Let There Be Minisites! CMC Results – Week Two

Let There Be Minisites! CMC Results – Week Two

In the second week, Sarah said, “Let there be minisites!”  And the dudes created them… 🙂

(Note – if you want to find out the fastest way to get a professional looking minisite up and running, check out the end of this article for my recommended WordPress themes…)

If you’re just joining us, Sarah and the Dudes and are all building minisites as part of the 2011 Community Marketing Challenge.  You can read more about the Challenge here, or you can catch up on our first week’s results here.

This week, we focused on taking the results of our niche and keyword research from Week One and turning them into minisites!  Building a site from the ground up is no easy process, so I have to commend all of the participants in the challenge for staying on track.

(And while I’ve asked each of them to be as open as possible about their sites and to answer as many of your questions as they can, keep in mind that putting yourself and your work out there is a scary thing.  Go easy on them!)


You can read each of our updates on the following pages…

Sarah Russell – Despite a few template quirks, I think my site is off to a good start.  Check out my update post to see what I’ve done so far and how I’m planning to proceed in the future.

Ben Donahower – Ben has been spending a lot of time hanging out with me in our private Challenge forum and on my Talk Marketing Now show.  I think he’s picked up some excellent tips, and I’m excited that he’s sharing them with you here.

Dan McConnell – Dan is working with an existing site for the Challenge, but that doesn’t mean he’s off the hook this week.  He’s been spending time updating his site, which is an important task that every website owner running WordPress sites should revisit every so often.

Jon Alford – Jon will be using a plugin that automatically pulls info from Amazon, and since I do a lot with Amazon Associates, I’m definitely excited to see how his site shapes up.

Richard Schmidt – Check out Richard’s post for a great list of WordPress plugins and an informative update on what he’s working on!



As you should know by now, each week of the Community Marketing Challenge will be accompanied by a featured product and that I’ll be donating half of the affiliate commissions made on any of these products throughout the Challenge (March-April 2011) to Kiva.  It’s a great way to get a product you’ll love, while helping support entrepreneurs around the world – so I hope you’ll join me in at least checking out each week’s featured product.

This week – since we’re talking about building minisites – I’m featuring ElegantThemes.  Check out my video review below:

If you aren’t able to watch the video, I’ll summarize for you:

1. ElegantThemes offers the most comprehensive selection of themes I’ve ever seen put together in a professional template package.  There’s literally a theme that’ll work in any niche – in fact, you’re reading this post on one of ElegantTheme’s templates right now!

2. ElegantThemes’ templates are extremely customizable.  And if you aren’t computer literate, their active support forum moderators can walk you through how to change just about every element of your chosen theme.

3. At only $39 for the entire package, ElegantThemes is dirt fricking cheap.  Considering that you’ll spend over twice as much on the single Thesis theme alone, it’s a steal to get all of their themes, plus unlimited support at that price.  I’ve been a member for a few years now, and even though the cost has doubled in that time, I think it’s still hugely under-priced.

But don’t take my word for it.  Check out ElegantThemes today to find the template that’s right for you!


If you have any questions about ElegantThemes or about this week’s Challenge results, please let me know!

Image: frankfarm

10 Responses to Let There Be Minisites! CMC Results – Week Two

  1. Jon says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Another solid screencast! Another busy week as well for the community and great participation in the forum.

    There’s a lot of work yet for us but we’ll get through it as a group. Thanks for your effort and guidance.


  2. Jayne Kopp says:

    Hi Sarah, WOW you seem busy. This challenge sounds very interesting… building mini sites. I am currently getting more involved in Affiliate marketing myself, and I’m currently reading and excellent course on the topic.

    Perhaps later on I may look at your group more seriously. I just have about 3700 irons in the fire at the moment with blogging, challenging and a ProveIt Challenge… as well as two kids on spring break, etc…etc… you know the gig.

    I have to agree that Elegant Themes looks great.

    I coughed and bought Thesis… I’m not sad about it though. It is very good and I am wondering if perhaps I shouldn’t have tried Elegant just out of curiosity.

    this was a great post. You definitely caught my curiosity, it sounds like you are having a lot of fun.

    See you soon


    • Sarah says:

      Haha – yeah, it’s been a busy couple of weeks for me 🙂

      Don’t get me wrong – Thesis is a great theme. The issues I have with are that it’s not that intuitive to customize, and that no matter how much customizing you do, it’s still pretty clear that you’re running Thesis.

      I like Elegant Themes because there’s a lot of different options and the cost is much lower, but both are good 🙂

      And if you have any questions about affiliate marketing while you’re learning, don’t hesitate to ask!

  3. Kent Chow says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for introducing ElegantThemes. Do you have any favorite ones for building minisites? I found some of them are too busy.

    Any good picks for my own reference? Thanks!


    • Sarah says:

      Hi KC – Thanks for stopping by!

      As far as ElegantThemes goes, I love Simplism, Interphase and BlueMist for simple affiliate sites. As you can see in my Challenge update, I’m running EarthlyTouch on a niche site. This site is running Bold, and I use ArtSee for my writing services website.

      One thing to keep in mind – a lot of the “busy” looking elements can be turned off easily and most of the themes can be converted into basic blog formats.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  4. I’m still planning a new website. 3 of my previous websites were hacked by as I think satanist and drug dealers as we pray for them etc. They usually leave me a message about the website. It is not easy to have a website where we can communicate with families who are hurting because of problems in the family usually children, but sometimes spouses or parents.
    We are a non profit organization and people are not easily donating to this ministry as they think the people must suffer because of their own sin. I thought that this website of you can help me create an income to at least cover the website expenses. God bless

    • Sarah says:

      Leah – I’m sorry to hear that you’re struggling with hackers, but I hope you find enough useful information here to help meet your goal of covering website expenses.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  5. I’m looking forward to hear from you. I love the colors that you use, not so hard on tired eyes! Stay blessed

  6. Adrienne says:

    Hey Sarah,

    What an great topic and I need to start getting involved in challenges. It’s just finding the time with everything else I have to do but I know it will benefit me down the road.

    Loved this post and your video was great. Great explanation of what’s involved in setting up minisites. I know this will help a lot of people. Will be sure to make it back for future posts on this series. I love seeing how others are doing this.

    Thanks again and have a wonderful day!


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