Blogging is incredibly effective, but it’s quite likely one of the parts of your business or life you put the most time or energy into. Every post takes time to research, cite, write, format, and promote. You don’t want to be making things more difficult for yourself than they already are because you have so many tools at your disposal.
Today we are hearing from Benjamin Brandall a content marketer from Process Street. He’ll be showing you some ways and tools you can automate tasks you might already be doing manually.
My hope is that this will show you interesting new ways of doing things and save you time.
In this post I’ll explain how to:
- Save favorite tweets with links to Pocket to read later
- Send tagged Evernote notes to different apps
- Add new RSS feed items from various blogs to Buffer
- Use Quuu to automatically get suggestions of relevant content to share
- Use an autoresponder to send a welcome email to new subscribers
With these tips you can more easily create a reading list, assign tasks to your team, share automatically on social media, and more.
Let’s get into it.
Save favorite tweets with links to Pocket to read later
If you are a Twitter user, it can turn into one of two things: a waste of time, or a source of inspiration.
I used to see articles on Twitter during my breaks that I’d open, but it wouldn’t be the right time to read them so they’d end up sitting around and then getting x’d off at the end of the day. Either that, or I’d get sucked into the rabbit hole of reading instead of working. Neither method is ideal!
Insert first problem solver, I set up a quick automation with a platform called IFTTT (it stands for ‘if this, then that’). The automation’s rules were: if I favorite a tweet with a link on Twitter, then save it to my Pocket account.
Pocket is a website, mobile app and desktop app that saves articles for you to read later. You can even read them offline while on the go, formatted in an easily readable way.
Now when I’m browsing Twitter on a break, I treat it as an opportunity to add to my reading list that I process when I’m ready to, not when I’m vulnerable to distractions. And I’ve also found that having a big reading list means I get more content ideas in turn.
Like this idea? Set the automation up here.
Send tagged Evernote notes to different apps
On the surface, Evernote seems like a generic note app. Just like Apple notes, or even Word. Digging deeper, you’ll find you can use it as a ‘control panel’ for a lot of your laborious data entry tasks.
Trello lets you create boards (like boards in offices packed with sticky notes) and then add tasks to those boards. On the content team, we each have our own board along with other shared boards for projects like blog articles and content promotion.
Instead of going to the correct board when I have a task for someone specific or an idea to post on the blog articles board, I can use an automation that will send the text from Evernote to the right board based on the tag I give the note!
For example, if I wanted to add the same task to my board and my colleague’s board, I’d write a note with the task title and any additional info, then tag it ‘trello-ben’ and ‘trello-adam’ to get it to automatically send to Trello.
You can use this automation, too. Just go here.
Add new RSS feed items from various blogs to Buffer
For example, if I wanted to drip out a series of tweets over the course of 10 days, I could log into Twitter every day and type them out, or I could just queue them up in Buffer and have them automatically post over time, one per day.
And that’s a pretty basic use case. In my opinion, the most useful thing you can do is integrate Buffer with your RSS feed, or the RSS feed of other blogs you want to share content from. It’s important, as an industry influencer, to share a range of quality, trustworthy content. So why not set that on autopilot?
To do this, use a similar platform to IFTTT called Zapier.
You can create zaps using this tool, check out a what you’ll see below.
Click ‘use this zap’, then paste in your RSS feed URL (or the RSS feed URL of another blog you trust). Connect your Buffer account, and it will automatically fill with posts for you. Genius right?
Use Quuu to automatically get suggestions of relevant content to share
If the last automation sounded good to you, here’s another interesting one along the same lines. What about hand-curated content for your social media profiles according to your specific interests? By connecting Quuu to your Buffer (or HubSpot) account, you can get automatic suggestions for content that your audience will love.
And, it’s free.
Use an autoresponder to send a welcome email to new subscribers
Welcome emails are perfect for making a positive, impactful first impression on your new readers. Without them, your readers are jumping in at whatever email you happen to send next, and the experience can vary from time to time.
Take the chance to introduce yourself, show off your best content, and, if you’re selling something, you can offer a discount. As Preneur says, there was a time before autoresponders where you’d have to manually craft a welcome email for each new subscriber. What a nightmare that’d be if it were still true!
You can take it further than just one email, too. At Process Street, we send out a 10 email campaign to new subscribers including our process management ebooks, our best blog post collections, and some offers for paid Process Street plans.
The cheapest autoresponder is Mailchimp, which includes autoresponder features and 2,000 subscribers for free. Other alternatives include Active Campaign ($9/month, after an awesome free trail – this one’s Amanda’s affiliate link, she loves and uses it herself) and GetResponse ($15/month).
I hope these tips have helped you streamline your business and save time on with your marketing, blogging and social media!