How to Build a WordPress Autoblogging Website

Autoblogging is a way of setting up a website whose blog is taken care of automatically, constantly updated with fresh, curated and quality content of your choice. It can also be an opportunity to make use of affiliate marketing and earn some extra cash every month. As a way of showcasing the power of WP RSS Aggregator we decided to do just that; we set up an autoblogging website from scratch.
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Autoblogging is a way of setting up a website whose blog is taken care of automatically, constantly updated with fresh, curated and quality content of your choice. It can also be an opportunity to make use of affiliate marketing and earn some extra cash every month.

Since we’re also the team behind the WP RSS Aggregator plugin we decided to build such a website to showcase the plugin’s power. With our team being a remote team and our very own Alyona already running a travel blog over at Alyona Travels, we chose travel as the website’s topic, and put together a long list of travel bloggers from around the world.

Once this was ready we chose our domain name, purchased it along with a hosting plan, and started putting together the website. You can follow the whole process in the video below or keep reading.

The Tools Used

All that’s needed to set up such a site is a clean WordPress install, a theme, a small selection of plugins and a few hours of work. The rest would take care of itself over time.

The Theme

theme-gather

For this project we used the Gather premium theme from DevPress. We chose a premium theme since we had it handy and it fit the bill for the look we were going for, however you’re free to use any free WordPress blogging theme, and there are plenty of great ones.

The Plugins

Firstly, we needed the website to have backups available, to filter out spam content, and to update automatically whenever needed, so we made use of a few plugins. These are Advanced Automatic Updates, Akismet and BlogVault. The latter is the only premium plugin, however you can make use of a free alternative instead. We also set up Jetpack to keep track of the published posts and Ninja Forms to handle the contact forms across the website.

Apart from those, all that’s needed is WP RSS Aggregator and it’s add-ons. Here we made use of the complete Advanced Feeds Bundle, however you can achieve something very similar with only the Feed to Post add-on.

The Process

Before getting started with the importing of posts, we set up the basic requirements for the website. So we changed the general settings, customized the theme from its settings, and set up Jetpack to monitor the statistics as well as BackupBuddy to keep automatic backups.

Once that was done it was time to set up WP RSS Aggregator. First up we activated the license keys and started looking through the general settings available, setting an age limit of 6 months for all imported posts and settings the feed sources to be fetched every 12 hours by default.

travel-blogger-general-settings

Now, since the intention of this website isn’t to steal anyone’s content we only wanted to import and display the first 150 words from each post. This will give the reader a taste of what the post is about, then link them to the original post on the feed source’s website. This guarantees that the author of the post gets the credit that he or she deserves.

A way of doing this is to use the Word Trimming feature in the general Feed to Post settings of WP RSS Aggregator. By setting it to Trim the Content at 150 words it will limit the content imported to just that amount, along with any images included within that part of the post.

Another way to also give as much credit as possible to the original author of the post is to use the plugin’s feature whereby it creates a new user for the author listed within the RSS feed. This ensures that he or she is given credit for the post immediately.

travel-blogger-word-trimming

Next up we started creating our first feed source. Below you can view the settings we used for the Alyona Travels blog as an example. After entering the RSS feed’s URL and choosing a few simple settings, we then created a new post category within the WordPress site specifically for this blog. This way, all imported posts for Alyona Travels can be located within one category, and they can be displayed individually should the need arise.

Apart from that we also wanted a way to link back to the original post at the very end of the 150 word limit, and this is where the Append to Content feature came in. By using the available placeholders we set up a message saying “Keep reading this article on {{feed_name}}”, where “this article” linked directly to the original post while “{{feed_name}}” displayed the title we set for the feed source and also linked directly to the feed source’s URL.

taverl-blogger-append

After setting the same author and word trimming features we mentioned earlier, all that was needed was to publish the feed source and fetch the first few available posts. Our blog now start being populated with content that was in turn being linked to its original source for further reading.

With this feed source as an example of what was needed we simply needed to add the rest of the feed sources and populate our site.

travel-blogger-feed-source

The End Result

Once all the feed sources were set up, along with the website’s about page and contact forms, the Travel Blogger Community website was up and running. In just a short amount of time we had set up a brand new website that provided our readers with a single source from where to find all the latest news from their favourite travel blogs.

travel-blogger-community-website

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24 Responses

    1. You’re welcome Jon, glad you like it! We’d love to see what you come up with once it’s ready 🙂

  1. Mark, for now I just have the core-plugin set up. It generates a short list of just 5 posts at the bottom of my website homepage (http://introtopumps.com). The same list is duplicated at a child page (/pump-business/) and then the full list of posts is available at another page (/pump-business/pump-news/). In the next few weeks I plan to create a newsletter that picks 5 or so of the most interesting reads generated by the feed and send those out as a weekly update (similar to The WhiP from WPMUDEV).

    Anyway, thanks for the great plugin!

    1. Hi Don, what do you mean by “feeds moved to the website after being published”? Care to give me an example please?

  2. When I first publish the feeds they are not immediately on the site, they show up in “recent post” but are not showing on the site unless I go to “recent post” and bring them up there.

  3. One other thing; this plugin is made up of many different components,add ons, where as the customers would have been better served with one comprehensive plugin made up of all the “add ons” that must be purchased separately.

  4. Hey. Any ideas on how to improve performance and maybe also auto-delete older posts and media?

    I believe the WP media gallery gets a lot of images really fast and becomes overpopulated.

    1. Hi Juan, WP RSS Aggregator gives you the ability to delete posts that are older than a certain period of time. For example, you can have all posts and their content deleted when they’re one week old, or even 6 months old. It’s a feature within the core plugin that also applies with all premium add-ons.

  5. Hi – is it possible to only display a main image and excerpt, and then link to the original post, meaning to not import the posts?

    I’d like to make a site that only displays the main stories on a topic, gathered from various sources, and then refers to the original sources.

  6. Can I show “full posts” on my website from various different feeds without duplicate content issues?

    1. https://docs.wprssaggregator.com/q-how-will-importing-existing-posts-affect-the-seo-for-my-site-and-the-source-site/

      It does not seem like there is a winner in either case. If I import content on my site, then the post may be penalized for duplicate content, and if I tell Google that this is a Canonical post, then I will not rank anyway, because Google ranks the original source.

      Even if I add original content to the post, and tell Google this is a canonical post, then I am just telling Google I am not the original source of the content.

      am I missing something?

      1. With aggregated or curated content, the idea would be that you become a go-to source for a specific market or niche, so importing content and leaving the site to do all the work will rarely be enough.

        I’d recommend adding your own original content alongside the imported articles and videos, promoting the site within the market or niche you’re focusing on, and winning over repeat visitors that way.

        The idea is not to import an article and have your version rank on Google, that would be stealing the content outright.

        You can potentially have your version rank on Google in another way – take the imported article, add your own view of what’s written in it (within the same post) before publishing, possibly only using parts of the original article that have value, and then it becomes a sort of a reaction or analysis of the original post.

        There’s a number of ways you can apply all this, so let me know if you’d like me to elaborate on any of them.

  7. HI, this is an awesome read, however i wanna ask, can i import an RSS and still maintain the category of the imported RSS. my point is, i have several website i want to get rss feeds from, and am looking for a way to maintain the existing categories of all the Website am generating my RSS from. is that in anyway posssible

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