As I’ve mentioned before, the main reason I chose WordPress as my blogging platform is because of their awesome library of plugins. There are plugins for every problem imaginable (and a few I’d never thought of). WordPress plugins have been a huge asset for my blog, and I wouldn’t use any other platform.
If you’ve been following along in the Create the Ultimate Photography Blog series then you’ve read about why you need a blog, how to set one up, and a few blog post ideas to get you started.
Missed a post or two? No worries! Here are the links:
If you are ready to move on, I thought that I should share the WordPress plugins that have made my blogging experience so much easier. If you decided to go with Blogger or another blogging platform then you can skip this one.
Here are a few of the plugins that I cannot live without, and I know would help your blog today!
1) Yoast SEO
If I had to get rid of all of my other WordPress plugins and only use one, Yoast SEO would be the one I would keep. I cannot live without this plugin! SEO is a mysterious beast that it seems only a few internet gods really understand. I have tried to figure out all the tips and tricks on my own but to no success.
All of that changed when I installed Yoast SEO.
Yoast is easy to use. You write up your post, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you type in the keywords that you would like that article to be found for. Yoast then provides a checklist of items that you’ve done well and items that you need to change in order to receive the “green light.”
I try to do all of the items that Yoast suggests but sometimes it just doesn’t work in that particular article. That is totally cool! As long as you see the “green light” on the street light icon then your post is good to go for SEO. I literally don’t know what I would do without this plugin.SEO is a mysterious beast but not with this WordPress Plugin! Click To Tweet
2) WP Smush
You are trying to run a photography blog to show off your work and gain more clients. The first thing that will send potential clients running is a slow acting blog. People simply don’t have the patience to wait for 5 minutes while your blog post loads.
Unfortunately, images are usually one of the big culprits that slow blogs and websites down.
WP Smush is a handy little plugin to have. When you upload your image, Smush will optimize the size so that it won’t slow down the speed of your blog. This is great for us photographers because we most likely have about 10 to 15 pictures a client session post. All of those images can really reduce our blog’s performance.
The great thing about Smush is that even if you already have tons of images on your blog, this handy little plugin can bulk Smush all of your images.
I know what you are thinking because I thought it too. That’s great but does it affect image quality?
I haven’t had any issues with image quality while using Smush. I have, however, seen a faster loading time on my blog.
I want you to picture this scenario with me. A bride is looking for a wedding photographer in her area, and she happens to stumble onto one of your blog posts. She likes what she sees but she isn’t sure. The wedding featured in the blog post she clicked on looks good but she is really concerned about the photography for her big day. One good wedding session just isn’t going to impress her. She scrolls down to the end of your post, and she is ready to click away.
But she doesn’t.
She happens to glance down at your related posts, and she sees another wedding session that catches her eye. Before she knows it, she’s seen 4 of your wedding sessions. She is now ready to contact you about a booking.
Now just imagine if that related post wouldn’t have been there. She would have clicked off your page and moved on.
There really is no reason to not have related posts set up on your blog. Zemanta was very easy. The only thing I had to change in the settings was how many related posts I wanted to share. Zemanta handles the rest.
4) Simple Social Icons or SumoMe
If you don’t have social media buttons on your blog then this is one of the first WordPress plugins you should add. You want to make it easy for your clients to connect with you on any social platform or share your work.
Simple Social Icons are exactly what they sound like. They are simply icons that fit in with any blog template scheme. I have mine in my right sidebar. I like how they look, and they fit in with my blog very well.
SumoMe is a little more noticeable. These social media icons can be found on the left-hand side of my blog. I don’t think that they fit into the color scheme of my blog but they are easy to spot and easy to share from. They also scroll down the page with your client so they can easily share your work or post. SumoMe is for sharing. It will not send your clients to your Facebook page but it could share your post to theirs (and their friends).
I use Catablog on my tutorial page. This nifty little tool allows me to display all of my reviews and tutorials in one place. How could you use this? For a photography blog, Catablog could be used to show off particular types of sessions that you want to shoot. If you want to get more weddings then set up a wedding page on your blog with some of your best wedding sessions displayed. That way you’re future bride can find several wedding sessions quickly and easily.
Catablog’s look can be a little hard to change. By default, it shows your posts in a list format instead of a grid. I changed mine using this post here. This post also goes over how to use Catablog step by step.
I hope that you try out a few of these WordPress plugins for your photography blog. I know that you will love them as much as I do! Do you have any WordPress plugins that you can’t live without? Make sure to share them!
Here are those links to the Create the Ultimate Photography Blog series again: