Building a blog is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner. When your site is regularly updated with content you stand a better chance at retaining an audience — and a customer base.
Around 6.5 million people blog regularly, as of 2018. Due to a ton of content pouring out on a daily basis, it’s important that you stand out from the crowd when you create your website’s blog.
How do you stand out?
One of the top connections between successful websites is the plugins they use to keep their blog up and running. If you’re looking to hit it big in the blogging scene, we’re here to show you some of the best plugins you can add to your WordPress blog this year.
These plugins all have a variety of functions that can make it easier for you to operate your business. We will explain the primary functions of each plugin and how they can benefit your blogging career.
When you’re in the development stages of your blog you’re going to want people to know that you have something big in the works. This is why you need a plugin like SeedProd, which will help you build the perfect coming soon page for your website.
SeedProd comes out of the box with over 500,000 backgrounds, 750 Google-approved fonts, and 50 beautifully crafted themes. Using the intuitive drag and drop builder you can customize the experience for your end user.
You can also use this as an opportunity to ask people to sign up for your email list for upcoming news on the blog. Wrap it all up with the ability to track referral links and email conversions and it’s easy to see why SeedProd is one of the best Coming Soon page plugins.
While creating content and your coming soon page should be at the front of your mind, one of the best ways to improve business early on is picking quality keywords and implementing a smart SEO strategy.
Yoast SEO makes search engine optimization a breeze. This plugin connects seamlessly with your WordPress website and gives you insight to your on-page SEO, tips on how to improve your ranking through smart highlights, and a checklist at the end of the post that gives you clear insight as to whether your SEO and readability are up to snuff.
As a blogger and business owner, you’re going to want to keep things short and simple — including your link building efforts. As the name implies, Pretty Links helps you make your links look better, and keeps them organized.
You’ll be able to convert one of your blog links into a shortened, “pretty” look in seconds. After you’ve shortened your link, it’s ready for social sharing, placing in content, and more. The best part about this plugin is you can easily track all of the links you’ve created. This feature makes tracking affiliate links, redirects, and social media links simple.
MonsterInsights is a plugin designed for those who like tracking their stats, but are looking to make it easy. This plugin gives you the ability to merge your Google Analytics with your WordPress website.
After installing MonsterInsights you’ll be able to track all of your important website data such as page views, bounce rate, sessions, conversions, and how readers are finding your blog. You can even go in and edit the Insights dashboard so all of your most important details are at the top of the screen when you view your real-time insights.
WP Rocket is an excellent choice for those looking to improve the speed of their blog. Data shows that there is a big difference in bounce rate depending on your website speed. If your page loads in 2 seconds, typically 9.6 percent of people “bounce.” If your site takes 7 seconds to load about 33 percent of people bounce from the page.
Creating a membership style blog is a great idea if you have valuable content that you know people will pay money to read. If you want an easy way to turn your knowledge into cash MemberPress can help you turn your existing WordPress blog into a premium membership site.
You can use the MemberPress plugin to create a tiered system if you want to gate content for premium users. It’s also possible to build a community forum page strictly for members of the site. Combine all of that with the ability to drip content to your members, a well thought out affiliate program, and the ability to track your memberships make this the premier choice for those who want a membership style blog.
OptinMonster is an excellent plugin choice for blog owners who have content but need more subscribers. The easy to use drag and drop builder make it a breeze to create and customize your own optin offer.
Out of the box, you’ll have access to highly effective campaigns. Some of the most popular campaigns include the slide-in scroll box, countdown timer, inline forms, and lightbox popups. This will open the door for you to push products like e-books and checklists and give readers a chance to subscribe to your email list. Plus, their exit-intent trigger is able to track when a user is about to leave your site and display a targeted message to them at exactly the right time. This allows you to stop users who are about to leave your site for good, and turn them into subscribers.
SEMRush is a marketing plugin designed to give you an advantage over your competitors. You’ll be able to track your rivals and see how they’re developing their ad campaigns with the click of a button. You’ll also be able to dive into keyword driven data to see which keywords are performing well, and which ones aren’t worth your time.
This plugin is excellent for blogs because it helps you focus in on your niche and see what other people are doing. You’ll have the edge and know early on what’s working and have the ability to change your marketing campaigns and add new content on the fly.
A good form can change the way a website looks and generate more leads. WPForms focuses on both aspects with their free and premium online form builder.
The reason this plugin is considered the best form builder is due to the fact that they use a simple drag and drop builder that allows you to easily create sleek and powerful forms. You can create a number of different forms types and add features such as multiple page forms, file upload, payment integrations, and more, all with a few clicks. The versatility and price point make WPForms the only form builder you’ll ever need.
Regardless of your business type, it can never hurt to have a customer service portal for questions or concerns. Live Chat allows you to add that feature to your WordPress site with just a few clicks.
You’ll be able to access your Live Chat profile on any device, making it easy to stay connected and know if there is an issue with your website. This plugin also gives you the ability to create canned responses to common questions, track your chat histories, and even the ability to customize your chat boxes from the ground up!
Part of having a popular blog means having content that people want to share on their social media platforms. Sharing used to be complicated, but SharedCounts makes adding social share buttons to all of your blog posts a cinch.
You’ll be able to track insights and see how many shares you have across specific social networks. This knowledge can help you shift your marketing campaign and target your blog to social platforms that are more responsive to your message.
Many blog owners have another motive for operating their website. In many cases, it could be because their blog helps generate traffic to their eCommerce shop. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to start an eCommerce store from your blog, you could benefit from WooCommerce.
The WooCommerce plugin allows you to seamlessly build an online shop with your WordPress site. You’ll have the ability to sell both physical and digital items — and can even offer instant downloads to paying customers. Couple these features with the ability to add your choice of payment portal, control shipping, and even rope off your business if you don’t do international sales, and it’s easy to see why 30 percent of online stores are run by WooCommerce.
Your blog’s security should be one of your first priorities. Sucuri is a WordPress plugin that works with your site to keep you protected from hackers. The technology packed in this small plugin allows you to keep out malware, brute force hackers, and even more calculated hacking attempts.
Sucuri is easy to download, easy to install, and overall the best way to keep your blog safe from hackers, phishers, and scammers.
Once your blog gets big and you start getting a ton of emails, it’s going to be harder to manage your leads when you send out your adverts and weekly newsletters. Stay ahead of the game with Constant Contact.
As your email count grows, you’re going to need a plugin that helps you create a winning email strategy. If you want to get more conversions, you need to learn customer behavior and send them targeted ads based on their behavior. Constant Contact allows you to do this easily by segmenting your subscribers based on many different factors. This will give you more access and control over your emails and your lead lists.
If you ask any blog owner how long they have spent working on their site, including writing content, many would laugh because the hours couldn’t possibly be measured. So why would they ever risk losing all that work? With UpdraftPlus all their hard work is safe and sound.
UpdraftPlus is an excellent plugin to have because it backs up everything on your website at regular intervals. If you should fall victim to a hacker or an addon breaks something with your site, UpdraftPlus will be there to help. They even offer a premium service that gives your website priority if things go wrong, allowing you to get your blog up and running as soon as possible.
Growing your blog to rock-star levels can be a daunting task, but these plugins will help make it easier. Remember, when choosing plugins to grow your blog, you have to not only consider plugins that will grow your traffic and get you more email subscribers. You also have to consider plugins that will help you manage your blog once it becomes a huge hit online.