Blog Design: 7 Tips

By | October 21, 2017

Most blog platforms come with some basic blog designs. They may call them templates or themes or something similar, and usually they are not bad although some customization is pretty common. I often see some common mistakes, and hopefully you will be able to avoid them after this discussion.

1) Include an “about me” page or at very least have information about you in your sidebar. Make it prominent and make it truly about you, not some resume-like page.

If people find your blog and like what you have to say, they’re going to want to know something about you.

2) Have contact information easily visible: an email or maybe even a phone number. Your email can be displayed as a graphic to prevent spammers from harvesting it easily. You can always use a different address than your main address if you like. You could use a throw away address such as a yahoo or a hotmail address.

Visible contact information will make you seem more real and although people may occasionally contact you, it will be far less often than you might think.

Robert Scoble, one of the more popular bloggers on the planet, has his phone number listed and he doesn’t get that many calls. I have my number listed also, and I might have somebody call me every two or three months. When it’s that infrequent, it’s a pleasure to talk to somebody who has taken the initiative to reach out to you.

3) Include a picture of yourself. Blogs are personal, even business blogs, and people who visit yours will want to know what you look like. It’s also easier to built trust if your picture is visible. No, you don’t absolutely need a picture, but it’s strongly recommended. Sometimes people might think you are hiding something if you don’t have one.

4) Some of your blog posts are going to be much more popular than others (you may be surprised which ones they are). I call these your classic hits.

Don’t bury your classic hits, your most popular blog posts. Highlight them somehow. You might for example have a most popular posts section in the sidebar. That’s what I have, a most popular post section and I list my most popular posts based on the ones that are read the most.

Other people do it slightly differently. For example, Brian Clark at copyblogger.com has a “Popular Articles” in his sidebar and under that he lists his most popular blog posts. Yaro Starak, on his blog Entrepreneurs-Journey, calls his most popular blog posts “Popular Articles” and lists them at the very top.

Somehow or another highlight them. You might do something as simple as create a category called “most popular” and include popular blog posts in that category.

5) Don’t have a blog banner that is too big! The banner is the top portion of your blog that goes across the top. It might have a picture of you there, the name of the blog, perhaps some graphic — they vary quite a bit.

You don’t want your banner to be big. No one should need to scroll down to see your content. People decide really quickly when they first reach a Web Site, and that includes blogs, whether to read orleave.

6) Make sure your blog is visually appealing or at least not ugly.

Avoid bright colors. Stick to reasonable fonts like Times New Roman and Arial. Have someone with a good eye look at your blog, preferably a graphic designer. Everytime I start a blog and I’ve started dozens for myself, for friends, and for clients, I always get a graphic designer to at least look at it after I am done.

The problem is that it might look OK to you or me, probably neither having a particularly good eye nor appropriate training, but it still might look really ugly to others. Having a graphic designer take a quick look at it is good insurance.

7) Remove any random junk you have from your sidebar that serves no purpose.

Some blogs are just so busy: they have one, two, sometimes three sidebars just crammed full of all kinds of stuff. With some of it you wonder why is it there. What purpose does this serve? Now in my opinion calendars are a prime offender. What good is a calendar there? Some people like them, but to me they serve no purpose.

Empty space in a blog is not only allowable, but it’s a good thing. It helps focus eyes on what is important, which is your content and hopefully the few things you choose to put in your sidebar.

Most blogs start with a basic template which is then customized over time. These tips will hopefully help you that with customization and help you avoid common mistakes with blog design.

Blogging Basics: Importance of Blog Design

By | October 20, 2017

Blogs are becoming more and more popular. In many quarters it now seems that having a blog is more normal than not having a blog. Blogs are a place where you can rant and rave about things that have effects on your daily life, keep a diary, or talk about your favorite hobby. Now many Web businesses are starting blogs to keep in contact with customers and give customers the heads up on new products and services being considered.

The blog has become a marketing tool. Internet promotion is no longer simply a matter of having a website and advertising its existence on every popular website and in every popular newsletter. Now you can promote your business products and services with blogs.

