Posts

5 of the Best WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugins

Starting a WordPress blog is not hard to do; but handling the content you want to post on your site can become overwhelming if you don’t have a plan. After all, you need to find a competitive niche, come up with blog post ideas, craft killer headlines, draft your content and publish consistently, and drive traffic to your site, all while hoping that your content is good enough to for site visitors to stick around and read.

Though many factors affect how successful your content marketing efforts will be, one of the most important ones is the scheduling of your site’s content.

Whether you plan to publish a new blog post once a day, once a week, or even once a month – the key is consistency. But without a strategy for planning your content’s publishing schedule, staying consistent can be challenging.

That’s why we’re here to share with you some of the top WordPress editorial calendar plugins on the market today so you can start planning how often you’re going to post on your website and develop a long-term (and very consistent) schedule.

What is an Editorial Calendar?

When it comes to content marketing, an editorial calendar is a tool used to help you organize the content creation process from start to finish.

Though it can be looked at as simply a calendar for scheduling when your blog posts will go live, a good editorial calendar will have features designed to help you with:

  • Coming up with blog post ideas
  • Assigning tasks – such as topic creation, post drafting, imagery, and editing – to members of your team
  • Accessing blog content for quick edits
  • Scheduling which posts will go live on your site and when
  • Posting your site’s content to other channels such as social media

As you can see, a solid editorial calendar solution will help streamline the content creation process and organize things so you always know the status of every blog post that will be published on your site.

So, now that you know the main goal of an editorial calendar, let’s see what solutions are available.

1. Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendar is a simple WordPress plugin that is suitable for those that self-publish or have a small team of writers. See an overview of your blog, when each post is scheduled to go live, and even check out this cool demo to see if this is the right solution for you.

Editorial Calendar Example

Enjoy features such as:

  • Calendar view of all posts and their respective statuses in the WordPress dashboard
  • Easy drag & drop functionality to rearrange posts
  • Draft management with the new Drafts Drawer
  • Quickedit of post titles, content, and times
  • Management of posts belonging to different authors

PRICE: FREE

2. Edit Flow

Edit Flow

Edit Flow is another great editorial calendar plugin that helps you collaborate with your team inside the WordPress dashboard. It is customizable so you can make changes to fit your needs and has everything you need to stay on track with your content marketing plan.

Edit Flow Example

Additional features include:

  • Month-by-month look at content schedule
  • Custom statuses to define your workflow’s stages
  • Threaded editorial comments so your team can communicate
  • Editorial Metadata for tracking important details
  • Automatic notifications when anything changes
  • Upcoming content in traditional story view for easy printing
  • User groups for managing team members and their roles

PRICE: FREE

3. CoSchedule

CoSchedule

CoSchedule is a premium editorial calendar solution that is full of helpful features for agencies, solopreneurs, small businesses, and in-house marketing teams. This all-in-one marketing calendar brings content creation and social media together into one useful platform so you can manage everything blog post related from one place.

CoSchedule Example

Take advantage of features such as:

  • A centralized marketing calendar for viewing the status of all content with drag & drop functionality
  • Social media scheduling to automatically share content across multiple channels
  • Marketing campaign creation for special occasions when your content schedule is going to vary
  • Email marketing management with popular email service provider integrations
  • Detailed analytics to monitor your content marketing strategy

PRICE: $20-$1200/month

4. Oasis Workflow

Oasis Workflow

Oasis Workflow is a WordPress editorial calendar plugin that’s perfect for those who run blogs with multiple authors, website owners in industries such as healthcare, law, and education, and businesses where tracking every stage is mandatory and crucial to its success.

