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.

Jobpress Simple
Job Manager

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

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:

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.

Optimize Press
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
WP e-Commerce

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:

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.