Blogging should be a mainstay in any business. It does not matter your industry, blogging will help you be seen as an authority in your field. When you start out blogging, there are a few choices to consider – which platform do I want to use, WordPress, Blogger or something else? What kind of look do I want it to have? How often should I publish? These are all decisions you have to make based on your goal in blogging.
In my honest opinion, WordPress is the way to to. It’s user and social friendly, there are so many theme options to pick from and their support is great. Most major websites are built on WordPress. Once you choose this platform to go with, you have to choose plug-ins to use. This leads me to this week’s Ask Mandy question, submitted by one of our community members –
I’m starting a blog, was curious if you have a set list of preferred or needed plugins that you use, or recommend, is there any kind of system or resource you have used to install them on your blog?
I will start of by saying I am only experienced in WordPress – I’m sure there are plug-in type things to install on straight HTML or Joomla sites. That being said, here are the top WordPress plug-ins I use –
This is the ultimate spam comment blocker. It’s free to use and will keep your comment stream spam-free.
There are several SEO plug-ins out there, but this one is my favorite. It’s very easy to use and I love the stoplight grading system it gives you for each page and post.
This plug-in is the reason Twitter is the #1 driver of traffic to my website. This plug-in will tweet out, on the schedule you decide, older posts that you have written, constantly keeping your content out there. Of course, this only works for evergreen content, so you’ll want to exclude those that are time-specific.
Filament is the owner of Flare, a social sharing plug-in. See the neat bar on the left of my screen where you can share this post across the web? That’s Flare. It’s easy to set up and you have several placement options and social network options as well.
Disqus is one of the many commenting plug-ins available for WordPress. You can use the one given to you in WordPress or you can add one with some more oomph. I like Disqus because I can keep track of comments on my site and other sites I’ve commented on that use this.
Every blog or website needs to have your social links on it for people to connect with you on the web. What I love about this plug-in is the customization. You can match your business colors and make them various shapes.
Of course, there are thousands of plug-ins to choose from and I have more than these 6 on my own site, but these are the ones I make sure are on my clients’ sites as well. When you use WordPress, they are all single-click installation so there’s no upload to an FTP server. You simply click “add new”, find the one you want and click “install”.
I would love for my community to chime in with their favorite plug-ins as well! Which ones would you add?