Do you have your favorite WordPress plugins? I have a list of more than 10 ones that I install on every blog. Some help me backup easier, some improve the site speed and other plugins show me detailed stats of what people do on my blogs. All these plugins are great. But they are not the most important ones.
The most important plugins for every serious blogger are these which help their blog generate revenue. Of course they can’t magically turn your blog into money machine – you still need to work hard and create great content. These plugins however can significantly boost your revenue – by improving the SEO and user interaction, by helping you to sell more ads, or by letting your users share the blog on social networks. Here is a list of the best ones you can install right now:
1. WP e-Commerce
Now it’s easy to turn your WordPress blog into a shopping cart. The only problem is that you need to have products to sell! You will achieve the best results if you keep blogging in addition to selling products rather than just making an e-commerce store.
2. All in One SEO Pack
This is probably the most popular WordPress plugin for on-site SEO. It allows you to tune your page and post titles, descriptions, meta tags, avoid duplicate content issues and more. While some of this on-page stuff is overrated for SEO, just tuning your title tags is enough to make this plugin a must-have. There is also a pro version with more advanced features.
3. Facebook Like Button
Very simple, yet very useful: this plugin adds Facebook like button or Facebook recommendation widget to your blog. Speaking from personal experience these both do increase the pageviews, especially on blogs that already have some following.
4. Easy AdSense
There are many plugins for ad management. This one is only for Google Adsense, but it has everything an Adsense publisher wants – rich customization options, sidebar widgets, simple interface.
Download Easy AdSense here.
5. BFT Autoresponder
If you really want to sell your own or affiliate products from your blog you need to build a mailing list. Collect contacts and send them sequence emails with useful information and your offers wisely plugged inside. If you need more advanced features the authors offer also standalone autoresponder software in PHP which can collect sign ups from directly from your WordPress blog.
6. WordPress Related Posts
This is one of the easiest ways to increase your blog pageviews and from then ad revenue. This simple plugin will generate related posts based on tags. No surprise it’s downloaded more than 300 times per day.
Another method to get more pageviews and even inbound links is to encourage discussion. CommentLuv does this by placing links to commenter’s blog posts which leads to more people willing to comment on your blog. Sometimes it leads to more meaningless comments too, unfortunately.
8. Advertising Manager
While EasyAdsense is best for Adsense ads, this one lets you manage all kind of advertisements very easy. It automatically recognizes the most popular ad networks, rotates ads, lets you place them in posts or the sidebar and has a lot of good filters for further tuning.
Download Advertising Manager here.
Perhaps the easiest to use social sharing plugin. It adds a nice button in your posts which allows readers to share them on hundreds of social networks. If you are not doing this you are missing free visitors and revenue.
10. WordPress Popular Posts
Expose the best content to every reader: with this plugin you can display your most popular posts in a sidebar widget or anywhere in the template. It can include also a thumbnail of your posts.
11. Subscribe to Comments
Returning visitors can be a very good revenue source since they can be exposed to affiliate offers many times. This plugin helps you get more of them by letting readers subscribe to comments and get email notifications for subsequent ones.
BuddyPress lets you turn your blog into a niche social network. It’s very popular and is supported by a huge community. There are many themes and related plugins. Running your own social network can be very lucrative but don’t expect people will start creating content from the beginning. It requires a lot of hard work to raise it from the ground!
13. Table of Contents Creator
When your blog grows with the time it becomes harder and harder to organize your content. And if some of your best posts can’t be found you are leaving a lot of money on the table. Table of Contents Creator will create automated and highly customizable table of contents (sitemap) that will help your visitors and the search engines to discover your content.
14. Better Tag Cloud
Tag clouds have similar idea like table of contents – to help discovering your posts and increase your pageviews. Better Tag Cloud improves the default WordPress tag cloud and adds customization options to it.
The idea behind this plugin is very simple – to notify your subscribers for new posts. While most people prefer to subscribe by RSS there are also many who like to be notified by email.
If you have not done this yet, have a look at your traffic stats and see how many visitors come to your site with mobile devices. You may get surprised, as their number grows every month. At least in my sites the highest number of mobile users come with iPhone. You shouldn’t lose these visitors because your blog is not looking well on their device. WPtouch will help you – it automatically turns your blog into an iPhone application.
17. Thank me Later
This is another plugin that tries to improve visitors engagement with your blog. It sends a thank-you email to those who comment and reminds them to visit again.
If your blog relies heavily on affiliate marketing income you may want to check this out. It lets you mask long affiliate URLs and make them more user friendly. Don’t expect wonders but may increase the conversion a little bit.
Download GoCodes here.
Sociable is similar to AddThis but gains more popularity recently. It lets you arrange social network buttons on your posts and pages and encourages visitors to share your content.
20. SEO Smart Links
Yet another plugin which tries to improve your on-page SEO. Unlike All in One SEO Pack this one focuses on internal linking done automatically. The way linking is done is under your control. You can also link keywords to affiliate URLs and directly boost your blog revenue.
This is a guest post by Bobby Handzhiev who owns CalendarScripts a site that creates calendar scripts and software for webmasters.