Even if you are new to the world of blogging, you know that adding posts to your blog is the main ingredient. Your posts are what keeps your blog going and your readers make your blog successful. There is much more to managing a blog. Just for starters, you have to respond to questions and comments, monitor your blog’s statistics, and manage your keywords. Trying to accomplish all this on your own can be a full-time job, with tones of overtime. Experienced bloggers learned that using a few blogging tools to help actually cuts time drastically. There are four main types of tools that are a must-have in your toolbox.

Available plug-ins falls into the first category of blogging tools. Plug-ins can provide you with a ton of individual tools that you can use on your blog. Currently, quite a few hosting sites provide multiple plug-in options, but WordPress has a comprehensive list. Among the many plug-ins to choose from, there are plug-ins to manage spam incidences, add contact forms or fields and even pinging to other sites. The goal of using any plug-in is to help you decrease your time while increasing your productivity and traffic.

Track back is another type of blogging tool. Linking to your other posts and outside blogs helps to increase your page ranking. Crawlers creep through websites and blogs looking for specific things. Internal and external links are one aspect that crawlers pick up. When you use track backing to add valid links to your blog, you are increasing the likelihood that your blog gets “marked” by the crawlers. When your blog becomes highly visible, which track backing helps to do, your page ranking increases. When your page ranking increases your blog appears higher on search results listings, which thereby increases your traffic.

The third category of blogging tools is RSS. RSS, Rich Site Summary, is a tool that delivers web content that constantly changes, like blogs. RSS Feeds allow subscribers to receive updates to sites in the subscription. By offering an RSS Feed option on your blog you enable your readers to subscribe and receive updates when you post new content, without actually visiting your site each time you add something new. Your readers subscribe to your feed and enjoy receiving convenient updates from your postings with their other RSS subscriptions.

The final category of blogging tools are for analytics. Analytic tools help you obtain important statistics about your blog. These tools allow you to track comment threads, track visitors, monitor specific post reads, and even provide you with suggestions for new topics. This information is crucial. When you notice that specific areas are low or have dropped, you gain the ability to make quickly changes and raise your statistics to the ideal levels.

These four categories of blogging tools are just the tip on the iceberg. There are so many more that you can use to help make your blog successful and decrease the amount of time you need to devote. Time management is a learning process when it comes to blogging. Blogging, in its own right, is an ongoing learning process as you adjust to the constant advances of the Internet.

 

Recommended WP Plugins

Akismet – Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You need a WordPress.com API key to use it. You can review the spam it catches under “Comments.”

All In One SEO Pack – Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog. This plugin will add all the required Meta data to your pages (keywords, descriptions, post titles).

Contact Form 7 – Creates contact forms easily.

Exclude Pages from Navigation – Provides a checkbox on the editing page which you can check to exclude pages from the primary navigation.

GoCodes – Create shortcut URLs to anywhere on the internet, right from your WordPress Admin. Cloakes your affiliate links.

Kadom Ads Management – Manage all your Ads on your website. Create Ad Zones, Campaigns…

Simple CAPTCHA – A simple captcha system for comment system to prevent spam.

Sexy Bookmarks – SexyBookmarks adds a (X)HTML compliant list of social bookmarking icons to each of your posts.

Smart Youtube – Insert YouTube videos in posts, comments and RSS feeds with ease and full customization.

TweetMeme Retweet Button – Adds a button which easily lets you retweet your blog posts.

Ultimate Google Analytics – Enable Google Analytics on your blog. Has options to also track external links, mailto links and links to downloads on your own site.

WordPress Database Backup – On-demand backup of your WordPress database.

WordPress Duplicate Content Cure – Duplicate content cure is a very simple, yet effective SEO plugin that prevents search engines from indexing wordpress pages that contain duplicate content, like archives and category pages.

WP tags to Technorati – Simple plugin to convert WordPress 2.3’s tags to Technorati (‘http://technorati.com’) links.

WP-Sticky – Adds a sticky post feature to your WordPress’s blog.

XML Site Map Generator – This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog.

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