The 32 Essential WordPress Plugins Every Blogger Must Have

By | October 16, 2017

If there is one thing that bloggers can’t abstain from, it’s reading about the essential WordPress plugins that different bloggers use!

It’s almost like if you’re a professional chef and someone shares a killer recipe… you can’t simply not look, right? Or a woman sharing a bit of juicy gossip; it’s impossible for other ladies to be oblivious to.

It’s taken me the past 10 months of diligently trying to doctor up my blog to formulate this list. This isn’t simply some list that I Googled and haphazardly threw together; this is every single active plugin that I have on my blog right now.

Enjoy my list of essential WordPress plugins!

Akismet

One of the most basic plugins for any WordPress user. If you’re not using this, you’ll be sifting out thousands upon thousands of unwanted spam comments. This plugin takes out the junk so you never have to see it!

All In One SEO Pack

Does all the crazy annoying SEO stuff for you. Gives you a manageable form to fill out with any article (title, description, tags) and then automatically optimizes it for you. I adore this one for the reason that my descriptions show up through Google the way I desire (and they rank FAST).

Broken Links Remover

This one may be a lifesaver. On blogs with dozens or even hundreds of posts, it’s a difficult task to click through every link and make sure they’re still going where they should. This plugin gives you a list of every single link on your site that’s not going anywhere. one more must-have!

Cbnet Ping Optimizer

So, every single time you update your blog, it automatically sends a “ping” (basically an update) to the search engines. This lets them know to send back their “bots” and index the new ideas.
But, if you’re updating a lot, your site is sending out a lot of “pings”, and the search engines might think you’re simply spamming them to get your site indexed. This plugin helps to optimize your pings plus make you appear less “spammy”.

CommentLuv

very sweet plugin that promotes a more social, interactive atmosphere! Basically, when someone leaves a comment, they also leave their website URL. This plugin goes to their website plus automatically picks up their last blog post and shows it in the comment they just left. People are much more likely to leave comments if they’re getting love back to their own blog.

Comment Redirect

When someone leaves a comment, they’re automatically taken to a page of your choice. You can take them to a thank you page, or (if you’re bold) straight to a capture page… it only does this for the very initial comment they leave so it’s not annoying.

Digg Digg

Puts all those cool little share buttons at the head of each document. Gives you a list of several social media sites and you choose which ones you want to show up. Also displays how many times your article has been shared, so your followers can see some proof that you are indeed popular.

Edit Comments

Have you ever written something stupid, and then realized you couldn’t edit it? And it’s on the internet for everybody to see? This simple plugin lets readers edit their comments for up to 30 minutes.

Exclude Pages From Navigation

For when you want to build in a “secret” page within your blog that you don’t want the general public to see! You can make a page that is only accessible with a direct URL; it doesn’t show up as a post, tab, or even in your sites navigation. Perfect for exclusive ideas you only want to share with certain people.

Fast Secure Contact Form

Not only an easy way for readers to send you a message straight to your email inbox, but gets rid of the spam robots from leaving you messages as well.

Favicons

It puts a tiny image in the tab in your browser. It gives your site a little more personality, and a little more recognizable as well. Plus, when a reader leaves a comment, it puts up a little image of them as well.

FD Feedburner Plugin

When a visitor wants to subscribe to your feed, this plugin redirects them to Feedburner.com. Within Feedburner, you may add pictures, allow your readers to share certain content, plus customize other features. It helps your feed to stand out among others that your readers may be following.

Feed Subscriber Stats

Shows through your dashboard how many people are subscribed to your feed on Feedburner.

Google XML Sitemaps

This is another SEO plugin that most humans don’t comprehend but Google and Yahoo loooove. Basically, it makes it easier for search engines to index your blog. That’s always valuable.

Popularity Contest

Keeps track of what posts are the most popular according to your visitors’ behavior. You can even change up the values to make commenting or visits more heavily “weighted” when figuring up the most popular. After you set up this plugin, head over to the widgets and drag the “Popularity Contest” widget wherever you desire it.

PopUp Domination

My favorite and one of the most essential WordPress plugins that I work with! It makes that extraordinary looking pop-up opt in form that comes up on my blog. It allows for really easy customization, and even allows you to decide exactly how often it pops up for each visitor. Costs $47, but well worth it to get higher opt-ins.

