Essential WordPress Plugins for Content Marketing

By Jakk Ogden on April 4, 2015 in Apps, Software and Tools, Content Tips
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WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world. I have used WordPress for more than 7 years and in that time it has proved itself to be an extremely reliable platform. Every update that has been made to WordPress over the years has been genuinely useful, and the only hiccups I’ve experienced have been due to my own errors.

Therefore, I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anybody.

Over the past two years my blogging needs have changed, though. I now require more than simply a publishing platform. I have realised that I now rely heavily on editorial calendars and plugins to automate certain aspects of content creation and marketing. Thankfully, WordPress is perfect for this.

After searching online for some new plugins, I have noticed a lack of decent articles which recommend content marketing plugins for WordPress. I found this strange for two reasons: 1) There are plenty of WordPress plugins out there for content marketing and 2) I’d have thought bloggers would like to share their favourite plugins.

Don’t get me wrong, though –  there are a few lists out there, but most of them have been thrown together based on this. As a WordPress user, I find this lazy.

Thankfully, I’m here to share my finds, and help fellow marketers out with some solid recommendations.

So, if you’re a content marketer using WordPress, or if you’re a self-hosted blogger using WordPress, here’s a variety of essential WordPress plugins for content marketing.

Hopefully you will discover a few treasures. This article has now been updated for 2015.

WordPress Plugins for Content Scheduling and Planning

Good content marketing starts at the planning stage. What types of article are you going to craft? Who is going to write them? When should they be published? These content scheduling and planning plugins will help you map out your content production.

CoSchedule by Todaymade

Coschedule WordPress Plugin

CoSchedule is a social media integrated editorial calendar for WordPress. This plugin adds editorial calendar functionality in the dashboard of the website it is installed on. It benefits from its own web app, which means that bloggers can access their calendar from anywhere. You add new titles and post details via the calendar and the software automatically drafts posts within the post queue.

Editorial Calendar

This is a basic WordPress plugin that simply adds editorial calendar functionality into the dashboard – not unlike CoSchedule, actually. The difference between this plugin and Coschedule however is that Editorial Calendar is more of a reminder tool, giving you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. It features drag and drop functionality, and moving posts around is simple.

Content Scheduler

Content Scheduler is an extremely useful plugin. It is particularly useful  for marketers who need the ability to schedule content for automatic expiration, and schedule content to change at a certain time. WordPress already has a built-in schedule function, but this plugin adds extra functionality, such as the ability to define what happens upon expiration, and the ability to notify users of expiration.

Contentlook

This is a content marketing audit plugin that looks at your blogging, traffic, social Media, SEO, links and authority. I have tested this plugin on Content Hero and overall it’s fairly decent. It gives you actionable advice and a list of to dos to maximise a content strategy. It even sends a weekly audit via e-mail. If you’re new to content marketing this plugin will be a good tool to have in your arsenal.

Edit Flow

I have included this content calendar after using it for two months on one of our client’s blogs. Edit Flow empowers you to collaborate with your editorial team inside WordPress, with a range of features that make collaboration easy. There’s threaded commenting, workflow notifications, user groups plus much more. It’s also easy to use and easy to set up.

WordPress Plugins for Content Optimisation 

WordPress is a blogging platform first and foremost. So, you’ll want to give your blog posts and pages the best chance of ranking well in search, right? Content optimisation plugins will help you to achieve just that.

Schema Creator by Raven

Schema WordPress Plugin

This is a fantastic plugin that gifts webmasters the ability to embed properly constructed Schema.org microdata into blog posts and pages. There are two versions of this plugin – a free version and a premium version. I have only used the former; this allows you to embed person, product, event, organisation, movie, book, review, and recipe microdata into posts and pages quickly and easily.

SEOPressor

SEOPressor is a tool that I recommend if you ever used InboundWriter, a tool that’s no longer available but was very good indeed. SEOPressor is a brilliant WordPress SEO plugin that’s designed to benefit authors who want to get the best exposure in the search engines. Test it out and see for yourself – it costs $5 per month though, so bear that in mind.

