Blogging has been around since the introduction of the internet. There are countless articles that discuss blogging, freelance writers, how to blog, how to write a great blog post, how much to get paid, and much more. As a publisher, only you know if you need ‘outside’ help creating content for your publication and if so, how much you can afford to pay and what the other parameters are. Once you have determined to pursue this, the platform you use online to streamline the process of getting other author’s content on your site is critical.

Take, for example the publication, The Chronicle of Social Change. We have written about Chronicle before – to highlight how it’s set up within WordPress and how it updated not only its look and feel, but also how they organized their content and upgraded its platform for users, writers and subscribers.

Generate-ChronicleBloggerCoopChronicle has used outside bloggers for opinion pieces as major contributors to the publication. It’s become an integral part of the publication. With limited resources, it needed an online platform that could handle the inflow of articles without creating a huge burden on their internal team. It was critical to use the WordPress platform (which as you probably know started off specifically for bloggers). It was also critical to utilize the many additional functions and plugins to help workflow.

Every industry is different… but using WordPress for a digital publication makes it easy to have ‘outside’ authors create content for you. The WordPress helps in many ways:

  1. Your trusted writers can log right into WordPress and create their articles, upload images and preview the look of the article. Just set up a new user login in WordPress – using the “Author” as the role. An Author can publish and manage his/her own posts within your WordPress dashboard. (He/she cannot manage other author’s posts – only their own.)
  2. If your publication is released on a set schedule (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.), using the issueM plugin, when an Author ‘publishes’ an article it won’t be shown on your site until you assign it to an issue and the entire issue goes “live”. This plugin is a must.
  3. Generate-EditFlow
    The plugin Edit Flow makes workflow tweaks by allowing you to create custom post statuses.

    Keep track of the editorial workflow within WordPress. By default, a post or an article offers “Draft” or “Pending Review” as post statuses. By installing a useful plugin called Edit Flow you can keep track of the status of posts/articles. Your WordPress dashboard can have custom statuses (like ‘pitch’ for an in-process blog post or ‘Ready to Publish’ for items that are ready to go) – plus it can notify you (as an admin) by email when there has been a status change to an article/post.

  4. Use a WordPress plugin or have a custom plugin developed to keep track of article views (not only to possibly create a payout schedule for the author, but also to see how popular the author’s creations are to your subscriber base): To set up a method for keeping track of the article’s number of views wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a simple tool that could generate a report that shows the # of article views by author? There are a few ways to do this:
    1. Use a WordPress developer to set up an admin page that can create custom reports, track # views by author, and customize any payout. The publication, Chronicle of Social Change did just this. Chronicle’s developer, the team from ZEEN101, set up a WordPress admin page that allows them to choose a date range and the results show all of the articles within that range – arranged by author, with a total # of views for each author. The beauty of using a developer such as ZEEN101 is that you can fine-tune your results. For example, you can set up the counter to omit views from an admin or from the Author itself. Chronicle has a one-of-a-kind Blogger Co-Op, which offers writers the opportunity to share their opinion or analysis within their industry’s scope. They have a proprietary pay-out system to reward the writers. Payout is based on the percentage of pages views that blogger’s article receives during a set period. It creates a way for bloggers to communicate directly with your readers and be recognized and rewarded for their time.
      Generate-ChronicleBlogger
    2. For a less customized, but proven approach, try the plugin, Google Analytics by MonsterInsights. Their premium version allows you to easily set up your Google Analytics account to track views by author, post type, etc. and view all of the results within your WordPress dashboard. If you don’t use the plugin, you can set up Google Analytics to do this for you, but set up is more complicated and you need some familiarity with how to set up the tracking code. The only downside to this, is that it does not omit views by the author itself or any other admins.
      Google Analytics by Yoast allows you to sort your data by author or other custom type.
      Google Analytics by Yoast allows you to sort your data by author or other custom type.
    3. There are a few other WordPress plugins that you can try that compute article views if you want to test them on your own. On is called Post Profit Stats (free and paid version). It has a nice clean dashboard layout for you to get the information you need.

Creating a digital publication (vs printed) can hopefully make your life easier, not harder, and with these tools for WordPress, you are sure to have the organizational tools you need to stay on top of your schedule.