Did you know there is a new open source community project underway called the WordPress Plugin Database, located at wp-plugins.net, which is a user-friendly web site with about 2,500 WordPress plugins and counting?
“The WordPress Plugin Database is a categorized list of WordPress plugins, complemented by a WordPress Plugin Manager that allows one-click installs,” say the database developers. “For users, wp-plugins.net provides a browseable list of plugins, and RSS feeds you can subscribe to in order to get notified of new plugins and updates. For developers, wp-plugins.net makes it easy to publicize your plugin and keep users informed of new versions.”
As for us everyday non-developer WordPress fanatics who are constantly searching for cool new plugins to make our site attract visitors and earn some money, the WordPress Plugin Database is populated with plugins that can help generate web site traffic to your blog, sell your ebooks, share web site links, podcast your message, offer a public forum for returning visitors, and fight spam in the process.
Below is a short list of free plugins I discovered in this new database that can drive traffic to your blog, sell terrific products, and keep visitors on your site for a while – the perfect monetization strategy for every blogging entrepreneur.
Would you like to add a Public Forum to your blog? Simple Forum is a free plugin that is described as a “simple and straightforward forum that does the sort of stuff a forum is supposed to.” Simple Forum currently has 71 features you can use to develop a growing community of returning visitors who are encouraged to speak to each other, and who share common interests with you, the brilliant blog owner and forum manager expert. Search engine spiders love the fresh content provided by a community forum. Simple Forum can support your forum member’s comments in 17 languages: stuff.yellowswordfish.com/simple-forum/
Would you like to monetize your blog by selling your products and services with a WordPress shopping cart? The free WP eCommerce Lite shopping cart plugin is described as “an industrial strength, elegant, easy to use, fully featured shopping cart application suitable for selling your products, services, and or fees online.” You can upgrade to the eCommerce Gold plugin for just $15. If you don’t have any products to sell, you can set up this shopping cart to sell products offered by Amazon.com, Art.com, and so on: instinct.co.nz/?p=16
Reciprocal link directories create backlinks to your site that helps improve your site’s search engine ranking, and most shared link directories are not free. Plus, most blogs don’t offer a shared link directory. The free WP Link Directory is described as “the first and the only one link directory plugin on the Internet for WordPress admin to store and maintain a set of links in classified categories.” This link directory plugin can match your blog theme: alectang.com/wordpress-link-directory/
Podcasting is a web site traffic generation phenomenon that has seen over 6 million people download MP3 podcasts. That’s not including the millions of people who prefer to listen without downloading. Here’s an idea. Why not record your blog articles as a podcast, and then submit your articles to podcast directories? Even if you don’t like the sound of your voice, there are software programs online that you can use to speak your written words with a more pleasing sound.
PodPress is a free plugin described as “a dream plugin for Podcasters using WordPress,” and “a full-blown Podcasters Plugin for WordPress.” With Podpress, you can post a podcast along with your article for visitors to download, or listen to without downloading. Why not interview an expert in your niche by telephone, and post your conversation as a podcast with your article? mightyseek.com/podpress
And finally, every high-traffic blogger would love to find a way to eliminate spam. Spam Karma 2 (SK2) is a free spam fighting plugin developed by the WordPress Plugin Directory guys. SK2 is described as “an anti-spam plugin for the WordPress blogging platform. It is meant to stop all forms of automated blog spam effortlessly, while remaining as unobtrusive as possible to regular commenters.” wp-plugins.net/doc/sk2/
By the way, don’t forget to upgrade your WordPress blog to the latest 2.3 version released in September of 2007. WordPress 2.3 offers new article keyword tagging features, which means improved search engine ranking and more web site traffic for you: wordpress.org/download/