*This article contains affiliate links. Take note, however, that I use all of these tools myself on YourWealthyMind.com and I won’t recommend things that I don’t really trust.
Whether you want to build your brand or business, earn money online, or to simply express yourself and your creativity, blogging is still one of the best and most accessible ways for you to publish content online. I’ve been blogging seriously for well over a year now, and these are the best blogging tools and plugins for wordpress that I personally use on YourWealthyMind.com. If you want to start your own blog, you might want to start using these yourself.
20 Best Blogging Tools and Plugins for WordPress
*By the way, I’m assuming that you’re also using a wordpress-based website. While there are a lot of free blogging websites out there, if you’re serious about blogging I suggest paying for your own self-hosted blog/website and using a good premium theme (like these from Studiopress – this is especially true if you’re not that good at webdesign).
Google Website Tools:
*Google has a lot of great free tools and these are the ones I use the most.
- Google AdSense (and Plugin) – This is one of the most common ways to monetize or earn money from your blog. If you want to learn how to get an approved google adsense account, read my post here.
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner – One of the best ways to get organic traffic is to rank for keywords. Use this free tool to find search terms you can rank for.
- Google Analytics – This is one of the best ways to know your website’s stats in order to find areas of improvement. With this tool, you can observe the number of visitors on your website, your bounce rate (how many leave after one page), most popular posts, and many more.
- Google Webmasters (and Bing Webmaster Tools) – Like analytics, you can use these tools to track your website’s performance and identify any problems. These also record traffic data and keywords, and you can also use these to notify search engines if you’ve made any updates on your site.
*Note: I’m leaving out the links for most of these are you can search for them on the WordPress Plugin search.
- Yoast SEO Premium – If you want to improve your website’s visibility on the internet, you’ll want to use a search engine optimization (SEO) plugin like this. While Yoast has a free version, I personally bought the premium version to put more keywords* on each post.
*In case you’re wondering why that’s important, you have to know that usually, you can only rank for one set of keywords. For example, “save money” and “save more money” are considered different by the search engines and I’ll have to choose which one I want to aim for. With the premium version, I can add more than one keyword set (max of 5) and try to rank for all of them, thus improving my search traffic.
- Akismet – This is a popular tool for screening spam comments.
- Google Custom Search – While wordpress has a search function, Google’s is better and that’s why I use it on my website.
- Login Lockdown – This is to prevent the usual brute force login attempts by hackers.
- Ad Inserter – I use this to automatically add google ads to all my posts.
- Smart Slider – I use this slider plugin to feature my latest posts. I used to use Meta Slider Pro, but since it started using an annual subscription model instead of a one-time payment, I decided that it was not worth the price. I use Smart Slider now.
- JQuery Pin It Button – If you use Pinterest (follow YourWealthyMind here), this plugin adds a pin it button on your website’s images. That will make pinning posts much easier.
(Most of the premium plugins I use come from CodeCanyon by the way. Click here to check out what they have as they might have something you’d want to add to your website/blog.)
- Easy Social Share Buttons – Do you see the floating social media share buttons on the side? If you want your posts to be shared on Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus, and other social media sites, a plugin like this will be very helpful.
- Ninja Popups – This is one of the best and most customizable popup plugins out there so I use this.
- WP Pro Advertising System – This is a premium plugin that I use for special and specific ads. I recommend this due to the sheer number of display options available (corner peel, layered, fly in, etc.).
Third Party Services:
- MailChimp for WP – One main tip given by other bloggers is that you have to build a mailing list. I recommend MailChimp when starting out as it’s one of the few out there that offer a free mailing list option. There are other email services, however, and you can check out this guide about cloud based email services here.
- Viral Content Bee – If you want others to proactively share your posts on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Stumbleupon), you can use this free service. When you share other people’s posts, you earn points which you can use to make others share yours.
- Buffer – This is a free service I use to automatically schedule my posts and tweets on Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter.
- Pixabay.com – My main source of free/CC0 images.
- Amazon Affiliates – This is another great way to earn money online. Every time somebody clicks your link and buys a product, you earn a small commission from it. I use this when recommending books that I’ve read. Check out the two books below to see how the affiliate links can look (Note: I’ve read and recommend those books by the way).
- The Most Valuable Tool: A Pen and Notebook for capturing Ideas. There’s a saying, “the faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory.” Always record your ideas or run the risk of losing them forever.