When I started TechBanyan, calculated in blog years, I was a bit of a green horn and shortsighted. To me then, starting a blog meant getting the domain name, installing WordPress and from then on concentrating on the posts.
However to maximize the potential of your blog, there’s a lot of in-between that you need to perform. For instance, there are some tweaks and absolute must-have plugins that would go a long way in making your blog a huge success.
Even if you have blogged for a while, I hope you still find one or two that you can use. So here goes,
1. Permalink Structure – Decide this asap whether you prefer the archive style (like I have at TechBanyan) or post the post blurb structure. Suppose you take a decision well after your blog was setup and decide you want to change your permalink, a lot of back-links will no longer work. So take a decision asap and stick to it.
2. Create Categories – The idea is to present a whole variety of topics to the reader who lands up on your page. Initially you may not be interested in defining Categories since you have very few articles but still go ahead and do it. As and when you post, keep indexing them using the Categories. You’ll appreciate this later on.
3. About Page – Any website/blog worth its salt has an informative About page. Give your readers some information about yourself and make it funny, interesting. The readers will relate more with your website if they know the brains or story behind it.
4. Install All In One SEO Pack Plugin – Install the latest version of this plugin. Keep you Blog SEO enabled from the beginning itself. I installed this plugin a bit late and immediately I could notice the difference in search results.
5. Feedburner Tacticts – Most of the themes today have inbuilt RSS button. If your’s doesn’t then get it. Along with the Post and Comments Feed, have your blog email subscription ready as well. I enabled my blog for email subscription long after the blog was set up. You don’t have to wait so long. All the feed needs can be fulfilled by Feedburner so explore it.
6. Google Sitemaps – Extremely important since this is what helps various search engines to start indexing your blog. Install the plugin and see the difference it makes to your blog.
7. Akismet – When I started my blog, I did not have this plugin enabled. I did not make an effort to study why I would need this weird sounding plugin which seemed more like a Japanese Anime to me. As of today, I don’t think my blog could have survived without this.
8. WordPress Stats – Easiest way to check out your website statistics since this thing is integrated into your admin dashboard. Its a pain sometimes to log on to other sites everytime to check out how many hits you have been getting. This plugin gives you all the basic stats that you need about your website like keywords, referrers, top posts etc.
In my opinion, these are a must do things on your WordPress blog. If you haven’t accomplished these, I would highly recommend that you do so right away.