Work smarter, not harder. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Blah. Blah. Blah.
Those sentiments are nice, but you can’t work smarter, not harder or not reinvent the wheel if you don’t know what tools you should be using.
But don’t worry– I’ve got you. I’m sharing my very favorite plugins that help me be an efficient blogger while maximizing my content and reach. Ready to get a few new tools for you blog? Let’s do this.
I freaking love CoSchedule. It’s an app that combines your editorial calendar with your social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Buffer, and G+). The calendar is a drag-and-drop one that integrates seamlessly with WP. Because you schedule your social media in relationship to your post, if you need to move your post to a different date (drum roll please), you don’t have to reschedule your social media. It just changes. Like magic. Like time-saving, better-than-Harry-Potter magic.
Since I went all in and began using it, I’ve seen increases across my social media and in my blog stats. I’m not just talking numbers, I’m talking about engagement too. And, have I mentioned that CoSchedule saves me easily 5 hours A WEEK because it works so seamlessly and because I can see my content schedule for all of my content all in one place. It is boss. You can try CoSchedule on a trial basis and then add weeks to your trial by sharing it with your social media platforms. I had 5 weeks of free CoSchedule before I invested in it. Seriously.
Revive Old Post
You can set this app to tweet out your older posts. Just figure out how many per day (I’ve got mine set to 1), create an eye-catching phrase (mine is “Did you miss this? >>>>”), connect it to your Twitter, and let it go. That’s it. It’s free, too.
SumoMe is awesome. Period. Try it out. SumoMe is a suite of tools that make it easy to put share buttons on your site, easily launch pop-ups and opt-ins, install heat maps, and figure out how many people are reading how much of your content. It’s super easy to use and can be customized for your blog’s color scheme. Using SumoMe is free, although there are a few site upgrades available for a couple of bucks. I use the free version.
Broken Link Checker
Broken Link Checker sends me an email every day with a list of the broken links that are showing up on my blog so that I can take care of them. All I need to do is log into my site and all of the broken links are in one place. I can fix them or unlink them and it takes just minutes. Totally free plug in.
Related Posts by Zemanta
Another completely free plug in, Related Posts is easy to install and helps to suggest older posts that my readers might be interested based on the article’s keywords and categories. I love that it does everything and that, after set-up, I don’t have to do anything. It works for for me to generate more page views and get more eyes on older, possibly forgotten posts.
Stylish Popular Posts
And talking about another plugin that gets more eyes on my post with 0 effort for me… Stylish Popular Posts is one of the most clicked on features of my blog, according to the heat maps produced by CoSchedule. There are two tabs– Most Commented and Most Viewed, so your readers can see what’s up on your blog. It’s free, too.
Click to Tweet
Created by the same brilliant people at CoSchedule, Click to Tweet creates really stylish boxes that your readers can tweet with a click of a button. And yes, people actually use it! I make sure to add my Twitter handle to every CTA so that I can retweet it and maximize it’s reach. It’s also a great way to thank readers for reading and tweeting! And it’s free! Yay!
WP Gallery Custom Links
I use this free plugin to create uniform galleries of all of my posts in my category pages. It’s easy and you can add alt text as well as hyperlinks all at one time which means saving time, too.
The galleries also have codes so you can embed them in individual posts. I did this for my post “How IKEA Saved Us Money on Wedding Decorations.” Almost 25% of my total traffic goes to this particular post (and then usually leaves the blog). I’ve added a gallery of other wedding posts to the bottom of the IKEA one and have seen a drop in bounce and exit rates. That’s a win!
The free plugin literally green-lights your post for proper SEO. Just tell it what your focus keywords for the post are, and it will let you know where you need to add those keywords to optimize correctly.
Print Friendly and PDF
At the bottom of each of my posts, I’ve got two little icons just chillin’. One is a print friendly button that will allow you to print any blog post. The other is a PDF one that creates a PDF copy of the post that you can safe and archive for when you need it. It’s a free plugin that allows me to give my readers another way to enjoy my posts and use them later.
Now, how about you? What are your go-to plugins that safe you time and optimize your work?
PS. If you liked this post, check out 5 Free and Fantastic Resources to Prettify Your Blog!
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