I’ve been on WordPress now for just over a year now. I migrated over from Blogger after deciding that I wanted more control over the look and feel of my blog. I wrote a whole post about the move here. In that time, I’ve discovered some fantastic plugins that have made my blog better for my audience and for myself as a content creator and all round editor. Keep reading to find out which free wordpress plugins you should be using to grow your blog.
The plugin that has had the biggest impact is Yoast SEO. I’m no SEO expert and Yoast makes it easier for somebody like me to ensure that their content is as optimised for SEO as humanly possible. This plugin appears directly below the box where you draft your posts. It’s easy to use and lists all the things to improve in the post you’re writing. It taught me everything from how my meta data is important right down to if my blog post has enough words in it. There are so many things you can do to ensure your content is in it’s best possible state for SEO and Yoast points you in the right direction.
Revive Old Post
When I first moved over to WordPress one of the things I was most keen to do was download a plugin that would tweet out my older content to drive more traffic to my website. Well, I found my plugin; Revive Old Post. You can use a paid form option but I find the free one brilliant for bringing people to my older content. You can pick how many times a day you want it to automatically tweet out your older posts (mine is set to one post every eight hours) and what you want the tweet to say before the title (when I first started I went with something like: ‘On the blog’ followed by the link to the old post). It even lets you only send out posts in certain categories or with certain tags (so no Christmas posts in April) and will continue to tweet on a constant loop until you tell it to stop.
YouTube Channel Gallery
As somebody who creates YouTube videos as well as maintaining my blog, I want everybody to know that I have both outlets for my content. I don’t always like to do a specific post on my blog when I post a video so the YouTube Channel Gallery is perfect for letting my blog readers know when i’ve posted a new video. Ideally, they’d have subscribed to my channel but not everybody does so this is a great option. People find their way to your blog through various paths and you want to let them know about all your social media outlets. YouTube Channel Gallery shows a line of my most recent videos at the bottom of each page so if something takes somebodies interest they can just ‘click’ and watch there and then.
Dis you know that you can get a view of your Google Analytics straight onto your WordPress Dashboard? Why can’t you just go to the site you may ask. The dashboard version on Google Analytics shows you the most basic information which also happens to be some of the most important (to me anyway) – page views, unique users and real time information. It’s great to be able to quickly track how my blog is doing so I can make the changes that are needed as I go along.
Now I only found this plugin a few weeks ago and I have to say, I’ve already seen such a difference. For a long time now, there has been a bit of a debate about Bloglovin and if it’s a good platform due to the fact that if somebody reads your post through it, you don’t always get the page view. Advanced Excerpt makes sure that you do by only posting the first 40 words of your post with a ‘read more’ button. This ensure that people actually visit your blog and you get the stat recorded on your google analytics. This is especially helpful if you’re using your stats when working with brands as it will show more of a true reflection of how many people are visiting your blog.
So those are my favourite free WordPress plugins that have helped me grow my blog and ensure that it’s getting the best possible reach that it can get. There are a ton more plugins available that are extremely useful and make blogging just that little bit easier. For those of you on WordPress, what’s you favourite free WordPress plugins to use?
Photo: Sophie Neal