“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
Abraham Maslow (1908-1970)

Working with SMBs who are ready to make the jump into the blogosphere, I always find a few missteps.  They are make the correct assumptions by attempting to utilize the web to increase awareness, drive traffic, and eventually build revenue online, but they’re also putting themselves at a disadvantage by not incorporating the right tools from the get go.

This is my barebones list of WP plugins necessary to begin your online marketing journey.

  1. Akismet – Now included with WordPress installations, this amazing tool is your #1 resource for fighting blog spam.  It is definitely worth the time to sign up for the API and for the good it does, I recommend paying the $5.00 a month for a Pro Membership
  2. WordPress SEO  by the Amazing Yoast – His amazing WP SEO plugin is self described as “the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today” and the industry generally agrees.  All major SEO outlets recommend this  plugin for adding SEO to your posts.
  3. Google Analytics for WordPress by the Amazing Yoast – Another plugin from Joost de Valk.  This guy knows how to create useful plugins to help grow online traffic.. but he also created the best plugin to help you manage your online traffic.  This easy to install, update, and incorporate plugin will insure you dont miss a beat when tracking web traffic through your analytics accounts.
  4. WordPress Database Backup – There are a ton of these plugins out right now.  following the fiasco of wp sites getting generally destroyed last month with insecurities.  Making sure you continuously backup your WP database will insure you don’t feel the affects if another disaster strikes your website.  I recommend this one for one reason. It’s simple. It works.
  5. WP Super Cache – Another plugin now included in most WP org installs.  This caching plugin will generate html files that lower the drain on php and sql servers.  If you’re lucky and get the reddit or inbound.org affect on one of your websites, you’ll be glad you had this plugin installed…. for a few minutes.  Do the easy thing and turn this puppy on, avoid some headaches later.
  6. BONUS!  Related Posts –  There are a ton of these plugins, so just search on WP for them.  I would link to one, but the majority have too many ads and are a headache to navigate.   Add a Related Posts plugin as soon as you start blogging and TAG ALL OF YOUR POSTS.  As your blog grows, the link network will inherently grow as well.  This will increase readership while simultaneously dropping your bounce rate.   This is a win-win.

Do you have any better plugins I didnt mention? Did I completely miss the mark?  Let me know what plugins you like / dont like.