People who spend a lot of time using the Web have likely read many blog posts whether they realize it or not. Most of the younger generation either has blogs or spends a great deal of time reading friends’ blogs. The young adults of today spend a great deal of time reading blogs such as those put out by their favorite authors or blogs that have product reviews.

One of the most interesting recent developments is that people of all ages have started using blogs as a source for the latest news. Blogs provide up to the minute eye-witness accounts of major events within minutes of their occurrence. On the other hand, blogs don’t have to be approved by any fact-checkers or editors before they are posted. So the reliability of blogs as a news source is questionable.

The main idea is that blog reading is becoming a more and more normal activity, undertaken by average people. For a Web marketer, the prospect of having a blog means more Web traffic if the blog has many readers.

There are a lot of things you can do to improve your blog’s traffic. You can advertise it as a pay-per-click search listing in search engines. You can also swap links with other blogs and websites. But, it is even more important that you provide interesting content in your blog that will keep your blog’s readership levels high.

The Importance of Blog Template Design

Most people know the information I’ve already given you. What most people don’t realize is how much the blog template design plays a roll in the success of a blog. Even whether or not people find your content amusing can be heavily impacted by the surrounding environment your blog provides to your content. Most blog software and blog hosts offer a basic set of templates that you can use to make sure your blog is organized. If you don’t do your own blog template design, you should at least customize one of these blog templates.

Blog Template Customization

Advertisements It may not seem like advertisements are a feature that enhances a blog, but the truth is that pertinent advertisements serve a purpose to those who are interested in your topic. Google AdSense is one of the top advertisement services currently being integrated into blog templates. However, it is also an excellent source of revenue for your blog.

Audio Content While not directly a piece of the template, seamlessly embedding audio into your blogs can make them much more interesting for site visitors. You can also include quick links to audio in your blog template navigation bar.

Banner Customization You should create your own banner for your blog, not use the placeholder banners provided with the basic blot templates. Make it relevant to your blog topic and suitable for your business image.

Favicon for Personalization Use a favicon to further brand your blog. This will give people a personalized feel for your site in their bookmarks and next to the blog address. It should be consistent with your blog and business image.

Page Features Take the time to customize your blog template skins. Make sure the layouts and backgrounds are consistent with the rest of your Web business site. You don’t want a generic blog design to hamper your branding.

Photos for Personalization You ought to not just include photos in your blog entries, but also place them wherever they will supplement your company image in the template. Use borders around your photos to give them a framed look.

RSS Feeds Make sure you enable the RSS feeds option on your blog template setup. Those with newsreaders or using Web RSS feed services will see the headlines and content of your blogs. They can click on headline links to read more from your blog site. This is one of the best ways to get exposure and a constant stream of dedicated readers to your blog.

Do I Need a Degree to be a Successful Freelance Writer?

By | October 19, 2017

If you’ve read older posts from my blog, you know that I dropped out/took a hiatus with only a few courses away from graduating. So do I regret it? Do I feel that I need a degree to pursue a freelance career? No and no, respectively.

Earning a degree is a personal decision. Many things factor into the equation: money, time, discipline, goals, etc. You should have some solid idea of what you want to do after you graduate before you shell out thousands of dollars for a degree. (Again, this I learned the hard way, so I know what I’m talking about.) There are obviously professions where a degree and/or specialized training is necessary (law, medicine, education). But is writing one of them?What does it take to be a writer?

Prerequisites for launching a freelancing career should include:
1. The ability to write. OK, this might seem a little obvious, but sometimes it’s difficult to evaluate your own writing skills. Can you get your point across in writing in a concise manner? Can you write logically? Does your writing make sense? Do you have a basic command of the English language? You don’t have to have the ability of Stephen King, but you do need to be able to organize your ideas and put them down in a way that the reader can follow. This is not as easy as it sounds, though it often gets easier the more you do it.

