We like to blog at Bit-Wizards. We enjoy sharing the technical knowledge and even the not-so-technical knowledge we have learned over the years. That being the case, I tend to get an influx of blog content at various times during the month. Recently, I had quite a few blogs to get posted and didn’t want to dump them all out there at once. I wanted to schedule them out over the course of the following weeks. As I planned out my blogs and gathered up my images, I learned a few things I think are valuable and maybe not “immediately” well-known. Below is my quick blog entering process that I use when I plan to post-date a blog. I hope this is helpful to some of you marketers out there! Enjoy!
It’s a great timesaver to follow a quick checklist as you go through the content publishing process. I get interrupted on a regular basis during the workday, so following a checklist keeps me from forgetting what I have already done and helps me to pick up right where I left off.
One quick note: I use a development website and stage everything up to the production (live site) when it looks good to go. Every action I discuss below up until you see staging is done on the development (not live) site.
Below is a quick list of how I approach getting the content from files on my machine and into Kentico for the world to enjoy:
• Create a file structure on your network or machine for storing content assets
• Edit/Proof the content with at least one other person
• Create images and size screenshots
• Write metadata, choose correct keywords, and decide on a publish date
• Create media library folder for blog assets, and upload them
• Enter a “post from” date, and page title
• Enter copy and images into the Kentico content sections
• Review content entered on frontend of dev site
• Enter metadata
• Stage the blog tasks in the staging area on the dev site
Let’s dive deeper into each one of these so you can understand the importance of not only the order in which we perform them but also the necessity of each task itself.
1- Create a file structure for content storage.
Create a file structure on your network or machine for storing content assets; this is valuable because you may need to head back into your images or copy for some unforeseen reason. You want to be able to easily find your original documents, final images and also PSD files. Every second saved is a good thing! My files are structured like this:
Blogs-> Author Name-> Blog Name->
-> final sized and prepped images ready for uploading
-> original blog copy, screenshots, and images sent by the author – untouched/sized
-> Photoshop templates and also the final PSD files for each image sized or created for the content
2 - Edit/Proof the content with at least one other person.
Have your copy 100% ready to post to the site! Don’t waste time trying to proof while entering into the website. Editing or proofing inside the content area is a hassle and also causes you to miss mistakes that should be fixed.
3 - Create images and size screenshots
Always have your images sized ahead of time. I use Photoshop templates to quickly size screenshot images and create top images for each blog.
4 - Write metadata, choose correct keywords and decide on a publish date
Get your title, description, keywords, and date you are planning to publish all gathered into your Word document or whatever word processing tool you use. Have it all in one place so you don’t have to navigate away from that document while you are entering content.
5 - Create media library folder for blog assets and upload your stuff!
Always use a nice folder structure and naming convention. This helps anyone who has to touch your content in the future – even you, to be able to easily find images and other media types.
6 - In the Kentico form tab, enter a “post from” date and also your page title.
Make sure the “post from” date matches the publish date for consistency sake and sanity sake too! Making sure that these match just keeps everything consistent and looking nice.
*This step is a very important part of your content entry process. If you are publishing in the future. At this point, you also need to click the save button on your content form. Now you have locked in your future date and title, and your page has been created in Kentico.
7 - Enter copy and images into the Kentico content sections of your page.
This is pretty straightforward. Just get that content in there. It should go rather quickly since you already have everything proofed and uploaded to the media library.
8 - Review content entered on frontend of dev site.
Of course you have to check and see what all this content is going to look like as you enter it. But when you post-date a blog or other content, you cannot use the quick “live site” button as shown below to view the frontend of that page (you will get a 404 on the live site if you try).
However, to view the page on the front-end, you have a couple of options:
1 – Click the Page
tab right in the content editing window.
2 – Click the Preview
button above the main site content tree
3 – Click the Properties
tab and choose General – this will open your unpublished page in a new browser tab and give you a full site view of your new page.
Using any of these view options I like to keep two browser windows open for this so I can just simply refresh when I am ready to view my results. No need to reload entire the entire site every time you save the page and want to see your changes.
9 - Enter metadata and categorization/tagging information on the appropriate tabs.
In Kentico, click on the Properties
tab and the Metadata
tab to enter your metadata, so you get a nice description and title when people share your website content.
10 - Stage the blog tasks in the staging area on the dev site.
Now you are ready to move all this lovely content to the live site! Go to that Kentico flower and type in "staging", then choose it from the automatically populated list. You will then be taken to a page that looks somewhat like this, depending on which version of Kentico you are using. Also, you may not have a staging environment that looks like this if your site wasn’t set up like mine.
A very important point to note:
If you are post-dating content when you stage up your post-dated content if you missed something and need to make an edit before your post-date passes, the tasks associated with those changes will not show in your staging area until that future date arrives. SO – make sure you are 100% ready for your content to be staged to the live site when using the post-dating option.
Below is an abbreviated list from the one above that you can use to build your content and post to your website. Side note: I really enjoy using Microsoft OneNote
to help organize my content and build these repeatable lists.
Please let me know if you have some awesome best practices or tips that help your content building/publishing process to go quicker!
The Quick Content Creation and Scheduling Checklist
- File structure
- Images and size screenshots
- Metadata, keywords, publish date
- Media library folder & upload
- Enter “post from” date, and page title
- Enter copy and images
- Review content on frontend
- Enter metadata
- Double check your list
- Stage tasks to live site