There’s a war going on in the blogosphere, and it has nothing to do with bloggers dissing each other on their respective websites. The war is about control of the blogosphere by several great, many good, and tons of terrible blogging platforms. The average newbie now has “too many” options to choose from, and the battle for blogging supremacy is hotter than ever.
At my website and blogs, I’m always asked the question “Is WordPress better than Blogger?”. The answer, of course, is “Yes”. But to really understand why, it’s important to look at both blogging platforms side-by-side and see which one you really need.
You also need to understand that there are different versions of WordPress, the earliest now termed as “WordPress” at WordPress.org, and the hosted version similar to Blogger now termed “WordPress.com” which is of course available WordPress.com. Only the latter comes with free hosting on a sub-domain account. We’ll discuss this in Part 2.
For Part 1 of this article, we look only at the self-hosted version of WordPress. Here’s the comparison scale:
1) Ease of Set-up And Use
Yes, it’s much easier to set-up a blog with Blogspot.com and get your own Bloggger account. You can be done in 10 minutes flat. Once you’re set-up you can start posting immediately. If you want to add a designer’s touch to your blog, there are also tons of blogger templates available for free.
Installing WordPress however can be a major headache if you don’t know what you’re doing. Since you’re going to host it on your own account, you’ll need to download the installation files, upload them to your server, set-up a database, and run the configuration script.
However, if you know which hosting account to get, you can choose one with Cpanel included. With Cpanel, you can do a one-click installation, upgrade and removal of your WordPress platform.
2) Customization & Advanced Use
Blogger doesn’t allow categories. You can’t sort your articles into different focuses, unless you know how to hack the platform. With WordPress, not only can you add categories, you can also display each category differently on your main page. In fact with the correct plugins you can even turn your WordPress into a magazine-like portal.
Publishing with Blogger can extremely furstrating. It can take forever to post articles, especially if you’re making changes to the entire website. With WordPress, publishing is much faster, although if you load your system with all kinds of bells and whistles it can be just as frustrating.
With a Blogger account, you can get additional features like “Shout Boxes” that improve interaction on your site. You can also get pretty themes and nifty little tools that you can add to the core template files. However, that’s as far as you can go with Blogger.
With WordPress however, the sky is the limit. As cliche as that may sound, not only can you get themes, additional “plugins” and advanced tools, you can also extend WordPress to far beyond just a blogging platform.
The talk today is about using WordPress as a complete, user-friendly Content Management System or CMS. Unlike complicated predecessors like PHPPostNuke, B2, Mambo or even Joomla, WordPress is user friendly. Plus, the availability of source codes in this open-source system coupled with a strong community makes it possible to use WordPress as an article management system, classifieds system, direct-selling site and even a paid membership site.
4) Copyrights and Ownership of Content
I started with Blogger and I won’t say that it’s bad. But after a while I started to get frustrated with Blogger, and here’s why: Google Owns Your Content
Google has the authority to shut down your account without warning if they don’t like what you’re blogging about. You don’t have absolute control over your own blog. With WordPress, you own the domain name and the blog is hosted on your own account. You have full control over your content.
With the self-hosted version of WordPress (not WordPress.com), you’re free to write about anything you want, and use the software in any way you want. Yes, Blogger allows you to publish to your own domain, but they still own the database that holds your content! Don’t forget that!
5) Search Engine Optimization and Traffic
There’s this propaganda that since Google owns Blogger, they tend to favor Blogger accounts. I won’t say that this is illogical, but from my experience, there’s no such favoritism.
I’ve heard as many stories of getting indexed fast and ranking high in search engines from both WordPress and Blogger users. As long as the content is good, the spiders will come.
When you post in Blogger, you can only “ping” a limited amount of sites, whereas with WordPress on your own domain you can ping as many blog directories as you want, and start getting more traffic.
As a conclusion, I would say that WordPress is only slightly ahead in terms of optimization for search engines, and building large amounts of traffic.
