If you have ventured into the fun world of blogging, then you have probably realised that plugins or platforms such as WordPress can come with a huge number of plugins to make your life a lot easier.
One thing to realise, is that you don't need 100's of apps, you only need a few to help you on your journey, today we will look at 5 apps, that every blogger should take advantage of.
Thrive Architect or Thrive Membership
Technically this is a package of plugins, but an essential bunch none the less.
The thrive membership gives you access to a variety of tools, such as Thrive Quizzes, Thrive Leads and Thrive Architect (psst, this blog was made with it).
The Thrive Leads is a great big of kit that allows you to get readers emails, in exchange for free reports, eBooks, videos or maybe courses.
Thrive Architect can be purchased as a stand alone plugin and gives you access to the Drag & Drop builder or template installer that basically makes your blog into a super blog. Thrive Architect comes with a host of tools, such as one click lead pages, easy create review pages or even basic funnels, all without needing separate software or platforms to do it. It also comes with a Thrive Leads Lite version.
If you haven't got Yoast SEO installed on your WordPress site, you are basically just shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to understanding the potential issues or problems your post may face.
Yoast SEO is a simple to use plugin that essentially tells you how well your posts or pages are doing in terms of onsite SEO.
It looks at keyword density, number of links out, how easy it is to read your posts, how long sentences are and even how big paragraphs or page sections are.
It can provide useful tips on increasing your on-page SEO as well as highlighting bits you need to improve.
My only word of advice, is to take some of the tips with a little pinch of salt. Yoast does on occasion go a little overkill with it's recommendations, such as keyword density or length of paragraphs. I have had recommendations to throw 4 or 5 extra keywords into posts, when I have actually tried to use variations and it hasn't picked them up.
WordFence Or Other Security Plugins
A must have in this day and age, websites are constantly being jacked, with links changed or whole sites just taken over.
WordFence is one of the go-to for me, though I have recently upgraded and installed some extra defence now the blog has increased a bit.
Security plugins can offer a variety of tools to help protect your site, from checking for admin logins, seeing trends with IP addresses and even scanning for vulnerabilities.
If you don't have something like this, you are leaving yourself wide open.
A life safer.
Seriously, in this day and age, people still try to mass comment on blogs.
Who bloody knows, it makes zero sense.
WordPress throws comment as pending anyway these days, and very few blogs even let you comment on posts or pages these days, but people still try!
AntiSpam Bee essentially filters out comments and throws them into spam instantly for you, it tags them for a variety of different reasons, such as Flagged IP addresses, falling into honey pots (essentially it puts a hidden field that only bot see, if they tick it, then it's obvious they are a bot) and a few other reasons.
This blog alone gets around 100 - 200 spam comments across all the different posts. Especially posts or articles that rank really well, as spammers seem to think if their comments get accepted the back links will spread juice back.
A life saver for blogging, especially one that focused on Affiliate Marketing and tracking clicks etc.
Pretty links allows you to change any URL into a pretty URL associated to your blog.
I have written about it in the past, and it can make emails, funnels and even social media posts a lot cleaner to look at.
Rather than having a horrible link such as ExampleID.clickbank.com/exampleproduct you instead get TheOnlineStudent.co.uk/ExampleProduct
The app allows you to track the number of clicks through the link as well, I use them a lot for solo ads, as you can get some fairly good (though basic) information about those clicks. Mainly country and time of click, but that's usually enough.
It's not as in-depth as ClickMagik, but decent for a free tool.
Bonus - KeySearch or Key Word Research Tool
Ok, fine, I have cheated a little as it's not exactly a plugin, but it's a damn decent tool for keyword research and costs a lot less than AhRefs, so it's definitely something that should be taken into account.
KeySearch allows you to do do valuable keyword research on competitors, keywords and even trends. Plus it's like 1/10th of the price of AhRefs, which only gets thrown around so much because it has a stupidly high commission rate... controversial.
You can read the full review here if you fancy it.
Well, that's your lot really, you don't want to have 100's of apps or plugins running on your site, but you do want a few select ones that help protect, and make your site run nicely.
Have you got any others that I have missed, as I could probably make a Top 1 Plugins & Apps for Bloggers quite easily, comment yours below!
James started The Online Student as a typical blog telling people about his struggles and woes with DropShipping, Amazon FBA and even Affiliate marketing. He then decided that blogging about it all would give people the skills, knowledge and apps to get up and running (while making a little extra on the side). After a few months he realised it was quite lucrative and decided to work his ass off making it a bit more than just a hobby!