Oasis Workflow Example

With this unique editorial calendar, you get:

  • The ability to assign, review, and publish from one platform
  • A Visual Workflow Designer with drag & drop functionality
  • User role control for accountability
  • Exclusive inbox and easy sign off when a task or project is complete
  • Custom statuses to define each stage of the workflow
  • Access to process history, complete with all comments
  • Due date and email reminders to keep everyone on track

PRICE: FREE (pro version offers features such as multiple workflows, auto-submission, front-end shortcodes, starting at $79)

5. Nelio Content

Nelio Content

Nelio Content is a robust editorial calendar solution that helps you create, schedule, and promote your website’s content on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Nelio Content Example

Other features include:

  • Editorial calendar showing posts, social messages, and tasks in one place
  • Creation of content, scheduling of posts and social media messages, and drag & drop functionality to make changes
  • Automatic sharing on social media platforms of your choosing
  • Analytics for determining your best content and promoting it
  • Content Assistant to help with imagery, content tags, and internal and outbound linking to improve quality

PRICE: FREE (pro version comes with features like priority mail support, editorial tasks and comments, and social templates for $29/month)

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! The top 5 best WordPress editorial calendar plugins to help you get your content marketing strategy on track so you can post to your blog on a consistent basis.

Managing your site’s content doesn’t have to be difficult, so long as you invest a little time into making a plan. This is especially true as your blog following or business continues to scale. The more you have to handle at once, the more crucial an editorial calendar becomes.

Take a look at each of the editorial calendar solutions mentioned above, weigh the features against your individual needs and start planning right away. If you do, you’ll see a significant rise in traffic, subscribers, and even sales.

And to top it off, as you become more successful, and continue to ramp up your email marketing efforts, make sure to check out FeedOtter so you can automate RSS-based emails and create beautiful email newsletters with ease.

Featured Image Source

Plan, Create, & Share Content with these Top Tools

One thing content marketers care the most about is creating new fresh content that helps attract more traffic. We know that great content can be beneficial in a number of ways. Some include increasing your company’s online visibility, providing value to your prospective customers, and maintaining brand awareness. Whether you’re a newbie just getting started with content marketing or well-seasoned, the objectives of putting a content piece together are the same: Plan, Create, and Share.

Here are some of the top tools that help plan, create, and share your content:

Plan

When planning your content, there are typically 2 phases; Discovery and Organizing. Discovery might look something like exploring trending hashtags or keywords. One tool I like to use is Google Trends, which allows you to enter a keyword and Google will report the frequency of it being searched as well as any related key terms or phrases. The best part is, this tool is FREE!

By looking at the “related queries” content marketers are able to pinpoint exactly what their audience needs to hear from them. For example, I can see from Google Trends that there is a large interest peak regarding what content marketing is. This shows me that a large portion of my audience may still have some reservations about what content marketing entails.

google trends

Now, when it comes to organizing I am extremely biased. This is because I am obsessed with Quip. If you haven’t heard of Quip yet, they are a Salesforce product that allows users to collaborate real-time on shared documents, spreadsheets, project plans and more. They have a fair pricing structure for businesses, but if you are a one [wo]man show then Quip is absolutely free!

quip

The interface is extremely user-friendly and allows you to stay organized with the ability to create sub-folders and, my favorite, color code them! Natively through Quip, you can utilize a number of other tools like the process bar, project tracker, kanban board, and calendar as another way to keep organized. You can also drop comments anywhere within the document to spark a conversation or note a reminder. These examples just hit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the different possibilities with Quip. Ultimately, Quip is a great tool that can help you integrate with other platforms and collaborate with colleagues or clients.

As a content marketer, we’re sometimes creating content, like social posts or blogs, that contain other related sources such as photos. Instead of saving the photos to my desktop, I outline my content then copy and paste my photos where they belong. Quip documents can also be shared with anyone, where others can solicit feedback in real-time via the internal chat function. Another awesome feature of Quip is the ability to great-looking documents using the native tools. Personally, I’ve used them to create client project plans, content calendars, and more. One of my favorite aspects about Quip is that it cuts down the number of emails to my inbox with the real-time notifications. I have no doubt this will become your favorite tool within Quip because who doesn’t want to cut out the number of work emails they receive!

quip folders

 

quip document

 

Create

When it comes to what type of content you should be creating, it’s best practice to put yourself in the reader’s shoes and determine the best way the content can be easily interpreted. Whether it’s writing blogs, creating infographics, or ebooks Canva has a variety of templates to help bring your content to the finish line. Canva is an online graphic design tool that offers easy editing with a drag and drop feature. While they do have paid versions of Canva, including enterprise levels, I have found the free version works just fine. The only feature I feel I am missing out on is the ability to create different folders for my content.

