- All Autoblogs Are Created Equal
- How Autoblogs Make Money Online
- Setup an Autoblog
- Protect Your Autoblog From Being Deindexed
- The Truthful Conclusion
When I was little I wished there was a robot that could help me with my school homework. One day, my aunt told me the supermarket across the street sold a chick robot (baby chicken that is) that could hold a pencil and scribble homework answers on my school notebook. She said she would get me one the next day. I was so excited that night, I couldn’t sleep.
Of course, I never got my homework solving chickbot, but I’m not the only person to fantasize about robot servants. There have been many movies, TV shows, and novels about this very same fantasy. It’s something people will continue to desire and strive for. The autoblog concept exploits this desire.
So, supposedly, autoblogs are computer programs that can relieve you from the tedious task of content writing. Certainly, these autoblog programs are more real than chickbots, but are they real enough to help you make sustainable money online? Let’s see…
All Autoblogs Are Created Equal
First off, how exactly do you think an autoblog works? Is an autoblog any website where content is automatically generated and posted on the website without the owner’s involvement? Well, of course not. Content on Twitter, Facebook, and Wikipedia is generated without the owners’ involvement, but these are called user-generated content sites.
Okay, so, is this below a more appropriate definition of an autoblog?
A website where content from other websites is automatically gathered, rearranged and then combined in order to make it more easily consumable and thus valuable to the reader.
If that indeed is what an autoblog is then there couldn’t be anything wrong with it. After all, Google News, Technorati and other respectable websites that mashup content from external sources are all essentially using content that’s already out there.
Yeah, but unfortunately, the definition above is not really true. I have used autoblogs and here is what an autoblog really is:
It’s a website that copies articles from external sources (sometimes infringing on copyrights) and re-posts them on your website in a linear, boring way that doesn’t improve the original content in anyway.
Autoblog just takes blog posts, articles, videos, photos, and products from external sources then posts them on your own blog one by one. It doesn’t combine this information or process it in a meaningful way. Actually, scratch that. Some autoblogs do process the imported content. They garble it in the hope of making it “unique” and not infringe on copyrights. But this process only turns written content into meaningless gibberish.
An autoblog doesn’t really add any value to the content. But let’s ignore this fact. Who cares about adding value? Our primary goal is to MAKE MONEY! So let’s get started…
How Autoblogs Make Money Online
To show you how an autoblog makes money, consider this example.
You create an autoblog about iPods and iPhones. Then you retrieve content from popular Apple websites. From one website you retrieved an article with the title:
Argument Over iPod Ownership Leads to Shooting
And the next article you retrieve is from another website and it’s titled:
Apple Ships iPhone 4 with Free Skin
On your website both articles appear on the same web page even though the two articles came from totally different websites.
Now someone with bad English (or who simply made a mistake) is searching Google for “iPhone shooting skin”, maybe he’s looking for a skin design with guns and bullets or whatever. Because your web page has all the necessary keywords: “iphone”, “shooting”, and “skin”, it’s one of the hits that appear at the top. The user clicks through to your website and after a few seconds he realizes that he made a mistake. Your website has no relevant information. The user is now frustrated, but he sees an ad on your website that says Cool iPhone Skins! He clicks on it and you earn some ad revenue. KA-CHING!
But as you may have guessed, the keyword combination coincidence that lead a visitor to your website doesn’t occur very often. So with autoblogs you’ll need to rely on quantity rather than quality. In other words, you’ll need to build dozens of autoblogs to make serious money online.
