Nine WordPress Plugins That You Need for Your Blog

Wordpress Plugins

WordPress is the ultimate blogging software. There are hundreds of WordPress Plugin tools available to make your WordPress blogging experience smoother, better, and really cool. Head over to the WordPress plugin respository and have a look around – so many plugins to choose from! If you are just getting started with blogging, and not sure which blog platform to use, read my article. “Get Your Own Domain Name and Host for Blogging“.Here are nine WordPress plugins to drop-in and start using to maximize your blogging experience for both you and your readers:

Akismet – the ultimate spam killer
Akismet is a default, preinstalled WordPress plugin. Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You can review the spam it catches under “Manage” and it automatically deletes old spam after 15 days.  Youll need an API key. Get a free one by heading over to and signing up for an account. Have you ever been excited to see comments in your Moderation queue only to find they were all spam!

Daiko’s YouTube Video Widget
This super cool YouTube Video plugin adds a sidebar widget to display random YouTube videos of your own choice. Make your own videolist in the widget-control-panel and  add your favorite tag(s), user(s). It’s easy to set up and gives your readers something to do in case they get bored. The YouTube video widget is also  great way to share your favorite YouTube videos with your readers. You can view in the sidebar.

Recent Comments
The Recent Comments plugin shows  excerpts of the most recent comments and / or trackbacks posted to the articles in your blog. This is a great way to increase readership and page views on your blog. It is part of WordPress already, so use it!

Secure and Accessible PHP Contact Form
The Internet is all about community and communicating so it makes sense that you should provide a way for people in the blogosphere to contact you. The Secure & Accessible contact form is designed to make contacting you from your website easy, accessible, and secure. It will definitely deter spam emails from arriving in your mail box! It’s super easy to install too – a must have WordPress plugin.

Digg This
The Digg This WordPress plugin detects incoming links from to your WordPress post and automatically display a link back to the digg post. Then, people can easily digg your story. When a digg is first recognized an email is sent to the blog administrator. The detection is based on the referrer URL, which has to come from digg. Not sure what Digg is? Head over to my article, “Eleven Awesome Social Bookmarking Site” and start digging!

Google (XML) Sitemap Generator for WordPress
This Google Sitemap plugin generates an XML-Sitemap compliant sitemap of your WordPress blog. This format is supported by, Google, YAHOO, and MSN Search. Wondering what a sitemap is and why you need it? Head over to Be sure to check out Google Webmaster Tools as well. The Google Sitemap tools are great for knowing exactly where you stand with Google search.

Wasabi Related Posts
The Related Posts plugin will display a series of “related” entries (based on keyword matching) for an individual blog article. The Related Posts plugin is yet another great tool to keep readers on your site and gain even more exposure to more article. Increased pageviews for you! 

WordPress Database Backup
Yes, you need to backup your WordPress database! What would happen if some huge Web server crash destroyed your entire database and all known backups? With this plugin, you will still have a backup of your WordPress blog! You can have the backup file emailed to you or download on the spot for convenience. The Database Backup plugin is preinstalled with WordPress, so use it!

Adsense Deluxe
If you are a fan of Adsense then you need the Adsense Deluxe plugin for WordPress. AdSense-Deluxe provides advanced options for managing the automatic insertion of Google AdSense or Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN) ads to your WordPress posts.

What’s your favorite plugin?

Eleven Awesome Social Bookmarking Sites

Social bookmarking sites

Web 2.0 is a term that has been thrown around a lot lately. What is Web 2.0? Simply put, it refers to this ongoing transition of the Internet, often characterized as the second generation of the Web. The Web is morphing into an “always on” environment, bursting at the seams with creativity, collaboration, and sharing between users. It includes a plethora of new technologies that enable you and me to commune in this place that we have come to know and love: the Internet.

With that in mind, here are eleven social bookmarking sites you should make a point of using. With social bookmarking sites, you can save your favorite bookmarks and then share them with others within a particular network. Tagging and categories allows other users of the same social bookmarking communities to find your bookmarks, visit those sites, and vote sites up or down!

You will, of course, need to register on each individual social bookmarking site in order to submit blog links and articles.

With social bookmarking, you have the potential to get a lot of traffic and attention!

