Six Essential Marketing Plugins
This is the final post in a three-part blog inspired by Writer.ly PubCamp. The first installment detailed seven WordPress plugins every blogger should have. Today I’m going to focus on plugins that are specific to making your site more popular and building up your platform. If you don’t know how to install plugins, check out the post I wrote yesterday on that very topic.
The point of all these plugins is to encourage people to comment, share and keep coming back for more. Of course, the number one key to engaging your readers is providing content people want to talk about. But once you have that, these plugins will help take your best content further. And because I’m a penny pincher, note that all of these plugins are 100% free.
Having trouble getting comments on your blog? CommentLuv gives back to bloggers who take the time to comment. It pulls up the commenters RSS feed and allows them to choose a recent post to link to under their comment. Not only does this encourage commenting, seeing another writer’s latest post encourages the community by giving you a little insight into the world of those commenting on your site.
A Sharing Plugin
You want folks to share your latest posts, right? Then why not include sharing buttons at the bottom of every post? This is different than the buttons that link to your own Facebook and Twitter pages. These buttons make it easier for readers to share your stuff on their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. There are countless sharing plugins in dozens of styles. Shareaholic is my current favorite.
Do you ever get frustrated that you have all this great content in the archives, while readers only ever hear about your latest post? This plugin is simply an excuse to get eyeballs on some of your older content. NRelate will show off the most popular posts on your blog. I like NRelate over others because they show thumbnails with each post, and offer them in a variety of styles.
Like the plugin above but even better. Not only does Related Posts drive traffic to your older content, it drives them to content related to what they just finished. If you’ve just enjoyed reading the Best Indie Pop of 2012, NRelate will suggest you might be interested in the Best Indie Pop of 2011 too. Not only does this make the most of your archives, it also keeps people on your site longer, which affects your bounce rate, a critical factor in SEO.
Speaking of driving traffic to old posts, here’s one handy tool for Twitter users. I’m not wild about automating social media, but this is one plugin I can’t resist. Tweet Old Posts will randomly send one of your old posts to Twitter. It is fantastically customizable, so you can tell it how often, how random, the maximum number of tweets, and how far back to dig in your archives. You can even set it to always send out with a message (like, “Flashback Friday:” or “From the Archives”) or tell it categories you want to omit (Events would be a good one!). I love this plugin!
In marketing, we have this idea that you should always end with a call to action. When people reach the end of your post, what do you want them to do? Sign up for your mailing list? Check out your latest book? With Post Ender, you get a little box at the bottom of each post to drive people to whatever your current call to action is.
One tricky thing about this plugin is that you have put the info you want in the box using HTML. If you don’t know HTML, one trick is to write it in your WordPress post draft, then click on the Text tab to see the HTML. Copy that and put it into the Post Ender box.
These Are My Favorite Plugins
With these thirteen plugins (the six from today, and the seven essential plugins I shared earlier) you should be all set to have a blog that can compete with the most professional sites in the world, and all without spending a penny.
What’s your favorite WordPress plugin?
Sound off in the comments!
Karma Bennett offers fully customized publicity campaigns tailored to the needs of her clients. In addition to traditional publicity outreach, she offers assistance with social media, marketing, SEO, book tours, and branding. She loves helping authors find the value in Twitter, Tumblr and other social media resources.
Prior to founding Future Is Fiction Communications, Karma was the publicist for Ulysses Press, voted by Publishers Weekly as one of the fastest-growing indie publishers in the world three of the four years she was in their employ.
She is a board member for San Francisco’s Book Promotion Forum.
She will be speaking February 13th-16th at the San Francisco Writers Conference.