2. The ability to accept criticism. Having the piece that you spent hours researching, writing and slaving over only to be corrected and rejected are two of the most common things a writer will encounter. How well can you accept rejection? Can you learn from the advice of others? Will you be discouraged after your work is declined for publication? Knowing that rejection will happen and preparing yourself to use it as a means by which to improve your craft is the way a real writer copes.

3. Good researching skills. Chances are very high that you will be spending half of your work time doing research. Before you even think about getting the words down, you need to have a firm understanding of your subject matter. Do you enjoy reading? Are you comfortable using the internet for research?

4. Highly organized. Being organized is a must for any freelancer. You won’t have a boss to remind you of deadlines, so you must be meticulous at scheduling your time. Not only will you need to carefully organize all of your projects (including keeping track of deadlines, giving yourself enough time to work on each assignment, staying in contact with clients), you will also need to organize your research content in order to write an informative and well-flowing piece.

5. Learn new skills. Having a natural inclination for learning is imperative. Freelance writers need to be on top of their game as far as software and computer applications are concerned. Depending on what you write, you will need to stay on top of any business trends and continuously hone your marketing skills. You must be willing to accept, learn and use new technology. Plan on spending some time keeping up-to-date by reading and even taking a class or two if needed.

6. Get an education. OK, I put this one last because for some people, it is a good idea to further their education. However, this does not necessarily mean going to college. A good writer knows their subject, so it is important that you have experience in an area that you consider yourself to be an expert in. This can come from job experience or life experience. Also, if your education happens to be in a field other than English, that’s OK. Use it to your advantage. For example, a degree in biology can give you credentials in writing for a scientific publication.

7. Maybe you can consider getting yourself a degree. You can go to college or University and spend 3 to 4 years of your life getting the education. Alternatively you can simply buy a real accredited degree for a cheap price and can get the real degree within days. You can save time, money and you do not have to attend the classes, do not have to finish the assignment, do not have to sit for the exams. You can just obtain a real degree or just buy a degree or maybe Master degree or PhD degree.

To purchase a degree is quite simple; all you need is just find the degree online. You can buy the degree online and the degree that you buy is relatively cheaper than attending the University. Of course the degree must be recognized, accredited and verifiable by the University. If you buy a recognized degree, you will not only save yourself from lengthy explanation to your future employer about the legality of your degree. That is why the degree that you buy must be accredited. To purchase degree, to obtain degree, to buy degree, to get online degree, to have accredited degree and to buy accredited online degree is easy and cheap nowadays.

By purchasing the degree online, all you need to do is just fill up the form and send the payment. Buying online degrees is very easy, cheap and the best part is, most of the online degrees are verifiable and accredited. The degree must be recognized, and then it is worth every penny.

Which Kind Of BLOG Is Right For Me?

By | October 18, 2017

Blog is fun. And, is a revolutionary way in the internet that can let you keep a personal diary that can be viewed by many people. This is called the weblog or more popularly known as the blog or blogging.

Through it you can know and meet a lot of people. You can also make friends with some bloggers. You can do many things with your blog. From a mere scanning and reading to even making you be known all over the world of the internet. Who can say that blogging can never give you any enjoyment? It can. Not to mention, people nowadays are preoccupied with so many things which can cause them to experience a lot of emotional disturbances. Among those disturbances include stress, emotional breakdown, depression and a whole lot more. For them to be relieved from their odd feelings they need outlets of expressions. There are so many considered outlets like crying, shattering glasses, sports, video games but blog is the most effective. In it you can open up, write and express yourself through words. Now that’s what an outlet should be. Other people consider their blogs as friends. Maybe it never gives advices but blogs listens, you know what that means.

First of all, you should ask yourself why you blog.

Many people have different reasons on why they blog. Here are some of them:

– For promoting business

-For recreational purposes

– As a personal diary

– To help others

– To make friends

– To date

– For fun

– To be known

– To make a living

You can blog for many reasons; you can blog for fun and at the same time, to make a living out of it if it is possible.

