4 Free WordPress Plugins for Customizing the Admin Area of Your WordPress Blog

Customizing the administration area of your WordPress Blog is very important to make sure that you get everything that you want right away, and you don’t waste any time doing tasks that you frequently do.

One thing that you want to make sure is that you take the time to find out what plugins you can use to customize and improve your WordPress admin area so that it is the way that you want it to be and is tailored to your specific needs.

 

Utilizing Your Time Wisely With the Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu Plugin

If you are new to running a WordPress Blog, there are a few things that you should know about how to utilize your admin area of your blog so that it works not only more efficiently but will cut your work time in half.

Sounds hard, right? Well, believe it or not, it is not as hard as you may think! There is one plugin that you can use in the admin area that will cut your work time in half.

It completely takes away all the chaos that you have with continuous scrolling and clicking on several tabs to get to a place within your WordPress admin area. The Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu plugin takes the old admin links that you have on the left sidebar and replaces them with a CSS drop-down menu.

The Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu plugin offers a faster and more organized approach. The time that you would have used just to get a spot can now be used to be more productive!

PS: I use this plugin on every single WordPress blog that I have, and it is certainly a huge time saver! It also saves you a lot of frustration…

 

Ability to Check Broken Links

The truth is, this happens quite often. But with the WordPress platform, you have the ability to use the Broken Link Checker plugin to take care of this issue. How many of us have seen that we put in a link in a blog post the right way, but some time after we post it, we find that the link is not right – either you forgot a letter in the link URL, or it was not the right site?

When you use the Broken Link Checker WordPress plugin, this simple plugin takes anywhere from just a few minutes to a few hours to find the broken links on your blog. The time depends on how big your WordPress blog is, but in the end, you get to find out all the broken links on your blog!

This way, you can minimize the mistakes and have your website have better SEO and better traffic.

 

Protect All Your Work on WordPress

Have you ever written anything, only to find out that someone stole your work, tweaked it a little bit, and then called it their own?

When you use WordPress as your blogging platform, you have the ability to use a plugin called the Blog Protector. This plugin allows you to write your blog posts with complete peace of mind – it gives you the reassurance that no one can steal your work.

WordPress over the years has been able to not only become the best blogging platform out there but also the safest – and that is why more and more people join the WordPress platform every day! That is right! No one has the ability to steal your work ever again, and you do not have to worry about others claiming your work as theirs. This is because this plugin doesn’t allow your blog visitors to select the text on your blog or right-click (to save your blog post)!

 

Write Your Blog Posts Wherever You Go

In the not so distant past, you had to use a computer to write your blog posts. But now, you can use apps designed for specific systems to write blog posts, moderate comments, etc. right from your mobile phone/smartphone!

Although these are not plugins, these enhance your WordPress experience and make your life a lot easier. Here are the apps:

These applications allow you to write your blog posts and publish them right from your smartphone with ease.

Writing Your Blog Posts On the Go with WordPress Mobile Apps

This is simply awesome! This way, you can update your blog when you need to, and you don’t have to worry about rushing home or forgetting what you were going to say – you can post right when the thought comes to your mind!

Now, who would not love an app that would allow them that freedom?

There are so many people out there now who are able to take their blogging where ever they go because they are able to use these apps. They have not only been able to increase their productivity but also their web traffic.

 

Affiliate Income for Bloggers

Are you getting a steady stream of web traffic to your website, and are looking for the best way to make a little bit more money within a short time?

There are many different lucrative ways to do this, but a lot of things that work for a short time may not be sustainable.

However, there is one way that is a great way to make more money with your blog once you have a steady stream of readers – having affiliate income.

Here are a few things you should know about getting an affiliate income from your blog.

 

What is Affiliate Income?

Affiliate Income is the income you earn when you, as the blogger, promote or advertise a company’s product or service – either in your blog posts, through your email newsletter, or your social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

When the company generates sales through your recommendations (usually, when someone clicks on your link and purchases something), the company will pay you a certain amount. It can either be a percentage of the sales or a fixed amount per sale.

The payments can be weekly or can be monthly, or even after you reach a certain threshold (say, $100) – it all depends on the company.

 

The 3 Main Types of Affiliate Ads

Pay Per ClickThere are three types of affiliate ads or links you can have on your blog to make money from it:

  • Pay Per Lead
  • Pay Per Sale

They are all performance based, meaning that you do not get paid until your audience does something.

