Giving everyone on the Internet their own, unique platform to broadcast their thoughts and opinions to the entire world? Crazy. However, with over a billion blogs estimated to be in existence today, getting your message out is not even remotely outside the realm of possibilities for anyone. But it is not as straightforward as it used to be. Today, robots can leave spam on your beloved articles and servers can crash, leaving you blog-less. That’s where plugins come in; additions that enhance your blog and make it different to all the others vying for your audience’s attention. Since WordPress is one of the biggest blogging platforms on the Internet, here are five WordPress plugins that will take your blog up a notch.

1. Sociable These days, it’s not enough to simply click “Submit” when your blog is done. You have to spread it, share it with friends, co-workers, friends of friends, and any number of ever-widening and disparate social circles. The Sociable plugin for WordPress brings a number of social media and social news sites under one umbrella, letting you share your blog far and wide once the hard work is complete. Whether your audience is on reddit, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr or even MySpace and Google Plus, Sociable will help them see your blog with only minimal effort from you. At nearly 2 million downloads, it is a must-have WordPress plugin.

2. WordPress Backup To Dropbox Everyone’s worst fear is losing all their hard work to a crash. For bloggers who have to consistently create original and interesting comment, losing an entry before it can be saved is horrifying, because they, as writers know that lightning doesn’t strike twice. Fortunately, with a WordPress plugin like WordPress Backup To Dropbox, your work is instantly saved – not to your computer or an external hard drive, which are still susceptible to physical damage, but to the cloud, which can be accessed anywhere, at any time. Whatever your idea and whatever the circumstances, your blog will be safe thanks to this WordPress plugin.

3. Broken Link Checker Nothing screams “unprofessional” louder than a blog that has broken links. It makes the owner look sloppy and can cause a blog to drop considerably in page rankings. For large blogs which have dozens of outbound links, however, ensuring that each link takes readers to their expected destination is a time-consuming and difficult task. Not so with the Broken Link Checker WordPress plugin, which analyzes every link you put into your blog, detects which ones go to error pages, and then alerts you in your Dashboard.

4. Post Ender It’s always nice to end your blogs on a friendly note, but when you’ve got dozens of blogs planned out, thousands of words to write and impending deadlines, a personal sign off might be the last thing on your mind. With a WordPress plugin like Post Ender, however, you don’t have to worry about unintentionally leaving your readers feeling slighted. Much like an e-mail signature, you can customize Post Ender to say whatever you want at the end of your blog: a fond farewell, contact information, a reminder, etc. You can even customize on which blogs you want this message to appear.

5. Akismet Most new bloggers feel a rush of excitement every time a new comment appears on a post they laboriously wrote, but then everything falls right back into place the minute they realize a bot put it there. Stop the letdowns with Akismet, spam prevention plugin, that ensures everyone who leaves a comment on your blog is human. Although it does nothing to keep the heartless from slaughtering you for bad writing, so do also be sure to cross your t’s, dot your i’s, and always ask yourself if this is the absolute best writing you are capable of. Little tools like these can be the difference between a writer who frequently posts on a successful blog and a writer whose blog failed to get off the ground, so don’t be afraid to use them.

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