9 Must-Have WordPress Plugins For A Successful Blog

while setting up and running my blogs, I have realized that there are some WordPress plugins that are quite critical to the success of your blog.

Here is a list of 9 WordPress plugins that I believe are essential for any blog. I also list some more that are not critical but would definitely make your life easy.


The 9 Essential, Must-Have WordPress Plugins

Here are the 9 plugins without which I never start a blog. Most are free, but one is not – but believe me, it pays for itself many times over in terms of increased traffic and sales! So here we go…


1. All in One SEO Pack

If you have been blogging for even a few months, there is a good chance that you would have heard about this plugin.

This plugin for SEO has been around for a long time, and it is quite popular. And that’s for a reason – it has all the features you can ask for in a good search engine optimization plugin! Here are some of the features:


    Ability to set the title, description and meta tags at the post level

  • Ability to generate meta tags automatically
  • Works great out-of-the-box – awesome for newbies
  • Options to tweak everything if you are an experienced WordPress user
  • Many, many more features

I prefer using it over many of the newer SEO plugins, because:

  • It is tried and tested
  • Is actively updated
  • Is compatible with many other popular plugins
  • Many other WordPress plugins have been coded to work specifically with it because of its popularity

Cost: Free
Read More / Download: All in One SEO Pack


2. WP Super Cache

Many bloggers – even experienced bloggers – do not pay much attention to caching.

Caching is the process where saved webpages are served to your blog visitors instead of generating them afresh fro the server. This reduced the load on the server, which means you can live with a less powerful and cheaper web hosting plan even for a large and popular blog!

Caching also improves the page load times. Increased page load times improve user experience, and also help you with search engine optimization (SEO) because Google and other search engines pay close attention to the speed of your blogs.

WP Super Cache is a time tested caching plugin that helps you drastically improve the page load speeds. This is another newbie-friendly WordPress plugin that works great out of the box.

Cost: Free
Read More / Download: WP Super Cache


3. WP No Category Base

by default, WordPress inserts the category name/slug in the URL of the category. This is an unnecessary addition that just makes the URL lengthier and makes your site less SEO friendly.

The “WP No Category Base” plugin removes this category base from the URL / permalinks of all your categories.

This plugin requires no setup and works great as soon as installed.

Cost: Free
Read More / Download: WP No Category Base


4. Google XML Sitemaps

I am sure you know how important XML sitemaps are for Google and other search engine spiders – they help define the structure and content of your blog, and help the spiders crawl your blogs efficiently.

“Google XML Sitemaps” is a sitemap generator plugin for WordPress blogs that automates the creation of XML sitemaps for you. It also has the ability to create compressed (gzipped) sitemaps fr better performance.

Cost: Free
Read More / Download: Google XML Sitemaps


5. WordPress Database Backup (WP-DB-Backup)

Normally, things don’t go wrong with your blog. However, there are occasions where the files get corrupted, or you do some changes that need to be rolled back. Maybe, a new plugin installation corrupts your WordPress install.

In such cases, you need a backup of your WordPress files and databases that you can use to get your blog up and running again.

This is a WordPress plugin that makes the task of taking backups of your blog really simple for you. Using the “WordPress Database Backup” plugin, you can even schedule periodic backups that are emailed to you, giving you complete peace of mind.

Cost: Free
Read More / Download: WordPress Database Backup


6. SEO Search Terms Tagging 2

Information is power – and it is even more powerful when it comes to information about your users! It is critical to know which keywords your readers are using to come to your blog and individual posts. This helps you tailor your content to your audience so that you can get even more people to come to your blog!

“SEO Search Terms Tagging 2″ helps you do exactly this – it tells you which posts have been visited by using which keywords! This is really great data and is not something that can be easily found in Google Analytics.

The plugin also provides you widgets that list the most popular, most recent and random search terms. You can put this in your sidebar or any other widget area.

Cost: Free
Read More / Download: SEO Search Terms Tagging 2


7. SEOPressor

When it comes to SEO, there are two main areas: Off-site SEO and On-Site SEO (or On-Page SEO).

Off-site SEO involves link building, commenting on other blogs, writing guest articles, publishing press releases, etc. Basically, everything done on other websites and blogs – something over which you don’t have much control.

