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 platform to its full potential. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us via email@example.com.
Table of Contents
- Your account structure
- Creating roles and permissions
- Inviting users
- Creating teams
- Your first project: assigning users
- Your first project: setting up workflow
- Your first project: configuring templates
- Adding briefs to your project
- Working with content items
- 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 first one, the top white menu (#1), is the account menu. This is visible anywhere within EasyContent when you're logged in.
The bottom blue menu (#2) is the project menu. It appears only when you are inside a project.
Finally, there is also a dropdown menu (#3) that allows you to edit your profile and account settings, as well as view reviewer feedback on your content. You can access it by clicking your avatar in the top right corner of the page.
The exact set of menu items that will appear changes depending on your permissions. Below we'll briefly examine the menus and what they're for from left to right as users with the admin role.
- Project selection dropdown - quickly select a project to work with.
- Projects - all your projects and archived projects can be found here. You can create, edit, and delete here.
- Calendar - this is the editorial calendar. You can manage your content item's deadlines and even assign users here. You can also create new content items and events.
- Team - contains the following submenu items:
- Users - this is where you can invite and manage your users, from active, inactive, guest, and pending invites.
- Roles - this is where you can manage roles and permissions. You can create custom roles and configure permissions for them.
- Teams - this is where you can create and manage teams to organize your users. Assigning a user to a team is purely for organizational purposes at the moment and will have no effect on their roles and permissions.
- Integrations - allows you to generate and manage API keys used for our WordPress plugin. You can also add webhook endpoints here.
- Reports - contains the following submenu items:
- Content Report - displays a chart of your project's progress over a period of time.
- Communication - allows users with the right permissions to view all messages and comments from all users in the account.
- Help (the ? icon next to your avatar) lets you access EasyContent's documentation page (this page). If you are inside a project, you will be able to create your own documentation for the current project.
If you are inside a project, the blue bar below the account menu will be populated with new menu items. The exact set that appears will vary depending on your permissions. Again, we'll briefly examine the menus and what they're for from left to right as users with the admin role.
- Dashboard - gives you a summary of the project's activity and your team's performance.
- Content - displays all the content items in the project and, depending on your permissions, allows you to edit, view, or manage them.
- Briefs - a page of "to do" items, upcoming tasks, or ideas that can be turned into content items. A brief becomes a content item when it's assigned to or claimed by a user. Users responsible for the first workflow stage can claim a brief.
- Mailbox - lets you visit your personal mailbox for the current project. Here, you can message other users assigned to the project. All messages received in your mailbox will also be sent to your registered email address.
- Files - lets you manage all of the current project's files. Upload new files or delete unused files; create folders to organize your files and more.
- Configuration - contains the following submenu items:
- Workflow settings - this is where you can set up and manage the project's workflow statuses.
- Categories - this is where you can create and manage categories for the current project. You can use them to organize your briefs and content items.
- Templates - where you can create different "blueprints" that you can apply to the project's content items. It lets you configure your content editor's layout by adding or removing custom fields and tabs, adding descriptions, and length recommendations, or making those fields mandatory and more.
- Project settings - allows you to configure the current project's settings such as its name, assigned users, and more.
Creating roles and permissions
In this section, you'll learn how to create roles and permissions. If you want to follow along, from the account menu, head to Team > Roles.
Each new account has several default roles:
- Writer (writes the content)
- Editor (reviews and approves content)
- Admin (has full access to the account)
There are also content manager (who oversees content creation and can publish content items to external websites) and subject matter expert (mainly responsible for fact-checking, a must-have role in legal, medical, or other highly complex niches) roles. Those are for larger teams and are disabled by default, but you can activate them at any moment.
If you are a premium user, you can create as many roles as you need and arrange them in any order (except for the first and last roles).
Scrolling down the page will bring you 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 to manage everything on the project level, and provide your editors with access to briefs and content items inside the project.
Permissions define what users will see on their screens. For example, the "calendar" item in the account menu will only appear if the user has the "view publishing calendar" permission.
After you've defined your roles, invite your team to your account by clicking the "invite" button on the "users" screen (accessed from the account menu via Team > Users).
When inviting new users, you must assign them a role. By default, the role is set to admin, so be sure to change this accordingly. You can also assign them to one or several projects if you want.
After the invitations are sent, the invited users will receive emails with links to join your account. You can also copy the invite link by going to the pending invite tab and manually send it to them.
You can further organize your users by creating teams. To access teams, go to Team > Teams in the project menu. You can also click the "Teams" button next to the "Invite" button on the Users page.
