Best Plugins for Mommy Blogs: Top Ten {Tuesday}

Top Ten {Tuesday}

I leave for Blissdom tomorrow! And since I’m in the blogging mode, I thought I’d take a page from Jo-Lynne’s fantabulous two-parter and bring you some helpful plugins for your blog. (If you don’t have a blog…well, just skip to the bottom and link up!) Here they are…

MY FAVORITE PLUG-INS FOR THE MOMMY BLOGGER

1. Editorial Calendar

BEST. PLUGIN. EVER. I want you to know that I had this idea MONTHS before I ever found this plugin. What I had been envisioning was a normal block calendar like you hang on  your wall. But on the days you could see your post titles. Then, if you wanted to move them around like to another day or time, you could just drag them. And that’s just what this plugin does!

This is awesome for those of us you that schedule posts or do lots of sponsored/review posts. Then you’ll never forget about something. Just go ahead and type in the title on the day you need the post and you won’t forget to write it.

2. Broken Link Checker

I just downloaded (uploaded?) this one yesterday. It sent me an email of all 356 broken links in my blog! So, I’ve been unlinking or editing each one. Most of the broken links are to my previous blog address. But I was surprised that so many of them were to blogs that don’t exist anymore. Made me kinda sad.

{The most broken links besides my own URL? Jo-Lynne’s Musings of a Housewife. See, I’m not just copying her–I love her!)

3. And the Winner Is…

If you even do ONE contest on your blog, this is worth it. You just click a little box while writing your contest post. Then when it’s time to pick a winner, you click PICK WINNER and it will randomly bring one up. THEN! When you click on their name, it will bring up your email with a great subject line and you’re ready to go! It even has a CONFIRM WINNER tab in case the winner never responds–you can pick another winner. Love it.

4. Article Templates

This is a new one to me. I have a love/hate relationship with it. It’s basic function is to set up templates that will help you on similar posts. For example, I have  Top Ten {Tuesday} template set up that has the Top Ten {Tuesday} button, the instructions and the little :: :: :: on the bottom. Then I don’t have to write that every week. It *does* get kinda old. So, I love the time it saves me there.

The only problem with this plug-in is that you have to click the correct template from a drop-down menu. And it’s like half a screen below my post. So, most of the time I forget to click the box. And you can’t click it mid-writing. So, I have to cut the entire thing, click the button and then paste it back. And sometimes the formatting doesn’t stay. So. That’s kind of annoying. Has anyone found a better Template Plugin than this one?

5. ReplyMe

This is the comment-threader-emailer-keep-me-in-touch-with-my-readers plug in that I love! When you leave a comment, I can reply back to you either directly in the comments or on my dashboard. Then it sends you an email (which I have personalized to be purplicious and slightly witty) with my reply. You can reply back to me and it sends me an email and goes round and round.

I have decided that replying to comments within comments is the best because #1) it makes you look like you have a bazillion comments and #2) it  keeps your inbox clean(er).

6. RSS Footer

This is a new one that I’ve been using since I opened my blog up to private ads. It makes a little footer on the bottom of each of my posts in a feed-reader. So for those of you subscribed to my blog you’ll see a little blurb about my partners. Cool, huh?

7. Simple Facebook Like Widget

I have gone through several social media share-this-post plugins. I had the one that had every single social media icon in the world but no one ever touched them. Nobody does Digg or those other techy social sites, so it was a waste of (confused) space. So, I went with a Facebook LIKE widget and have had SO much traffic and interaction with it.

There are many different Facebook Like plugins but I like this one best because it shows pictures under the LIKE and it brings up an optional field for you to add a comment to the LIKE. Which adds personality and pizazz!

8. Twitter Tools

I usually HATE automated tweets. They are lame and completeley defeat the purpose of twitter. {In my own humble opinion.} But I reinstalled this one recently because I spend too much time online. Plain and simple. So, what I do now is use this plugin to let twitter automatically tweet when I have a new post. That’s usually about 8 in the morning. Then I set up another auto-tweet on Hoot Suite or Tweetdeck to send later in the day. That gives me one lame auto tweet and one personal-but-secretive auto-tweet. And it makes sure a new crowd sees my post!

What I really want is a plugin that gives me the space to do a custom twitter update while I’m writing my actual post. Like right there below the categories and tags? That would be perfect. Any plug-in techies wanna figure that out for me?

9. WWSGD?

I have had this plug-in forever and love it. It basically puts a little box before or after every post that says, “Hey! You’re new here! Why don’t you subscribe to my blog?”. And it only comes up if you’ve been to my site 5 or fewer times. Isn’t that genius?!

So for the rest of you real friends who come to my blog all the time, you don’t have to see annoying little “FOLLOW ME, TWEET ME, FACEBOOK ME” all the time. You just see it as a newbie. {But for some unknown reason if you DON’T see that thing and you are NOT subscribed to my blog? Why dontcha do it now–either in a feedreader or email?}

10. WP125

This is another one I’ve installed since I opened up private ads on my blog. It basically keeps track of your ads, puts the ad up, lets you know when to take it down and even keeps track of clicks.

{By the way, in December my partners had over 2000 clicks. Did you know AT&T quoted my husband $200 for a guaranteed 60 clicks for his business? I’m thinkin’ ohAmanda is a steal!}

11. YARRP

This is the plug-in that brings up the list of related posts below. I know everyone likes the photo Linked In plug-in but I could never get it to work between my two blogs. I like the simplicity of this “Yet Another Related Post” plug-in. It generally always brings up related content and it’s not too ostentatious. I usually click on these on other people’s blogs, so I’m assuming people do on mine, too.

{ugh! see! I forgot to do that silly template button. Now I’m going to do it by hand. Ready? Here goes…}

:: :: ::

Wanna join in the Top Ten {Tuesday} fun? Just WRITE an amazing top ten list on your blog. Then LINK back to my blog so others can join the fun. Next, PASTE your url below. Finally start visiting, tweeting, stumbling, like-ing and commenting on the rest of the participants. Even just 2 or 3 or 8! It’s so fun to see a little bit of traffic and interaction when we link up! For more guidelines and a cute little button see my Top Ten {Tuesday} page.

Comments

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