If you write for a lot of different websites like I do, whether it is as a guest blogger or freelance writer, then you have probably struggled with finding a way to share your latest posts from all of those sites with your audience. Fortunately, there is an easy – and free – solution for anyone who uses WordPress on a self-hosted domain (sorry WordPress.com users).
Why You Need a Latest Posts Portfolio Page
Before we get into the how, let’s look at the why. A page like this can be used for many purposes, including the following.
- To share your latest writing credits to get a guest posting or freelance opportunity.
- To drive traffic to the content you create on other publications.
- To track of all of the content you create, so the next time someone asks, “Hey, do you have a post on ___?” you can go through your latest posts portfolio page to find it.
- To demonstrate that you are actively writing, even if it is not on your own blog.
You can also add a form at the end of your portfolio page to encourage people to contact you about new guest blogging and freelance writing opportunities or to subscribe to your mailing list!
Setting Up Your Latest Posts Portfolio Page
The plugin you will need is WP RSS Aggregator. This plugin allows you to combine multiple RSS feeds and publish them on one single page using a piece of shortcode.
It’s simple to use – once you’ve installed it on your website, you can find the settings for it in your admin menu.
To set up your latest posts portfolio page, you will use Add New Feed Source to add each of your author-specific RSS feeds from each site you contribute to.
Once you have added all of your feeds, you will create a new page on your WordPress website and add in the WP RSS Aggregator shortcode where you want your latest posts to be displayed.
The result is will be a page like my portfolio page here.
You can use the settings option for WP RSS Aggregator to configure features such as limit the number of posts shown on each page, limit the number of feed items stored from each feed source, make the links nofollow, and whether you would like the new links to open in a new page.
If you want more advanced features, such as thumbnails, categories, and keyword filtering, you can purchase add-ons for the plugin on the main WP RSS Aggregator site.
Getting Your Author-Specific RSS Links
Not sure how to get your author-specific RSS link from the sites you contribute to? Here are some steps to try.
1. Start by going to your author pages.
On most sites, you can get to your author page by going to one of your posts and clicking on the link to your name. Usually you will find this under the title of the post or at the end of the post where they list the categories, tags, etc. When you get to your author page, look for an RSS feed link. Some sites, like Search Engine Watch and Business 2 Community place your author-specific RSS link on your page using the standard RSS icon.
2. Add “feed” to your author page URL.
If a site you contribute to uses WordPress, all you have to do is add the word “feed” to your author page URL. So let’s say you have an author page URL that looks like this.
To get your RSS feed, you would change it to this.
When you go to that link, if you see only your posts in the feed preview, then you have your author-specific RSS feed.
If the site you contribute to doesn’t easily allow you find your author page URL, you might have to do some guessing. The URL is based off of your username, so if you login to their WordPress admin panel with the username khines, then you can try the following URL combinations to find your author page.
http://domain.com/author/khines/ or http://blog.domain.com/author/khines/
If you don’t login to WordPress, but you see that your posts are attributed to you with an author box, you will have to guess what your username is. Most sites use combinations like the following.
khines (first initial, last name)
kristih (first name, last initial)
kristihines (first name, last name)
kristi-hines) first name, last name with a space between)
Test these in the URL examples mentioned previous, and once you find your author page, add feed to the end of the URL to get the RSS feed.
3. Use the RSS Subscription Extension on Google Chrome.
This extension allows you to easily find any embedded RSS links on a page you are viewing. So if you are on your author page, you might be able to get your author RSS link by clicking on the RSS icon in your address bar.
4. Create custom RSS feeds.
Some sites use redirects to turn any RSS feed link from their site back to the main RSS feed link, so be sure to test yours before putting it in WP RSS Aggregator. Otherwise, you’ll be feeding in everyone’s posts. If you find that a site you write for does this, then you can use Zapier to create a custom RSS feed for your posts to use in WP RSS Aggregator.
How it works: You will create a zap to create a custom RSS feed from the items in an existing RSS feed. You will use the full RSS feed for the blog to which you contribute. Then, when you get down to the filter section, you will filter posts that have you as the author.
If your name doesn’t come up as the Raw Creator, then you will have to look look for it in the post text instead.
You’ll then configure the information in your new RSS feed by matching information from the main blog’s RSS to what you want to output in your custom feed.
Once you save your zap, you will add the Zapier custom RSS URL (which usually looks like https://zapier.com/engine/rss/252947/yourcustomname/) to your WP RSS Aggregator.
Using the WP RSS Aggregator Custom RSS
As an added bonus, WP RSS Aggregator gives you a custom RSS feed that compiles all of the posts on your portfolio page into one RSS feed. The default URL for this is http://yourdomain.com/wprss – you can find and customize yours in the WP RSS Aggregator settings.
You can use this custom feed in a multitude of ways to promote the content you write anywhere on the web that you have linked in your WP RSS Aggregator portfolio pages. Here are some of the places I use mine.
- Anywhere that asks for an RSS feed of my latest blog posts.
- In several IFTTT recipes to automate my latest posts getting shared on Buffer, Delicious, Storify, Tumblr, and other websites. (It’s a great way to build automated backlinks to your content and make sure they get shared.)
- On Triberr to automate sharing all of my content with my tribemates.
- With anyone who wants to subscribe to all of my content via RSS.
So even if you don’t want to create a portfolio page, you still may want to use WP RSS Aggregator to get that custom RSS feed of all of your blog posts to use elsewhere.
If you are a guest blogger or freelance writer, I hope you give this plugin a try to create a page and RSS feed to promote your latest posts from all of the sites to which you contribute.