One site or on-page SEO, however, is completely under your control. This is something you do on your blog and on your posts. It involves factors like having keywords in the title and meta tags, keyword density, location of keywords, emphasizing keywords on the posts, etc.

All these things are seemingly easy, and in theory, can definitely be done on their own. However, practically speaking, it is difficult to remember each of these factors while writing and formatting every post.

Not just that, it tells you where the post is lacking – you can take care of these things to improve the post’s SEO score, which in turn improves its on-page SEO!SEOPressor is a WordPress plugin that semi-automates this task. Whenever you are writing a post, it automatically checks the post for all the important on-page SEO factors and gives you a score that tells you how good the post is from an SEO point of view.

The plugin is really simple, and saves you a lot of time – the time that you can focus on doing other important things for your blog, like writing new posts or building backlinks!

In my opinion, this plugin is definitely worth trying – I assure you that once you try it, you would know how useful it is, and you would be hooked! No wonder it is powering 15,000,000+ WordPress posts and pages!

It comes with a 60-day, 100% money-back guarantee, so you can always ask for a refund if you feel it is not right for you.

Cost: Starts at $7
Read More / Download: SEOPressor


8. Twitter Facebook Social Share

Integrating some social media elements into your blog is crucial. The least you need to do is to provide buttons for sharing your content on popular social media sites.

Till some time back, we saw blog toolbars that had sharing buttons from all possible social media sites, their number often running over 50! research has shown that too many choices like this just confuse readers, and they end up not taking any action at all.

The “Twitter Facebook Social Share” WordPress plugin takes care of this problem while giving an option to your visitors to share your content. Instead of presenting everything and confusing people, it focuses on the most important social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus One, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and Pinterest.

You can choose which of these buttons to show – you can select them all, or you can decide which ones you want to show on your blog. You also get a lot of formatting options to customize the look of these buttons to suit your blog.

Cost: Free
Read More / Download: Twitter Facebook Social Share


9. Artiss Code Embed

There are times when you want to embed some JavaScript or HTML code into your posts. I am not talking about some code that needs to be displayed as code – I am talking about actual that needs to be executed as a part of the post.

“Artiss Code Embed” is your solution. It lets you insert any HTML or JavaScript code into your posts and pages without any hassle. And the nest part is, you can define a block of code once, and use it in multiple posts! For example, you want to embed a YouTube video. Or you want to insert a JavaScript code for an ad widget for a specific post. How do you do that? If you just go to the HTML mode and paste the code, it invariably gets messed up when you switch back to the visual editing mode for the post.

Cost: Free
Read More / Download: Artiss Code Embed

Note: I had been using a similar plugin called Snippets earlier, but it does not work well with WordPress 3.0 and above (I have seen it interfere with the WordPress Admin javascript).



Elegant Themes Review – Main Features, Benefits & Discounts

Having the right WordPress theme is crucial to your blog’s success. Giving your visitors the best first impression is important in retaining visitors on your blog longer and trying to discourage them from hitting the back button.

It is vital to have a nice design, which is unique, seems professional, and evokes your passion. Also, it needs to impress visitors and convey a sense of awe.

Another important thing is the cost – the theme must be cost effective. And all these qualities are provided by Elegant Themes.

The Elegant themes have been made by an experienced theme developer, Nick Roach, who began web design back in the 7th grade. These themes are simple, fresh, and elegant, with twangs of style, creativity, and freshness.

The elegant themes are some of the best WordPress themes available in the market, being innovative, modern, and great for the users.


Elegant Themes Review – Features and Benefits


Many Premium Themes for One Price

You have a multitude of great themes to choose from – the Elegant themes package gives a choice of over 80 fabulous premium theme choices, great for personal and professional blogs alike.

Also, you get regular updates for the themes and also get 2 new themes every month.


Elegant Themes Review – ePanel Feature

Let’s talk about the thing that makes Elegant themes so unique and innovative – ePanel.

It comes with every theme by default and with good reason. The process of managing your pages becomes much more simple and intuitive than the way WordPress handles the same functions, which makes the ePanel so great. The ePanel system is available on all the elegant themes and varies to accommodate various special features of different themes.

Elegant themes also enable you to easily add a favicon and change the color scheme of your blog.

You can customize the number of posts that are displayed on your blog pages, and quickly include or exclude categories displayed on your homepage.



Elegant themes allow great flexibility with sliders, metadata, and custom links and tabs as well. Designs are also super responsive, with unlimited color schemes, and cross browser compatibility.

