Autoblogging Tips and Tutorials

On this blog I will share my knowledge about autoblogging and try to give you a few valuable tips in order to become successful. I will also try to explain a few of the less known features of WP Robot in order to help you utilize the plugin to the fullest.

Don’t use .info Domains for Autoblogs!

With .info domains being available for barely more than a dollar it is tempting to use them for your autoblogs, especially if you are planning to set up many of them. Still, I would always recomment you to go with .com or .net domains, even when autoblogging, because the few more bucks you have to spend will usually always pay back in the long run. Two good reasons:

  • Higher resale value: If you ever plan to sell one of the blogs you build having it on a .com domain will usually get you much more interest than a .info domain. And the difference you will earn from the sale will surely be higher than the $5 the .com domain was costing over the .info!
  • Easier expanding: Say you autoblog becomes so successful you decide at some point to convert it into a “regular” website. If the blog is sitting on a .info domain now you are more or less stuck with it with all the disadvantages that go with it, like less type-in or direct traffic.

Many people also argue that Google is automatically devalueing .info sites because they are often used by spammers but I would not give too much on that argument as it makes no sense for Google to rank sites for their domain extension (i.e. over their content). Still, don`t make the mistake and try to safe money in the wrong place.

WP Robot Affiliate Program: $15,000 Commission earned!

I am happy to announce that the WP Robot affiliate program continues to do very well. As of today all affiliates combined have earned more than $15,000 in affiliate commissions and there are already over 700 registered affiliates. And all that in the five months WP Robot has been released now!

The program pays 35% commission on any sale of WP Robot refered by you. Go here for more information on the WP Robot affiliate program or sign up through this link directly.

Improvements to the MIX feature in WP Robot 2.0

Version 2.0 adds some improvements to the MIX feature which can make a big difference if used correctly. Here they are:

  1. You can now use {auction:x} (replace x with a number!) inside any other template option in order to insert x eBay auctions into every post, instead of just one like previously.  So if you add {auction:3} to the end of the Amazon module’s template option each Amazon product post will contain three eBay auctions at the end. You do need to have the eBay module installed for this to work.
  2. Use {image:keyword} (“keyword” being any keyword of your choice) in your templates to add an image about keyword to your posts – instead of an image about the keyword the post was made for when you only use {image}. This can be especially useful if you have a niche site with very targeted keywords for which no images exist on Flickr. Say, there were no images on Flickr for “red dog collar” (can’t think of a good example right now). You could then use {image:dog} to simply display generic images of dogs in your posts. You do need to have the Flickr module installed for this to work.

Exception: RSS Module

Since the RSS module has no keywords associated with it, the MIX feature works slightly different for it:

  • Using {image} won’t work. You have to use {image:keyword}
  • Using {auction} or {auction:x} won’t work, you have to use {auction:keyword}

Recommended Template Options For WP Robot

Some users have asked what templates I use with WP Robot, so I decided to share them in this post. Most are actually not very different from the default settings and just incorporate the new MIX feature for better monetization and looks.

1. Amazon Template

This template incorporates all tags of the Amazon module plus 2 eBay auctions at the bottom to give visitors an alternative.


Price: {price}
Rating: {avgrating} ({noreviews} reviews)

Or have a look at these auctions on eBay:

2. Article Template

An image added in at the top to spice up the content and two ebay auctions at the bottom of the article for monetization.


3. Yahoo Answers Template

A Flickr thumbnail to go with the question…


For the other modules I do mainly use the default templates.

Some general Tips:

  • You can use the WordPress <!–more–> tag in WP Robot to split up your posts. You could for example first display the Youtube thumbnail and description and have your visitors click the “more” link to see the video.
  • You can also use tags and shortcode of 3rd party plugins in your templates. See this post for details.

Some General Autoblogging Tips

If you want to use WP Robot to create autoblogs here are some general tips and advice you might want to keep in mind. Those are mostly things I discovered myself and stuff based on my experience, no rules set in stone. As always the best advice I can give you to test different things yourself!

