Automation has come to stay, technology has made it easier than ever before to automate certain tasks, so we can spend more time on the projects and chores that matter the most.
Today we’re looking at how we can optimize our digital marketing strategy, using free tools and scripts found online. We are going to focus on tools to create content quickly, and then syndicating that for most effect, hopefully attracting visitors to our content, and backlinks for our search engine optimization campaign.
The first thing we will need is Python 3. You can download this from Python.org
The total code we will end up with is less than 100 lines, half of which are line breaks and helpful comments, so if you have ever programmed in any language before, such as PHP, HTML, C++ or something else, hopefully you should not have too much trouble with this script.
BIMP – Batch Image Manipulation with Python
Using this small free python 3 script for creating social image quotes, you can generate thousands of free stock photos, overlayed with quotes from famous authors, and add your own website, logo and social profiles in a matter of minutes.
Combining this with another entry in this article, you can schedule these posts to go live at your choosing, saving you many hours you would have otherwise spent finding images and quotes, and mixing them together one image at a time.
The beauty of this simple script is that not only can you embed quotes onto images really fast, but you can do so with other text too. And the simple, yet powerful structure allows for you to select which images are paired with which lines of text.
Example result of the python script
Scheduling the posts
Great! Now we have a bunch of images, branded with our logo and both website as well as social profile links.
Now we need to schedule these. There are a few ways to do this, such as finding a free or paid service to schedule tweets or similar social shares.
In this example however, we will use WordPress.
First we will create a very simple CSV file to import all our images and quotes into scheduled posts, using a free import plugin, such as WP All Import or others.
Using Excel or Google Sheets, create a blank spreadsheet, and copy the quotes from your CSV you found on the Python tutorial over in a new column. Do the same for your image filenames on the second column.
Now upload the images to your WordPress upload folder (usually /wp-content/uploads/) – and run WP All Import and upload the newly created CSV file.
In advanced settings you will want to choose that it should schedule all the posts, and use the images as featured images, and the quotes as post titles. If you have authors you can add these as tags, body text or categories for instance.
IFTTT – If This Then That
Awesome! Now you have hundreds of original and branded images, and you have hundreds of posts scheduled on your blog. Now let’s share these automatically!
The next tool we will use is possibly familiar to many readers already, and have quickly become the go-to service for syndicating many blogs, websites and social profiles around the internet.
How it works is simple; you create an account and link your social profiles – and set your website link. You can then choose from a number of applets what will happen when your website publishes a new blog post for instance. We will use the WordPress RSS feed, which is enabled by default and found on most sites using your-website.com/feed as the URL.
IFTTT will check this feed for new posts, and when it finds one, it can then do something with it.
Link your accounts to all the social profiles you wish, and create applets that now copy the post title, featured image and perhaps author tag, and create new Tweets, Facebook shares, Pinterest pins and so forth.
Now you have a completely automated setup for daily posting of inspiration or motivational quotes on all social sites.
These techniques can be used in a number of ways, and the above is just an example of how to do some basic automation that is actually helpful. Many businesses and ecommerce sites struggle with creating content that are share-worthy, so why not use famous quotes from famous authors, linked to your site using beautiful and free stock images?