My 6 Favorite Zapier Zaps for Writers

Austin L. Church
December 17, 2016
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Writers aren’t known for their efficiency. (Who wants to be efficient when you're playing in a sandbox?) Some writers gain a reputation for being prolific, but even that can be taken as a backhand compliment. (I’m looking at you, Dickens.)So why would a guy like me upset the applecart by introducing a subject like efficiency?Because I want to spend more time writing and building my writing career, and Zapier zaps for writers help me do just that. I'll explain.

What is Zapier?

Zapier is an automation tool that allows users to link apps together. With Zapier you can automate workflow, send data from Point A to Point B and make data-driven decisions, and send alerts without having to learn the individual processes for each app. Zapier provides integrations with thousands of different apps, including Slack, Gmail, Google Calendar - anything you might need in your day-to-day work life.

What Is Zapier Good For?

Since Zapier connects apps together, it allows you to automate workflows so you can spend less time on repetitive tasks and more time on what's important. Other benefits include increased productivity, reduced frustration, the ability to use other apps at their full potential, and being able to focus on more projects simultaneously. And if I’m honest, Zapier helps me do things that I’d otherwise just forget about. For example, I might want to pass new emails subscribers from ConvertKit to a GSheet. Less time spent on tedious data entry and copying and pasting means more time for writing and billable client work.

1. Maximize writing time.

For starters, I’ve got three businesses, three children, one wife, and one Honda Odyssey minivan. Writing time comes at a premium these days.When I have a precious block of time, I want to maximize it.

2. Maximize promotion.

Secondly, we’re not just writers anymore. We’re content creators and content marketers.A telling conversation with Nathan Barry of ConvertKit back in June convinced me that bloggers need to spend at least as much time on promotion as production. Just creating good content isn’t enough. Skill, a strong voice, style, narrative pacing—these are no longer enough.If you build it, they will not come. You have to let them know you have built it.[caption id="attachment_1959" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]

zapier for writers

Photo Credit: Jake Gard via Unsplash[/caption]That being said, I don’t particularly enjoy promoting my work. I enjoy tinkering with words, stringing them together like so many pearls on a necklace, and the satisfying click as the last one slides into place and this thing, this artifact, that didn’t exist before me, and couldn’t exist without me, arrives in the world and takes on a life apart from me.The process of creation I find satisfying at the soul level, and I would like to lose myself in the flow of writing more, not less. Promotion seems like a big distraction. Snapchat? Sourcing free, license-free, royalty-free, commercial usage images for my blog posts? Yawn. Not my favorite.But an ostrich-with-your-head-in-the-sand approach doesn't a writing career make.You cannot ignore the tectonic changes that the Internet, and even more recently, mobile technologies, smart devices, and interfaces, have introduced to our craft.How people engage with writing—er, written content—is changing, and alas, we writers must evolve or go the way of the dodo. (You're loving these bird analogies, aren't you?)So as to not deny myself the pleasure of a page and words while also keeping the promotion fires burning, so to speak, I implemented a number of Zapier zaps for writers.

zaps for writers

The more efficiency I can gain in my writing and promotion workflows, the more time I can spend on my first love, the writing itself.

How many integrations does Zapier have?

As of February 2021, Zapier allows integrations for more than 3,000 apps. But who has the time to use all of them? I’ll share six that have helped me.

My Six Favorite Zapier Zaps for Writers

Here are my six favorite zaps in the approximate order in which they enter my workflow:

1) Evernote >WordPress

I generally use Ulysses to compose first drafts. Ulysses allows me to push drafts formatted with markup directly from Ulysses to WordPress in a few clicks.Those of you not right to climb aboard the Ulysses train can try my other Zapier-powered workflow.Once you are ready to load up the draft in WordPress, hop over to Evernote. I have a Working Drafts notebook in Evernote where I paste plain text posts from Ulysses. After I do some light formatting in Evernote, I move the draft from the Working Drafts notebook to the Final Drafts notebook.

Zappier for Writers

Now for the zap: When Zapier sweeps the Final Drafts notebook and detects a new Note (that is, a new blog post draft), it auto-creates a new draft in WordPress for me.

  • Time Saved: 5-10 minutes
  • Here's the Zap itself:

2) WordPress > Trello.

When Zapier sweeps WordPress and detects a new draft, it auto-creates a new card in Trello. It assigns the card to my executive assistant who then receives a notification.She works remotely, and I have already created screencapture tutorials using Screenflow to show her exactly how I want her to format posts, both visibly for readers and for SEO.Once she finishes formatting the post, sourcing images for it, and double-checking all of the details, she sends me on message on the original Trello card, saying that the blog post is ready for my final review.I do one final pass for quality control and publish the post.

  • Time Saved: 30-60 minutes
  • Here's the Zap itself:

3) RSS > Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter

When Zapier sweeps the RSS feed and detects a new published post, it auto-posts the post’s title and url on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

  • Time Saved: 5 minutes
  • Here's the Zap itself:

4) RSS > Trello (for pulling social content)

When Zapier detects the new published post, a separate zap creates a new card in Trello and assigns it to my executive assistant.She knows to then take the URL and shorten it using She reads the post and pulls out the best quotes, which she then pastes into a Google Doc.When these social updates are ready for my review, she notifies me through Trello.I review the social updates, edit them as needed, and then tell her that they are ready. She then uses Bulk Buffer to upload and schedule them on Buffer.Note : I typically publish new posts on Sunday or Monday, and then my social updates the rest of the week tie back into that post while also driving traffic to it.

  • Time Saved: 10 minutes
  • Here's the Zap itself:

5) RSS > Google Sheets

When Zapier sweeps the RSS feed and detects a new published post, the zap auto-creates a new entry in a Google Sheets that serves as my content archive.Cross-linking has a number of SEO benefits, and it makes your readers aware of your other relevant posts. But manually digging back through your old posts to find that one you reference in a new post is tedious and time-consuming.An up-to-date content archive enables you to locate old posts and their urls quickly so that you can reap the full benefits of cross-linking.

  • Time Saved: 2 minutes
  • Here's the Zap itself:

6) RSS > Trello (any other task related to promotion)

A number of other zaps serve the simple function of reminding me or my executive assistant to perform tasks. Here are noteworthy examples:

  • Cross-post new published posts on I copy and paste a call-to-action at the end of each Medium story and add subscribers to my email list this way.
  • Submit the post title and url to Hacker News.
  • Pin post on Pinterest. (Unfortunately, I haven’t yet figured out how to automate Pinterest pinning by pulling the featured image from the RSS feed.)
  • Tweet at any thought leaders, authors, bloggers, or other influencers mentioned in the post. Alternately, email anyone who contributed to the post or mentioned in it.
  • Send out e-newsletter with a summary paragraph and link to the full post.

Time Saved: It varies.Caveat : I use the plugin for WordPress. The plugin auto-creates drafts in my Medium dashboard as soon as I publish posts in WordPress. This saves a lot of editing and formatting time when I cross-post to Medium.

In Closing

I obviously delegate tasks to an executive assistant. But even if you don’t have an assistant, using the zaps for writers outlined above can help you automate some promotion-related tasks or simply remind you to follow through with others.Half the battle in promotion is following through with what you already know to do. Zapier can’t write for you, but it can save you an hour or more per post by cutting down on administrative tasks and freeing you up to focus on the ones you most enjoy.There you have it, folks.If you found value in this blog post, please sign up for my weekly newsletter. I’ll send helpful freelancing tips your way.