When is a Blog Not a Blog?

I come across as a huge fan of WordPress . . . because that’s what I am. Of all the blogging software I’ve encountered it’s the most comprehensive and the one which I find is easiest to use thanks to the functionality and intuitive interface. However, with online marketing strategies becoming more complex with each passing day, is it time for us to migrate to something more than a simple blogging platform? When it comes to optimizing our Web advertising and attracting customers to our sites, do we need to look beyond the common blog template?

Our faithful WordPress software is evolving at least as quickly as its competitors. This development means that there is now a lot more that can be done with the software than a simple process of blogging. Without the need to move to a new platform, we can now access a wealth of services that can transform our online marketing strategy and move us from being simple bloggers to advanced advertising specialists. Even if you’re not a blogging aficionado, you can still benefit from the enhanced functionality of the software without ever again having to pop up another post. Result!

There are two basic ways you can use WordPress for additional functionality. The first is by using a plugin that enables you to retain your existing site and theme, or you can choose to upload a new theme which takes over your entire site and brings a wealth of new functions. Please note none of the links below are affiliate links.

Job Board Services

For people looking to either source jobs, or advertise them online, WordPress has some great plugins that you can use to draw the right sort of customers to your site. The following can be easily installed, letting you open up your site to new revenue streams for the job search market, choosing whichever industry niche best fits your site.

WPJobBoard
Jobpress Simple
Job Manager
WPCareers

Review Builders

Online reviews are a huge draw, whether people want the latest news on cinema listings, movie reviews, and books, or are looking for somewhere to share their own opinions. Adding a review builder to your WordPress blog is a great way to bring in more traffic and provide your customers with a safe and reliable platform.

Easy Review Builder:
GD Star Rating
WordPress Review Theme
reviewsPRESS

Classified Ads

Every industry sector can benefit from advertising revenue, and WordPress supports a comprehensive set of online marketing tools that can tap into this lucrative market.

Classifieds Theme:
ClassiPress
Classifieds
ClassifiedTheme
wp-classified

Voucher Codes

Online vouchers are a burgeoning trend; Google and Yahoo!, among others, are currently looking for ways to tap into this money spinner. You can follow the trend on your site by featuring discount vouchers and coupons for your industry or geographical area.

Coupon Press
WP Coupon Plugin

Squeeze Pages

Squeeze pages are simple landing pages, designed to solicit opt-in email addresses from prospective subscribers. WordPress enables you to create them quickly and easily, in addition to publishing customized landing pages for customers.

SqueezeTheme
Optimize Press
FlexSqueeze
WP Squeeze

E-commerce Market

A solid strategy for e-commerce means more revenue for your site, enhanced traffic, and increased services for your customers. You can use WordPress plugins to link to various sites that will pay you for your traffic, or sell your own products directly from your site.

Amazon Reloaded
AmazonSimpleAdmin
WP e-Commerce
Ecwid
ShopperPress

Directory Services

Searching online is a key element in providing a comprehensive service to your customers. Whatever your industry sector, there will be people out there who will be drawn to a site that offers a good, regularly updated, listings service. The following are the best WordPress plugins for directory services:

DirectoryPress
Business Directory
WordPress Link Directory

Social Networking

When it comes to optimizing your site for your customers, are you tapping into the best that social networking can offer? BuddyPress is a free, open-source plugin that enables you to create your own niche community.

18 thoughts on “When is a Blog Not a Blog?”

  1. Thanks Joel for this great information. As I get more proficient at blogging, I will save all this information for when  I get more proficient at blogging. There are a lot of options to tailor a website to what you want to achieve. Thanks again,  Anne
     

  2. Wow, Joel, i am like Corinne this makes me feel like a Newbie.  Lot of great info here and it is going to take me a while to check it out.  See if there is anything that I can use.  I have been thinking about something where my readers can have a conversation. 
    Thanks for all the update for WP plugins.  We can always count on you.
    Blessings to you,
    Debbie

    1.  @happymakernowco There are some very useful plugins and themes out there to make having the site you want possible. Or just another distraction, it’s hard to tell!

  3. Nice compilation! I write a lot about getting a job (specifically in a startup), so I’m excited to check out the job board plugins….it’s got me thinking. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I loved the Coupon Press.  I’ve been playing with an alternative coupon idea in my head, (like I really need more projects in my life).. checking it out now!

  5. Oooo, I’m so excited about the review site options!  Hubby and I want to make a review site and get it going this summer.  After all, who wouldn’t want to know what we think of the myriad products we use around here?  😉

  6. A great list, Joel.
     
    One thing I would add…make sure the plugin does exactly what you want before buying. Often you scan the features and THINK the plugin will do want you want and it often doesn’t. And many plugins do not provide any refund guarantee.
     
    I recently purchased a ‘job board’ plugin for a client and it wasn’t up to the job. I’m now writing the client’s ‘job board’ from scratch!
     
    Andrew

    1.  @andrewrondeau Definitely true, it’s always worth seeing a live demo and videos if possible. I like to go through their testimonials and/or showcase and see live examples of what people are using it for and see if it looks like what I need it to do. Good advice, thanks!

  7. Joel, this is a fantastic post. I knew about WP’s constant and never-ending improvements. It’s now so deep and wide, for one like me it’s impossible to keep up with it. Actually, I wonder how the WP people themselves do it, and how YOU do it. The fact is, you do, and you share your knowledge, and I’m grateful for it. ~Beat
    PS. For movies there is http://www.rottentomatoes.com/  Would you know of an equivalent [reliable] review site for WP plugins?

  8. Just amazing you can do so many things on a wordpress blog.

    Most of these I probably need some instructions to use but it certainly gives food for thought for future projects.

    Your knowledge of technology always makes me feel like such a newbie.

    How did you learn all this, Joel?

    1.  @miraclady Like anything it’s just experience really. A lot of them I’ve used for clients and it’s amazing how easy it is to make something complicated than it was years ago!

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