WordPress Wednesday: Revive Old Posts

We’ve posted before about how you can keep old posts being tweeted to your audience using Buffer which worked very well for our account for a few years, but needed topping up every week or so and cost money (which you still pay, even if you forget to use your account for a few weeks…always so frustrating!).

We wanted to find a solution that meant we could just set it up and let it go, and thought we would share that with you as it has been so useful.

Bonjour, Blogger! is a self hosted WordPress site, which means we can use plugins to do a lot of work for us. If you don’t have a self hosted WordPress site, then unfortunately, you won’t be able to use this method, but Buffer will work for you no matter what platform you use.

The plugin we are currently using is called Revive Old Posts. It’s a free plugin to do the basics, and there is a pro version available with more features like custom messages, but for just sharing posts, the free one is enough for our account. 

First, you’ll need to set up a Twitter application. This allows the plugin to post to your Twitter account on your behalf. It’s a little bit complicated, but the app developers have provided some details on how to set that up. You’ll need to register for a Twitter Developer account first though – it doesn’t cost anything, and the questions are pretty obvious. 

After your Twitter application is approved – and it can take some time, so don’t worry about it! – you can then set up the plugin. You would need to provide the plugin with the app keys from Twitter, then work through the rest of the options to suit your needs, but this is what we have set up:

  • General
    • Minimum interval between shares is 0.9 – this seems to be about every 50 minutes(ish). We wanted something regular that matched our old schedule in Buffer, 
    • Minimum and maximum post age is set to zero – this means all posts, regardless of age are sent out (we’ll get to excluded posts in a minute)
    • Number of posts is one – not sure why you would want more to be honest!
    • Share more than once is set to yes – this means we don’t have to keep going in to set it off again. When we first set up the plugin, we couldn’t work out why it kept turning itself off!
    • Taxominies – this is where you can set what sort of posts you want the plugin to either post or to exclude – we have it set up so certain categories are never posts, as well as posts with a certain tag. If and when we see a post go out on our Twitter account that is no longer relevant, it is quick and easy enough to edit the post to add in the tag to exclude it from future posts. (We really appreciate your help in finding those posts!)
  • Post Format
    • Post content is set to the post title which should be descriptive enough
    • Post length is set to 180, now tweets can be longer
    • Additional text is set to “In case you missed it” and that posts at the start of each tweet along with the link to the post – you want something to make it obvious that this is not a brand new post appearing!
    • We have set it up so links are created using bit.ly – this means we have another way to see some analytics about how many people click the link.

That’s it! The plugin has been running for a few months now, and we’ve not had any issues that weren’t easily fixable – just old posts going out and posts not going out at all. 

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