There are countless tools to promote a website on the Internet. Social networking sites such as Twitter and StumbleUpon have become essential to driving traffic to a blog. While it is important to attract readers to your travel blog, it is even more important to keep them on your site. You want your readers to spend time exploring your hard work.
10 Essential WordPress Plugins for Travel Blogging
Plugins for your wordpress can help considerably. They are easy to install and easy to use. By allowing your readers to easily share your post and find other related posts, you will give them the tools they need to promote your site and to stay on your blog for longer periods.
The Key is to Keep things simple for your readers
Here are some of the most useful plugins that we have installed into our blog.
Twitter has become a powerhouse in social networking. If a post goes viral on twitter, it can drive huge traffic to your site. It is important to make it easy for your readers to share your article with their followers.
Easy Retweet is our favourite plugin for this task. It instantly shrinks your url to fit into Twitter’s 140 character rule. When you go into settings, make sure to add your twitter name ie @theplanetd to the message prefix.
I can’t tell you how many blogs I visit that I want to tweet their post only to have their tweet button not preshrink the url and not include their twitter name. Nobody has the time to look up twitter names and nobody want to have the extra step of shrinking their url on bit.ly or su.pr
This plugin is excellent for allowing you to choose your favourite social bookmarking sites to stand out at the top of your post. We like twitter, stumbleupon and facebook. The digg digg plugin puts their icons into a neat line allowing your readers to easily share your post to their accounts.
Add this social bookmarking
Not everyone uses the same social bookmarking sites. Some people enjoy using yahoo buzz, delicious or reddit to name a few. This Plugin gives your readers the option to bookmark your article on their favourite social media sites. Add This offers a choice of almost 300 bookmarking and sharing sites.
Comments on blogs are important. We have heard that they help with SEO and we like to encourage conversation. What we love about blogging is that people can instantly share their opinions. They can offer a different point of view from ours.
We aren't always right in our observations about a place and people may disagree with our opinion. We welcome conversation and we encourage this by linking to a persons latest post when they leave a comment.
Comment luv encourages other bloggers and readers to leave a comment because it also drives traffic to their website. If they leave an engaging comment, people will be interested in more of what they have to say and comment luv posts the title of their latest blog post.
Amy @ The Q Family says:What a great story! I have been following you guys for a really long time but it’s nice to read about your ‘Why’. Amy @ The Q Family´s last blog ..Atlanta With Kids- Geckos at Fernbank Museum
A recent comment from on of our favourite bloggers, Amy
Fast and Secure contact form
As our blog started to take off, we started to receive far more junk mail. That is because we used to have our email posted on our website. Our inbox was becoming cluttered with spam so we decided to take off our email and offer readers an easy way to contact us with Fast and Secure Contact form.
It works exactly like email. You simply have to fill out the required fields and your message is instantly forwarded to our email address.
Keeping your bounce rate low is important for google rankings. Besides, you want people to stick around longer than just one post. LinKWithin encourages people to read more of your work. At the end of the post an attractive line of squares lists your related posts along with its photo or icon. Having a visual link attracts people to read more than a simple text link.
Sometimes people simply want to follow an arrow. Having the post navigation widget installed allows people to read your previous or next post once they are finished reading your current post.
Side Bar Tabs
It is important to give people many opportunities to stay on your page. The Side Bar Tabs Plugin gives you the freedom to display your favourite posts, most commented posts and most recent posts.
Readers don't want to have to search hard for anything. Make it simple for them to see some of your best work by installing this plugin. It is easy to follow its tabs to read more.
As a photo heavy travel blog, we like to give people the chance to look at our photos full screen with an attractive background. Shadowbox dims the background and enlarges the image when a person clicks on it. If there are several images in a post, your readers can view them all in the shadowbox mode by clicking on the arrows and viewing them as a slideshow.
Gaining email subscribers to your blog seems to be very important to google. It is also very important to a Blogger to have people reading your posts regularly. Even though you probably have an RSS Icon installed on your blog, it is good to remind people that they can subscribe. By adding the Subscribe Remind plugin you will let your readers know that they can get instant updates on their google reader or in their inbox at the end of each post.
“If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to our RSS feed for latest posts via email or on your homepage!”