Pretty Link (Lite Version)

A very, very useful plugin! It lets you cloak links and then tracks how many clicks have been made. It’s not a super-detailed tracking system, but it’s without charge! It’s appropriate if you have some long, ugly affiliate link that you want to track as well. Your links are your domain, followed by whatever ending you choose to put in. For example, mine look like who-is-erin-smith.com/FP or whatever else at the end. very nifty (plus people are more likely to click on it if the link looks like a blog.)

Related Posts Thumbnails

This one is great for keeping visitors on your log much longer. At the end of every post, pictures and descriptions for six other related posts are displayed. I’ve had many comments from followers that they couldn’t leave my blog for the reason that they kept clicking on those thumbnails and jumping to other posts.

ReplyMe

When somebody leaves a comment, they have an option to be notified of follow-up comments. Normally, this denotes they will be notified of every single comment that comes after theirs. But, with this plugin, they are only notified if someone replies to their specific comment. Helps keep your visitors from receiving a bunch of unwanted mail, and just obtaining one or two useful messages when they get a reply.

Robots Meta

one more lame SEO plugin… It simply cleans up unnecessary stuff.

SEO Friendly Images

Zzzzzzzzz… more SEO. Helps your images get found by search engines (like in Google Image Search)

SEOPressor Unlimited

Another SEO plugin… except NOT dull! maybe the most essential plugin I own for the reason that it makes all the “on site” SEO junk super duper easy. It makes a list of all the things you should do inside your document to make it rank (like certain tags, keyword density, no follow links, etc) and gives you a percentage out of 100. This one costs $37 for one domain, or $97 for unlimited domains… has been worth every penny for how many posts I’ve had rank on Google.

SEO Slugs

dull! (but darn useful) Cleans up the URL for individual posts (takes out words like “a” “and” “an”) so the search engines like it better.

SexyBookmarks (by Shareaholic)

Comes up with a bajillion distinct share links to social media and social bookmarking sites. They show up at the bottom of any article and they look snazzy.

Thank Me Later

This plugin automatically sends out a Thank You email to everyone who leaves a comment. It allows for some variation on the message. Overall, exceptional for reader satisfaction plus keeps them coming back!

Top Level Categories

More SEO stuff. It takes the category out of the document URL’s. It makes it look cleaner, plus it focuses more on the keyword in the post URL.

WordPress EZ Backup

decidedly ESSENTIAL WordPress PLUGIN!! Sorry for the all caps… but one of the worst days I had last year was when I went to my blog and the only thing that was there was the shell. All my posts, pics, videos, EVERYTHING was gone. Helps you recover a disappeared blog in no time flat. Helps keep blood pressure down, too.

WordPress Thread Comment

Allows you to reply to a single comment. When you encounter a specific comment you choose to reply to, your reply will show up in the same box as the original comment. Basically, it makes it obvious who you’re speaking to.

WP Frame Breaker

Have you ever clicked through from a 3rd party site to a blog, and the 3rd party site’s header takes up half the page? Well, you don’t want that happening to you. This plugin gets rid of the frames that referring sites sometimes put on your blog when sending visitors through.

WP Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a tracking resource that keeps track of everything you desire to know concerning your visitors: where they come from, which posts they enter and exit on, how many unique visitors, plus a million other things. This plugin makes it easy to incorporate Google Analytics on to your blog.

WP Greet Box

one more “reader satisfaction” plugin that in essence greets every visitor who shows up. It puts up a separate message depending on where your visitor came from. If they found your site on Google, a message pops up saying something like “Welcome Googler…” You can edit these messages.

WP Super Cache

Makes your blog super duper quick! Not only is it less of a pain for your visitors, but it also helps your blog rank better.

Whew! I realize that’s a bunch of plugins! Like I said above, this list of plugins is taken directly from my back office and I use every single one of these. If you use all of these, I promise you’ll be able to generate more opt-ins, get your followers to stay longer on your blog, have more repeat visitors, and have more posts indexed by Google. Sound fantastic?

Hope my list of essential WordPress plugins helps!

The Importance Of Improving Your Writing Skills

By | October 15, 2017

There could be many reasons that you want to improve your writing skills. It’s a good idea to think about your goals before you sign up for a course. But, there are some basics that every writer needs.

An understanding of the English language is essential. The use of good grammar and correct punctuation allows your readers to enjoy reading what you write, without becoming distracted. A number of online crash courses in English punctuation and grammar are available. Some are even free.

Being able to spell is also important. Microsoft Word and other tools make that easier for you. If you have an idea of how a word is spelled, Microsoft Word will provide suggested spellings in case you are incorrect.

