Blog Checklist

Install A Full Length Post Theme

Themes Listed Here

Set Permalinks

Permalinks are how the post or page URL looks.

By default that’s /?p=[article number] so like

We want to change that into something more realistic for a website to use like /article-name/ or /year/month/article-name.

You can do this in the WordPress settings menu.

From the WordPress Dashboard, hover over “Settings” then click “Permalinks”.

From there you can select “Post name” and save the settings.

It’s OK to occasionally mix it up with different permalinks, but “Post name” is the most common type of blogs.

Disable Notifying Sites Linked To

One thing we don’t want to do is notify the websites that we linked to them. It’s not that big of a deal, but it’s just not something we want to do.

Here’s how to stop that happening:

  1. Hover over “Settings” in the WordPress Dashboard, and click “Discussion”.
  2. The very first checklist is the one we’re looking for. It says “Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article”. Make sure to UNTICK this checkbox.
  3. You can save changes by scrolling to the bottom and clicking “Save Changes”. But make sure you follow the next step first, which is “Disable Email Notifications”, since it’s on the same page.

Disable Email Notifications

WordPress blogs attract a lot of spam comments. Normally, you would install spam-catching plugins to prevent this, but we’re not because of the potential footprint.

What we do instead is turn off the email notifications, and automatically clean them up using MainWP.

Here’s how to turn them off:

  1. Make sure you’re on the Discussion settings page in the WordPress Dashboard. You should already be here if you just disabled the option to notify websites we link to.
  2. Scroll down and uncheck both boxes under the heading “Email me whenever”.
  3. And that’s all there is to it. Scroll down and click “Save Changes” to save these settings.

Delete The Default Comment And Page

By default, there is going to be 1 post, 1 page, and 1 comment on the blog. This just shows us how it works and gets us used to the Dashboard.

We need to delete these before building out the website so it looks more legit.

You can see that they exist from the Dashboard homepage:

How to delete the default comment

For the comment, it’s literally one click. Scroll down on the dashboard homepage until you see the “Recent Comments” box, it should look exactly like this as the default comment is always the same. All you need to do is hover over it and click “Trash”.

How to delete the default page

As for pages, it’s almost exactly the same. Click onto the “Pages” menu this time instead.

Hover over the default page, named “Sample Page”, and click “Trash”.

Edited Or Deleted The Welcome Post

We want to either delete the default post or turn it into a real welcome post that we can keep up.

Here’s the guideline: 70% of the time delete it, 30% of the time change it into a welcome post.

The welcome post just needs to introduce people to the website and explain what’s going to be happening on it. No more than 300 words needed, and honestly, it doesn’t even need to be that long.

How to find the default post

  1. Click onto the “Posts” menu from the navigation bar in the sidebar on the left.
  2. Then you’ll see it as “Hello world!”. You can delete this by hovering over it and clicking the “Trash” link, or edit it by clicking “Edit”.

Article Checked For Quality

  • Article reads OK
  • Article isn’t more than 5% unoriginal
  • Article scores 68 or higher on Grammarly

Before posting the article, we need to do a few quick checks.

Check 1. Does it Read OK?

The first check is really simple, have a manual read through it.

Check 2. Does it Score 68 or Higher on Grammarly?

  1. Head over to
  2. Click the “New” option on the left of all the squares
  3. Paste in the article
    1. It’ll come up with a list of issues. Some “Critical” which is the ones to watch out for, some advanced or other.
    2. You’ll also see a score out of 100.
  4. Our general guideline is to score a 68 or higher. But again, we trust your opinion, please use your best judgement.

Check 3. Is it Plagiarized?

It’s important to check if the article is plagiarised, otherwise this could damage our results.

You can do this with Grammarly also.

  1. Hover over the little magnifying glass item on the left, then switch Plagiarism to ON.
  2. After a minute it’ll update you with a score out of 100%.
  3. Our general guideline is: Reject anything above 5% unoriginal.

But please use your best judgement when reviewing it.

Here’s how to do that:

  1. At the top right, above all the errors, you should see options that say “Unoriginal text” and the number of words.
  2. Clicking these will highlight all the text that is unoriginal and show the source it’s from. You can manually check this too if you like.
  3. Presuming it passes all the tests, accept the article on HireWriters, then use Grammarly and your own best judgement to improve the article.

Publish The Posts

Here’s the quick guidelines for the post:

  • Add at least 1 image or video (preferably more)
  • Add Internal Linking – Add 1-3 links to other relevant posts or to the homepage of the blog.

If the keyword is “weight loss after pregnancy” then the anchor text should be “weight loss after pregnancy”.

Remember to write it in a natural way. It’s “weight loss after pregnancy” not “weight loss pregnancy”. Same for city names, be sure to capitalize the city name.


How to setup CloudFlare

Occasionally you may be asked to setup CloudFlare for the websites. This will be given to you in a Trello task, with a corresponding Excel document within your Google Drive folder. The video above explains what you need to do.


Install MainWP Plugin

To allow us to manage our whole network of PBN sites, we use a plugin named “MainWP”. It simplifies everything by allowing us to manage them all from one dashboard, rather than manually logging into each of them one by one.

Here’s how to install the MainWP plugin:

1. Start in the WordPress Dashboard by hovering over “Plugins”, then clicking “Add New”

2. Then in the search box on the right, type in “mainwp”. It should automatically search, otherwise hit return on your keyboard.

3. Find the one that says MainWP Child, and click “Install Now”.

4. Once it’s installed, the button will change to a blue button that says “Activate”. Click this button.

It’s now successfully installed.

