Midweek Mumbling – How To Be A Better Movie Blogger Part 2
It is time for the second instalment in the self-help guide to being a better ‘Movie Blogger’
Last week we talked in quite depth about the social side of blogging. The etiquette. And any successful blogger will concur that in this niche it is all about being part of this lovely family. But underneath it all what we want is a finely tuned website/blog. The benefit of WordPress is the sheer amount of fiddling you can do. Luckily I have been faffing around with mine for the last 7 months until I believe I am finally happy with it. I have tried dozens and dozens of plug-ins that promise the earth and generally only deliver half of what you need.
I have put this little post together to show you what I use. I am not by any means saying that this is the PLUG-IN BIBLE. Far from it. These are just the ones I use and they seem to do everything that I want them to.
OK on with the technical stuff.
Blog Directories and Back-links.
Last week I mentioned The LAMB. This is probably the best and most relevant of the directories to get yourself listed at. But there are many others. Here is a list of the free ones. What submitting to these will do is provide another external link to your site and mean that Google and other search engines will see you clearer.
Also submit your URL to the major search directories as well to help them to send their spiders out to your site.
Another great way to get links to your site is to exchange links with your new friends (because you have been commenting right?). See on the right of my site. There is a blogroll. These are all blogs I love and visit. I am providing a ‘back-link’ to their site. Most have me at the other end returning the favour. Again this helps with the search engines being able to find you, and also with the fabled PAGE RANK.
These little beauties will help you in time work more effectively and also help to get your blog noticed by search engines.
Jetpack for WordPress
Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that supercharges your self-hosted WordPress site with the awesome cloud power of WordPress.com.
- Simple, concise stats with no additional load on your server. Previously provided by WordPress.com Stats.
- The WP.me URL shortener.
- Hovercard popups for your commenters via Gravatar.
- Easily embedded media from popular sites like YouTube, Digg, and Vimeo.
- For the Math geeks, a simple way to include beautiful mathematical expressions on your site.
- A widget for displaying recent tweets. Previously provided by Wickett Twitter Widget
- Your readers can easily share your posts via email or their favorite social networks. Previously provided by the Sharedaddy WordPress plugin.
- Your writing will improve thanks to After the Deadline, an artificial intelligence based spell, style, and grammar checker. Previously provided by the After the Deadline WordPress plugin.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a fancy term for tidying up the code of your site making it easy for the search engines (google and Yahoo for instance) trawl your site and find answers to the search queries people put in. Now the beauty of WordPress is that there are tonnes of plug-ins to help. I have tried quite a few and these are my favourite…
SEO Friendly Images
SEO Friendly Images is a WordPress optimization plugin which automatically updates all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes. If your images do not have ALT and TITLE already set, SEO Friendly Images will add them according the options you set. Additionally this makes the post W3C/xHTML valid as well.
ALT attribute is important part of search engine optimization. It describes your image to search engine and when a user searches for a certain image this is a key determining factor for a match.
TITLE attribute play lesser role but is important for visitors as this text will automatically appear in the tooltip when mouse is over the image.
WordPress SEO is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress.org users. It incorporates everything from a snippet preview that helps you optimize your page titles, meta descriptions and keywords to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between.
WEB Ninja Auto Tagging System
This plugin uses the new Yahoo Term Extraction YQL and tagthe.net API to find the most relevant keywords from the content of your post. It will then remove any keywords that you preset and add any global keywords that you have set in the settings screen. It will then add your keywords as tags when you save or update a post. With this you also have the ability to re-tag all posts or tag all post with no tags with the click of a button.
The auto tag system is also completely automatic. It will work anytime you save or update your post and it also works with any autoblogging software you may have that automatically inserts post from RSS feeds.
Read through the list of all the features below to get a feeling of what this plugin can do.
Google +1 Button
There is no getting away from it. Googles new social media is set to take over the world, as with everything else they do. So get on the band wagon early and give your readers the option to +1 your posts
WPtouch automatically transforms your WordPress blog into an iPhone application-style theme, complete with ajax loading articles and effects, when viewed from iPhone, iPod touch, Android, Palm Pre, Samsung touch and BlackBerry Storm/Torch mobile devices.
The admin panel allows you to customize many aspects of its appearance, and deliver a fast, user-friendly and stylish version of your site to touch mobile visitors, without modifying a single bit of code (or affecting) your regular desktop theme.
The theme also includes the ability for visitors to switch between WPtouch view and your site’s regular theme.
Now you may not think this is important, but making it easier for your readers to read your posts from their phone can only be a good thing.
I believe this is already part of any wordpress.com site, only relevant to self hosted ones.
Subscribe to Comments Reloaded.
Subscribe to Comments Reloaded is a robust plugin that enables commenters to sign up for e-mail notification of subsequent entries. The plugin includes a full-featured subscription manager that your commenters can use to unsubscribe to certain posts or suspend all notifications. It solves most of the issues that affect Mark Jaquith’s version, using the latest WordPress features and functionality. Plus, allows administrators to enable a double opt-in mechanism, requiring users to confirm their subscription clicking on a link they will receive via email.
Again this is more for the self hosted WordPress sites. But it is something that really bugs me when visiting blogs. It would be nice to know that the author of the post has replied to the comment you have posted.
WP Super Cache
This on is for the readers but it is something they will never know is there. It saves a cache of your entire site on the server meaning that when someone loads your website up, it loads much much quicker. I truly believe that this plug in saved my server the last time I was featured on IMDb’s front page. It enabled people to get in and out from the page without putting too much stress on the server.
Plug-Ins for you, The Author
Tiny MCE Advanced
This plugin adds 16 plugins to TinyMCE, WordPress’ wysiwyg (What You See Is What You Get) editor: Together these plugins can add over 40 new buttons to the toolbar, which is now two rows plus one hidden row. Some of the new features added by this plugin are:
- Font size and font family selection.
- Support for making and editing tables.
- Advanced list and image dialogs that offer a lot of options.
- Search and Replace while editing.
- Support for XHTML specific tags and for (div based) layers.
- Support for adding inline css styles to any element.
Tweet Old Posts
This one comes in handy once you are up and running with Twitter. It enables your blog to tweet old posts at an interval that you specify. I have mine set to every 4 hours. It means that you will get more readers not only to your new posts but also all the amazing posts you have done in the past.
That is roughly it. All my worldly knowledge for all to see. If you take up the practice that I mentioned last week and use the plug-ins and other ideas from this week you will be well on your way to taking over the world with your fantastic blog. I look forward to reading them all!!
Do you have any plug ins you use that I have missed? Are you on Blogger and have some suggestions? Comment Below…