Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
Do you have a blog to market yourself as an author? A lot of fans might be curious as to how your latest “work-in-progress” is coming along. In this post, I’ll show you how to add the Author WIP Progress Bar in WordPress.
It can add a layer of engagement from those who are eagerly awaiting a newly published piece. And it can do more than just track a novel.
You can also use the WIP progress bar to highlight Wattpad stories, blog posts, or perhaps an eBook you’re putting together. In one instance, I’m showing my progress for writing a certain number of words per year.
At any rate, the progress bar is a fun addition to any writer’s website.
How to Install the Author WIP Progress Bar
For this tutorial, I’m using the Author WIP Progress Bar. It’s an easy-to-use plugin that you can use as either a WordPress widget or paste directly into a post or page using a shortcode.
It’s a simple visual aesthetic and doesn’t store a great deal of data. This means it won’t slow the website and is less likely to have conflict issues with other plugins.
In any case, it’s a great way to engage your fans by showing where you are in progression.
Install the Author WIP Progress Bar Plugin
From the WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins and click, “Add New.”
Search for, “Author WIP Progress Bar” in the field provided.
Install and activate the plugin.
Method 1: Configure the Progress Bar Shortcode
Using the shortcode, you can easily create a landing page for your WIP or other writing goals. It can be helpful to keep your avid readers informed or you can work it into any other kind of marketing for your project.
All you need to do is set up the information and paste the code into a post or page in WordPress.
Once the plugin is installed, you’ll have a new addition in the left panel of WordPress. Click the “Progress Bar” option.
As I said, there are two ways you can use Author WIP Progress Bar: using a shortcode on a page or using the widget. This setup is for the former, to be used on a post or page.
On this page, you’ll enter the information to create a shortcode. Most of the settings on this screen are fairly self-explanatory.
For instance, if you’re goal is 90,000 words, you’d enter “90000.” If your current progress is only 25,700 words, you’d enter “25700.”
Author WIP Progress Bar also gives you 7 colors to choose from for the bar itself as well as its border. You can also include links to the WIP, such as working on a Wattpad story or perhaps blog posts themselves.
Once the information is entered, click the “Generate Shortcode Button.”
The shortcode for the progress bar is displayed at the top of this page. Copy the code and place it where ever you wish in WordPress.
In the Gutenberg editor for WordPress, you’d add a shortcode block and paste the above code.
NOTE: You can do this for as many works as you have in progress. If you have more, just paste this shortcode and re-enter the information for the next one on the same screen. Each shortcode will be unique.
Also keep in mind that any time you make progress, you’ll have to recreate and paste the shortcode again for the changes. That’s because Author WIP Progress Bar doesn’t hold data.
An alternative to creating the shortcode over and over is to just change the number within the current_score= portion of the shortcode.
Method 2: Add Author WIP Progress Bar as a Widget
Perhaps one of the more common ways to get visitors’ attention to your WIP is by showing it in a sidebar widget. This way, the progress bar will show on most pages and posts in WordPress.
It’ll help get attention to the work you’re authoring regardless of how the visitor found your site.
In this instance, go to Appearance and click, ‘Widgets.”
Expand the sidebar where you wish to add a progress bar to WordPress.
In some cases, the prominent sidebar may already be expanded.
NOTE: Not all themes will have a sidebar available. This is up to the developer and the layout of your website. Luckily, it’s not all that difficult to change your theme should you want sidebars. You can also install certain plugins to add a sidebar to themes that don’t have one.
Click the “+” button to add a new block.
Search for the “Progress Bar Setup” block and click to add it to WordPress.
Enter the details of the work-in-progress as you did earlier. This includes the title, unit of measure, the goal, current numbers, colors, and any other information you’d wish to share.
Once you’re done, click the Update button on the top right of the Widgets page.
Author WIP Progress Bar is now showing on your WordPress blog.
NOTE: You can add as many WIP widgets as you want depending on how many projects you’re working on. Simply drag and drop each one as you did above.
How Else Can We Use the WordPress Progress Bar?
As I write this tutorial, it dawned on me that I can use the plugin in other ways. Although it’s more geared toward book writing, it can offer a bit more overall.
Setting Up Blogging Word Goals
I recently set up blogging goals to reach 1 million words by the end of 2021. I can use this plugin to show my progress.
As it stands, I simply type the number in a text widget on the primary website. But Author WIP Progress Bar gives it a bit more of a visual element that is more engaging.
Plus, I can link back to the original blog post of the goal within the widget if someone is interested.
Goals for Publishing Posts
This can also work for the pages section. Instead of words, perhaps you want to publish a certain number of posts each month (or web pages).
Since I can make as many widgets or shortcodes as I want, I can do this for every blog I manage. Though, I think that might feel redundant.
Linking to Author Pages
One of the features of this progress bar in WordPress is the ability to link to author pages and other platforms. This can help you guide your target audience to those accounts to follow.
For instance, mine shows my current writing stats with a link to my most recent project on NaNoWriMo.org.
You could create links to accounts such as:
- Your Goodreads author page.
- Blog posts about your project.
- Your Wattpad or Inkitt profiles.
- Your author page on Amazon.
These are only a few ways you can use this progress bar plugin in WordPress. It could add a bit of exposure to your marketing campaigns for just about anything you plan to create.
Giving Your Fans Updates
I see a lot of writers deliver updates for their WIP on sites like Twitter. While this helps keep people engaged in your progress, why not share it on your blog?
In fact, I’ve used this on my main website for quite some time. Not only will it keep visitors apprised of my progress, but it will also help keep me motivated to write more often.
After all, I don’t want the bar to remain stagnant for long periods of time. And Author WIP Progress Bar makes it that much easier.
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