Squirrly SEO

Squirrly SEO is my favourite content optimisation plugin for WordPress. It is packed full of features that are genuinely useful. This plugin gives you SEO advice as you’re crafting pages and posts, and it takes into account your content marketing strategy – Squirrly tracks traffic, SEO, social signals, links, plus more, and will e-mail you a report weekly on your pages or posts performance.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

You’ve probably heard of this plugin, but I thought I’d include it anyway just in case you haven’t. WordPress SEO by Yoast is a fully featured optimisation plugin for your whole website. I use this plugin on a few of my websites. The feature I use the most is ‘Page Analysis’, which effectively grades your pages and posts as you’re crafting them, with tips to improve their optimisation for the search engines.

Other content optimisation tools that come highly recommended by users (but I haven’t tested myself) include Scribe.

WordPress Plugins for Content Promotion

The distribution of your content is just as important as the creation of it – an incredible blog post is not valuable if it isn’t going to be shared and found. Here’s some of my favourite plugins for social automation and outreach.

SNAP

SNAP Plugin

NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster (or SNAP, for short) will automatically publish your new blog posts to Blogger, Delicious, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, plus many more social networks. I use this social media automation plugin on a few of my personal blog’s, and it’s a reliable and easy way to get a quick share count.

Microblog Poster

Microblog Poster does the exact same job as SNAP, only better. The reason I don’t use this plugin as much as SNAP is because I’ve gotten so used to the SNAP interface. I recommend Microblog Poster to bloggers who want to automate some of their social media marketing. Remember, though – the key to good social outreach is connecting with people. Automation CANNOT do this for you.

SendPress: Email Marketing and Newsletters

This is perhaps my most used outreach plugin. Traditionally, sending e-mail and managing newsletters has been an expensive task, but with this plugin it just isn’t. SendPress is a fully featured e-mail and newsletter management plugin that gifts WordPress users with the ability to manage e-mail marketing from within their dashboard.

My Blog Guest 

My Blog Guest is a service which I use infrequently (not for Content Hero). The service works as such – you sign up as either a guest blogger or blog owner, and you either submit your article for possible inclusion on blogs or you accept articles after reviewing their quality. This automates much of the guest posting process. The My Blog Guest plugin adds this functionality to your WordPress dashboard.

WordPress Plugins for your Users

Content is not about you – it’s about your visitors. Your job doesn’t end at crafting quality content and distributing it; once your visitor is on your website, you need to give them an experience worth sharing. Here’s plugins to achieve that.

kk Star Ratings

kk Star Ratings

Think your content is awesome? Then let your users decide. kk Star Ratings is an excellent post and page reviews system. You can decide where the review system will show, including posts, pages, homepage, archives, and you can also exclude categories. Importantly, this plugin is Google Rich Snippet compatible, so you could get fancy stars in the search results.This system can be abused (for good or bad), so make sure you manage this tool effectively. You can see this plugin in action at the bottom of this article (click the stars to rate this article – I hope it isn’t too shabby?).

Eazy CF Captcha

Spam is the plague of the internet, and if you currently have comments open on your posts without a captcha field, then you’re running the risk of being targeted – this won’t harm your website, but it’ll drive you nuts having to go through your comments to sift out the gold from the sh**. This plugin will add a simple captcha field to your comment box and eliminate 99% of spam.

W3 Total Cache

This plugin stands out like a sore thumb alongside my other choices, but it’s important to consider just how much site speed effects user experience. If your content loads slowly, or doesn’t load at all, your visitor will not stick around – they will go elsewhere. W3 Total Cache is an excellent WP plugin which comes recommended by big brands, not just me. This will speed up your website with some voodoo and magic.

Disqus Comment System 

The standard WordPress commenting system is not very social – users are asked to leave a name and e-mail address. Disqus is a social commenting platform that’s free to download and works extremely well. It takes over the regular comment system and allows users to log in with their Disqus, Facebook, or Twitter profile. It syncs existing WordPress comments and all comments are hosted on the Disqus servers.