However, they do not offer much potential with the advertising on your site and have limited built-in options. But this is something that can be easily remedied by using one of the many advertising WordPress plugins available.



The color options allow you to include a child theme stylesheet. The themes even supply a color picker, so you don’t have to hunt on the web for the right hex code, which is handy!


Short Codes

Some codes even have icons, and there is a code that makes adding an author bio easier than pie. Elegant WordPress themes come with a lot of useful shortcodes, including various colored boxes for plenty of inputs.

These shortcodes are nearly plugins themselves, ensuring you will not have to deal with the code at all – using these, things like social media integration and slideshows become as simple to implement as clicking on a button.


Great Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Elegant themes provide inbuilt capabilities to alter the search engine optimization of your blog posts and pages.

This can be done right from your WordPress admin area without affecting any code.


Unparalleled Customer Support

The customer support for the elegant themes is top-notch. You are offered forums and great video tutorials, helping you with everything to get started with the themes.


Google Analytics & Other Tracking Code

Elegant themes help you easily add in Google Analytics code or any other tracking code without actually having to look at or editing the code.


Incredible Plugins

The Elegant page builder helps to create and modify pages easily and customize layouts and individual posts. The plugins are extended features of the elegant themes and include the HandHeld mobile plugin, which is crucial as it allows users to access your blog from any mobile device.

The maintenance mode plugin helps in the maintenance of your blog, being a useful feature if you are ever required to take down your blog temporarily.

These built-in plugins help you do more with your blog and show how Elegant themes can make managing your blog easier.


Elegant Themes Review – Conclusion About Features

All in all, considering the awesome quality of most Elegant themes as well as the unbeatable price, it is truly spectacular for those with personal and business blogs.

With modern, streamlined themes like Origin, Harmony, Trim, Gleam, Lucid, Flexible, among many others, they provide scintillating design and versatility while being responsive in design.

The page templates are extremely advanced and have enhanced customization options.


Elegant Themes – Buying Options

The elegant themes package costs only $39 and gives you 80 themes to choose from. It sounds like a great deal, and it is – each theme costs you a meager $0.49!

Because of the large number of themes that can be rotated for adding variety to a blog, Elegant themes is the best choice for personal or business blogs. It is especially great for you if you have multiple blogs, as you get a new theme for every site. And with 24 new themes in the first year, you get over 100 themes at a little over 39 cents per theme! That is what makes the Elegant theme so great – you get awesome themes so cheaply.


Elegant Themes Discount Code, Free Download and Free Trial

I know this is not something you want to hear, but a free download of any of the Elegant themes is not possible – at least not legally.

Also, Elegant themes are rarely available at a discount.

However, you can be sure that even at the regular price, Elegant themes are quite underpriced for the features they offer and are a bargain at just $0.39 per theme!


Review of Elegant Themes – My Recommendation

The various themes – each with a specific purpose – make the Elegant themes package great.

With 80+ themes available instantly, and 24 more during the first year, it shouldn’t be much of a struggle to find what you are after – so take a look around for yourself and see if Elegant Themes is a match for you.

If you only need one theme, then it is probably a little overboard – unless you like to change the look and feel of your blog often. But for people needing to build multiple blogs, Elegant themes are a perfect choice – they should look no further.


Elegant Themes Review – Conclusion

But Elegant themes is likely to increase the price soon, and this is the best time for you to jump on the elegant themes’ bandwagon. Elegant Themes is one of the best deals on premium WordPress themes, as no other WordPress theme package has so many themes at such a low price.

The high-quality themes with awesome design and great versatility come with an immense array of customization options, which give you the power to personalize your blog completely.

If you are serious about finding the best looking & performing premium WordPress theme, then look no further because Elegant themes are the one that fits the bill hands down!

How To Have A Static Page As The Homepage Of Your Blog

This is a question I get asked very frequently: How can you have a static page as the home page of your blog instead of the standard listing of your latest posts?

Well, doing this is really simple! Let’s see how it can be done.


Why would someone want a static page as the home page?

This question might have crossed your mind.

Well, there is no single answer, but here are some possibilities:

  • You want to have some fixed, search engine optimized content presented to the search engines on the home page
  • Majority of your visitors come to your blog through your home page, and you want to showcase certain specific content to your visitors
  • You want to treat the WordPress blog as a website instead of a blog

Whatever be your reason, here is how you can do it.


