Two easy ways to automate blog content

by Jason Preston on April 16, 2008

I know that blogging can often take more time than you expect. I sat down to write this post half an hour ago, and I’m just now starting to type. Who knows what time it will be when I’m actually done writing it.

Unfortunately, successful blogging often requires a commitment to consistency that can seem daunting. Fear not – there are strategies for rolling activities that you do on a daily basis into good, useful blog posts with a minimum of effort.

Del.icio.us

If you use del.cio.us to tag interesting posts or pages on the ‘net, you can also use it to automatically generate a digest post at the end of each day.

You can find instructions on how to set up your blog by plugging your username into the following URL:

https://secure.del.icio.us/settings/USERNAME/blogging/posting

As long as you bookmark at least one item with del.icio.us each day, you’re guaranteed to have a post on your blog. Even better, if you’re bookmarking interesting things (and why wouldn’t you be?), you’ll be giving your readers a great set of recommendations.

Twitter

If you’re not on Twitter, you should be. It’s the new Facebook.

Twitter’s API is awesome, flexible, and completely malleable. It also gave birth to Twitter Tools, which is an awesome plugin for anyone using WordPress (and why wouldn’t you be?) that lets you import a digest of the day’s tweets.

So unless you go a day without tweeting OR tagging anything in del.icio.us, that makes two posts a day without even opening your posting window.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Paul Chaney 04.17.08 at 7:31 am

Thanks, Jason. I’ve been wanting to add link posts to my blog, but have been reluctant due to the extra work required. If I can make this work for my Typepad blog, it will be sweet.

2 Des Walsh 04.19.08 at 12:32 am

Thanks Jason
I recall asking someone how to do that del.icio.us digest thing and getting an “oh, that’s easy” reply but being none the wiser, so it’s been on my very long list of “one day I must ask someone who will actually explain X to me in a way I can understand”. For this item at least the day has arrived. One thing I do find a turnoff though is to see in my feed reader that a particulary blog’s posts are just a string of del.icio.us digests.
Not so sure about Twitter. I have subscribed to one of those tweet aggregators, but there are a lot of tweets I see in any given day that I feel will be at best a distraction on my blog and at worst could lead a reader to wonder what I’d been smoking.

3   Get Those del.icio.us Digests on Your Blog - Des Walsh dot Com 04.20.08 at 1:43 pm

[...] post that caught my eye was titled Two easy ways to automate your blog content. The two ways are automating the posting [...]

4 Jason Preston 04.21.08 at 12:27 pm

@Paul & @Des – you’re welcome.

It’s true that with both these services, you have to be careful to use them as a seasoning, not a full course. You can turn readers off by filling your RSS feed with regurgitated links (unless, of course, it’s a linkblog).

;)

5 Carolyn Bahm 06.06.08 at 1:38 pm

What’s your Twitter ID? I wanted to follow you but couldn’t find it easily on your site. I’m cbahm — if you’ll send me a reply there I’ll follow. :o )

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