I want you to read my blog. Heck, I want everyone to read my blog. Isn’t that the name of the game here? There isn’t really much point in writing blog posts if no one is reading them, right? It makes me think of the old question: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it really make any sound?
Obviously, the most important part of blogging is that you write engaging, interesting, relevant, readable content. Every post might not meet all four criteria every time, but that should be every blogger’s goal. After all, you don’t want to put your readers to sleep.
Now that you have great blog posts, you need to let the world know so they can read and share your posts. You should be publicizing your posts through Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon and other social media platforms and groups. You should also be reading and commenting on blogs that complement yours and might attract like-minded readers. In addition, there are WordPress plugins you can add to help attract readers and get the word out.
Here are six of my favorite WordPress plugins (in no particular order) that have helped increase traffic and improve readership on my blogs.
CommentLuv automatically places a link to your commenters’ latest blog posts. Allowing your commenter a link from your blog can encourage some commenters, especially those familiar with the very popular plugin, to visit and comment more often in an effort to attract more traffic to their blogs. CommentLuv gives you the option to set the links to do-follow or no-follow. CommentLuv comes in free and premium versions, with the premium version giving additional options if visitors +1, Like or Tweet your post. In addition, commenters can leave their twitter names and offer stats to track your links. http://comluv.com/
I LOVE this plugin. It does exactly what it sounds like. You can use it to automatically tweet old posts from your blog at specified intervals. Instead of letting those great posts languish on your blog and fade into obscurity, this plugin keeps them in the information flow. It does have a setting to exclude specific posts or complete categories, so you don’t accidentally retweet an expired special or old giveaway. Tweet Old Post is free. http://www.ajaymatharu.com/wordpress-plugin-tweet-old-posts/
Don’t be put off by the name. Sexy Bookmarks is a very professional-looking plugin. Sexy bookmarks makes it easy for your readers to share your content across the web. With more than 80 different sharing platforms to choose from, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumbler, StumbleUpon and Google Plus, it’s a one-click operation for your readers to help publicize your blog and recommend your posts to their readers and followers. Sexy Bookmarks is a free plugin. http://sexybookmarks.shareaholic.com/
Are you looking for a way to keep readers on your site longer? Hoping they’ll stick around and read a few more posts. nRelate displays up to 10 related posts from your blog at the end of each post to make it easy for readers to spend more time on your blog. Anything that encourages visitors to read and comment more and stay longer is a good thing for your website, right? Longer time means more opportunities to convert those readers into subscribers and customers. nRelate is a free plugin. http://nrelate.com/
This nifty plugin emails a little thank-you note to your blog commenters, letting them know you appreciate their comments. The email is completely customizable—you decide what you want it to say and what kind of format you have. You can also have up to four different messages so frequent commenters don’t always see the same message. This is a great way to make sure no one gets overlooked since you can’t always be right there to respond when someone comments. http://blog.pipvertise.co.uk/wordpress-plugin-thank-me-later/
I’ve used other SEO plugins in the past, but I have found this one to be one of the simplest and most versatile. It has a host of options for optimizing not only your posts, but your entire blog. It offers on-page content analysis so you can optimize before you publish and without exiting from your post. In addition, if you’ve used another SEO plugin previously, this one has an import feature. WordPress SEO also has a built-in XML sitemap generator and it pings the search engines automatically for you after you publish new content. This is also a free plugin. http://yoast.com/wordpress/seo/
Do you have any favorite WordPress plugins or one you think I should know about? Please share your thoughts and questions in the comment section below.
Marie Leslie is the chief Creative Genius at Marie Leslie Media. With 30 years experience as a professional writer, editor and photographer she has had work published in many regional and national magazines. Marie currently writes and teaches about business and social media, helping people to understand and make use of the ever-changing internet. She offers social media training and set up, including blog set-up and optimization as well as blog writing & social media management services.
I love this blog, so informative and useful. I hope you will share more content like this in the future.
Thanks for sharing this list of plugins! Glad I popped by your informative blog. I bookmarked it!
I LOVE Tweet Old Post!! Since installing it I have seen more traffic to my site!
I think it is my favorite traffic-boosting plugin, Mandy. When I first installed people told me it wouldn’t work, but I’ve never had a problem and it has definitely boosted my traffic.
WordPress SEO is great and so is commentluv. I need to get that on my blog but I have facebook comments and I have to switch things over first. The Thank You plugin looks like a good one too.
You do want to switch things over from FB comments, Denise. You really want your comments to be directly attached to your blog. It’s why I’m not a fan of any commenting plugin but commentluv. Commentluv doesn’t actually do anything to your comments but allow readers to add their latest post. Some of the others, if you remove them, you lose your comments as well.
A very simple, lightweight plugin that saves a bit of time is My Page Order. You can quickly drag and drop pages into order, which means time saved when you add new pages and decide the previous order is no longer best.
Sounds interesting, Michelle. Sounds perfect when you have lots of pages. I do hate trying to remember which page gets which number to get them into the order I want. I will have to check it out.
I would like to save some plugins from one of my wordpress blogs and upload them to another wordpress blog I own. The only way I can see so far is to back up my entire WP database and use phpmyadmin, but that backs up the entire site, all I want to do is reuse the plugins. Some I paid for and can use again on any site.
Did you download the plugins when you purchased them? If you did, you can just upload them to your new site. You may need to go back to the purchase site and download them again. As for any other plugins, it would work the same way.
Hi! Blog posts that are boring will not get any following, so these plugins you recommended wouldn’t be useful on a blog like that. However, yours is exciting and informative enough to use them. My favorite plugin as a user is the sexybookmarks, not because of the name, but because of all the platforms it supports. Now, what I’ve noticed is that everyone is pushing commentluv, but it actually only works for blog owners, so everyone else who wants some of your linkjuice is forced to put their keywords in the name field without their real names. I tried using commentluv with a regular website, and it doesn’t work. So, I think it would be a good idea to add this plugin to the already existing ones. Thank you for your post!
I wish you and your family a very happy Christmas and new year!! Hugs, Flora
These are really good plugins mate. Thanks for sharing them. They can increase traffic of any blog drastically.
Great post Marie. As someone new to blogging – my own website up shortly – it’s highlights just the sort of things I need to consider. Many Thanks.
Thanks for sharing these great ideas. I’ll be checking out “Thank Me Later” and “Foobar”, for sure.
Great plugins listed here Marie. I think I use almost all of them – and give a rousing recommendation for CommentLuv Premium and the WordPress SEO. I also use the nRelate plugin and like it as well. Guess what I am checking out now? The other plugins you mentioned. I have an automatic schedule of my old posts that goes out through a third party app provider, but this sounds like a possibility.
One of my favorite new plugins is the FooBar – which is like the Hello bar on steroids. Only problem is that it seems to be quite sensitive to sites that already run java – and I am not liking that as much. Also, found a couple others that use shortcodes and extend their functionability within the theme – which can be fun 😉
I will definitely be checking out the FooBar and see if it’s something I can use. I also am beginning to explore shortcodes as well. Thanks.
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