The Best WordPress Plugins for Blogging Freelance Writers

As a blogging freelance writer, have you ever thought to yourself, “I wonder which WordPress plugins other bloggers are using?”

Whether you want plugins to save you time or money – or just to make your site look cooler than it actually is – here are some of the best WordPress plugins for you to consider.

12 of the Best WordPress Plugins:

1.   Akismet

This protects your blog from comment and trackback spam. This will save you a lot of time weeding out all those spammy comments from your site. You have to sign up for an Akismet key first but that’s pretty simple.

2.   AZ-One

If you’re an Amazon Associates affiliate, this plugin identifies which Amazon site (com, ca, co.uk, de, fr, jp) is closest to your visitor and changes that link to direct them to their own country’s store. This means you never lose out on affiliate earning from Amazon, no matter where in the world readers click from. (Also useful if you release any of your own books or eBooks on Amazon.)

3.   Black Studio TinyMCE Widget

This plugin adds a WYSIWYG (‘what you see is what you get’) widget to your WordPress blog dashboard so you can easily customise elements in your sidebar without having to know code. Great for non-techie types like me.

4.   Broken Link Checker

Broken Link Checker does what it says on the tin – it checks your entire blog for broken links and missing images and notifies you if any are found. This prevents you from having dead links anywhere on your site, which can look mighty unprofessional.

5.   Evergreen Post Tweeter

Another of my favourite WordPress plugins, Tom Ewer’s Evergreen Post Tweeter enables you to automatically and consistently tweet out your posts and pages via a schedule set by you.

6.   Jetpack by WordPress.com

“Bring the power of the WordPress.com cloud to your self-hosted WordPress site.” Sure, that sounds great. What it means is that you can connect your blog to a WordPress.com account to use all the features normally only reserved for WordPress.com users. Site stats are a good one, but there are many more useful Jetpack features too.

7.   Click To Tweet

I love this. Want to see what it does?

It’s easy to use too – once installed, you simply click on the ‘Click to Tweet’ button when writing a new post and enter your text from there.

8.   Subscribe to Comments Reloaded

Hopefully if won’t only be spammers commenting on your masterpiece blog posts (see plugin #1 above). This plugin enables those who wish to comment on your posts to sign up for e-mail notifications when others respond or comment too.

9.   VaultPress

VaultPress is for your blogging peace of mind. It protects your website’s content, themes, plugins, and settings with real-time backup and automated security scanning.

10.   WordPress SEO by Yoast

I get the impression most bloggers use this, as it’s one of the best WordPress plugins for this type of thing. It’s a simple tool to help make your website pages and blog posts search engine friendly. Simply enter in your keyword search term and it will show you exactly how search engine friendly your post is (or isn’t).

11.   Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

This generates a list of related blog posts to the one you’ve just created, and displays them underneath your content. This means readers of just one blog post are more likely to hang around and read on if they like what they see. See this in action at the bottom of this post.

12.   Velvet Blues Update URLs

This little plugin is fantastic. Bamidele Onibalusi of Writers in Charge told me about this when I moved posts from my writer’s website to my blog’s new home. It updates URLs in your website by replacing old URLs with new ones. If you ever need to change a whole set of links within your site (and don’t fancy sitting there changing each one individually) this will do the job for you in the click of a button.

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Have I missed an excruciatingly important plugin you just can’t live without?

Please help make this the ultimate list of the best WordPress plugins for blogging freelance writers by adding your own recommendations in the comments section below.

Image courtesy of Aaron Hockley via Flickr.

11 thoughts on “The Best WordPress Plugins for Blogging Freelance Writers

  1. Hi, Kirsty, Thanks for all your great posts. Every time I see something about plug-ins, however, I get frustrated b/c either they don’t work for WordPress.com, or I’m just not getting how they do. I would love the click to tweet and opt-in forms.

  2. Thanks for this information, Kirsty–very helpful! There’s so much info out there, it’s great to have it ‘distilled’ a bit, especially by someone who’s availed herself of the tools in question. 🙂

  3. I like a few others to protect my posts:

    DMRights Content Copyright Protection
    Spam Free WordPress
    Tynt Insight for WordPress

    I was seeing lots and lots of traffic, and I could see where visitors were coming from, but not what happened when they visited.

    I was certain my articles were being ripped off. It seemed blocking “copy” options were the only way to self-defense. Now the only way to copy content on my site (I think …) is to be logged in.

    If I’m wrong, I’d really appreciate knowing it.

    Thanks,
    LS

  4. Hi Kirsty,

    You forgot an important one I use along with Akismet. It’s called G.A.S.P. (short for Growmap Anti-Spambot Plugin) and stops majority of spambots from spamming the comment form.

    Another one I use is Contact Form 7 honeypot, which uses Akismet and gives some shortcodes to insert into our CF7 form, to stop contact form spam. I once got flooded with 600+ emails. That was when I installed it. Another option is using another form’plugin – Ninjaforms. It’s free too and doesn’t need the 3 plugins mentioned above.

    Another is WP Smush-it for image sizes.

    Most Important: Any security plugin. I use iThemes Security.

    Disable comments’ plugin to disable comments on pages.

    Thanks for mentioning velvet blues. I did the same what you did – moved my blog from my writer site to a new domain. I used a free PHP scrip for changing the links.

    Can’t think of more right now, there may be a few more.

    1. That’s fantastic – thanks Raspal! I actually use an image optimizer (EWWW Image Optimizer) but forgot to include this. There’s plenty for me (and others) to look into here, so thanks.

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