  1. Don’t overdo it! Don’t try to create a hugh autoblog about every possible topic with thousands of posts added to it. Generally those autoblog monsters will be marked as spam by Google quickly and not rank for any of their topics/keywords. Instead: Build small and targeted niche autoblogs around a number of popular long tail keywords. I have explained how to find good niches for autoblogging in a separate post.
  2. Add some unique content. Some people might think this defeats the purpose of an autoblog as you have to actually work and write unique content. While this might be party true you have to remember that the number 1 goal of autoblogging is to appear as a valid website of good quality on your topic. Sprinkling unique content into your automatic blogs can help you with that, especially in the eyes of Google. And I am not even necesarily talking about writing full posts about your blog’s topic: Why not add a keyword-rich introductory paragraph to your template? Or a small “about” page? All that won’t take you much time but might improve the results of your autoblog by much.
  3. Add value to your autoposts. This one goes hand in hand with the last point: Try to add value to your autoposts for your visitors wherever you can. An easy example would be a related posts plugin for WordPress but there is much more you could do, for example parsing related RSS feeds, twitter content, etc. Be creative!
  4. Mix as much different content as you can! I just told you about adding value to your autoblogs and aggregating content from different sources about one topic is actually already a form of doing that. This is probably why autoblogs with diverse content are generally doing much better than those that, say, just contain hundreds of Amazon product.
  5. Promote your autoblogs. Many people seem to create automatic weblogs and then expect them to miracuosly become popular. That’s not how it works: Just like any website autoblogs have to be promoted in order to attract visitors.

Thats it for now. If you have any questions or more tips feel free to post them in the comments!

How to set up WP Robot Link Cloaking

Since the latest update to 2.0 WP Robot has an option to automatically cloak affiliate links in your blog posts. For this option to work it is not enough to enable it in the WP Robot admin screen, you will also need to edit your blog’s .htaccess file so it contains the necessary redirecting rules for your links. This post explains how you do that.

Important: If you enable link cloaking without editing the .htaccess file none of your affiliate links will work!

Please note you will need a little knowledge of how to modify and upload files on your webserver via FTP to make this work, which is why I only recommend using cloaking for advanced users!

Ok, that said, lets get started:

1. Enable link cloaking in the options.

This one is easy:  Go to your WP Robot options page, check “Cloak Affiliate Links” and save the options.


Links to Amazon, Ebay (except in RSS feeds) and Clickbank should now look something like this on your blog: Those links will not work yet though!

2. Insert Code into the .htaccess file

WordPress can insert the necessary code into the .htaccess file itself as long as it is writeable (which it should be if you already set up permalink rules for your blog – which you should do!). To update the file go to “Settings” > “Permalinks” in your WordPress admin area and just click on “Save Settings” (you don’t have to change anything on the page).

If it worked you will see this message and can continue with step 3:


If it didn’t work it is probably because your .htaccess file is not writeable. In that case you will also be told so by WordPress on the “Permalinks” page. To fix that you can either set permission to make the .htaccess file writeable or use your FTP program to update the file yourself.

If you want to insert the code yourself, this is the full code that has to be on top of the .htaccess file:

# WP Robot Link Cloaking START
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^go/([^/]*)/([0-9]+)/([0-9]+)/?$$2&link_num=$3&cloaked_url=$0 [L]
RewriteRule ^go/([^/]+)[/]?$ http://$1&cloaked_url=$0 [L]
# WP Robot Link Cloaking END

Be sure to replace the YOURDOMAIN part with your actual domain name!

3. Move the WP Robot link cloaking rules to the top of the .htaccess file.

WordPress can automatically insert the necessary redirection rules but unfortunatelly it can not automatically move them to the top of the .htaccess file – and that is where they need to be! So check your links now and if they do not work yet you will have to edit your .htaccess file and move the rules to the top. To do that follow the following steps:

  • Download the .htaccess file to your computer with a FTP program. You can find the .htaccess file in your blogs main directory. See this link for more details on how to find your .htaccess file if necessary.
  • Open the file with any text editor of your choice.
  • Look for the lines that read “# WP Robot Link Cloaking START” and “# WP Robot Link Cloaking END” inside the file. Move those two lines with everything between them to the very top of the file. (If you can’t find the lines just insert the code you find in section 2 above into the file at the top.)
  • Save your changes and upload the file to your weblog again via FTP. Make sure you overwrite and replace the old file!

Please Note:

  • Affiliate links to Clickbank, eBay and Amazon will be cloaked in all posts on your blog, not only in posts created by WP Robot.

Using 3rd Party Plugins together with WP Robot

There are many plugins for WordPress out there that allow you to insert some kind of tag into your post which is then replaced by content, for example Youtube videos or eBay auctions – a popular example would be phpBayPro. What many people don’t know: You can also use those plugins together with posts created by WP Robot. All you have to do is add the shortcode tag of the plugin into the template options of WP Robot. If you do that each post WP Robot creates will then contain the tag of the 3rd party plugin.

You can also combine the 3rd party tags with WP Robot’s built in template tags. I.e. you could use the {keyword} tag of WP Robot to enter the keyword of the specific post into the other pugin’s tag.

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