In blogging, the necessity of fresh and unique content is inevitable. But it is nearly impossible for a single person to come up with new and unique ideas every time. There are many constraints that prevent many blogger from being able to add fresh content to their blog on a regular basis, and because of which there is always an urge to seek guest authors or co-authors to write along with them.
It’s really time consuming to take articles from guest authors through emails and then adding them manually. You must try to automate the process and build a community where various authors can interact and work together to benefit your blog.
Though the idea of having a multi-authored blog is fascinating, but it is really difficult to manage a multi-authored blog without proper knowledge and right tools. Therefore, in this article, I have complied a list of the 15 best WordPress plugins you can have to manage your multi-authored blog efficiently.
1) Edit Flow (Free)
This is one of the best plugins out there which you can use to manage your “multi-authored” blog entirely. It really works “behind-the scenes” and streamlines the work flow of the entire editorial team of your blog. The features that really caught my eyes are – the awesome Editorial calendar, custom statuses, Meta data fields, threaded comments and much more.
I also like the five statuses that you can attach to any post, like “Assigned”, “Pending Review, “Pitch”, “Draft” and “Waiting for feedback”.
This is really one of the most complete plugin out there to manage a multi-authored blog. Setting up and configuring the plugin is even more simple. Though I haven’t encountered any bugs till now, but even if you do, the developer team is prompt enough to solve it.
2) Fanciest Author Box (Free/Premium)
Till now, this is the best and the most versatile author box plugin I have ever seen and used. Most of the time, the readers don’t find it interesting to actually read the author bio and visit the authors personal site. But this plugin stands out of the rest. It will attract the eyes of the readers and will compel them to read the author bio and connect with their social profiles.
It has got all features that you can expect a plugin like this to have and you can also customize it fully to match the look-and-feel of your site.
3) Adminimize (Free)
Adminimize is a plugin that I am using on my multi-authored blog from almost the first day of it. This is a plugin that you can use to customize the back-end of your entire WordPress site. It is a very powerful plugin which can be used to give a unique and customized feel to your blog.
You can do almost anything you can think of like editing menus and sub menus according to your needs, make the interface of your back-end clutter-free by removing many unnecessary elements from it, deleting some menus which doesn’t add value to your admin area, deleting many unnecessary elements from the “Edit Post” page thereby making the writing experience even better.
4) User Role Editor (Free)
With over half-a-million downloads, this plugin is certainly one of the most popular plugin of its kind. Adminimize plugin itself gives the user role management capabilities, but if you do not want to use the extra features of Adminimize and want a dedicated plugin for this purpose, then User Role Editor is just for you.
It is quite probable, that you will not want to allow all your users to have equal access to your blog. You might want to give an extra bit of trust to some users and limit the access of some other users. With this plugin, you can control almost every user role and capabilities with ease.
5) Author Image (Free)
Many of us don’t take author images seriously. The readers want to see who the authors really are – the name doesn’t have much to do. If the authors have a Gravatar, then its fine, but there are some authors in this planet who have never heard of the name, Gravatar and his plugin is just for them.
This plugin adds an extra section in the author profile page to upload and add the author images. The images get properly resized to any desired size you want as specified in the options page. You can also use the widget to display the author images in the sidebar or you can also customize it to apply anywhere in your blog.
6) Co-Authors Plus (Free)
In a multi-authored blog, there are numerous situations when a post or a page has been written or edited by more than one author and the problem arises while crediting multiple authors at the same time. You can create an “Editorial Team” account and assign the posts (written by multiple authors) to it, but that is certainly not a smart solution to this problem.
This plugin allows you to add multiple authors to a single post or page and link to all of their author profiles individually from that particular post or page. Simple yet very useful solution to this problem.
7) Auto-Schedule Posts (Free)
Most of the time, we give our authors the permissions to edit posts but not publish or schedule them. But if you have a well-trusted editorial team, then you can give them enough permissions to publish posts too. Most of the times, they will hit the “Publish” button instead of the “Schedule” button.
This can break the publication routine of your blog because there can be situations when 5 posts gets published on the same day, or nothing gets published at all. This plugin solves this problem dramatically. It will hold the next posts to get published until and unless a certain criteria is satisfied so that the regularity is maintained.
8) Editorial Calendar (Free)
This is the plugin that can make your blogging life a lot easier. You can view when the posts are going to get published in a very intuitive and well-designed calendar interface to make your blogging activities more “managed”. You can drag and drop the posts to change their dates and can also edit them on the fly.
This is one of the most intuitive WordPress plugins I have even seen. It’s like a dream come true for the multi-authored blogs, as it can make your work very easy and manageable. It’s really a must-have plugin for all multi-authored blogs out there.
9) Private Messages for WordPress (Free)
If you want to take your multi-authored blog to a whole new level, then Private Messages for WordPress is the right plugin for you. You might want to allow your users to interact directly among themselves through PMs so that they can leverage the editorial workflow completely.
Your users will have an inbox and outbox for messaging and you can have the control to set the number of messages for each user group. By setting “-1” to a certain user group, you can completely revoke the messaging ability of that particular group.
10) Pre-Publish Reminder (Free)
It’s a very simple yet efficient plugin you can use in your multi-authored blog. You may have faced situations, when most of your authors forget to do many obvious things like formatting the post, adding a featured image, adding the Meta data, tags and categories, etc.
You can write the important reminders and display it to your authors either in the “Sidebar” or “Below the Text area”, so that they are less likely to forget the key points again.
11) Blog Metrics (Free)
This is really a very unique plugin by Yoast, which you can use to judge how your authors are performing based on some statistics like their average no. of posts per month, no. of words per post, no. of comments, etc.
You can use these metrics to decide how your authors are contributing to your blog, who are writing better posts and grabbing more insightful comments. Maybe you can use these metrics to choose some of your contributors as permanent authors of your blog or fire some who are not doing well.
12) Author Advertising Plugin (Free)
This is a plugin many multi-authored blog owners prefer to use so as to give a small incentive to their authors by letting them participate in a revenue sharing program and making use of one of the many advertising platforms available like Google Adsense, Yahoo, Amazon, etc.
There are lots and lots of options available for you to customize the way you want the ads to be displayed to the visitors like the percentage of author ads to admin/owner ads, restricting all users to participate in the revenue sharing program, etc.
13) Audit Trail (Free)
Audit Trail is a plugin which you must install if you want to keep a close look on what’s going on inside your multi-authored blog, all the time. You can keep track of when authors are logging in and what they are actually doing on your blog. Its keeps all these records in the form of a log so that you can monitor the entire activity going on inside your blog.
It also does a great job in storing entire post and page content so that you can restore any previous version if you are not happy with the current version that has been edited by any author.
14) Peter’s Post Notes (Free)
Peter’s Post Notes is a very simple yet a very useful plugin that does nothing much other than adding a simple note area on the sidebar of “Edit Post/Page” screen. These notes can really enhance the editorial workflow of your blog. Anyone editing or working on a certain post can easily add a note so that the other editors can collaborate effectively.
The time and the username of the author gets marked with the note itself. The most recent notes are also displayed on the “Dashboard” screen so that all the members can have a quick glance of what’s going on the mind of the editors.
15) Cleverness To-Do List (Free)
This is a plugin which is one of my favorite, I must say. Almost all multi-authored blog desires a fully functional to-do list and this plugin does almost everything you have ever desired. You can create a private to-do list for specific users which only that particular group of users can view. You can also create shared to-do list which can be shared with many editors working on a same project.
You can also create a master to-do list where individual tasks need to be completed. It has loads of features available for you to customize.