I am often asked how I manage so many blogs and still run affiliate programs on my websites that actually generate an income. Writing alone is very time consuming, but when you pile on tracking down affiliate links, authority resource links and sharing your content through social media, it’s easy to see how one blog can become more time consuming than any full-time job.
Since I began blogging, WAY back in March of 2003, I have always looked for tools that make life easier and allow me to focus more on my writing and social aspects rather than the more tedious aspects of blogging. So, here is a list of the plugins I use, why I use them and where you can get them too!
Adsense Now! – Don’t let the name fool you. The plugin was created with Adsense in mind, but I have used it to run other ad campaigns or to insert information in my posts. This plugin offers you the options of placing ads or information in the top, middle or bottom and the choice of left, right or center. It’s a great way to offer advertising placement or a call to action within your post that can be changed as often as you like by simply replacing the content in the space provided. The option to change rests nicely in the settings section of your WordPress blog and takes seconds to change. Adsense Now is available in your WordPress plugins dashboard >> Add New >> Search Adsense Now There is also a pro version available.
Akismet – Akismet is an advanced hosted anti-spam service aimed at thwarting the underbelly of the web. It efficiently processes and analyzes masses of data from millions of sites and communities in real time. To fight the latest spam tactics, it learns and evolves every single second of every single day. Because you have better things to do. Akismet is available for install through your WordPress plugin dashboard.
Broken Link Checker – This plugin will monitor your blog looking for broken links and let you know if any are found. Broken Link Checker monitors links in your posts, pages, comments and blogroll by detecting links that no longer work, are missing images and that are redirects. You receive a notification by email that alerts you of any links that need attention. You can set broken links to appear differently in your posts and set them so that search engines ignore them. You also have the option of updating, correcting or reassigning broken links in the Broken Link Checker dashboard. Broken Link Checker is available for install through your WordPress plugins dashboard. The plugin rests nicely in your settings options for easy access and timely updating.
FD Feedburner Plugin – Redirects the main feed and optionally the comments feed to Feedburner.com. It does this seamlessly without the need to modify templates, setup new hidden feeds, modify .htaccess files, or asking users to migrate to a new feed. All existing feeds simply become Feedburner feeds seamlessly and transparently for all users. Just tell the plugin what your Feedburner feed URL is and you’re done. This plugin is available for install through your WordPress plugins dashboard.
Feedburner Form – Feedburner Form is a simple plugin that allows you insert Google Feedburner subscription forms in widgetized areas of you site. By using this form, you allow visitors to subscribe to your feed and receive e-mails sent by Google Feedburner everytime you publish content. Also, you don’t have to worry about manage subscriptions: the visitors can subscribe and unscribe themselves through Google Feedburner service. This plugin is available for install through your WordPress plugins dashboard.
Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. With this sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content. XML Sitemaps has been supported for over 9 years and rated as the best WordPress plugin, it will do exactly what it’s supposed to do – providing a complete XML sitemap for search engines. It will not break your site, slow it down or annoy you. Guaranteed! This plugin is available for install through your WordPress plugins dashboard.
Pretty Link Pro – Pretty Link Pro is a Plugin for WordPress that will enable you to shrink, cloak, and track, organize, share and test all of your links on your own domain and server. Pretty Link Pro is more than a mere Affiliate Link Cloaker or URL shortener — it allows you to automate repetitive tasks, optimize your site with testing; see the results of your campaigns immediately by tracking the clicks of each link. Pretty Link Pro is available through the Pretty Link Pro website where you can purchase it for one blog for $37 or the Developer Edition, which I have so I can use it on all my sites, now or ever. The Developer version is $97 but I can tell you, and you can judge by the screenshot that it is well worth the investment (and that I have been using it for YEARS).
SEO Smart Links – SEO Smart Links is my choice for the automatic SEO benefits it offers in addition to custom keyword lists, nofollow and much more. SEO Smart Links can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog. SEO Smart links also allows you to set up your own keywords and set of matching URLs. You do have the ability to set a nofollow attribute and open links in new window which keeps you within the Google TOS. SEO Smart Links is a great solution to get your blog posts interlinked and automate your affiliate links or the links you have set up in Pretty Link Pro. Everything happens completely transparently, and you can edit the options from the administration settings panel anytime you need to. The thing I like most is once I set a keyword or phrase, along with an assigned link – SEO Smart Links goes through your blog and automatically links those words or phrases. Once in place, all I have to do is keep a list of words and phrases to include when I am writing. This plugin is available for install through your WordPress plugin dashboard.
SEO Friendly Images – SEO Friendly Images is a WordPress SEO plugin that automatically updates all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes for SEO purposes. If your images do not have ALT and TITLE already set, SEO Friendly Images will add them according the options you set. This plugin makes the post W3C/xHTML valid as well. The ALT attribute is an important part of search engine optimization since it describes your images to search engine. If you’ve neglected the ALT attribute in your images, this is a plugin that will take care of that task for you. This plugin is available for install through your WordPress plugin dashboard.
WP Super Cache – This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts. Basically, it keeps your site from being so heavy on your host and if you’ve ever experienced interrupted service, this has probably been recommended as a fix in order to get your site restored. This plugin is available for install through your WordPress plugin dashboard.
Through Jetpack, which is available for install on your WordPress dashboard, I utilize the following plugin options:
Sharing – because it offers the widest variety of social sharing options as well as allowing me to connect my blog to my social accounts for automated posting with each new post I generate.
Stats – I use multiple stats features, but I like to have the option of seeing stats upon each login to my dashboard.
That is a complete breakdown of the plugins I use. A bit later, I will go into detail on how I implemented another feature that allows me to link to affiliates that I don’t even belong to to maximize my earning potential.
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