Five Essential Plug-ins Your Blog Must Have

The main reason people start blogging is because they want to spread a message to and connect with other people.  It might be that they want to share their latest passion for their new dog, a product they have bought or they just like sharing what they do online – for fun and to make money.  But the difference between a great blog and one that remains unread in the dust can be as simple as five little plug-ins that you absolutely should use when you first set up your blog.

All-in-One-SEO:  All –in-one-SEO is a free plug in that can be accessed through your Wordpress Admin Panel.  It provides you with the ability to include an excerpt of your post, a description of your post (that will show up on search engines, and an extra set of tags to help reinforce your post for relevant or targeted keywords.  This is absolutely vital if you want to get traffic quickly to your blog.

The All-in-one-SEO plug in ss really easy to use.  You simply install it from your WP Admin panel (click plug-ins, Search button and put “all-in-one-SEO” in the search box), activate the plug-in through your plug-in dashboard and then click on the New Post link in your dashboard sidebar.  You will see below the traditional editing panel, the extra options allowed by the plug in.  Now all you have to do is to remember to fill them in when you are creating new posts.

Google XML Sitemap:  The Google Sitemap is an easy to use free WP plug-in that you can search for and access as easily as you did the All-in-one-SEO plug in above.  Once you have activated it then you just leave it to work quietly behind the scenes increasing traffic to your website.  What it does is that every time you make a new post, update a post or add or modify a page, it creates a new sitemap for search engines that makes all of your content easily accessible by their bots.  It also pings the major search engines automatically with your new content every time it is added, increasing your traffic in the process.

Akismet:  Akismet is an anti-spam commenting plug in that helps stop your blog being infested with hundreds of spam comments every day.  You will find Akismet already installed with your WP installation – you just have to activate it and get it set up.  Akismet is not a free plug in so if you are trying to keep your costs down with your initial blog set up then you could use SI CAPTCHA anti-spam which is another free plug in you can install through your WP Admin panel.

Dean's FCKEditor - Not a lot of people know about this plug-in.  What it does is extends the usability of your Editor when you are creating your posts.  The standard post editor is quite limited in functionality but by adding this plug in to your blog, you can have the same functions (and more) that you would find in Microsoft Word.

Share and Follow - To maximize the traffic potential of your new blog you have to tap into the social media networks.  This plug in (found and installed just the same as the ones above) will create social media icons that you can have installed automatically at the beginning or end of your post.  It also creates the floating "Follow" icon that you can set to appear on the left or right hand side of the screen.  These buttons offer your readers a simple and immediate way of sharing your blog post with the networks they are aligned with including Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, reddit and a whole heap more.

In the next article we will look at a traffic blueprint that will help you move beyond the traffic that can be generated by the Google XML Sitemap, the All-in-one-SEO plug in and the Share and Follow gadget.