A thesaurus and dictionary were, at one time, essential tools for the writer. Our computers have all but taken the place of those books. In case you are a beginning writer, a thesaurus lists words that are synonymous or have similar meanings. Using different words helps prevent you from becoming redundant or repetitive.

Once you have the basics, there are classes designed specifically for certain goals. For example, if you are interested in writing fiction, poetry or memoirs, you might want to take a creative writing course.

If you want to improve your writing skills because you are interested in becoming a reporter, then you need a journalism class. The journalistic style of writing is quite different from the creative style.

Journalists have strict rules to follow. Their use of adjectives and adverbs is limited. Although things have changed somewhat in recent years, journalists are supposed to be unbiased, unless the piece is intended for an editorial column.

If you are a business owner, entrepreneur or marketer, copywriting might be your goal. Copywriting is the idea of using words to encourage the reader to take some kind of action. In order to improve your writing skills in this area, you can take classes or simply start reading ads or sales letters.

Because of internet marketing, many copywriters learn the basics of organic search engine optimization, too. Search engine optimization increases the chances that your copy will be read or that your target market will see the articles that you write.

No matter what kind of things you intend to write, none of the courses are a waste of time. The more you know and the more that you practice, the more your writing skills will improve.

Is Corporate Blogging Right For You?

By | October 14, 2017

A corporate blog is an effective way to grow a business. In fact, several companies around the globe are now acknowledging the power of this mass communication tool.

A corporate blog can help you reach your corporate goals in a fun way. Readers find it easier to go through blogs to find out more about the company and its services and products, rather than, other communication media.

If you are planning to start a blog for your company, you should first decide whether your company needs a blog or not. This is because the open communication nature of blogs is not suitable for all organizations. If you feel that a blog will go well with your company’s image, your next step is to select a good writer for the blog. You can choose someone with good communication skills from your own company or outsource to blog writing services.

Create a blog with a specific aim and check the contribution of the blog to that aim from time to time. If you are investing time and money in a blog, it must serve some purpose for your company. Before you start the blog, try to get to know your customers better, and address their issues in your blog.

Keep your corporate blog lively and interactive. Your responses to the comments of your customers or business partners should be professional. A corporate blog will give you a good opportunity to learn more about customers’ grievances. You should take their criticisms sportingly, thank the customer for bringing them to your notice and try to improve upon them.

Update your blog regularly by adding fresh material to it. Make your corporate blog interesting, by adding more than just marketing and advertising material about your company. Your blog should offer something more to the customers. A blog is a very good way to connect with your customers so try to keep it a little informal but authentic. Also, add as many links in your blog as possible. Linking has made blogging the big success that it is. A corporate blog can serve an important role during a crisis in the company. It is especially effective in overcoming bad PR due to an error or accident.

You should be careful about the company information you put out there in the open for public. Thus, you must draw up some policies regarding this.

You should not rely only on blogging as your corporate communication tool. While no one can deny the power of blogging, it is not sufficient as the sole means of marketing and communication.

Excellent Blogging Advice To Jump Start Your Blogging Career

By | October 13, 2017

When it comes to blogging if you want to have a successful blog your going to have to do a few things to separate yourself away fromthe other bloggers on the internet.

First, you want to make sure that your blog is original. Even if you use free information on the internet to provide content for your blog, make sure that you add your own spin to it. If your posting factual news to your blog don’t change the content of the news but make sure you comment on the article that you just posted.

People like uniqueness, so just by adding a spin to your articles your already separating yourself away from all of the other blandness on the internet.

Second, you need to advertise your blog. It’s unbelievable how many people start blogs and don’t take time out to properly advertise them. If you want people to come to your blog you have to let them know about it.

A great way to send traffic to your blog is submit the articles that you post to your blog to article directories such as Ezine Articles with a link back to your blog.

You can also submit your blog to social bookmarking sites and post your articles on forums with a link to your blog in your signature.

Remember, without traffic no matter how good your blog is if nobody sees it, it basically doesn’t exist.

Third, provide valuable content to your blog visitors.

Whatever the subject of your blog is, make sure that you provide content relevant to it. For example, if your blog is about horses, make sure that you provide valuable information about horses on your blog. It’s okay to “rant” some of the time but don’t do it to much. Unless your starting a blog to promote yourself for entertainment purposes.

And last but not least….

