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How to Manage a Multi-Author WordPress Blog Efficiently

updated on Sep 20, 2016
How to Manage a Multi-Author WordPress Blog Efficiently Managing a multi-author WordPress blog could be messier than you think. The more authors you have, the harder the task is. With five or more authors on a single site, you need to spend a lot of time in managing the site and doing things like planning posts, scheduling updates, communicating with the authors and managing payments.

If you are running a multi-author blog and want to make things easier, or you are planning to make your existing small blog prepared for multiple authors' contribution, there are certainly some strategies and tools that you can take advantage of.

In below, we will introduce some of the strategies which are suitable for all multi-author blogs. You should be able to save a lot of time and energy while managing the authors, posts and payments.

Add an Editorial Calendar to Your Blog

A well-made editorial calendar is essential to any multi-author blog because it makes all the important information clear, such as who is responsible for what, when a post will be published or shared, the content type, and the post status. If your authors produce lots of content on a daily basis, or you have a social media marketing plan, an editorial calendar is necessary.

The editorial calendar could be a simple spreadsheet which includes different columns for the title, the category, assigned author, publishing date, priority, content status and other things that are important. But spreadsheets are not a good choice for most blogs as you may want to make changes to the scheduled tasks when needed.

A better solution, of course, is to use a helpful plugin like Editorial Calendar. This plugin creates a calendar for you in which you can see all your posts and when they will be published. You are able to change the post dates by simply dragging and dropping your posts, and edit the post title and content easily. Scheduling posts is also easy with the plugin.

After installing the plugin, you can access the calendar and manage it by going to Posts > Calendar.

Add an Editorial Calendar to Multi-Author Blog

If you want to guarantee the quality of each post and have assigned an editor to review all the posts created by your authors, you can turn to another plugin named Edit Flow which allows you to add custom post statuses and editorial comments. This plugin makes collaboration easier.

Display Authors' Bio in Their Posts

Adding an author bio box in your blog posts is an important way to credit your authors since the information and links in the author box can increase their credibility and generate traffic to their websites or social networking profiles.

The simplest method to add author boxes to posts is by using a plugin. And depending on which plugin you install, you can display the bio below the post content or in the sidebar.

If you prefer the place below your posts, the Guerrilla's Author Box plugin is a good choice. When the plugin is installed, you can ask the authors to add their biographical information in their profile. You, the administrator, can also add the information by editing the user.

Add Authors' Bio Information

After the user profile is updated, you will see an author bio box below your posts.

Display Authors' Bio Below Posts

If you want to display the author info in a sidebar widget, simply install Meks Smart Author Widget. This plugin adds an author widget that allows you to choose which author to be displayed, the avatar size, author link, etc. Also, there is a great feature which detects the author of each post automatically.

Add a Sidebar Widget

When the widget is configured properly, you can see an author box in the sidebar.

Display Authors' Bio in Sidebar Widget

Add Multiple Authors to One Post

Sometimes you may need more than one author to work together on the same post, and in such a case, it is fair to list all the authors below the content so that all of them can be credited. However, by default, WordPress only shows one author for each post.

Fortunately, it is easy to resolve this problem, and a simple solution is the Co-Authors Plus plugin. This plugin enables you to show the co-authors' names and the links to their profiles.

After installing the plugin, you can edit any existing post and add more authors to it. Since a search function is available, you can easily find authors by typing a part of the authors' name. Adjusting the order of the authors could be done with simple drags and drops.

Add Multiple Authors to One Post

Allow Frontend Post Submission and Profile Editing

If you want to restrict your authors' access to the backend admin area, allowing frontend operations is a good suggestion. With the proper plugins, you can certainly enable the authors to submit posts and edit their profiles on the frontend of your blog.

Enable frontend post submission

There are several plugins available for achieving this purpose, among which Frontend Publishing is a good one for managing the posts submitted by your authors on the frontend. This lightweight plugin requires users to log in before they can submit any post on your blog, which helps prevent spam effectively.

Besides, the plugin comes with helpful submission guidelines. If an author fails to meet the guidelines, his/her new post will not be accepted. For example, in the guidelines, you can require featured images for each post, and specify the minimum and maximum number of links, words and tags. For the detailed instruction on using the plugin, read this tutorial.

Allow Frontend Post Submission on Multi-Author Blog

Enable frontend profile editing

You can allow your authors to edit their profiles without accessing the admin area by installing Frontend Edit Profile. Upon installation, the plugin works out-of-the-box. You only need to create a new page and insert the shortcode [PROFILE_FORM], then your users will get a form on the frontend of your blog to edit their information. To make any modification, they have to log in first.

Allow Frontend Profile Editing on Multi-Author Blog

Keep Complete Control over the User Role Capabilities

The author user role built in WordPress comes with some default capabilities including editing, publishing and deleting posts. However, you may only want your authors to edit or delete their own posts but not to publish any post.

In such a case, we suggest you use a plugin named Capability Manager Enhanced. This popular plugin allows you to manage the capabilities of any role and create custom user roles with limited capabilities. After the plugin is installed, you can change the capabilities of your authors in Users > Capabilities.

Control the User Role Capabilities

Manage the Communication

You, and the editors who are responsible for the posts submitted by your authors, will need a way to communicate with the authors. The two main ways for the communication, then, are to leave notes and to send private emails.

Leave notes in WordPress admin area

Role Based Help Notes is a great plugin for sharing information based on user roles. With this plugin, your authors can get a private area to create, view and edit help notes. You, then, are able to share the editorial guidelines, requirements and any other information you want with the authors. Besides, there are also "General Help Notes" which are available to all users with the "write post" capability.

Leave Notes in WordPress Dashboard

Send private emails

To make it easy to email your authors, you can use the Email Users plugin. This plugin allows you to send email messages either to individual users or to user groups with the same role. The setup is also very easy.

Send Private Emails

Pay Your Authors Properly

Handling the payments is one of the most important things to do when managing a multi-author blog. The more authors you have, the harder the payment calculations become. You have to work out the payment criteria, and then calculate each author's payment carefully.

Fortunately, the calculations can be simplified by using the Post Pay Counter plugin. With this plugin, you can:
  • Define the basic assured payment for each author.
  • Pay authors in the incremental system when words are counted for payments.
  • Pay authors based on the number of visits, images and comments.
When the counting settings are configured, the plugin starts showing the payments of each author automatically. You can easily get the payment information you need in a clear list. In addition, Post Pay Counter allows you to set custom permissions so as to prevent your authors from seeing the stats that they should not have access to.

Calculate the Payments