Maintaining a blog with a full-time job is difficult, I won’t lie. I find it so difficult to fit in the time to take photos (and it is coming into darker evenings arrrrgh!), write content and then on top of all that, share it all. However, recently I have got into a really good routine that seems to be working and requires minimal effort. I’ve been automating my blog…
Yes, I still write all my own content and take all my own photos but when it comes to sharing it across my social channels, there are a few tricks I have up my sleeve. The following tools are something I use on a regular basis, and they really help me organise the promotion side of my blog.
Queuing Social Posts on Buffer
Many of you may already use Buffer to schedule your tweets. The main reason I use it is for the super handy shuffle button. It makes it a lot easier to schedule lots of social posts for a new blog post and then shuffle them amongst the others.
Scheduling on Twitter
To make the scheduling of tweets easier, I have to start with the blog title of the actual post. When writing the blog post I have tried to come up with catchy titles that people will want to click on. Then when it comes to scheduling I can copy and paste the title of the post, with the link underneath and a few hashtags/retweet accounts. As buffer doesn’t allow you to put the same tweet in the queue, so to mix it up I just move the hashtag order or tag a different share account.
Once I have scheduled a few tweets promoting the new blog post, I also schedule one tweet each month for the next six months. Promoting old blog posts is good practice for SEO, as it shows Google that the old posts getting traffic are still relevant.
Scheduling on Facebook
To keep my Facebook channel and to link back to the previous point about directing traffic to old blog posts, I like to fill up the queue with old blog posts. I like to write an interesting description alongside the link.
In terms of a schedule, I have my Buffer queue set up to post every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. So when I’m scheduling posts it really doesn’t take long to fill up the queue for a whole month. This means this task is something I only have to do once a month.
Scheduling on Pinterest
Possibly my favourite tool of Buffer. I schedule in pins of my own blog photos, with the links to the blog posts to be published three times a day. This gradually helps me grow my following as I can’t spend my time 24/7 on Pinterest (as much as I would like to!). It also helps me increase my blog traffic, which is something I am really keeping an eye on Google Analytics.
Every time a new blog post goes live, I schedule a pin for each photo, for each relevant board. This is fairly time consuming depending on how many photos there are in the post, but it is definitely a worthwhile task. It just means it can keep your Pinterest active while you are too busy to physically pin to it.
Setting up Applets on IFTTT
IFTTT (If this, then that), is one of those magical scheduling tools that makes life 100 times easier. It consists of a number of ‘applets’ you can use to automate processes. I have a few different ones set up that really help schedule my blog processes.
Automatically posting new blog posts to Facebook
As soon as a new blog post goes live on my blog, it is automatically posted on Facebook because of the applet set up on IFTTT. It makes it so much easier as it means I can literally just forget about doing this action manually.
Automatically posting the featured blog post image to Pinterest
Similar to posting on Facebook, I have a recipe that will automatically post a pin of my featured blog post image, with a link to the blog post. An automation that saves a lot of time!
Automatically posting Instagram images to my Twitter Page
If you wanna know how to get the actual image to appear on your twitter feed, it is through IFTTT. It sets up an applet that means you don’t have to click a link on twitter to view the image. It comes up as an actual image… very useful!
Automatically pinning Instagram posts to my Pinterest
This was another tedious task I hated doing, so I was really happy when I found out I could automate this. You can select the board that your Instagram posts go to, so you have complete control over it.
Instagram Scheduling on Later
I can be a little bit rubbish when it comes to Instagram. I am constantly forgetting to post as I am just too busy. So Later is a handy tool that I can load up 2 weeks worth of Instagram posts (for free). I can add a caption and hashtags to each post on my desktop, so this makes copying and pasting bunches of hashtags much easier.
Once it is time for the Instagram post to go live, you get a notification to your phone telling you. All you have to do is click post to Instagram and you are taken over to the app like the normal process of uploading.
The reason I find this so useful is because 1) I can schedule a whole 2 weeks worth of posts through dragging and dropping photos straight from my computer, which means I’m not struggling to find content on the spot, and 2) you can preview your grid to see what posts will look like (great if you are following a ‘theme’, however, I don’t recommend this!).
So these are the main ways I automate my blog. Yes, it does take a little time to do each one but it is so worth it. Automation helps a huge amount if like me you have a full-time job so don’t have lots of time to spend on your social channels.
Do you use any automation tools?