So if the person goes to your site and reads your blog, they need to click that link or purchase that product before you get any payment from that company.

That is where your craft as a blogger comes in because you have to use your skill and influence to make them want to click on that product or service referral link.

However, if that is not the type of affiliate income you are looking for, there are some other great ways you can earn an affiliate income – without having to worry about your readers clicking on the referral links.

 

Monetize Your Blogs with Affiliate Websites and WordPress Plugins

One of the best ways to monetize your blog is to use ClickBank – it is one of the most popular affiliate websites among bloggers. With ClickBank, you can find many products and services that you can advertise on your blog.

 

Another great option for bloggers to monetize their blogs and earn an affiliate income is by using Amazon.com’s affiliate program, called Amazon Associates.

But there is more – while you can promote Amazon.com’s products manually as and when you like, you can also use plugins like WPRobot. Such plugins either take the keywords you are using to find products you can advertise on your blog, or can publish blog posts about these products automatically!

Another plugin that you can consider is the Amazon eStore Affiliates plugin. This plugin is simple and easy for you.

When you use the Amazon eStore Affiliates plugin, your blog is changed into an online store! Use it along with a shopping cart, and you are ready to start an Amazon store yourself!

The bottom line: there are many different affiliate programs and 100s of affiliate plugins out there. Take your time to see which ones work the best for you.

 

Keeping in Mind: Good Content Always Comes First

 

One thing you should always keep in mind is the fact that in order to have new web traffic all the time, you need to make sure that your blog always has fresh and well thought out blog posts.

Good content is the foundation of your blog. Your posts should be useful, and when promoting affiliate products or services, they should be persuasive and not aggressive.

There are a lot of bloggers that make the mistake of being too aggressive. Make sure you are not one of them, and you will find that you will have more and more web traffic coming to your blog and earning your handsome affiliate income!

On Page SEO or On Site SEO – Everything You Need to Know

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, consists mainly of two things: On-Page or On-Site SEO, and Off-Page or Off-Site SEO.

Off-Page or Off-Site SEO includes the aspect of SEO that is outside your blog or domain. This includes:

  • Link building using guest posts, article directories, forum profiles, blog comments, etc.
  • Social media marketing using Facebook, Twitter, etc
  • And more…

 

Problems with Off-Page SEO or Off-Site SEO

By definition, off-page SEO is no in your control since the activity happens outside your blog or domain.

Theoretically, this SEO happens by others – when people talk about you in their blog posts and link to your blog, when people talk about your blog on social media sites when people tweet about your posts, etc.

However, many bloggers try to engineer these off-site SEO aspects. For example, some people might create multiple Twitter accounts and tweet their blog posts from these multiple times.

This is a grey area, and search engines like Google are always on the lookout for such things. Therefore, it is best to use these techniques in moderation.

 

On-Page SEO or On-Site Search Engine Optimization

On-Page SEO or On-Site Search Engine Optimization

On-page SEO includes aspects of SEO that are handled on your blog or site. Therefore, by definition, you and only you have full control over these aspects.

Moreover, many of on-page SEO factors are seen as good practices by search engines like Google and Yahoo!

Considering all this, shouldn’t you take full advantage of on-site SEO factors and maximize your SEO impact with minimal effort on your part?

Of course, you should! So let’s not waste any time and dive in…

 

Factors Impacting On-Page SEO

 

On-Page SEO: Title of Your Page or Blog Post

The title of your post or page is one of the most important on-page SEO factors – search engines pay a great deal of attention to it in order to figure out what the page is all about.

Please remember that I am talking about the title meta tag and not the title that appears on top of the blog post (although for most of the themes, these two are the same).

Here are the things you need to take care of when it comes to the title tag:

  • The title tag should contain the keyword you are targeting on that page (remember, you should focus only one keyword in each post or page of your blog)
  • Ideally, your title should also begin with the keyword
  • The title should not be too short or too long. It should be at least 4-5 words, and not more than 66 characters in length (anymore, and the search engines would truncate it while displaying it in the search results)

And how can you achieve all this? The best way is to use a plugin that lets you change the title tag.

One of the best plugins for this is All in One SEO Pack – it is a free plugin that lets you control most aspects of SEO from one place!

