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Updated: October 28, 2020

How to Improve Your WordPress Editorial Workflow (+ 7 WP Plugins to Try)

Written by Purushottam Kiri

As a content manager, you have one goal: consistently pushing out relevant, high-quality content for your audience.

And to achieve this goal, you needed a CMS platform to organize and publish content. So you chose WordPress. 

But as your list of freelance writers grows and content needs ramp up, you find it harder to keep track of assignments and deadlines.

In short, your editorial workflow is out of whack. 

Now, you’re dealing with confusion, missed deadlines, and inconsistent performance. 

It’s a headache you can continue to endure, or you can do something about it. 

In this article, we’re going to show you how to improve your WordPress editorial workflow and the best plugins to simplify it. 

Let’s jump right in.

Is it Time to Update Your WP Editorial Workflow? 

Using WordPress for your content management is a smart move. But are you implementing plugins? And if so, are they the right ones to improve your editorial workflow?

There are hundreds of WordPress plugins on the market, making it difficult to find reliable solutions. 

The first step is to identify what issues you’re currently having. 

For example:

  • Can you create custom (and automated) workflows for your team?
  • Can you review changes and make editorial comments on posts?
  • Do you have the means to streamline your editing process for a growing team?
  • Is it easy to manage team roles?
  • Can you create a shareable schedule and assign tasks with due dates?

If you answered no to any of these questions, then it’s time to update the plugins you’re using. 

There are all sorts of benefits you can witness in doing so. For instance, you’ll be able to:

  • Organize all of your writing tasks 
  • Improve team collaboration 
  • Ensure deadlines are met 
  • Scale content production up or down as needed
  • Find bottlenecks and correct them 

Let’s take a look at some of the features that can enhance your WordPress editorial workflow.

What’s Needed to Enhance My WordPress Editorial Workflow?

Scouring through the countless tools for WordPress can be confusing. So we decided to help you pinpoint the best features to search for. 

Here’s a look at what you can do with Contenteum, a WordPress plugin that covers all of your editorial workflow needs.

Editorial Stages

You can’t have an editorial workflow without the proper editorial stages. When you adopt a plugin, it’s ideal for it to have all the essential steps for your process.

On the Contenteum platform, it comes with pre-made steps that are typical in an editorial workflow:

  • Article Created: The editor created a topic for a writer to work on
  • Content Brief Created: The writer or editor created a content brief and the writing is ready to begin
  • In Progress: The writer is working on the article
  • Awaiting Approval: The writer completed the first draft and needs editor’s approval
  • Article Approval: The editor approved the article and is awaiting client approval
  • Completed: The article is approved by the editor and client
  • Published: The article has been uploaded to the client’s blog or website

Create teams and assign tasks to members

Using a separate platform to manage your team of writers, editors, and creators isn’t efficient. You need to view your team on the same platform you assign, edit, and publish content from. 

This is simple to do in Contenteum. 

First, you go to “Team” and click “Invite” to bring aboard your writers, editors, and even clients. 

Add their email address and select the level of access they’ll have for the project. In this case, you can choose between “writer access,” “manager access,” or “invite access.” 

  • Writer Access: Can only view/edit articles assigned to them
  • Manager Access – Can view all the articles within a project (aka an editor who checks articles from multiple writers)
  • Invite Access – A manager who can also invite others to the project

Just to note — you’re able to select more than one level of access per user. 

After inviting everyone, you can view your team in the “Team” tab and make changes to their role/level of access as needed. Or you can even delete them. 

Publish quickly for seamless uploads

Once your content pieces are ready to publish, you shouldn’t have to copy and paste it into WordPress. Going through all the formatting, image insertions, and linking can slow down your editorial process. 

So choose a plugin that can also publish directly to your WordPress blog or website. 

On Contenteum, there’s a button in the top right corner you can click to directly export the text. Once you connect your WordPress blog, it’ll publish directly there.

Optimize your content with AI suggestions

Content optimization requires careful research and implementation. And without the right tools, it can become a tedious task to perform. Be sure the plugin you use offers analysis and recommendations for optimization. 

On Contenteum optimization is simple. After completing your article, you type in your main keyword.

In this example, we’ll use “storytelling” as the primary keyword. After clicking “Next,” you’ll find a list of sites. Choose the seven that best match the content you’re writing. 

Then click generate to get optimization recommendations. 

There are five areas you’ll need to focus on to optimize your content. The first is “content structure.” This shows you how many words, images, H2s, H3s, and H4s you should have to compete with the seven competitor links you selected. 

In the next tab “best SEO practices,” you’ll find a list of suggestions to improve your content. For instance, adding more primary keywords to your title and subheadings. When they’re all green-lighted, then you’re good to go. 

Then you’ll find a list of keyword suggestions in the “Important terms to use” tab. You’ll need to add as many as you based on the recommendations. For example, “good stories” should be added 3 times, but has 0 in the content. The term “User storytelling” was used once and is recommended to only use once, so there’s no need to add more. 

In the “Topics and questions to answer” section, you’ll find subtopics you should touch on in your article. These are based on the SERPs (search engine results pages) and the competitor links you selected. Consider using these as H2s or H3s. 

