As a blogger I’m a bit of a plugin hog and I firmly believe that it’s the huge suppository of available plugins that make WordPress the huge success that it is. Don’t get me wrong, even without the plugins WordPress is the best blogging platform out there but adding plugins to the equation just makes it do so much more. There are plugins that deal with spam and there are plugins that make WordPress blogs more efficient. There are plugins that reward your readers, like commentluv and do follow, and there are plugins that help you with your quest to make an online income.
Which brings me to this post where I plan on showing you what I believe to the 5 best free wordPress plugins for the affiliate marketer, or indeed any blogger that wants to boost their online income.
5 Essential Affiliate WordPress Plugins
Affiliate Link Cloaker: Developed by Joe Brewer I believe the Affiliate Link Cloaker to be an essential part of your affiliate plugin arsenal. This plugin does more than just cloak your links, it also makes them appear more professional as well as being ‘geo’ aware. This means it will send American who clicked on your Amazon link to the American Amazon site and any English person who clicked on a link to the English Amazon site. There are also several other unique qualities like making the links nofollow as well as setting up keywords so the links are placed automatically in posts when those keywords are found.
Fast Secure Contact Form: If you want to become successful you have to make yourself available to anyone who’s looking for added information, information that could well lead to a sale. Mike Challis’ Fast Secure Contact form is a perfect tool for making you available to your prospects.
Max Banner Ads: I wrote a post about Max Banner Ads where I talked about it’s ability to rotate ads so as to help prevent ad blindness. A great utility for incorporating your affiliate banners.
SEO Smart Links: Developed by Vladmir Prelovac SEO Smart Links allows you to turn words selected by you into affiliate links. You control whether you want them to appear just in your post or in your comments as well. Turns those words into links in all your posts including past ones.
MediaPass Subscription Plugin: Perhaps not one for affiliate marketers per se but definitely one that can used to add to your online income. When I originally told you about MediaPass it involved installing a code on your blog but now they have developed their own WordPress plugin. For the plugin to work you need to be a member but that’s not a problem because its free to join.
Well, there you go, now you have another 5 plugins to check out to see whether or not they will suit your blogging needs. But don’t go away just yet because there is more for you to do before you continue on your blog hopping way.
Don’t Leave Before You
Leave a good comment: Remember that a good comment has much more value than a mere backlink as it builds your brand by showing others you know what you’re taking about and has a greater potential for building traffic to your site
Promote this post by sharing with your Social Network! Telling me what a great post this is and then not giving it a Tweet or using one of the other social media buttons at the bottom of this post is a pretty empty gesture. Also, keep in mind that promoting this post also promotes your comment giving it more exposure making it a win, win situation.
Cool, now that you’ve left a comment and shared this post with your social network you are free to leave.
I usually wait awhile before doing update posts so the original post gets to be seen by quite a few people. I’ve never, ever posted an update straight after the original post. However, since my last post about how My Blog Was Hacked And What I Did About It I’ve decided that this update was so important I should post it straight away.
Fist off I would like to thank Keith of Public Speaking and Presentations for putting me onto John Hoff and his post about how to easily set up WordPress firewall for your blog. Because of that post I’ve installed the SEO Egghead’s WordPress Firewall Plugin! You see where in my previous post I showed you how to protect yourself from someone hacking into your blogs dashboard this one protects you from the more malicious attacks the sort that uses SQL injection. Without this plugin hackers can hack your files without gaining access to your dashboard. I urge you to read John’s post and to install this plugin.
Since it’s installation I’ve been notified of several attacks on this and one of my other blogs. If I didn’t install the plugin not only would I not have known of the attack my blog may very well have been compromised. Once an attack occurs you get an email notifying you of the file they tried to compromise as well as the IP address of the offender. Apparently all the attacks appear to be “Directory Traversal Attacks” You can read about these and other attacks that a blog may be susceptible to here. Yeah, I know there’s no SEO value in that link but screw SEO, it’s more important that I get this post out as quickly as possible.
Since being hacked and these attacks I’ve decided to change my user name because I admit it, I’ve been a real wanker because I’ve use admin as my user name. Why, because it’s the default and I never thought twice about it. The problem with admin is most blogs use the default and by doing that we’re making it very easy for the hacker to get in. He already has the user name so all he has to work out is the password. How do I know this? Because every email I’ve gotten so far telling me of attempts to gain access to my blogs have used admin as the user name.
Quick Tip: You know you have to change your user name when you get an email that someone has used it in an attempt to log on.
The problem is that you can’t change the name from the dashboard. Apparently you can change it by accessing you database but that’s too damn hard for most people, me included, which is why I found a plugin that will do it for me. You can access this from the dashboard using the Add New selection in your plugin menu. Just type in Admin renamer extended in the search box and you’re good to go. If you have an easy password it’s probably a good idea to change that as well.
Admin renamer extended
If you ever needed to promote a post via your favorite social media site, Twitter, Facebook or whatever, then I would highly suggest that this is the one. it’s probably a good idea to join my list so you do not miss out on these very important updates.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?