I’ve been searching for an easy way to move stories I want to blog about from my RSS reader to WordPress for a long time. Thanks to recent changes in IFTTT’s WordPress actions, I can now do exactly that with a single keystroke. I’m elated about this, as it’s going to save me a lot of time. If you write about news, re-blog or comment on interesting stories of the day, you’ll like this, too. Here’s how to create a blogger’s “newsroom” with IFTTT and WordPress.
Before you begin, you’ll need the following pre-requisites:
- A WordPress blog
- An IFTTT account
- Google Reader for RSS
That’s it. Note that you aren’t required to use Google Reader in a browser. In this tutorial, I’m using Reeder for Mac. All you need is an application capable of starring Google Reader items. Here’s how to set it up.
Why create a blogging newsroom?
Efficiency. News bloggers read many stories each day via RSS to find those they’d like to share and/or comment on. Getting those stories out of RSS and into WordPress is often a time-consuming routine of copy-and-paste. Others rely on a flagging, color coding or a middle man like Trello. Those are all great, but I want to go right from RSS directly to WordPress. And I want it to be as easy as possible. When I’m done starring items, I have a queue full of draft posts ready for my attention. Here’s how to set it up.
The IFTTT recipe
IFTTT, or “If this, then that” lets you create simple automated scripts, or “recipes,” to complete tasks for you. It works by first checking if a certain condition is “true.” If so, it then performs an action that you define. In this case, we’ll have it check if you’ve starred any items in Google Reader. If you have, it creates a draft post in WordPress for each one, complete with a headline and link to the starred story. To begin, log into IFTTT and make sure that the RSS and WordPress channels are activated. Then, click Create Recipe and follow these steps:
- The “If this then that” prompt appears. Click “this.”
- A grid of available channels appears. Click Google Reader.
- Two options appear. Click New starred item.
- A confirmation appears. Click Create Trigger.
- The “if this then that” prompt re-appears, with Google Reader in place of “this.” Click “that.”
- A grid of available action channels appears. Click WordPress.
- Two actions appear. Click Create a post.
- An options screen appears. You can fiddle with this as you like, but the important thing is the “post status” drop-down menu. Click it and select Save as draft.
- Click Create Action.
- The final confirmation screen appears. Give your recipe a name in the Description field and click Create Recipe.
That’s it! Now for the best part. Reeder lets me star an item by hitting the “s” key. That means I can create a draft post in WordPress for any item by hitting one single key. Consider that I read hundreds of RSS stories per day and you realize that this saves me so, so much time.
Here’s my old workflow.
- Find interesting item in Reeder.
- Tap “b” to view it in a browser.
- Read a bit. Hit Command-L to jump to my browser’s URL field.
- Hit Command-C to copy the URL to the clipboard.
- Enter my WordPress login URL.
- Click New Post.
- Think of a title and paste the URL into the body.
- Save as draft.
- Command-Tab back to RSS and find the next post-worth item.
Here’s my new workflow.
- Find an interesting item in Reeder.
- Hit “s.”
Right now, this recipe copies the article’s title. I’d like to change that. It also pastes the full article into the compose field. It’s easy enough to delete, but I’d like to skip that bit. If you have an answer for either of those issues, let me know in the comments.
Big thanks to the folks at IFTTT who helped add this functionality. I love it.