AutoBlog Plugin Questions Answered

After all the interest in my last post about autoblogging, and all the questions too, I’ve had a bit of a rethink about it.

I now realise that for most people, just releasing the plugin and docs isn’t going to be enough.  It also needs a short report explaining a few things in more detail.

So after wrestling with that one yesterday, I decided to sleep on it and I’ve just made the decision that’s what I’m going to do.

I’ll now release the plugin (plus a short report I’m going to write today) on Saturday (26th September) afternoon.  That will also give more people a chance of grabbing it in the nickel sale as I know that some of my subscribers are currently in full time jobs.

I’ll start the nickel sale at 4.00pm GMT, that’s 11.00am EST I believe, if the US is still on daylight saving time.

So I’m sorry about that, but I reckon that’s the best way to approach it.

I’ll just cover a few of the questions raised in that last blog post now, and I’ll try to put more detail in the report.  Of course I’m a little pushed for time right now so we’ll see how far I get with that – I’ll likely continue to update the report until I’m happy with it.

I can also see there’s probably a need for something with a lot more detail in it, so I’ll release that as a separate product at a later date.

Elise asked some interesting questions about original content, sourcing articles, and posting frequency – here’s my reply to that.

Yes the blogs are profitable, but that’s really no big achievement when you stop to think about it.  If you get traffic and you select the right monetisation method that’s appropriate for that niche, then you’ll make money from it.

By that I mean that if your chosen niche is a physical product such as footwear, then it makes sense to monetise the site via Amazon / eBay.  If your niche is about fish care, then you may be promoting ClickBank products.

I’m not a big fan of AdSense, but I understand that in some cases it’s easier to use that method of monetisation.  You might want to do that initially but it’s always worth investigating to see if there isn’t a trick you’re missing, and there’s better money to be made using a different monetisation method.

Also, maybe the product is your own and you’re running a blog to draw traffic.

Next, concerning the time it takes.

If it costs me 4 hours of my time to do market research, register a domain name, install WordPress via Fantastico and add the various plugins and queue the articles, then my time is well spent.  I have both reseller hosting and also a dedicated server, so those are fixed cost overheads for me anyway, the only real cost apart from my time is the .com (if I can get it) domain registration of $9.69 from NameCheap.

As soon as the blog passes that $9.69 (which sometimes happens quite quickly), then I consider it as in profit, ignoring the value of my time, but even if you cost it out as $30 / hour then it might take anything from 6-18 weeks to make my money back, and then it’s in the black.

Learning Point: Have plenty of niche sites all earning you a little money.

Now for sourcing articles.

It’s not as difficult to grab a pile of on-topic articles as you might think.

You could spend an hour of that four hours and end up with enough to last you a couple of years with two posts a week.  All you need to do is use one of the many article directories out there and just enter keywords in their search box.  Then copy and paste, copy and paste and so on.

It really doesn’t take that long once you get into the swing, and there’s the side benefit that you’re scanning and vetting the articles for suitability as you go.  I mention that as for instance I grabbed a pile of articles about lawn mowers (using an automated method I’ll mention in a moment) and about a quarter of them were off topic.

Learning Point: It’s well worth checking out the content of the articles and not just blindly posting them.

There’s a quite useful $10 tool called Article Gatherer which will scrape articles from two of the biggest article directories and output them as text files.  You can get that here:-

http://www.frankhaywood.com/go/ag/

About the SEO plugin.

Yes I’ve been using the SEO All-In-One plugin, but I don’t bother tagging the articles or writing descriptions for them, I just let the plugin do its thing.

An alternative to that plugin is Headspace 2 which will auto-tag via Yahoo, and also attempt to add keywords for you based on the content of the article.

http://urbangiraffe.com/plugins/headspace2/

I normally post several articles over the first month, maybe 3-6 a week to get it all started, then 1 or 2 a week after that.  Sort of like when taking a course of antibiotics, your first dose should be a double dose to quickly build up the antibiotic in your system – well that’s what I always do anyway.  That’s advice from my mother who is now a retired nurse.  ;-)

BIG TIP.  You can also get full article email notifications from one of the article directories when any new on-topic articles are posted, so once you’ve set up all the post-dated articles, you could just add those new ones immediately as they appear in the article directory.

Here’s the page you’re after:-

http://www.submityourarticle.com/articles/publishers.php

And you can also do something similar at:-

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/article_announce/

Either sign up to Yahoo, or join the group if you’re already signed up.  You’ll then start receiving full article emails from there too.

Once you’re receiving those emails, if you use something like Outlook Express that will filter emails on keywords, you can get it to take the strain by moving the emails into relevant folders, or I guess even just discarding them if they don’t meet your keyword criteria.

As the related emails start appearing in your niche folders, you can just copy and post them directly and immediately on your niche blog.  Alternatively, if you’ve enabled blog posting by email, you could reformat them and forward them to your blog, which is probably faster.

Okay, that’s it.  It’s also worth reading my replies to other questions in that last post, as there are a couple of other tips in there too:-

Installing and configuring WordPress and plugins, and also cloning existing WordPress installations.

The penalty for duplicate content myth.

Finally, I’m sorry for delying the release of the plugin, but I think it’s the right decision to make, and together with the report will make it a better product purchase for you.

Here’s the launch time again.

