If you have a blog you’ll know that you need great content to keep your readers coming back for more, and indeed to attract new subscribers. You also need to build up your blog PR rating by paying attention to SEO and making sure you’re constantly building back links to your site. There’s something else which I’ve discovered, that is equally important as the elements above. Plugins can make your work ten times easier, can attract a lot of traffic, can improve your SEO and can even provide some sort of entertainment for your blog readers. Here are 3 types of plugins (or gadgets – if you’re on Blogger) you should be using on your blog. The word ‘plugin’ in this article is used to refer to gadgets for people not on WordPress)
Plugins to increase page views
It’s really difficult to attract new traffic to your site. All bloggers have been there and know how tedious a job it is to get that foot in the door and make that first impression. We should still be doing this, but there’s a way to get more reward for the time you’ve already invested without creating any extra work for yourself. In other words, make the best of the traffic you already have coming to your site. Entice them so that they would stay around and see all the other great things you’ve blogged about on your site. Don’t allow them to stop by, visit one page and just leave. Apart from not interacting with your site properly, this also tells Google that you have little or nothing to offer in your niche. You can download free plugins/gadget to help you with this. To name a few: recent posts and popular posts plugins show your reader what other people are finding useful on your blog. People always follow other people. You can also install: ‘you may also like’ plugin/widget which shows all posts related to the one your visitor has just read. Don’t forget to create pages with related micro-topics within your niche. This is extremely useful for search engines, but most importantly, it helps your readers see how extensive and helpful your blog is. Once they see these links they will click on them and stay on your site for longer.
Image Source: Pixabay
Social media proof
As we established above, people follow other people. If they see others are flocking to a page or site, they want to see why. If others found something useful, new visitors will want to know what’s there that they haven’t seen yet or have yet. This is the way human nature works. Having social media proof on your blog is an essential part of its growth. If you have a large following, don’t put the plugin/widget or gadget at the bottom of your blog. Put it at the top right of your site so all your passing traffic can see how useful you site has been to others. They wouldn’t want to be left out, and will naturally join too. If you have a significant amount of likes on your Facebook page or have a lot of twitter followers, include this on your blog. Of course, you don’t have to put all of them – you need the space for other things. Pick one social media site your blog does well on and stick with this. Note: don’t display your proof in a prominent place until you have an amount you feel will impress others.
I put this one last because while it doesn’t seem like a useful group of plugins, it can actually encourage regular readers to return to your site. Life is not all about seriousness. Many people are online looking for an escape from their real lives. I know hundreds of people (this doesn’t involve people I know online), all of whom are on the Internet. However, I only know one other blogger. What does this tell you? It says that most people online are looking to learn something new, get information, play games, meet friends and have a good time. This is why fun plugins work well on blogs if you have the space. Someone may be coming back just to interact with your plugin or gadget. There are several of these around and they include events, photostreams, funny quotes, baby wild animals or pets, games etc. If you can, include this on your site for a bit of fun.