canva home

Canva allows you to choose from 50,000+ layout templates for different types of content and search thousands of icons. While many of these icons are free, users can decide to upgrade to other icons or images. There’s also the ability to drag and drop shapes, lines, and charts. Lastly, you can upload computer photos, which can then be edited by the built-in photo editor. Canva is another one of my favorite tools I’m biased about because it’s so easy! With a breeze, you can create ebooks, infographics, social graphics and much more. To top it all off, these graphics can easily be saved by selecting the download button in the upper right corner, where users are given the option to export as a PDF, JPEG, or PNG. Thankfully there is no fussing over the exported file type.

canva templates

canva layouts

canva builder

 

Share

At this point, you’ve come up with a great plan for your content. You’ve organized what you need to get done and taken the right steps on how to get that content created. Now, you’re ready to share and optimize your content.

With the existence of several types of marketing mediums, it’s important to pinpoint which one will best connect with your audience. There are a couple of different routes to take here. Whether it be through social media, blogging, or email marketing, there are a number of tools that can help with scheduling and overall distribution.

For social media management, my favorite tool is Sendible. Of course, the platform has the ability to schedule posts, including Instagram, but it also lets you engage with your audience right from the platform feed. This is extremely beneficial as it cuts down the time of jumping from platform to platform in order to connect with customers. You can also monitor keywords to stay in-front of trending topics and most importantly users can customize their reports and dashboards to measure what’s working.

sendible

As a content marketer, you know blogging can be a tremendous resource for your company. These blogs can also act as a great resource for email marketing, whether you’re blasting your monthly subscribers or using them as valuable content for new leads. There’s a great tool called FeedOtter that allows users to easily build email templates that pull in blog posts from your website. FeedOtter seamlessly integrates with Pardot and Marketo to immediately send or schedule emails of your new posts. The platform offers out-of-box newsletter templates or you can create your own style. The beauty of FeedOtter is all the email sending and management is being done through your marketing automation platform. Therefore, unsubscribes and bounces are still effectively being managed in one area.

feedotter

Optimize your content

One significant step when sharing your content is ensuring it has been optimized. The easiest way to enhance your blog post is to assign keywords, tags, and develop the SEO. When using WordPress, one of my favorite SEO plugins is Yoast SEO. It’s by far the most self-explanatory and user-friendly tool to use for SEO optimization. Once the WordPress Plugin is downloaded, a section of every page will be dedicated to Yoast SEO where you can not only develop SEO on blog posts, but also individual pages. The Yoast section will score the SEO on the page on a number of characteristics including title, keywords, meta description, readability, and more. Most beneficial, the Yoast SEO plugin will tell users exactly what they need to work on to get good SEO.

yoast seo

 

Learn more content marketing tools you can’t live without.

5 Ways to Supercharge Your Content Team’s Productivity

These days everyone is expected to work around the clock to beat the competition. Add in daily distractions, the demand to be bigger and better at all times, and the fact that we are all just human, it’s no wonder content marketing teams find themselves burnt out.

While there is always room for improvement (and we plan to show you how), it’s important you show your content team that you care about more than just the bottom line.  Because if you don’t, you’ll find that your team won’t churn out the kind of content you need to be successful.

Instead, aim to make improvements that will make your team more productive, and happier, all at the same time. Make it your goal to organize things efficiently, so your team always knows what they should be doing, and are more than happy to give you what you need to succeed.

If you’re looking for some ideas as to how to help your content team become more successful, you’re in the right place. We’ve rounded up 5 of the best ways to supercharge your content team’s productivity so you all can get more done in less time, without feeling like the rope is burning on both ends.

1. Learn to Delegate

This may seem obvious, especially if you’re the leader of the team, but so many leaders fail to delegate properly. This leads to people now knowing what they are responsible for and others wasting time doing things that aren’t contributing to your bottom line.

