My Favorite WordPress Plugins: Updated

Since posting my screencast on How to Install WordPress in 20 Minutes or Less, numerous people have written to ask, “What WordPress plugins should I install?”

A Plug Being Inserted into a Glowing Socket - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/gwmullis, Image #10093536

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/gwmullis

That depends on what you are trying to accomplish. However, I thought I would post my current list in order to stimulate your thinking plus getting a few ideas from you.

15 Resources for Pro Bloggers (or Those Who Want to Be)

I get asked every week about the various resources I am using. Last week, a blogger asked about my podcast equipment. Another asked about the productivity apps I am using on my Mac. Still another, asked if I could recommend some leadership resources.

Some Well-Used Tools - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/jfmdesign, Image #10304861

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/jfmdesign

So, I thought I’d write a series of posts on these resources, devoting one post to each category. When I get done, I plan to collect these into a permanent page on my blog. In this post, I want to share my blogging tools.

Here are my fifteen go-to resources:

#017: 7 Keys to Writing a Killer Blog Post [Podcast]

In this episode, I talk about how to write killer blog posts. I define what constitutes a killer blog post and then share seven keys for writing one.

This Is Your Life Podcast, Episode #017

In Episode 13, I shared how my blog traffic has grown from a few hundred unique visitors a month when I first started in 2004 to about 300,000 unique visitors a month now.

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4 Insights I Gleaned from Building My Own Platform

Last week, I spoke at the Catalyst Conference in Irvine, California on the topic of my new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Thomas Nelson, May 22). As part of my introduction, I shared how my audience has grown since I started blogging in April of 2004.

Eight years of blog traffic

Note that these numbers reflect my average monthly unique visitors. I simply took the total number of unique visitors for the year and divided by twelve months (or in the case of 2004, eight months). With the exception of the first few years, this data came from my Google Analytics account.

#001: 10 Ways to Generate More Blog Traffic [Podcast]

Welcome to my new podcast, This Is Your Life. Like my blog, it is dedicated to the theme of intentional leadership. My goal is to help you live with more passion, work with greater focus, and lead with extraordinary influence.

This Is Your Life, Episode 001 Art

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I plan to talk about the same topics I discuss here on my blog, namely:

10 Ways to Generate More Blog Traffic

Whenever I speak on the topic of platform-building, someone always asks, “How can I generate more traffic for my blog?” Most are hoping I have a silver bullet, something that will instantly get them the recognition they deserve.

A Big Traffic Jam - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/burwellphotography, Image #18043823

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/burwellphotography

The bad news is that it’s not quite that simple. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a platform. It takes doing several things right—and doing them over a long period of time.

From Blog to Book: One Skeptic’s Journey

This is a guest post from David Teems. He is a close, personal friend and the author of several books, including his most recent, Tyndale: The Man Who Gave God An English Voice. Be sure to check out his blog and follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

I admit, when I hear someone suggest that you can take your blog posts and turn them into a book, I am skeptical. But when I really thought about it, for all my skepticism, and as much as it pains me to admit it, my first book, To Love Is Christ, came about just that way. Let me explain.

Bit and Bytes Becoming a Book - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/alengo, Image #18640372

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/alengo

On August 1, 2002 I made a vow to God. He and I weren’t on the best of terms at the time, and when I finally got fed up hearing myself complain, or filling my journal with more whine, I decided to do something dramatic. My strategy was both simple and logical. That morning I decided since the Scripture tells me that God is love, I would write every day for one year on that one subject, love. That was it. That was my strategy.

The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter

I originally wrote this post in May 2008. I have learned a lot since then. Twitter has also changed since then. I have updated this post to reflect both.

This post is a 20-minute guide to Twitter for non-techies. If you don’t know what Twitter is, start with my first post on the topic, Twitter-dee, Twitter-dum. If you still aren’t convinced it’s worth your time, then read my 12 Reasons to Start Tweeting.

A Finger About to Click on the iPhone Twitter App - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/ymgerman, Image #17221776

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/ymgerman

Over the last few years, I have helped several friends and a few family members get setup on Twitter. I found myself explaining the basics over and over again, so I decided to write a simple, step-by-step guide.

13 Blog Post Ideas for Novelists

In case you are new here, I am a big advocate of blogging. I don’t know of a better way to build a platform than starting with a blog as your “homebase” and building from there. This is especially true for authors.

Row of Matches About to Catch Fire - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/JamesBrey, Image #8023692

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/JamesBrey

Occasionally, when I speak on the topic of social media, I get push-back from novelists. “Yes, a blog maybe great for non-fiction authors, but what about novelists? What can we write about?”