Having secondary keywords and other relevant terms sprinkled throughout your content is always recommended. In the “Other relevant terms” tab, you can find suggestions related to your topic. 

If you find the optimization suggestions aren’t useful for your article, then you can click “Reselect URLs” to try a different set of links in the “Settings” tab. 

9 Plugins to Use to Improve Your WordPress Editorial Workflow

Alright, so you have a good idea of what you need to enhance your editorial workflow on WordPress. 

But which plugins are right for the job? Let’s take a look at nine. 

1) Contenteum – Your All-Around Editorial Workflow Tool

Using WordPress as your CMS comes with many benefits. For one, it’s a flexible platform that offers all sorts of plugins to create the experience you desire. 

But why bog down your website with plugins (which can hurt its performance)? Or deal with compatibility issues between tools? 

With Contenteum, you have an all-in-one tool that doesn’t just “plug in” to WordPress, but connects with it. 

In a single dashboard, you can:

  • Build teams and assign tasks
  • Check content for grammar and plagiarism
  • Optimize your content with SEO indicators and SERP suggestions
  • Assign editorial team roles
  • Recommended questions/topics to cover
  • Create editorial workflow stages
  • Activity overview showing what’s your team’s done and when
  • Create content projects (for multiple websites) and monitor progress
  • Create content checklists
  • Publish (or schedule) your WordPress content directly to your website 

Contenteum is a comprehensive content marketing platform that can replace all of your WordPress plugins. It’s lightweight without stripping you of much-needed features. 

However, if you want to try piecing together your own plugin stack, then consider these options. 

2) Editorial Calendar – for Content Calendars

Having an editorial calendar to see what content is needed and when makes it easier to track progress. This is why you’ll find many content managers switching over to platforms with this feature. 

Editorial Calendar is a WordPress plugin that allows you to quickly add tasks and deadlines to a visual calendar. Plus, it’s shareable with your team. 

3) Yoast SEO – for Optimizing Your Content

Improving the SEO of your content is vital if you want it to be found by your intended audience. However, it’s time-wasting to read over the content and then count keywords to ensure there’s enough. 

With Yoast SEO, you can optimize your content right in WordPress. You insert the keywords you want to optimize for, and it’ll give you insights into whether you reached an optimal keyword density. 

4) Pre-Publish Checklist – for Improving Writer Consistency

Writer consistency is essential to speeding up the editorial workflow. Having to continually send back drafts because they forgot to include enough links, the right keywords, or other requests is problematic. 

With Pre-Publish Checklist, you can create a content checklist for each writer to follow. This way, they can avoid making the same common mistakes, which can turn into publishing bottlenecks. 

5) User Role Editor – for Assigning Team Roles

The bigger your editorial team, the more roles everyone plays. By assigning roles, it helps ensure you know who’s doing what, so assigning tasks is a no-brainer. 

With User Role Editor, you can also restrict access based on the role of the team member. For instance, you can decide who can access certain blog posts or web pages to manipulate. 

6) Grammarly – for Proofreading Content (and Checking for Plagiarism)

Poor grammar, syntax issues, and plagiarism are all issues that can kill your content strategy. And while having editors can eliminate these problems, it takes time to check and correct it manually. 

With Grammarly, you can automate the editing process. It checks for spelling, grammar, sentence structure, readability, and plagiarism. In turn, editors cut down time spent on each piece of content.

7) Canva – for Customizing Content Images

Stock images are okay. But when you want to set your content apart, you need to create your own unique imagery. This is possible using photo editing tools like Canva.

You can find stock photos or upload your own and then add text, filters, collages, and so on. It’s ideal for making your own blog feature photos, infographics, and e-book covers. 

Alternatives to Contenteum

If you’d like to try a hand at other plugins similar to Contenteum, then these plugins are worth checking out:

8) PublishPress

9) Edit Flow

Both PublishPress and Edit Flow come with features like a calendar, editorial comments, notifications, user groups, and custom statuses/stages

However, they don’t offer content optimization, checklists, and grammar/plagiarism checks that you’ll find useful.

Next Steps for Your WordPress Editorial Workflow

The job of a content manager is never done. You have to consistently learn about the latest SEO, writing, and marketing techniques. 

So it’s critical to find methods and tools to reduce your workload and streamline your processes. 

By enhancing your WordPress editorial workflow with plugins, you can save time, improve team performance, and improve content deliverables.

With the right tools, there’s:

  • No more telling writers what to write (thank you checklists and schedules)
  • No more issues with grammar
  • No more annoying spreadsheets

Just keep in mind that adding more and more plugins can bog down your site performance. And it can potentially lead to incompatibility issues. So on that note, you’re better off using a single tool that does it all.

If you’d like to test Contenteum for your editorial workflow, then sign up today for early access!

Written by Purushottam Kiri

Computer Science graduate with a knack for data, rankings and content.

Create Content That Ranks. At Scale.
Create Grammar-Perfect, Plagiarism Free Content
Generate Keywords From Live SERP
Stop Updating Spreadsheets

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