For those who haven’t seen this yet IFTTT.com is a neat website that is built on a fairly basic idea but has some huge potential. The principle quite simply is: If This, Then That. This is a very straightforward platform which lets you create actions based on trigger events without any knowledge of coding or anything more complicated than filling in a few forms – it’s only really limited by your imagination and cunning. For example IF there is a new job post on Craigslist THEN email to your Gmail account - simple!
Recently there has been some more additions to the service that have caught my eye in regards to guest blogging and blogger outreach, so I thought I’d return to it and see what I could come up with.
So it’s no secret that I’m a big advocate of Evernote, it’s a product which has really enhanced what I can do whilst writing and when I saw that it can be combined with IFTTT I realised that I could create something which’d prove even more useful. What you’ll find below are my top four recipes I’ve created for guest posting (mostly using Evernote) and I thought I’d share them with you so you could put them to good use too.
All these recipes will require access to Google Alerts, or Gmail and Evernote and I hope will highlight just how easy it can be to get a whole host of targeted data pulled into one place for quick reference later. For ease of use I’m making the assumption that you’re signed into your Google, Evernote and IFTTT accounts as well as activated them all – it’s a piece of cake, don’t worry IFTTT will guide you through that stage if needed. What’s more all of these can be used for free, so there’s no excuse not to, right?
All Your Guest Posting Content Ideas in One Place
This is my favourite and possibly the most simple of my recipes, I’ve only been using this a short while but already it’s helped slash the amount of time I take thinking up relevant content ideas. Not only speeding up the process it also helps produce much higher quality and inspiring content which is much more “zeitgeisty” and therefore more likely to get hosted on another blog.
- Go to Google Alerts and enter you chosen key term or phrase into the search query. Select the Result Type “News”. Ask for it “as it happens”. Pick “only the best results”. And finally have it delivered to “RSS”.
- Next, create the alert and you’ll be redirected to your alerts page, double check everything looks as it should and then click on the orange RSS symbol, this will take you to the feed itself. Copy the URL – now it’s time to journey on over to IFTTT.com.
- I’m not going to go into the details about creating the recipe itself here (although they’re all really simple to set up), instead I’ve shared the recipe so all you need to do is change the relevant details and click “Use recipe”. And that’s it!
- What this will do is take all the items which the alert RSS creates and then adds them to an existing note, then each time another item is posted to the feed it’ll get appended onto the end of it. For best results here you’ll want to set up the tags and notebook options so they can be easily accessed in Evernote later; I’ve got them all directed into a Guest Posting Notebook and labeled IFTTT and Feed, however, you can really go to town here – especially if you end up running a large number of these feeds at once.
Some of you may be wondering why I’ve bothered going to the trouble to have all these feed items added to Evernote rather than just use an RSS reader to store them. As useful as the Google alerts process may be without these extra steps, the cloud storage options and tagging means that I can easily organise all my notes (and you’ll find that with the other items posting to Evernote too, it keeps everything stored in the same place).
Filtering RSS Feeds for Entries You Want
This is very similar to the previous recipe but instead of pulling an entire feed you’ve created using Google alerts, it lets you just pick certain content from an existing feed and then write it to a new note.
- Find a feed which contains content you want.
- Check out the receipe I’ve already made, it’ll give you the template to work with. Paste the RSS feed URL into it, you’ll then need to change the “keyword or phrase” form to represent what you’re looking for. This works really well if the feed you’re working with has certain naming conventions, then you’ll be able to use the exact phrase to ensure you pick up all the content you want.
- Add you tags and tweak the “Append to note field” as necessary.
At the moment the main use I have for this is to consolidate all the Daily Search Forum Recaps from Search Engine Roundtable, I’ve just added “Daily Search Forum Recap:” in each alert and then added the relevant month to the end. By using separate recipes for this I can have them posted to different notes in Evernote which are tagged accordingly.
Store E-Shots and Mailing Lists Neatly into Evernote
If you’re anything like me you’ll have a ton of different mailing list items which get lost amongst all your other daily emails and whatnot. Considering how awesome some of the mailing lists available are out there, it’d be a total shame if they didn’t get right. IFTTT has a great feature that allows you to have specific email trigger from a Gmail account and that is at the centre of this recipe.
- Subscribe to an awesome list, in my case it’s Jon Cooper’s Point Blank SEO mailer, , if you haven’t already, get on this one now!
- Click the here for my pre-made recipe!
- Head to IFTTT and add in the email address you want to trigger the action in IFTTT, i.e. who the emails are coming from.
- Edit the append to note actions as you like – I like to keep things simple and add the email subject, date received and the content itself.
I’ve found that this is a really great way of ensuring that I’ve always got the mailing list resources to hand and again, if you’ve used the tags effectively you can make referencing later really easy.
Keep Tabs on New Guest Posting Opportunities
This final note works almost exactly the same as #1 here, except we’re now using Google alerts to track the new guest posting opportunities as Big G finds them and IFTTT to store them in Evernote for later.
- Create your alert, although this time paste the following into the query field: “<keyword> (“guest post” OR “guest blog”) but replace <keyword> for your chosen keyword or phrase.
- Set up the alert as before (although this time you may wish to have it deliver “all the results” instead – it depends how hungry you are for guest posts).
- Click on this recipe link and fill in the relevant details and that should be done!
Even though this kind of alert/search query is nothing new, from what I’ve seen so far this type of alert often unearths opportunities in places you might not have previously considered. The alert I’ve set up here is based on a very basic alert which contains one “OR” rule, however there are more advanced combinations you can use – so go nuts*.
*Not too nuts though, the more advanced queries in Google Alerts don’t appear to return results in the same fashion (i.e. work properly) as they would if you just search it through Google.
So here are some of the most noteworthy recipes I’ve created on IFTTT so far, but I’d strongly advise you to experiment with the different combinations yourself and browse those which other users have already uploaded. At the moment the site is still fairly young, although the different services which are compatible are growing all the time. With each new one added there’s a new opportunity for SEOs/marketeers to get stuck in, so take a look around and if you create something cool, drop back in and let us know!