I’ve noticed something about top bloggers, they’re fast. They write every day and they write thousands of words. Sure, they write well and their content is interesting, timely, educational and engaging. But they also get a lot of practice because they blog a LOT.
If you’re an aspiring blogger and you’re not writing a few thousand words a day already, this can be discouraging. Maybe you don’t have the time, or the ideas. Heck, maybe you’re writing like a madman one day, only to take three or four days off.
Either way, if you’d like to get serious about taking your WordPress blogging to warp speed, I’ve got five WordPress plugins that will help you make it happen by saving you some time and energy.
Plugin #1: WPMU DEV Infinite SEO
SEO is time consuming and most of us spend way too much time trying to follow what’s going on in the SEO world. Thankfully, the WPMU DEV Infinite SEO plugin makes WordPress SEO simple and quick.
With this plugin, you can customize your XML site map, instruct the search engine spiders on how to crawl your site, customize how your meta information shows in the search results (VERY important for getting click throughs), have custom SEO reports sent via the SEOmoz API and even automate the deep linking on your WordPress site.
You can also input all your keywords, meta data and meta descriptions into your posts just as you do with the Ultimate SEO plugin, only you get way more features with Infinite SEO. Add all that up and you’re already saving a good chunk of time which you can spend in daily blogging adventures.
Plugin #2: WPMU DEV Autoblog
The WPMU DEV Autoblog plugin is the simplest and most “unspammy” autoblogging tool I’ve seen to date. Yeah, I know what you might be thinking…autoblogging has a bad rap.
What about duplicate content and copywriting issues?
Shouldn’t you write your own blogs?
Of course you should, whenever time permits.
But including other people’s work on your blogs can be a valuable tool for building social proof and for getting referral traffic. As for duplicate content, it’s only damaging when it’s duplicated on the same URL, so autblogging is fine…if you do it right.
With the WPMU DEV Autoblog, setting up an automated “content harvesting” strategy is as easy as programming the settings in this screen shot:
Just a few tips about using the Autoblog plugin:
- Add your own commentary to the blogs rather than just syndicating them
- Always credit the original author and reward them with a link back to their site.
- Make 80% or more of your posts original, using autoblogging only to add variety to your site and connect with other bloggers.
Plugin #3: WPMU DEV Anti-Splog
You’re going to love me for this one.
Spammers are to WordPress bloggers what mosquitoes are to someone on a camping trip. You spend so much bloody time swatting them and shooing them away that you lose precious time which could be spent doing more important things.
But the WPMU DEV Anti-Splog plugin is a dream come true for keeping spammers from signing up on your WordPress site or from posting “cyber graffiti.” This means you can be more open about inviting other people to contribute to your blog and you have more time to focus on blogging.
Here are just a few things the WPMU Anti-Splog plugin will do for you:
1. Limit amount of sign ups per IP to prevent spammers from creating multiple accounts on your WordPress blog
2. Changing the location of your sign up page every 24 hours to keep spam bots from targeting your site as a spam breeding ground.
3. Four types of “humanity tests” (similar to captcha) which allow you to deflect spam bots from signing up or commenting on your blog.
You probably already have Akismet installed on your blog, but surely you know this doesn’t help you keep all the garbage out. This plugin adds a few more layers of protection and also has multiple tools for helping you moderate blogs from your guest posters.
What I love about WPMU Anti-Splog is that if you’re a premium WPMU DEV member, the Anti-Splog plugin communicates directly with the WPMU API which has enough accumulated data to identify known spammers and to keep them from making your site a target.
Plugin #4: Simple 301 Redirect + Broken Link Checker
Okay, I’m cheating a bit. Simple 301 Redirects and Broken Link Checker are two separate plugins, but they go together like peanut butter and jelly when it comes to managing the outgoing links on your WordPress blog.
Broken link checker monitors your site for broken links and send you reports on the hour or every 24 hours, depending on how you set it up. When it finds a broken link, you simply log into the Broken Link admin page and edit the link.
So you never have to worry about editing links when they change or worrying about whether your links are working. If that’s not enough, you can use Simple 301 Redirects to redirect any link to a new destination.
This dynamic plugin duo will save you a ton of time in editing and keep your rankings from being hurt by dead end links. Not to mention that with 301 redirects, you can change your mind about the products you’re promoting by simply redirecting those old links to a completely new offer…without messing with the WordPress post editor.
Oh the power.
Plugin #5: Search Regex
I absolutely LOVE this plugin.
Have you ever wanted to change something that was present in multiple blogs? Maybe it was a piece of code or just a piece of text, a call to action etc. Maybe you discovered that you’d been misspelling a company name and that the mistake was distributed over several blogs. Maybe you were promoting an offer at the bottom of ALL your blogs, but decided later that you wanted to change the wording.
Wow, so what do you do?
Go into EVERY one of those posts or pages and alter the text?
That’s an option, or you could just use this nifty plugin, Search Regex. Imagine having a “find and replace” option for your entire WordPress site, including the places where you’d used html code in your WordPress posts or pages.
That’s what Search Regex does.
Just be REALLY careful if you’re changing the html code because if you make a mistake it could take a long time to fix.
I’ve provided links in this post to all five, sorry six, of these WordPress blogging plugins. Of course, you still have to buckle down and write if you want to become a top blogger. But these tools will save you a heck of a lot of time.