Looking for some new ways to connect with your website’s followers? Once you’ve built an audience for your website, they’re going to be interested in your point of view – that’s why they’re regular readers!
Obviously, a big part of sharing with them is writing your own blog posts. But that’s not the only way that you can connect with your readers. You can also share the blogs and news sources that you yourself follow.
Think about it…
If people like reading your thoughts and opinions in the form of your own content, they’ll probably also like seeing the related content that helps you shape those thoughts.
In this post, you’re going to learn how to share content from your favorite sources automatically.
I’ll show you two different ways to keep your followers up-to-date with what you’re reading:
- You can create a single page that collects headlines from your favorite sources.
- You can import excerpts of your favorite articles as actual WordPress posts, and maybe even add some of your own thoughts.
Then, I’ll also share a bonus tip for how to use these same methods to automatically display all the content that you collect with Pocket.
Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!
An Example Of What You’ll Be Creating (Plus What Tools You Need)
For this example, I’m going to pretend that I have a website about the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team (because I love the ‘Sixers!). With that being said, you can use this method with absolutely any website niche – so don’t think that this is just about sharing sports news.
Ok, so say I have my regular 76ers blog posts where people come to get my hot takes. Then, I could create a separate section for “76ers News I Love”.
Again, you can do this in two ways.
With the first method, you can create a single page with all the relevant news. It might look something like this:
Alternatively, you could import feed items as actual WordPress posts. This would let you, for example, import content to a special “What I’m Reading” category:
With this second method, you could even add your own thoughts to each piece of news.
To implement either method, you can use the WP RSS Aggregator plugin. The core plugin is free, but you might want to pay for some premium extensions depending on the exact functionality that you want.
How To Create A Single News Page With Headlines
In this section, I’ll show you how to create a single page on your site that collects the headlines from all your favorite blogs and news sources.
This is a really simple method and, depending on what functionality you want, it might not cost you a dime.
Here’s how to do it…
Step 1: Add Your First RSS Feed To WP RSS Aggregator
To get started, make sure that you’ve already installed the aforementioned WP RSS Aggregator plugin, which you can grab from WordPress.org.
Once you’ve activated the plugin, go to RSS Aggregator → Add New in your WordPress dashboard to add your first feed source.
So what is a feed source? Simply put, it’s just the RSS feed of one of the blogs or news sources that you want to share with your readers. Pretty much every site has an RSS feed somewhere – you just need to find it! Here are some tips to help you find RSS feeds at any website.
Once you find the RSS feed for the first feed source that you want to add, you put it in the URL box. Then, you also need to choose the Limit of how many posts to store at one time. E.g. if you want to display the 5 most recent posts, make it 5.
The other settings are fine to leave as the defaults – though you can change them if desired:
You can also use the sidebar to control how often to check for new content.
Then, click Publish Feed to make it live.
Next, you’ll need to repeat the process for all the content sources that you want to share with your readers.
Step 2: Add Feed Displays To Your Chosen Page
Once you’ve added all the feed sources that you want to share to WP RSS Aggregator, you’re ready to display them on the front-end of your site.
To do that, you can use the new WPRSS Aggregator shortcode button in the WordPress editor:
Once you click that button, it will open a popup where you can configure your shortcode. You have two main options:
- If you want to create a single unified feed of all the content sources that you’ve added, you can leave the All feed sources box checked.
- Alternatively, you can also uncheck the box and create a separate feed for each source (that’s what I did for the example screenshot from earlier)
Beyond that, you can also use the Feed Limit option to control how many news items to display.
Here’s what it looks like to create separate shortcodes for each feed source:
Then, to create the multi-column layout from my example, I used the free Lightweight Grid Columns plugin, as well as some regular text:
And voila! After publishing that, you have the example from above:
Step 3: Consider Taking Your News To The Next Level
Everything above is 100% free. It’s also totally functional. But…
You might want to make your shared content look a bit nicer. Or, you might want to be able to filter what content shows up.
If that’s the case, you can consider the premium Simple Feeds Bundle for WP RSS Aggregator.
For $70, it will let you:
- Include excerpts and thumbnail images for each post in the feed.
- Divide feed sources into categories for easier management (helpful if you want to share a lot of different sources with your readers).
- Use keywords to filter which content gets imported.
How To Import Your Favorite News Sources As Actual WordPress Posts
With this second method, you can import content from your favorite news sources as actual WordPress posts (or custom post types).
For example, you could create a dedicated “What I’m Reading” blog post category. Or, you could even create a new custom post type just to house your favorite news content.
Basically, you’re going to have a lot more control over what content you import and where it displays.
To get that extra functionality, though, you’ll need to purchase one or more premium extensions for WP RSS Aggregator.
At a minimum, you’ll need the $80 Feed to Post add-on. This is what lets you import RSS feed items as actual posts.
Then, there are other add-ons that you might want to consider:
- Full Text RSS Feeds – lets you import the full text of RSS feed items even if the feed only includes an excerpt.
- Keyword Filtering – lets you use keywords or key phrases to filter which items get imported.
If you like the sound of that extra functionality, you can save some money by purchasing the Advanced Feeds bundle for $150.
How To Set Up This Method
Because these add-ons are still for the same WP RSS Aggregator plugin that you saw above, a lot of the setup process is similar.
For that reason, I’ll go a little faster with this tutorial.
To get started, go to RSS Aggregator → Add New to add your feed source just like before.
Only now, in addition to the same basic settings, you’ll get a number of new options where you can control how content items get imported as posts.
I encourage you to read through all these settings (if you’re not sure what something means, just hover your mouse over the question mark).
Some settings you’ll definitely want to configure are…
Post Status – this lets you choose whether to keep new items as drafts or automatically publish them. If you leave the default of Draft, you’ll be able to manually approve each item, and maybe even add your own thoughts:
Feed to Post – Taxonomies lets you assign categories or tags to new feed items. For example, you can see that I opted to put new feed items into the “What I’m Reading” category:
Feed to Post – Prepend To Content or Append To Content lets you automatically add text before or after the imported content. This lets you add a little message, or credit the source.
Once you’re happy with everything, you can Publish your feed source. Then, WP RSS Aggregator will start automatically importing content.
Bonus: Curate Content To Your Pocket And Then Import It To WordPress
If you want even more control over what content you share with your readers, here’s a neat tip.
You can add all the content that you’re reading to Pocket. Then, you can use your Pocket profile’s RSS feed as a feed source in WP RSS Aggregator (just make sure to turn off RSS Feed password protection in Pocket, otherwise WP RSS Aggregator can’t access the feed):
The benefit of this approach is that you’ll only share content that you’ve specifically added to Pocket, which ensures your readers only see stuff that you’re really into.
You don’t have to use Pocket, either. As long as your chosen service offers a public RSS feed, you can use it with WP RSS Aggregator.
Start Sharing News With Your Visitors Today!
Finding new ways to engage with your readers is always a good thing. By implementing these methods, you’ll be able to share even more great content with your fans.
For a simple implementation, you can use the free version of WP RSS Aggregator to create a single news page. Or, if you want more control, consider grabbing the Feed To Post add-on and importing RSS feed items as posts.
And if you want to tightly curate what content you share, hooking up to a service like Pocket is a great way to get the job done.
Do you have any other questions about sharing the latest news with your visitors like this? Let us know in the comments!