40% of Unilad traffic sources. Facebook is the simple secret to their phenomenal growth.
Creation and publication of videos ( collaboration using Front end submission features)
Unilad is more of a video focused entertainment viral website. Their model takes after buzzfeed and other leading sites in this niche.
One thing the founder and its whole team has cleverly crafted out is opening up the site as a video submission site. They encourage their users to upload first hand video of events and occurrences around them. This feature allows them to be seen as an authority. Just check out most videos on the site, you will discover that they are not existing elsewhere, people from all walks of life uploads their own videos even on the site.
This idea is one of the powerful secret that Unilad embraced and it is seriously working to their advantage.
How to actually use Facebook to get viral traffic
Facebook changed its algorithm to favor high quality articles and sites that share unique contents on their platform.
Without Facebook, it will be practically impossible to get massive traffic just like the way unilad does. To get to this level, there are some mountain climbing tasks you should implement:
- First, make sure your site only contains original and unique videos, pictures and contents/articles
- Go on Facebook, open a free Facebook page, complete the profile details; including your description and all relevant pictures for the profile and also for the background.
- Start by inviting your friends and close people to like your page and be your followers/fans
Once you do this, then you will go to the advance level, which I am explaining below;
- Search and look for relevant groups, join as many groups as possible (maybe 30 of them); but of course, they should all be related to your niche
- Contact the administrator or owner of these Facebook groups and be a friend, nurture your friendship for some days (maximum 2 weeks but during this time, be active on the group by answering questions, liking comment etc. do not post anything relating to your site at all during this period.
- After this period, inform the owner that he/ she should make you an admin or give you the privilege to post on the group.
- Or better still, reach a deal with the owner on how he/she can be helping you to share your contents. This deal may involve you paying some money!!
- Do this for all the groups you are a member and see the enormous results.
After this, you will also need to invest money by running advert on FB.
Note: Running advert to get likes or followers is a pure waste of money!!
The best advert to run on Facebook is boosting your shared posts, videos or images. Boosting a post gives you immediate conversion and traffic and you are also communicating with the right people.
For more details, kindly read my detailed tutorial on how to run a successful viral website like Buzzfeed. If you need help, just reach out to me.
Investing in Guest Posting
Guest posting is simply publishing unique contents on other people’s blog to get a portion of their traffic, readers and subscribers.
However, the most obvious and powerful use of guest posting is the SEO benefit. You stand a high chance of getting strong dofollow backlinks. To implement guest posting, I advise you outsource the task out because it is difficult for a novice or starter to handle that.
Leveraging and networking with influencers for massive exposure and traffic
Influencer makes your social media campaign easy and gives you the leverage over others. Influencers are powerful social media users with vast empire of followers, fans and likes.
The logic is for you to partner with them and let them help you share and promote your website and the contents there in.
The most powerful and obvious area where you need these social media influencers are:
You can read more about how to use the influencers to promote your site in my earlier article on how to build and create a successful video website here.
How to make money using Unilad model
Unilad is making use of four revenue generating model which are listed below; followed by brief explanation on each.
- Through CPC ( cost Per Click) – use of Google AdSense
- Through Affiliate marketing
- Through Direct Marketing
- Through Press Release
CPC means cost per click; it is obviously a means of monetization and the most popular CPC out there is Google AdSense.
Unilad uses Google AdSense on their site and they are making more than 6 figure earnings every month because of the vast and huge traffic they receive on a daily basis.
For a starter, go with Google AdSense; as you start growing and getting matured, you can then explore the other methods I am going to discuss further below.
Through Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is my own preferred method of making money on the internet. With affiliate marketing, you stand a high chance of making huge amount of money than Google AdSense. Go to amazon, eBay, ShareAsale and sign up to be their affiliates, you can also join Commission junction and start promoting their products to your audience.
Through Direct Marketing
Direct marketing involves selling Ad space on your site. This model allows you to make real revenue compared to Google Adsense. With direct advertisement, companies, industries and big time brands can sign up a contract with you and you start making the real money as an online business entity.
Through Press Release
People use to wonder how Buzzfeed makes millions of dollars as their revenue. The answer is in Press Releases.
Buzzfeed does not use Google AdSense; what they rely on is 90% Press release and 10% of affiliate marketing mixed with direct advertisement.
Unilad employs this technique to make huge revenue also; you can read more about Press release in my earlier article on how to create and run a viral website.
Starting and launching a website like unilad is not for the lazy folks, you will need to work really hard and throw everything at it. I hope this tutorial has been helpful to you.
If you find it interesting, educative and really helpful, please do me a favor.
Help me to link back to it, help me to bookmark it on your browser, help me to share it on Facebook and also on twitter.
If you need any help, do reach out to me.