Why IFTTT Could Be the Best Blogging Tool Ever

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Bloggers are busy folks.  We shoehorn post writing, promotion, and networking in between day jobs, family time, and sleep (sometimes).  That’s why I get all warm and fuzzy when I discover a time saving tool that works as advertised.  The latest tool, “If Then Then That” (IFTTT) has got me shouting from the roof tops.

IFTTT is incredibly powerful.  It works by automatically performing specific actions based on a trigger.  For example, IFTTT can watch an RSS feed for a specific keyword and perform a task when it is triggered.  You can use this automation to save time, find blog topics, and curate content just for starters. The tool is connected to dozens of social, curation, and productivity sites giving you hundreds (maybe thousands) of different ways to automate specific tasks.

I am an IFTTT addict.  It’s responsible for much of what I do on Pushing Social.  So, I’m excited to share with you some of my ninja hacks using IFTTT. In this section, I will describe the “If This Then That task. You can click on the recipe link to see an example view and use the task on IFTTT. You should print out this post and sign-up for IFTTT so you can follow along.

Here we go:

Feeding the Twitter Beast

Twitter is voracious.  You need to keep your followers happy with a steady flow of content.  The problem is finding the time to visit each article and then retweeting.  These recipes work with your Google Reader to make quick retweeting a snap.

  • If a post is starred in Google Reader then Tweet it” [Recipe]
  • If a post is starred in Google Reader then schedule a tweet in Buffer [Recipe]
  • Automatically tweet a link for every new post on your blog [Recipe ]

Curating Content for Posts

I often get my best ideas for posts based on snippets of info in articles that I read.  Before IFTTT I had to pause, select a passage, pop over to Evernote, paste the passage, and the go back to reading.  This is a pain that IFTTT quickly solved.

  • If a post is starred in Google reader then save the post in a specific Evernote notebook [Recipe]
  • If a specific keyword is used in an RSS feed then save the post in Evernote [Recipe]
  • If you favorite a tweet then save the tweet in a specific Evernote notebook [Recipe]
  • If a follower tweets then save the tweet in a specific Evernote notebook [Recipe]
  • If a keyword appears in your activity feed then save the link in a specific Evernote notebook [Recipe]
  • If you add a YouTube video to your Watch Later Play List then send the link to a specific Evernote playbook [Recipe]
  • Add posts in Google Reader with a specific to a specific Evernote notebook [Recipe]

Blogging Grunt Work

There are dozens of little tasks that bloggers have to check off. Here are a few that I have delegated to IFTTT.

  • Change your Twitter picture with any new photo placed in a specific DropBox folder [Recipe]
  • Add any new photo placed in a specific DropBox folder to your Facebook photo album [Recipe]
  • Update LinkedIn when you add a new post to your blog [Recipe]
  • Change your Twitter profile picture when you change your Facebook profile picture [Recipe]

This is Just the Beginning…

Geeked yet?  I’m sure you will find creative new ways to manage your blogging activities with IFFT. Go ahead and list any new uses you conjure up in the comments section below.

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

37 thoughts on “Why IFTTT Could Be the Best Blogging Tool Ever

  1. e2tox

    IFTTT does not produce content, it just COPY from here to there. eventually you are surround by the *SAME* content.

    If everyone tweet ‘Oh, look new film blablabla released’ when the movie rss feed updated. How do you think?

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  16. Matt Hamilton

    I had heard about this application but never really understood exactly how powerful it was. I’m going to try it right now because of your example of posting starred items in Google Reader to Buffer, that’s awesome.

    Thanks

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  19. Mister Norris

    I also LOVE ifttt. I use 5 recipes that are:
    1. If I write a blog post it automatically adds it to my Diigo account
    2. Whatever is added to Diigo is automatically added to Delicious (a good way to back up my links)
    3. If I add the tag ‘readitlater’ to a Diigo link, it automatically send it to Read It Later (a good way to bookmark and add to Read It Later)
    4. If I favourite a tweet it gets sent to an Evernote notebook
    5. If I write a tweet it gets send to an Evernote notebook (a good way to archive and search previous tweets)

  20. Dan

    I love IFTTT and use several handy recipes myself. However, I wonder what their income model is. No ads, no reason to visit the site once things are setup – how will they make money? I expect the service to be either purchased or shutdown within 18 months.

  21. Susan Silver

    One recipe that I liked, although maybe not useful, was using mobile to record a voicemail that posts as an mp3 on Twitter.

    Why I signed up for ifttt,

    A friend tweeted the recipe for texting to make your phone call you. This lets you get out of conversations politely.

    *lol* Very clever

  22. Stanford Post author

    Wait two days. Someone will build what you are looking for. Just one good 24 hour hackathon away.

  23. Orion WIlls

    I accidentally found ifttt when I was looking for a Chrome extension to allow me to do the following (which I still haven’t found):

    – read an article
    – send it to any social outlet, but let me pick which ones without doing manual submissions for every outlet
    – send article “a” to twitter, facebook and a private blog (aggregate dump for my use)
    – send article “b” to twitter, blog, linkedin

    I absolutely love ifttt. It doesn’t do exactly what I want (in the extension), but it’s very handy.

  24. Laura

    This is great! I signed up for IFTT in September, but haven’t actually DONE anything with it yet – thanks for the reminder and the great tips!

    (arrived here via @markwschaefer)

  25. Sally Erickson

    Stan, you’ve been holding out on us. You have this tool that does all these complicated tasks for you and your blog, and you never told us, did you? Did I miss it before? I don’t think so. But I guess if you found it, it’s nice that you’re letting us in on your secret weapon. And what a tool it is. Signed up, following your tasks and recipes. A heartfelt thank you!

  26. Ashleigh

    This is great! I am a nerd who loves this stuff too – but ooof – headache! Remind me to come back and ask for help setting some of this up! ;)

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