blog pantryThis post has been written by Monika Mundell

Like a kitchen pantry, a blog pantry contains all the goodies, the seasoning and the secret ingredients for our blogs. One is forgiven to think that some bloggers seem to have all the secret ingredients while others struggle to even be noticed.

Much of this has actually nothing to do with the blog pantry itself, but more so with the blogger. Attributes such as endurance, determination, social abilities, hard work and longevity can often be contributing factors of making a particular blog successful.

But even without these attributes we are lucky enough to have all kind of tools available to us as bloggers. I like to call those tools my blog pantry and I’ll tell you what is in it.

First off, I couldn’t imagine blogging without Windows Live Writer anymore. Therefore this application would have to be my number one favourite. The WordPress posting window really sucks in my eyes, all though this has been made somewhat easier now with the new Zemanta Firefox Plugin.

From what I’ve seen so far this works pretty neat. But I think I’ll be using Windows Live Writer for a long time to come, unless of course there are better applications coming onto the market.

Further along in my arsenal of blog pantry goodies are a range of great Plugins I wouldn’t want to do without anymore:

All in One SEO Pack : is a must for all bloggers who want search engine domination. Ok, maybe not as bad as that, but it does help in your rankings by creating the perfect optimized permalinks if setup correctly.

Brian’s Threaded Comments: is kind of self explanatory anyway. If you are still not sure, feel free to comment here on WordPress Web 2.0 and you’ll see. 🙂

Feedburner Feedsmith: great Plugin to detect your blog feed and give you more control over subscribers.

My Avatars: makes those comments look more pretty with an image of the commenter. You’ll need an account at MyBlogLog for this to work.

Post Teaser: great Plugin to avoid duplication issues with Google by inserting a more tag into the post for you. It also allows you to see word count and estimates how long it would take to read the blog post.

Role Manager: if you have guest bloggers on your blog, then this Plugin is ueber cool as it lets you assign roles to each user allowing them to do certain things.

Secure PHP Contact Form: simply the best contact form out there for WordPress users. So many options to style the form via its own CSS, no blogger should be without this one.

Subscribe to Comments: this one can become annoying after a while as every time a new comment gets posted, you’ll receive an email notification. It’s great to stay in touch with posts you want to reply to and engage in a discussion.

WordPress Stats: for all you stat whores out there, this Plugin will show you some interesting information about your traffic right from within your admin.

WordPress Database Upgrade: I blogged about this on my post “when things do go wrong“. A must!

WordPress Automatic Upgrade: this Plugin works a treat when it’s time to upgrade your WordPress software. I haven’t tested it on the newest version though, but it does work fine up until 2.3.3.

There you go, plenty of seasoning for your blog from my blog pantry. Feel free to use whatever you like and create your very own successful blog recipe.