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HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)

master rss feed guest posts 12 HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)If you guest post as much as I do, you are (1) probably guest blogging too much and (2) already losing track of what, where and when.

My guest posts are usually the best of what I can. It’s unfair to this blog readers if I am not sharing my best articles with them. Besides, sharing your guest posts on your own blog gives you much more:

  • Link to your guest posts to give more exposure to them;
  • Share your guest posts with your loyal community and readers;
  • Create your guest posting portfolio for your clients and partners to check.

guest blogging widget myblogguest HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)At MyBlogGuest.com one of our PRO features allows our users to automatically share all their guest posts via a customized widget (you can see the sample here in the right sidebar).

Besides, one of my old posts shares two more wicked ways to share your guest post on your blog.

This post adds to the above tips: let’s try to create a master feed of my main guest accounts and publicize the feed here!

1. Create a Feed Where You Don’t Have One

Some of the blogs I contribute to have no separate RSS feed for the author page. For those pages I have to create an RSS feed.

There are quite a few tools that can do that, but the one that has proved to be the most effective is Feed43

It requires no registration but it did require some considerable brain effort from my part. I don’t pretend to be too tech-savvy, nor am I too stupid, but I spent like 40 minutes trying to figure it out. I was quite happy with the result though!

RSS feed for the author pages should be no-brainer: the page consists of links to your articles – all those links have the same HTML markup, so all you need to so is to learn to extract that repetitive markup and turn it into the RSS feed.

Note: While creating your own author feeds is a good way out, it’s not the best option (most of your self-created feeds will lack “date” parameter). So whenever you can, use original author RSS feeds. In many cases, you can find your author RSS feed here: http://www.blogdomain.com/author/author-name/feed/

Also, “Fetch Feed” module inside Yahoo! Pipes will help you find an RSS feed where you lack one. Here’s Kristi’s guide on using the module.

In case neither of the above works, you’ll have to create a feed for your author page. To make your life easier, here’s what I did at Feed43 to create RSS feeds for my author page at MakeUseOf. All you need to do is to replicate these steps while adapting them to the HTML markup of your own author page:

Step 1: Specify your direct author page URL.

For me that’s:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/author/annsmarty/

Step 2: Identify the repetitive code:

Obviously, in my RSS feed I want:

  • My article title
  • My article direct link.

Looking at the source code of my MUO author page, I see that both the link and the title are wrapped up with <h2 class=”entry-title”> code:

master rss feed guest posts 01 HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)

Step 3: Define extraction rules at Feed43:

In this step we point the tool to the repeatable HTML patterns to extract the info we want to be present in our RSS feed.

All text you want to be extracted to the RSS feed should be substituted with {%} variable, see:

master rss feed guest posts 02 HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)

Step 4: Identify which parts exactly you want to make it to the feed

If you have done everything right in the above step, you should see the following:

master rss feed guest posts 03 HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)

Obviously, we need the following elements in our RSS feed:

  • {%1} (direct link to the post)
  • {%2} (the post title)

That’s what we specify to the tool:

master rss feed guest posts 04 HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)

Now preview:

master rss feed guest posts 05 HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)

And get the link to the RSS feed:

master rss feed guest posts 06 HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)

Note: the feed will be updated every 6 hours and there will be “– Delivered by Feed43 service” as long as you are using the free version. If you try to use the feed and love the service, you may want to upgrade (that’s what I did eventually).

2. Combine All Your RSS Feeds in One

OK, now take a deep breath. The hardest part is passed. Now to the easier step: combine all your author feeds in one master feed.

There have always been quite a few RSS feed mergers. Unfortunately most of them are unreliable or even discontinued due to massive use.

Yahoo! Pipes is still the most reliable one. I do hope Yahoo! will keep it alive!

So to merge all our author feeds, let’s do the following:

Step 1: Sign in to Yahoo! and click “Create a Pipe”

Step 2: Add “Fetch Feed” module to your dashboard and add all your author feeds in it:

master rss feed guest posts 07 HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)

Step 3: Connect it to “Pipe Output” module and click “Save”.

master rss feed guest posts 08 HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)

Step 5: (Optional) Sort the updates by date

If you want to just aggregate your guest articles, you may miss that step. However if you want to share this combined feed to let your readers keep track of your articles elsewhere, it is essential to sort all the updates by date.

For that click “Operations” section in the left-side panel and add “Sort” module. Put it in-between your feeds and the output feed and elect sort by “item.pubDate”:

master rss feed guest posts 091 HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)

Note: Why this step is “optional” while still being quite important is simple: if most of your feeds are “self-created”, most of them will lack the “date” and the filter will move them up or down.

Step 6: (Optional) Truncate most active feeds

In some places I blog (or used to blog) weekly, so they started dominating my author master feed. I used “Truncate” module + “Union” module to cut some of my most active feeds, then unite them and offer my dear followers some variety:

master rss feed guest posts 121 HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)

Step 7: Click “Run Feed” and grab your feed URL (HERE’S MY PIPEfeel free to clone it and create your own):

Note: This WordPress plugin seems to also combine various feeds and even publicize them on your blog automatically as round-ups. Feel free to try it if you only want to use your Master feed for your blog.

3. Import Your Feed into a Page

Update: eventually I ended up with the PRO features of this tool to publicize my feed. But you can use the tips below which are free:

Create a page which will be automatically updated whenever you have a new post published.

Don’t worry, our tutorial is getting easier step by step icon smile HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)

Step 1: Install RSS Just Better WordPress plugin.

Step 2: Create a separate page where you want to aggregate all your guest articles and contributions and use the following code to embed your feed:

[RSSjb feed="YOUR LIVE PIPE URLS HERE", list="ul", target="_blank" pubauthor="false"]

Where:

  • RSSjb feed=”YOUR MASTER RSS FEED LINK”
  • list=”ul” (for the bullet-style list)
  • target=”_blank” (to open links to my guest posts in a new window)
  • pubauthor=”false” (to remove the plugin credit link; I am crediting it in this post)

Note: I had to edit the plugin source code as well as it seemed to force the 5-post-from-feed limit. I edited this part:

master rss feed guest posts 11 HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)

The Result?

***Here’s my page listing all pages where I guest post and featuring a self-updating list of links to my contributions***.

What are your thoughts?

cc licensed ( BY SD ) flickr photo shared by Open Kitchen España

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 HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)
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  1. 2 Responses to “HOW TO: Create a Master Feed of All Your Guest Posts (and Publicize It)”

  2. Wow this tutorial is just too cool. I can’t imagine how much time it took you to figure all of this out.

    I had the idea to publicize some of my past guest post via a guest post portfolio page on my site, but having it update via RSS seems much cooler.

    I’ll give them a whirl when I have a few mintues.

    By Gerald Weber on Jan 26, 2012

  3. Ann,

    Great article. Rather than Yahoo Pipes for aggregating RSS feeds though, I highly recommend RSSMix – extremely easy (one step). Feed43 rocks though, I agree!

    - Ted

    By Ted Ives on Jan 28, 2012

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