Digg: get your site listed on Digg, and through sharing and voting, you may even make the homepage and get lots of attention!  Be prepared to pay for all that extra bandwidth from your Web service provider.
Alexa Rank = 135 

Technorati: Blog search engine that tracks over 112.8 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media (don’t get lost in the crowd!) Seriously, Technorati is an authority on what is happening on Web in real time. Always on, always updated! When I launched my blog, Technorati was on the case within 24 hours!
Alexa Rank = 383 store your favorites of anything on the Web and share with the community.
Alexa Rank = 378

StumbleUpon: discover and share websites. StumbleUpon uses rating to form collaborative opinions on Website quality. If a popular “Stumbler” stumbles across your website and likes it, watch out! You’ll end up with hundreds, even thousands of visitors. This happened recently to a blogging buddy of mine, whose visitors increased to over 500 visitors per day – up from 20. All it takes is one Stumbler!
Alexa Rank = 294

Propeller: part of the AOL Network (Time-Warner company.) Submit stories and get votes from other members!
Alexa Rank = 1647

Reddit: Another source for what’s new and popular on the web. Vote submitted links up or down.
Alexa Rank = 1046

Slashdot: Slashdot is owned by SourceForge, Inc. Slashdot is for geeks. If you are one, head over to Slashdot and submit some good content.
Alexa Rank = 1041

Blinklist: I haven’t used this one. If you have, leave a comment. You can make lists and share, have them appear in your links on your blog.
Alexa Rank = 5431

Fark: An interesting news aggregator and collection of edited social networking news. Their slogan is, “It’s Not News, It’s Fark”. Head on over and join in the fun.
Alexa Rank = 2528

Newsvine: Now owned by Newsvine is a great place to read stories from established media organizations like the Associated Press and ESPN as well as individual contributors from all around the world. So the little people, like us, can publish our stories and get them read by the masses too!
Alexa Rank = 5854

Furl: Furl is part of the LookSmart family. Furl archives a personal copy of every page you save. When you want to recall it, you can find it instantly by searching the full text your archived items. Each member has a personal archive of 5 gigabytes (GB), large enough to store tens of thousands of searchable items.
Alexa Rank = 5662

Have you used social bookmarking to boost your Blog traffic?  What’s your glory story?

How to Create a Blog in 10 Easy Steps

Step 1: Choose Your Passion

What does passion have to do with it? I just want to make money!

Well making money might be a good reason for starting a blog and money CAN be made, but in the end creating and maintaining a blog that is going to last is more about your passion or your driving force. Ask yourself this question:

“What would I do everyday, for the rest of my life, without ever being paid to do it?”

Whatever answer you come up with is your passion. That is what your blog should be about; YOUR PASSION. That is what you should be blogging about. Write for yourself before you right for someone else. Money and fame are just icing on the cake.

See, when you first start writing your blog, there most likely WILL NOT be any money returned from your time investment. Making money  is usually a result of long hours invested in gaining subscribers and avid readers and becoming known as an “expert”. You might decide to monetize your blog, but without people reading your blog, how are you going to make money?

Remember this: THERE ARE NO GET-RICH-QUICK SCHEMES RELATED TO BUILDING AN A+ BLOG!!! Sorry to dash your dreams but if you are looking for the “key” to riches beyond your wildest dreams, then please go somewhere else; you won’t find it here.

Step 2: Write Down Your Goals

Most likely if you write down your goals those goals will happen. This is because making yourself actually think about what you want to accomplish is half of the battle already won. “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.” ~ English Proverb What do you want to accomplish? How are you going to deliver your message? When you are finished, what is it going to look like?

Step 3: Visit Some Other Blogs

Do some research and check out what other people are doing with their blogs. Learn what blogging is in general. Don’t just search for blogs in your niche, but also in general. There is alot to be learned from others that have already put up there own blogs. Posts some comments so that you can start to get a feel of what the whole blogging process is. While you are researching be sure to bookmark those blogs that you have visited and write down interesting ideas that pop into your head. You might not remember where you have been only a day or two earlier.

Step 4: Choose a Blogging Software

There a bunch of options when looking for your blogging software. I would start by doing a search on Google for Blogging Software. Don’t be intimidated by the 62,000,000 + results returned back to you. :)

For the scope of the article, I am going to talk about WordPress ( I chose WordPress for my blog not only because it is the most popular, but also because it is backed by a huge community, has some really useful plugins, gives you loads of control and is easy to use. You can either signup for at WordPress or find your own hosting provider to host the blog for you. If you are new to blogging then signing-up at WordPress might be your best bet. There are many of bulit-in extras like stats that track your visitors that are beneficial. Best of all it is FREE!!