If your starting a blog to make money, if your using Adwords and other pay per click ads to monetize your blog your already set. All you have to do is provide good content on your blog because you don’t have to sell anybody anything. You just have to put them in a position to click on the ads that are on your blog.

But if your selling your own products or promoting affiliate products, it’s imperative that you only promote good products. If you promote bad products the word will quickly get around and it will affect the performance of your blog. If you only promote good products you’ll have lots of success and turn your blog into a profitable business that you can duplicate as many times as you want with different products.

Five Traps Bloggers Should Avoid

By | October 12, 2017

New bloggers often make a few mistakes. Fortunately, because many of those mistakes have been made before, this article can list them so they can be more easily avoided. Following are five mistakes bloggers should avoid.

1. Not Commenting on the Comments

One of the reasons for blogging in the first place is interaction with the readers. The readers are the heart and soul of the blog, and the real reason for its existence. Neglecting the comments is like ignoring the very people who give purpose to the blog. Respond to the comments whenever possible, or one day the only person reading the blog could be the writer.

2. Not Constructing from the Criticism

This one goes along well with the first trap. A blogger will get a lot of emails, some of them praise, but a lot them with suggestions on how to improve the website, the format or even the content of the blog. Some of them may end up being really good suggestions, so it is a good idea to read them all with an open mind and see which ones can be incorporated into the blog.

3. Resting from Writing

No blogger out there is actually a machine, no matter how much he or she may be tied to the computer, but that doesn’t mean that a week can go by without a new post. Plan ahead before a vacation with some extra posts and time-stamp them so there are no gaps in posting. Keep posting and keep the readers coming back for more.

4. Being Bored by Blogging

When blogging becomes a chore just to finish quickly, that attitude will be reflected in the posts. This can be nipped in the bud by picking a blog topic the writer finds interesting. It’s even better if it’s a topic the writer knows well.

5. Not Respecting the Reader

It doesn’t help anything to alienate the blog’s readers. Be nice to them, even if their questions might get a little annoying every once in a while. Remember that not every reader has been with the blog since the beginning, nor does everyone have the same awareness of the subject the writer might have. Being polite and understanding will encourage the other readers to behave the same way, and they might even be willing to help out the new readers who have questions.

These traps, more than any other reasons, cause a blog to fail. Now that they’ve been pointed out so they can be avoided, comes the next step. Any growth in readership and popularity needs to be capitalized on before it fades away. Just following these simple “do nots” is a good start toward that goal.

Utilizing Social Marketing In An Effort To Get More Blog Traffic

By | October 11, 2017

Blog traffic is the single thing that every blogger will say is their number one trouble. You can find loads of programs online that claim to be able to get you more blog traffic but many of them provide nothing. You will find authentic ways to get visitors to your blog without having to use any of those useless traffic programs and we are going to explain one of those strategies in this article.

Most of these social bookmarking sites will be able to get you a lot of traffic just from the social sites you submit your posts to. Backlinks are another thing you’re going to get once you start to bookmark your blog posts. As many of you know the more backlinks you have the more site visitors you’ll get from the search engines. And the more backlinks you get the higher your website will normally rank in the search engines.

The right way to do this is to subscribe to as many high page rank social bookmarking Internet sites as you can. Some of these Internet sites are Stumble Upon, delicious, digg and Multiply just to name a couple. Of course there are a huge selection of social bookmarking Internet sites that are available online. Actually, your very best bet should be to subscribe to about 50 of these websites. You will find lists of these Internet sites by just doing a search in the search engines. Once you’ve got your list you have got to set aside Three or four hours to go through and join all these websites.

Now every day when you add a new post to your blog you’ll want to take the hyperlink to that post and add it to each and every social bookmarking site. In the beginning you will probably find that this can take about 2 hours each day but in time you will be able to cut that down to about an hour or so. This approach when done everyday can present you with an instant surge in your website visitors.

You really don’t have to subscribe to all these websites yourself as you can hire individuals to sign you up to about 40 social Internet sites and they normally will only charge you $5. Of course this will still leave you with being forced to login everyday and post to the sites. For those who would like an easier way to get these links published on social bookmarking sites there are two programs that could help. The very first is only wire plus the next program is ping. fm. Both of these programs will automatically post your links to the social bookmarking Internet sites using your login details for each site.

If you really need to take your blog to the next level and begin getting more traffic this is one of the best ways to go about it. The search engines will begin to like your blog when you start constructing 40 to 50 backlinks on a daily basis on the social bookmarking sites.