It’s that time of year that people start new projects. They either are looking for a new business or want to do something on the side. Blogging can be very lucrative if done right, That’s why I’m going to give you 9 must have plugins for WordPress bloggers to use that will improve your blogs bottom line.
Before I get into those plugins for WordPress, I’d like to give you a little strategy input for your blog.
Plugins for WordPress or any other platform like Joomla can bog down a blog/website’s speed. That’s why it’s best to keep your plugins to a minimum.
when I started blogging, I thought that any plugin that I could get to add functionality to my blog would be great. This made complete sense as I’m very focused on gadgets and automation.
One thing to take note of in this blog. All of the plugins that I mention in this post are free. However, there are a couple that has a paid version, which I will mention when this option is available.
Related Post: How to Keep WordPress Optimized
That is the basis of this post, which is why I’m only giving you 9 plugins. This will give you a little wiggle room for a couple of others that you can add to your liking.
The first plugin isn’t necessarily the one that is you need the most. However, as a collective unit, these are the top must-have plugins for WordPress.
- Akismet – This is a plugin that will literally save you months of work on your blog.I left this blog unattended once without Akismet and when I came back to it, I had thousands of approved comments that were nothing but spam and junk.This plugin is worth every penny you donate to them (the donation is optional – but know you are supporting a great plugin for your blog.Plugin link: Akismet
- Pretty Link – I’ve been using my blog now since 2010. Pretty link has been a part of my blogging for 80% of that time. What you can do with Pretty Link is shorten an affiliate link or even a longer URL from your blog. I love that I can see reports on how the link is doing. Also, you can put in several links to see which links are getting more attention.Pretty Link also has built into its service a way to brand your blog. Basically, giving you the owner of your blog authority. It says that you have a relationship with the other service providers when you offer a link such as http://jonmccaw.com/prettylinkpro, versus prettylink.com. Lastly, I can say that if you’re just doing the shortening of URLs, you can use the free plugin. No need for the Pro version. But, if you want to do more, there’s a free trial you can use.
Plugin link: Pretty Link
- SNAP – Social Network Auto Poster. This is a plugin that I started using about 2 months ago. I absolutely love this simply because its main job is to send out blog posts to your social influence. The one drawback is that you need to know how to follow directions when setting things up.If you know how to deal with API keys and secret keys, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. This will send out your post to as many Facebook pages as you need to be notified. Also, it will send to Twitter, Tumblr, Stumble upon, Blogger, Plurk, De.Licio.us, Reddit, and you get the idea. There isn’t a network that you can think of off the top of your where it will not post your blog.
Plugin Link: NextScripts – SNAP
- Disqus – This plugin is great for social reach because of how it’s setup. The idea is that people can comment on your blog and have those comments show up on your blog but managed on the Disqus website. It’s the best of both worlds. I’ve gone with other commenting systems before. But I like the community that Disqus offers.More reasons to use Disqus, rather than it’s just a great commenting tool. Disqus will allow you to back up your comments separate from your blog back up. This will allow you to restore your comments if your blog goes down and is not recoverable. The next reason that I love is that it will work alongside with Akismet to help remove spam comments. Lastly, in my list of reasons to have Disqus as your commenting system is you get a notification of new comments. Other systems do not notify you of new comments. You are responsible for logging in and checking.
Plugin Link: Disqus Commenting System
- Pinterest Verify – If you’re doing or plan on doing Pinterest. You need to have your website verified. The reason for this is that Pinterest can then start showing you what pins are being pinned from your website. That said, make sure your blog is Pinterest ready. Create tall graphics for pinners to spread the word about your blogging. As the page says, this plugin hasn’t been updated in a couple of years, but it still works great with the current version of WordPress.
Plugin Link: Pinterest Verify
- Google Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools). This “plugin” really is just a connection to google so that you can see analytics on your site. The data you want to see is what pages are doing really well and what your demographic is. Age, male or female, location, and even what hobbies they like to do.
Plugin Link: Google Console
- Better Click To Tweet – The best way to describe this is to actually put it into use.
I love using this plugin as it’s being used more and more to get better engagement. Not only do you get more exposure, but people love to tweet something that is worth tweeting. It’s a win-win for you and your visitor.There’s plenty of options that you can customize to your liking. Go check this one out. Coded by TodayMade.
Plugin link: Better Click To Tweet (BCTT)
- WP Smush – One of the detriments to the online health of your blog is the size of your images. Most bloggers will tell you to use JPEG or JPG format for your images. However, if you use PNG (yes, it’s a larger file size), you can use WP Smush to reduce the file size on any PNG file. Most of the time you get a smaller file than if it were JPEG and more customizability. PNG is a vector based image which allows you to resize and keep clarity/focus on the image. If given the opportunity, I would take a PNG over JPEG any day of the week!This plugin has a pro version that will allow you to smush more files at a time and better compression.
Plugin link: WP Smush
- Email Marketing by Drip – If you’re starting a blog or even thinking about starting one. The best advice anyone has ever given is to have an email marketing solution set up to collect leads on your blog. As you can see, this site is set up to collect leads using the built-in form creation module.
Plugin link: Email Marketing by Drip
If you like automation and being able to segment your list on autopilot, drip is the way to go. They are MUCH cheaper than Infusionsoft or other high-end email autoresponders. In fact, it’s right on par with Aweber as far as price and offers more features. Take your time to try out this software. You will not be charged until you reach 100 subscribers.