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Use Email to Post to Your WordPress.org Blog

This guest post is by Anurag Bansal of Techacker.

Owners of WordPress.org blogs don’t get the flexibility to post by email through a WordPress service. It’s very surprising to see that such a popular platform doesn’t offer a native way of creating blog post by sending an email—especially since WordPress.com owners can update their blogs using native WordPress functionality.

If you have a blog on Tumblr or Posterous (which was recently acquired by Twitter), you know how convenient it is to update your blog using email. It naturally increases the frequency with which you update your blog.

Today I’m going to introduce you to an easy way to post by email to your WordPress.org blog using a service I am a big fan of—ifttt.

ifttt stands for If This, Then That. This service, which was introduced recently on ProBlogger, makes it really easy to do many online tasks, some of which are mentioned below.

How to post by email to a WordPress.org blog

  1. Create an ifttt account if you don’t already have one.
  2. Activate and authorize the WordPress.org blog you want to post by email to. To do this, click on WordPress logo under Channels on ifttt. Then add the appropriate details to authorize your WordPress blog to use with ifttt. Once activated, you will see a similar screen to the one shown below.Authorize your account
  3. Activate the email channel connection to the email account from which you’d like to send posts. All you need is to click on Email icon and enter your email address. ifttt will immediately send a PIN to this email address. Copy that PIN from the email into the box on ifttt. Once your account’s confirmed, you’ll have successfully activated the email channel.Activate email channel
  4. Use this recipe to create a task. While creating the task, you can edit the details shown in the screenshot below to suit your needs.Create task
  5. Once the task is activated, all you have to do is send an email from the email account you confirmed in Step 3 to [email protected] with the specified # tag in the subject line. In ifttt terms, that tag says, “if email is received from the account specified earlier, then post it to the WordPress blog set up earlier.”
  6. ifttt will create a post on your WordPress.org blog, using the email details as follows:
    1. The subject of the email becomes the title of the blog post.
    2. The body of the email becomes the content of the blog post.
    3. Tags for the post are specified in the recipe. You can change these in the task details on ifttt.
    4. Categories for the post are also specified by you in the ifttt recipe.

There are many other recipes I use to update my WordPress.org blog, including:

  1. Post photos simultaneously on Instagram and a WordPress blog.
  2. Cross-post from a Tumblr blog to WordPress blog.

I have been able to successfully post many updates to my blog using this process. It’s easy, painless and quick. All it takes to update your blog is an email!

Stop postponing that great blog post idea just because you didn’t have the right tools at the time. Now, there’s no need to install any plugins—just use email.

How do you update your WordPress blog now? Do you think email updates would make it easier for you to update your blog? If you’re already using emil updates on another platform, is it helpful? Let us know in the comments.

Anurag Bansal is a technology enthusiasts and internet addict. He reviews various internet services, Android and iPhone apps and provide tips on many technology related topics on his blog at Techacker. Anurag also releases a FREE Monthly Magazine - THM - on his blog. You may follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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Comments

  1. JR says:

    “It’s very surprising to see that such a popular platform doesn’t offer a native way of creating blog post by sending an email.” Did the author perhaps mean “doesn’t offer a simpler way”?

    Self-hosted WordPress (“WordPress.org”) /does/ offer the ability to post by email, and has for years. It’s quite easily found in the “Writing” settings. It does, however, require an understanding of how to create an email account on one’s hosting service and enter login credentials – tasks anyone able to install WordPress for themselves really should be able to manage. Surely the author knew this and was attempting humour?

    • Hi JR,
      As you said, the way of posting by email is there in WordPress but not that easy to set-up on a self-hosted blogs. I myself (considering myself a geek) had a hard time setting that up. Even then, you can’t post images, videos, links and other things you would like from this kind of set-up. (Think of Tumblr and Posterous in that manner.)
      You see my point, how easy it is post anything on Tumblr and was even easier with Posterous (now that Twitter owns it.).
      Once again, the setup of email account in WordPress has its own limitations. After jumping through various hoops to get it all setup and working, the result it not good either.
      Hopefully, it is easier with ifttt for now and with several trials you can get it to work the way you want it.

