RSS Feeds Part 2 – How I Used a Website RSS Feed to Connect Pinterest and AWeber Emails
Running an online business consumes a lot of time. I want to plan, develop, and create quality content that interests my blog readers and YouTube subscribers while giving them actionable content and tools. Pinterest tutorials help businesses and brands with online marketing, but sometimes we need more time in the day to get everything done. So anything I can do to automate routine tasks helps me save time by providing relief from routine, repetitive tasks.
Search engine optimization (SEO) was my main focus long before I got into social media marketing. So I always move forward with any digital marketing strategy while still keeping SEO in mind. That means, I always consider if a change will help or hurt SEO, especially when it comes to website page loading speed – a major factor for an SEO strategy. Even a seemingly minor addition of social share buttons which is helpful may hurt the website from an SEO standpoint. Many WordPress plugins slow websites down because they weren’t developed with SEO in mind. A fledgling website may be better off without a pokey plugin.
Email marketing is another online marketing channel that can boost your Pinterest strategy and your SEO efforts. Once every week, I send my Pinterest tutorial blog posts and videos out in an email newsletter. But writing a weekly email adds to my already full workload. When I began the newsletter endeavor, I found out quickly that it was quite a time sink for me. I struggled to get it written each week and subsequently missed many deadlines.
Enter the RSS feed.
Auto Save Pinterest Pins with RSS Feeds
Recently Pinterest released another great feature for business accounts. I wrote about it in a blog post last week. Users who have Pinterest business accounts can use RSS feeds from their websites to automatically save new blog posts as Pins to their Pinterest accounts. What a timesaver! I’ve tried to accomplish this same task with numerous WordPress plugins and third-party services with no reliable success.
Hopefully you read my blog post on how to connect your website’s RSS feed to save Pinterest Pins automatically. At first I was skeptical about the text used in the auto-saved Pin description, but the Pins do look good! If you haven’t tried to connect pinterest with RSS, give it a try. It’s easy if you already have a business account. If not, see my post on how to set one up for free. You may also want to read about conecting your YouTube channel, Instagram account, and Etsy to your Pinterest. This way you get the most out of your marketing efforts.
RSS feeds can be used numerous ways. I use the RSS feeds from both my website to populate weekly newsletters for my readers and to save Pins to their respective Pinterest accounts. I also take RSS feeds from other websites to aggregate news to my morning news reader.
What is an RSS Feed?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is a technology that used by websites to distribute information online. An RSS feed is a file constructed with a standardized format containing the information from a website or other data. Services like news reading apps and other websites can use the XML file and parse the information contained in it.
I used to use MailChimp for my weekly newsletter. I set up MailChimp to import the RSS feed from the tutorial posts on Pintlak.net . The posts were imported and automatically emailed every Saturday morning.
Using an RSS feed to generate my email newsletter is a huge timesaver. I was finally able to get new content sent to my readers in another format without much additional work after the setup was complete. But I had one big problem. As my email list grew, I saw that my open rates were falling. Worse yet, in the beginning of this year, I saw that my newsletters from my own two websites were ending up in my Gmail spam folder. I run two blogs, Pintalk.net and AskCyberSecurity.com. They both are WordPress sites with RSS feeds used to send out a newsletter and save Pins to Pinterest. Each week, when the newsletter was sent, I would to into my GMail and unmark the newsletters that were categorized as spam. And each subsequent week, the newsletter would be still go to spam.
MailChimp is good for starting out as it’s free when you have less than 2000 subscribers. However, it’s pointless when your readers are never seeing the email.
RSS Feeds for Automating Emails
I knew a few fellow blogger friends were using AWeber for Email automation, so I finally made the switch. It was a hassle as I had to learn a new system and some new terminology. Instead of my former RSS feed email campaign, I now send a weekly blog broadcast from AWeber. Same thing, new vocabulary. Of course, I also had to export and import all of my contacts. I also had to change my email sign up forms on the website and re-create my email automations. (I do receive a small commission from AWeber. It helps me cover expenses. But I am a real customer too. I pay for my own email service from them)
But in the end, the pain of moving vendors was worth it. I pay a bit more monthly, but my email open rates increased six-fold with the first send. There is a great dashboard with lots of analytics about my email campaigns. I have some adjustments to make, but I’m happy that I survived the migration process. Now it’s automated so it saves me a lot of time which I can use to devote to creating more tutorials.
I’ll admit Mailchimp’s initial set up to send a weekly RSS feed of pinterest tutorials was quick and easy to get going. AWeber was a bit more of a learning curve but they always answered the phone when I called or opened a chat window. Customer support helped me with every step. They even volunteered to have tech support customize a blog broadcast template for me for free. In a few days we had it looking the way I wanted it to look.
How to Automate Pinterest and Email
Weather or not you are using Pinterest to make money, this strategy can work for you. It’s all about generating content on a regular schedule to help your followers understand when to check for more updates. It also lets them get content in at least four ways – on Pinterest, as a blog post, via email, and on YouTube.
I have the same methodology and automations that I had before. Each time I write a Pinterest tutorial and post it to Pintalk.net, my Pinterest business account uses the website RSS feed to create a Pinterest Pin and automatically save it to my search engine optimized board named Pinterest Tutorial (that phrase brings me a lot of web traffic.) Then once a week on Saturdays, AWeber automatically imports my newest blog posts and sends them out as an email. These two automations really let me focus on my business of writing tutorials like this one.
Seven Steps to Automate Making Money with Pinterest
- Monday – I spend time researching this week’s topic
- Tuesday I write a blog post focused on Pinterest Marketing
- Wednesday – Record a video on the topic
- Thursday – Edit the Video
- Friday – Post the Blog Post. Pintrest RSS Feed will autmoatically save it to a board
- Saturday – Email Goes out Automatically from AWeber
- Sunday – Post the video to my YouTube channel. Re-Pin to other boards
Anything you can do to make your work more efficient by saving time helps you focus on the content creation process so you can deliver quality posts and videos. Remember to claim your YouTube channel too. Try it.