Tools to help you plan
Now you have a great blog plan and a calendar that will last you a while.
‘Great‘, you think, ‘now what?‘
‘Are there tools to help me plan?‘ ‘Are there WordPress widgets to help me see where the gaps are?‘
Yes, there are!
The last few blog posts where about planning. Planning where your blog is heading, as well as planning your content.
Excel can help with the planning in general, but it doesn’t show you which posts are already scheduled and which you have yet to post.
There are also some really nice WordPress tools that work wonders when planning posts.
WordPress Editorial Calendar
WordPress Editorial Calendar is a plugin that adds a calendar to your ‘Posts’ part of WordPress. In this Calendar you can see all posts that have a scheduled date.
It doesn’t matter if they are already posted, waiting for the right day to come along to be posted or are still just drafts that have a date they should be posted.
This way you can see:
- posts that are still in concept
- which days you have no post at all yet
- which days you don’t have to worry about anymore
I used Editorial Calendar for blogs before and used it for this blog till a few days ago (see below). I love the simplicity of it and would recommend it to every starter for sure.
Extra tip: If you know you want to post a blog but haven’t had time to write it yet, make a draft, put everything you got in there and set the date. Just don’t plan it in yet. Keep it as a concept. You can see in the calendar it’s still a concept that needs working on.
Another option for an editorial calendar is Edit Flow. This one is great if you have multiple authors on your blog.
It has all the options Editorial Calendar has, but adds:
- custom statuses – setting different statuses to help see where the blog is in the publishing line
- editorial comments – discuss the article amongst yourselves before publishing
- notifications – getting updates from the drafts you follow so you know when comments are added or statuses are switched
- workflow management – automatic changing permissions for certain statuses
- story budget – knowing your budget for this article, this week, this month
Edit Flow is really big and can do a LOT.
That it is great if you have multiple authors and have difficulty keeping the workflow right. But if it’s just you Edit Flow is overdoing it as a widget.
Ok, planning blogs is really nice, but what if you keep forgetting to promote it? Then your blog won’t be read, which is of course a pity!
A widget I am trying out at the moment is CoSchedule (affiliate link). It doesn’t just have features as multiple authors and comments, but it lets you connect social media messages to your blog post.
When this blog comes out, messages to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will follow.
Those messages I made myself, which means they don’t look automated. You might not know it but I don’t like automation all that much. So something that is automated, but doesn’t look that way is great for me!
I don’t have to remember to tweet about the blog that just came out or schedule those social messages seperately while working on the blog.
I can make the social content when working on the blog and be done with it.
Unfortunately CoSchedule isn’t free like the other two are. I am trying it out for free now, seeing if it’s worth the 10 dollars per month. I will let you know in time.