Blogology-101: Plugin Essentials
We are so excited for the weekend but first we are back with our Blogology-101 series to share our favorite plugin essentials!
I know what you are probably asking…What the heck is a plugin? Great question!
Think of them like apps on your phone. They run the behind the scenes of your blog or website. They keep everything running smoothly and some even provide great data.
Okay, Let’s get started:
- Google Analytics: First, you need a Google Analytics account. You can easily set one up with your Gmail account. After you set up your account and once you download the plugin, you will start to see your analytics. The analytics are not only amazing but they are very helpful for website owners. You get to see everything from how many visitors you get, what gender they are, where they are from, how long they spend on your site, how many pages they visit, what pages they visit, even where they are referred from [aka how they find your site!], and so much more. Like I said, they are extremely helpful to you and your blog or business – and – if you are an influencer or part of a network, 99% of the time they require your stats.
- Akismet Anti-Spam: To keep it simple, this plugin protects your website from spam. I didn’t realize how bad the spam was until after I downloaded this plugin and all the spammy comments and traffic simply stopped. It’s not an exciting plugin but it sure is effective.
- Disqus Comment System: No matter what commenting system you use on your blog posts, you should have a commenting system so your readers can communicate and engage with you! I personally prefer Disqus because it allows users to login through either their Disqus account, Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus. Facebook has over a billion users so the chances of my readers having a Facebook account is pretty solid. I also like that they aren’t forced to have a Disqus account so it makes commenting on my posts very easy.
- Shareaholic: Shareaholic is a social media sharing plugin. It allows your users to easily share your content on their accounts. It also specifically helps with engagement, website traffic, monetizing, and conversions. If you don’t want to use Shareaholic their are other similar platforms that serve the same purpose but you should have an option that makes it easy for your readers to share your stuff!
- Yoast SEO: Honestly, I wish I had this plugin when I first started FCN, then again there was a lot of things I wish I knew when I first started blogging. If you are just starting out, make SEO a quick priority to learn. Basically this plugin allows you to quickly add SEO features to each of your posts. It not only helps save time but it also breaks down the content on each page to make sure you are putting the best out there.
- Popups – WordPress Popup: You know that annoying box that pops up when you visit a website? 🙂 Well this is your girl. I know they may seem annoying but it is a quick and simple way for you to ask your readers if they love you enough to want to see you in their inbox. They can simply click no [or sign up!] and then the pop up goes away so I don’t see any harm in pop ups. You can also set the pop up to show up again after a certain amount of days after they ‘x’ out the box so it doesn’t annoy them. I like this plugin because it is compatible with multiple platforms like MailChimp, NinjaForms, Postmatic, and more.
- Use Any Font: This might be the most exciting plugin on this list [haha] but seriously this one is fun. You know all my cool fonts that you see featured on my photos here? Well this plugin allows me to upload those fonts to my WordPress so I can use them in each post! It is really easy and it keeps my blog looking cohesive and branded.
- Alpine Phototile for Pinterest: Aside from the fact that I love Pinterest, it is the #1 traffic driver for my site so I am always looking to grow my account. By having the phototile display my Pinterest feed, users can easily access my account and [if they choose to], they can quickly follow me.
- Instagram Feed: Very similar to the Pinterest Plugin, the Instagram feed plugin simply displays my feed. It also allows for my users to quickly follow me or they can simply see the last four posts from my gram and what I have been up to.
- MailChimp for WordPress + MailChimp Top Bar: If you don’t use MailChimp that is totally cool but you should always be focused on building your email list. So whatever platform you use, you should make sure to have at least one or two spots available on your website so your readers can opt into your list. I choose to have a bar at the top of my website and on my side bar. Additionally thanks to the pop up plugin I have the pop up option as well but again if the user x’s out then it only shows up every 15-30 days.
- GM Block Bots: I used to get SO much spammy traffic. I didn’t realize until I stalked my google analytics and found out where the traffic was coming from but anyways, this plugin has been a lifesaver. It now allows me to see only real traffic from real websites and keeps my stats accurate.
Want More? How about our 15 Favorite Apps?
Here is your pin-able:
What are your favorite plugins? Comment below!