6) Money-Making Potential
There’s no doubt that it’s easier to get started with Google Adsense if you have a Blogger account. In fact you can now apply for Adsense from within a Blogger account. Not entirely surprising considering the fact that both are owned by the same company.
With WordPress, it can get tricky. The default installation is not enough. You’ll need a couple of plugins and even a better theme to really maximize the Adsense potential. However, this seems to be getting easier and there’s even “Adsense revenue sharing” plugins around that allow you to share ad revenue with other contributors and writers for your blog.
When you start using WordPress to build your Adsense websites, you’ll soon discover what I mean. It’s something you need to experience for yourself. I can tell you one thing though – when you go WordPress, you don’t go back.
Are you tired of searching the web for the best wordpress plugins for your wordpress blog? If so then today is your lucky day because what I have you here is what I think to be the best wordpress plugins every wordpress blogger should be using for there blog or blogs period.
I’m sure once you go through the list I have put together below and read through what each of these wordpress plugins can do for your blog you’ll soon agree that these are the best wordpress plugins you’ve been searching for.
I’ve spent countless hours searching the web for the best wordpress plugins for my blogs because with them they can simplify a lot of tedious work giving you more time to do what you need to do with your blogs.
My suggestion to you is if you want to reduce the time involved with searching the web for the best wordpress plugins then make a plan now to read through the rest of this article.
Okay, that is enough talking, let’s get to the heart of the best wordpress plugins every wordpress blogger should be using.
Below is the list I have put together with some brief descriptions and hyperlinks to where you can download these wordpress plugins.
#1. Akismet -
Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blogs “Comments” admin screen.
#2. All In One SEO -
Optimizes your WordPress blog for Search Engines (Search Engine Optimization).
#3. Broken Link Checker -
This plugin is will monitor your blog looking for broken links and let you know if any are found.
#4. WordPress Database Back Up -
WP-DB-Backup allows you easily to backup your core WordPress database tables. You may also backup other tables in the same database.
#5. Exec-Php – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/exec-php/
The Exec-PHP plugin executes PHP code in posts, pages and text widgets.
#6. Google XML Sitemaps -
This plugin will create a Google sitemaps compliant XML-Sitemap of your WordPress blog.
#7. MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer -
Save your blog from getting tagged as ping spammer by installing this plugin.
#8. MaxBlogPress Favicon
Help create brand awareness by displaying a little favourite icon (favicon) in the title of our blog next to the URL.
WP-Cache is an extremely efficient WordPress page caching system to make you site much faster and responsive.
#10. Auto Hyperlink URLs
Auto-hyperlink text URLs in post content and comment text to the URL they reference.
#11. No Ping Wait
The purpose of the No Ping Wait plugin is to prevent WordPress authors from having to wait for all of the update services to respond to new post pings.
#12. FD Feedburner Plugin
Redirects the main feed and optionally the comments feed to Feedburner.com.
#13. WordPress.com Stats
Tracks views, post/page views, referrers, and clicks.
#14. What Would Seth Godin Do
Displays a custom welcome message to new visitors and much more.
#15. Popularity Contest
This will enable ranking of your posts by popularity; using the behavior of your visitors to determine each post’s popularity
That’s quite the list isn’t it? But they each serve a purpose as you’ll see when you look into each further.
If you wish to search for more wordpress plugins you can at – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/
Now if you want to get the very best out of WordPress then you need the best wordpress plugins, so keep these ones handy.
Anyone can make money blogging; you can even earn enough to quit your present job if you do it right. But you should be careful with books or courses promising to make you rich overnight.
You might have seen or heard of reports about bloggers making several thousands of dollars every day.
What you don’t know is that it might have taken them many years, or they might have to spend several bucks, to accumulate enough backlinks and traffic. Perhaps they might have their own websites or JV partners, where they can leverage from each others’ assets.
If you’re just starting to blog and you don’t have your own network yet, don’t worry. In this article, I’ll show you how to make money blogging using 5 simple steps. As long as you’re willing to learn and take action, you can skyrocket your earnings in no time.
Step 1: Decide the specific topic or niche of your blog.
