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How do you handle cross-posting?

Arek Nawo
Hobbyist. Web Developer. 👨‍💻 Freelancer. Blogger. Making awesome websites. 😍 Contact: areknawo@areknawo.com
・2 min read

I know there are many bloggers here on Dev.to - that's why this community is so awesome! 🎉 However, I also know that they’re everywhere else too! All that, thanks to a high amount of work… and cross-posting!

That’s where the question comes in - “How do you handle cross-posting?”.

In my case, I used to always write the post on my personal blog first, then, after a while, cross-post it to Dev.to, and much less so to Hashnode and Medium. However, this cross-posting process was quite tiring. Both Hashnode and Dev.to have textarea-based Markdown editors, so I first needed to get Markdown from my post. To do this, I copied content to StackEdit, fix all the Markdown formatting errors and incompatibilities, and copy from there to the platform of choice. For Medium, it was even worse, as its editor is not Markdown-based, and copy-pasting required a lot of adjustments afterward. Not to mention the lack of code highlighting and having to convert everything to GitHub Gists. Quite a lot of work for simple cross-posting. Automation wasn’t even in question.

All that drove me to create CodeWrite - a tool (browser extension) designed from the ground-up for technical blogging with features like integrated Monaco editor and Prettier for code snippet handling (no more copy-pasting just to format the code!) or great compatibility with Grammarly (no more copy-pasting, just to fix a plethora of my grammar errors!). But its biggest feature by far is its “one-click publishing” feature, which auto-fills your post on developer platforms like Dev.to, Hashnode, and Medium, while handling all the incompatibilities for you!

But that was just a shameless plug in case you’d be interested. However, I’m curious to hear how you handle cross-posting - if at all. What tools do you use, where do you cross-post, and - most importantly - what pain-points have you dealt with along the way?

Discussion (6)

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xinnks profile image
James Sinkala

I like dev.to's markdown editor and especially the variety of the liquid tags it provides, so I usually start my articles in their markdown editor until completion and use that same text on my website's editor.

To get almost like results as on dev.to I updated my site's markdown editor to include Front matter support and on top of it I added a couple of liquid tags I frequently use on my dev.to posts.

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areknawo profile image
Arek Nawo Author

Yeah, I also find the liquid tags as the best way for Markdown embeds. I don’t agree on the Dev.to editor though. It’s just a plain <textarea>. Liquid tags are part of the supported syntax / format - not the editor per se.
In CodeWrite I support Markdown as input rules - i.e. they’re directly converted to rich, formatted content. I also support a syntax similar to liquid tags, which also automatically converts to interactive WYSIWYG embeds.
All this results in semantic HTML which can then be processed for Dev.to, Hashnode and Medium compatibility and auto-filling.
Planned support for direct Markdown exports and GitHub pages auto-filling is intended to allow for different Markdown output formats e.g. using liquid tags for embeds vs normal links, or underscores vs asterisks. I want CodeWrite to become a true “write once publish everywhere” tool which won’t require any copy-pasting and will automatically deal with platform incompatibilities.

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xinnks profile image
James Sinkala

I know that dev.to's editor is a plain textarea, the editor I created is also not an editor per se, it's just a plain textarea. I implemented it this way since I prefer doing the heavy lifting on the back-end rather than at the front-end level.
It's the same reason why I'm not a big fan of the WYSIWYG Javascript editors that I have been using for quite a while on other projects.

I like creating things on my own since it helps me understand what goes on underneath the tools I use and overall it helps me grow as a developer.

All the best with CodeWrite, it sounds like a interesting editor and one that I might enjoy using since it goes beyond being just an editor with the “write once publish everywhere” philosophy, that will sit well with people who cross-post their content like me.

If you are interested to have a look I wrote the following article explaining these changes I made to my editor.

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areknawo profile image
Arek Nawo Author

Thanks!
I've checked out your blog post - a nice guide for anyone "sourcing" their personal blogs from Dev.to - I've seen it's being done a lot lately. I personally run my blog on Ghost, so, for me, Dev.to is yet another platform to cross-post to.

As for creating projects on your own - I know how it is, I guess most devs do. For me, that's where my piles of (mostly unfinished) side projects come from. 😅

If you end up giving CW a try, check out the auto-filling (on Medium) demo tweet, and join the Discord server if you've got any questions.

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xinnks profile image
James Sinkala

I guess unfinished side projects are a common thing amongst devs 😅.

Hopefully I'll get to give CodeWrite a try in the future, all the best adding the support to the remaining platforms on its roadmap.

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measomvanessa profile image
Vanessa Measom

I too use StackEdit for writing my posts for Dev.to. I had similar issues with Medium, so I tend to copy my live post on Dev.to into Medium as an imported story. I'll check out CodeWrite, thanks.

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