The Ramblings Of A Professional Blogger

Do you ever get those days when your mind just wanders all over the place and you can’t focus on any particular topic? Well, that’s what’s happening to me today and rather than just waste all that rambling I thought I would just jot them down here to see if you guys can make some sense of it all  :tongue_laugh_ee:

Funnily enough, the title of this particular post added to the ramblings as I struggled with whether or not I was a professional blogger. In the long run I decided I was because over the years I’ve learned enough about what makes a good blogger, I do it well and I actually make money from doing it. Not to mention that people actually get in touch with me, and pay me money, to write articles for them. :thumbup_ee:

Why Do I Blog?

Originally I got into blogging purely for SEO reasons because I wanted to increase the rankings of a website I had just started, but now I do it for a lot of reasons.

  • I Love Blogging: Who would have thought that a guy who hated English when he was at school would develop the love of writing blog posts?  :drunk_tb: Truth be told, I can’t think of anything better.
  • Easier Than Setting Up A Website: Man, it took me ages and ages to set up that original website and it still looks far from professional. If I had only known then about how easy it was to get a blog up and running I would have got into it a lot sooner and I would have saved a lot of aggravation.
  • An Online Business: It’s strange how things work out isn’t it? Who would have thought that something you can enjoy could turn out to be so profitable  :laugh_tb:
  • Making Online Friends: Who would have thought that I would have met and become friends with so many people online, and me being a antisocial introvert at best :wink_ee:

My Blogging Mistakes

I know people that are too scared to start things because they’re scared they will fail at worst or at best make mistakes. Not giving it a go is their biggest mistake because now they will never know how well thing will have turned out. Besides, so what if you make a mistake or two, that’s how you learn, I know because I’ve made my fair share and I am a better blogger because of it.

  • Using Free Hosting Service: Fortunately this is one mistake I didn’t
    Hey you! Be a good Ninja blogger and don’t make the same mistakes I did!

    make  :day_dreaming: but it was probably more luck than anything. Remember at the beginning of the post when I said I started my first blog for SEO purposes? Well, for that to happen it had to be on the same domain. :wink_ee: Two posts you may find interesting about why you should host your own blogs are Why Professionals Host Their Own Blogs and Blogging Tips – 5 Reasons For Self Hosting.

  • Not Writing For My Readers: I have to admit that for awhile my blog posts were pretty crappy and that was all because I was writing for the search engines instead of my readers. In those days it was all about quantity instead of quality. These days I know it’s more important to keep my readers entertained and that providing quality articles full of important information is way more important than writing solely for the search engines.
  • Ignoring SEO: Yep, this was a biggie for me, but it wasn’t really my fault. I mean let’s face it, SEO is bloody boring and takes forever. That is until I got a hold of Market Samurai! Now, when I have an important post to write I always use MS, but even when I don’t use MS I still use the basic SEO techniques.
  • Using those free themes: Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with free themes, except that I could never find one that I really liked. they all had something lacking as I wanted one that made me stand away from the crowd. The problem was they were too hard to adapt to make them do what I wanted them to do or to look the way I wanted them to look. I wasted so much time playing around with them, time better spent focusing on my blogging. It wasn’t until I purchased the Flexsqueeze theme that I really started making money online.
  • Not having a product to sell: Sure I was making a little money from my Adsense ads but like I said in the previous point it wasn’t until I started promoting FlexSqueeze that I learned people were more likely to buy something from you if they saw you used it yourself. That was when I started purchasing WordPress plugins that I could see real value in, joining as an affilate and then offering them to my readers. After all, this blog has a lot to say about blogging, WordPress plugins are an important part of blogging and most of my readers are actual bloggers! Seems only natural that I offer products that help bloggers. Luckily for me JVZoo has lots of them available.
Naturally, these ramblings that my mind constantly struggles with isn’t all to do with blogging. A lot has to do with stuff that I can’t share here because Google wouldn’t appreciate it and it could get the site banned. I mean who would have thought that Google was such a prude  :dont_know: I actually removed the Adsense code from my last post because Google wouldn’t display any ads there, probably because of something I said. Last I looked they still weren’t displaying an ad in the sidebar  :tongue_laugh_ee: Can you guess what may have upset them? 
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Five Best WordPress Plugins For Affiliate Marketers

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 theWhat do Affiliate´s Want? 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. :tongue_laugh_ee:

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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?

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