If you’re new to the world of blogging, it can seem like an endless spiral of information that you need to process before you can get into the nitty gritty of writing blog posts and promoting your site, let alone finding the best plugins for travel blogging. I’m definitely not the first person to say travel blogging is hard work and time consuming – no one said it would be easy. With an array of valuable information out there, your main aims are to get your blog noticed by readers, and converting them into loyal followers of your blog. This can be done through SEO, social media, guest blogging, content writing, and much more.
If you’re a travel blogger, the likelihood is you’re using WordPress. (If not, read our post on how to start a travel blog.) WordPress plugins can be extremely helpful and save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to perfecting your travel blog. If you’re not that great with coding and html (like me), then nearly all plugins have easy to use panels and interfaces with a handful of options.
But sometimes the sheer volume of plugins – almost 25,000 at the time of writing this can create more hassle than it saves. You should also be aware that having lots of plugins on your blog can ultimately slow down your site’s load time, which will effect your blog traffic big time.
So it pays to choose wisely.
Here are 10 WordPress plugins for travel blogging to instantly improve your travel blog just like they have ours:
- Akismet – This is probably the most popular WordPress plugin out there, and for good reason. It successfully blocks any spam comments on your blog (and if like us, you’ll get hundreds), which makes life a whole lot easier for you, as you don’t want to spend hours every day deleting spam comments across your blog. This is probably the most important plugin to install.
- Comment Luv – Comments on blog posts are important. They not only encourage conversation and develop relationships with your readers but it can actually help you SEO. We personally love receiving comments, even if it’s constructive criticism, as we’re always looking for ways to improve our blog for your guys. Comment Luv allows readers to link to their latest blog post on their site once they’ve written a comment which 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 so they may click on their site, a win-win situation.
- Google Analytics Counter Tracker – This is hands down the best website analysis tool, it tells you everything you need to know about who’s visiting your site, where they are from, what demographic they are, if they’ve visited before and much more. And, thanks to this plugin, you won’t even need to leave your WordPress website to view your Analytics reports – super-convenient, right?
- Yoast SEO – If you’re an SEO beginner, this plugin is a must have. It ranks your SEO score page by page from Needs Improving, Ok, to Good. It will also give you recommendations on how to improve, counting the keyword density and how often your focus keyword appears on the page title, meta description, and within the content of that specific page or post. Also, when writing meta information, it will show you a Google search result snippet preview, so you can see exactly how your content will look when someone searches for it on Google.
- WP Smush – Being a travel blogger, the likelihood is you’ll have many large photos to upload, and this can really slow down your site. Therefore, to speed up load time you need to…
- strip meta data from JPEGs
- optimize JPEG compression
- convert certain GIFs to indexed PNGs
- strip the un-used colours from indexed images
Do you have any idea how to do this? Me neither. Fortunately, the WP Smush does this for you automatically. Seriously. Every picture is automatically optimised or- if you want to optimise existing images – you can click the “Smush it!” link in your Media Library.
- What Would Seth Godin Do – Yep, this is a weird name for a plugin, and I’m still unsure why it’s called this but it’s a great one to have. If you have any affiliate links on your blog, it’s a legal requirement that you disclose this. You may see many top bloggers disclosing at the end of the post, but technically they have to be at the top of the blog post. If you scroll up you’ll see a little dotted box below the feature image, this is that plugin which takes you directly to our disclosure page. This plugin is great, as once you set it all up in a few easy steps, it automatically adds this box to all your blog posts, so you never have to worry about disclosing again.
- Social Warfare – Before find this easy social share plugin, I looked everywhere for attractive, user friendly social share buttons. This is without a doubt the best in the market, not only does it make it easy for readers to share it uses the fastest and most intelligent share buttons on the market, calls to action via in-post click-to-tweets, popular posts widgets based on share popularity, link-shortening, Google Analytics and much, much more!
- Pretty Link – If you’ve got affiliate links on your site, this plugin is a must. Not only can you personalise your affiliate links from something along the lines of http://fdotexvtaffiliatelink.com, which to readers can look a bit dodgy and spam like, to http://luxurybackpacking.net/Airbnb. You can also track how many people have clicked through to that specific site all in one plugin. Make sure to always tick the No-Follow box, as this will improve your Google rankings. Note: If you’re using Amazon, you cannot change the URL of the link.
- Interactive World Maps – This is definitely the one of the best paid plugins for travel blogging we have, and it’s worth every penny if you’re a travel blogger. You’ve probably noticed several large interactive world maps dotted across our blog, well here it is! You can put them anywhere on your website, including posts, pages and widgets. You can set the view to the whole world, a continent, a specific country or a US state. You can colour full regions or just create markers on specific locations that will have information on hover, the list is endless!
- Social Fans Counter – Want to show readers, potential clients and future sponsors how many followers/likes you have across your social media platforms? If so, this is a great plugin to have, with over 30 different social networks possible, featuring your following count is easy and simple. I also love this one over others as it counts your total social media following across all platforms, which is displayed by ‘fans love us’.
These 10 awesome plugins for travel blogging that will save you time, increase usability and ultimately generate more traffic and comments.
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Also, which plugins do you use and which are your favourite? Leave comment below!
READ NEXT: 15 TIPS BEFORE STARTING A TRAVEL BLOG
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