Do you want to learn how to improve your editorial workflow in multi-author WordPress blogs?
Managing lots of authors can be a challenge, so an efficient workflow is essential for keeping everything running smoothly. With the right approach, you will have no problems creating an editorial calendar, executing a winning content strategy, and growing your blog.
In this article, we will show you how to improve your editorial workflow in multi-author WordPress blogs.
Why Create a Clear Editorial Workflow in WordPress?
When you have a clearly-defined editorial workflow, all of your content creators will know exactly what they need to do next. This can improve productivity and help you avoid confusion and communication problems.
In this way, you can grow your WordPress blog without any extra time and effort. In fact, a streamlined editorial workflow can save you time, so you will be free to focus on other tasks, such as building an email list where you can promote your blogs or posting on social media.
With that being said, let’s see how you can improve the editorial workflow in WordPress, no matter how many authors and guest bloggers you work with.
How to Improve the Editorial Workflow on Your Multi-Author WordPress Blog
The best way to improve the WordPress editorial workflow is by using PublishPress Pro. This plugin allows you to create a content calendar and custom post statuses, add editorial comments, set up email notifications, and more.
Note: There’s also a free version of PublishPress Planner that allows you to fine-tune your workflow no matter what your budget. However, in this guide, we will be using the premium version as it has extra features, including the ability to set up Slack notifications and send reminder notifications.
With that done, go to Planner » Settings and select the ‘License’ tab.
Now, add the license key to the ‘License Key’ field. You will find this information under your account on the PublishPress website.
With that done, just click on ‘Save Changes’.
Now, let’s look at some of the different features that can improve your editorial workflow.
Define the Stages of Your Workflow With Custom Statuses
Post statuses organize your articles based on where they are in the editorial workflow.
WordPress has a few default statuses, such as ‘Drafts’, ‘Pending Review’, and ‘Published’. However, when working on a multi-author WordPress blog, you may need to add some extra post statuses.
PublishPress automatically adds the following custom statuses to your website:
- Pitch – This allows authors to submit topics and ideas directly from the WordPress admin dashboard.
- Assigned – The post is assigned to a specific author. In this way, you can avoid multiple people working on the same post simultaneously.
- In progress – An author is working on the article. This is useful during initial research and drafting.
- On Hold. You have no plans to publish this post at the current time.
You can change a post’s status using the ‘Post Status’ dropdown menu in the WordPress content editor.
You can also change a post’s status by going to Posts » All Posts.
Here, simply hover over the WordPress blog you want to update, and click on the ‘Edit’ link when it appears.
In the ‘Quick Edit’ settings, open the ‘Status’ dropdown menu and choose the status you want to use.
Then, simply click on ‘Update.’
You can also create your own custom statuses using PublishPress. For example, you might create a ‘User Submitted’ status or a ‘Not suitable’ status for guest blogs that don’t quite fit your WordPress website.
For detailed instructions, please see our guide on how to add custom post status for blog posts in WordPress.
Add Editorial Comments to Your Posts
When you are working with a team, communication is crucial. There are lots of team communication tools that can help you collaborate, but PublishPress lets you leave editorial comments directly inside the WordPress dashboard.
Editors can open any page or post and then click on the ‘Add an editorial comment’ button.
This opens a text editor where the editor can type in their feedback.
They can also upload files. For example, you might upload a PDF file containing all the resources the author should use for the post.
After posting the comment, authors and other users can respond to it.
In this way, authors and editors can have a private discussion directly inside the WordPress admin dashboard.
By default, site admins will get a notification every time someone adds an editorial comment. However, you may want to send the notification to the post’s author, too.
To do this, simply go to Planner » Notifications.
Here, you can see that PublishPress Planner emails the site administrator when new content is published and when editorial comments are added to a post.
Simply hover your mouse over the ‘Notify on editorial comments’ rule and click on the ‘Edit’ link when it appears.
This rule is already set up, so you can simply check the box next to ‘Authors of the content’.
With that done, just click on ‘Update’ to save your changes.
To learn more about these settings, please see our complete guide on how to get email notifications for posts in WordPress.
Add Editorial Metadata to Your Blog Posts
PublishPress also allows you to add metadata to your blog posts, so editors and authors can share information.
By default, it adds ‘First Draft Date’ and ‘Assignment’ metadata fields to the WordPress content editor.
You may want to add your own metadata fields. For example, you might add a ‘Final Draft Due Date’ or ‘Client Brief’ field.
To add your own editorial metadata fields, to go Planner » Editorial Metadata in the WordPress dashboard, then click on ‘Add New.’
You can now type in a name and a description for the metadata field.
This will be visible in the WordPress post editor, so you will want to use something that’s clear, helpful, and descriptive.
Next, open the ‘Type’ menu and choose how the metadata will look in the post editor.
For example, you can add it as a checkbox, dropdown menu, text field, and more.
There are some more settings you can look through, but this is all you need to create custom editorial metadata.
When you are happy with the information you have entered, just click on ‘Add New Metadata Term’.
Now, this metadata will appear in the WordPress content editor.
Managing Your Editorial Calendar With PublishPress
A content calendar helps you schedule all your content, even when you’re working with multiple authors and guest bloggers. It also provides an overview of the publication schedule, so you can be sure you’re posting everything on time and as planned.
Many editorial teams use Google Calendar or other task management tools like Asana. However, PublishPress allows you to see and manage the editorial calendar directly inside the WordPress admin area. In this way, you can be confident that all users have access to the content calendar.
To see this calendar, simply go to Planner » Content Calendar.
The calendar shows all the scheduled posts, their progress status, and more.
To add a post to the schedule, simply hover over any date and then give it a click. This opens a popup where you can type in some information about the blog you plan to publish.
After entering this information, you can click on ‘Save’ to add it to the schedule. Another option is to select ‘Save and edit’, which schedules the post and creates a new draft so you can start working on the post straight away.
Simply repeat these steps to add more content to the calendar.
After adding all your posts, you can change their dates by simply dragging and dropping them into a new spot.
Add a Pre-Publish Content Checklist
PublishPress has also created a free PublishPress Checklists plugin that allows you to add a pre-publish checklist to the post editor. This allows authors to see all the tasks they need to complete before submitting the post for review.
You can make these tasks recommended or required, which means authors can’t mark a post as ‘pending review’ without completing these tasks.
If the user clicks on the ‘Publish’ button without completing all ‘Required’ tasks, then WordPress will show a ‘Please complete the following tasks before publishing’ message.
For step-by-step instructions, please see our guide on how to add a blog post checklist to the WordPress editor.
We hope this article helped you improve your editorial workflow in multi-author WordPress sites. You may also want to see our guide on how to make money online blogging with WordPress or our expert pick of the best SEO plugins and tools.