There are so many plugins and other tools that you can add to your blog but how do you decide which ones you need or should install? For the most part, that will depend on what you are trying to accomplish. There are, however, a couple of plugins that you will benefit from regardless of your niche or what you are trying to accomplish with your blog. Here are my favorite WordPress plugins that help increase my blog traffic, subscribers, and my blog income.
Please note this post may contain affiliate links and ads, read my full disclosure HERE.
My Favorite WordPress Plugins
Plugins are so much awesome! So are just to make your blog look better, but some actually help improve your blog performance in the way of traffic, subscribers, and boosting affiliate income! Before I jump into my favorite WordPress plugins, you may want to check out this post on starting a blog. It includes a completely FREE comprehensive beginner's blogging course – GET YOUR BLOG ON – which will literally walk you through each step of understanding all the components to a blog, setting it up, plugins, email marketing, and so much more.
WordPress Plugins to Increase Traffic
We can all agree that having the right SEO keyword(s) for your post will generate great organic traffic. But SEO isn't the ONLY aspect of getting your content seen by others. When someone visits your blog and really likes your content, they'll want to share it on their platform of choice. I can't tell you how many times I've visited a blog that had outstanding content but I couldn't find the share button! I've also noticed that many new bloggers only provide a share button for the platforms they actually have an account on. WRONG!! You must provide the ability for sharing across any and all platforms – even if YOU don't use them or have an account.
You should also make the share buttons highly visible (big, bold, and a different color than your theme), as well as put them in more than one location. I have my share buttons set up at the top of the post, after the post, and along the side where it scrolls and I scroll down the page. MAKE IT EASY TO SHARE YOUR CONTENT!!
There are two really great plugins (you only need one of them) that can help with this:
Social Warfare is a great tool for making your social share buttons more productive. It enables you to place them in more than one spot, as well as allows visitors to share on any platform. Another awesome function of Social Warfare is the “click to Tweet” button. This button (located in your post editing dashboard) enables you to add a short tweet-able message within the text of your post. This can increase traffic to your blog because the audience of whoever clicks and tweets it will see it and possibly visit your site. BONUS: Here is a post on 10+ Tips to Boost Your Blog's Social Media Shares! (BENEFITS: social sharing and click to tweet function)
Sumo is another plugin that enables better social share buttons. Sumo doesn't have the “click to tweet” function, but it does enable you to add several other goodies like a welcome mat, list builder popups, and a smart bar. You watch a demo for each of these to see how awesome it is! (BENEFITS: social sharing, list builders, smart bar)
WordPress Plugins for Traffic from Pinterest
The last WordPress plugin that I HIGHLY recommend for increasing traffic to your blog is called Tasty Pins. This plugin specifically helps you increase your blog traffic from Pinterest. It enables you to add the correct Pinterest text to every single image on our site AND lets you hide pinnable images on the backend without having to mess with the coding! If you don't already know, you should have AT LEAST TWO Pinterest-worthy images (one visible and one hidden) on your blog so it is more likely to be shared on Pinterest. Pinterest is a HUGE driver of traffic for bloggers and helps tremendously while you are still trying to figure out your blog SEO and organic traffic. Check out Tasty Pins Now! (BENEFITS: hide additional pinnable images for increased social sharing on Pinterest)
WordPress Plugins to Increase Subscribers
It seems that so many new bloggers really struggle to get people to subscribe to their email list. Simply having a “Subscribe to my Newsletter” box over in your sidebar isn't going to do it. First, you need to offer them something in return for them giving you their email address. Something a simple as giving them a free downloadable file (which you can totally create for free using Canva) or even a password to access your resource library can produce huge results in getting people to your email list. The best way to accomplish this is with colorful and visually appealing images (optin forms) that grab their attention.
Email programs such as MailerLite do enable you to create very basic and bland boxes that can be embedded into your post but if you want something that will really GRAB THEIR ATTENTION, you'll definitely want to invest ina great plugin specifically for this purpose. I use OptinMonster and absolutely LOVE it! I use them for giving all sorts of free stuff throughout my blog such as access to my Profitable Bloggers Toolbox (see below!), free checklists, and more and I get outstanding conversions on all of them! (BENEFITS: Create high-converting and visually appealing optin forms to build your email list)
WordPress Plugins to Boost Blog Income
Now that you are getting traffic to your site, how do you convert them to customers! First off, if you are a new blogger, I hope you are using ShopStyle Collective to monetize your blog. Never heard of ShopStyle Collective? Check out this video where I explain how it works. You can use it for monetizing your blog AND for Pinterest affiliate marketing.
The one plugin you MUST have to improve your affiliate conversions – Pretty Links!! When you add affiliate links to your posts (hyperlinking text), the URL tends to be some crazy long mix of characters and numbers that make no sense at all. In a time when identity theft and online fraud are so common, many will question the validity of a URL that looks like that and may not want to make a purchase through it. My affiliate conversions took a huge turn for the better when I began using the Pretty Links plugin! It enables you to turn any affiliate link into a URL that resembles your blog or website URL. You can also create multiple “pretty links” for the same affiliate so you can track which placement is converting better. That means if you share it in a blog post, social media, email campaign, etc – you can see exactly which platform you are getting the most conversions from! I wish I had known about this plugin much sooner!
** Be sure you read the TOS for each affiliate program that you join. Some merchants do not allow cloaking of their affiliate links. Amazon is one of them. If you have Amazon links on your blog, do NOT make them Pretty!!