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👨‍💻 4 Simple Strategies to Auto Promote Your Gatsby Blog

harrison_codes profile image Harrison Reid Originally published at daysof.dev on ・3 min read

I've recently launched a product I've been working on for while: Ippy.io - a better resume builder. It's live on Product Hunt now, so check it out here if you're interested 😀


What you’ll learn:

  • How to set up an RSS feed for your Gatsby blog
  • How to leverage your RSS feed to automate promotion of your posts

Consistently creating content is hard enough. So when I’ve finally put the finishing touches on a post, the last thing I feel like is spending time marketing and promoting it.

I’d much rather have robots do the hard work for me.

Thankfully, if you’re using Gatsby it’s really not all that hard to set up automations to promote each of your new posts while barely lifting a finger.

1. The Secret Sauce (RSS!)

RSS? Didn’t that die out a decade back? Not quite!

Setting up an RSS feed for your blog is the simplest way to enable other third party services to check for new content - which is super handy if you want to leverage such services to run some sort of automation.

If you’re building a Gatsby site, setting up a fully functional RSS feed couldn’t be easier. In fact, assuming you’re okay with all the default settings and are using markdown, it takes literally a single line of code.

We’re going to use the offical gatsby-plugin-feed plugin for this, so you’ll want to add it to your project with:

npm install --save gatsby-plugin-feed

Next you’ll want to add the plugin to your gatsby-config.js file, which should look something like this.

module.exports = {
  siteMetadata: {
    siteUrl: `https://www.your-site-url.com`,
  },
  plugins: [
    `gatsby-plugin-feed`,
    // ...Other plugins
  ],
  // ...
};

The next time you run a production build of your site, you should be able to find your RSS feed available at your-site.com/rss.xml.

If you run into any problems, or need to customise things further, the plugin is well covered in the official Gatsby docs.

2. Auto Post to Social Media

Now that you’ve got the RSS feed set up, the world is your oyster!

The simplest integration is to utilise a tool like Zapier to automatically send updates to your social accounts when you publish a new post.

Zapier actually has a pretty generous free tier. You get 100 free Zaps per month.

So, for example, you could set it up to push your newly published article to your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and if you publish an article every day (good on you!) you’ll still end up with a few Zaps left over at the end of the month.

I won’t bother with the details of configuring this because honestly Zapier makes it pretty easy.

You’ll basically just need to select RSS feed as the trigger for the Zap, enter your URL, and then follow their walkthrough process to hook it up to whichever social account you want.

3. Cross Post Content to Dev.to

Having trouble finding an audience for your content? Cross posting can be a good solution to get some initial readers, and hopefully drive some traffic back to your own site.

Dev.to is a great option for cross posting; your content gets broadcast to a ready made technical audience who are always friendly, and eager to provide valuable feedback.

Again, RSS makes this a cinch to set up - just head to your dev.to Settings > Publish from RSS, and enter the URL of your RSS feed. Hey presto - all your new posts will pop up as drafts in your dashboard, so you can check them, make any adjustments for formatting (often not required), and publish to dev.to.

Even better, dev.to embeds a link back to your site, and will automatically include your site url as the canonical_url, which means you shouldn’t see any ‘duplucate content’ SEO penalties from Google.

4. Generate an Email Newsletter Summary

If you’re interested in allowing users to sign up for a “Newsletter”, then RSS again makes it very very easy to automatically collate your new posts into an email to send out to your subscribers.

I’m using MailChimp for this, however I’ve seen similar functionality offered by other email marketing SAAS providers.

You just need to find one that works best for you.

Posted on by:

harrison_codes profile

Harrison Reid

@harrison_codes

My side projects haunt my dreams.

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