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How to Boost Your Personal Brand with RSS

Posted: 2017-02-17 10:19:16

"Note: This post stands alone, but is also the continuation of A How-To on Personal Branding: It ain't Bullshit

RSS is about syndication. That's a one-way street.

Not many people take the time to really look at RSS.

It isn't sexy.

It's Social Media's Ugly Older Sister.

Sometimes the ugly sister is just a late bloomer.

Gary Sharpe, a.k.a. The Digital Sherpa wrote a post about RSS a while back. That got me to thinking about RSS. Until that post, I too saw RSS as the Ugly Sister, boring, unattractive, blah.

RSS was old news, old tech. It was dull. It didn't really do much of anything. It just pushed stuff. People needed a feed reader to read it. No feed reader, no engagement.

Why bother? Too many ifs and buts.

Does that sound familiar?

I was wrong.

If those few sentences sounded familiar to you, you're wrong too.

Gary made me see the light. Gary has the nasty habit of making me think.

Darn him!

I vowed to add RSS functionality to the next revision of

Then I helped Lynda Spiegel get set up on myTweetPack. I had to pull in her LinkedIn and Wall Street Journal articles.

That wasn't fun. It took a lot of time. I started regretting my offer to help. My desire to convert a skeptic overrode my time constraints. (Lynda just signed up for a two-year term, so I guess the skeptic was converted)

I wished RSS capability was already here. Why should I spend time doing something a server can do in seconds? (Note: Our current server takes about 0.22 seconds to pull in 50 posts from a single feed. It took me about an hour to find and pull in some 20 of Lynda's posts.)

I decided to speed up the RSS dev schedule.

Note: I mention RSS because it's the more common of two feed flavors. When I say, "RSS," I really mean, "RSS or ATOM." They do the same thing in slightly different ways. To the general public, they do the same thing so they are the same thing. If it quacks like a duck, and waddles like a duck . . .

RSS is about syndication. It is about pushing stuff. It's really really good at pushing stuff.

Here's the paradox, the Aha-moment Gary first led me to.

RSS doesn't really push at all. Subscribers pull.

That's an important distinction. It's a very important distinction. That distinction opens up many doors and uses.

RSS is not about pushing stuff.

RSS is about making stuff available for people to pull in. Feed readers poll a feed and pull in any new stuff they find.

It's all about your stuff. (apologies to George Carlin)

If you know where to look and what to look for, you can pull in stuff too. We know where to look and what to look for.

More on that a little lower down.

You can benefit even if you aren't a myTweetPack member

You can use IFTTT or Zappier to simulate some of what we do. You won't be able to mine your blog, LinkedIn, Medium, beBee, or Big Media articles. It won't be easy. It will require some discipline. Still, you will be able to automate the promotion of your blog posts.

I'll add links to IFTTT applets lower down.

A week or so ago, we implemented RSS/ATOM feed-reading capability to Anyone with a WordPress blog or site, a Blogger blog, or even a corporate feed, can automatically load their posts. They can automatically schedule a bunch of promotional tweets from them.

They do that simply by writing the post like they usually do. That's it!

RSS makes them available. does the heavy lifting.

We didn't stop there.

We added more abilities

First, we added the ability to automatically store and promote LinkedIn articles. We limit it to the 50 most recent posts. The 10 most recent new posts get auto-tweeted (or not, your choice). That means you can load up a good inventory of posts on the first pass and schedule tweets for the most recent ten. We poll very hour, so your inventory updates every hour too.

Again, all you need to do is just write the post like you usually do.

That still wasn't enough.

We added the same functionality for beBee, Medium, ecommerce platforms. If you contribute to Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, the Huff Post, or The Goodmen Project, you can automate their promotion.

You write. We push it.

What does this mean to you?

It means you don't need to duplicate your efforts. One-and-Done is the end goal.

Candice Galek automatically loaded 247 posts from five ATOM feeds. Most are announcements for new products that link back to her e-commerce site. Bikini Luxe just did what they always do. They posted to their website, nothing more.

Now they have nearly 1750 tweets scheduled to back them up. You'll have to ask Candice how that affected impressions and sales. Probably not very much yet. It just started.

Franci Hoffman linked her Brew & Spew blog. As she writes posts, the system pulls them in and tweets them out. Franci doesn't need to do anything other than just writing the posts.

Jared Wiese pushed the envelope a little further in a completely different way. That's what you'd expect from a Business Analyst.

He connected his LinkedIn posts to his @theABCba Twitter handle. That account is more in tune with his Business Analyst practice.

Then, he connected his beBee posts to his @JaredWiese handle. That's more his Personal Brand account.

This is the master stroke. . . Jared then connected the two accounts together so that they retweet each other. Each supports the other's RSS feed.

When Jared writes a beBee post, it automatically tweets from @JaredWiese and automatically retweets from @theABCba. LinkedIn posts go the opposite route.

Jared also supports many other writers with a randomized selection of retweets to their tweets. That's part of our Pack philosophy. We share our reach with those we want to share with.

Pack members stick together. Pack members help each other out. Pack members give newbies a leg up.

I learned that trick from beBee's CEO, Javier Camara.

Jared wanted to go a little further. He added links to Franci Hoffmann's Brew & Spew blog's RSS, and to myTweetPack's RSS. If they post anything new, myTweetPack will pull it in, and Jared will retweet in support.

This is about as close to auto-pilot as social media can get. It's a content curator's dream.

No matter which side of the Curation vs, Creation debate you favor, there's no doubt that Curation is a powerful part of any Content Marketing program.

Make no mistake. Even if you just "blog for fun" you are Content Marketing. If you don't market a product or service you market yourself.

That's just as important if not more so.

Here are the IFTTT links I promised you

IFTTT stands for If-This-Then-That. The "If" is the trigger and the "That" is the action. You'll need the link to your WordPress blog's feed. In a browser window, navigate to your blog. In the address panel, add /feed/ to link and hit enter. A bunch of text should pop out.

That's your feed. That's its link.

You'll also need to edit the applet. This one will tweet to my Twitter account whenever there's a new myTweetPack blog post. You can't tweet to my account. Change it to yours.

This next one will post an update to LinkedIn when it finds a tweet with #in. Change my account for yours.

Ditto for Facebook Pages using #fbp:

Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest work the same way. I use #fb, #tum, #pin respectively.

This one will tweet, "How to get your Life back. . . Yes, Really!" every day at 12:00. Edit the applet to use your text and post URL. You'll need a different applet for each instance you want to tweet. So, if you want to tweet at 8:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM, you'll need 4 applets. You'll also need to remind yourself to stop tweeting after a while.

Paste new text and URL on every new post.

While you're at it mix in some with #in to trigger the LinkedIn update. Use #fbp in some to update your FaceBook page, #fb for Facebook, #tum for Tumblr, and #pin for Pinterest.

No, using IFTTT isn't painless.

If IFTTT made it painless, I would never have created Even so, I always suggest members create the auto cross-post applets. That's a one and done thing.


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