Whether you’re new to blogging or you’ve been doing it for a while (like me), having the right blogging plugins on your WordPress site can really help make creating and marketing blog posts a little easier. It seems like everyday I’m learning about a new awesome plugin.
Not to mention plugins are what’s great about using WordPress. You have access to an arsenal of great apps with thousands of them being free. So in this post, I want to give my top 10 must have WordPress blogging plugins that can boost your blogging and make your life a whole lot easier.
1. Tweet Old Post
When I found out about Tweet Old Post, I was doing the happy dance. I already love, love, love Twitter and now with this “set it and forget it” plugin I no longer need to manually share my previously written posts. This plugin will create and send a Twitter post of your previously published articles from last week, last month or even last year.
In the settings, you customize how old you want the posts to be, which category to include or exclude and how often you want the plugin to share a blog post. It’s absolutely awesome! The first day I added this plugin to my blog, my site visitors increased by 50%. I know, right! So, if you’ve never heard of this free plugin, then check it out at Tweet Old Post.
2. WordPress SEO by Yoast
This plugin takes care of the technical SEO optimization for you. You simply add your target keyword to the plugin keyword field and the plugin does the rest. The plugin provides a green, yellow or red indicator light to tell you how your blog post has been SEO optimized.
The plugin counts the number of times the focus keyword phrase was used and ensures that you’ve used it in all the right places. Grab the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.
3. Editorial Calendar
The editorial calendar gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog.
If you have topic ideas, you can create an entry in the calendar and save it as a draft. Then you can write the blog post when you are ready. In my previous post, 21 Days To Better Blogging – Day 3: Editorial Calendar, I explain how important an editorial calendar is to the success of your blog. My company provides a blogging editorial calendar for each of our clients to ensure that we are preparing keyword focused blog posts and staying on schedule. Get the WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin.
For those who have been blogging for a while, I’m sure you’ve experienced spam comments. I can’t tell you how many comments I receive on a daily basis from spammers trying to comment about Nike shoes or Viagra. And you definitely don’t want these types of comments on your blog. For this reason is why it’s always a good idea to moderate your comments. Years ago, I had my comments set to automatically approve. Unfortunately, some inappropriate comments got posted to my blog. That was not a good situation.
Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen. Visit https://wordpress.org/plugins/akismet to grab your Akismet plugin.
5. Hello Bar
Looking for a way to grab your reader’s attention without using a pop-up opt in box? Then Hello Bar is the right fit. Hello Bar is easy to setup and customize with your site’s color scheme. It places a call to action or opt in bar at the top of your blog. This is sure to grab your reader’s eye. Hello Bar also integrates with email campaign tools such as Aweber and Mail Chimp. Visit HelloBar.com to set up your opt in bar.
6. What Would Seth Godin Do
This plugin takes Seth Godin’s idea of differentiating between new and returning visitors. New visitors to your blog will see a small box above each post containing the words “If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!” After 5 visits the message disappears. You can customize this message, its lifespan, and its location. The message can be excluded from certain pages if desired. Download the What Would Seth Godin Do plugin here.
7. Google XML Sitemap
This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content. Get this plug at http://wordpress.org/plugins/google-sitemap-generator.
Writing great blog posts isn’t enough. You need to ensure that your message is circulating through social media sites. One way to entice readers to share your blog posts with their friends and followers on social media is to add social sharing buttons to your blog posts. The Share This plugin provides posting to 120 social channels. Grab your plugin at https://wordpress.org/plugins/share-this.
9. Only Wire
Only Wire is similar to the Share This plugin BUT it will also automatically share your blog posts to your social networks as well as social bookmarking sites. I just love “set it and forget it” type of applications. Sharing your blog posts to social bookmarking sites such as Digg and StumbleUpon is just as (if not more) important as sharing the to social media sites. Install Only Wire and start sharing.
10. Gravity Forms
Gravity Forms is one of the best contact forms available for WordPress. What makes Gravity Forms so great? The power of its integrations. Gravity Forms integrates with Mail Chimp, Aweber, and Paypal just to name a few. So you can provide a checkout process on your blog and then have the contact information feed directly to your email marketing campaign.
Gravity Forms starts at $39 for one site. The next level at $99 provides the plugin for up to 3 sites as well as the basic add-ons such as Aweber, Paypal, etc. Learn more about Gravity Forms.
Well, there you have it. These are my top picks of blogging plugins to ensure you have a successful blog. Visit the sites above and see if these plugins are a perfect fit for your blog.
What WordPress blogging plugins do you recommend?