Step 1: Create a Page

Go to the menu, and click on “Add New Page”.

This would open up a screen for creating a new page. Put whatever text, images, videos, etc that you want to see on your home page – this page is going to be the homepage of your blog.

When you are done, just publish the page.


Step 2: Setting a Page as the Homepage of the Blog

Now go to Settings > Reading. This would open up a “Reading Setting” page like the one below:

How To Set A Static Page As The Homepage Of Your Blog


Under the “Front page displays” heading, select the “A static page (select below)” radio button. Now, from the drop-down next to the “Front Page” label, select the page you have just created, and click “Save Changes”.

That’s it – you are done!

If you refresh the home page of your blog now, you would see your page instead of the chronological listing of your latest blog posts!

How to choose the right keywords for ranking high in search engine results

Why do you take up SEO for your blog? To attract visitors to your blog through search engines.

And how do you attract these people? You do that by optimizing your posts or pages for particular words that are relevant for your topic.



What are Keywords?

These words that represent the topic you write about – and for which you want to attract visitors to your blog are called Keywords.


Importance of choosing the right keywords

It is really important to choose the right keywords for your blog’s SEO efforts. After all, these are the words that people would be coming to your blog for.

So, what should be considered while doing keyword research?


1. Relevance

The words have to be relevant to the topic that you write about. This is a must – search engines don’t just look at individual words, but also at the overall topic of the blog.

If the keywords do not match the topic, you would never rank high in search engine result pages (SERPs) for these keywords.


2. Competition

There are some generic keywords for which there are many, many searches conducted. This means that there is very high interest in topics related to such keywords.

For example, there are approximately 4.1 million searches conducted for the keyword “SEO”.

This also means that many people want to draw traffic for these keywords, and therefore, there is very heave competition for optimizing blogs and websites for these keywords!

So, try to look for keywords that do not have too much competition when it comes to optimization – which means that as keywords, you should use keywords for which there is moderate (not too low, but not too high either) amount of traffic.

Tip: A great tool to find demand for different keywords is Google’s “Keyword Tool”. This tool tells you demand for the keywords that you enter – and you get to know this information from the horse’s mouth!

This tool can be found at https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal


3. Long tail

Try to look for multiple words as keywords. For example, try to optimize for “earning online through blogs” instead of “earning online”.

This way, you would be targeting keywords that have less competition (the point we discussed above). At the same time, you would be targeting people who are interested in your specific topic instead of a more general topic.

(After all, if you are writing about earning online using blogs, what is the point in trying to attract visitors looking for earning online using all possible means?)


4. Include geographic indicators

Another factor to consider while choosing your keywords is geographic indicators – this can be the name of a country, state or even a city.

This is very effective if you are targeting people from a specific region. For example, if you are a WordPress consultant in New York, it makes sense to target “WordPress blogging new york” instead of just “WordPress blogging”.

It also has the same effect as discussed above – you target keywords are less competitive, and you target people who are more relevant to you.



Keep these factors in mind while choosing your keywords, and start building great content for your journey towards a perfectly optimized blog!


How do I Clean a Malware Infected WordPress Website?

Malware Infected WordPress Website – Time Warp

If only you could go back in time and install some sort of utility, to prevent your “Malware Infected WordPress Website” issue. If only there was a WordPress Plugin, by a renowned security company, which could audit your website and notify you, at the first sign of issues.

While a variety of WordPress Plugins, used together, would likely give you the best WordPress Website Security, the best WordPress Plugin, to audit your website, comes from the same company, I told you to contact, above. Oh, and their Sucuri Security – SiteCheck Malware Scanner, WordPress Plugin, is FREE?

Can’t beat that, can you?

Malware Infected WordPress Website – Hurry up & post

I can’t remember the last time I tripped over myself, to write an article about, or recommend a new WordPress Plugin. However, when best WordPress Website Security Company, offers a free plugin, I’ll make an exception.

After reading the Cleaning Up Your WordPress Site with the Free Sucuri Plugin article, I went straight to my website and installed it.

The installation was painless.

Using it, is even easier. Just click the big, blue, “Scan this site now” button.


There are some more advanced options, which I’ll probably run later, but the basic scan gives my website a clean bill of health. Take a look!