Your first project: assigning users
If you wish to follow along, click "Projects" on the account menu. This will take you to the page where you can access and manage all projects you're assigned to.
We're going to start by creating a new project. Click the "Create a new project" button.
When creating a new project, you will be asked to assign users to it. Although you can always do it later, it's a good idea to immediately assign users to the projects they will work on. Otherwise, even though they might be able to view and edit projects if they have the "manage projects" permission, they won't be able to participate in the approval workflow inside this project.
Your first project: setting up workflow
Once users are assigned to your new project, access its dashboard by clicking its name on the projects page, then proceed to the workflow settings page via Configuration > Workflow settings in the project menu.
Every project will have a default set of workflow stages which consists of the following: Draft > Editorial review > Approved for publishing > Completed.
You may also want to add stages like "Customer Review" or "Expert Review", depending on the purpose and type of content you put out, or just add any workflow stage you want and need.
After adding workflow stages, you can rearrange them in the correct order by dragging and dropping them into place.
Next, assign responsible roles under the "require action from" column. When a content item reaches a workflow status, any user with the role responsible for the said status will have the ability to claim the item if no user is currently assigned to it.
If you don't assign a role to a workflow status, they won't be able to claim any content items.
Next, you may want to configure ratings for each of the intermediate workflow statuses. By default, we have the following ratings enabled for the "Editorial Review" stage:
When a user responsible for the workflow status defined in the rating approves or submits the content item, they will be asked to leave star ratings.
You can choose to delete these ratings if you don't need them. However, we have found that providing actual ratings to writers provides valuable feedback, ensures better quality control, and increases transparency for project administrators.
Your first project: configuring templates
The final step of setting up your project is configuring content item templates.
To follow along, from the project menu, go to Configuration > Templates.
The first thing you'll see once you're on the page is the default template. It has three tabs: Main Content, CMS Fields, and Example Tab. You may have noticed the eye icon next to a tab's name. It's a toggle for enabling and disabling the tab.
First, we have the Main Content tab. It has three default fields: title, main content, and files. These fields can be rearranged.
You can also add custom fields if you need to. Custom fields are covered in more detail under the custom tab section later in this article.
You can add default text in the text editor by clicking "add/edit default content" in the "main content" field. You can use it to add written outlines or instructions for your writers. Note that this will only show up in new content items and briefs claimed for the first time.
The visible checkbox allows you to disable a field if you don't need it.
The required checkbox, when activated, makes it so the content item cannot be submitted or approved if the corresponding field is empty.
Next, we have the CMS Fields tab, which is disabled by default. Click the eye icon to enable it.
It comes with multiple default fields, and most of them are used for SEO and can be synced to WordPress (more on that later).
If you've noticed, both the Main Content and the CMS Fields' default fields have something that says "system fields".
System fields are integral to EasyContent's API and WordPress plugin connectivity. Unlike custom fields, you can't rename system fields, but you can disable them via the "visible" option. Keep in mind that if you want to leverage our API or WordPress integration, you will have to enable and use them.
Finally, we have the Example Tab. This is a showcase of all the available custom fields. You can safely delete this, but if it's your first time exploring EasyContent's templates, we recommend that you check it out to familiarize yourself with our custom fields.
You can create custom tabs by clicking the "add a new tab" button. Give it a name then click the green check button and it will be created. There's no limit to the number of tabs you can create.
Your new tab will be empty, so you'll have to fill it with custom fields. Currently, the following are available for you to use:
- Single line text
- Paragraph text
- File/image upload
- Radio buttons
- Dropdown select
You can also add these fields to the default tabs.
Template fields can be reordered by dragging and dropping, as shown below.
You can create your own templates by clicking the template selection menu, and then clicking "Create a new template."
Give it a name, click the green check button, and your new template is ready.
A new template will automatically have all the system fields and tabs from the default template. You're free to customize it however you like.
If you want more custom fields or perhaps additional features or flexibility in the template editor, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or click "suggest a feature" in the page footer found anywhere within EasyContent. We'd love to hear your suggestions!
Adding briefs to your project
Congratulations! The basic configuration is over and you can now start working with EasyContent.
First, start with creating a brief for your writers. Click "Briefs" on the project menu, then once you're on the page, click the "add your first brief" button.
When adding a brief, fill in its title. It's a mandatory field and you are limited to 200 characters. This name will be used everywhere in the project, so make it descriptive. It can be the proposed title of a content item, its purpose, or simply a task name.
Some good examples of a brief name would be:
- "About Us" page
- Best content marketing tools
- Why does my cat hate me?