Alternative commenting systems to Disqus include Livefyre and IntenseDebate.

What WordPress Plugins Do You Use?

Thank you for taking the time to read my article – I hope that you can find value from it. Do you use any different WordPress plugins to what I’ve listed above? If so, I’d be delighted to know what they are. Leave a comment below or tweet us @content_hero.

Author’s note: Since I published this article around a year ago, a number of people have contributed additional high-value content marketing plugins in the comments section. If you have your own best content marketing WordPress plugin, please share it with us. Enjoy!

Essential WordPress Plugins for Content Marketing
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About the Author

Jakk OgdenView all posts by Jakk Ogden
Jakk Ogden is the founder and managing director of Content Hero. Jakk's background lies in marketing, advertising and publishing. He is partial to the clever infographic, Mark Twain, golden age comic books and Johnny Cash. He has written over 3,000 articles that have been published online. Connect with him on Linkedin, , or buy him a coffee in Leeds to talk about how high quality content can grow your business.

35 Comments

  1. Joe January 17, 2014 Reply

    Excellent post. I really like CoSchedule so look forward to checking out some more of your recommendations.

    Cheers,

    Joe

    • Author
      Jakk Ogden January 17, 2014 Reply

      Thank you Joe, I look forward to giving them :).

  2. James West January 17, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jakk,

    As usual, this is an excellent article – thank you!

    I’d be interested to know which WordPress plugins you would recommend for content curation. I’m surprised there haven’t been any included because you’re obviously very knowledgeable on the subject: http://www.contenthero.co.uk/how-to-curate-content-creatively/.

    I have been looking for a few ways to automtate curation so if you have any ideas about how I can achieve this on my WordPress powered sites, I’d be in your debt!

    James

    • Author
      Jakk Ogden January 17, 2014 Reply

      Thanks James! I do actually have a number of curation plugins for WP – rather than include them in a comment, I will update the article over the next day or so.

  3. Andrea January 17, 2014 Reply

    kk Star Rating is an excellent recommendation, thank you. The Schema plugin is also one I’ve never heard of.

    • Author
      Jakk Ogden January 19, 2014 Reply

      It sure is Andrea! If you have any extra plugins please do share them!

  4. Doug Kessler January 19, 2014 Reply

    Fantastic round-up.
    Thanks for putting in the work — this is a real service to content marketers everywhere. Especially those who love WordPress (as we do).

    Bravo!

    • Author
      Jakk Ogden January 19, 2014 Reply

      Thank you Doug! I enjoyed writing it, I’ll be updating it soon with some new curation plugins I’ve been testing :).

  5. Andreea Leau January 20, 2014 Reply

    We are glad to hear that you consider Squirrly is a must try SEO plugin. Thank you for the review on our plugin. – Squirrly Team

    • Author
      Jakk Ogden January 20, 2014 Reply

      And thank you for designing a plugin that is genuinely useful! Keep up the great work!

  6. Harsh Agrawal January 21, 2014 Reply

    Thanks Jakk for the article and I would like to suggest Comment evolved plugin for WordPress, which adds G+ commenting feature…

    • Author
      Jakk Ogden January 21, 2014 Reply

      Thanks! That sounds like an interesting plugin I’ll definitely check that out :).

  7. Ryan Law January 23, 2014 Reply

    You’re completely right that SEO Yoast is amazing for on-page SEO, but I’ve also found that the ‘Focus Keyword’ option is perfect for keeping my copy concise and well-focused. Just by occasionally glancing down at the focus keyword, I remind myself of the core topic of each blog post, and it stops me wandering off into irrelevant territory!

    Great post, and I’ll be looking into a few of these for myself!

    • Author
      Jakk Ogden January 23, 2014 Reply

      Thank you for your recommendation of Focus Keyword, I’m going to test out some new optimisation plugins over the next 5 days so I’ll let you know how I get on. Also check out Squirrly :)!

  8. Barry Feldman January 24, 2014 Reply

    Awesome stuff.

    I recently added Magic Action Box to my WordPress blog. Love it. The service, which has a very useful freebie version, makes it super simple to create CTAs in a variety of styles to use on your posts (or anywhere) to collect email address, promote info assets, etc. Try it.