 

On-Site SEO: Other Meta Tags for the Blog Post or Page

  •  

    Make sure that the description meta tag contains your keyword

  • Just like the title tag, it is desirable that the description meta tag also begins with the keyword you are targeting
  • The description meta tag should also not be too short or too long. You get more leeway here than the title tag, though – the description of the webpage can be up to 160 characters in length
  • Although the “keywords” meta tag has lost most of its significance, you should have your keyword here too – to be extra cautious. Some older search engines might still be considering it, so why take a chance by excluding your keywords from the keyword meta tag?

Again, the free All in One SEO Pack plugin would let you do all this while writing the blog post.

 

OnPage SEO: Headings on the Webpage

H1, H2, and H3 headings (these are the HTML notations for headings within your webpages) play a very important role in SEO.

When something is marked as a heading, search engines like Google know that it contains important information. So it makes sense to have your keywords in the headings! Here’s what you need to do:

  • H1 is the most important heading, so make sure that the H1 tag (Level 1 heading) contains your keyword. Most themes display the title of the post in the H1 tag, so make sure that your post or page title contains your keyword (here, we are talking about the actual title of your post and not the title tag)
  • Also, try to make sure that the H1 heading begins with the keyword
  • Mae sure that your keyword occurs in H2 and H3 tags on the webpage as well
  • There is no need to include your keyword in the H4, H5, and H6 tags – it doesn’t have any impact on SEO

 

Onsite SEO: URL or Permalink of the Post or Page

When it comes to URLs of your blog posts and pages, there is only one thing you need to make sure. Yes, you guessed it right – the URL needs to have your keyword in it!

Permalink or URL Structure and On-Page SEO

WordPress automatically uses the port or page title (not title tag, but the actual title) to create the URL, so as long as you include the keyword in the title, you would be good regarding the URL too.

But, and this is important – you need to have changed the permalink settings for this to happen. After a fresh install, WordPress has the following URL or permalink structure:

 

Once you tweak the setting (which is a very simple step), you would have good-looking, SEO friendly permalinks like these:

 

 

 

On-Page SEO: Images on the Page

  • Make sure that the webpage has at least one image
  • The filename of the image should have your keyword in it
  • Also, include the keyword in the image’s title and alt text

 

On-Site SEO: Content of the Page

  • Make sure that your blog posts and pages are not too short. Anything less than 300 words is a big no-no. For best SEO impact, try to have more than 750 words in each blog post.
  • Make sure that you have your keyword in the first and last 50 words of the post.
  • Make sure that you have your keyword in the anchor text of a hyperlink – preferably to an external website or blog
  • Make sure that you have at least one hyperlink to an external, authority website (like WikiPedia.org, About.com or any other authority website in your niche)
  • If possible, try to make your keyword appear as bold, italics and underlined at least once in the blog post text
  • Keyword density is not very relevant anymore. In any case, a keyword density of between 2% and 3% is co

Why Should You Register Domain Name for More Than 1 Year

For How Long Should a Domain Name be Registered?

The short answer – the longer, the better!

 

Most domain name registrars allow domain name registration from 1 year to a maximum of 10 years.

Most new bloggers register the domain name only for one year since it means spending the least possible amount! However, if you are serious about your blog, this should be avoided.

You need to register the domain name for the maximum possible time that your budget allows. Ideally, you should register it for 10 years, but try to shoot for a least 5 years.

Here are the reasons.

 

Importance of the Length of Domain Name Registration Period for SEO

Again, the short answer: registering the domain name for a longer period helps you with getting higher rankings in search engine results (SERPs). Yes, a domain name registered for may years helps you with SEO!

Why? Let’s understand the basics of search engine rankings.

How does Google or any other search engine decide the order of its rankings? By evaluating the authority of a given web page (including your blog posts) for the search term used by the searcher.

And what contributes to the authority of your web page?

Apart from the content on the page, there are many other things that go to enhance the authority of a page – links pointing to the page, social media statistics of the page (Facebook likes, Tweets, Google Plus, etc.), etc.

The age of the domain name (the years since the domain name has been registered) and the time to expiry for the domain name (the years for which the domain name would remain registered in the future) also contribute to the authority of each and every page of your blog.

