Creating Post Templates | Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge

Posted 16 September, 2015 by Trish in Blogging Thoughts, Reading Nook / 33 Comments

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Creating Post Templates for Speedier Blogging

Hello!!! Perhaps you are visiting because you’re participating in Bloggiesta this weekend! Or maybe you want to learn more about creating post templates in general. Or possibly you’re not looking for anything in particular but deep down you wonder if you can make blogging a little bit easier and streamlined. I’m hoping that today’s post will help with that.

Bloggiesta

 

Years and years ago when I first participated in the Readathon, I created a new post for every update. After a while of recreating the wheel I realized that I could just copy and paste a template of my post and save myself a bunch of time (you know, when that clock is ticking and you’d rather be reading than blogging). After the readathon was over, I decided to transfer this process to several of the posts that I write frequently.

Basic Template Creation – Copying HTML

The most basic way to create a template is to copy the HTML coding of a frequently used post. You want to use the HTML coding so that you can copy any images and formatting to use each time. In WordPress, select the “Text” composition option to grab the HTML coding. In Blogger use the “HTML” composition option to grab the HTML coding.

In creating templates, I only use the bare bones of what I need–this includes any images, my signature, and text that I will use for each and every post of it’s kind. I do not copy the post content as I don’t want to worry about deleting and editing the same portions of a post over and over. I can grab my post outline and go! I’ll discuss below the option to copy/clone posts.

Excel Post Template Example

Where Do I Save my HTML coding?

There are many options for saving your HTML coding. You can create a draft post for each template and open and copy the HTML each time you want to create this post. When I was using Blogger I used an excel document so that I could have a tab for every type of post for which I had a template. You can also use any type of HTML text editor program. Some people use Evernote to create post templates. I link to a tutorial for this in the very last section of this post.

The key is to be able to keep all of your HTML formatting so that you don’t have to duplicate it again and again. If I do have a word or two within the text that I might have to change from post to post, I highlight or bold this word so that I know to change it.

Copying/Cloning Posts

Another method that many bloggers use to recreate posts time and time again is to use a copy or clone feature. If this is you, please tell me more about this method because in all my twitter queries or searching, I was not able to find this option on WP, though I hear it exists (perhaps the Duplicate Post plug-in). I believe that this option is standard on wp.com. From what I understand, people copy over an entire post that they’ve previously published and then change the pertinent information for the new post.

Using a Plug-In to create Post Templates (WP.org)

I use Easy Content Template plug-in for WordPress.org for all of my frequently used templates. I create each template like I would an individual post–you can choose to create the title, content, and excerpt for each template and when creating a new post each of these options is available. When drafting a post that I write a lot, like the Inspiration on Monday post below, I simply load the template and can then focus only on new content. Using Easy Content Template has saved me so much time in terms of creating and formatting posts. If you use another plug-in that is similar, I would love to hear about your experience.

Create a Post Template using Easy Content Template plug-in

 

Mini-Challenge

  1. Brainstorm posts that you write over and over
  2. Create a template for this post
  3. Rejoice in the ease of recreating this post next time
  4. Report back to me about the process you used to create your shiny new template (or if you already use templates maybe you can spruce one up, create a new one, or simply share how you use templates in your blogging). Feel free to tag me @TriniCapini on twitter if you need any troubleshooting help!

Giveaway: By participating in this mini-challenge, you will be entered for a chance to win a $15 gift card to your online bookseller of choice. You must leave a comment with the details of item 4 in the mini-challenge above to be entered. Bonus (brownie) points if you blog about your process and link it back here in your comment for others to see! You must be officially signed up for the fall Bloggiesta in order to be eligible.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

hearts

 

Other Resources for Creating Post Templates

Ultimate Book Blogger Plug-in (by Ashley at NoseGraze)  – This plug-in makes writing book reviews and keeping up with book indexing a breeze. Unfortunately it’s not a free plug-in and it can only be used for WP.com, but it was designed by a book blogger who knows all of the ins and outs of WordPress.

Post Duplicator Plug-ins for WordPress.org

Post Template Plug-ins for WordPress.org

Easy Content Template for WordPress.org (this is the plug-in I use)

How to Use Evernote as a Blogger (by Michael Hyatt)

If you’re not familiar with Evernote, check out these great posts from past Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge Hostess: Tif Talks Books and Joy’s Book Blog.

 

I would love to hear if you use any of these methods of post templates or if you have another method you’d love to share!

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33 Responses to “Creating Post Templates | Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge”

  1. To clone on WordPress there are several options. On the posts page it is an option under the title of each post. If you are looking at a completed post on the blog itself and are signed into your wordpress account, you can see an edit option on the toolbar at the top of the screen. If you select that it will bring up an option to copy the post.

    • I chatted with some gals on twitter about it yesterday and they said the same (plus sent screen shots). I wonder if that might be theme related? I’m using the current version of WP and do not have that option!

  2. I can’t participate in Bloggiesta this weekend, but I love this! I’ll come back to it. I use a plug-in but it hasn’t been updated in years — I can still use my old templates, but can’t create new ones. Now, I know where to start when I’m ready to get that part of my blog procedure going again.

  3. There is also a place to copy in WordPress if you go to the edit screen for an old post. Right beside the update button you have options for Copy to a New Draft or Move to Trash.

  4. I love the easy content templates plugin. I use it so much – for the linky parties I host, to format reviews, guest posts, memes – on both my blogs!