Say you built 50 autoblogs, each one generating $2 per day, netting you $100 per day…not bad! Except it may take some work to…
Setup an Autoblog
As the name implies, autoblog works on auto-pilot. You set it and forget it. But before you reach the “forget it” stage, there is some work that you’ll have to do. You’ll have to:
- install and configure autoblog scripts and plugins
- do some marketing and SEO for your autoblog
- put up some ads
Autoblog Plugins and Scripts
Installing and getting started with an autoblog website isn’t very difficult. After all, an autoblog is an unsophisticated website that just copies content from other places and posts them one by one. How hard can it be to install and configure a script that does this simple task? It’s not hard. Here is a comprehensive list of all the notable autoblog scripts/plugins:
|This is the de facto autoblogging plugin for WordPress. It has the ability to grab content from many various different places such as: free article directories, RSS feeds, Amazon, eBay, ClickBank, Yahoo, Twitter, Flickr, and more. In fact, it can also attempt to combine content from different sources in one single article. This plugin just asks you to specify the main keyword(s) for the niche of your blog, and it’s supposed to do the rest of the work. But from my experience, if your niche is not very popular, like say “duct tape crafts”, it will fail to find content for it. Read more about WP Robot >>|
|Another popular autoblogging plugin for WordPress. This one isn’t as fully featured as WP Robot, but it gives you most of what you need. It basically just works with RSS feeds, but it can break down RSS feeds and digest them very well. Read more about AutoBlogged >>|
|At the time of this writing, this is one of the most popular internet marketing products in the world! Mind you, it’s not popular because it’s great. It’s popular because the people behind it are willing to blatantly lie in order to sell it to anyone and everyone. I really recommend that you steer away from this one. According to online reviews, Autoblog Samurai is even inferior to WP Robot. Read more about Autoblog Samurai >>|
This is an open source, free autoblog plugin for WordPress that’s just as good as the ones above, all of which are commercial paid programs by the way! In fact, FeedWordPress has some features that the plugins above lack, such as assigning posts from a particular RSS feed to multiple categories. Read more about FeedWordPress >>
|Even though this one isn’t as popular as some of the other autoblogging plugins above, it’s very unique. First of all, it’s stuffed with all sorts of features. Also, it offers a hosted solution and a self hosted solution. You can buy a perceptual license or a monthly subscription, up to you (disclosure: I have no idea what this image on the right means!). Read more about BlogSense >>|
Marketing Your Autoblog
Now that you’ve installed and configured your autoblog, it’s time to bring some traffic to it. If you don’t market your autoblog, you may not get ANY traffic at all. Marketing websites is a complex area of expertise in itself. It involves lots of stuff: social media marketing, search engine optimization, PPC advertising, and whole lot more. Yes, you’ll have to do that for your autoblog. Check out what this autoblogger said in a forum post:
I own many auto blogs and currently not making much money on it. I’m looking to expand my collection and create more auto blogs and have someone that knows how to advertise and do some good SEO work. I do not have the tools for this such as Scrapebox or Xrumer. LinkBuilding will be Plus
I know how auto blogs work, how to create them and manage them, and do all of that. It’s just the advertising and such I need help with.I have some great Ideas .so Pm me
See. Simply making autoblogs doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll be successful. This smart guy above has “many auto blogs” but he’s “not making much money.” Sad but true.
Okay, so, you’ve done all the hard marketing work and now you’re looking to put up ads…I got you covered…
Ad Networks for Autoblogs
When it comes to monetizing an autoblog there are two main mediums: ads and affiliate links. Using affiliate links with autoblogs is less risky. You sign up for an affiliate program, put the link on your website and that’s it. The vendor probably doesn’t mind because he doesn’t pay you unless your links actually make sales.
But when it comes to actual contextual ad networks, that’s when it gets a little messy.
Publishers (like you) are dime a dozen, but advertisers are valuable. They’re the customers. They’re the ones who’re always right. So, decent ad networks, through which you can actually make money, are always looking out for the best interests of advertisers.
Autoblogs generally produce untargeted clicks that don’t convert well for advertisers. That’s why ad networks don’t want autoblogs on their networks. Sure, you can sign up with some fly-by-night ad network, but that’s just a waste of time because you probably won’t get paid with them.
If you really want to make money from ads, you gotta use established ad networks, such as AdSense.
AdSense for Autoblogs
Many autobloggers use AdSense because it’s easy and reliable…until the publisher account gets banned that is. Yes, unfortunately, even AdSense has started cracking down hard on autobloggers in 2010. An email AdSense sent to publishers said:
It is important for a site displaying AdSense to offer significant value to the user by providing unique and relevant content, and not to place ads on auto-generated pages or pages with little to no original content.
