To maintain a blog, it is not very easy for the blogger to take care of every side. Just for coding, it can take months for them to learn. If you even want to make the functions you need on your blog, you have to spend a lot of time to learn the mental skills and practical skills. However, you are a blogger but a developer, so you cannot handle everything only by your own.
Time is always limited, which means you should take your energies on what you can and should do right now. You should also learn how to leverage your current mental and practical skills to meet the current needs of your blog. Generally, they are as following:
- Increasing backlinks and social shared for popularity
- Increasing opt-ins to for your mailing lists
- Boosting conversions
In the post below, we will review 5 free WordPress plugins which can effectively assist you realize all the 3 needs above, even though you have few knowledge of coding.
We have found that notification bar is one of the nice-looking and easy to use WordPress plugins. If you do not want all of your blogs to use the external bar, then notification bar should be a good choice. Here are some reasons that we want to recommend notification bar to you:
- It will not break your WordPress theme;
- It will not bring the negative impact on UX;
- It is easy for you to configure;
- It allows you to change the color palette;
- It is easy to hide or unhide with a click;
Notification bar finishes its work without any interruption to users or causing site issues can increase you opt-ins. Besides, it also can offer a signal to your visitors. The signal shows that your website can provide much more important things than your content. When they want to check out it after they consume your content, the bar will always stay at the bottom or top.
How to Use Notification Bar
It is very simple to install it from WordPress repository and then search for NB (Notification Bar) in the left sidebar of your dashboard, under Settings. After that, you can click the plugin and edit bar text as well as how it shows on blog.
The picture shows how notification bar looks that can be different according to your settings. This picture shows the notification bar displaying at the bottom for a blog, because if it covers part of your header, it may damage the UX for how your blogs are designed.
There is a fact that NB does not do tracking work, so it means that you need another plugin like ConverThis to make up. If not, you can also set up a goal of conversion for you specific URL within the Google Analytics.
GC Message Box
If you want to add a CTA at each post’s end, you can just create a banner and then link it to your offerings, or you need to write PHP script for the specific purpose. However, there is certainly an easier way to make it – what you need is just a simple WordPress plugin that can automatically insert the CTA banner at the end of you posts.
GC Message Box is what you just need! Likewise, you can use it as a good CTA automator by combining with ConverThis plugin or just with the goals of the conversion in Google Analytics in order to track clicks as well as conversions.
How to Use GC Message Box
After you install this plugin from WordPress repository, you can go to “Plugins > GC Message Box” to configure your settings including General Settings, Style Setting, and Compose Setting. Besides, you need to pay close attention to Filter section, which is the place where you decide your CTA box display.
Additionally, we do not recommend you to use animation. Although it allows you to add some effects, it will annoy and distract your readers.
Before 2013, GC Message Box was really a good tool for you to link the plugin to some analytics from MY.GetConversion.net so that it could track your clicks & conversions at no additional hidden cost. However, according to our research, there were some reasons making it stop.
At present, there is still the option, but it cannot be linked to the analytics for tracking. Therefore, we are responsible to not recommend you to use the tracking feature, and depend on the Google Analytics or any other analytics plugins having the function of tracking the conversion goal.
Revive Old Post
It can automate the social promotion efforts and remove the difficulties of promoting old articles from your current marketing plan. If you use it with your WordPress platform, you can stop making the mistakes of how or when to reshare your old articles. Revive Old Post can make it for you automatically.
By the way, this plugin works with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn.
How to Use Revive Old Post
After installing it, you should go to “Revive Old Post” in your WordPress Dashboard sidebar and add your own social network profiles under “Accounts” tab. Next, you should open “General Settings” and configure your settings: the number of posts to share at one time, the age of eligible sharing for each post, the share interval, excluded categories and others.
There is one thing important. You have to configure the post formation under “Post Format” tab, deciding how your posts look like! Do not forget to SAVE your configurations! After these settings, you can make it start to work.
It is indeed very convenient for blogger to share posts by pre-configuring, but if you are just running a very young website with less than 21 posts, your configuration should be careful in sharing interval! Daily sharing is very dangerous to your archives. Once your updates are run out, your website will be in trouble of sharing the same posts over and over again. If that, your followers might leave your site. That’s awful!
However, it is some dangers, but it is a good assistance for your post sharing. So, when you decide to use it on your platform, you need to know your archives and change the settings in time. Or, if your archive always keep at 28 around, it would be better for you to share one post every 3 days.
ConverThis is recommended as an alternative for setting up your conversion goals within Google Analytics. It allows you to set up, track, and analyze conversion campaigns while staying at WordPress platform. Its analytics are also very accurate, so you can measure campaign performance effectively.
How to Use ConverThis
First, you need to download this plugin from ConverThis website, and then upload and install on your platform. How to create your conversion goals? Click “Campaigns > New Campaign” under Dashboard in sidebar.
After that, there will be a campaign pages for you to configure the details, which is easy! You can even add at most 6 posts or pages in each campaign that all direct to one single goal page.
It is an integrated plugin because it offers tracking and analytics tools you might need for campaigns. You can also export your campaign data from your conversion goal page by clicking a button. The form of exported data is CSV.
To some degree, we think ConverThis is easier to use than Google Analytics. If you want more accurate results, you can also set a conversion goal within GA, and then compere the results produced from both plugins.
MARE.io can generate popup surveys as well as polls on your site. Those Popup polls as well as surveys help you know the feedback from your visitors easily, and also make the visitors get something from your site, even though they might just hang out form minutes. When the visitors can get the chance to speak out their minds and be evolved in your site, they might feel better with your site. So, it creates the possibility that these visitors will come again, or even turn into customers.
How to Use MARE.Io
Install it on your WP platform and then click on MARE.io Surveys in the left sidebar under WP Dashboard. There will be an invitation asking you to register your account on MARE.Io. After that, you can set up your surveys right there. You need go through the setup wizard guiding you step by step to create the first survey. This experience can help you how the process of creating surveys or polls. Besides, you can even create your new surveys on MARE.io website directly.
This plugin offers you a way to earn money from polls or surveys, but it requires a test period for your blog. It can last 3 weeks at most to study the demographics before assigning paid surveys or polls for you. Due to this a long phase, we recommend you to create good and valuable traffic and get responses from your own surveys at first.
In the current industry, there are a number of good tools for WordPress platform. Besides these 5 free plugins, there are also many other tools like SumoMe, Email Subscribers, Inline Related Post, and more, which can help you increase social shares, popularity, backlinks, opt-ins and conversions. Building a good WordPress platform, you need these tools.