I think I found a way to use the WordPress reader even though I’m self-hosted. It will take an extra 10-15 minutes more each time you publish a post but I’m already seeing the benefits! And for new bloggers out there, I’ll say it again, do not pay someone to learn how to blog. How do you think they’re making their money? This post is 1 of a million that’s out there and free that will help you learn to blog!
So I did something stupid a few years back and switched over to self-hosting too early. I think I was impatient to use plug-ins and to monetize my blog which has garnered a lofty $28.36 from ads. That being said, I lost out on the community that is the WordPress reader. Once you switch from WordPress.com that hosts your site to WordPress.org (the software) your blog no longer shows up in the feed. Unless you delete your WP (short for WordPress.com) site, it’s still there, collecting dust like my yoga mat.
Then I had an idea, what if I were to still use the WP blog to bring folks to my self-hosted site. But here’s the problem, if I copy and paste the exact same blog post to the WP blog, 2 will exist in the internet and Google doesn’t like duplicates. You could be penalized by a lower rank.
I scoured the internet on what to do and there is literally not one post (at least that I could find) on how to use reader as a self-hosted site. I went to the WordPress forum to pick brains bigger than mine. That’s when a WordPress angel came to my aid and suggested the Press This button.
The Press This button is installed on your bookmark bar and I’ll explain how to do that in a second. You’ll need it to post on your WP blog.
Steps to Publishing on Reader as a Self-hosted Blog
Again, I don’t know if there is an easier or better way but this is how I’m doing it now.
Log into your WP blog and go to your settings. Ensure you are not in your self-hosted blog.
Under settings select the writing tab and scroll to the bottom where Press This lives. Click the Press This button and drag it up to your bookmark bar (make sure your bookmark bar is visible).
Go to your self-hosted site. Once there, press the Press This button. A second window will pop up.
Here is where the extra 10-15 minutes come in to play. It’s up to you on what you add/don’t add. Here is what I’m doing:
- Adding the same featured image
- Selecting categories
- Adding tags (this is important since this is how people find you)
- Adding a few sentences on what the post is about.
Something that’s optional is I updated my about page on my WP blog. On the about page, I let everyone know that I will be posting every post on the WP side going forward but that I have a very active blog that is self-hosted. I added a link to my self-hosted site on the about.
I also added an Instagram feed to my WP blog and added links to all my social media. Basically I made sure everything is updated and looks pretty. I consider the WP blog the vehicle to get folks over to my self-hosted site.
Are you self-hosted? Do you have a better way to do this? I’m all ears!