Step 5: Buy a Domain Name

Buying a domain from a domain registry such as GoDaddy
will make your blog appear more professional. Choose a domain name that not only fits your blog’s purpose but also has keywords in it. For instance, if your blog is about gardening, then choose a domain such as “” or “”. The .com, .net, .org, etc extension is not important although .com extensions are generally recognized as the default.

Step 6: Customize Your Blog

Customizing your blog is very easy with WordPress. If you choose to host your blog with WordPress then you can choose from dozens of pre-installed templates. You can also Search Google for additional templates that are either FREE or low cost for around $45 a template. If you find a template that is not provided by the hosted service then you can simply upload the new template to your account. The control panel that comes with the hosted service is very easy to use. Web Hosting $6.95

If you are daring enough to modify the template by hand you can do so. WordPress is built in a web site scripting language called PHP. If you are not familiar with PHP then this route is not for you. You can, however, find additional resources online either at the WordPress website or by doing a Google search.

Step 7: Install Helpful Plugins

WordPress is easily expandable by the use of “Plugins”. Plugins are little pieces of software that are created by a 3rd-Party developer that accomplish simple tasks such as helping you manage your Google Adsense( ads or backing up your WordPress installation. There are many plugins to choose from and you can search for them at

Step 8: Write Your “About” Page

When you are ready, you can describe the blog and its purpose in an “About” page. Be as descriptive as you can about the target audience and what you will be providing in the blog.

Step 9: Start Posting to Your Blog

This is actually the hardest part. If you have done your homework on what your passion was and you did some research, then you most likely did some blog posts in your head. Don’t sweat coming up with great and astounding ideas or intricate essays. Remember the KISS method and Keep It Simple Stupid! (OK I had to break this rule for this article but you know what I mean…)

Need Help? Download Blogging to the Bank to learn how to give yourself the blogging advantage and profit from your blog.

You have to remember who your audience is in general. Most people read blogs rather than other forms of information because they are short and to-the-point snippets of information that can be easily digested. I think this is just normal human behavior in a conventional society. There is far too much information on the internet and too little time to try to consume it all. Blogs satisfy our normal curiosity like small little squares of chocolate would satisfy our sweet-tooth.

Step 10: Marketing (and maybe Monetizing) Your Blog

Since you have been blogging your little heart away, wouldn’t it be nice if people actually read it? Here are a few ways, among many, to go about marketing your blog.

Google Website Submittal ( – This allows you to easily add your new blog (or website) to Google. I also suggest you submit to Yahoo and AltaVista and any other search engine or directory you can find.

Google Adsense and Adwords – Adwords allows you to advertise on Google and Adsense allows you display ads on your blog that match your content. If any visitors to your blog click on the advertisements you get paid for it. What a concept!! Be sure to check the other suggested affiliates and ad networks under the “Money Makers” section of this blog.

Google Sitemap – This is a FREE plugin for WordPress that you can install that will create a Google Sitemap of your blog that can be used to allow your blog to be better indexed by Google.

FeedBurner – Another plugin and service that is FREE that allows you to do some really neat things with your blog’s feed. The feed of your blog is what allows someone to subscribe to your blog. It is a file that contains all of your posts in a specific file format called RSS that an “aggregator” (or “feed reader”) such as Google Reader can read and keep track of. You would want to use an aggregator because it keeps track of the different blog feeds that you have subscribed to and allows you to read those blog feeds all in one place. Although you do not need FeedBurner to allow your blog to be subscribed to, it has some really great features that you need to check out.

Comments – Visit alot of blogs and subscribe to them. Try to be the first to leave a comment with a link back to your blog.

Forums – Forums are the same way. Just be careful that you are truly leaving a comment about the thread and not just trying to advertise your blog.

Signatures – When you leave a comment or send an email make sure you use a signature that has your blog address.

Write Articles – Turn you blog posts into an expanded article that you can put on a tutorial or eZine (Electronic or Online Magazine) website such as Make sure to add a link back to your blog.

Word of Mouth – Don’t forget to tell the people you know about your new blog and keep them updated on what is going on. Ask them to become subscribers to your blog.

I hope you have enjoyed this introduction into the world of blogging and I hope that you find your passion. Please be sure to comment on this blog post and leave me some feedback. Also be sure to ask me any questions that you might have. I will be glad to help you in any way that I can.

Jason Cochran is an internet guru with over 10 years experience with website design and development, marketing and advertising. His blogging website is at