Autoblogging 101

Good news.  I’ve decided to make this available to everyone for free.


At least for a little while anyway.

The so-called “short” report I’ve been working on to go with the AutoBlog Plugin is now finished.

It all got a bit out of hand.  It’s as simple as that.

I started out intending to write 5 or 6 pages and realised while I was writing that it would create more questions than it would answer, so I just kept going.  And 40 pages later it’s done.

Actually, that’s not true.  There’s a lot more to be written on the subject, this is really just a flavour for it.  At some point I’ll create a much fuller product and go into AutoBlogging in more detail.

If you didn’t get the WordPress plugin in the nickel sale, you can still get it at a nice discount for another 2 or 3 days until I set up the proper sales page for it.  It’s currently $13.02 as I write this, and I’ll set the final price at either $17.00 or $27.00, I haven’t decided yet.


Here’s where you can download Autoblogging 101.

[LINK REMOVED – You can still get the report by signing up to my blog notifications on the top right of the home page.]

And if you want the plugin before the price goes up, you can get it here.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business

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:-

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.

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:-

And you can also do something similar at:-

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

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business

Autoblogging, Bottle Sterilisers and Mankinis

Way back in February… no let’s go further than that.  A couple of years ago, I began investigating autoblogging as a potential earner.  In February I actually started doing something about it.

You might now be saying to yourself “what’s autoblogging?”

Autoblogging is a method of legitimately using other people’s content and building a niche specific blog which you then monetise in any way you see fit.  AdSense, AdSpurt, Amazon, eBay and so on.

You can get as much content as you like for almost any niche you like just by going along to one of the many article directories out there and lifting the articles for your own use with the authors blessing.  As long as you leave the authors link in place.  That’s the deal.

Or of course you may have purchased some PLR articles which you can use without having to link to anywhere.

There are lots of methods of autoblogging, some quite expensive, some quite complicated, and some just a waste of time.  I’ll give over some detail to all the various methods another time.

One nice and simple (and very effective) method is to let WordPress take most of the strain, and queue up a pile of posts by future dating them.  It can take a while, but the trade off is you’re creating a niche specific content rich site, naturally and over time, that you can forget about.

When you’ve completed one and set it up to post articles for the next two to three years, you can move onto the next one.

Here’s the wonderful thing, thanks to WordPress.  You get your pages indexed in the search engines wihout any additional effort other than posting, and then you get traffic.

In fact, you can’t stop the traffic once it starts, even if you stop posting articles to your blog.

This happens because you’re building a site with lots and lots of words – Google LOVES words and is as good as handcuffed to them and the search spiders just can’t help visiting to see the new words on your site.

This is because every time you make a post, WordPress sends a message out to the blogging community global update servers.  The search engines are all over these servers constantly looking for content and sites that are being actively updated.

I’ve seen that within minutes of placing a post on one of my blogs, Google turns up, courtesy of WordPress and the global update servers.

And once Google knows about your site, the traffic is inevitable.

You may not get traffic for the *exact* search terms you’d like, but you certainly get enough related traffic to make your efforts worthwhile.  And the surprising thing is, you never know what people are going to buy once they’ve clicked through to Amazon or eBay via your affiliate link.

Such as 50 Borat Mankinis or 20 Baby Bottle Sterilisers.

I’m not kidding.  We’ve seen those exact products purchased via our link on Amazon, which gave us a bit of a chuckle here – so much so that we bought a Mankini for our eldest son as a joke.  But that’s another story.  😉

Let’s just run over that again.

#1 – You choose a niche after doing a bit of market research and then set up a niche specific blog.
#2 – You fill it up with future dated posts using free articles from article directories.
#3 – You monetise your blog in any number of ways, including affiliate links off to Amazon and eBay.  (Don’t overdo it.)
#4 – You forget about your niche blog as the job is now done.
#5 – Goto #1.

Now in this process, I’ve found that the most time consuming part of it is adding each article to your blog.  It takes a couple of minutes for each one as you have to add the title, copy the content, and then *remember* to set the date and time into the future.  While you’re doing this, you have to keep a record of the date so you don’t release too many posts around the same time and then none for several weeks.

While I think about it, you also have to have the “Ultimate Plugins Smart Update Pinger” installed and active to stop WordPress from notifying the global update servers with a “ping” as you add each article.  It’s either a WordPress bug or an oversight, but even with future dated posts, WordPress will still ping the servers multiple times even though the content isn’t due to appear on your blog for weeks, months, or even years ahead.

If that happens, your site will get banned for “ping spamming” and you may as well give up there and then.  Smart Update Pinger fixes that bug and will prevent the pings taking place until the date and time that each post is released.

Problem solved.

Now let’s go back to the other problem of scheduling your posts.

What’s needed is an automated method of future dating the articles so that you don’t have to do it all manually.

Guess what?

I’ve finished testing out my WordPress plugin that will do the job for you, and will automatically schedule the posts for future release, and now I’m just about ready to release it.

What I’m going to do is release it in a nickel sale on Friday 25th September and then just like I did with WordPress Affiliate Pages, make it a 100% commission product.  Money generated in the nickel sale will go towards enhancing the plugin to make it better.

