Running a website is tough. There are only 24 hours in a day, and tasks can quickly stack up; writing your content, marketing it, promoting it via social media, and responding to any queries is exhausting, not to mention time-consuming.
Most successful people quickly realize that they can only do so much themselves, and a one-man business can only go so far. At some point, it makes sense for a business owner to delegate some responsibility: it allows workers to specialize, and to ensure all tasks get done on time. A large, highly-skilled team is better able to expand a website than one blogger working solo.
For bloggers, content is your business. The more top quality content you publish, the more popular you become, the more traffic you will attract, and the more quickly your business will grow. As your website begins to generate revenue, it makes sense for you to start hiring writers to produce content on your behalf — it’s no surprise that the majority of larger websites have multiple authors contributing, including here at WP Explorer.
However, while the benefits of working with writers is clear, it’s not without problems. You will have additional communication and collaboration problems, you need a solution for reviewing and editing your author’s work to ensure quality is consistently high, and you need to make sure your authors get the credit they deserve for each piece.
To solve these problems, a number of WordPress plugins have been developed to help you effectively manage your multi-author blog. Today, I want to introduce you to six of the best.
Good Writer Checkify Free WordPress Plugin
If you are used to doing everything on your website for yourself, handing over the content production responsibility can be nerve-wracking — after all, how will somebody else be able to match your impeccably high standards?
The Good Writer Checkify plugin is a great solution to this problem. You can add up to ten ‘tips’ for authors to follow, which are displayed in a metabox below every post. Authors can then use this as a checklist to ensure they are implementing your suggestions. The plugin can double up as a style guide, too: your checklist can include tips for SEO optimization, or formatting best-practices.
User Role Editor Free WordPress Plugin
WordPress allows you to assign five different ‘roles’ to users, including Administrator, Editor, and Author. Each role comes with its own set of actions that users in that group can perform — otherwise known as permissions. An administrator can do anything they like, but Authors face more restrictions — for example, you don’t want a rogue author publishing content an admin hasn’t approved, or having access to your theme settings. Most user restrictions are logical, but sometimes you will want to give permission for a user group to perform a specific action that WordPress, by default, doesn’t allow.
The User Role Editor plugin gives you complete control over which actions each user group can perform. There is a list of core capabilities for you to choose from — such as uploading media, adding plugins, and publishing posts — and you can set your own custom actions, too. The plugin also allows you to add custom user roles, as the default five user roles might be insufficient to fully segregate your users.
Edit Flow Free WordPress Plugin
Edit Flow is a fantastic plugin for managing your editorial workflow. It is particularly useful if you have a workforce consisting of more than just authors — for example, if you also work with an editor. The plugin includes a visual calendar for scheduling your posts, but also allows you to attach a number of custom statuses to an article. This makes it simple for your workforce to collaborate: for example, after a first draft, an author could switch the articles status to ‘Needs Editing’ so that an editor can quickly pick up the job.
In addition, the Edit Flow plugin also facilitates improved communication between your team. Below the text editor, editors and authors can leave private comments for each other. Relevant users will also be notified of a status change or comment on one of their articles.
Author Avatar List Free WordPress Plugin
If you want to attract the very best authors to work on your website, you will need to give them the appropriate credit for their efforts. One way to do this is to include an author avatar list in your sidebar — this is also handy for visitors, who can quickly find posts by their favorite authors.
The Author Avatar List is a great plugin for this very purpose. You can add an avatar list to a sidebar using a dedicated widget, or you can use a simple shortcode to add it anywhere within a specific post or page. It gives you complete control over how your author’s avatars are displayed, by allowing you to select from a number of customization options. For a start, you can select the title of the area (only when you use the widget), choose the number of author avatars to display, and the size of the thumbnail image. You also have the option to display a short author bio alongside the avatar, as well as selecting the way the avatars are ordered — you can go with a random order, too. When a visitor clicks on one of your author’s images, they will be taken straight to the articles written by that person.
Fancier Author Box by Themato Soup Free WordPress Plugin
On a multi-author blog, the posts written by some authors will resonate with specific audience members more than others. If you want these visitors to stay on your site for longer, you should make it super easy for them to find articles by their favorite authors. Fancier Author Box by Themato Soup lets you create a tabbed author bio section, with one tab dedicated to an author’s most recent posts.
Your authors will also love the plugin, as it allows you to create a great looking author bio box, guaranteed to get more attention. You can customize the color of the border, background, and tabs, to ensure it fits in with your website’s style. You can also link the author’s bio box up to the social channels they are active on by displaying a colored icon for any of the ten social networks the plugin supports.
Co-Author Plus Free WordPress Plugin
By default, WordPress allows you to credit just one author for each post — and that means only one author bio box. With today’s audience preference for long-form content, it is not uncommon for two, or even three, authors to work on any one article in collaboration. The Co-Author Plus plugin allows you to give the due credit to all your hardworking authors by allowing you to insert multiple by-lines below a specific article. Co-Authors can then edit any of their articles.
Co-Author Plus is a useful plugin for anyone looking to accept one-off guest posts from contributors, too. WordPress requires a user to have their own user account to be credited for writing an article — too much effort for an author contributing just one post. However, Co-Author Plus allows you to add by-lines to authors without a WordPress account on your site — all you have to do is create a guest profile and you’re good to go.
Of course, there are many more plugins out there to choose from, but the plugins featured today are solutions for six different, and unique, problems you may face.
By installing these plugins, you can overcome most of the problems associated with running a multi-author blog. By effectively managing your workforce, you are able to make use of the additional manpower at your disposal — which, in turn, will allow your blog to grow at a much quicker rate.
Can you recommend any more plugins for multi-author blog owners? Let us know in the comment section below!