WordPress Editorial Calendar: How to Become Mega Organized with Your Writing

Wordpress Editorial CalendarAre you planning out your content for the next few months or even for the next year?

It’s so important to have an editorial calendar to plan out your content and the WordPress editorial calendar EditFlow is a free tool you can use.

What is an editorial calendar?

An editorial calendar is a calendar of scheduled activities related to the content you plan to post on your blog, website, podcast, social media channels, etc.

You could create one for your blog that plans ahead what you are going to publish and when.  Or you could expand this and include all your social media-related planned updates.

 

Why have an editorial calendar?

There are many reasons why an editorial calendar is useful:

1.  If you have workflow in your editorial calendar functionality you can use it to track who is working on what and what stage is it at.

2. By planning ahead, you can work out well in advance what you will need.  For example, I recently did a group post where I asked 54 experts about their WordPress plugins.  It took about a month to gather this information together so I had to plan ahead.

3. If you spend some time planning out your content you will come up with better ideas, identify areas you may not be covering, identify areas you are covering too much and much more!

How do you use the WordPress editorial calendar plugin EditFlow?

When you install EditFlow, you get a series of widgets that you can enable/disable and configure.

These are explained as follows:

Calendar

The calendar gives you an overview of where each of your posts are at.  They could be scheduled to post,  assigned to someone for review etc.   You can define which post types are displayed, for example, just blog posts.  You can also synchronize your calendar with Google.

 

Editflow Calendar

Use the calendar to get a clear view of the status of any blogs

In the image above you see three posts, two of which have ‘published’ status, and one is in draft.  You can view all posts that are currently being worked on according to statuses that you set up.

Across the top of this calendar you can see that you are able to filter posts based on status category and users.

Custom Statuses

When you set up Editflow, you may want to change the default statuses and set up new ones to reflect your workflow. For example, we have a status of ‘pitch’ where we’re not sure it’s going to be a post and we’re just reviewing the idea.

 

Editflow Status

Set up your own custom status

Dashboard Widgets

This is additional information that you can add to your standard dashboard, related to your editorial calendar.  You can add post status, posts your following and any notes added.

Editorial Comments

These are additional comments that you can add to your post to share with your team.  These comments are private to your content team and are not visible when you publish a post.

When this is enabled you’ll see an editorial comments field which will be displayed at the end of your blog post.   Within the post you can define if particular users or particular groups get notified of the comments.

For example, you could say that all copy editors get notified.

 

Editflow user groups

Select which group gets notified of comments

Editorial Meta Data

There is a set of additional fields you can add to the post, based on what you require.  For example: you might want to add a field indicating when the first draft is due, what the minimum word count should be etc.  This information will be displayed on the right hand side of the post.

These fields are customizable so you can change the existing ones or add new ones yourself.

Notifications

When there’s a status change or a new editorial comment listed, you can enable notifications so that the relevant team members get alerted by email.

Story Budget

When this is enabled, you’ll see the status of all posts.  This is available as a menu option under the dashboard.

You can see, at the top, that you can filter posts based on their status, category, users etc.

 

Editflow Story Budget

This gives you a clear overview of what’s happening

 

User Groups

If you have a larger team, you may want to allocate people to user groups.  For example, as we mentioned earlier on it is possible to set up notifications for groups.  You could have a group of content editors that get all notifications when the “content editor group” is selected.

 

What’s the best way to set this up?

This really depends on your requirements, but we have outlined a method that you might find useful.

We are basing this on the assumption that you have the following people working on your content, but you can apply the same principles for different teams:

  • Writer
  • Image Editor – This person takes the post and adds the relevant imagery to it.
  • Copy Editor – The copy editor will take the writer’s work and correct any grammar errors, reword sections, fix spelling mistakes and make it read better overall.
  • SEO – The SEO person will optimize the content in a way that it won’t sacrifice the work performed by the copy editor.

So here’s what you might set up:

Calendar

As we’re only interested in blog posts, set this to posts only.

Statuses

The posts can be set to the following status:

  • Pitch – There is an idea for a post but it’s not fully thought out yet
  • Planned – We’ve decided to write it and have a date in mind
  • Assigned – Assigned to a writer who is about to start work
  • Draft without images – First draft implemented but some images missing (e.g. the first image displayed when you view the blog)
  • Pending Review –  Images added and now it’s ready for review
  • Final Review – Final look over before it’s published.  At this stage we might add in some missing tags
  • Published

Editorial comments

Enable comments on posts only

What’s next?

Now that we’ve covered an editorial calendar, here are some possible actions:

1.  Consider your editorial process and do a planning session to schedule your content.

2. Consider using this or another piece of software to help you manage the editorial process.

3. Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.

4.  Share this post, sharing is caring!!

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  • http://workado.com/ Justin McGill @ Workado

    Great breakdown of this plugin. I can see where it will help to keep content organized!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Justin!

  • faigie

    What do you use to organize your social media postings?

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      I use a variety of tools, some posts are scheduled and some are realtime. I don’t have one tool for everything!

  • http://antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

    I didn’t know that plugin, so thank you for the tip. I wonder what could be the advantage for blogs written just by one person – like mine. I mean: I have a similar approach using an Excel spreadsheet…

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Antonio, it’s really suitable if you’ve got a couple of people working on blog posts and you need a workflow. If it’s only you a spreadsheet will probably work fine! Ian

  • http://www.financedirectorservices.com Shaun Walsh

    Ian, very interested in this and will have one of my team look at this on Monday. Can you post from there to Hootsuite, Linked In etc ? Will it give me control over working with a team of associates who blog for me ?

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Shaun, you can generate emails to your team but not social media updates. Yes, if you have one blog with many writers you can use this! Thanks for your feedback.

  • http://www.financedirectorservices.com Shaun Walsh

    Ian. Great, thanks. I really appreciate the tools updates you send out. Thanks for that.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks for feedback Shaun!

  • http://www.thebusinessofathomebusiness.com/ Jane Gardner

    Another great article on tools for blogging. I plan to blog articles at least three times a week so an editorial calendar will really help even in WordPress. I will put it in and try it , hopefully it will work well with my other plugins and i’ll be able to schedule 3 months at a time.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Jane, a tip… if you’re going to blog 3 times a week then you need to blog 4 times a week! There will be times when you fall behind so you need to blog more than you need to when you can. If you can’t blog 4 times a week then blog 3 times and publish twice! Ian

      • http://www.thebusinessofathomebusiness.com/ Jane Gardner

        thanks Ian.

  • Heidi Richards

    Thanks so much for the great resource. I use a similar tool with a couple less categories. Will definitely be modifying mine. An editorial calendar is especially important when we manage more than one blog. It keeps me organized and sane. Heidi Richards Mooney, Founder WECAI.org (Women in Ecommerce)