10 Essential WordPress Plugins For The Smart Blogger

I reckon there are two things that set WordPress apart from other blogging platforms, the amount of quality themes available and the plugins. There are so many plugins out there that you can do almost anything you want with your blog. I don’t know about you guys but while visiting other blogs I’ve often wondered what plugins they were using, That being the case there may even be some of you who are wondering about the ones I use.

The obvious ones are commentluv, dofollow and keyword luv plugins, but for the purpose of this post I won’t be including them as I figure most bloggers are familiar with them. I think it more appropriate that I write about the ones that work behind the scenes, the ones you don’t see, or even the ones that you may see but don’t know what plugin is making it work.

you & me, me & you

  1. Quick Cache: Over the years I’ve tried several caching plugins and I settled on this one because apart from doing the job well it is the easiest caching plugin I’ve come across. It even has a ‘clear cache’ icon that can be accessed from every page of the dashboard.
  2. FT Signature Manager: This plugin’s actually designed so the blogger can place a signature at the end of the post. I on the other hand saw another use for it, one that’s proven to be quite profitabe. I’ve used it to advertise the Flexsqueeze theme, yep, that’s the one you’ll see at the bottom of thisand every post.
  3. Insights: This plugin is a real time saver as it can search the net for information, pictures and videos etc. for your blog posts. It will even search your own blog.
  4. LMB^Box Comments Quicktags:  This plugin inserts a quicktag toolbar above the comment form. The toolbar alllows the commentator to insert smilies, links, quotes and other funtions into the comment. What I love the most about it is that it has a large selection of smilies. You will have to modify your comments.php for this plugin to work.
  5. Max Banner Ads: I did a post on this plugin called Rotating Banner Problem Resolved By Max Banner Ads.
  6. Microkid’s Related Post: This plugin allows you to select posts that are related to the one you’re currently working on and places them at the end of the post. Great for interlinking your posts and for giving your reader a selection of related posts.
  7. WordPress Database Backup: This plugin is absolutely essential, especially if you’re a slack blogger like me who never backups their blog. With this plugin it’s all done automatically. I have mine set up so that it sends me the backup via email on a daily basis.
  8. WordPress.com Stats: I love this plugin. It supplies all the stats I need. At the top of the page it gives you a line graph of views per day. It will also show you the top posts and pages for today and yesterday, as well as referrers for the last two days. The best thing is that it also shows what links people have been clicking on, and all on the same page.
  9. OIOpubliasher: This is another essential plugin that I use on all my popular blogs. It allows advertises to automatically pay for adspace on your blog. It’s one of the few plugins that I’ve paid for, and it’s paid for itself many times over.
  10. SEO Smart Links:  I use this plugin to link keywords and phrases with affiliates that I am promoting. You could even use it to link to individual posts in your blog that’s been specifically written to promote an affiliate. You can have it set up so that it only works with your posts or you can include your comments as well.

Naturally I use a lot more plugins but I consider these to be a more essential than the others, yeah, even the smilies, I can’t live without those. If you had to pick just one of these plugins which one would you choose and why?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2018
Continue Reading

Rotating Banner Problem Resolved By Max Banner Ads

Let’s face it, the majority of bloggers out there all hope to make a little money from their online journey. Even those who claim to blog for the love of it usually place an ad or two on their blog in the hope that someone will click on them. There’s nothing wrong with that, I mean as long as they’re online why shouldn’t they make a little something for their efforts?  The problem most people have is the majority of surfers suffer from banner or ad blindness. What this basically means is that after awhile people just tune out and fail to see these ads, and they can’t click on something their subconscious fails to see.

I discovered this ages ago and I knew the solution would be to constantly change the ads on my blog. If you think about it the greatest mistake a blogger can make is to place and ad in the sidebar or post and then forget about it. There is two major flaws with this, the first being if someone sees the same ad in the same place each time they come to your blog they  develop ad blindness. The second is having only one ad results in minimum market exposure.

Broadway show billboards at the corner of 7th ...
Image via Wikipedia

Unfortunately constantly changing the ads resulted in too much effort and I gave it up pretty quick smart. I knew they’re had to be a solution and so I started digging around and I came up with my post on CJU’s Rotating Banner Function! The results spoke for themselves as my click through rate rose dramatically. The problem was that not everyone offered this feature and then the other day I stumbled upon Max Banner Ads.

Max Banner Ads is a WordPress plugin made by those guys at MaxBlogPress, who are famous for producing high quality WordPress plugins. Other popular free plugins they’ve produced include MaxBlogPress Optin Form Adder, MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer, MaxBlogPress Stripe Ads and so many more.

Not familiar with those free plugins? Then perhaps some of their professional paid plugins will ring a bell. The more popular ones that spring to mind are Ninja Affiliate and Subscribers Magnet but they do have several others.

Enough about that, let’s get back to their Max Banner Ads plugin. This plugin is the ultimate one that I’ve come across so far. I did trial one or two others, sorry but I don’t recall which ones they were, suffice it to say I couldn’t have been too impressed otherwise I’d still be using them today.

Max Banner ads has several features that appeal to me;

  • It allows you to input simple ads, the ones that just need an image and url for them to work.
  • You can use more complex ads that include tracking information. CJU ads come to mind. I used to use just the link and the image url until I discovered it needed all the other stuff that came with it for it to accurately track clicks, sales and such.
  • It allows you to include those scripts we’ve all grown to hate, the ones that can cause havoc with the way your blog behaves. These could include Amazon widgets and even your ClickBank hoplinks.
  • You can select where they appear on your blog and you can even choose to have the text wrap around the ad itself.
  • Installation is so simple and you don’t have to play around with your  WordPress theme for it to work.
  • It tracks the ad’s impression and clicks and even calculates their CTR, Click Through Rate!
  • Being able to have rotating ads means you can now display more ads on your blog without making it look cluttered. By this I mean instead of displaying 10 ads you can now have one rotating ad which will display a new ad every time the page refreshes.

There’s so much more but I don’t want to bore you with all that it can do. I’ve configured it to show the ads at the end of the post, even if someone lands on my Home Page. Unlike CJU’s rotating ad feature which showed the same ad on every post, one of the reasons why I stopped using it in posts, Max Banner Ads shows a different ad in each post.

The one flaw is that the free version shows the ‘Powered by Max Banner Ads’ link at the bottom of the ad. You can have this removed by buying the pro version of the plugin or you can do as I did and use your ClickBank affiliate ID from within the plugin. That way you get the commission if anyone clicks on that link and buys one of their products.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2014
Continue Reading