Worse yet, trying to do everything yourself can actually waste more time than if you just let your team handle the things they know they’re good at. Assign specific tasks to your content team so they can handle the content marketing and you can focus on growing your business in other ways.

Solution – use a WordPress plugin like Editorial Calendar, a premium solution like CoSchedule, or even a free project management system like Trello to organize your team’s tasks.

2. Communicate Effectively

Along with delegating your team’s tasks so everyone stays on track, it’s important you make sure everyone on your team can communicate as they need to.

As the leader, you’re the one in charge of encouraging communication amongst team members. After all, it’s likely your team members’ tasks will overlap in some way. The problem is, especially when teams work remotely, some people focus solely on their own tasks and never reach out to others.

However, communication among team members offer the follow benefits:

  • Improved relationships between team members, so when problems pop up, everyone is familiar with each other and can work together towards a solution
  • Better collaboration, which means more gets done in less time
  • Increased trust from your followers or customers, as they see your team is able to come together to create and disperse high-quality content
  • Increased trust from within, which can lead better to team feedback

Solution – to help with internal team communication, consider messaging solutions like Slack or Skype.

3. Eliminate Repetitive Tasks

It’s not unusual for content marketing teams to be in charge of many things. To start, your writers are surely in charge of content brainstorming, assignment, drafting, and publishing. But there is more to content marketing than posting blog content on your website.

For instance, you need to run email marketing campaigns, advertisements, social media posts, and video content so you reach the broadest audience possible, drive traffic to your website, and boost conversions and sales.

When your team concentrates on too many small, repetitive tasks that can be automated, they cannot give enough of their focus to the tasks that will generate you the most positive results. Because of this, you run the risk of giving your content team too much to do at once, which can lead to less than stellar results.

Solution – automate email marketing using FeedOtter, social media posting and interactions with Social Report, the way you discover how people talk about your company using Mention, and use HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator to automate content ideas for those times you get stuck trying to fill in the editorial calendar.

4. Set Realistic Goals

Your content team will never finish what you ask of them if they think the goals and deadlines you’ve set are unrealistic. If your team feels they have too much work, and know they will never finish, they may not meet their full potential.

Schedule regular meetings with your entire team so people can discuss things that are going well, problems they’re having, and plans for the next week. This is a great way to hold everyone accountable, get everyone together to communicate their needs, and make sure that your business is heading in the direction you want it to.

Solution – Read up on the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System), L10 Meetings, and getting your team to stay on track and stop wasting valuable time.

5. Set a Good Example

One of the best things you can do to spur productivity amongst your content marketing team is to set a good example and be willing to do some of the hard work too. Remember, the key is to make sure your team knows it’s not all about being the leader and generating lots of money.

People respect those that are willing to lend a helping hand and take on some of the work if need be. Your team will feel more appreciated and not so overwhelmed if you reach out every now and then and ask them if they need help. This is especially true if you have team members that are sometimes hesitant to reach out.

Solution – show your team that you work hard too, check in on them and ask them if they need clarification or help, and re-delegate tasks if needed.

Final Thoughts

In order to supercharge your content team’s productivity, you have to take an active role. That means following through from beginning to end so everyone knows what they’re responsible for, making sure there’s an open line of communication for when things go wrong, and automating tedious tasks that tend to drag team productivity down.

Only then will the things you want done get done on time, without overwhelming your team or wasting time. Be a good leader, encourage your team to work hard, join them in their efforts to create the best content for your business, and rest assured that success will come your way soon enough.

Featured Image Source

8 Valuable Content Marketing Tools You Can’t Live Without

When it comes to content marketing, the goal is always to create newer and better content to attract, convert, and retain more site visitors. Not to mention, everyone wants to drive more traffic, generate more leads, and make more sales.

But you can’t just create content and hope that people come. In fact, you need to make sure what your publishing on your website has value for your readers and is relevant to what they’re looking for. Otherwise you’ll never become successful.

Now, you might feel that you’re part of the 42% of people that think they’re good at content marketing. But you should know there’s always room for improvement.

And if you’re not part of the 88% of people that use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy, it’s time you get started.

