12 Essential Companion Accounts for a Successful Blog

Aside from the standard accounts for your blog — i.e., domain name, web hosting, and WordPress — there are several companion accounts that I think are very useful. Below are 12 essential companion accounts, plus two that are worth mentioning.

For Money and Monetization

  • PayPal – This is an online payment web site that allows you to accept money and credit card for products or services that you sell. I have used PayPal to accept payments, pay other online service providers, and even accept donation for my free products.
  • Google AdSense – This is service allows you to display advertisement on your blog and you will get paid for both impression paid and click through. You can see Google AdSense ads everywhere, including the ones on this blog. This is perhaps one of the best monetization tools available for blogger today.
  • Amazon Associates – This program allows you to sell Amazon.com products and earn up to 10% commission. This hasn’t been a big money maker for me, but I heard some people have done really well with it.
  • Commission Junction – This program allows you to pick products and services from hundreds of advertisers. Each advertiser offers different referral plan, so you will have to read each one. Like Amazon Associates, it hasn’t been a big money maker for me, but it’s a decent option.

For Subscribers Count and Management

  • FeedBurner – Their service basically put your RSS feed on steroid. With its companion FeedBurner FeedSmith plug-in for WordPress, it allows you to accurately measure the number of subscribers. I use it to consolidate my subscribers count, accept subscribers via email, monetize my RSS feed, and show off the number of subscribers. However, there are a lot of great capabilities and I haven’t fully explored them all yet.

For Traffic and Networking

  • Stumble Upon – This is probably the best social site at the moment. I enjoy stumbling to find new and interesting sites (note: I choose the topics, so I only look at a blogging and finance sites). To get a network going, gives thumb ups to sites that you like, leave a comment, and add other people who gave thumb up to the same sites as your friend. If you have a group of friends, you can submit each other sites to stumble upon for some traffic — however, don’t over do it and only submit your best work.
  • Technorati – This is a blog search engine and tag search service. When you use tags on your blog (note: tagging is a native feature in WP 2.3.x) and ping Technorati with updates, people who uses Technorati can perform searches and easily find you blog. I occasional use Technorati to find other “on topic” blog articles to link to.

For Search Engines Optimization

  • Google Sitemap – This is part of Google Webmaster Toolkit. The program allows you to check many important aspects about how well search engine spiders (specifically Googlebot) can go through your blog and index it for searches. There are also many interesting tools within this site — e.g., report that track top search queries and top search positions for your blog.

For Statistics and Traffic Analysis

  • Google Analytics – This is a statistic tracking tool that shows many useful information such as the number of visitors from various sources, page views, search terms, most viewed page on your blog, etc. This is a good way to find out which articles your readers like, where your traffic is coming from, etc.
  • Site Meter – Another good and simple statistic and analysis package. I use this concurrently with Google Analytics. I like the hour-by-hour reporting. It’s quite addictive.
  • Crazy Egg – This tool allows you to visualize clicks on any web page on your site. It’s a great tool to help you understand users’ behavior. I use this tool to help me determine how I can move elements on my blog around to maximize usability and revenue potential.

For Spam Protection

  • WordPress.com – You will need to set up an account with them in order to get the WordPress API key needed from plug-ins like Akismet and WordPress.com Stats. And you don’t want to run your blog without Akismet, so the account is essential.


  • MyBlogLog – This is a community that allows you to connect with your readers. If you install their widget on your blog (I don’t do this due to clutter), you can see people with MyBlogLog account that visited your blog recently. A good use of MyBlogLog is to make sure you are logged in so that your avatar shows up when you visit other blogs. You can get small amount of traffic this way.
  • BlogCatalog – This site also provides similar services to MyBlogLog, but with very robust discussion forums where you can meet and network with other bloggers.

If you have other companion accounts that you use to help improve your blog performance, please share it here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

12 Responses to “12 Essential Companion Accounts for a Successful Blog”

  1. Jeremy says:

    This is godsend, I have been in domain purchasing, web design, coding, and other aspects of internet/ graphic freelance, but of recently actually started to bring myself out further to possible clients via blogging. There is much more to it than I originally thought, and this article again, is just fantastic. Thanks!

  2. Pinyo says:

    Jeremy – Thank you and you’re welcome. I have learned a lot over the past few months too, and I am just sharing my experience here.

  3. Hi,

    Thanks for starting this website. It’s really helpful. I started blogging in January. Question for you. I am on the free Blogspot Software, but I notice everyone keeps mentioning WordPress. Could you talk more about this? I’m thinking I should convert, but wanted to keep my budget on this project as minimal as possible.


  4. Pinyo says:

    @LOD – Thank you.

    @Lisa – I will write a post to answer your question specifically. The short answer is you can be successful on Blogspot, but everything will be easier on self-hosted WordPress (i.e., WordPress.org software hosted on your web host). When I say easier, I mean growing traffic, growing subscribers base, monetization, etc.

  5. mathewbary says:

    Wow! It seems godsends, I have been in domain purchasing, web designing but I never got traffic to my website . After coming across your site about monetize your blog, I got an idea how to blog and make money easily . I got information from your site that by making adsense to my website I can easily get traffic. Thanks for the information.

  6. John J. says:

    Helpful list…thanks

  7. Pinyo says:

    @Mathew and John J. – Thank you.

  8. Troy says:

    Good list. An alternative to crazy egg is Clickheat, which has the advantage of being free and installed on your own server, but does admittedly have fewer options.

  9. […] you consider your work at home blog to be a successful blog, then you ought to have 12 Essential Companion Accounts for a Successful Blog as mentioned by […]

  10. This was an excellent summary for how to proceed with strong optimization steps for WordPress after the installation basics are done. Thanks a lot for this WordPress enhancement overview. This WordPress information might be equal to 2-3 days web research or equal to the value of one or two really good WordPress books. Thanks again. Blogthority is great.

  11. Great info as usual Jack.
    I better do some updating on my blog.
    I’ve got it 2/3rd’s right.