Yes, the Sucuri SiteCheck Malware Scanner, WordPress Plugin, really is that simple, to use.

Don’t believe me?

Try it for yourself!

Sure, you’ll have to commit yourself to use it, but using this simple plugin, is way-way easier, than dealing with a Malware Infected WordPress Website! Its easier on you, your pocketbook, your website rankings and, most importantly, its easier on your users!

So, what are you waiting for?

Do yourself, your pocket-book, your website rankings, and your users a favor. Install the FREE, Sucuri SiteCheck Malware Scanner, WordPress Plugin, or go to Sucuri’s Website and get fully automated protection, because with…


…in case you didn’t get that: With Sucuri Security, Malware has no chance!

7 Ways to Implement Internal Linking of Your Posts for Better SEO


Links are very important from an SEO point of view – this includes both external links and internal links.

Of the two, internal links are far easier to implement, as you have total control over them.

The question is: How should you implement your internal linking strategy for getting the best SEO results? Here are some ways.

1. “Most Recent Posts” in the sidebar

You can have a list of 5 or 10 most recent posts in your sidebar. A “most recent posts” list would highlight the freshest content of your blog to your readers.

When placed in a sidebar, this list would be available site-wide. This means that even when readers come directly to a post from a search engine (instead of coming to your blog’s homepage), they can see this list.

Many widgets, gadgets, and plugins are available for most blogging platforms (like WordPress, Blogger, etc.) for implementing the “Most Recent Posts” list.

2. “Most Popular Posts” in the sidebar

The “Most Popular Posts” list shows the most viewed posts in order of their popularity. Thus, this list highlights the best posts of your blog as judged by their page views.

Again, when placed in a sidebar, it would be available site-wide. Also, many widgets, gadgets, and plugins are available for most blogging platforms for implementing the “Most Popular Posts” list.

3. “Best of” list in the sidebar

The “Best of” list is very similar to the “Most Popular Posts” list – it highlights the best posts of your blog. The only difference is that instead of displaying the best posts as judged by the page views, it displays the best posts as judged by you!

Thus, you can highlight the posts that you believe are your best – even when they haven’t got a chance to be popular!

Again, when placed in a sidebar, this list would be available site-wide.

The “Best of” list can be easily implemented using any HTML widget or plugin available for your blogging platform.

4. Linking to related posts from within a post

When you write a post, you might mention something about which you have written in detail in another post. This is the best opportunity for you to link to that post!

These links would appear only in individual posts, so they wouldn’t be visible sitewide. However, they appear where the reader has his most attention – in the content. So, they are highly likely to be clicked!

5. “Related Posts” at the end of each post

Another great idea for internal linking is to have “Related Posts” or “Related Links” below each post. This list can show a list of posts that are similar to the current post.

The end of a post is a place where readers pause and think about their next course of action, so it is a good idea to present a “related posts” list there. If readers have liked your post, they would naturally like to read posts that are similar to the one they just read!

Most blogging platforms have some plugin or widget through which you can automate the generation of this list.

6. Showing list of best posts to new visitors

Showcase Your Best Posts

Showing a list of the most recent or most popular posts in the sidebar is a great idea. However, it has some limitations.

It is in the sidebar, not in the main content area – in the center of the page. So, the reader’s focus is not 100% there.
These lists are more relevant for new visitors, not for regular readers of your blog. It is better if only new users are targeted.
Therefore, it is advisable to have a list of your best posts shown specifically to new visitors to your blog, or visitors coming from a search engine like Google.

Most blogging platforms have a plugin or widget available, using which you can show customized messages to people coming from different places like search engines, social media sites, etc.

Use these tools, and present a list of your best posts to new visitors to your blog.

7. Others – Archives, Tag Cloud, etc.

Apart from these, there are other traditional ways of providing internal links to your posts. For example, there are various archives like:

Date-wise archives
Category archives
Author archives, etc
You have links to your posts through these archives. Links are also created to individual posts through the use of a tag-cloud.

Starting your blog – How to choose a blogging niche

So, you have decided to blog. You are all excited and rearing to go. And the very first question that you encounter is:

What should I blog about? How do I choose a blogging niche?


There is no simple answer to this question – you would need to figure it out yourself.

However,  all good niches share certain characteristics. Here is a list that would help you select the topic to blog about.