The starting price of the nickel sale will be just $1.97, which means the first 20 people to buy will get it for under $3.

The eventual sales price will be $27, and this is a chance to get it at a fraction of that price for a short while.  I’ll probably close the nickel sale after the weekend.

I’ll release more detail on Thursday 24th.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business

Taking Stock And A 12 Month Strategy

Yes I am still here.

Thank you to all the people who’ve asked if everything is okay, and where I am. Your concern is appreciated, I’ve just been lying low.

Well, actually I’ve taken a little time out to take stock and decide which direction I’m going in this next financial year. I’ve now decided what to do and hopefully you’ll come with me for the journey.

This last few months I’ve deviated from what I know works, and I’ve been doing a lot of experimentation.

First of all, what do I know works? The answer to that is right at the top of this blog, “Product Creation, Traffic, List Building, Automation.”

You create a product, you get some traffic to take a look at your offer, you build your list, and then you automate the whole process.

Cool. I’ll carry on doing that this year.

In fact I’ll be concentrating more on list building than anything else this year, and I’ll be implementing it in everything I do. I’ve decided to make list building my “hedgehog” concept from now onwards. ie no project is pursued unless it builds a list.

Secondly, what have I been experimenting with?

At the beginning of November I was introduced to IPK. I immediately saw the untapped potential and so off I went full steam ahead and created the Price Comparison service together with a method of quickly building sites thrown in for free.

This also captured my wife’s imagination and attention and she started building mini sites to take advantage of the huge empty market that was out there. She also focussed on creating some hub sites, and two of those have just begun to pay off, with two of the sites making her a total of around £65.00 ($97.50) in the first 10 days of this month.

When the children go back to school next week she’ll be concentrating on adding more content to those hub sites to get them onto page 1 of Google.

Which raises another interesting point.

She’s made that £65.00 ($97.50) from just a few visitors a day – around 30-35 average – mostly from Yahoo, MSN and some ISPs own search pages. Google so far has hardly been in the running at all, sending only 1 or 2 visitors a day.

When she gets her sites off page 5-ish of Google and onto page 1, traffic will kick in big time and her earnings will soar.

She’s never done anything like this before, and I’ve been really pleased that 1) she really got to grips with the whole site building thing (the Site Builder makes it easy) and 2) she’s making money from it and can see that her income will grow in time as long as she sticks at it.

As a result of what’s been going on with the mini-sites I’ve also been experimenting with autoblogging, with some very pleasing and exciting results.

It’s funny. You know how some things just bubble around and are there in the background but nothing happens? And then suddenly they “come of age” and everyone’s paying attention to them?

Well, it’s autoblogging’s turn to stand in the spotlight.

I mentioned automation above, and autoblogging is a perfect example of this.

You set up a niche blog, you set up a pile of relevant articles from a free article site to be posted, and push the button. From that point on you forget the blog and move onto the next one.

Here’s a great and recent example. I set up an autoblog 5 weeks ago about petrol lawnmowers. I grabbed a load of articles and queued them up for gradual release over 6 weeks to see how it would do.

There’s no advertising on that site yet, and I’m due to revisit it in the next week to put on a huge pile of articles and also some monetisation. (No, I WON’T be using AdSense.)

So far there are 84 posts and with no links from anywhere I’m now getting 4 or 5 visitors a day for the exact search terms I want people to find the site by. Google has indexed 75 pages but the site isn’t yet in the first 10 pages.

Not a lot of visitors yet, but my plans are to shortly apply a linking strategy which will boost the number of back links and traffic to the site.

The next steps for that site are:-

#1 – Queue a whole load more articles which will appear over the next 12 months.
#2 – Apply a good linking strategy.
#3 – Monetise the site with a few “lawnmower reviews” and Price Comparisons, and also a few ads using AdSpurt and Amazon (and maybe eBay) widgets.
#4 – Link to my REAL petrol lawnmower site. 😉
#5 – Forget about it.

Okay I won’t completely forget about it, as I’ll probably make changes to it as I like to experiment. Experimentation and a bit of thought and applied logic is what will make the site really pay off.

At the end of the day, this autoblogging site is disposable. Notice I said that I’ll be using it to link to my real site. Google likes it when related sites link to other sites. Not reciprocal links mind, just one way.

So if I apply a good solid linking strategy to both sites, and then link the autoblog to my real site, then the real site should do quite well. Especially if I create a couple of other related sites via autoblogging.

Finally, I’ll be automating the creation of my mini-sites by farming the work out to staff in the Philippines and Manila where the employment costs are much lower.

(I’m reliably told that there’s a technical college in Manila where the undergrads speak good English, are well-educated and like to make a bit of cash doing web work.)

So there we have it. My strategy for the next 12 months.

#1 – Continue to create new and useful products for my own business and sell them. Make list building my “hedgehog” concept.
#2 – Create niche mini-sites (monetised with Price Comparisons) using a combination of WordPress and my Site Builder service. (Build niche lists.)
#3 – Create niche autoblogs where I both monetise them and also use them to link to my real niche mini-sites in #2. (Build niche lists.)
#4 – Pay other people to do #2 and #3 for me.

