WordPress has garnered much love from the blog community for its ease of installation, ease of configuration, and ease of modification. Many sites are even starting to use it as a content-management system (CMS) to drive the entire site, not just the blog or news portions. The power of WordPress really shines when you begin to utilize plugins, as many of them are free and they extend the WordPress core functionality beyond its original scope. Here we’ll look at 10 of the most essential WordPress plugins that every affiliate marketer needs to be aware of.
- Akismet – If you have a WordPress blog, and you are not using Akismet, you either have comments turned off or you are slowly going insane due to the massive amount of spam comments left by bots. To me, this plugin isn’t optional. You probably already have it installed as a part of the newer WordPress setup script, but you have to activate it with a WordPress.com login, which is free and just takes a few seconds to get.
- All-In-One SEO Pack – When marketing affiliate products, one tends to do better when people can find your posts. To that end, you need to make sure that search engines, such as Google, can easily understand what your pages are about. Search Engine Optimization is the discipline that deals with this, and a plugin called the All-In-One-SEO Pack makes it easy to optimize each post, specifically title, description, meta tags, and URL format.
- Google XML Sitemaps – Again for SEO purposes, you should install the Google XML Sitemaps plugin in order to easily generate a complete sitemap of your entire site, so GoogleBot and other search engine crawlers can get a list of every page they need to index in one quick read.
- Sociable – There is this thing called social networking, you might have heard something about it. If so, you know the best way to reach a huge audience is to dispense it virally, through social media. Sociable adds links to up to 99 social sites of your choosing on each post.
- Google Analyticator – If you are making money with links, it is vital to keep good statistics on what links were clicked, what your top pages are, and how people are getting to your site. Google Analytics does an amazing job at this, and this plugin makes it simple to add GA code to each post, without having to edit the template directly.
- Affiliate Link – Another link tracker worth looking at is Affiliate Link. It can track hits on links, and provide information on where that click came from. You can also use it to create short urls from your own domain, instead of resorting to using tinyurl.
- WP Banner – Many sites run affiliate banner ads from multiple affiliate programs, as well as some of their own ads. WP Banner lets you manage them, and rotate ads from different programs in the same space. This is useful for testing one program or product against the others to see which produces better.
- Amazon Reloaded – Does your post relate to a product on Amazon? Most do. Instead of logging into Amazon under your affiliate account, and browsing for links, why not do it while you’re creating the post? Amazon Reloaded is all over that.
- Global Translator – What’s an easy way to expand your audience 20 times over? Simple, translate your site into as many languages as possible. Thanks to Global Translator, this is cake. It can automatically translate your WordPress site in 48 different languages, and even post little flags up for easy navigation to the alternate translations.
- WP DB Backup – You work hard, so backup your data. If your hard drive fails, the database gets corrupted, or you make a huge mistake when editing, you need a way to get back. WP DB Backup efficiently backs up critical WordPress database tables, and can even email you the archive.
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