How to choose a blogging niche – The 3 traits of a successful blogging niche

When you choose a blogging niche, evaluate the niche or area, you want to select for blogging according to the following three parameters:

  1. Your interest in the topic
  2. The appeal of the topic
  3. The profitability of the topic

Let’s discuss each in detail.


Your interest in the niche

Let’s face it – blogging is a long term venture. You are not going to succeed overnight. You would have to keep writing irrespective of whether the initial response is good or not. Eventually, you would get traffic, comments, fame, money, or whatever else is your aim from the blog. But trust me, it would not happen in a month or two or three.

The key to your success in the blogging world is persistence. You would have to keep writing numerous articles on the topic you choose, and therefore, it is very important that the topic you blog about should interest you.

I am not saying that you need to be an expert at what you want to blog about (although that helps!). Maybe it is a topic you don’t know anything about, but want to learn about.

All you need is an interest in the topic. Because that would ensure that you would enjoy writing about it, and you won’t give up in the initial few months when you don’t see any results to talk about.

Do keep this vital factor in mind when you choose a blogging niche.


The appeal of the niche

The second factor is the appeal of your niche. How broad or narrow should it be?

A broad topic would appeal to many readers, but you would face a lot of competition as well. Also, since you would be talking about many sub-topics, some readers would always remain unhappy!

On the other hand, a narrow topic would mean less people as your audience, but less competition at the same time. You would also be able to write focused articles and keep your readers happy. However, the topic should not be so narrow that you run out of ideas to write about!

Bottom line: The niche you select should be narrow enough to allow you to focus, but broad enough not to constrict your writing. You need to find that balance.



Let’s say your topic of interest is “Clothing and Apparel.” Now, this is a very broad topic, with many sub-topics. At the other end of the spectrum, “Suits” is a very focused and narrow topic. It is something you can’t write too much about for a prolonged time. A nice balance might be “Formal Clothing” or “Formal Clothing for Men” or “Formal Clothing for Women.” Now that can be a great niche to blog about!


How to tell if the niche you are considering has a broad or narrow appeal?

If you are knowledgeable about a niche, you can probably make an informed guess about a topic’s appeal. However, there is an easy proxy: keyword research.

People would be using the internet to look up information about your topic of interest and using their search terms data. You can find how broad a topic is. If the search volume for the search terms related to your desired niche is high, it means many people are interested in it, and it has a broad appeal. On the other hand, if the search volume is low, it just means that only a few people are interested in it, and it has a narrow appeal.


The profitability of the niche

You might have many objectives for starting a blog – helping others through your expertise, to chronicle something, to become famous, etc. But for most people, one of the objectives behind starting a blog is to earn money (something popularly known as “blogging for dollars”). So the niche you want to target should be profitable and should have commercial appeal.

Now I understand that you might not be interested in earning from your blog and want to blog only as a hobby. Even in that case, it makes sense to pay at least some attention to the profitability aspect – who knows, the blog based on your hobby may become extremely popular due to your passion, and your hobby can evolve into something bigger!

Again, there is no easy way of finding a niche’s commercial viability. Most blogs don’t disclose their income figures, so there is no way you can judge the profitability of a niche from existing blogs. However, there is a good proxy to find this out!


Keyword research

Yes, keyword research comes to our rescue again! Here is the logic:

If a niche is profitable, many companies would be willing to advertise in that niche. Due to this high competition, the amount they would be willing to pay to get clicks would also be high.

So if you analyze keyword data and check the “Cost per click” details for the keywords in your targeted niche, you would know if there are enough companies wanting to advertise. This is an easy workaround for an otherwise complicated problem!


Google keyword research tool

Google has a good (and free) keyword research tool that can provide you with data regarding search terms used, the volume, and the competition for the keywords. This tool is available at https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal.

However, this tool presents just raw data, and you have to do your analysis.


The shortcut for choosing your niche

I use an excellent tool for keyword analysis and research. It does all the hard work for me and provides the details that matter to me.

If you are using Market Samurai, you need to worry about 1 out of the 3 factors listed above – your interest in a topic (of course, that is something no tool can do for you!). Then, you need to enter it in Market Samurai, and it would tell you:

  • The number of searches made for the keywords (tells you about the appeal)
  • The competition for the keywords
  • The likely dollar amount you can earn for top search engine position for the keywords (tells you about the profitability)

White hat and black hat techniques for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The aim of SEO is to attract more visitors to your blog through organic search engine traffic.

