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My Workflow to Publish a Blog Post via Email

This is a continuation of the previous post "Wordpress to Markdown and then on to 11ty". In this post, I'm going to cover the final step of publishing the post, once I've written it.

Recap #

First, a quick recap of where we are in this whole process.

Now that I have the post content, I just need a way to trigger an update in Github whenever I write a new post.

Email to Published Blog Post Workflow #

This is the workflow that I settled on:

There are plenty of tools that should be able to do this. If I keep the 'processing' part of things simple, something like IFTTT or Zapier should be more than enough. At least, that's what I thought.

Pre-processing the Blog Post using AWS Lambda Functions #

Sometimes .... Sometimes ....

Turns out these services have pretty strict limits on how long JS functions can run. So my processing step would be quite simple and limited, not enough time to checkout code and push a commit to my Github repository. And forget about doing image processing by fetching the linked images in the blog post.

My backup option was to just go with an AWS Lamda function. I hadn't worked with Lambda before, so I used the AWS SAM CLI to generate a serverless function using one of the templates. The template.yaml looks like the following.

AWSTemplateFormatVersion: '2010-09-09'
Transform: AWS::Serverless-2016-10-31
Description: >
  Sample SAM Template for randomcoding-email

    Type: AWS::Serverless::Function
      CodeUri: .
      Handler: app.lambdaHandler
      Runtime: nodejs16.x
      MemorySize: 256
      Timeout: 60
        - x86_64
        - Statement:
            - Effect: "Allow"
                - "s3:GetObject"
              Resource: "arn:aws:s3:::my-s3-bucket-name/*"
            - Effect: Allow
                - "secretsmanager:GetSecretValue"

I then used ChatGPT to generate some basic code that does the following when a file is added to the specified S3 bucket - keep in mind that the file just contains an email body:

I haven't cleaned up my code yet, so I'll post it once that's done. But this is the gist of it. Now I just need to find a way to convert my email to a file in an S3 bucket.

This turned out to be not too difficult.

Receiving Emails using AWS Simple Email Service (SES) #

A nifty feature that SES has is the ability to create an incoming email address and set up filtering rules for inbound emails. You can read more about that here: Just make sure that the region you're using does support email receiving, this initially tripped me up before I noticed it during debugging.

Setting up is fairly straightforward:

Detailed instructions can be found here:

Now We're Cooking With Fire #

And that's pretty much it. Now whenever you email your custom domain, SES will that email body in an S3 bucket. This will in turn trigger the AWS Lambda function that's monitoring that bucket and it will push a commit to Github. Github will then notify Netlify whenever there's a new push. And finally, Netlify will redeploy your website with the latest changes.

I'll put up all the pieces in a repo with more detailed instructions someday, right now it's a bit hacky and it has information that could lead to my secret inbox being leaked. Until then, keep emailing!