  5. I have never done a Bloggiesta mini challenge before but I think I really need to do this one, and am going to put it on my to-do list! I had to add the Duplicate Post plug-in when the clone option went missing. Maybe it does come with some WP.org themes, and not others! But I find it messes up the date more often than not, and doesn’t publish with the new date, so it doesn’t show up on top of the blog where it’s supposed to. I’ve been copying and pasting a lot from old Weekend Cooking posts to new ones, and it’s a pain in the neck!

  6. I’ve been an evernote user for years, but have never used it for my blog (except to keep some notes on post ideas). I keep thinking I should use its features more fully. Thanks for the links.

  7. I suppose I ought to leave a comment since I have read your post twice already. I am very interested in templates but have, so far, only saved a draft in WordPress that I manipulate according to my needs.
    For instance, I have the links and verbiage set up for Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking and the same for Mailbox Monday and Joy’s Reader’s Workout.

    I am a virgin as far as plug ins! Also, I am not signed up for Blogiesta so maybe I ought to remedy that now.

  8. I’m not officially signed up for Bloggiesta (and probably won’t because laziness!), but this is a great guide. I’ve started a new Friday feature recently and I think snagging the HTML for it is going to be super helpful.

  9. I created a template for my Weekly Updates post, which is time-consuming otherwise. I liked the idea of copying the HTML text (on WP), and saved the template on a blank doc renamed Sunday/Monday Template.

    Thanks!

  10. I just did post templates for my Weekly Updates post as well as my Monthly Recap post and a basic review post. I just saved them in an Excel spreadsheet on different tabs because I think that will work best for me.

    Thank you for this post! I have been trying to figure out a way to do a template for some of my posts and for some reason never thought of using Excel.

  11. I’ve just found Bloggiesta and am planning on joining you guys after I write my to do list and post it. I have been very interested in making templates as it seems that it would be a very streamlined way of doing some posts. Thanks to your advice I’ve just made one for my monthly updates!

  12. It totally sucks that you cannot find the Clone button or Duplicate Post button on WP. I wish I knew more about that sort of thing. Evernote is a great tool though. I have the HTML for each of my review posts saved on there. When I want to write a new review, rather than having to scroll through and delete previous information like I would have to do with cloning, I just copy the code and paste it in a new post. Voila!

    • It’s definitely a plug-in feature and I could add it, but I don’t know how often I’d actually use it. Most of the time I just use templates (which I like because I don’t have to erase the old content). Kind of like what you do with Evernote (except I use a plug-in). I’m hoping to really dig more into Evernote and really figure it out. :)

  13. Ali

    I don’t normally make templates for my posts, but I really love the idea. So I tried making my normal posts into templates and have tried it a few times for the scheduled posts I just did. TOTALLY love it! Thanks so much. I use Evernote to store all mine, seeing as I’m on blogger.

  14. I would waste so much time without templates! I actually copy and paste the HTML into an email draft or an actual email and email it to myself. Then I take these emailed templates and put them in a folder. I like doing it this way because wherever I am, I can access my templates as long as I can access my email. Using Dropbox would be another alternative, but email is always faster for me.

    I actually created a template for my daily updates for the read-a-thon I’m currently hosting. I hadn’t done it, but I decided to use that for this challenge and then I can just use it in the future without having to remake it each year or time I participate in a RAT.

  15. What a great idea! I have a couple of HTML codes that I copy and paste onto my blogger for certain things, such as color blocking, but I’ve never thought about copy and pasting the top part of a meme that I do weekly. This will save so much time. In fact, I gave it a try before commenting here and it worked beautifully! Thanks!
    I’m not doing the Bloggiesta this time around. I just don’t have enough time this weekend, but I still wanted to check out some of the challenges! (who knows, I might jump in at the last minute and do some stuff) Thanks again!

  16. I have one post series that uses a logo in it (Friday Night Videos on http://nhbookcenter.blogspot.com and I created a draft post with the html bits that I repeat each time. I’m going to try using that as a template when I create each month’s post. When I brainstormed my posts I realized I have very few that lend themselves to templates. Many follow a similar format, but the image and all the text is different every time, so a template really doesn’t do much for me. Thanks for inspiring me to think this through!

  17. Hi Trish! I had a few templates in Windows Live Writer. I used Dynamic Templates plugin. After I downloaded Windows 10, I lost all my data. Today I set it up again. Plus I added a template to Evernote, just in case I lose everything again. I plan on working on creating more templates today. Thanks for the reminder!

  18. I have series and I usually just copy the last one and then replace everything. For this challenge, I copied the last one, then removed all the copy and images and just put notes in about where to insert different pieces of content. I set it up as a new draft post and set the date for next year so it will always appear at the top of my list. That will make things much easier! Thanks for the challenge!

  19. I installed the WP plug-in and created a Weekend Cooking template. I used it to do my post yesterday (on pesto)! I was hoping the template would save the categories and tags, too, but I guess it doesn’t…. Still, I think it’s going to be a very nice timesaver, and I’m so glad to know how to do it! Thank you for this challenge!

  20. I’d never even thought to do this! I added a template for my weekly wrap-ups and TBR Thursday into Evernote. Great mini-challenge.

  21. You literally read my mind!! I was looking for this kind of plugin last night. Thank you for the recommendations! Thanks for sharing this with us for the #Bloggiesta event.

    • Yay! Glad you found it useful. I LOVE being able to quickly pull up my favorite templates instead of having to start from scratch each post.