Recently I was interested in building a larger network of blogs that my Virtual Buzz Assistants could auto post to.
It seemed like a simple thing, but with a lot of research I found that remote submitting to a WordPress blogis tricky.
There are several reasons that auto posting is not super easy. One reason is that it is a security hole – if you made it easy to submit data to wordpress, it could be exploited to wreck someone’s blog.
Next, there are a lot of ways to do it but no standard, best way that is easy to set up. I am going to post my findings and an explanation of my solution to help those of you that are looking for information about auto posting to WordPress. Just keep in mind this is not the only way.
Why auto submit posts to WordPress?
The first thing you may be wondering is why? Well, in my case, I have paying members of the Virtual Assistant network I run. I wanted to set up some industry specific blogs and let these trained people write blog posts to these blogs to help them generate more buzz and inbound links for their clients. No, it is not the only tool and technique they have, but it is one weapon in their buzz arsinol.
Submit Posts to WordPress Via Email
The first solution I came up with was to set up a form that would then (hidden) submit an email to the blog. The blog would then pick up the email and post it.
While this technique should work, I spent several hours trying to get the wordpress plug in to work and I finally gave up. It was also going to be tricky to set the whole thing up and get it to post into the correct category. Plus, there was always a chance that spam filters could filter out some of the posts or mess them up with the parcing. Ultimately, I just stopped trying because it did not work.
Then I discovered WP-o-Matic. This plug in posts rss feeds to your blog on a regular schedule. I suppose a lot of people use it to import data from other sites, but it is a very useful tool for taking your RSS stream and posting it. It only took me a day to build an interface that stores the articles people write in a database and output it in RSS format via a secret rss link. The WP-o-matick plugin then checks the rss feed every few hours and posts new posts. I even added some things like delays on posting, by making the articles date adjustible up to one week in the future.
Once this was figured out for one blog, it was super easy to do for all future blogs, taking less than an hour to set up and configure a new blog with this capacity.
The key to auto-posting in WordPress turned out to be not posting in WordPress at all.
Other Advantages to this WordPress Strategy
There are some other advantages to this strategy. If I want to allow other people to have their blogs in our network to recieve auto submitted articles, it is simple. I simply send them instrcutions on how to set up the wp-o-matic plug in and the links to their rss. They do not have to give me access to their blog at all.
Also, because RSS is a simple stream of data, I have a lot of flexibility with it. For example, I could later put summaries up of all posts in another blog automatically, if I so chose.
The one big disadvantage I see in this auto posting strategy is that I cannot confirm that a post has happened. I could maybe scrape the site and check later, but that is more work than I want to do. So right now, you just have to check the blog later and see that the post has happened.
I know there are some non-technical people out there that will not like this article because any coding is a barrier. In your case, you may want to keep playing with the email feature to get it to work. However, if you have some basic coding skills, it is easy to add data to a database and create an RSS feed that you can then import for auto posting into WordPress. I am getting glowing feedback from the users and it has been a great tool for distributed publishing.