    • Author
      Jakk Ogden January 24, 2014 Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Barry, I’ll be sure to test that plugin out!

  9. L January 24, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jakk,

    Thank you for such an informational, unbiased post! Squirrly is my SEO, and for me, there is no other that compares. I’m really excited about Contentlook, as well as several others that I was unaware of. This was such a help. Thanks so much. : )

    • Author
      Jakk Ogden January 24, 2014 Reply

      You’re welcome! I’m glad that my list has gifted you with some new plugins to check out 🙂

  10. Douglas Karr January 24, 2014 Reply

    We just launched CircuPress to send email – using WordPress templating and an external infrastructure for sending the email (you shouldn’t send it from your host). We’re new and fine-tuning the UI based on feedback but we’re growing like crazy. Hope you check us out and we can make your next list!

    • Author
      Jakk Ogden January 24, 2014 Reply

      Thanks for joining the discussion, Doug. I’ll make sure to test your plugin and include it in a new list if it is as good as it looks!

  11. David Carralon January 26, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jakk, you may want to look at ‘ContentScribe SEO’. Although the name carries SEO connotations, it does a good job at helping authors produce content thats in demand . Good article! Thank you

    • Author
      Jakk Ogden January 28, 2014 Reply

      Thanks David, ContentScribe is used by one of our team members and he rates it highly.

  12. Carolyn January 26, 2014 Reply

    A great article. Many thanks. Can’t wait to try some of these plugins out 🙂

    • Author
      Jakk Ogden January 28, 2014 Reply

      You’re welcome Carolyn!

  13. Daniel Page February 6, 2014 Reply

    Hey Jakk
    This was a really nice list of plugins that I thought my readers would appreciate, so I included it in my roundup of the month’s best SEO, social media, and content marketing articles. http://www.aseohosting.com/blog/2014/02/seo-content-marketing-and-social-media-best-of-january-2014/

    Thanks again for putting this together.

    • Author
      Jakk Ogden February 6, 2014 Reply

      Thank you Daniel, I’m pleased that you liked it! I’m also honoured to be included on your website, so thank you for that too!

  14. Jordi Cabot February 10, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jakk, I think a nice complement to your list would be a section on “Conversion Optimization” plug-ins as our own native A/B Testing solution for WordPress: http://wp-abtesting.com (happy to give you a free pass if you want to give it a try)

    • Author
      Jakk Ogden February 10, 2014 Reply

      Thank you for the heads up! What’s the process for a trial? If it is good, we will consider including it. Jakk

  15. Travis Pflanz March 18, 2014 Reply

    I am a huge fan of SNAP. I use the Pro version ($50) and it has WAY more functionality than ANY other social media auto-posting plugin on the market. It can post to every type of Facebook account and every type of Google+ account and much more.

    SNAP Pro – http://www.nextscripts.com/social-networks-auto-poster-for-wp-multiple-accounts/

    Another nice thing about SNAP Pro is that you can change the auto-post times to each individual social media networks, so you can auto-post to all as soon as your post is published or you can post to Facebook, Twitter, etc. each independently at the times you have the most fan interaction on each network.

    Lastly, the posting options, layout and styling can be changed for each individual network… with every post appearing to come directly from your website, not a third party!

    Another great free plugin is Evergreen Post Tweeter – http://wordpress.org/plugins/evergreen-post-tweeter/ – Automatically re-shares older posts.

    • Author
      Jakk Ogden March 26, 2014 Reply

      Thank you for all of the recommendations Travis! Much appreciated 🙂

      J

  16. Sam September 3, 2014 Reply

    Inbound Writer is no longer offering the plugin (or service), they are preparing for a launch of a new similar product that has been redeveloped from the ground up. I truly hope that it is great as I was disappointed with their last product (as I was with Scribe Content).

    • Author
      Jakk Ogden October 22, 2014 Reply

      Sam, thanks for the update. I’ll be updating this article soon with some new additions 🙂

      J

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