Autoblogging publishers started appearing on online forums sobbing and saying things like:
its really risky. google just terminated my adsense account, i appealed but as usual it get denied. then i opened another one. did not used it to any site yet !!! i am also scared that if i use it on autoblog especially on those blogs where i had my previous adsense i will loose this account as well. google sucks !!!
Or this poor guy:
My site, http://ieurope.biz, was blocked by Google AdSense, with no real explanation. Looking at Google’s report, I believe that they accuse me of content scraping.
So, you’re not gonna wanna use AdSense. They’ll ban you before your first check arrives. And once an account with AdSense is banned, it’s very hard to get it back. Save AdSense for other non-autoblog projects.
Anyway, let’s say that, by the will of Dog, you were able to monetize the traffic of your autoblog. It’s now time for you to learn about how to…
Protect Your Autoblog From Being Deindexed
At this point, you know it and I know it: autoblog is spam. Search engines, like Google, don’t want to send their users to spam sites. Google is always trying to serve the most relevant results to their users. That’s why Google regularly deindexes autoblogs. Here’s a snippet from Google’s policy regarding autoblog content:
some webmasters attempt to improve their page’s ranking and attract visitors by creating pages with many words but little or no authentic content. Google will take action against domains that try to rank more highly by just showing scraped or other auto-generated pages that don’t add any value to users. Examples include: [...] scraped content: Some webmasters make use of content taken from other, more reputable sites on the assumption that increasing the volume of web pages with random, irrelevant content is a good long-term strategy. Purely scraped content, even from high-quality sources, may not provide any added value to your users without additional useful services or content provided by your site. It’s worthwhile to take the time to create original content that sets your site apart. This will keep your visitors coming back and will provide useful search results.
This is not an empty threat by Google. They have indeed taken action against such automated sites. Here’s what one victim of Google’s wrath had to say:
I had two blogs using Auto-scrap scripts to copy content from other sites.
But I did not copy the entire article. Only the first 250 words and images. Then linked to the original post on those blogs. I also wrote some original content.
Soon, I had thousands of articles, which attracted hundreds of visitors, and I started making money. But it was shortlived. Both my blogs were deindexed from Google and domains banned. It was all a waste.
And when you’re deindexed from Google, then what? You can kiss all the organic traffic good bye. And if you don’t have organic traffic, how else are you gonna get visitors to your autoblog? Are you gonna invite your Facebook friends and Twitter followers to go to your boring autoblog and click ads? That’s not gonna work.
How about this…
Automatic Content Rewriting
Some of the autoblog plugins mentioned above offer automatic content rewriting. Basically, they rearrange the words, translate the content from one language to another and then back to the original language and try to do a few other things in order to make the content seem unique. But in the end, it is still text that is manipulated by a computer. Let me ask you this, do you think the engineers at Google can’t make a program that detects computer-manipulated text? They can and they have.
If your website’s text is generated by a machine, another, more sophisticated, more Googley machine can easily detect it.
If you autoblog, you will be deindexed — if not immediately, at best eventually. So, where does all of this leave us?
The Truthful Conclusion
As I said, autoblogs are monotone websites that simply copy/paste content without doing anything creative or useful with that content. But even if you don’t care about providing something useful and you only want to make money, you’re still faced with tough challenges. An autoblog requires more marketing than a usual blog to get traffic. Even when you start getting traffic, you’ll have a hard time getting advertisers. Even if you succeeded in both getting traffic and monetizing that traffic, you’re always living with the possibility of being cast out of the Interwebs.
It’s not like you can setup an autoblog in 10 minutes and say, to hell with it if doesn’t work. Setting up an autoblog requires at least niche research and script installation and configuration. It’s a big investment of your time and money. This investment is much better allocated to more worthwhile endeavors.
Don’t fall for the hype and lies. Autoblogging is seeing increased popularity nowadays because the spammers who used to create and make money from autoblogs are realizing that it doesn’t work anymore. So, what did they do to milk what’s left of their short-lived money making cow? They want other people to pay them for a concept that used to work a little but definitely no longer does.
Instead of toiling over autoblogs, create a single website and have fun with it.
Look, even Homer realized that copying other people’s content doesn’t get you any traffic:
So, start a real website. And if you really, really must start an autoblog, start one like this.