I’m not going to give out all my secrets here. It’s taken me several years to figure all this out and I build these sites for myself and others… I’m not about to write an article to compete against myself. But I’ve received requests over time asking how I do what I do.
The sites are powered by WordPress…
I host most of the sites on a GoDaddy Shared Hosting Account from my own ParadigmDomains.com where I’m a reseller. GoDaddy provides everything you need to get started but their database is somewhat small for a site that might grow huge after running for a time. I run my databases from a VPS to have the larger databases and unload some of the ‘stress’ from the shared host.
I also build at least two more sub-sites on a multisite server placed on a second GoDaddy shared host. The three accounts and/or servers together run about $40.00 per month. You can combine all of this into one if you need to save some cash but be warned… if this takes off you’ll need the bigger database and the two subdomains are ‘where things really happen’. They will require more horsepower if things become lively.
The two sub-sites import my RSS Feeds I use Feed WordPress which should be fine for all import tasks. The first subsite is considered an offline accumulator while the second is considered a holder.
The main site also runs Feed WordPress and XMLRPC.php. The main site uses it’s Feed WordPress to pull feeds from the ‘accumulator’ via RSS while the ‘holder’ account pushes new posts via Syndicate Out. The ‘holder account’ and/or the main site run the Press Forward system via their plugin.
First, do several searches in your target niche markets. You’ll be looking to pull RSS Feeds into your blog via the accumulator sub-site. Once you find a suitable feed you’ll want to add that feed to the accumulator’s RSS Feed importer. You’ll need to tweak the setting of the accumulator to only import around 50 words of the syndicated site.
TIP: When nominating an article via Press Forward’s ‘Nominate This Bookmarklet’ you can also have Press Forward add their RSS feed to Press Forward’s feed import abilities. You can relegate Press Forward to your ‘holder tasks’ and let the holder account act as a secondary feed accumulator also.
TIP: You can use the API at YouTube to create YouTube RSS Feeds also. Your mileage on this may vary widely. I don’t use these much but I’m not really crazy about videos. Your site and market may dictate other results.
Note: The site called ‘holder’ is for feeds that need manual intervention and or editing. You’ll add those feeds to the RSS Feed Importer there. One thing you’ll want to do is set your importer to ‘manual posting’ by importing to ‘pending’ status.
The Syndicate Out Plugin used with the holder sub-site triggers on published posts. Edit the posts as you see fit and publish. If Syndicate Out is configured properly it will fire and upload the new post to the main website.
With accumulator, the main site will pull an RSS feed from the accumulator to itself and import the posts automatically. You can opt to import those feeds as pending and then use the Autopost plugin to post these on a wider schedule. I’ll leave that as an exercise to you, the reader.
There are other plugins I use with this setup. But these are the ones that make autoblogging happen. Here’s a list of the rest from my Guided WP website GuidedWP – Essential WordPress Plugins and Tools list.
You may at times find sites that get upset about you pulling their content for syndication… I’ve been doing this for five years and only had two requests or comments in that time.
One was early on from someone who said I was going to get sued immediately and the second was a complaint from someone who couldn’t understand why I pulled other feeds from sites like his but ignored him. It was a simple manner to add his feed and then reassure him all was working and well. He was delighted.
If you’re at all worried you might want to consider forming an LLC and also consulting with an attorney.
Respond promptly to any complaints explaining how this is a service aimed to benefit the niche market, the businesses and the vendors within the market you’ve chosen. Include instructions on how to OPT out (which should be your first action and already done anyway) and how to block the site from pulling further Feeds via IP.
Don’t pull feeds more than every two hours (even less is good). And only use the Title and about 30 to 50 words max. I always set my titles to the permalink of the contributing site.
Tip: Be very careful with images and videos. Some images are from sites that charge fees to use their images. You need to know they can come back on you with a sizable bill. Most proprietary images are watermarked but not all.
Same with videos. Don’t embed videos but instead provide a link to the video only. This is one of the reasons to have the holder account.
The holder isn’t auto published to the internet. Holder shouldn’t ever be linked to from the front end of your website. Neither should the accumulator sub-site be linked to.
A Note on Monetization: I use the Ebay Partner Network and LinkShare. You’ll want advertisers who provide RSS Feeds if you can find them.
Feel free to ask me for any other info. I may choose to expand on this and answer that way. I may choose to not answer due to a conflict of interests.
There’s much more to this than what I’ve covered but for the most part, a WordPress user should be able to read the docs and figure this out.
I’m considering covering other options to this such as using forums, ad servers and advertising, Press Foward, Buddy Press, eCommerce Store Fronts and possibly even CBOX with all the above.
Your positive comments and requests may drive further info.