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. 


 


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