Blogging Tips – 10 Essential Plugins and other apps for Food Bloggers (WordPress) – the must have plugins for any food blogger!
Want to improve your SEO and pageviews? Make sure you have these plugins!
Blogging Tips – 10 Essential Plugins for Food Bloggers (WordPress)
Recipe Plug In
A recipe plug in is essential for SEO. In order for your recipe information to appear in Google Snippets and Pinterest Recipe Markups, you must use a plug in. No if’s, and’s or but’s!!!
There are many dozens of Recipe Plug Ins in the WordPress catalog. Many often have a basic version and then a paid version that includes nutritional information markup. Just to let you know, Google likes it when there is nutritional information, but it is not essential.
I have at one point or another tried about 5 different plug ins, until I finally found one I like. I am not an endorser of any plug in. Many food bloggers swear by WP Ultimate Recipe Plug In. For many reasons, I HATED it. Everyone is different and their mind works a little bit different. My suggestion is to find the one that you like the best – that looks nice aesthetically to you and that is user friendly and you’re not going to spend another 20 minutes adding the recipe into the plug in. I currently use Zip. It’s super easy. I just cut and paste the recipe directly from my Word draft into it and then fill in the extra details – notes, prep time, cuisine, etc.
No matter what plug in you select, make sure it has the SCHEMA markup. It will let you know in the plugin description. This markup helps communicate with Google. It also allows Pinterest to share the basic recipe information with your pins.
Click Here for an example of what mine looks like!
SEO Plug In
Many use Jetpack, but by now Yoast SEO is highly regarded as the #1 SEO plug in for all bloggers. If you’d like more information on making your recipes SEO friendly with Yoast, check out this podcast interview with the developer.
It gives you some criteria to fill in and then you get an SEO grade and it let’s you know what you need to fix in order to get your grade to Good or Excellent!
I never get an excellent, but I usually get a good! Make sure you at least get a good!
You are never going to grow as a food blogger unless people can EASILY find your social sharing buttons. Sometimes I am trying to share a recipe and I can’t find the social sharing buttons. If I have to spend too much time searching, forget about it. Again, there are dozens of plugins to do that. Two of the most popular are Sumo & Social Warfare. They both have basic and paid versions. They allow you to put the social sharing buttons in multiple locations – on the side, on top, within the post, etc. I recommend putting it in at least two locations – at the bottom of the post and either a side of top bar.
Both of these offer Analytics so you can track how your posts are being shared. Sumo also offers a lot of extra functionality including newsletter integrations with 3rd party suppliers (mailchimp, aweber, convertkit, etc.)
Rich Pins allow for recipe details to show on your pins. This is actually not a WordPress plugin, but you must set up within Pinterest, however it is as essential as the WordPress plugins! Here’s how to get set up! This way when someone clicks on your Pin, this is what they will see, encouraging them more to Pin and try your recipe!
Akismet is the #1 Spam filter for most WordPress users. I don’t even see the SPAM unless I look in the folder, but thousands of SPAM comments come through on a monthly basis and without this filter, I would go MAD!
This is one of my most useful plugins. Basically it reposts old posts to your Twitter feed using the hashtags from either your tags or categories, depending on how you set it up. You can determine how often you want this done. The one I use is here.
This automated process keeps my Twitter feed active and also I can see which posts are getting retweeted. As I am in the process of updating a lot of my old posts with new pics, this helps me focus on which posts to do that with if I see a post getting retweeted a lot and included in online papers.
There are many different plug ins that help with site speed. Again, you can experiment with a few and see which one improves your site speed best. I use BJ Lazy Load.
Image Size Crush
As food bloggers, our photographs are everything. Especially if you are a great food photographer, you want to showcase your talents, however, nothing eats up memory and site speed like photos. Especially if you are publishing step by step photos. One post can have as much as 10 photos, if you are not collaging them. You need to use a plug in that crushes down the size of the pic as it’s being uploaded. Again, there are many different plug ins. Just use the one that works the best for you.
Alternately, you can upload your photos to flickr and only upload directly into WordPress, 1 or 2 pics per post, making sure at least one of them is a vertical pinnable image.
Does this even need a description? You want to be able at the end of every month to check your stats. Which posts are doing well? Where is most of your traffic coming from? Which posts got the most engagement? Where are most of your readers located?
Not only is it good for you to determine if your growth strategies are working, but this is useful information you can provide to brands when you start working with them.
It’s absolutely mind boggling to me when food bloggers don’t have a Contact Page or an About Me with contact information. Worried about publishing your email? Then use a contact form! However, if you want to make any money food blogging, brands and PR firms need to be able to contact you if they come across your website. If they have to do to much work to find out how to reach you, they are going to move on to the next influencer!
There are many other plug ins that are necessary, but this is your top 10 list to get your site SEO friendly and shareable!
Please leave comments and let me know what other BLOGGING TIPS subjects you need to know more about or you need clarification on!