How to Use Facebook Instant Articles

Woah! Yeah. I always feel that way at 5 in the morning. I'm taking full advantage of my Miracle Morning this morning to get things done. If you've not...

Woah! Yeah. I always feel that way at 5 in the morning. I'm taking full advantage of my Miracle Morning this morning to get things done. If you've not read or listened to the audio book by Hal Elrod, get ready to screenshot the next snap for a great book.

My Miracle Morning

With my better half in America right now, I'm on sole daddy duty which means I have two hours, 5:00am to 7:00am to get what I want done today. Hey, come outside and listen to this. That's right, at this time of the day you truly do get a head start over pretty much everyone else. I like to spend the summer day meditating, doing some self affirmations and also planning my day.

Facebook F8 Conference Announcements

Actually, I also have to confess I couldn't sleep as I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve after all the Facebook announcements, including this one. Instant Articles. I also spent a huge proportion of the evening talking to the brand new Facebook weather bot. Hi Poncho.

Now it's day 35 of 100 new media tools to promote our conference, New Media Europe. If you've just caught my story on Snapchat for the first time, I'm Mike Russell, one of the co-founders of New Media Europe. Let's get down to some serious Facebook Instant Articles creation.

Facebook Instant Articles Are Now Open to All

Facebook announced yesterday in their F8 conference that this is now open for anybody to signup to and use. Want to get in on the action? Then screenshot this snap and use that URL right there, instantarticles.fb.com. The great news is Facebook have already partnered up with a few CMS providers like Drupal and WordPress which we're using and analytics providers too.

Why Join Facebook Instant Articles?

All right, when you click to sign up, you are asked which page do you want to use Instant Articles on. Select a page and click to go to the next page. Hang on, you might be asking, “Why would I bother with Facebook Instant Articles? I've got my own website. I don't need them. Why Mike, why?” Mobile responsive. Loads up to 10 times faster, yes that's right. And loads of other Facebook goodness like likes, comments and social sharing. Also, you're going to be able to embed sponsors eventually.

Facebook Instant Articles and WordPress

If your site is a WordPress site like most of the internet, I highly recommend you get Instant Articles for WordPress, the official plugin before you do anything else. Get that plugin installed on your WordPress site and get ready to screenshot the next snap if you'd like the URL to grab that plugin.

Once you got the WordPress plugin and installed, head over to Facebook and do the Instant Articles configuration. Despite it looking like a medical questionnaire, it's really not that scary once you get into it. One, claim your URL, so that's going to be newmediaeurope.com, and I got to put a bit of a meta tag up in the top of New Media Europe to claim it.

Claim Your Site on Facebook

No sweat for me, I used the header and footer plugin, so I can easily put that meta tag in my WordPress site. Super, that's a green tick on step number one. Next, you got to whack in the production RSS feed. Sounds scary. Really it's not. It's just the RSS feed of your live site. Usually it's yoursite.com/feed. Step three, get a development RSS feed in there. That's articles that won't be seen by the public, so get a category in WordPress like development and answer the feed for that.

Make Money with Facebook Instant Articles

Would you like to make loads of money from your Facebook articles? Then you'll want to opt-in to the Audience Network. Now, the fun bit, head to your dashboard. Super fun and also a little bit complicated. First of all, you need to had the placements. Grab your placement ID. Then in your WordPress site, you'll want to enable Facebook audience network and paste in that placement ID right there.

Style Your Facebook Articles

Back on the Facebook questionnaire, styles is quite fun. You can have your own unique style. The only thing I'm going to do with Styles right now is upload the logo until I can get my head around exactly what everything does and I can see how it looks in a live environment. There is one more thing, then you're good to go. Email notifications. I'm going to go for the full English breakfast and see how much that fills up my inbox.

How to get Approved for Facebook Instant Articles

Little tip for you. If you're using WordPress and you try to get approved for Instant Articles … I have completed all the steps that I've just demonstrated, but that submit for review button was still greyed out even though I had 50 articles ready for Facebook to read. If you've got problems like me, go to settings, reading in WordPress, and here on syndication feeds show the most recent, turn the number to 50.

Now, you should get a lovely bright submit for review button which you can click. Now, it's in the hands of the Facebook police. Hey, thanks for watching today. I hope you find these tutorials genuinely handy. If you do and you're watching our Snapchat, please snap me back and let me know that you're enjoying it.

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Mike is co-founder of New Media Europe - obsessed with everything new in media and technology. He's also a founder of audio production company Music Radio Creative.

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