      Thanks
      Anurag

  2. chrispian says:

    There are a couple of WordPress plugins to let you post by email, but I really dig ifttt. Great recipe and I like quite a few of your others. Good stuff.

  3. Rob Skidmore says:

    I agree with chrispian. I have been using ifttt to automate some of my twitter and wordpress functions and I absolutely love it.

  4. Thanks! Works as advertised. This really simplifies the whole post via email process.

  5. Dennis says:

    Very funny, I discovered the other day (when trying to find some WordPress coding) that you can also post from Gmail, but you have to go through the tweaking of redirecting servers and records. This one seems to do it for you automatically if you’re not the type to redirect things around!

  6. Ehsan says:

    Hi Anurag, Thanks for the informative post.

  7. I myself (considering myself a geek) had a hard time setting that up. Even then, you can’t post images, videos, links and other things you would like from this kind of set-up.

  8. Paul Friar says:

    I have never really liked the idea of “email to blog post” simply because I was always concerned about security. If someone knew the email address to send to, then they could post something to your blog without your knowledge and possibly have it there for days, of course depending upon how often you update your blog.
    Obviously you would do all you could to ensure that nobody knew that secret email address, and you could of course easily change it regularly if you liked.
    But then again that was with the “Post via e-mail system”, and I suppose this should be safer due to having more hoops to jump through to actually set it up. But still I don’t like the idea of posting to a blog by email, and really I don’t see what’s wrong with just updating your blog normally.
    I mean what are the advantages to blog posting by email? Okay you can send your “blog post” email from pretty much anywhere I suppose, but what about all the limitations of including videos pictures, links and other content in the style you like as mentioned by the previous commenter? Is there a way to do all of that using this particular method of email blog posting? If so then this could be useful for those writing a blog whilst travelling.

  9. Annie Andre says:

    This seems like it would be a great idea to have when you are travelling and need to get a post up quickly and on the fly… I have a wordpress app on my phone but it’s super buggy and sometimes it doesn’t work sending via email seems like a great backup.

  10. david says:

    I did not know not about ifttp until now. thanks for sharing that. I also tried to use the native word press email posting function before, but it did not work very well as you stated.

    I did not realize it would not work with images either. That makes the functionality very much less than optimal. For me a picture is essential for each post.

    I think people feel more relaxed on a page that has pictures as well as text.

  11. Big Jason says:

    ???? Postie plugin works great for blogging by email for wordpress

  12. I once did a 7-day mountain-bike trek and posted every day by email (think it was using a plugin called Postie, or something) – I typed up all the posts in my tent in the evenings on an old Nokia pre-Smartphone (6600), I even inserted pics from the day’s ride. It was AGONY :D

  13. Capt. Obvious says:

    I’ve been tinkering with posting by email for quite some time. I like the premise of IFFT being able to assign categories and tags. Are you restricted by how the email is formatted though? My experience with trying to post by email has been that you can only send plain text. (True, you can bugger it up with html code, like the old days of the web, but who wants to do that?)

    Sadly, Google Blogger has this down, making it an easy tool to want to consider, if posting by email is the most convenient thing for you. But then again, it’s Google Blogger!

  14. luredress says:

    this very good my blooger use wordpress

  15. Wow, I wish I had known this before. This is huge! I travel a lot and there are times I wish I could do something simple like this to post articles. This will be a big help! Thanks!

  16. Keith says:

    We had a need for something like this a long time ago and made a plugin that would basically parse an email sent to a specific account and the make a post with the email content. We mostly use this for our team collaboration of ideas we get from twitter and the web. And we could just put the category name in the subject and that would be picked up also. Emails to self hosted WordPress is a great tool for us!