A while ago I wrote a post about how I still am using a feed reader to keep updated on the blogs I am most interested in.
To be honest, there are a lot of people who don’t really understand feeds—or what they do. Or the power behind them. Two things often overlooked are category and author feeds.
To illustrate my point, let’s look at a WordPress blog. The blog may have several categories. It might be a news blog, or it might be WordPress-centric like ours. In any case, most blogs organize the content by categories.
On the other side of the coin, many blogs have several authors. They might have regular contributors, such as an author with an opinion column or perhaps a blogger who writes humorous content. And every time you visit that blog, you eagerly seek out the latest post.
And if you use a feed reader, or subscribe to feeds, you can get the post that you are interested in.
The Category Feed
Let’s say you come to our site and find certain posts that interest you. And there is something that you want to make sure you don’t miss. Maybe it’s our posts on eCommerce. So you click on the eCommerce category and get the URL for that category.
Now all you have to do is add “feed” to the end.
When you add that to your reader, you are good to go.
The Author Feed
The same thing goes for your author feed. For example, as a contributor over on the GoDaddy blog, I don’t know when my posts are going to be published and it’s a pain to always be going to the site to check.
I might want to set up a feed specifically for my guest posts. Since I go into my reader every morning to see what’s new, I can catch those at the same time.
So my feed is similar to the category URL and I just add feed to the end.
When I add this to my reader, Feedly, those are the only ones that will come through from the GoDaddy blog.
Sharing Your Contributed Posts
Let’s take the author feed one step further. As a contributor to another blog, you might want to regularly share those posts, but find it a pain to have go there and copy the link before you share.
A bit ago, I wrote a post on Social Web Suite, a social sharing plugin for your WordPress site. If you are someone who is looking to schedule and share your content but would also like to share your posts from other sites, well, this is exactly what SMW will do for you.
As you can see below, I already have it set up.
To set up a feed, you simply take the feed URL as I have shown you previously, and add it here, with a title and category, if you so choose.
Now if I click on the category my posts, I find the feed for my GoDaddy posts.
By clicking on it, I can see all my posts I have written. Under each post, there is the option to View More, Visit link or Share. The View More was toggled in the first post. And of course, by clicking Visit link, I will be taken to the original post.
If I click on share, I get these options for what I would like to share via the use of tags.
If I select TITLE + URL, I will get this pasted into the message composer at the top of the page. Now I can edit it further, add an image and schedule it or share it immediately. No more hunting it down on the site.
Setting the Feed to Automation
What I’d really would like to do is set an auto-share that will just go through my articles from GoDaddy and share them to the world. Well, never fear. That can be done just a easily.
In Social Web Suites, all I need to do is set a schedule share. I can do this in the quick setup on the Queue page or in my social account schedule. For this example, let’s do the first.
At the top of my Queue page, I have the option to create a New Automated Schedule.
If I click on this I can do a few things. I choose my social account, add a day and time of the week I want it to auto-share, choose RSS feeds as source, and My GoDaddy posts. I save and I am in business. And if there were several different blogs I contributed to, I could save them all in a feed category and choose the category instead. Now I can be certain my guest posts will be shared and anytime I do a new one, it will be shared and added to the list.
No matter how you use them, there may come a time you want to narrow down the focus and updates you get from a blog. Again, if you are interested in learning more about Social Web Suites, check out our post.