Overseeing the workflow of a WordPress site or blog can be tedious. It takes more work than one would expect, as many bloggers realize their hobby is becoming a fully fledged publication — they realize they need structure, discipline and more tools to help them through the publication process.
It takes a lot of work to plan, manage, and distribute your content consistently. Fortunately, these tools can help save you time. Even an improvement of 5% can make a difference in scheduling and costs.
Here are a few tools that we have used ourselves, are well-established, and have proven their value by accelerating the publication cycle.
PublishPress is a content calendar plug-in with advanced editorial features. You can set up a master calendar to organize tasks, set reminders, post editorial comments, etc.
The plugin provides a broad variety of content statuses asides from draft and publish. The other statuses allow you to track the progress of all your content by looking at your calendar. The more you keep a regular content calendar, the more value you get out of this plugin.
The plugin is ideal for teams, with many individuals with specific editorial roles can add comments from the original proposal to the feedback to the final sign-off through the Editorial Comment Box that makes the WordPress editor feel like a proper collaborative environment.
The free version works well enough for most websites, so users need not pay for extensions regularly.
Rank Math is a comprehensive SEO plugin that comes with everything you need to take control of your website’s SEO–a critical step for your publication process. You can monitor your SEO on your blog, products, and other pages. The plugin’s SEO analysis focuses on 40 factors that can go through any post, page, and product. It helps you to attach alt or title tags to your images. Rank Math’s 404 monitor tells you where the users are seeing errors on your site. It also has a Redirection module that redirects 404 errors to somewhere more useful in your website.
While no SEO plugin can replace SEO research and optimization, it helps authors to get the basics right as they write their work. If you are using a Page Builder like Elementor, or even the new Block Editor, Rank Math integrates well with it and helps save authors clicks while editing a page.
Blog2Social is another powerful WordPress plugin that is excellent for managing your social media calendar, scheduling, auto-posting, and cross-promoting your blog posts across your social media accounts.
The Plugin converts the blog posts automatically into an optimized format with pre-filled comments and hashtags for each network. You may customize your social network messages with comments, hashtags, or emojis, pick images for your posts, and many more.
You can schedule your blog posts once or several times. You can even plan your evergreen content up to a year in advance. You can also update your old post- and pre-schedule posts for auto-posting. While there are good third-party options, it’s a real time saver that ‘extends’ the workflow beyond our instance of WordPress.
Blog2Social is free to share and tailor your social media posts, and it might also be worth trying the premium version for advanced timing and sharing.
MailPoet is a plug-in that helps you to build and deliver newsletters and updates directly from WordPress.
You can select your design from over 50 newsletter templates, customize your mail, and send/schedule your email campaign. MailPoet pulls the latest articles from your WordPress database via its Automatic Latest Content Block.
MailPoet provides pre-configured "email frequency" values for popular shared hosts to prevent you from overuse of their systems. Another feature of MailPoet is its Sending Service, its own dedicated email distribution service that lets you send unlimited emails up to 1,000 subscribers for free.
Beyond this figure and if you require more advanced features, you must consider one of their premium plans.
There are several well-known email marketing providers. A WordPress-native solution such as MailPoet would be ideal for publishers as it helps maintain the process within a single platform and not share subscriber data with third parties.
Automating and streamlining processes is critical in making a financially viable publication as it has always been the case with print publishing. With many tools available, test each one carefully. Remember to pick them based on how they match and speed up the workflow, not just the number of features they offer.
Hosting plays a role too, and not just for ensuring a good reading experience for the end user, but helping speed up the publication process. With a team of editors, producers, SEO specialists and email Marketers working at the same time on a piece you don't want a slow server slowing them down.
If you're a blogger and are seeing your readership growing faster, or an established publication, we can help you underpin your publication process with solid infrastructure that can easily scale as your audience does. Have a look at our WordPress hosting plans and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions -- just jump on chat on the bottom right hand side of this page.