With that said, no matter which category you fall into, we’re here to share with you some of the very best content marketing tools to add to your arsenal so that you make the most of your time and effort.

1. Hemingway Editor

Hemingway Editor

The Hemingway Editor is a free online tool designed to proofread your content before you publish it. It can be accessed online or you can download the desktop app.

When you cut and paste your content into the editor, it will highlight things such as:

  • Lengthy, complex sentences that can be shortened
  • Phrases that can be simplified
  • Any instances of the passive voice
  • Adverbs and other phrases that can weaken your text

With the Hemingway Editor you make sure to deliver the strongest, most well-written piece of content possible, and that all of your site visitors will understand it.

2. Trello

Trello

Trello makes collaborating with your team effortless by letting you organize your content marketing strategy like a Kanban board. See your workflow in a visual way using boards, lists, and individual cards. Assign tasks to your team members, leave comments and attach files, and make sure only the people you want on each board has access.

Trello Boards

This free content marketing tool syncs across all devices, has an easy to use interface and layout, and makes sure all your content gaps are filled in immediately so you consistently publish high-quality content for your site visitors.

3. SEO SiteCheckup

SEO SiteCheckup

You should know by now that SEO is crucial to your success. After all, it doesn’t matter how great your content is if no one comes to see what you have to offer. That’s why focusing on SEO optimization so your content shows up in relevant search results is so important.

SEO SiteCheckup is a simple SEO tool that shows you how optimized your website is. Simply enter your site’s URL and let the tool analyze your site.

SEO SiteCheckup Score

After the analysis, you’ll receive an overall score that ranges between 0-100. The higher the score the more optimized your site is. If you scroll down, you’ll also see a set of common SEO issues that relate to your site and how to fix them to improve your site’s search rankings. Keep in mind, in order to use this tool free of charge, you can only analyze one site a day.

4. CoSchedule

CoSchedule

CoSchedule is one of the most well-known, and popular, content marketing calendars on the market today. It lets you create an editorial calendar that you and your team can work together on. Not to mention, it comes with features like automated social sharing of your blog’s content, a way to manage your email marketing campaigns, and detailed analytics so you can make data-driven decisions to grow your business.

In addition, CoSchedule offers a very helpful free tool, called the Headline Analyzer, which helps you create powerful headlines for your content, lead magnets, email campaigns, and more.

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

After your headline is analyzed, you’ll receive:

  • A headline score
  • The balance of words, taking into consideration overall structure, grammar, and readability
  • A length analysis including characters and words
  • The main keywords being used
  • The type of sentiment your headline conveys

Lastly, a Google search result snippet and email subject line preview will display so you can see exactly what your site visitors and subscribers will see if you choose to use that headline.

5. Social Media Share Buttons

Social Media Share Buttons

If you want your content to reach a broader audience, there’s no better way than to encourage site visitors to share their favorite content on their own social media profiles for friends and family to see. Add popular social icons to your site such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. And rest assured, there are over 200 other social media platforms available.

6. Google Analytics

Google Analytics

To learn where your site visitors come from, and what they do once they’re on your website, it’s a good idea to sign up for a free Google Analytics account. With it, you can see how well your marketing campaigns are doing, what devices site visitors are visiting from, and whether you landing pages are converting.

Not to mention, you can view metrics like the number of pageviews and sessions, the average session duration, and even your site’s bounce rate to make sure your content is working for you, not against you.

7. HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator

HubSpot's Blog Ideas GeneratorPreview (opens in a new window)

If you’re having trouble thinking up of content ideas for your site’s blog, check out HubSpot’s idea generator. Simply add a few nouns to the form field and click “Give Me Blog Ideas!”

You’ll immediately be given 5 exceptional blog headlines that you can use outright or use for inspiration.

Blog Ideas

Keep your content fresh and relevant using this free tool and watch your following grow.

8. Ahrefs

Ahrefs

Ahrefs gives you a chance to dig into your content marketing strategy and view data such as the number of backlinks, where your backlinks are coming from, popular keywords, and even mentions of your brand across the web.