Your blog topics should be something that both you, and your audience, are familiar with or passionate about.
Let’s say you want to make money blogging about video games. If you’e a WarCraft fan, and you understand the game from top to bottom, you’re more likely to come up with beneficial content than if you were to write something completely uninteresting or foreign to you.
Step 2: Create a professional-looking blog.
Choose an eye-catching design and style for your blog. You can find free themes and plugins on the internet, so you can build attractive blogs and maximize their full moneymaking potentials.
Step 3: Post valuable, entertaining or controversial content on your blog.
It’s better if you write the content yourself, so that your personality may shine through. But in case you can’t think of any ideas or you’re pressed for time, you could always outsource the task to a dependable freelancer. Remember, if you want to make money blogging, you need to invest time and/or money in providing excellent content.
Let’s say you have a WarCraft blog offering free tips for a soon-to-launch ebook, what’s a good plan?
Well, you could write 300-600 word quality articles related to your World of WarCraft blog, and post an article at least 5 times a week in it. If you give quality content, your credibility or authority level shoots up.
Getting people to write comments is an excellent way to get free content and make money blogging. People love to join hot discussions. Encourage comment posting by offering certain prizes for blog commenters of the month. For example, you could give $50-$100, gift cards to Amazon, or copies of your own products (in case you don’t want to offer money).
By posting valuable content and encouraging comments, you’re slowly building a network of fans to your blog.
Step 4: Monetize it.
There are a number of ways to make money blogging through various monetization streams.
You could promote your own products related to your content. If you provide good solid information and they’re satisfied, they are more likely to buy from you.
If you don’t have your own products, you could buy products with resale or private label rights. But if you don’t want to go through any hassles, you could simply promote affiliate products related to your content.
You could also post Google adsense on your blog, so you can make money blogging whenever someone clicks on those ads, even if they didn’t buy anything.
You can also make money by using pay-per-action programs. These programs usually pay you more than adsense, but less than the normal affiliate programs. How do you earn with pay-per-action programs? Every time someone does a specific action that the advertiser intends them to do (whether it’s filling up a form, downloading a report, subscribing to a list, etc.), you get paid a certain amount.
If your blog becomes popular enough, you could also offer advertising space where marketers will pay you to put their advertisements in your blog.
Step 5: Bring in the traffic.
There are different techniques to generate traffic and make money blogging.
Set up your blog posts to be “pinged” automatically to a list of ping sites every time you make a new post. Pinging is a method that allows your content to be indexed faster by the search engines.
Use Google Adwords or other pay-per-click methods to advertise your blog. When people search for certain keywords related to your blog, your pay-per-click ad comes out. You only pay every time someone clicks on your ad.
Create informative or entertaining videos, advertise your blog in that video, and upload them to video-sharing sites. Youtube may be the most popular one, but there are other sites worth uploading your videos to. You may use a free service like tubemogul.com to simultaneously upload your videos to a variety of video-sharing sites of your choosing.
Submit your blog to blog directories. Simply search for “blog directories” in Google and you’ll get a list to submit your blog details to.
One of the most effective ways to make money blogging is to contact other bloggers and set up a proposal – you put their blog link on your blog, and vice-versa.
Write articles and submit them to article directories. You can then advertise your blog in the resource box. You could even use your blog content as articles to submit to article directories. But that’s not all…
You could maximize your content to its full capacity by converting your articles to powerpoint presentations and posting them at slideshare.net. You could also convert those powerpoint presentations into videos, and then post them to various video-sharing sites.
Use various Web 2.0 methods to make money blogging. Bookmark your links at social bookmarking sites like digg.com, stumblepon.com, propeller.com, and many others. However, you should always observe proper netiquette. Most, if not all, of these bookmarking sites prohibit any marketing activities. But you can get under the radar if you give first, become a helpful part of the Web 2.0 community, and bookmark a lot more non-self-serving sites than self-serving ones.
These are the 5 simple steps to make money blogging. Hope you find them useful and may you earn a lot of money with your blog.