Improve your Editorial Workflow in Multi-Author WordPress Blogs
- Updated: Dec 10, 2016
Publishing content on a multi-author blog is not easy, to say the least. First there is the website owner who sometimes also works as the editor (last person to approve a post before publishing). Then, with bigger websites, there are the editors and sometimes more than one editor. Finally, there are the writers.
As your website grows larger and attracts more of an audience, you’ll need to hire writers and editors to keep producing great content. There is a limit to how much you can write on your blog entirely on your own.
You may have seen many writers publish 50 great articles on a monthly basis and wonder why can’t I do that ? Don’t be fooled, chances are they use many people to help them create content.
Hiring writers is a rather difficult task, finding the right people to produce the right content at the right price is more difficult. Once you’ve found the right writers for your website, you’ll need a mechanism to help handle them. How you ask? For WordPress websites there a couple of plugins to help handle multiple authors.
I’ve seen most, if not all, WordPress plugins that handle editorial workflow processes. Most of them seem to be targeted at tackling specific problems that plague running multi-author WordPress sites like Editorial Calendar which helps handles scheduling more than anything else, or Co Schedule which helps with social marketing a multi-author site.
Edit Flow on the other hand, tackles all problems associated with producing and publishing content on a multi-author WordPress blog. It does not help with social marketing, but, apart from that, it solves the problems normally associated with collaboration between people on multi-author blogs and it handles scheduling effectively.
Let’s have a look at what the plugin offers at more depth. Once you have installed and activated the plugin, you’ll notice the “Edit Flow” on your WordPress dash menu. You can see below a snapshot of what the plugin has to offer.
You can only schedule posts on your site once they have been created. To create an article on a multi-author website isn’t as simple as it would be with single author sites.
In a single author blog, only one person has to brainstorm for ideas, choose the best among different choices, create the article and publish it. But with a multi-author site, the author has to pitch ideas, have them approved/assigned, create a draft and submit it, and then await approval for publishing pending review.
Edit Flow greatly simplifies the entire process from pitching ideas, all the way through to publishing.
The editorial meta data, which can be easily logged, makes it possible for the editor to easily track the work of different writers. The plugin also allows the editor to add comments, which makes it possible to provide easy feedback to writers requesting changes and edits in their work.
Edit Flow makes available a couple of widgets on your WP dash to monitor articles and easily track editorial workflow. If you want to stay up to date on all changes on your website, you can opt into email notifications which will alert you as and when changes are made.
The calendar is certainly one of the the most important tools you’ll find in this plugin or any other good editorial workflow plugin. The calendar allows the editor to take control of the number of posts/pages/forms that are published. You can easily drag and drop posts to change their publish dates.
All of this functionality is wonderful, but how do we differentiate between editor, writer, admin and may be even sub editors? Workflow gets complicated easily. To handle extra complications, you have User Groups which can be used to handle people differently based on their responsibilities.
Oh and if you were wondering, we use Edit Flow on WHSR too. We publish on average around 12 articles every month, Jerry (our founder) and Lori (our editor) handle more than 5 writers. We started using Edit Flow because our previous attempts at communication ended with inboxes clogged with emails. Edit Flow helped solve all the problems we were previously facing.
If you want an alternate option, you can perhaps try Oasis Workflow which is a freemium plugin.