5 WordPress Plugins for Busy Bloggers

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.

Nice.

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.

Happy blogging!

-Seth C

 

Comments (10)

  1. No, sorry no. I do not approve of anyone ‘harvesting’ my content and putting it on their blog. Quote me, excerpt me, interview me, link to me, but do not ‘harvest’ my content. Would you just wander into an commercial orchard and harvest their apples without paying, or even asking how much they charge? That’s called stealing. Disappointed to see WPMU enabling this behavior..

    • Agreed Judy – disturbing to see WPMU endorse and/or enable content harvesting. I’ve worked my butt off creating my content on a few major sites, and because of this illegal, immoral practice I spend much of my spare time tracking down and fighting those who’ve ‘harvested’ (aka: stolen) my content.

      You might want to scratch that point sethc.

      • Hi Marek, Julie, you guys might want to check this part of the post again:

        “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.”

        When someone shares your content, adds commentary and credits you as the author, they potentially bring you more exposure than you’d get if the blog was never syndicated. They’re also complying with copywriting laws as long as they’re not misquoting and they’re credited the original source properly. So “aka stolen,” is a matter of opinion only and not relevant to copywriting law.

        If I shared someone else’s content and they contacted me angry about it, I’d take it down. But I’ve never had that happen. Why not? Because writers write to get their content read, and the more their content is shared, the more it gets read.

        Per the duplicate content remark, wrong, wrong wrong. News sites like MSN, Yahoo and Google news use content syndication all the time. If there’s anything in the Google patent that states otherwise, I’d love to see a link to it.

        Thanks for the comments.

  2. “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.” – pure BS.

    Duplicate content hurts SEO no matter where it is. Any form of content duplication, whether it’s on your own site or someone else’s will negatively impact your SEO, and could even get you penalized. Do some reading up on the Panda and Penguin Google algorithm updates and duplicate content…

    And I agree with Judy on both points above – unless I’ve given you permission to use my content, you’re a thief. I too, am very upset to see WPMU endorsing or even creating a tool that enables this type of behaviour.

  3. Oh and yes, you have my full permission to do that. If you end up getting enough traffic to make money using adsense, that means a lot of people would be reading my content. You can keep the money, I’d rather have the exposure.

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