Saturday 26th September, 4.00pm GMT (11.00am EST).  The starting price is $1.97 and will increase by 5 cents with each sale.

-Frank Haywood


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9 Comments

  1. Elise says:

    Hi Frank,

    Looking forward to the sale tomorrow and to your report! Another thought just crossed my mind after reading through the previous post. You mentioned the possibility (however remote, if you’re doing things correctly) to be labeled a “spam blog” and be delisted from the SE’s indexes. Do you have any tips on how to avoid this? Does it have to do with frequency of posts, or more about the content and the behavior of the blog owner?

    Thanks Frank,

    Elise

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @Elise: I shouldn’t have said that. I remember when I wrote it having slight misgivings and ignoring them. Don’t worry about being de-indexed, the chances are very slim.

      De-indexing will happen if you link to “bad neighbourhoods”, make it obvious you’re selling advertising (a bit two-faced of Google I know), or you’re unlucky enough to end up on a shared server with other sites that have been de-indexed, such as adult sites. As I said, chances are slim, but it does happen.

      However, you should take care with ping-spamming the global update servers as they *will* ignore you. When that happens, Google may stop visiting so often, but it’s usually not terminal. ;)

      As Ade Martin pointed out, the issue of ping-spamming by WordPress is supposed to be fixed, but I wouldn’t take any chances on this when it’s so easy to install and activate Smart Update Pinger.

      Better safe than sorry, but not something you should overly worry about, just be aware of it.

      BTW, I use Smart Update Pinger to turn off all pinging until my site is ready, so it tends to be the first plugin I install and activate. When I’m fiddling about with a new site, the last thing I want is the search engines visiting before I’m ready for them. ;)

      -Frank

  2. Frank,
    First time commenter, here, found you thru your Nickel Sale of the WPAP–which I fell in love with. I believe I’ve told you more than once, YOU ROCK! I am SO looking forward tomorrow’s nickel sale.

    I have a question about article directory-scraping for content. Given that we might be building sites to sell affiliate products with, does using someone else’s articles (that have other links in them) present any real problems? Does having that link-leak affect product sales?

    Thanks, dude!
    ~cj

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @CJ from Article Writing News: Love your blog.

      You know what? For the niche blogs built using autoblogging methods, I just don’t worry about it. It’s a case of getting them up and built and moving on. I use quite a few useful little plugins to do various things, and I’ll share as many of them as I can think of in the short report.

      The links in an article usually come in the resources box at the bottom of the article itself, and something I’ve been looking for is a simple method of inserting an ad right before the resource box that then draws attention away from it.

      In the meantime, there’s a plugin I use that auto inserts a block at the top of a page right before the article starts.

      http://richardkmiller.com/wordpress-plugin-what-would-seth-godin-do

      The idea behind that plugin is to display an ad to first time vistors, and then hide it for regulars. It does that by dropping a cookie, and after 5 visits or so, either your visitors no longer get an ad, or they get a different ad – you can configure it either way. You can also set it to be on posts only or on pages and posts, so it’s fairly flexible.

      There must be similar plugins knocking around, and I guess it’s only a matter of time before I find another one to complement it.

      So when people land on your niche site, right at the top of the landing page post there’s your ad. ;)

      Of course it would be nicer if it either rotated or randomly selected one of a list of ads, and I’m currently investigating a workround to see if I can get it to do something like that. It might be possible to use it in conjunction with the free OpenX Ad Server but it could also be far more trouble than it’s worth, so we’ll see.

      Alternatively you could of course use AdSpurt to display keyword driven hover ads. This is less a intrusive method of ad serving, and so as a result may not give as good a result as we’d want it to. ;)

      Testing and time will tell.

      -Frank

  3. S says:

    thank you for the links here

    here a tip of mine for time converting “manually”.

    http://www.timezoneconverter.com/cgi-bin/tzref.tzc

    and thank you for your present to your community with your work out idea plugin for making things work finer and easier.

    You will “hear” from me on your sale.
    I do own some of your “products”, i mean some of your solutions to help me work in the near future.
    And i will get more of that because you are an excellent creative human. Humans because you share correct with US all.

    Warm regards

    “philosophical” sharing lecture of the future:

    P.S.: By the way, if “negative” reactions are NOT to be seen, then everybody knows that they are “filtered”. A filtered reality is a post for ANGST. ANGST is the bad factor many internet entrepeneurs and internet marketiers are handling their customers.
    It is just the dark side of “filtering”.

    I have family and therefore i am used to handle those businesses by nature. And i show my kids customized these circumstances for free. It seems my kids are subscribers and customers of me beside many other things, if i am allowed to mix english with german jokeculture.

    best wishes

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @S: Thanks for that. Yes I moderate everything here, and the very few negative or off topic comments I get, I deal with outside this blog.

      Negativity doesn’t really help anyone so I try to keep things positive in all aspects of my life, although I do find myself blowing off steam every so often, I don’t ever think it’s a productive thing to do as life just isn’t perfect and we have to try to make things better.

      -Frank

  4. Hi Frank,

    Are you there? Am I registered as an affiliate for your products yet? :o ) Could you email me and send me a link to register please so that I can share your stuff?

    I’m looking forward to 4pm today.

    Cheers.

    Gareth

  5. Rich says:

    Good work. I like your no nonsense style and value of your products. Good luck.

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