Even though I still consider myself to be a new blogger, there are some tips and tricks I’ve learned over the past several months that I’d like to share. I haven’t made my blog into an income producing business and I don’t have my own products for sale (yet). I don’t even always post three times a week like I want to! But I do have a decent looking blog, I’m having fun doing it, and WordPress has really made that possible.
When I decided to start a blog, I immediately knew that I would use WordPress as my platform. I had only very limited experience using WordPress for a former job so I had lots of learning to do. When you decide to start a blog, you’ll find an overwhelming amount of information available to you. So many great bloggers have led the way on and have been kind enough to share, through their trial and error, how to use the WordPress tools available to the greatest advantage.
One of my objectives in starting this blog was to help other people. I wanted to help young moms embrace this joyous task of motherhood, to share my experiences in this journey through life, and to encourage other people to start their own blogs. I have found blogging to be an incredible outlet for writing and it has forced me to write on a much more consistent basis. This blog is for my creative side; my financial business is for my nerd side. 🙂
WordPress Tools for New Bloggers
You could probably spend a lifetime learning all there is to know about WordPress. Even though I feel much more familiar and comfortable with it now, I feel like I’m only scratching the surface of its potential. Since there’s so much to learn, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. I’ve put together this list of WordPress tools and plugins that I use on my blog that will help you to feel like a pro in no time.
This is what I use for my pop-up box on my blog. It took me quite some time and several different plug-ins before I settled on Boxilla. It has been working well for me and integrated nicely with my MailChimp sign in form. I’ve seen other bloggers use different plug-ins, but unless this stops doing what I need it to, I’ll stick to it.
This is a plug-in that automatically places the social media share icons on the bottom of each of my posts. I like having this done automatically because it’s one of those things that I know I would forget. I’ve been learning that as much as possible I need to have things running on auto-pilot. One thing that you want to be sure of is to check the little box in the sidebar of each new post that says “Hide Related Content”. This keeps Shareaholic from including links to other external content on the bottom of your posts.
Yoast SEO –
I utilize this plug-in on every single post I write. It helps me to make sure each post is optimized for search engines. After you choose your keyword, the tool will show you how your post is measuring up and give you tips on how to improve it. You want to watch for the little light to turn green (from red or yellow).
Google Analytics –
This is one of those helpful systems that is not exclusively a WordPress tool. It is actually available to put on any website and allows you to track where your traffic is coming from, what posts they are viewing most, and what your bounce rate is. I have found it to be helpful in figuring out what kind of content my audience likes to see and where I can be improving my site.
Google Adsense –
Again, not a WordPress exclusive tool but one that will be helpful to you once you decide to monetize your blog. Once your account is approved, you’ll be able to paste ad code directly into your website to start running ads (and being paid per click). I use the Quick Adsense plug-in in combination with this system to easily get the code into my posts where I want it.
As I continue to learn more about the WordPress tools that help to make a great blog I will be sure to pass them on to you. These are only a handful of the tools and plug-ins that I’m currently using. I would be careful when you’re just starting out not to overwhelm your site with too many plug-ins. They can cause your site to load more slowly which in turn can drive away your readers prematurely.
I hope this has been helpful and that you are encouraged to go after your blogging dreams (if you have them!). Don’t let a fear of the technological side of blogging hold you back…there are so many great resources to help you!