Introduction: How to Update Your Blog When You Don't Have Time to Write
SUMMARY: A simple – and FREE -- way to update your Wordpress blog, Twitter timeline, and Facebook page using a social bookmarking service like Delicious or Diigo.
Many personal and company blogs fail not only because it’s hard to find something to write about, but it’s also difficult to find the time and the people to keep it up-to-date. Yet for some reason it’s easy for us to find time to share content with friends, family, coworkers, and even clients by emailing them links to interesting articles, videos, and games or even posting on Twitter or Facebook.
If you look at the blog example below, you’ll notice on the left, there are posts where we found the time and the energy to write. But in the center column, titled “Seeds of Inspiration,” you’ll see a bunch of short posts, which are essentially links to stuff we found interesting elsewhere on the web. If you click one of the links it will take you to that site.
For a company, this is a great way to show how you and your coworkers think. It shows what you enjoy and appreciate. And it keeps the content on your blog fresh, which Google likey. Journalist and fellow blogger, Jeff Jarvis, said, “Write what you know best, and link to the rest.” So I’m going to show you how to link to the rest by syndicating interesting content across the web using using a social bookmarking service like Delicious or Diigo.
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Step 1: Grab Your Feed
I use Delicious, but you can use whatever social bookmarking site you like, as long as they provide RSS feeds for the stuff you bookmark. The reason you need an RSS feed is because it is the secret sauce to updating your blog, Twitter account, and Facebook page.
Let’s look at my Delicious account. On the right hand side you can see the public and private RSS feeds for my bookmarks. But I don’t want to share EVERYTHING on our blog, this is MY personal Delicious account.
Again, if you look at my Delicious page you’ll notice that a lot of my bookmarks are tagged with ‘cd’. I do this because THESE are links I want to share with the blog audience. And on Delicious, every tag ALSO has an RSS feed. If you add a slash and the tag, ‘cd’, to my RSS feed, you get the feed for everything I’ve tagged for the blog. You can add whatever tag you want to your posts to differentiate them from your personal bookmarks.
Step 2: Syndicate It
Now to publish this feed to your Twitter or Facebook account, we need a syndication service. I use dlvr.it, but twitterfeed provides much of the same functionality.
Simply create a new Route, add your Delicious RSS feed as a Source and connect it to your Twitter account and Facebook pages as destinations.
The nice thing about dlvr.it is that it allows you to schedule the days and times your feed items post. That way you don’t overwhelm your followers with tons of posts. Dlvr.it also tracks how many clicks you get on each service.
To publish our feeds to our Wordpress blog, we use Charles Johnson’s FeedWordPress plugin to syndicate (again, just enter your Delicious RSS feed and select the keyword(s) and category(ies) you want news feed items to post to) and Justin Tadlock’s Query Posts widget to show these specific posts in the sidebar.
Step 3: Relax
And that’s pretty much it. Now you have bite-sized fresh content coming into your blog and social media accounts for doing what you normally do when procrastinating writing that next long blog post – surfing the web.