Blog Automation – Getting your blog to update your Facebook status


As I’ve been experimenting with WordPress and some new services to get my blog out into the interweb I think I’ve been relatively successful with my current method so I thought I’d share it just in case anyone wants to give this a try.  Here is my current set up but depending on who the blog is supposed to reach, some of these services won’t be required or it just might become popular enough on its own that this won’t be needed.  Anyway, here we go!

Services:

First off there are a number of free services that will be needed to make this happen and in order to select the services you need a goal is required.  My ultimate goal was to get my blog to update my Facebook status without me having to do it manually by blogging then going to Facebook and adding a link.  After doing some research into the problem I was able to come up with a solution that is working really well.  First off I’ll list the services I have to make all this happen and all of them are free.

  1. WordPress – Blog
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. Twitterfeed
  5. FeedBurner – Optional

OK, first things first, you need to sign up for all these services and I’ll say what service does what.  Most of them should be familiar already such as Facebook and Twitter but Twitterfeed and FeedBurner might be a little new.

WordPress – Pretty simple, this is where all the blog posts go.  What is blogged about doesn’t really matter.  I post things about technology for the most part and things that occur in my life.  I have been writing in my blog since 2005 give or take about various topics.  It started as a news page for my website but now its what I use most to write about things that interest me or that I think others might want to read.  It also helps to keep my writing skills sharp.

Facebook – Ahh the huge social network that everyone is on.  Pretty easy as well, this is where most of your friends, family, co-workers, ex’s, pretty much everyone you know is on this thing and is probably on your friend list too.  The big thing with Facebook for me is the status updates since this is where all your blog posts are eventually going to end up complete with a web link to the post.

Twitter – Another social like network that limits your updates to 140 characters.  This updates people on what you’re doing but unlike Facebook, the entire planet can see it and not just your friends like in Facebook.  This is the intermediate area where your blog is going to be published.  I’ll explain that later.

Twitterfeed – This is the service that makes everything possible and helps the snowball that is your blog post to pick up a ton of speed.  As the name implies this integrates with Twitter and your blog.  This is kind of a set it and forget it service but its extremely useful.  It will generate a tiny url for the blog post so it fits in a tweet to Twitter.

FeedBurner – This service is optional.  It gathers statistics about your RSS feed for your blog to let you know who’s viewing your blog.  Pretty nifty if you’re concerned with stats up the wazoo.

Now that you know what everything kind of does, its time to bring the web together and get stuff posted.

The first thing that needs to be done is to get Twitter to update your Facebook status.  There is an app in Facebook that will link the two accounts together so that whenever you tweet, it reflects that straight away in Facebook as a status update.  This is very useful since I can tweet using a text message from my phone without going to the web.  I would test this out a few times just to make sure its working correctly.  Facebook can still be updated manually but this won’t be reflected in Twitter.  Just keep in mind that once enabled, whatever you do on Twitter is done in Facebook.

The second thing that needs to be done is to setup Twitterfeed.  Twitterfeed is a service that takes RSS feeds and sends them as tweets to Twitter.  All blogs come with some form of RSS address and this address is what goes into Twitterfeed.  Twitterfeed can look for new posts every 30 minutes or so for the latest post and tweet it.  At the same time, Twitterfeed adds a url link so that people can go to the post.

For those that love statistics, FeedBurner is the way to go.  It shows in a report format who is reading your blog, how many hits it gets a day, who is subscribing to it, etc.  All that needs to be done is to put the RSS link from the blog to FeedBurner and then it will start tracking stats.  I think the stats that WordPress gives you is plenty but this is for those that want a bit more.

Pretty much thats it!  For those of you who need to know the process flow it goes like this:

  1. Blog post -> Twitterfeed
  2. Twitterfeed -> Twitter
  3. Twitter -> Facebook

And that is how all my blog posts find its way on to Facebook.  I’ve seen a big jump in readership but I think it also depends on what I happen to blog about.  Thats it for now.  More inspiration will come after the weekend is done.

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