Ahrefs Dashboard

You can also track your competition to see what’s working for them and make sure you do the same to draw some of their site visitors your way. Check out what keywords they’re ranking for in organic search results, how much traffic their site is seeing, and even get ideas for your own content so you can keep up with the competition and even move ahead.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! Some of the best content marketing tools available on the market today.

Of course, this list is in no way exhaustive. But it does give you a definitive head start, especially if you’re just starting out with your content marketing efforts.

Each of this tools will play a vital role in your content market strategy and help drive more traffic to your site, increase engagement, and boost conversions and sales. So, take your pick and start growing your business now.

And don’t forget, if you’re looking for an email content marketing software that can automate RSS-based emails and help you create stunning newsletters for subscribers, check out how FeedOtter can help.

Featured Image Creadit

The Top 3 Free Email Builders

, , , , ,

As a content marketer, one of your most valued duties includes creating content and sharing it. However, using different marketing software may present as your biggest challenge. Picture this, you’re up against a tight deadline to launch an e-newsletter containing this month’s featured content, but you’ve run into a snag because your email template just doesn’t translate the way you imaged or worse isn’t rendering correctly.

If you’ve ever found yourself in this scenario, this blog is for you! By the end of this piece, you will know how to use the top free email builders and how to import your new design to use in Pardot.

 

BEE Free

BEE Free is one of the easiest email builders to use. You can drag and drop content onto email templates, including buttons, text blocks, images, and more.  With BEE Free, marketers can design sleek and modern emails with ease. This site also offers a way to export HTML to transfer into email marketing platforms.

To begin building your email template, head over to the BEE Free homepage and “Start Designing”. The site will prompt you to start your own design from scratch or select a template where you can filter through an abundance of free templates, usage types, and different industries.

 

Once you’ve selected a template you’re now ready to customize it! The drag and drop email builder gives you a seamless user experience. Once you’ve got the look you desired you want to “Save” the email template. However, if you’re using the free version, BEE Free will ask if you’d like to sign up for a paid plan or if you’d just like to download your template – you want to choose to download it.

 

After selecting to download the email, a zip file should load where you will find an image (holds all the images to the email template) and .html file. You’ll want to open this file and right-click to reveal the drop-down for “View Page Source”. This will allow you to view the code of the whole page. This is the code we’ll later copy and paste into Pardot.

 

In the Pardot email builder, you’ll want to paste the code from the page source into the HTML tab in Pardot.

 

*Note: You may receive the following alert: HTML message: An unsubscribe tag (%%unsubscribe%% or %%email_preference_center%%) is required somewhere in the body of the email. This can be done by highlighting the text you’d like to link for unsubscribers and selecting the hyperlink icon to choose the unsubscribe tag as the link type.

 

Once the HTML code is added I suggest previewing your email template and making revisions. Please note if you’re adding images to the BEE Free template, you will need to readd them to the Pardot template.

 

TOPOL.io

Similar to BEE Free, Topol.io allows users to design emails with a drag and drop tool and it’s “sooooo easy”. In comparison to BEE Free, Topol.io also provides a number of email templates but not nearly as many. One feature I believe Topol.io does better is the process of exporting the email HTML. Topol.io automatically creates a download of the .html file, rather than a zip file.

 

After selecting your email template to design, you’ll want to “Save & Download”, which will prompt an automatic download of the HTML. From here the same process as stated above should be followed to import the email HTML into Pardot.

Stripo.email

Unlike our first two contenders, Stripo requires users to sign up for a free account and caps off at 4 free downloads each month. However, Stripo.email states the download limits get reset every month. By selecting “Email Templates” in the navigation bar, you’re able to select from numerous email templates and filter by type, industry, and season.

 

“Try Out” your email template once you’ve selected the right fit and begin to make your revisions. When you’re ready to export the HTML, you will save the email template which will then prompt you to create a free user account.

 

When your new account has been registered you will be brought to an overview screen of all your email templates. Select the one you’d like to export the HTML and proceed with selecting the “Export” button > HTML > Download HTML file.

 

Not a Pardot user? Here’s a similar article for Marketo.