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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
“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.
I love this. Want to see what it does?
[Tweet “Add ‘Click to Tweet’ boxes to your blog posts to encourage readers to share your content.”]
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.