Every blogger wants to improve themselves, making their writing more compelling and keeping their posts on schedule. WordPress gives you the basic tools you need to create a blog, but you can go much further than that with content creation plugins.
Thousands of developers have built on WordPress’ content management platform, adding new features or refining what’s already there via plugins. There are add ons for any situation you can think of, but we’ve already gone over general-purpose plugins that every website needs which can be found in the WordPress plugin directory.
However, for the aspiring bloggers and content creators out there, you need WordPress plugins tailored to you and your work. Plugins that can help you write better, focus more, and automate those finicky little tasks so you can keep working on putting out more high quality content.
To that end, here are ten WordPress integrations that every writer should have installed.
Say what you will about the Gutenberg editor — some love it, some hate it — but one thing’s for sure: its UI can be overwhelming. The fullscreen design is a little reminiscent of the old distraction-free writing interface from the Classic editor, but all those blocks are super distracting and can get in the way when you’re trying to write.
Iceberg was created to combat this problem, bringing back a super simple editor that’s compatible with Gutenberg and designed specifically with writers in mind. It’s a markdown editor, which means instead of fussing with complicated block settings or inserting unwieldy HTML, styling your text is as easy as using memorable formatting codes.
There are also tons of ways to customize it. Pick from three themes, or make your own. Turn off the UI entirely, switch up the font, or change text size to truly make it yours.
Iceberg is a premium plugin with a few licenses to choose from, but they do have a live demo you can try out to see if you like it.
Also worth mentioning in this vein: The official Classic Editor plugin, which is free. If you prefer to write in WordPress but aren’t fond of the Gutenberg editor, the Classic Editor has a simpler, more conventional design.
2. Editorial Calendar
One of the hardest parts of running a blog is keeping up a consistent posting schedule. That’s true whether you’re part of a team of writers or working all on your own. By default, WordPress doesn’t have a lot to offer; it includes a scheduling system that functions well, but there’s no way to see an overview of all your posts.
Editorial Calendar solves this issue, allowing you to see when your scheduled posts will be published. Just drag and drop any drafted post to move it to a different time slot. It’s a little thing, but it can be a huge asset to writers who want an overview of upcoming blog posts.
Social media marketing is extremely time-consuming. Posting across multiple social channels is all but required to get an edge. Though keeping up with all of those social sites while also writing quality posts for your blog can feel impossible.
If you’re wasting all your time advertising on social media, NextScripts is the plugin for you. When you publish anything, it gets auto-posted to all of your social channels and there are dozens of networks to choose from.
It should be noted that there are some networks only available on the pro version. Further, in the free version, you can only post to one account from each network.
But even in the free version, there’s no annoying “posted by NextScripts” message, as a built-in URL shortener is used, so your branding is not affected. You can also filter posts to only submit those of certain categories to certain networks, repost old articles occasionally, and auto-format your posts with tags.
With the pro version, you can post to as many accounts per network as you want, schedule or delay social media posting, and add advanced filters.
Other honorable mentions in the social media category: Revive Old Posts, a plugin that enables you to automatically reshare old (and new) posts on social media, and WordPress to Buffer, which auto-posts articles to the social media sharing tool.
It goes without saying that impeccable spelling and grammar are necessary for a blog. If your posts are barely understandable, or have frequent enough errors that it’s distracting, no one is going to want to read them.
So if you’re running a small business that’s trying to establish credibility in its industry, people will be far more inclined to trust you if you use good spelling and grammar.
Many writers choose to employ tools like Grammarly, but if you prefer something more integrated with WordPress, check out WProofreader.
It’s multilingual and can proofread in 17 languages (6 in the free version), or be extended with 150+ languages for a fee. You can also craft a personal dictionary, and pro users can add specialized ones for legal or medical terms.
The downside: There are quite a few features that free users don’t get, such as grammar checking. WP Spell Check is a good alternative plugin if this is a deal-breaker for you. This one comes with the extra feature of being able to spell check past posts and pages.
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5. Yoast SEO
SEO is a hot issue for every blog. You’ve probably heard a million times how necessary it is for growth, but how do you improve at it? You could spend hours reading about SEO fundamentals and barely scratch the surface.SEO is a hot issue for every blog… You could spend hours reading about SEO fundamentals and barely scratch the surface. Click To Tweet
There are many plugins that address this issue, but Yoast is by far the most popular. It offers tons of features simple and advanced, but for authors, its most valuable by far is the SEO suggestions that appear as you’re writing.
When you have Yoast active, it will give you live tips to improve readability, keyword density, and other aspects of your writing. You can also write a custom snippet to appear in search results without ever leaving the editor.
