How many times have you heard the phrase “content is King” or “the secret to a successful blog is publishing great content consistently”?

Almost every blogging expert out there will repeat those two sentences until they are blue in the face, but they rarely touch up on the subject of how to actually produce great content consistently.

And the answer to that is pretty simple: great content starts with establishing an editorial workflow.

It doesn’t matter if you are a one man show running your blog, or a part of a multi-author blog, the fact is you need an editorial workflow.

And by editorial workflow I don’t mean simply deciding you will publish posts on Monday, Wednesday and every other Friday.

Your editorial workflow needs to be optimized and streamlined; not something you dread seeing or struggle with.

Optimized editorial workflow should cover post ideas or topics for at least a month in advance, social media promotion of your posts, and in case of multi-author blogs, who is in charge of a particular article.

It should provide you with all the information you need at a glance without leaving you feeling overwhelmed.

Benefits of having an editorial calendar include:

  • Content that is planned ahead of time
  • Minimized chances of facing a writer’s block
  • Knowing which article is being worked on, which needs work, and which one is ready to publish
  • Knowing who is responsible for particular piece of content

There are numerous ways to create and maintain your editorial calendar and workflow, from using pen and paper to utilizing spreadsheets or project management software.

There are of course plugins which integrate right into your WordPress dashboard, making the whole process easy – and you don’t have to worry whether or not you remembered to include everyone in that email you sent about the latest post changes.

Having said that, let’s see what the plugin repository has to offer when it comes to managing your editorial strategy.

3 top WordPress plugins to improve your editorial workflow

CoSchedule

Coschedule

CoSchedule is a recent addition to the plugin world, but it’s so much more than your plain old editorial calendar.

CoSchedule has a simple and intuitive drag-and-drop interface which allows you to easily schedule your blog posts AND social media updates, all in one place.

With CoSchedule you can create a queue of social media messages that will be automatically send once your blog post goes live. Even better, if you drag a blog post from one date to another on the editorial calendar, your social media messages move with it.

It is a paid plugin that comes with a 14 day free trial, however the upgrade is set at $15/month which really isn’t a lot when you consider everything that the plugin does.

Features:

  • Drag-and-drop editorial calendar
  • Automated social publishing
  • Schedule social media while you blog
  • Editorial comments
  • Team workflow management
  • Notifications and blog management center
  • Lightweight WordPress plugin
  • All-in-one publishing solution
  • 2-minute installation
  • Beautiful modern design

Price: $15/month (paid annually)

Get CoSchedule

Edit Flow

Edit Flow

Edit Flow is one of the best free editorial plugins, especially if you run a multi-author blog. With custom statuses, editorial comments, calendar, and user groups, you can easily collaborate with other team members and always stay in the loop.

On top of that, Edit Flow syncs with iCal or Google Calendar so you can access your editorial calendar even when you are away from your WordPress dashboard.

Edit Flow is modular which means you can customize it to suit your needs, and it can be extremely useful even if you are a single author on your blog.

Features:

  • Calendar – a convenient month-by-month look at your content
  • Custom statuses – define the key stages to your workflow
  • Editorial comments – threaded commenting in the admin for private discussion between writers and editors
  • Editorial metadata – keep track of the important details
  • Notifications – receive timely updates on the content you’re following
  • Story budget – view your upcoming content budget
  • User groups – keep your users organized by department or function

Price: Free

Get Edit Flow

Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calender

Editorial Calendar is one of the simplest solutions out there, perfect to get your feet wet in the process of creating and maintaining your editorial workflow.

If you have never created an editorial calendar before, start by brainstorming a few ideas and mark the desired publishing dates on Editorial Calendar.

If you change your mind, you can always use their drag-and-drop interface to change the date when the post goes out live.

Editorial Calendar is simple, no frills solution that is perfect for those who don’t need a lot of bells and whistles or for those who are running a single author blog.

Features:

  • See all of your posts and when they’ll be posted
  • Drag and drop to change your post dates
  • Manage your drafts with our new drafts drawer
  • Quick edit post titles, contents, and times
  • Publish posts or manage drafts
  • Easily see the status of your posts
  • Manage posts from multiple authors

Price: Free

Get Editorial Calendar

Conclusion

 

Managing an editorial calendar can be VERY time-consuming because there are a lot of moving parts.

But with the help of one of the above plugins you’ll be able to save a lot of time and keep yourself organized.

Posted by Ana Lynn Amelio

Ana Lynn Amelio is a WordPress designer and freelance blogger. When she isn't busy running her own small business Ley Design she can be found reading, enjoying Italian food, and helping her kids go through not-so-secret cookie stash. Follow her on Twitter or say hi on Google+