This goal is attained by achieving higher rankings in the search engine results pages (SERP) of popular search engines like Google for your chosen keywords.



The good and the bad of SEO

Over time, people have come to know of the various factors that contribute toward search engine rankings.

And through their SEO efforts, people try to build on these factors for ranking higher in the SERPs.

The problem is – there are good and bad ways of doing this!


White Hat SEO

The right ways of doing SEO are called White Hat SEO. These means are acceptable by the search engines, and also result in better user experience for your readers.

For example, providing good content and writing blog posts focused on particular keywords are legitimate SEO techniques, and are therefore white-hat techniques.

I would be discussing many white hat SEO techniques on this blog going forward so that you can utilize them for the search engine optimization of your blog.



Black Hat SEO

Many times, people want short cuts. Therefore, they employ means that are not genuine. This is true for the physical world, and it is equally true for the online world as well!

They employ methods that are aimed at simply fooling the search engines into believing that the blog or website has good content.

Such techniques are known as black hat techniques, and the SEO based on such techniques is called Black Hat SEO.

Modern search engines like Google are very smart and can detect most black hat SEO techniques. Once a search engine detects that a blog is employing black hat SEO, it would immediately ban the blog and would remove it from its index.

People who promise very quick results through SEO usually employ black-hat techniques – therefore, please stay away from them! You might see an initial increase in organic search engine traffic, but trust me, your blog would get banned in no time.

One keyword per post – Keep your blog posts focused

Ok, so you have chosen the keywords that are relevant for your blog. How do you proceed with writing your content?

You have three options:

  1. Write a big, long post or page that contains information about everything you want to talk about, and have all the keywords in it
  2. Write multiple, medium-sized posts and include 3-4 keywords in each
  3. Write a separate post for each keyword


Which option is the best?

The search engine spiders evaluate a webpage and see the relative density of words to find the keywords relevant to that page or post.

What happens when you choose option 1 or 2? Your posts have many keywords – which means that no particular word would stand out for that post.

That is, the words that you wanted to highlight as your keywords to the search engines get obscured among all the other words on that webpage.

That is not something that we want for good SEO!


To each his own – One post, one keyword

This leaves us with option 2 – Writing a separate post for each keyword – as the best option.

(Please note that when I say “one keyword,” it doesn’t necessarily have to be one word. It can be a group of words that you have chosen as your keyword. It is better to select a group of words as your keyword)

When you target each post at only one keyword, you are better able to highlight that keyword in the post. Your posts are focused, and therefore, the search engines can immediately link the post with your keyword. And this results in a better position in the search engine results pages (SERPs).


The user benefits too

And remember, this is not good just from the SEO point of view – when your posts focus on one keyword each, it also means that the content is much more relevant for that keyword.

So, the readers coming to that page get crisp, targeted content. Which, in turn, results in even higher search engine ranking! (Remember, search engines love good content).

Your blog on Google front page in 30 days – Is it even possible?

All of us want to be on the first page of search engine results for our keywords – Google, Yahoo, Bing – any search engine.

And you can be there if you have the will and are persistent.

But there are certain things that are possible, and certain things that are not. Let’s find out!


That first rank in Google results…

All of us want to rank at the top in Google for the keywords we are targeting. That is why there are so many SEO firms promising you that elusive high ranking in Google and other search engines.

Some say they would work on the SEO continuously, and some promise immediate returns – claims like “Your blog on Google first page in 30 days” or “Your blog in Google top 5 in less than a month”.

What kind of SEO service should you choose? The slow and steady, or the fast and furious?


Are fast results possible?

The simple fact of search engine optimization is that there are no short cuts. There is only one way, and that is the slow and steady way.

There are many, many factors that make your SEO good (Google looks at about 200 factors, by the way). And these factors certainly can not be changed (or manipulated) in a short time.

Like all good things, it takes time – a lot of time – and patience to build a good SEO campaign.

  • It takes time to make good wine – there is no short cut
  • It takes time to bake a good cake – there is no short cut
  • It takes time to barbecue your favorite foods (microwave doesn’t taste as good!) – there is no short cut

Similarly, there is no short cut for search engine optimization.

Good content is the basis of any good SEO campaign – it is the first step for getting that first position in the search engine result pages (SERPs).