As a freelance writer I work with many different blog owners on a regular basis and that means I get the chance to see just about every plugin imaginable.
Every once in a while I'll come across a new one that is just amazing and I wonder how I ever blogged without it. I want to give you a list of the top 11 must have plugins for any WordPress site.
CommentLuv - This is a great tool for new blogs that provides a link back to the commentors most recent blog post. This will attract new readers and triple the amount of comments you see on your blog. Download it
Ninja Affiliate Plugin - One of the recommended plugin for affiliate marketers, it helps you cloaking your affiliate links, automatically converting keywords on your blog to affiliate links and a lot more to help you make money from affiliate products. Download it here
Google XML Sitemaps - If you want your blog indexed by Google you need to use this plugin. It tells Google where all of your pages are and which ones need to be indexed. Download it here
WordPress.com Stats - I know, you already have an analytics account but this one shows you your stats from your dashboard. No more logging into a seperate site, although you should keep your other account to compare the numbers. Download it here
Pingler - This plugin tells all of the major search engines and directories that you've updated your blog and it does it automatically after each new post is published. Download it here
Sexy Bookmarks - No, this doesn't have anything to do with porn. It's just a really nice looking set of links to all of your favorite social media bookmarking site that helps remind your readers to share your blog with others. Download it here
Subscribe To Comments - Many blog themes come with this pre-installed and I think it should be a requirement. This gives your readers the chance to get notified when someone else comments after them. It helps bring readers back and engages them. Download it here
Related Posts Plugin - This will show your readers a list of articles related to the one they are currently reading. It will get them to click deeper into your site and stay longer. Download it here
WPtouch - How often do you read blogs or surf the web from your phone? You've got readers doing the same thing so why not optimize your site for their phone with this plugin. Download it here
Akismet - It's built into WordPress and for a good reason. It'll catch 99% of your spam comments, important if you install CommentLuv. Download it here
Contact Form 7 - Probably the easiest to use contact form available. Let's you customize how many fields and what they say, plus you can insert it into any page or post on your site. Download it here
Plugins are not going to get your site to page 1 of Google but if you have the right ones installed they can sure get you pretty close. The rest will be up to you, providing great content and doing your off page SEO.