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You did it! You created a blog and now you are wondering, “What’s the next step?” Well, for me that was doing research on what I needed to add to my site to make it manageable. Creating a blog is the easy part but managing your blog, building an audience, and making it into a full-time job can be a bit of a different story.
Thankfully, WordPress has created plugins that make the life of bloggers so much easier. Today, I will be sharing with you 15 popular WordPress plugins that have helped me with managing my blog.
If you have not started a blog yet please read my post, “How To Start A Blog,” where I help you start your blog in 3 simple steps.
SO… WHAT ARE WORDPRESS PLUGINS?
A WordPress plugin is essentially like an app that adds functionality or a new feature to your blog. Doing your research on plugins is so important because some can be a bit crappy. Knowing the good ones and how they work can save you time and of course money.
In this post, I will show you 13 of the best WordPress plugins for bloggers that I personally use and love on my own site.
1. Akismet Anti-Spam
Who want’s spam comments on their blog – nobody! This WordPress plugin helps filter comments that are made on your blog filtering out the ones that look like spam. You can actually see the status history of each comment and see the ones that were caught or cleared by Akismet. As a blogger, you need this plugin! Having spam comments throughout your site will make it look unprofessional. Plus, this plugin in FREE!
2. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is the #1 WordPress plugin for SEO. What is SEO? SEO is short for search engine optimization. Everyone wants to be #1 in the search engines. With Yoast SEO, your getting a tool set that will help you aim for that spot in search results. The plugin is FREE but it does come with more features if you upgrade to premium to unlock them. This is a blogger must!
You don’t want to be a position where you worked so hard on your blog creating amazing content and then suddenly, it’s all gone, and you can’t bring it back. UpdraftPlus protects you from every having to deal with this. This plugin simplifies backups and restorations and is the most popular scheduled backup plugin. If the worst happened like you were hacked or the server crashes, with having this plugin your website stays safe. It can be restored in no time! This plugin is FREE but if you need more features or options there is a premium version.
4. GDPR Cookie Consent
I have seen so many bloggers asking about the cookie bar and I decided this was important to add to my list. This plugin adds a banner either in the footer or header of your blog showing your compliance status regarding the new EU Cookie Law. It gives your visitors the ability to give you consent for your website to retrieve and store information. You need this banner if you plan to collect data from European Union visitors. This plugin allows you to fully customize the style so that it fits in with your colors on your website, styles, and fonts.
5. FTC Disclosure
This another one on the list that I see a lot of bloggers asking about because they don’t want to continuously type in their FTC Disclosure on every single post. This plugin makes it super easy to disclose to your visitors the relationships you have with brands on every post (including free products, affiliate income, or being paid to write about a brand). No more typing your disclosure every time you go to write new content or even forgetting. This was a lifesaver for me because I would either forget until hours later that I never wrote the disclosure and have to go back to add it in.
6. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
Keeping up with your websites traffic is so important especially if you plan to monetize your blog and work with brands. Brands are always wanting to know the amount of traffic you bring in before they make the decision to work with you and give you money. Also, knowing how people find you and use your website can help it doubling your traffic and sales. Google analytics gives you the best measurement on how many people are visiting your blog, how long they are staying, and all around gives you the tools you need to better understand your readers. I highly recommend this plugin!
7. WordPress Editorial Calendar
WordPress Editorial Calendar makes it super easy to see when your posts are scheduled. You can easily plan out future posts, edit them, and manage your entire blog just from this plugin. A fellow blogger introduced me to this plugin and I immediately fell in love because WordPress does not make it easy from the posts page to see what is going on. Working from the editorial calendar is super simple and saves a lot more time. I would recommend this plugin to all my lovely bloggers and guess what? It’s FREE!
8. Pretty Links
This is one of my favorite plugins as a blogger because you have so many links and this helps you make them pretty and short. This plugin enables you to shorten links using your own domain name while tracking each hit on your URL. With each hit, it gives you a full detailed report. When you become a blogger and start monetizing, your affiliate links will start to grow and having this plugin will be amazing. All my links are prettified. Ha!
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10. Social Warfare
To share your content your going to need a good social sharing plugin and this is the one. Social Warfare allows you to create attractive share buttons while also being lighting fast. You can choose from some of the popular social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. It allows you to put it before the content, after the content, both, or manual placement and even gives you the ability to have a floating share button. This is the perfect plugin to use so that people can easily share your content to their social media networks.
I must admit at first, I did not know how I felt about popups but then I decided why not give it a try and Sumo is by far the best plugin I used. This plugin is a powerful tool that helps in growing your email list with high-converting opt-in forms. You can email your subscribers, share your content and product, it has eCommerce features, and free customer support. Sumo is also a free plugin that you can use but does come with the option for premium features. Sumo can also be connected with other email providers, like for me, I use Mailerlite, and I have integrated it with Sumo. When someone signs up through my popups through my Sumo plugin they go straight to my Mailerlite e-mail list. This way I don’t have to add people to Mailerlite manually and I can use the beautiful popups with Sumo.
12. Wordfence Security
Wordfence security is one of the popular WordPress firewall and security scanners. As a blogger, you need to protect your website. You don’t want to lose all that you have worked for. This plugin is powered by the constantly updated Threat Defense Feed. The firewall protects you from being hacked. The scanner alerts you immediately about security issues or if your site was compromised. The live traffic views let you know about your traffic and the amount of hack attempts that occur. This plugin has it all and it is FREE to start protecting your website. They do offer a premium API key that will give you real-time updates and premium support.
Did you know that having 404 error pages hurts the rank of your site? Well this plugin is a solution to that problem. You can easily manage 301 re directions, keep tract of the 404 errors, and fix any problems with your site. The improvements can help with the ranking of your blog. Don’t let a few errors bring down your ranking!
What are some of your favorite plugins.. comment down below! I would love to learn about more plugins that could be a lifesaver.