When your domain name is registered for may years into the future, it indicated to Google that you are a serious site, and you are in the game for the long term. This leads to enhanced authority for your blog posts and therefore higher rankings!

The time till the expiry of a domain name is a clear indication of when you plan to shut shop – guess who Google would trust more, someone who plans to shut the site in 1 year, or someone who is willing to run it for the next 10 years?

 

Fringe Benefit – Never Lose Control of Your Blog

 

Another advantage of registering your domain name for multiple years is that you would not have to worry about renewing your blog’s domain name every year.

And since it is already registered for multiple years, there is no question of you missing its renewal, and losing your blog!

(Trust me, as bizarre as it sounds, there are people who have lost their blogs just because they “forgot” to renew the domain name!)

 

 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are multiple benefits of registering (or renewing) your domain name for multiple years.

And this is one of the very few search engine optimization (SEO) things that can be done on a one-time basis but benefits you forever!

So if you are yet to register the domain name for your blog, please try to register it for at least 5 years. And if you have already registered a domain name for just 1 year, go to your domain control panel and renew it for multiple years!

What is Onpage and Offpage Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

We keep hearing about onsite (or on-page) SEO and offsite SEO.

What do these terms mean? How are they different? Are they important?

Let’s understand each of these terms, and why they are vital for your blog’s success.

 

What is Onsite SEO?

Onsite SEO is the process of tweaking or doing things on your blog or website in order to increase your SEO.

For example, you can pick the best keywords for your blog and write keyword-focused blog posts.

Onsite SEO is relatively easy, as all the changes are to be made on your blog, and are, therefore, mostly in your hands. Thus, you should be maximizing your onsite SEO.

(When you change things on a particular page or post to increase your search engine rankings, it is called Onpage SEO)

 

 

What is Offsite SEO?

But what you do on your blog can only do so much!

Modern search engines like Google place a lot of importance on what others say or do regarding you.

For example:

  • The type of sites that link to you
  • The anchor text they use to link to your blog
  • How popular your blog is on social media sites

Basically, search engines like Google lay a lot of stress on the things external to your blog, as they consider these things as a vote for your blog.

Tweaking these factors, which are external to your blog, is called Offsite SEO.

Offsite SEO is relatively difficult, as the changes are to be made outside your blog, and are, therefore, not directly in your hands.

 

Importance of Offsite SEO

If others are positive about you (say many people have submitted your posts to social media sites or many other blogs have linked to your blog), it shows that people like your blog.

And since the purpose of a search engine is to provide the best content to its users, they would rank your site higher – because they know that people already find your posts useful!

Therefore, good offsite SEO is extremely important for good SEO.

 

Make Money Blogging – 4 Simple Ways to Blog Your Way to Bank

The blogging world is not as easy as many people would think. But as they say, good things don’t come easy!

Through hard work and patience, though, you can reap significant financial benefits from blogging.

The first thing you should do as a blogger builds a loyal audience – have traffic flowing to your blog. To get this traffic, you have to know the basics of search engine optimization, that is, on-page and off-page optimization.

Once you have achieved the right amount of traffic to your blog, monetizing your blog becomes a good option. The reason why first-time bloggers are advised to wait until they have good traffic is that a blogger has first to build trust and credibility with his or her readers.

There are several ways through which you can get money through blogging. Some have been in existence since blogging came to be, while others are new. Listed below are some of them.

 

1. Advertising

This is one method that has proven to be a great money maker for most bloggers.

Online ads are the reason why some companies like Google are where they are. You can join their ranks by learning their tricks and everything else that has got to do with online advertising.

But as your blog grows, it might be smart to switch to other options – like selling advertising space directly to other companies – because Adsense ads are known to distract web visitors.For a beginner, it’s good to start with Google Adsense. Google Adsense works by letting you – a blogger or website owner – use Google’s software to generate contextual advertisements that can be used in a variety of different places on the blog.

One way to do this is by using a number of available WordPress plugins, like WP125. They allow you to sell ad space on your blog. These can generate income very well.

If your blog traffic goes quite high, to say 40,000 page views per month, you can apply to online firms like BuySellAds.com and the Beacon Ad Network to get professional help.

These are online firms that manage ad sales on your blog. They get their money by taking a commission on your ad sales, which they are managing.

 

2. Affiliate Marketing

One sure way you can make money as a blogger and affiliate are by becoming an Amazon associate.