If this is all new to you, please know that you can’t underestimate SEO. A few small tweaks to your articles can vastly improve traffic, as well as the quality of your content.
Honorable mention: SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant. It also works in the editor, giving you live keyword suggestions and tips to improve the flow of your writing. It’s a great alternative.
6. WP RSS Aggregator
Content curation plays a big role in many blogs. It allows you to build off of others’ content, adding your own voice to the mix, and gives the sites you curate from a little extra traffic. Everyone wins.
For example, you might curate another article, adding a small blurb expressing your opinion, or you could gather several resources from different places and put them together in a list. Or if you post across multiple sites, you could curate your own content and have it all grouped together in an auto-updating feed. The possibilities are endless.
WP RSS Aggregator brings the power of curation to your site, by allowing you to monitor RSS feeds from various sources. The articles and videos will be automatically displayed on your site, or can even be imported as posts with premium addons, each categorized and filtered by keywords.
Whether you want to auto-display the feeds on your site or just use it as a personal tool to keep up with your industry and find content to curate and write about, this plugin has exactly what you’re looking for.
7. Table of Contents Plus
When writing long, structured articles and pages that make use of multiple levels of headings, a table of contents is all but necessary. It can help users to get an overview of what’s in your article, and allows them to instantly jump to any section.
Table of Contents Plus automatically inserts a TOC on pages with a certain amount of headings, so all you need to do is install it, set it up, and forget it. But if you’d like finer control, you can also insert a shortcode to include or exclude it on specific pages.
This plugin is fully customizable. By default its design is reminiscent of Wikipedia’s table of contents, but it comes with several different visual styles to choose from. And you can customize how each one displays on every page, changing the width, position, and alignment. It can even generate sitemaps.
If you need a table of contents plugin, this is definitely the most extendable one out there.
8. Co-Authors Plus
WordPress doesn’t exactly have great support for co-authors. While multiple users can work on a single article, that requires having anyone you bring on to have advanced editing privileges, which you don’t always want. Even then, if multiple users work together on a post, only one author can be displayed on the front-end.
Co-Authors Plus finally fixes this issue, giving you the ability to add extra authors to any post. Just drop in however many editors you want, then use template tags to display on the front-end.
It also utilizes a “guest author” system, so you don’t need to add a whole new user to your site with full editing privileges. You can set them so they can edit posts they’ve written, or like the default contributor role, can only edit posts that are drafts. They won’t be able to mess with other posts on your site.
The lack of co-authoring support in WordPress can be quite annoying if you have a writing team that often works together, so try out this plugin to fix the long-standing issue.
Images are key to keeping readers engaged. A text-heavy blog post with nothing to break it up tends to wear people out — the longer the article, the quicker they’ll lose interest without any kind of visual palate cleanser.
But creating your own graphics is certainly not an easy task. Depending on the type of images you want to make, you’d need lots of time, and design skills you may not possess.
Luckily, there are thousands of free stock images you can use to pretty up your articles. Many of them don’t even require attribution. But there you encounter another roadblock: hunting down these images and resizing them is yet another time-consuming task.
If you want to search for free photos without even having to leave the post you’re writing, ImageInject is worth a try. It pulls from both Flickr and Pixabay, two vast sources of free images, and allows you to instantly resize them to fit.
It even automatically inserts attribution when necessary and fills the alt and title tags, saving you that extra little bit of work.
10. Edit Flow
Writing teams rejoice as Edit Flow brings the collaborative experience WordPress could never quite deliver. Working with your editorial team has never been so easy. There’s no need to use any third-party organization software.
You’ve, of course, got the calendar that allows you to get an overview of past and upcoming content, plus extra post statuses like “Needs Edit” to let teammates know what articles need attention. Leave private, editorial comments, or add a little extra info like deadline dates with the metadata feature.
There are even custom user groups that you can use to organize your teams, and mass email everyone in a group with the click of a button.
What’s more is that all these features are modular, so you can use the ones you need and disable what you don’t. Each feature is customizable, and can be adapted to fit a team of any size.
Crafting Better Content
There’s a little something for every author in here. Whether you’re a solo blogger or working on a team, launching a social media campaign or just looking for a simple plugin to make writing in WordPress a bit less distracting, these plugins have got exactly what you need.
WordPress is a huge platform, and there’s a lot of competition from fellow businesses and bloggers. You need to constantly be making great content to keep up, and while WordPress has some solid tools in place, a calendar plugin or a social media auto-poster can go a long way.
These plugins will give you the edge you need to stay focused and work more efficiently. Try them out for yourself; you’ll never want to go back to default WordPress.
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