There are several types of blogs. These are the following:

¤ # ¤ Personal blog – this is the most famous type of blog used in some of the friendly hub in the net. This is defined as the online diary or journal, where you can post your poem and other literature piece. This is where people get to share their ideas, thoughts and everything else they want other people to read about. Some of these blogs are not into page ranks and search engine optimization.

¤ # ¤ Business blog – this talk about the stock market and other business related topics. It is also use to promote businesses, to talk about economics in forum type and manage information. These kinds of blogs allow businesses to tell their customers or potential customers about the latest news or updates in their industry. This is also where they can catch up on the development being done in their business. These blogs are updated daily to be able to increase the chance of search engine to spider them. This also increases the page rank of a certain site because they are submitted to blogging directories.

¤ # ¤ Cultural blog – it discusses all about music, arts, theater and other popular culture.

¤ # ¤ Topic blog – it focuses on the function like some of the search engines present now. Some writers who want to write about something unknown can use it.

¤ # ¤ Educational blog – this is used by students to record the things they learned from their teacher including the activities done in a day.

¤ # ¤ Science blog – it is the mode used to disseminate information and data. However, scientists only use this mode for simple scientific data and information because they believe that it could damage the credibility of their science as many people can read it.

¤ # ¤ Moblog – it contains all the information from a mobile phone.

¤ # ¤ Collaborative blog – this kind of blog is written by two or more writers. Particular site is open for all the writers to write together with others.

¤ # ¤ Eclectic blog – it focuses on niches individually or collaboratively made.

¤ # ¤ Spam blog – this is a form of persuasive advertising. Commonly known for the name splogs. It is characterized by the use of bold letters and self-claim advertisements.

¤ # ¤ Directory blog – this blog gives a regular update of all the visited links. It focuses on particular news and happenings.

¤ # ¤ Forum blog – it functions as an internet forum. It allows two or more bloggers to post discussion on the net.

Making blogs are as easy as typing an email. All you need is to put in the content and send it to the web server. Once done, it is directly printed on your page and displayed there for an amount of time.

There are many web-based blog journals available online. You can post your own blog, too. Anyone can start writing a blog. In many cases, it is free. How do you start making a blog?

Here is how, follow the following steps in writing a blog.

1. There are many blog sites available online that offers free blog posting. They also offer free accounts with many features.

2. You can blog in private and in public. Many blog site offer a blog that contains a password, only a few can read your blog. You can also post a blog that can be read by anyone.

3. You will be given an option to choose the scheme of your blog site. You can edit your own color, layouts and schemes according to your taste and personality.

4. You can write your own blog and post it afterwards.

5. Many offer more schemes for you to personalize your own blog site. You can even post a picture and testimonials from friends like most of the friendly hub do today.

6. By sending the URL to your friends, you can now publish your own blog.

All these are things that must be considered in blogging. You should keep your writings interesting as it can be. Do not focus on topics that readers do not find interesting. Remember to post only writings that are not offensive so readers will become more interested in your writings. You should also check your spellings and other relevant mistakes that can ruin your credibility as a writer.

Great Tips For Writing Your Education Blog From The Experts

By | October 17, 2017

One of several best factors it is possible to do to get started on publicizing your online business using the web would be to setup a blog. There are several totally free weblog platforms via the internet, plus the selections preserve boosting. Beneath is a checklist of no charge blogs you can still choose from apart from just Blogger.com and WordPress.com:

– Web site.com
– Blogster.com
– Bravenet.com
– Flatpress.com
– Klatcher.com
– Lifetype.com
– Livejournal.com
– Moveabletype.com
– Multiply.com
– Serendipity.com
– Textpattern.com
– Xanga.com
– Tumblr.com

You can still have a very fully working weblog up and jogging in five minutes or much less with any considered one of these free of charge blog platforms.

Although, it might be considerably problematic to look for inspiration to maintain your web site up to date with fresh new content as soon as you’ve got it put in place. There may be very little even worse than checking out a website only to locate that it has not been up to date for that last number of weeks. A stale web site isn’t going to show that you happen to be focused about your online business.