Programs like Amazon associate reward people for driving traffic to their marketplace by giving them a percentage of a sale. The only disadvantage of setting up affiliate links on your blog is that the whole process is time-consuming.

To solve this problem of wastage of time, some internet entrepreneurs have come up with programs like Viglink and Skimlink. They help bloggers join a variety of affiliate marketing programs in one shot.

The above programs work like this. If you write a post that mentions a product, these programs will use the product’s name in your blog post to place a link to an online store selling that item.

You, in turn, get a commission on the sale if the person directed to the online store from your blog buys something from the store.

 

3. Selling Your Own Products

Sell Your Own Products for Maximum Blog Profitability

Selling merchandise (like eBooks) online can bring lots of money. This is because these products are always on sale – all year round, 24X7.

You can have many links from your blog posts to these products.

The best part is that you get to keep 100% of the sale amount – instead of getting just a commission on the sales, you get to keep everything you make!

 

 

4. Adding an “Instant Marketplace”

As a blogger, you can now make use of the services of a company called Ubokia. What they do is add a miniature marketplace to your blog that focuses on products in your niche.

They do the work of maintenance and policing transactions for you in that marketplace, which means no inconvenience to you. For instance, if you write about sports, you might add the sports merchandise marketplace to your blog.

Ubokia pays bloggers who host its marketplaces a two percent commission on sales, depositing the payments in their PayPal accounts.

 

Tip of the Iceberg

These are just a few of the methods you can use to make money through blogging. Since the world of blogging keeps on changing, you are advised to pay attention to the programs other bloggers are using in their monetization.

You also ought to stay updated about the recent trends and developments – now that’s something you don’t have to worry about if you keep visiting this blog!

How To Enable Membership / Member Registration On Your Blog/Website

By default, WordPress comes with a useful membership features – you can have registered members on your blog, and you can group your members into different membership levels or roles.

However, registration for new members is disabled by default.

Let us see how you can enable new member registration on your blog.

 

Why would you want registered members?

You may want people to register on your blog for various reasons:

  • You want to have some content – like downloadable files – available only to the registered members of your blog.
  • You have outsourced some of your work by hiring someone (say from oDesk), and you don’t want to share your login with him/her. You want them to have a separate login with different privileges.
  • You want separate logins for people writing guest posts for your blog
  • You want to create a feature rich membership site using a plugin like WishList Member or aMember

These are only some of the reasons why you would want to enable user registration on your blog.

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

 

Enabling user registration on your blog

To allow new user registration, go to Settings > General. The following screen would open up:

Enabling New Member Registration in WordPress

 

Here, next to the “Membership” heading, click on the checkbox near “Anyone can register.”

Then, from the dropdown below (named “New User Default Role”), select an appropriate user level for newly registered members. You can choose from the following:

  • Subscriber (lowest level of privileges)
  • Contributor
  • Author
  • Editor
  • Administrator (highest level of opportunities)

 

Good luck!

Great content for great SEO

Why were search engines invented?

There are loads and loads of data on the internet. There are millions of websites and blogs containing a lot of information.

Some of this information is very good, some are average, and most are simply wrong. How does an internet user reach the information that is good?

Enter search engines like Google! A search engine spiders and indexes the entire internet (at least, it tries to!), and classifies the information as good, average or bad for various keywords.

Their primary aim is to provide the best and most relevant information to the search engine user.

What is the goal of your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts?

Well, it is obvious: Using SEO on your blog, you want to attract more traffic to it. More visitors result in more dedicated readers, and it means more revenue, or more visibility, or more of whatever you are trying to achieve through your blog!

And through SEO, you want to make your blog more attractive to the search engines.

Congruence of the goals

What can make your blog most attractive to a search engine like Google? Helping them meet their primary objective of providing the best content!

Search engines are primarily looking for excellent and relevant content, and the best way to become attractive to a search engine’s eye (and therefore, to rank higher) is to provide exceptional content!

Isn’t it simple enough – A search engine is looking for the best content, and you provide the best content. Therefore, you are at the top of the search engine results page (SERP).

The bottom-line: SEO can not be a substitute for good content. Great SEO starts with great content.

A point to ponder: As a blog author, shouldn’t “providing the best content” be your primary goal too?