Whether you have a standalone or a business website blog, you know the drill. You have to come up with great topics, produce amazing text and visuals, engage, amuse, educate, and inspire viewers, and do it regularly. It’s a tall order, but you cannot keep and grow a following without doing these things.
Anything that will make your blogging “life” easier would be welcome, indeed. So, here are nine WordPress plugins that will do just that. One word of caution here. While they all look great, you may not need some of them, at this time at least. Only download those that will serve you well – too many plugins slow down you load and navigation.
This plugin will give you traffic stats. You will see how much traffic each of your posts receive, where that traffic is coming from and even what people are looking for.
You will also find some SEO tools, backup service, and several other great features.
Best of all? It’s free.
You may be finding trending topics from such sites as Buzzsumo and/or using quality writing services as evaluated by sites like Rated by Students, but unless you are tracking the popularity of what you are posting, you are “working in the dark.”
Of course, your blog must have conversation opportunities. Among the comments you get will always be a certain percentage that are spam, and you want them out. Akismet will analyze the comments and weed out what is spam, moving them to a spam folder that you can look through when you have time. This will save you the time of weeding out yourself, will keep your blog “clean,” and all for free.
Plugins for Customization
There are thousands of plugins that fall into this category, but here are three that you should seriously consider:
This plugin will allow you to customize your blog’s comment section. The original conversation section with basic WordPress is, frankly, boring and bare.
You can customize your comment form, fields, template and style, including the type of info you want from those who are commenting. And it is responsive for all device types:
You can also customize your author box, over the basic format that comes with WordPress. Add color, cool typography, and even social sharing buttons. Add your photo, change it anytime, and choose where that box is placed on each post.
This is the place where you establish your credibility, through an author profile. And that profile should be well-written and compelling. And your bio/profile will change over time. If you are unsure about writing yours, checkout a writing service evaluation site like All top Reviews, where you can find top-rated profile writers.
Your new and/or revised profile can easily be laced in your great author box. And this plugin is totally free. So, you can uninstall it once you have the box you want and then re-install each time you want to make a change.
There is another plugin, User Profile Picture, which will allow you to place a photo in your author box and to change it any time you want to. And you can add it in the comment section as well.
Plugins for Traffic
There is work involved in driving traffic to your blog, not the least of which is to create amazing content. That involves choosing topics your readers are looking for; it means crafting each post so that readers are engaged and want to share what you have presented; it means creative use of both words and visuals, and it means posting often and consistently. It’s easy to get behind and finding creative writing backup may be a good idea. You can check out the top-rated writing agencies at Top Writers Review and try a few of them out.
For optimizing traffic to those amazing posts you publish, here are a couple of key plugins:
This is a “must” plugin for SEO. You will actually get a score on your use of keywords, links, image tags, readability, meta descriptions, and other elements that all factor into your Google search ranking. If you get a low score, the plugin will tell you what to do.
There is a free and paid version of Yoast. Check out the differences and choose the one that will work best for you now. You can always change.
Social Media Warfare
You love your readers; but you can love them more when they share your amazing posts with their communities. And this plugin gives you ways to remind them to do this, with the simplicity of buttons.
You can place social buttons anywhere on your blog or within posts. You can set up hover buttons on your images; and you can set up which mage you want to appear when your content is shared.
After a free trial, this is a fee-based plugin, but it is well worth it.
Speed counts. Internet users now have an attention span shorter than that of a goldfish. So, how long do you think they will wait for one of your pages to load? Maybe 3 seconds, if you are lucky. There is a lot you can do to speed up load time, but here is a nifty little plug in that will not load your images until a user actually scrolls over them. And it’s free.
This plugin uses a number of technical features to speed up your load time. While you may not understand all of the technology involved, you will understand that your blog is loading faster once you install this plugin.
No blog exists without images, and no one wants to manually resize images to fit. This plugin not only lets you automatically compress images, it will automatically re-size them to a size you specify. Kind of a “must have.”
These are just nine of many plugins that make a blogger’s life easier. And they are pretty critical for beginners and veterans alike. There are others that will meet specific, more advanced needs, so search for them and consider what they have to offer. Again, remember this: the more plugins you add, the slower your blog will respond – always keep this in mind, and be selective.