THE BLOG
10/17/2014 04:57 pm ET Updated Dec 17, 2014

The 5 Best Free WordPress Plugins to Promote Your Blog

The plethora of free Wordpress plugins are one of the biggest reasons why Wordpress is my favorite blogging platform. Wordpress is also very easy to customize to your preferences. Blogging is a great marketing strategy with many additional benefits and the free Wordpress plugins below can make it easier to promote your blog.

1. Mailchimp

Building a mailing list is a great way to build engagement with readers. Mailchimp is my preferred email marketing product. The Mailchimp WordPress plugin enables you to embed an email sign up form on your Wordpress blog. Once you start building your email list, you will have an audience to send your content or products too. A mailing list allows you to retain the audience you acquire. You can learn more about Mailchimp by watching my free video tutorial video here.

2. Pretty Link

According to the the plug in's developer, Pretty Link enables you to "Shrink, track and share any URL on the Internet from your WordPress website. Unlike other link shrinking services like tinyurl, budurl, and bit.ly, this plugin allows you to create short links coming from your own domain!" Pretty Link is great for masking affiliate links and for verbally pointing people to a certain page. For example, if you are doing a Podcast or public speaking gig, you wouldn't want to point people to a really long complicated web address, or even tell them where to search. Make it as easy as possible for people by creating an easy to pronounce and read address.

3. Google Analytics

According to it's developer, "This plugin makes it simple to add Google Analytics to your WordPress blog, adding lots of features, eg. custom variables and automatic clickout and download tracking." Google Analytics is one of the most essential tools for anyone who is serious about blogging. It enables you to track and analyze all the traffic you get on your site so that you can tailor your future content and promotion strategies. If you use Google Analytics and WordPress, you will need this plugin.

4. Yoast WordPress SEO

This plug in makes it easier to search engine optimize each of your blog posts. It's one of the most popular WordPress plugins and is extremely easy to use. No need to have any programming skills, or even any advanced SEO knowledge, this plugin provides an easy to use interface for entering data that will help you rank higher on Google. This plugin alone is one of the biggest reasons to use Wordpress instead of another blogging platform.

5. SumoMe

SumoMe is a great tool for marketers that has a variety of valuable applications. The List Builder application allows you to display a customizable pop up window to viewers of your blog. The pop up window is a great way to build your email list and it integrates with Mailchimp and other email marketing products The Share application is similar to Digg Digg, but with a sharper design and you can choose not to display how many times the page has been shared. You might not want to display how many times it has been shared if the number is low (it would make you look unpopular). The Share application is a great way to get more shares and shares are a great way to get more traffic.

The Smart Bar is similar to another popular blogging tool called HelloBar. It allows you to create a highly attention grabbing graphic bar at the top of your site. You can use the bar to drive email sign ups or traffic to something you want to highlight. SumoMe has a few other great applications and they seem to be constantly adding new ones. SumoMe is a very comprehensive plugin with a ton of value.

Conclusion

Wordpress' ecosystem of plugins are part of what make it such a valuable blogging platform. The above free Wordpress plugins are my personal favorites. They can be used to get more traffic to your site, including: building your mailing list, getting more social shares, and increasing your search ranking. If you want to learn about how to install and use WordPress plugins, check out my video course, here.