So, you’ve selected your WordPress theme and have set about making it look as sexy as possible to your visitors. You have published plenty of worthwhile content with the help of a digital marketing agency, helping you get off to a good start with your blog as it’s picking up quite a lot of attention from casual visitors and other publications.
What else can you do to keep the momentum going? Well, you could always check out some of the best WordPress plugins to supercharge your writing blog.
When it comes to plugins, it’s important to remember that too many can really slow down your website and cause serious headaches to keep moderated and updated. However, strike a fine balance and you can look forward to another level of engagement with your readers.
Here are just ten of the best WordPress plugins you really ought to check out for your writing blog. Any we might have missed out? Leave a comment!
Sharing buttons are killer. By providing an easy prompt for your readers to share your article, you are opening a door to a new audience. Sumome is all this and more, allowing you to choose from many different tools all from one dashboard. There is a free option available, but your blog will have a Sumome badge on it. Upgrading is definitely worth it. AddThis is a decent alternative.
Thinking of wrangling some of your friends to come and guest on your blog? Co-Authors Plus is exactly what you need. It allows you to remove and authors on posts; really handy if you’re collaborating with someone on a project. In addition, you can add an article as yourself and then change the author to actually penned it – a common restraint with standard WP.
I absolutely swear by this plugin. Edit Flow is a simple framework plugin that allows for greater scheduling and management of tasks for editors. You can assign articles for writers to complete, check out what’s coming up in your schedule and have multiple layers of post status: pitch, pending review, in progress, and more. Absolutely essential for multi-author writing blogs.
If I read one more article boldly claiming that “SEO is dead!”, I am going to scream. SEO is well and truly alive, being just as important a process as it was ten years ago. A properly-optimised blog could be the difference between your article landing up and page one and one hundred. Yoast SEO is a straightforward plugin that does most of the heavy lifting of SEO for you, but it’s going to take more than just a plugin to get you ranking well on Google!
Thinking of writing content days, maybe even weeks in advance of actually publishing it? WordPress has a scheduling function that lets you do just that, but it’s not exactly bug-free. During the early days of Cultured Vultures, about half of the articles wouldn’t publish for when they had been scheduled for. Luckily, WP Missed Schedule regularly checks to make sure that nothing’s amiss and pushes out the content for exactly when it should be.
When it comes to choosing images for your WordPress blog, it’s too easy to go big and worry about pagespeed later. The bigger your images are (the larger they are aesthetically, the larger they will be in file size), the more it’s likely to slow down your website. A free tool like Imsanity compresses your images to a reasonable size without compromising on sharpness or quality.
The standard comment section that comes with WordPress is a little bit boring, let’s be honest. That’s why something like Disqus has made such a killing with many bloggers choosing to adopt the platform instead of the native option. It’s really simple and personable, helping you to craft a community from the ease of a dashboard. After having it on Cultured Vultures for over a year, I am happy to report that a single spam comment hasn’t made its way through the filters!
Arguably an essential plugin for all WordPress sites, W3 Total Cache is the foremost caching tool out there. It’s easy to get to grips with, meaning that even the newest of bloggers can sort out a faster website for themselves in minutes. You can minify your weighty HTML, CSS and JS from one dashboard and much, much more. If you configure it properly, expect to see your website jump up by at least ten points in Google Pagespeed Insights.
Ever noticed that people are finding your website but only reading one article before quickly departing? In this age of six-second videos and short attention spans, keeping your readers engaged is a real challenge. Inline Related Posts goes a long way towards keeping your bounce rates down by providing eye-catching, unobtrusive prompts to similar articles.
Not exactly essential, but definitely a handy little plugin to (hopefully) provide you with a bit of spending money. As any web publisher knows, sustaining a site on advert clicks alone is a little naive, so that’s where the tinyCoffee plugin comes in handy. You can set it up to send donations to your PayPal with just a few clicks. That reminds us, we need some coffee…
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