Do NOT click anywhere else on that page until you’ve completed the next item in the checklist “Connect MainWP to Dashboard”

Connected MainWP to Dashboard

Now that the MainWP plugin is installed, we need to connect it to the MainWP Dashboard where we’ll maintain the website from.

Note: It’s extremely important this is done as soon as possible.

While unlikely, it’s entirely possible if left, someone could add our website to their own MainWP Dashboard.

So continuing from the last checklist item. You need to click the “MainWP settings” link in this big Attention box. If for some reason this box does not show, or you closed it, you can find the same link by navigating to Settings > MainWP Child:

Click over to the “Connection Details” tab:

Now we need to login to the MainWP dashboard site.

From there, look for the MainWP navigation menu in the sidebar on the left, it should be fully expanded like this. Hover over “Sites”, then click “Add New”:

Now copy the information from the “Connection Details” tab on the website you’re setting up. Look further up these step-by-step instructions if you’ve forgotten where that is.

Paste the information from the “Connection Details” tab into the MainWP Dashboard on the “Add New Site” page we just clicked onto. You can see how this works by comparing the screenshot above and the previous one to this.

You should only need to enter the first 3 fields, Site Name, Site URL, and Administrator username. Once you’ve done, scroll down to the bottom and click “Add new site”.

Presuming it worked, you’ll get a notification come up that says “Site successfully added”, as the screenshot below shows:

Installed Plugins through MainWP

One of the advantages of MainWP is it allows us to speed up and simplify processes. An example of that is installing plugins. In the Dashboard, we’ve already selected a number of “favorite” plugins, these can then be easily installed with 1 single click.

Here’s how to do that

Navigate to the Favorite Plugins area by hovering over “Plugins” on the MainWP dashboard, then clicking “Favorite Plugins”:

You’ll be taken to a page with a list of plugins, and a list of websites you can install these on:

Select the website you want to install the plugins on. You can filter it by typing the domain or website name into the “Type here to filter sites” box.

But first, before you install any plugins you need to know which ones to use…

3 Types of Plugins

Type 1 – Required

There is one required plugin to be installed, this allows us to block bots (therefore competitors) from finding our PBN sites:

[Bot Blocker Plugin(s) of Choice]

Type 2 – WP Security

These are not required, and don’t need to be installed on every website, but should realistically have one on around 70% of sites:

  • All in One WP Security
  • iThemes Security
  • Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Hardening
  • Wordfence Security

Type 3 – SEO Plugin

These are extremely popular plugins to use, it would be quite strange not to, so use either one of them on 100% of sites:

  • All in One SEO Pack
  • Yoast SEO

Type 4 – Contact Form Plugin

Every website with a contact page should have one of these, which should be at least 90% of the websites:

  • Contact Form 7
  • Fast Secure Contact Form
  • Formidable
  • Ninja Forms
  • Contact Form DB

Type 5 – Misc

The following are plugins that are popular for people to use, but aren’t required or don’t fit into the above categories. 60% of the websites should have at least 1 or more of these plugins installed on top of the above types:

  • Captcha by BestWebSoft (adds captcha to forms)
  • SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam (adds captcha to forms)
  • Cookie Law Info (only to be used for EU i.e. websites)
  • Cookie Notice (only to be used for EU i.e. websites)
  • Disable Comments (self-explanatory, use rarely)
  • Disqus Comment System (alternative to the standard comments system)
  • EWWW Image Optimizer (makes images smaller)
  • WP Smush (makes images smaller)
  • Google XML Sitemaps (create a SEO friendly sitemap)
  • Meta Slider (image slider gallery)
  • NextGEN Gallery (image slider gallery)
  • W3 Total Cache (speeds up the website)
  • WP Super Cache (speeds up the website)
  • WP-PageNavi (adds better navigation to posts on the homepage)
  • WPtouch Mobile Plugin (makes the website better on mobiles)

Locate the plugin you want in the list, hover over it, then click “Install”:

Then you’ll receive a success message stating “Installation successful”. That’s all there is to it.

Click the “Favorite Plugins” tab to go back to the list again, repeat the steps, and install more plugins:

Connected to UptimeRobot

1. Start by clicking the green “Add New Monitor” button from the Dashboard

2. In the form, for “Monitor Type” choose “Keyword”

3. Then fill in the website name you’ve just setup for Friendly Name

4. Then the website URL

Choosing the keyword

After this we need to choose a keyword on the website to find.

The way this tool works is it looks at the website every few minutes or hours, and checks if it can find the keyword anywhere on the page.

So the keyword needs to be a word or words on the page that will always be there, even when we add more and more content in the future. This could be something in the sidebar that won’t change, a sticky post, etc.

(Make sure you don’t use the site name as if this domain were to expire, it may still show the site name, despite the website we setup not being there anymore)

5. Then just type that into the “Keyword” field on UptimeRobot. Make sure you get the capitalization correct because it’s case sensitive.

6. Then click the “Keyword Not Exists” option for “Alert When”. Since we want to track any time they visit our website and that keyword doesn’t exist, aka the site is offline.

7. Set the monitoring interval to 30 minutes, frankly it could be far less (i.e. longer time) but it doesn’t really matter

8. Tick the contact for sending alerts

9. Then next to that contact, click the little cog icon for customizing the settings

10. Change the setting so they only alert us if it’s been down for at least 3 hours, and leave it by default to notify once

11. And that’s all there is to it, click the blue “Create Monitor” button in the bottom right corner of the form, and you’re done

How to complete the weekly MainWP maintenance

Every Monday, the first task you should complete is MainWP maintenance, the video above covers how to do this, including:

  • Synchronizing blogs
  • Updating WordPress and Plugins across blogs
  • Ensuring all sites are included in security snippet and maintenance runs