The good information is the fact that there’s tons you could do to maintain tips flowing on your blog. Web site posts do not have to become a specific duration, and they can vary in fashion as well is in subject matter. So, here are some techniques to aid you come up with ideas to keep your blog site up to date frequently.

Blogging Suggestions Suggestion #1: Item Critiques

Seem for goods in your own niche that you can test and write an overview about. Give an straightforward, unbiased analyze considering equally the great and harmful sides of the product, along with your readers are going to be a whole lot more possible to trust your suggestion.

Just remember, blogging assists in putting together rely on and developing your brand. So, giving trustworthy reviews will advantage you while in the long run, even though you put a lot of people off from buying the product or service.

Creating products and e-book reviews may be a smart way to monetize your website. Add your affiliate link that will take the reader out of your web site into the item product sales page. If they invest in the product or service or e-book from the hyperlink, you may earn a commission for that sale.

Blogging Suggestions Suggestion #2: E-book Opinions

Get within the habit of reading books related in your industry and writing evaluations about them in your site. Sign up to Amazon.com as an associate, and submit an affiliate hyperlink to the guide you happen to be reviewing on your site.

While you write your product critiques, be sure you consist of both the favorable and destructive factors to develop rely on together with your readers.

Blogging Help and advice Tip #3: Websites Reviews

Critique some of your competitor’s web sites and online business enterprise designs. Indeed, a few of your website traffic will most probably vanish to their online pages, but this may also attract a whole lot more potential customers in your weblog, and you are likely to make up your track record within your subject.

Also, exploring your competitor’s web sites offers you tips on what to talk about and some very good tips to improve your own web site and firm model at the same time.

Blogging Assistance Tip #4: Lists

Lists are incredibly preferred in the blogosphere. Make sure to embody record posts as portion of your weblog posts. An outstanding record publish will yield dividends for months or maybe several years to arrive as consumers link to it or converse about it on discussion boards and other social networking web sites.

Blogging Advice Tip #5: Instructions

Instructional posts give detailed information regarding find out how to do one thing or other tasks relevant for your business. Instructional posts are in particular practical ways to train your readers to acquire to understand about your solutions and just how they perform. You may be addressing the readers as if they have been previously using your merchandise, but however a lot of of them is not going to however have become potential customers. It is a very good tactic to suggest in your readers the worth of growing to be buyers without the need of right offering to them.

You can still extend detailed recommendations above two or 3 posts. You possibly can mix in other different types of site posts in between your instructional posts any time you desire, but make sure to hyperlink every single instructional post with the up coming and the earlier a single in the sequence.

Blogging Recommendation Suggestion #6: Short Advice

Speedy advice are an especially treasured type of weblog posting. The magnificence of them is that they may be brief and sweet. So, you may publish them in concerning your longer posts to supply some assortment.

A rapid suggestion style of publish will need to not be any more than a hundred and fifty phrases prolonged, and a few could be considerably shorter than that. Get in to the routine of pondering up brief steps, or one-point snippets of information that you just composed in your site in just several minutes. Swift recommendations really are a great way to maintain your web site alive once you don’t have time or inspiration to write a lengthier web site publish.

Blogging Suggestions Tip #7: Interviews

Interview anyone in your own area of interest then publish the interview in your website. An effective interview will deliver a range of advantages in your weblog. Not just will it supply worthwhile exceptional information, nevertheless it may also build up your credibility being an pro inside your subject and help you to establish customers for your weblog.

Blogging Help and advice Suggestion #8: Guest Blogging

Last but not least, invite others to post articles or blog posts in your website. This can be an awesome technique to maintain your website alive and to populate it with specific material on a large number of totally different subjects and within an assortment of various designs. Give you to offer some publicity and also a hyperlink back again to your internet site on the visitor blogger. Armed with these helpful hints, you’ll want to in no way run from options to weblog about in your totally free blog site platform.

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!