And the best way to make your blog into a community is to promote interaction and to make it a place where people will come every day in order to interact with each other and share ideas. This not only makes the content of your blog better but it also makes people want to spend longer periods of time visiting your blog.
Here are 8 great WordPress plugins that are absolutely free to use for anyone looking to make his or her blog a more interactive one.
Facebook Friends Inviter
A lot of people might share blog posts that they like on Facebook, but that does not mean that all of their friends are seeing these posts. This plugin allows you to install a button that all of your visitors can use in order to invite specific friends to read one of your posts. It’s great for you and it’s great for your visitors because it’s a lot easier than sending them a link to the post via Facebook message and much more personal than simply sharing the blog post on their walls.
Here is a plugin that takes commenting to a completely different level. Instead of simply being able to leave a comment at the end of your post, visitors can use this plugin to comment on specific paragraphs within your post. And it is not as obtrusive as it sounds. All of the comments are visible via pop-up box and this helps to keep the comments separated from the post and content itself. It also lets visitors get more specific and comment on things they liked and disliked most within your post instead of just leaving a general comment at the end. It’s definitely a more interactive take on commenting on blog posts in general.
WPWall is a simple but effective tool that can increase interaction on your blog. It simply provides a wall in the sidebar in which people are allowed to leave comments. Allow your visitors to leave a shout out directly on your site in the sidebar area. It’s pretty much a shoutbox that allows visitors to comment but you still have complete control over what comments you want published and what you want deleted. So it won’t turn into a spam-fest if you are moderating it regularly but it can spark conversion and get people talking to each other on your blog or even making recommendations to you with content ideas or other ideas that can help you out in the long run.
Gigya is probably the best plugin for integrating various other social networks and services into your blog. It works with all of the most popular ones, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, MySpace, LinkedIn, and it not only lets you publish on all these networks easily from your blog, it also allows your visitors to share your blog posts easily and also invite friends from all of these sources to your blog.
Polls are always a great way to increase interactivity because everyone loves voting in polls. They are fun, anonymous and in the end, they could really give you a lot of insight into what your readers want to see more of and what they enjoy most in terms of content on your site. This poll plugin is a great tool that you can use for surveying your audience.
If you really want to take the commenting features of your blog to entirely new places, this is the plugin to try out. Tons of features are included in this app, allowing your readers to create user accounts, receive emails when someone replies to their comments, include threading in the comments section, voting on comments, and many other options.
WP Greet Box
This plugin recognizes what site your visitor came from and displays the message that you have selected for people coming from that specific site or type of site. Alongside that, it also allows you to add references in the greeting that could take the visitor to other places of interest within your blog and show them blog posts that they might be interested in solely based on where they are coming from when entering your blog.
What Should We Write About Next
It’s pretty self-explanatory what this plugin does. It’s a great tool for allowing your visitors and readers to make suggestions on the type of topics they would like you to cover in the future. It gives readers an easy route for giving you feedback and gives you a lot of insight into their tastes as far as blogging is concerned.