WordPress Plugins I Use And Why

by Jamie Sanford on August 6, 2013

This is one in a series of posts pulled from Chris Brogan’s “100 blog topics I hope YOU write.” (#68) has been built on WordPress since the beginning. My previous blogs were also on WordPress, and I built The Noritake Dish using WordPress as well. I also use Thesis on, and used to use Genesis on The Noritake Dish (since removed since the WordPress blog is now built into the site within Magento).

SIDE NOTE: I use and love Thesis but I am on version 1.8 or so. I am not impressed with Thesis 2.0, I find it a million times harder to use.

On to the plugins!

1. Akismet. Kick-ass spam comment killer.

2. Hello Dolly. It puts quotes from a musical in my WordPress dashboard. What is there to dislike about that?

3. LinkWithin. Find relevant posts in the blog and links to them from the bottom of each post. I have seen lots of other bloggers using this, and it is a great way to find other content on a blog and start cruising around.

4. Scribe. This is a paid plugin, and well worth it. All of the content I’ve created using Scribe has performed better than the content without it. Scribe guides you to better keywords, titles, and post descriptions than you’re probably writing on your own, and it has trained me to do things properly in all blogs.

5. SEO Facebook Comments. I use this for the Facebook comment form that gets attached to my posts. Much easier for people who don’t want to provide other login credentials to comment.

6. Super-simple Pinterest Widget. This is pretty straightforward. I plugged in my Pinterest account information, and a few of my recent pins show up in the sidebar. Much better than just a link, readers can actually see what I’m pinning.

7. WordPress Backup to Dropbox. Hat tip to Shauna on this one, because I just added it. Quick and easy backup of your content to your DropBox account.

8. WordPress Editorial Calendar. I don’t know how I kept track of the blog without the editorial calendar! I wrote about how following a blog schedule has been really positive in my life, and this plugin gives a great view of posts I have written, those I have scheduled, and so forth.

9. WordPress Video Plugin. This one is wonderful for adding video content to your blog! Once the plugin is active, you just have to know where the video is posted, and what its ID is, and you’re all set. I use this for all of my Sights & Sounds posts, and will never go back to pulling sharing code from individual sites again.

I would love to hear what WordPress plugins everyone else is using. What’s your recommendation?

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Last Night An Editorial Calendar Saved My Life

by Jamie Sanford on May 17, 2013

This is the current draft of the editorial calendar for For a very long time, I was lost in terms of content creation, but this simple act of trying to be consistent with things has changed things immensely. I began experiencing this with last year’s nail polish project, but only in the past 2 months or so have I realized the power of the editorial calendar, and how it goes FAR beyond just writing a blog.

Recently, the Editorial Calendar taught me about the power of positive reinforcement. I know it seems insane that I would take until age 33 to learn it, but my entire outlook on things is better, all because I’m happy with my blog content, I’m proud of myself for accomplishing all of the things on the schedule for this week. Yes, I go to a job every day and I am pretty damn good at it, but this is something I am doing solely for myself. It’s a totally different experience.

I think back to growing up, and positive reinforcement wasn’t really present. There was always a focus on what I did wrong or what was wrong with me, as opposed to focusing on things that were good. Realizing this has illuminated things for me in a new way. All of the scripts burned into my brain are there to tell me what will go wrong, and how I will fail.  I read a bit about our mental scripts in a book on self-esteem that Chris Brogan recommended, but I couldn’t get through the book because it was too real. I still struggle with it, always going first to what could go wrong or how I could end up feeling uncomfortable, and it’s debilitating and has definitely stopped me from doing things or going after what I want. This isn’t a universal scenario, but it is enough to be problematic.

For now, I’m feeling positive. My blog posts for the week have been written and I am happy with the content. I have received multiple bits of praise regarding The Brand Experience Project, and it makes me feel so good about the hours it takes to write each of those posts. It has also helped me really find what it is that I’m passionate about in business, and that can only help everything in my professional future. So, onwards and upwards.

I would love to hear about anyone’s experiences with the editorial calendar, positive reinforcement, etc, in the comments.

Resources Related to Creating An Editorial Calendar:

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100 Films in 2011 – Top Secret and Penelope

by Jamie Sanford on January 3, 2011

So, part of my blogging resolutions for 2011 is to write more content.  I’ve decided to put more content of a personal nature here, since I think it all ties in to what I post here.

I’ve watched 2 movies in the last 2 days, and it occurred to me that with the advent of Netflix instant watch, I could easily watch 100 films in 2011.

It is so on. I’m going to try it out.  I mean, if Jenny can put out the effort to come up with 365 outfits, I should definitely be able to get my act together to watch 100 movies.  Naturally, I will document all of the movies I watch here on the blog and will link to information on watching or purchasing.

#1: Top Secret (available on Netflix to watch instantly)

Top Secret

Top Secret is only available from Amazon Sellers.

Top Secret was a movie that my husband wanted to watch – how is it that I have no memory of this movie even existing?  Starring a young Val Kilmer, it’s a very Naked Gun-esque comedy – not surprising since it had the same creative team.  It was pretty good. I would recommend watching on Netflix and not buying the DVD.

#2: Penelope (available on Netflix to watch instantly)


Penelope is available for $11.99 from Amazon.

I caught Penelope during the very beginning earlier tonight, and I had been interested when I heard about it but never got around to seeing it.  I really liked it! I am a big fan of Christina Ricci and she was great and I enjoy fairy tale-type stories and this fit the bill. I think the story has a good message and would definitely buy the DVD for a young girl.

98 movies to go.

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Things I Love Thursday – Thanksgiving Photo Edition.

by Jamie Sanford on November 25, 2010

Inspired by Gala Darling, one of my favorite bloggers, who originated and has this feature on her site every week.  I’m going to use images to show what I love.


Turkey is apparently done.

My best friend & husband:

Will and Jamie in front of Hogwarts.

Tiny Edward. And bokeh.

More Tiny Edward.

Family & Friends:

The group shot!

My new nephew, Cooper:

Cooper and his towel.

The Doc Martens I’ve had since I was 15:


Fancy Desserts:


…and many other things without easily accessible photos, like:

Facebook â—Š my new camera â—Š random visits to cemeteries â—Š â—Š â—Š style bloggers in all shapes and sizes â—Š being wildly inappropriate with friends I’ve had since I was a kid and laughing all the way through it â—Š Skype â—Š OPI nail polishes â—Š pumpkin beer â—Š decorating my apartment for the holidays â—Š intending to get up early for Black Friday shopping while knowing I will probably sleep through it â—Š random educational programming about dinosaurs on Netflix instant watch â—Š & many more.

Have a great Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating today!

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Spam Comments Appealing to My Ego

by Jamie Sanford on May 27, 2010

We have reached a new low, or have we?

On my other blog, I am getting spam comments a lot, probably because of the content, I talk about shopping and post links to lots of online shopping opportunities.

Most of the comments are obviously crap, and most don’t get through the spam filter.  However, this is a little something different.

Yay for me! Wow, someone thinks that search engines should find my post about buying a Bonsai tree and make it the top search result for related searches!

Oh, wait.

So, maybe not so much.

Chris Brogan talked about a similar situation, but his spammer left a comment relevant to the post.  What is better?  Since I don’t have nearly as many readers as Chris, maybe this person felt like flattery was the way to go, in terms of “what can I do to get through the filter and then NOT get manually flagged as spam?”

Too bad for you, “study abroad scholarships,” I think enough of my content that I will not be keeping your spammery around.

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