Getting Started with EasyContent
Thank you for joining EasyContent! We hope that it's the beginning of our long journey together and that this article will help you to learn how to use our system to its full potential. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Table of Contents
- Your account structure
- Defining roles and permissions
- Inviting users
- Your first project: assigning users
- Your first project: setting up workflow
- Your first project: configuring template
- Adding topics to your project
- Working with articles
- Integrating your project with Wordpress
- Creating documentation for your project
- Further steps
Your account structure
There are two main navigational menus in your account. The top white menu (number 1 in the image below) is an account level menu. The bottom dark menu (#2) is a project level menu. It appears only when you are inside of a project.
In addition, there is also a dropdown menu (#3) in the top right corner of the screen. It appears when you click on your username and allows you to edit your profile or visit your account or project settings. Project settings appear only when you are inside of a project.
The exact set of menu items may vary depending on your permissions. Below we'll examine the menus as the account administrator sees them:
Account level menu
- Project selection dropdown allows you to quickly select a project to work with
- Projects will get you to the page with all your projects. You can create, archive or delete your projects on this page. There is no limit on the number of projects in EasyContent. Deleting a project permanently deletes all its data, so be careful.
- Users menu item will open a page where you can view and manage your users, or invite new users to your account. All users are created at the account level. There is no limitation on the number of users as well.
- Roles page is where you can manage and configure your account roles. Again, you can create as many roles as you need and configure them to meet the needs of your team. Roles in the account apply to all projects.
- Feedback. Getting feedback is paramount to successful learning. That's why we made it possible to leave feedback and grade articles whenever you or your team members approve or reject them. Custom grading criteria are defined in the workflow settings. The feedback will be delivered directly to the writer's mailbox. Additionally, all users can see their feedback, both left and received, in the "Feedback" page.
- Integrations page allows you to generate API keys and install a plugin to connect your Wordpress website to an EasyContent project.
- Help is the page where you can find various articles on how to use our application. Additionally, we allow you to create your own documentation for your projects. If you click "Help" while you are in the project, you will see that you can create your own categories and articles. Good documentation allows for better scalability and increased productivity, and that is exactly what we want for your team!
Project level menu
When you are inside of a project, darker project menu is visible just below the account menu. For a user with all permissions, it consists of the following items:
- Dashboard gives you a quick glimpse on your project's activity and your team's performance inside a project. We are constantly developing it, so let us know if you need more!
- Articles page contains the list of articles in the project and allows you to view or manage them.
- Topics page displays the list of topics or ideas for the articles. A topic becomes an article when it's assigned to a user or claimed by a user. Users can claim topics themselves when they are responsible for the "Writing" stage of the workflow.
- Calendar. Whenever an article has a due date for one or several approval statuses, it's displayed in our editorial calendar along with some other useful information. You can manage responsible people and due dates directly from the editorial calendar.
- Mailbox shows you your last messages and allows you to visit your project mailbox. In the project mailbox, you can communicate with all other users assigned to the project. All messages received into your mailbox will also be sent to your email.
- All messages page is accessible only when a user has the "View all correspondence" permission and allows to view all messages of all users within a project. This, along with our activity card and comprehensive email notifications, gives a project administrator a good overview of what is going on in the project.
- Files page displays all files used in the project. To add a file, you must attach it to an article.
- Workflow menu item sends you to a page where you can set up your custom project's workflow. It's highly customizable. Just list all stages the article will go through, and then select checkboxes next to the roles that will be responsible for those stages.
- Categories page is where you can create categories to better organize your topics and articles.
- Template page allows you to configure your article's layout by adding or removing certain fields, adding descriptions, length recommendations, or making those fields mandatory. We are planning to add more flexibility to the template by allowing you to change the order of the fields and to add you own custom fields. If that is something you'd be interested in, please let us know by hitting the "Suggest a feature" button in the footer of the website.
Defining roles and permissions
Each new account has several default Roles:
- Writer (writers the articles)
- Editor (reviews and approves content)
- Admin (has full access to the account)
There are also the roles of Content manager (oversees content creation and can publish articles to the external websites) and Subject Matter Expert (mainly responsible for fact-checking, a must-have role in legal, medical or other higly-complex niches). Those are for larger teams and are disabled by default, but you can activate them at any moment. After you create as many roles as you need and arrange them in the correct order, scroll down to the permissions section.
Permissions are grouped by the application area they apply to. For example, you might want to grant all account-related permissions to the Admin role, allow your Content managers manage everything on the project level and provide your Editors with access to topics and articles inside the project.
Your permissions define what users will see on their screens. For example, the "Calendar" link in the top menu will appear only if the user has the "View editorial calendar" permission in the "Reports" group of the "Permissions" screen.
After you've defined your roles, invite your team to your account by clicking the "Invite new people" button in the "Users" screen.
When inviting a new user, you must assign a role and, optionally, can assign this user to one or several projects.
After the invitations are sent, your team members will receive emails with links to join your account.
Your first project: assigning users
To create a new project, click "Create a new project" button on the "Projects" screen.
When creating a new project, you will be asked to assign users to this project. Although you can always do it later, it's important that people are assigned to the projects they will work on. Otherwise, even though they might be able to view and edit projects with the "Manage projects" permission, they won't be able to participate in the approval workflow inside this project.
To assign people to a project while creating it, select appropriate checkboxes and press the "Create project" button.
