A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I’d installed a new plugin on one of my blogs. Revive Old Post. For those who are interested, I thought I’d share more information about it.
The Revive Old Post plugin is available from the WordPress plugin repository. It’s a free plugin that comes with a paid add-on, which makes it ideal for trying out. The free version is very useful, but there are a couple of features that make the $10 upgrade fee for the Pro version very cost effective.
I installed the plugin on my old writing blog. Carrie Lynn Lewis Writing Well was my first writing blog. When I upgraded design and moved my writing blog to a new domain, the old blog was still popular enough that I decided to keep it going as an archive base.
But I wanted to continue presenting evergreen (always useful) content without having to log into the blog every day or week or manually schedule through an app like HootSuite.
So I looked around for a suitable plugin. After a rabbit trail or two, I found Revive Old Post.
Revive Old Post
Formerly known as Tweet Old Post, Revive Old Post allows you to present old content to your tweeps.
It’s very easy to install and set up. It took me about 20 minutes, but I like this sort of thing. The average, non-tech inclined user can still install and configure the plugin quickly. The default settings are very functional, so unless you really enjoy getting into the guts of a plugin, install it, activate it, and go. If that describes you, you can install it and have it tweeting old content in ten minutes or less.
For those who are interested, here’s a step-by-step on customizing Revive Old Post.
Link to your social media accounts here. The basic free version includes options for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing, and Tumblr.
Select the ones you want to link to. You’ll be asked to sign into each account remotely, but this is just so the plugin knows where to send your content.
See the little blue bird to the right of the Twitter option? If you have multiple Twitter accounts, you can link to each one, but only if you have the Pro version.
On the General Settings tab, you can customize settings for tweet frequency, minimum and maximum age of posts, the number of posts to share each time, and the categories and tags you want to exclude from posting.
One of the options I most appreciate with this plugin is the option to set frequency for less than one hour. For example, notice I’ve typed in .45 on the first line. My posts will go out every 45 minutes. With almost 200 posts from which to choose, I can post at that rate and still not duplicate posts for several days.
It also causes tweets to appear at different times around the clock. For most of my scheduled tweets, I prefer to stick to the top and bottom of each hour. This rotating schedule gives me the flexibility to post in between those times.
The plugin automatically loads all the categories you’ve used. From that list, you can select those you want to exclude.
What should you exclude?
Posts that are time sensitive such as giveaways or limited time offers are good candidates for exclusion. The giveaway or offer has expired, so there’s no sense in advertising it. If you do tweet those posts, you run the risk of confusing tweeps at best and maybe even alienating them.
I’ve selected a few here to illustrate the process.
Tags are also loaded by the plugin and you can select tags to exclude by checking the boxes.
If you haven’t been using tags on your posts, there will not be a tag list or it will be limited to the default tag, which is Uncategorized with WordPress. If that’s the only tag showing, don’t check it. If you do, you’ll have nothing to post!
On this tab, you determine how your tweets will look.
Post content defaults to the title only, but you also can choose body only, title and body, or a custom field. Click on the blue down arrow to access the drop down menu and make your selection. If you choose the custom field option, you will have to tell Revive Old Post what field to use. That setting is line 3 on this tab.
You can also set the length of the post (140 is the default), add additional text and position the additional text, choose whether or not to include a hyperlink (the default is yes), and decide whether or not to shorten the link.
Finally, if you so choose, you can have hashtags added to the tweet. I tried a couple variations on this, but was unsatisfied with the control provided by the free version of Revive Old Post. I either had too many hashtags or none.
One note here, if you haven’t been paying any attention to the way you title your posts, now is the time to start. When the title of a post is all a tweep sees, they need to have a clear idea what the post is about. You also need to give them as many possible reasons to click the link and read more as you can. Clever, cute, or humorous titles usually aren’t the best way to go.
Don’t worry if you haven’t given post titles much thought in the past. I never used to, either, and I was a big fan of clever titles. But choosing the right title is important when the post first publishes and it’s even more important when you start using a republishing plugin of any type.
Now, back to the regular programming…
This feature is another of my favorite things about this plugin. After you’ve customized the settings, click on the Preview Post link at the bottom of the page and a sample post will appear in this pop up.
If you like what you see, click the Post Now link and off it goes.
If you don’t like it, close the preview, change the settings you want to change, and try another preview.
This is an invaluable tool, in my opinion. I went through this process three or four times before getting things the way I wanted them. Without being able to preview posts, I would have had to have my Twitter account opened to see tweets and would have had to delete anything I didn’t like.
The Pro version costs $59 per year for personal use (one blog). For that price, you get the options to upload images as well as post titles. You can also do more precise scheduling. Even for a frugal person like me, that’s a good buy.
I’m very happy with this plugin on my older blog. I had no difficulties in installing it–the entire process took less than 20 minutes and the first seven minutes was watching a video review. I’ve been using the plugin since May 2 and so far, it’s performed flawlessly.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s the video review. It’s from Brett Bumeter at VidMag. Brett has upgraded to the pro version so you get a little more information on that option.