If you create a blog, you can guarantee that it will receive spam. It is one of those rules of the Internet that you just can’t get around. But, rather than wasting hours sifting through spam to find the real comments and approve them, you can use Akismet, along with an API key from WordPress.org to sort out your spam automatically. This plug-in actually comes along with your basic WordPress installation. You’ll need to activate it by getting your API and setting it up. I highly recommend you do this. It will save you a great deal of time.
All in One SEO Pack
SEO is the foundation of everything we do on the Internet, and a blog is especially well suited to being search engine friendly. But, if you don’t have a good plugin to insert META descriptions and keywords and keep all of your permalinks straight, things an start to fall between the cracks when you upload it.
Ever been to a blog that has a list of related blog posts directly beneath each post. Not only does it do a pretty good job of matching up related content, it helps with navigation cross-linking in your site and boosts the number of page views per visit. If you’re trying to get more views on your site for the traffic numbers you maintain, this is a great tool to have in hand. Some themes already have a tool that does something like this, but the free ones usually will not.
If you’re running affiliate marketing blogs, with reviews of various products, this is a must have. It will manage and cloak your affiliate links and can track the sources of the clicks and match up your affiliate links to keep them organized. It also has a tool that lets you target keywords throughout the site. For example, if you wanted to turn every instance of "web host" into a link to your affiliate site, you could do that with this tool.
Google XML Sitemaps
Just like your SEO tool, you need to make sure Google is indexing every page as often as possible. Google XML sitemaps will automatically create a new sitemap whenever new content is posted and send it to the search spiders. This is a must have tool for a site like a blog that has new content added to it on a regular basis. Manually creating sitemaps just isn’t feasible for this kind of content production.
If you don’t have a good social bookmarking tool, you’ll never be able to get the extra traffic that comes from people liking your posts and sharing them with others. Sociable is one of the easiest to use and the simplest to install. There are 99 different social bookmarking and networking sites to add to the list here, with plenty of options for how to display them.
WordPress may be one of the best blogging platforms on the planet, but it’s also open source, which means that you can always make it better.
If you’re not taking advantage of this wide array of tools, you are missing out on what could be the single biggest and best opportunity of your young marketing career.