When the term "blog" comes up, most people usually visualize a string of blog posts filled with tons of content listed in chronological order. While that may be true, it's not the only way to use blogs. Blogs include many elements including videos, info graphics, photos, slideshows, Twitter feeds, Facebook updates, and more. Not only can they spice up an otherwise dull blog, they're great on those days you are short on words. I know I can't be the only one to experience writer's block every now and then! 

To make your life a little easier and truly inspire you to utilize other elements of your blog posts, I've included a list of places to get some useful multimedia. 

Photos: Everyone knows how useful photos in blogs can be. But unless you take your own photos, you just might struggle with finding some worth using. Don't even think about googling images! You'll find yourself in a nasty battle over usage terms and copyright if you don't credit the photo properly. Instead visit stock photography sites such as Stock Photos for Free,  Morgue File, or  Free Digital Photos, . There you''ll find thousands of photos in several categories approved for publishing uses in blogs as long as you credit the photo accurately. If giving the photo owner credit is a problem, you can also purchase the rights to use the photo for as little as $3 on some sites. That's what I did when publishing my latest ebook

Video: The use of video is hardly a new phenomena when it comes to blogs, but that doesn't make it any easier for people to find decent videos relevant to their blog post. YouTube is a no brainer when it comes to searching the web for videos to use in your blog. Check channels that are relevant to your blog content and subscribe. Vimeo is also a great and underrated website for videos. Even more valuable for credible and great quality videos are your favorite news stations. Check ABC, Fox News, CNN, The Onion, and more for noteworthy videos. 

Infographics: Everyone knows numbers and stats are much easier to grasp when their in photo or graph. That's why infographics come in handy. However, they can be very hard to find and even harder to make. Infogram has both of those issues covered. The site allows you to build your own infographic or search the site for free! However, if you are short on time, and have a big budget, you can hire Visua.ly to make one for you based on your data. 

Music: I know music isn't visual, but it really can be a great addition to a blog post. Music can help create certain emotions, tell a story, or just entertain your readers. Visit Sound Cloud or Free Music Play to score some great sounds for your blog. 




 
 
After months and months of procrastination, you finally jumped on the blog bandwagon. You saw the benefit, planned your content and jumped headfirst with several posts lined up. Though you adhered to your editorial calendar and checked SEO, you probably aren't taking advantage of all your blog's capabilities. 

Beyond the content and design, there is a whole world your blog is dying for you to take advantage of. It's the world of plug-ins. Plug-ins aren't just flashy gadgets; they're useful accessories that can take your blog to a whole new level. Not only can the right plug-in increase visibility, it can help attract more readers if you pick the right ones. Below are five plug-ins every blog should have. 

CommentLuv - We all know a good way to get comments on your blog is to read and comment on other blogs. CommentLuv is a plug-in that provides a link to recent posts to other blogs under a person's comment. Using it allows the commenter to promote their blog and it allows you to find more blogs to follow and comment that could potentially lead to more views on your blog. 

SEO by Yoast Everyone knows how important SEO is, but yet so many people have no idea how to do it effectively. SEO by Yoast takes the guesswork out of search engine optimization. By simply inserting your "focus word" in the form, the plug-in scans your document letting you know how many times you've used your keyword and if it needs to be used anymore. After checking your post, a green light, red light, or yellow light, alerts you to when your post is publish-ready or if more work is needed to further optimize it for search engine results. 

Akismet: Spam isn't just canned ham anymore. It has found it's way to the Internet in more places than just your email's junk folder. It's can now be seen on a blog near you. But that doesn't mean it should be seen. Not only does spam make your blog a little unsightly, it takes a lot of time to delete them. That's time you could be spending promoting your blog or creating more content. That's where Akismet comes in. This plug-in captures all the fishy comments and puts them in your spam "folder." Yo u then have the option to trash the legitimate spam or "allow" the good comments that may have slipped in mistakenly. 

Social Sharing - You'd be lying if you said you didn't want any of your blog posts to go "viral." I think it might be every bloggers dream for their post to spread like the cold in a daycare center filled with kids. Other than having great content, the best way to make that happen is by having a social media plug-in. There are several of these out there with easy sharing capabilities for sharing via email, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+ and more. While my favorite is Flare, there are several others that are easy to use. 

nrelate Related Content - So you've got a new blog post and it's getting a lot of traffic. But that doesn't mean you don't want traffic to your other posts! Instead of letting all your old posts fade into the darkness you can us this plug-in to get attention for older posts. This plug-in displays blog posts with similar topics on the bottom of current posts to attract more interested readers. This way posts published as long as a year ago can get the same amount of traffic as a recent post from yesterday.