WordPress Editorial Calendar: How to Become Mega Organized with Your Writing
Are 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 best 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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:
As we’re only interested in blog posts, set this to posts only.
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
Enable comments on posts only
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!!