- Write a blog post about cats
More detailed instructions for the brief can be provided in the "Description" field. If you need your writer to use specific keywords, include them in the "Keywords" field separated by commas.
When the brief is created, it can be assigned to a writer or a writer can claim it by clicking the "claim" button on the brief page.
If you cannot assign a user to a brief or a content item, make sure that:
- The user is assigned to the project where the brief or content item exists.
- The user's role is responsible for the draft or the first workflow status of that project.
Working with content items
After the brief is assigned or claimed, it becomes a content item and is transferred to the "Content" page. You can access this page through the project menu, "content", as shown below.
The number badge next to the content menu item (#1) shows the number of content items you're currently assigned to. To view or edit a content item, click its name under the title column (#2).
Editing a content item
Some of the elements described below may not be visible to all users depending on their permissions.
If you're using the default template, there will be two tabs on the content editor page: "Main Content" and "Example Tab". There's also the "CMS Fields" tab, but it's disabled by default. Refer to your first project: configuring templates section above for more details.
The Main Content tab is where most of the work will take place. Here, you will find the content field. This is where your article body will live.
Under that is the Files section. This allows you to attach, delete, or download any files that you may want to submit together with the content item or insert into its text. You can click the add files card to access the current project's files library and look for files you want to attach to the content item. Learn more about the files library here and how it can help you organize your files.
You can also upload files from your computer if you can't find a suitable asset from the files library. Keep in mind that any files you upload to a content item will be added to that project's files library and will become accessible to anyone who has the right permissions.
The Example Tab is used solely for showcasing custom fields. We assume that this is your first time using EasyContent, so we recommend that you check it out to see our custom fields in action.
Finally, we have the CMS Fields tab. This is disabled by default. To enable it, click the customize template link. There, click the eye icon next to the CMS fields tab to enable it.
When enabled, it will have the following fields by default:
- Featured image
- Custom post slug
- Meta title
- Meta description
If you set up WordPress integration, most of these fields can be automatically synced along with the content item's main text when you use the "Publish to WP" feature. With this integration, you can auto-publish a content item directly to your WordPress website without logging in. Learn more about WordPress integration here.
Let's go back to the Main Content tab, above the title field, you will see the Actions section. It contains buttons that let you submit or approve the content item, send it back for rework, save draft, or publish it to a WordPress website if WordPress integration is set up. You can also export it as HTML or DOCX or generate a shareable link that you can share with anyone online (similar to Google Docs).
Next, we'll quickly check on the sidebar and its widgets that can help you work with the content item. The widgets that show up will depend on user permissions and current activity in the content item, but at most you will see the following:
Messages. Displays all correspondence related to the content item you are viewing. If your role doesn't have the "view communication report" permission, you will see only the messages you've sent or received.
Item details. Displays the content item's description, keywords, notes, and categories. You can edit this by clicking the "edit" link at the bottom of the widget.
Workflow widget. This displays all workflow-related information. It allows you to approve or reject the content item, change its status, or assign it to other people if you have the "manage content items" and "manage people and deadlines" permissions.
Item feedback. This widget displays feedback received by the writer from other approvers. To use this, configure ratings on the "Workflow settings" page.
Revision history. This displays revisions and allows you to view, restore, or delete them. If you select two revisions, you can compare them and see the changes.
Integrating your project with WordPress
You can publish your content items directly to a WordPress site with just a click of a button. You can also pull content from the website into your project. This will allow you to edit and update your articles in WordPress right within EasyContent.
To set it up, install our WordPress plugin and generate your API keys on the "Integrations" page. Our WordPress plugin works with both the classic text editor and the new Gutenberg text editor.
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" icon on the account menu.
On the page, click the "Add new category" button. A new block will appear, asking you to give it a name. Enter the category name (e.g., Style guidelines) and save it by clicking the save icon.
Once the category block is created, click the pencil icon to see the "Add help article" link appear. Click it and you will be redirected to a page where you can write your new help article.
When you have more than one category, you can drag & drop to reorder them on the page.
Congratulations! If you've made it this far, you should now be familiar with EasyContent and ready to get started. Feel free to reach us at email@example.com with any questions or feedback.
- Getting Started with EasyContent
- Get Started with Templates
- Creating Custom Template Tabs
- Using the Content Item Editor
- Inviting Users to Your Account
- Editing, Deleting & Deactivating Users
- Creating a Custom Role
- Recovering Lost or Forgotten Password
- Get Started with Webhooks
- Add Our Email Addresses to Your Safe Sender List
- Configuring Your Email Notification Settings