If you have an independently hosted blog powered by WordPress, you can add a special plug-in that turns it into a Fediverse server. When the plug-in is installed, people will be able to follow and interact with your blog posts from Mastodon and other types of Fediverse server.
I am posting this one specifically for those of you that use one of the free online blogging platforms, such as WordPress.com. While such platforms often give you a method to automatically send a link to your new blog posts to a Twitter account, at this time they don’t give you similar functionality for Mastodon. BUT – most blogging platforms offer an RSS feed, even if they don’t promote it much anymore. For example, with WordPress.com you can take the main URL to your blog (in other words, not one referencing a specific article) and append /rss or /feed to the end of the link (it appears either will work) to get the feed for your blog. You can then take that link to the feed and use it with the instructions in this article to post your links to Mastodon.
Just one word of advice, if you create a separate Mastodon account just for these posts, be sure to label it as a bot account so other Mastodon users don’t try to interact with you on that account and think you are rude when you don’t reply (you can, of course, send these posts to your normal Mastodon account where you do engage with other users).
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve likely noticed that my blog posts are automatically tweeted for me. There are multiple services you can use to do this, like Zapier and IFTTT. I use both services for various automations. Each has built-in actions for listening to an RSS feed and then tweeting new items as they appear. Sadly, neither service has a built-in action for Mastodon. However, we can achieve the same results with a generic webhook action on both platforms.
One final note, if you use IFTTT, you will want to click “Create” (near the upper right hand corner of the page after you have logged in), then on the next pages after the words “If This” click “Add”, then find the tile that says RSS Feed and click on that and then on the next page select New Feed Item and proceed as instructed in the article (when entering the URL don’t forget the /feed or /rss suffix if applicable). Then after entering that you should see an “Add” button next to “Then That”, so you can click that and now you will be looking for the tile that says Webhooks, and when you click that you will then see a tile labelled Make a web request which is the one you need to use. I mention this because in the article it does not tell you which of those tiles to click on, and if you don’t know which ones to look for it can take a while to find the correct ones!
In this tutorial, you will install the latest version of Mastodon, which is 4.0.2 at the time of this writing. You will configure the official Mastodon install repository, and set up the environment to install all other dependencies. Using the interactive setup, you will set up your custom Mastodon instance for storage, email, assets, and your administrator account. Finally, you’ll secure your instance with SSL/TLS certificates through Let’s Encrypt.