I hope you can see that having a good strategy and knowing just what you’re going to be doing and how, is well worth taking some time out to decide.

Maybe you’ll decide that my strategy or at least parts of it are good ones and will work for you too.

I’ll share more with you as it happens, IF I get feedback that’s what you want me to do.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business


I’ve known about autoblogging for quite a while now, about 2-3 years I guess, but I’ve never done anything about it while spending a considerable amount of time learning a lot about it. Learning new stuff is great, but it’s not a good use of your time unless you put the learning into action.

That’s changing now as I started the first run of an “experiment” yesterday.

I took out a brand new .info domain in the baby niche for a term that suddenly seems to be getting a lot of search. My wife has earlier this week taken out a domain for the same term, and is building a site similar to the one she built a couple of weeks ago that resulted in a payout from Amazon yesterday.

So she’s building a regular “hand made” site using Price Comparisons, and I’m building an automated site using autoblogging techniques. We’re going to directly compare to see if there are any SEO or monetary benefits to doing it by hand over having a site built automatically.

In case you’ve never heard of the term autoblogging, it refers to a method of where a blog site is built automatically or semi-automatically over time. It’s populated with freely available material you can get from article directories, and is (usually) 100% white hat.

If you think about it, by gathering together a series of articles and other material on one particular topic from multiple sources, you’re creating a useful resource for anyone interested in that subject.

In the bricks and mortar world you might think of it as a specialist store such as (for instance) scuba diving. There the store owner has pulled together lots of different products all about scuba diving and it’s a one-stop-shop in that niche.

Autoblogs are no different from manually created blogs, but take a lot less effort. And they come in different guises and are used for different purposes, but the ultimate goal is to use them to make money with.

So in my case, I’m using a self-hosted WordPress blog and building it with a set of (as I’ve said) freely available articles from an article directory. I’m monetising it using the Amazon self-optimising widget (like Google AdSense, but pays a lot more), and also eventually with an eBay feed, and of course AdSpurt.

Rather than monetise it directly as above, I could have just set the blog up to grow and rank well in the search engines with no direct monetisation. I could then either monetise it by persuading people to sign up to a mailing list and then having an autoresponder send them a series of offers every week, or I could use it to send traffic to my wife’s site.

Also, instead of using a self-hosted blog, I could have used for instance a free blogger blog, and again monetise it indirectly.

And there are umpteen other methods of building and monetising autoblogs.

Now I know that any non-marketer who is more of a techy geek would likely get very agitated at this and start making false accusations like “spammer” and “splogger”, and “ruining the blogging community”. I’ve seen that talk in various places, but this is total nonsense and in most cases the same people are running AdSense on their sites.

There’s nothing wrong with monetising a blog, and if you decide to do it the easy way via autoblogging, there’s also nothing wrong with doing that either. But some people just don’t seem to get it, and I get the distinct impression that they think that’s it’s somehow cheating to do things more effectively.

After all, what’s the difference between running a generalised article directory full of other people’s articles, and running a niche blog full of other people’s articles? It’s a different platform, but the net effect is the same.

So, just to be clear, there’s a distinct difference between a splog (spam blog) and and an autoblog.

Splogs are by their nature typically black hat, and sploggers are responsible for all the junk sites out there that are filled with AdSense and non-sensical scraped and gibberised wrangled content from other blogs, where all references to the original author of the material has been removed.

Splogs will just appear on the web fully formed often with several hundred pages of junk, thrown together in a couple of hours max and are never touched again. The life expectancy of a splog is about 2-3 months (often less) before de-indexing happens, so the creator isn’t going to spend much time on them and knows beforehand they’ll only get a limited life out of them.

Autoblogs are typically white hat and centre on a niche using a range of legitimately obtained material that gives credit to the original author and the all-important backlink to their site. It’s the back link which is what spurred them to write and publically make available the original material in the first place. The material itself is often genuinely useful and well written articles, but of course not always.

Autoblogs will start small and grow slowly and naturally like a regular site would, with new material being published every day or so. Anyone that finds them would be inclined to believe that they’re maintained by hand, whereas in fact the posts are automated. Your visitors benefit by finding their one-stop-shop on the topic they’re interested in, and you benefit by not having to have done any real work while also being able to monetise your site.

It’s a win-win, and that’s always important to me in anything I do. I provide value, and I take my cut.

Here’s the learning point.

If you provide genuinely useful material on a topic, and the site conforms to what Google expects to see on any quality site – privacy policy, terms, etc – and it stands up to human inspection, then you have nothing to worry about. Over time it will become a force to be reckoned with.

I’ve seen countless what I would call black hatters make comments in forums and on blogs that go something like:-

“I make my splogs so ugly that people want to immediately click on something to get away from them. So I put a big fat AdSense block in their way. Muhahaha!”


There’s just no need to do that. Comply with what real people want and what Google want and everything will be fine. You’ll have a long term useful resource that will bring you in a nice little extra income.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business