This post was originally posted in February 2014. It has been updated to reflect my current opinions on the free WordPress plugins I use.
I can’t believe I have been blogging for close to five years now. Over the years, I have started about five blogs, used countless plugins, met some great people and learned a ton of things.
If you blog on WordPress, you know that plugins can help make your blogging experience more enjoyable and easy. Therefore, today I am sharing some of my favorite plugins that help me run my blog.
Many bloggers have a goal of increasing their traffic and readership. However, from my experience, more traffic = more spam. I have used Akismet since the beginning and it has protected me from thousands of spam comments.
If you approve all of your comments manually this free WordPress plugin can save you a ton of time.
Better Click to Tweet
Twitter is my favorite social network, which you will find me to be very active on. Better Click to Tweet allows you to encourage engagement on your blog posts by embedding a specific tweet that your readers can share on their Twitter accounts. I have been using this plugin for a couple of months and so far, so good.
Reddit is another one of my favorite social networks because when there I just learn so many things. One thing I was introduced to there is ChangeTip, which allows you to receive tips in Bits. I have received a few tips and given out tips and I just like the ease of using.
If you dabble with Bitcoin, you will love using the ChangeTip plugin.
CoSchedule is a social scheduling tool on steroids. It makes keeping your social media channels updated and tracking your social marketing results super easy. You do have to pay a monthly fee to use the tool, but I have been with them for multiple months now and the investment easily pays for itself in a week.
If you are someone who uses an editorial calendar faithfully, CoSchedule is one of the free WordPress plugins that you need.
As a blogger, it is important that you disclose on your posts when you have received money, free products, or are using affiliate links. When first starting out I was unaware of this, but once I found out Disclosure Picker has been my plugin for this. It allows you to select the appropriate FTC approved disclosure, so you can disclose your posts properly with one click.
Embedly is one of the newer plugins I have added, but it doesn’t disappoint. It allows you to embed items from other sources, such as Youtube and Instagram, into your blog posts. Currently, it supports more than 300 different services.
Before Embedly, I had multiple plugins to embed different things, now this is the only plugin I need.
Google Analytics by Yoast
Installing Google Analytics into code was a nightmare for me. I am a writer, not a coder, so if I mess with my code, there’s a good chance I will destroy my entire site. Google Analytics by Yoast was an easily solution to get Google Analytics installed correctly and it only took a couple of minutes to do so.
Meks Easy Ads Widget
If you run ads on your blog, Meks Easy Ads Widget will get the job done. You just upload the image URL and the site URL and you are good to go. It is not as fancy as some plugins that I have used in the past to manage my ads, but it allows me to rotate ads and automatically size them, so I am happy.
Public Post Preview
If you work with companies and do content for them on your blog, Public Post Preview can help a lot. It allows others to view your scheduled posts before they go live, so you can eliminate the hassle of having to make changes to posts once they are live.
If you run gift guides or have long-term contracts with brands, you will find this free WordPress plugin to be beneficial.
From personal experience, I know that your site can be hacked at any time. Do yourself a favor and make sure you have WordFence Security installed to keep the hackers out and your content safe. This is one of the free WordPress plugins bloggers in all niches can benefit from.
If you want to make sure that your posts have a good chance of being seen, Yoast SEO, can help you do just that. It is easy to use and provides you with tips for improving your content.
You don’t need to hire an SEO expert with Yoast SEO in your corner.
Well these are eleven of my favorite plugins, which free WordPress plugins make blogging easier for you?