I have been blogging sense March of 2016 and easily my favorite thing about it is all of the wonderful people I have met along the way. Early on I connected with Jon Westenberg and Grainne Logue. These two people have been so helpful and encouraging that I can only hope to be half as approachable and kind when someone asks for my time, patience, and advice.
Enter George Dreemer. George posted his first blog recently on Medium and upon reading it I felt kind of down on myself. Here this guy is one article in and it is so much more interesting than anything I’ve been able to produce. After reading and recommending his piece I start following him both on Medium and on Twitter. On twitter I find a couple of links to his personal site and his business. Inspired by his hustle and jealous of his ambition I’m about to message him when he follows me back.
Fully prepared to risk scaring him off by bombarding him with questions I come to find that he has inquiries of his own. He asks me about Medium, how to navigate it, and how to get views on his articles. The truth is I don’t really know the answers to that myself. What I do know is how to use apps and systems to work for me. I start to tell George about If This Then That or IfTTT for short, and some useful ways to make it work for you as a blogger. Rather than blowing his inbox all to Hell I figured I’d make a post about it here. So to George and anyone else making connections through trial and error: Here are some ways you can automate your blogging routines.
For the uninitiated IfTTT is an automation app available on iOS and Android that allows you to set up recipes that take the monotony out of frivolous tasks and digital upkeep.
Before we get into what I think everyone should be doing with IfTTT let me emphasize a type of recipe I do not recommend.
Any recipe that says ’IF’ a blog is published on X site ‘THEN’ automatically share it to site Y. The reason I discourage this is that the recipe doesn’t allow you to customize the social post in any way. Doing this will make your twitter look like a spam bot for sharing your work and there you’ll be looking like you have the personality of a potato.
Recipes I recommend everyone give a shot are as follows:
1.’IF’ I add a YouTube video to my watch later queue ’THEN’ save that video to Pocket.
This type of recipe is good for gathering research. Pocket is good for gathering research materials on its own but this recipe eliminates a step by keeping your videos and your articles all in one place.
Bonus: ‘IF’ I tag something in pocket #readlatter ‘THEN’ add it to Todoist. I check this task off before bed.
2.’IF’ I tag something in pocket #<notebook> ‘THEN’ save it to a particular notebook in Evernote.
This essentially takes anything in pocket that I’ve saved for general research and graduates it to useful research and organizes it by project.
3.’IF’ I post something on a blogging platform (currently I have the recipe set to work with WordPress but I post to both sites. If you want to know my feelings on WordPress Vs. Medium you can read that here) ’THEN’ save that post in Google Drive. Dropbox is also an option.
The purpose of this recipe is simply to save all of my posts for when I build portfolios of my work in the future. Also incase all of my writing vanishes into the void of 0’s and 1’s that is the internet.
4.’IF’ I recommend an article on Medium ‘THEN’ tweet that article.
This is my newest recipe, the one I shared with George initially , and the one I find the most valuable. By simply sharing every story I recommend on Medium this recipe does two things for me. It helps me connect with people that I think are truly great writers I believe I can learn from. It also keeps me in check and reminds me to only recommend stories that I think are worth reading instead of recommending just to recommend.
So if you like this or any other article on Medium and want to connect with the authors-download IfTTT, set up these recipes and click that little green heart. (little green heart not applicable to WordPress)