It’s no secret: blogging is a time-consuming activity that requires a lot of planning & self-control… And starting to blog regularly made me realize that.
Wanting to save time, I’ve found several ways to automate blogging to a reasonable extent. WordPress is my CMS by choice and the myriad of available plugins ,coupled with the social automation techniques I use can save you a lot of your precious time.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about:
- Post scheduling
- Social media promotion
- Email promotion
- Automated content repurposing
WordPress post scheduling
The moment at which your blog post is scheduled will impact a lot its automated promotion as we’ll see later. Hopefully, WordPress has a built-in schedule function. Located near the “Publish” area, it will allow you to either publish immediately (default) or choose a date and time at which the post will be published.
If you want to go further and plan several posts at the same time, there’s a handy plugin for that, called Editorial Calendar. It will allow you to maintain a simple visual drag-and-drop editorial calendar of all your upcoming blog posts.
You are now all set to take on the habit of scheduling your posts.
Social media automatic promotion
A crucial aspect of blog posts promotion is sharing your work on social media. It may be essential, but it does not mean you have to do it every time!
WordPress’ Jetpack suite has a built-in “publicize” option in the “Publish” area that is OK but not very customizable when it comes to sharing text. I find IFTTT to be much better for this and personally prefer to regroup all of my automations at the same place to be able to manage them more efficiently.
If you read my How To Automate your Social Media blog piece or know about IFTTT, you can actually add your WordPress blog as a Channel on IFTTT. Please note that it will work as well with an RSS “feed”. You will be able to create a dynamic text based on the blog post title. It would be wise to do it for all your social media accounts:
- From WordPress/RSS to Buffer (1 social media account allowed)
- From WordPress/RSS to Facebook Profile/Page
- From WordPress/RSS to Linkedin Profile
Here is an example for my blog to Twitter:
This way, you will be able to share it automatically as soon as it’s published (date and time that you specified in the first part).
What about old posts?
I recently found a great WordPress plugin that allows you to automatically maintain a sharing queue of your “old” blog posts. It’s called Revive old post and this plugin will allow you to set:
- On which social media it will share your old blog posts (Facebook & Twitter are included in the free plan)
- Sharing frequency
- Sharing properties like text, URL, excluded posts, etc.
- And more…
It also allows you to connect bit.ly to shorten your links and make it easy for you to track clicks from your bit.ly account.
We have now taken care of automating the promotion of both your new and old WordPress blog posts.
Painless email promotion
A new blog post promotion isn’t completed without a proper email blast.
Luckily, Mailchimp offers a free RSS Campaign type that will allow you to automatically send an email to your list at a chosen time (when you instruct it to check your RSS feed). Here again, at least 30 minutes are saved from your blog post promotion time. If you’re smart, you’ll make sure to have your post scheduled before your Mailchimp RSS checks.
In Mailchimp, you will find this option when creating a “Campaign” in the section of the same name.
After some “trigger” settings aka when MailChimp will check your RSS feed and when you will allow it to shoot emails, you will have to design your email template.
As an example, here is the actual template I used for my September 9th weekly newsletter:
You may re-use and tweak it as you wish.
Automated content repurposing
If you’re like me and want to reach out to more people than your usual social media followers and subscribers, you might want to repurpose your content as much as possible.
This is also very time-consuming and can be partly automated with IFTTT (some WordPress plugins also exist). IFTTT integrates with the following channels in those ways:
- Medium: you will be able to create a post/draft in Medium from your WordPress published post.
- Tumblr: you will be able to post your exact same blog post on your Tumblr blog.
- Blogger: you will be able to post your exact same blog post on your Blogger blog.
- Weebly: you will be able to post your exact same blog post on your Weebly blog.
However, I still have not found a way to auto-publish a WordPress post as a LinkedIn post. If you have a way of doing it, please let me know as I’ would gladly use it!
A lot of time can be saved during blog post promotion given the right tools and mindset: every blogger should take advantage of it.
In this post we saw:
- How to take advantage of WordPress post scheduling;
- Ways of automatically sharing your new and old blog posts on your social media accounts;
- A ridiculously easy solution to promote new blog posts via email;
- That content repurposing can also be made easier with automation.
Any tricks I missed or any ideas? Please let me know in the comments.