This is a continuation of the previous posts “How to start a blog that will actually make you money [Part 1]” & Mini-Course: How to start a blog that will actually make you money [Part 2] in which we went over the basics of:
- Choosing and purchasing a domain name
- Securing reliable web hosting (and what hosting actually is)
- Setting up WordPress on your site
- Selecting a WordPress theme
If you haven’t read through the previous posts, please do that now, since this week we are going to dive into which plug-ins and widgets you should install and which you should try and avoid.
What the heck is a plugin?
Plugins are not something that you shove into the wall socket of your home to power up the latest iPhone you just got your hands on. Nope! Not that type of “plugin” at all. Wordpress plugins though can be incredibly useful to the efficiency and functionality of your site.
If you were to go to the official WordPress site, you would see that there are almost 50,000 different plugins to choose from. I can already hear you saying “Where the heck do I start?” Not to worry, we have you covered.
Here are some of the essential plugins that should be considered (no, you do not need all of them but you should pick the ones that are the most relevant for your site):
- Akismet – best guard against comment spam for WordPress blog!
- BackUpWordPress – BackUpWordPress will backup your entire site including your database and all your files on a schedule that suits you.
- Adsanity is an ad management plugin for WordPress. For affiliate marketers this plugin provides an easier way to insert banners, in post graphics, video and other resources. It also allows you to manage your ads and affiliate campaigns within your WordPress dashboard.
- Google Analytics is the most powerful analytics available for free. Most bloggers use it just to see how many people visited their site. However, it can be very powerful. You can run split tests, track links, track conversions, goals and get the real insights into how your users interact with your site.
- Google Analytics Dashboard for WP – Displays Google Analytics reports in your WordPress Dashboard. Inserts the latest Google Analytics tracking code in your pages.
- Share ThisGoogle Adsense Plugin – Google AdSense Plugin allows you to set parameters of the ads displaying, such as format (text ad, image, text with an image or link), size, color of the elements in the ad block, rounded corners and the ad block position on the website. This plugin will allow your visitors to share a post/page easily with others.
- WP Affiliate Platform – WordPress plugin for affiliate recruitment, management and tracking. This plugin lets you run your own affiliate campaign/program and allows you to reward (pay commission) your affiliates for referred sales.
- PayPal for Digital Goods – This plugin allows you to use the PayPal for Digital Goods gateway to accept payment for digital goods. Provides inline checkout of digital goods.
- WP Easy Paypal Payment Accept – This is a very easy to use WordPress plugin to Accept donation or Paypal payment for a service or a product in one click. Handy when you are trying to put a customized payment widget on your site (you can add it to the sidebar or a page or a post of your blog).
Amazon Product in a Post Plugin – This plugin allows you to easily add Amazon products to your blog posts. It is perfect for bloggers who don’t like Amazon’s banners and widget layouts. You will need an Amazon API key along with your Amazon associates id to use the plugin.
- WP Auto Affiliate Links – This plug-in when incorporated into your WordPress blogging platform, you will find them provide you with a back-end interface to add affiliate links and also associate keywords to them for being detected by the web crawlers,
- All in One SEO Pack – Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog. Install the all in one seo pack or the “WordPress SEO by Yoast” plugin (you don’t need to install both).
- WordPress SEO by Yoast – Yoast’s all in one SEO solution for your WordPress blog: SEO titles, meta descriptions, XML sitemaps, breadcrumbs & much more.
Yes, there are thousands upon thousands of choices out there for plugins. Again, like with the previous processes don’t let this one slow you down. If you get stuck and aren’t sure which ones to install, go for the basics and then move on to the next step. This is one that you will need to split test to see what works best for your site and your audience.
Let us know all about your trials and tribulations. What went wrong and more importantly what went right in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest installments of the mini-course.