Your first project: setting up workflow
Once users are assigned to your new project, proceed to the workflow settings by clicking the "Workflow" in the dark project menu.
Our default workflow consists of the following stages: Writing -> Editorial review -> Approved for publishing -> Completed.
Some customers may also want to add stages like "Customer review" or "Expert review".
After adding or rearranging the stages the way you want and selecting roles responsible for these statuses, you may configure grading criteria for each of the intermediate article statuses. By default, we have the following grading criteria enabled for the "Editorial review" stage:
You can delete them if you don't need them. However, we've discovered that receiving actual grades not only provides great feedback to the writer, but also ensures better quality control and adds more transparency to project administrators.
Your first project: configuring template
The final step of setting up your project is configuring article template. Click on the "Template" link in your dark project menu.
On the "Template settings" page you can enable or disable most of the fields, add guidelines and recommended length, or make them required. A user won't be able to submit or approve an article until all required fields are filled in.
You may also add some default text editor content. If you choose to do it, a new article will have this content in text editor instead of a blank field. You can use it to add some outline of an article or instructions for your writers. Keep in mind, however, that this setting will apply to all articles in the project. If you want to provide instructions for a specific article, use "Notes" field in the topic settings.
As of now, you cannot rearrange fields or add your own in the template settings. If that's something you need, please let us know at email@example.com or click "Suggest a feature" in the application footer.
Adding topics to your project
Congratulations! The basic configuration is over and you can now start working with EasyContent.
First, start with creating a topic. Consider it as a task for your writers. Click on the "Topics" link in the project menu, then click the "Add your first topic" button.
When adding a topics, fill in its name. It's a mandatory field and you are limited to 200 symbols. This name will be used everywhere in the project, so make it descriptive. It can be the proposed title of an article, its purpose or a task name.
Some good examples of a topic name would be:
- "About us" page
- Best content marketing tools
- Why does my cat hate me?
More detailed instructions can be provided in the "Notes" field. If you need your writer to use specific keywords, include them in the "Keywords" field and separate by commas.
When the topic is created, it can be assigned to a writer or a writer can claim it by clicking the "Claim" button. We've removed some of project administration workload by allowing writers to claim available topics without waiting for them being assigned.
If you cannot assign a user to an article, make sure that:
- The user is assigned to a project
- User's role is responsible for the workflow status in the workflow settings.
Working with articles
After it's done and the topic is assigned, it becomes an article and is visible on the "Articles" page. To open the "Articles" page, click on the "Articles" link in the dark project menu.
Then number in the badge next to an article icon in the menu shows the number of articles where your input is expected.
To view article contents and edit it, click on the topic name or the "Edit" button in the "Articles" screen. You will see our rich text editor where you can write or edit the article. You will also see some additional fields that a writer will be required to fill in (those are configured in the Template settings), as well as some widgets designed to provide more information about the article. We'll have a look at them in the next section.
Editing an Article
Some of the elements described below may not be visible when a user opens up an article to edit it. Usually that means that there is no information to display or that the user doesn't have necessary permissions to view them.
Article main data tab includes the "Article title" field, rich text editor, and the "Attached files" widget. The latter allows you to attach, delete or download any files that you may want to submit together with an article or insert into the article text.
Article meta data tab contains other fields such as:
- Featured image
- Custom post slug
- Meta title
- Meta description
Most of these fields can be used by Wordpress if you set up our Wordpress integration. The set of fields can be configured in the "Template settings".
Actions tab on the bottom allows you to Submit or Approve an article, Reject it and send it back for rework, Save draft or Publish the article to a Wordpress website if it is attached to a project in the "Integrations settings" of the account.
Sidebar contains several widgets that help you work with the article. Their combination depends on user permissions and current activity in the article, but at most you will see the following:
- Messages regarding this article. Displays all correspondence related to the article you are viewing. If your role doesn't have the "View all correspondence" permission, you will see only the messages recived or sent by you.
- Assignment details. Displays topic, keywords and notes. You can highlight keywords in the text if you click the "Highlight in the text" link.
- Workflow widget. This displays all workflow-related information. It allows you to approve or reject an article, change its status, or assign it to other people, (if you have the "Manage articles" and "Manage people and deadlines" permissions).
- Article feedback. This widget displays feedback received by the writer from other approvers. In order to use grades, configure grading criteria on the "Workflow" page.
- Revision history. This displays revisions and allows to view, restore, or delete them. If you select two revisions, you will be able to compare them by clicking the "Compare selected" button.
Integrating Your Project with Wordpress
If you create content for a Wordpress website, you can link your project with the website. This allows you to publish your articles directly to your Wordpress website with just one click of a button. Also, you can pull content from your Wordpress website into your EasyContent project. That is handy when you need to update or improve some of your existing articles. Our Wordpress plugin works with both the classic text editor and new Gutenberg text editor.
In order to set it up, install our Wordpress plugin and generate your API keys on the "Integrations" page.
Creating Documentation for Your Project
If your project requires additional documentation, such as style guidelines for your writers and editors, directions for other approvers, or any other helpful information, you can create it with EasyContent.
When you are inside a project, click the "Help" item in the top menu.
Then press "Add new category," enter the category name (e.g., Style guidelines) and save it. After you have created a category, click on the "Edit" icon and choose "Add help article."
When you have more than one category, use the drag & drop feature to reorder them on the page.
Congratulations! If you've made it this far, you should be familiar with EasyContent and ready to get started. Feel free to reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or feedback.
- Getting Started with EasyContent