Over the years I’ve published hundreds upon hundreds of posts — I just pulled up my blog to check and I’ve published 1,376 posts to date… If you like math, me too! That’s 172 blog posts each year for the last 8 years which means I’m hitting publish every other day over the last 8 years… now that’s a LOT of content.
One thing that has made this blogging life easier has been having a few tricks up my sleeve called plug-ins. Maybe you’re wondering what a plug-in is, don’t worry, I googled the exact definition for ya: A plug-in is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites.
I’ve used WordPress since day one and so I know a thing or two about plug-ins and you bet I have my personal favorites that I’m sharing with you today. Here are the plug-ins I’d recommend starting with out of the gates and these will all show up if you search for them within your WordPress blog:
SEO by Yoast
New help with search engine optimization? Yeah, don’t we all. This is about as close as you can possibly get to having an assistant help you get your posts found — for free. SEO by Yoast is THE best plug-in when it comes to optimizing your posts. There are two entire podcasts on this topic (episode 177 and 259) to help you use this plug-in to the fullest! Go check them out, it will seriously make your quest to understand, master, and rock search engine optimization so much easier!
Oooooh, you might have heard me say, “It’s allll in the list!” Well, that’s your email list and I’d kiss Opt-in Monster on the lips if I could. The best way to convert your blog traffic onto your email list? A pop-up. We love Opt-in monster because it allows us to designate a pop-up that is unique to each post. We get to choose a pop up that correlates with the topic. For example, if I’m talking about skin care, a pop-up generates for my Primally Pure skincare page. If I’m talking about getting help in your business, a pop-up for my guide to outsourcing shows. This plug-in makes setting this up super simple.
I wish I had known about this plug-in when we were first setting up my google analytics because it makes it super simple. Like I explained in the beginning of this episode, if you’re going to be blogging and spending the time creating content, we also need to be tracking how well that content is doing to direct our future content creation. This plug-in is the solution to that! If you need more help with google analytics check out the blog post right here.
Install a plug-in for your email service provider
Since we know that we love email list building, did you know that you can install a WordPress plugin for your email list? Pretty snazzy, right? It’s awesome that you can add something extra to your blog to continue to help grow your email list with each post. Most of the common ones all have WordPress plug-ins so you can seamlessly collect email addresses from your blog traffic. Which one do we love the most? Click here to find out!
The “Insert headers and footers” plug-in
This will allow you to act like you know how to code (without actually knowing how!) Did you just breathe a sigh of relief? I thought I heard that from here. If you’re just starting a blog, this might be a little next level, but make a note of this because I’m going to bet you’ll be at this stage soon! Reasons you might need to add a header or footer code to your site include enabling rich pins in Pinterest or installing google analytics or installing a Facebook pixel code for ad tracking purposes. This plug-in allows you to enter it into a plug-in instead of manipulating the actual code on your site page.
jQuery Pin It Button for Images
Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest, you know we love it! In fact, Pinterest drives a ton of traffic to our blog each month. So how do we make sure our strategy stays connected? This plug-in riiiiightttt here. This is a plug-in we teach in The Pinterest Lab because it allows you to have control over what the “pin it” button looks like on your site. Instead of having the Pinterest branded “P”, you can match the pin it hover button with your own branding and make it super simple for people to pin your content to their boards!
This just might be my favorite plug-in! I mean, it’s a requirement that every human on my team is using this little one… because grammar? Yeah, we’re not perfect at it, but this plug-in makes us look better than we sometimes are. Grammarly finds and corrects errors as you write your posts and also kicks out report cards each week which will tell you how many words you wrote which can be weirdly satisfying! I mean, if you’ve been looking for a scorecard on how you’re doing as a blogger, consider this yours.
There you have it, the plug-ins I rely on to help me blog 5 days a week and make things just a little bit easier! Tell me, what are your favorite plug-ins? Any I need to check out?