5 WordPress Plugins For Your Kick-Ass Blog

By March 6, 2015 Creative Blogging
5 Useful Wordpress Plugins

If you Google “Best WordPress Plugins” you’ll see tons of results, often recommending the same set plugins over and over again, and all you need to do is pick which one to install for your blog. Today, I’m going to do the same: share my own recommendations of WordPress plugins but I’ll veer away from ones often featured, such as WordPress SEO by Yoast and Akismet. These are the plugins that I really thought made a subtle difference on my blogging journey.

1. CoSchedule

I signed up with CoSchedule for a 14-day trial last February and I got hooked ever since. I even wrote a review a few weeks ago. CoSchedule, in a gist, is an editorial calendar plugin that automatically shares your entries on social media. What I love about this plugin is that it takes good care of my blog even when I’m out exploring the big world. While this plugin isn’t free ($10/month), I believe it’s still a great investment for those who are interested in stepping up their blogging ante to the next level.

Note: Since I know $10 is expensive for us third-world citizens, you can sign up for a 14-day trial first. Test the waters and see if it’s for you.

2. Enable Media Replace

This plugin definitely deserves the spotlight. There are times where I need to change the photo featured on a blog post. Instead of deleting the existing photo and upload a new one, this plugin allows me to just replace the existing photo. Not only does this plugin save time, but also precious web hosting space!

3. UpdraftPlus

This plugin can create a backup of your WordPress and save it on various backup services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon S3. You have, however, to pay extra for other features, often ranging from $10-$30.

4. Drafts for Friends

This plugin generates a unique link which allows me to share a draft post to my friends before it gets published. I also use this plugin to share drafts with my clients and exclusive content with my readers who are subscribed to the mailing list.

5. Redirection

The purpose of this plugin is simple: to manage all of my redirects and monitor 404 errors. This is a passive yet incredibly useful plugin for bloggers who moved to WordPress and would like to redirect their users to the new and updated permalinks of their blog posts.

Update: This plugin won’t work earlier. I’ve switched to SEO Redirection.

Bonus — 6. Jetpack

Jetpack offers various features that were only once available for WordPress.com users. The beautiful thing about Jetpack is that it’s like an all-in-one plugin, offering Shortcodes to Carousel (gallery) to Related Post and even has their own Site Stats! Although Site Stats can’t replace Google Analytics, it’s still an informative analytic resource that can help you grow your kick-ass blog.

Bonus — 7. WPide

This plugin is the bomb dot com for designers and developer alike. This is an IDE plugin where you can edit HTML, PHP, CSS, and JavaScript files in your dashboard. No need for a FTP client or third-party editor! But I only recommend installing this plugin if you know how a little bit of coding. :)

Due to the lack of update, WPide might not work for everyone. So suggest installing Synchi as an alternative.

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Getting To Know You Better & The Importance of a Reader Survey

By March 6, 2015 Creative Blogging
The Importance of a Reader Survey

A couple of months ago, I was having a crossroad. I wanted to grow my blog, but I didn’t know which direction to take. I wanted a rebrand. I’m a lifestyle blogger, I’m free to write anything, but I also wanted to focus on topics that were meaningful to me, like travel and blogging/creative resources. So I asked for help, I asked for your open feedback and your opinions were incredibly helpful.

Today, I’m going to ask again. Only this time, I’m going to ask everything about YOU. What you do, what are your favorites and activities. The survey is at the bottom of the page, but let me briefly discuss with you why a Reader Survey is essential for your blog.

A reader survey is a great discovery tool to know your blog better. It’s useful when you feel a little bit lost with your blog, wanting to rebrand, or identifying the areas that need improvement. On the business side of things, a reader survey can help you identify which brand and sponsors you should tap for a collaboration or partnership.

As for the tools, there are a lot of free survey platforms available online. In my first reader survey, I signed up with SurveyMonkey. They have a free plan where you’re allowed to ask 10 questions. Now, I’m using Typeform — a beautiful survey platform. The core plan allows unlimited survey forms and responses, which you can also embed on posts. :)

P.S. I’ve got a thank you gift waiting for you at the end of the survey.

Reader Profile Survey

Powered by Typeform

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Travel Footwear

By March 5, 2015 Sponsored
Reef

Of all the pieces of clothing you will wear during your travels, your footwear will be the most important. Traveling often means tons of walking and in order for you to enjoy all that, your footwear has to be comfortable and, of course, stylish.

I’ve had my fair share of footwear mishaps. One time, I went to Hong Kong wearing this cute pair of wedges and I was quietly screaming in pain as I walk uphill and downhill. Then in Boracay, I had difficulty walking in my flip flops that I had to buy another one which cost 2x more. These mishaps, as embarrassing and funny as they are, have taught me the value of comfort over style.

Since I’m going to travel in a couple of weeks, I thought I’ll do a quick write-up about what I wear whenever I travel. What I pack will greatly depend on the destination I’ll be heading, but I refrain from bringing more than two shoes.

Reef Dew Kist 2 | Reef.com

For beach and loungewear: I’ll settle for a pair of cute but versatile flip-flops or sandals.

For every day wear: I’ll definitely wear a pair of comfy (and cute) sneakers or slip-ons. Luckily, there are thousands of stylish sneakers and slip-ons available. While I was writing this entry, I saw this cute pair on Reef.com and it’s called REEF DEW KIST 2. The shoes (on the left) were named after me and is also available in my size, so I’m taking that a sign from the Universe that I must have it! Haha!

For something a little bit formal: A pair of black flats or sandals would do the trick. Since I have to travel light, bringing heels is out of the question (and also, they hurt after a couple of hours). I think black flats are versatile and comfortable but can retain that elegant touch.

Reef Clothing and Footwear

Speaking of Reef sandals, I went to the mall the other day to check them out and I found out that almost all of their shoes have a mattress-inspired footbed with arch support. I thought that was interesting because if you’ll be walking for long hours, you can definitely use the extra cushion. But more importantly, they’re cute and casual for everyday wear or activewear!

Question: What do you usually wear when you travel?

Reef Clothing and Footwear

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Reef. All opinions are my own.

 

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What To See and Do in Paoay, Ilocos Norte

By March 3, 2015 Adventures, Philippines
Paoay, Ilocos Norte

Welcome to Ilocos Norte!
Ilocos Norte is a Philippine province in the Ilocos Region. The area is located at the northwest corner of Luzon, the country’s largest island. Ilocos Norte is known for many things, but it is most notable for the birthplace of the former President, Ferdinand E. Marcos, who declared martial law during the latter half of his incumbency.
Marcos is an extremely intelligent man who, depending on your perspective, may have helped or destroyed the country’s growing potential. I thought this tour to Ilocos has helped me, and possibly other millennials, understand the President, who is often described as evil. Continue Reading

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