I’ve seen a lot of “Must-Have WordPress Plugins for Blogging” posts, but I feel like they often discuss the same plugins over and over. While Yoast, Pinterest Pin-It Buttons and What Would Seth Godin Do are great plugins, I wanted to share some more unique ones that you might not know about. I hope these help you better your blog, make your life easier and open up space for you to up your blogging game. If there’s a plugin you think I forgot, please let me know! I’d love to check it out!
My first MUST-have WordPress plugin is Imsanity. Now, if you run a photography blog, this isn’t for you. But if you need to save time on your blogging schedule, Imsanity is a life saver. It takes your photo and automatically resizes it to fit the width of your blog post. This keeps me from having to go into PicMonkey or Photoshop Elements (which I hate using because it’s unbelievably slow) and resizing every single photo one by one. All you have to do is go into the settings and tell Imsanity how big you want your photos to be. The end.
I’ve worked with a few different scheduling platforms, but I haven’t been able to stick with any of them for very long because they’re just not user friendly. Then I found Meet Edgar and thought my needs were met. It turns out that Edgar was too expensive for what I needed and while it made scheduling easier, it wasn’t intuitive and I couldn’t figure out how to beat the Facebook Algorithm. But the bonus of giving Edgar a shot was that my experience with that platform did open up my mind to try CoSchedule.
*If you have a successful blog and are very busy, it’s likely you can fit Edgar into your budget a lot easier than I can. To each our own, right?
I’ve heard about CoSchedule for a really long time, but for some reason I never gave it a shot. I decided to sign up for their free trial when I saw that it did not require a credit card unless you decided at the end of the two weeks that you wanted to keep the service. Once I got started and watched the first two tutorials, I fell in love. This is perfect for people like me who need some help scheduling out my own posts in ways that bring a unique perspective to each share, and still share the post across Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest in a way that makes sense. It’s really hard to spend hours on a post and then see that after a week it’s getting zero page views. With the CoSchedule Chrome extension it’s also really easy to share other’s posts in my social media calendar. I love the drag and drop function so that I can see where everything is over the next few weeks, and that I can easily move posts and shares around without screwing everything up. Once I’ve been using it for longer I think I will write a more detailed post on how I use the platform.
This is a referral link. It doesn’t cost you anything at all to do a free trial, and it doesn’t cost you anything more if you sign up for a paid account. But it does give me a slight discount if someone signs up using my link. Thanks for supporting WMSB!
When I was on Blogger I remember having to email people directly so that they would see my reply to their comment. This was a lot of extra work and took away, in my opinion, the community forming in the comment threads on my blog. When I switched to WordPress I wasn’t sure how to let readers know that I have replied to their comment. Then I discovered Comment Reply Notification! It automates the reply process and keeps the conversation going. I love it!
I learned about this plugin at BlogPodium. I set up a geek appointment with the owner of CampTech and we discussed the way I had Google Analytics set up. During her presentation she mentioned the weird bot-looking referrals that show up in people’s analytics and shared that they are spam and not real traffic. We reorganized some of the Google Analytics dashboard, and then chatted about how that is not real traffic. She warned that when you install the plugin, you will see a drop in traffic. However, it will be OK because that’s not real traffic anyway! I’d rather spend my time focused on growing authentic, engaged readers than be distracted by high numbers that are really bots. Since installing this plugin I haven’t seen a single weird referral link.
If you write any sponsored content then you need to know what no-follow links are. If google finds out that you’re using follow-links on sponsored content, it can punish both you and your sponsor for non-organic backlinking. No one wants that. (Don’t know what this means? Check out this post on No-Follow Links at SITS Girls.) Sometimes it can be hard to remember what HTML you need to add to make a link No-Follow. This plugin adds a little button shaped like a stop sign in your Visual editor. It serves as both 1) a reminder to change the links to no-follow, and 2) a one-press way to change the link and move onto your next point in the awesome sponsored content that you’re writing.
So there are my Top 5 must-have WordPress plugins for bloggers! Like I said in the beginning of the post, these are my more unique plugins and if there’s one that you think I forgot or maybe don’t know about, I’d love to hear about it in the comments! Maybe I’ll write another post with the suggestions you all have! Now go forth and be productive bloggers!
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