Building and running a blog comes easy and challenging at the same time. On the one hand, starting a blog is super easy, I mean anyone can start one without sharing too much efforts. On the other hand, however, not all the blogs are created equal and not all of them survive in the competing blogosphere.
Building a successful and popular blog is another story. But what makes a blog successful and worth paying a visit to? Well, the answers can be long and varied, but as a blogger, I’ve come up with a simple yet working rule. People spend time on blogs or websites which are both informative and easy to use and navigate.
When I say informative,I mean offering high-quality, relevant and reading-worth content. Easy to use and navigate is all about functionality and great design. On top of that, popular blogs are the ones who can give a lot to the reader by taking very little.
If you’ve just started blogging and are kin to joining the rankings of well-known and successful blogs,WordPress grants all the chances. Below I share with you a short list of 7 WordPress plugins that will add value to your blog and increase your chances at gaining popularity and establishing a loyal readers’ base.
Form builders are great tools for obtaining information. They fit pretty good not only on landing pages but also on any other place that you’ll find necessary. Although forms are used primarily as a means for contacting the team behind the website,there are much more things that you’ll be able to do with WordPress Form Maker plugin. It allows you to create simple and multipart forms for surveys, questionnaires, registration, application, etc. using the fields which best fit the purpose of the form.
Form Maker comes with built-in pre-installed forms, 37 editable themes, layout customization options, data validation features, Captcha/ReCaptcha protection,submissions modification and other advanced functionality that you’d ever need. Forms are Google Maps and PayPal integrated.
Online calendars are widely used for disseminating information about various events. The reason behind it is simple-it’s because they do work. The most compelling aspect of event calendars is that they provide a handful of options to create and get the word out about any event on your website. With the WordPress Event Calendar WD creating, managing and promoting events on your website will get simple and straightforward. In addition to its ease of use it also provides a whole list of beautiful and highly customizable views which will also enhance the style of your website.
The plugin is responsive and supports microdata, which means your events will be easily seen by search engines.The events are displayed with full and detailed information, such as event venues, organizers, tags, categories, featured images, videos, URLs, etc.The calendar is also Google Maps integrated and supports social sharing buttons to expose your events to a wider audience with ease.
Don’t let your older posts and content get lost from the view of your readers.It may contain an information they might as well be interested in. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin is probably the best way to suggest related content to your readers and save them a lot of time. Its most standout feature is that it displays pages, posts and custom post types to your website visitors most relevant to the content they’re reading.
You can display the related content in list and thumbnails views and also make use of the available built-in templating system to have the results look exactly as you want. This is a great way to better engage your readers and have them come back more often to your website.
The value of sitemaps on a website can not be overlooked. They help search engines to crawl your entire website and thus provide better indexing of your content. Well-organized sitemaps is a great way to drive some organic traffic to your website and ensure your content is easily found.
Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps plugin is an advanced and functional tool to help you to take full control of your sitemaps generation.
You can choose which sitemaps you want to generate and customize them according to your needs. It enables you to add filters to SQL queries, include/exclude specific posts or terms. You can use custom XSL stylesheets to define how the sitemaps are displayed. It’s Google News sitemap feature enables you to let selected search engines know whenever you publish a post in a news category.
There are different ways of increasing the engagement of your posts but Disqus is probably the best way to do it. What it does is connecting commenters and discussion communities across various networks and makes your posts more interactive. The users have to sign in once for an account and access all websites using Disqus as a commenting system.
The plugins is SEO-friendly and helps search engines to index your comments section. It also successfully filters comments spam and makes their moderation a lot easier. The users can login with social media accounts and immediately start commenting, subscribe to specific comments threads, vote comments up/down and share them on social media. The plugin provides a lot of options to manage the comments and is rich with customization options.
Using the asynchronous Google Analytics tracking code this powerful plugin is the most popular and reliable analytical tool in the WordPress directory. With its incredibly easy to use dashboard you’ll be able to track all the activities on your website and get stats that are important for you.
The plugin also comes with highly configurable options for stats tracking to allow you to organize it the way that best suits your needs. You can disable/enable its every feature at any point.
Converting visitors into regular readers and subscribers is a challenge that every blogger faces at some point. OptinMonster can be your go-to-tool if you want to have the job done more easily. It allows you to create beautiful optin forms that are proven to work. The plugin comes with different form templates but also gives you full control to design and style them according to your preferences.It features a power exit-intent technology to track the behavior of your visitors and display based on different triggers.
You can try out different form styles, text, triggers, headlines to test what works best for your audience as its A/B split testing feature works out of the box. OptinMonster also gives you detailed conversion analytics to improve your strategy and get the most out of your optin forms.
Using plugins is great as long as they add value to your blog and provide features that you really need. As it is not recommended to go overboard with plugins using only the most necessary and high-quality ones is my strong advice. This short list is a good resource to take a pick of all the plugins presented above are loaded with useful and advanced features and are used by thousands of people. If you think there are other plugins also worth mentioning that I missed out, please let me know by adding a comment below. I’ll be glad to hear from you.