In the world of making money online, there is one topic which causes quite a bit of controversy and is exactly that WP Robot caters for – autoblogging.
Some people use this as a great way to monetize their website and generate traffic, while some people feel very strongly against it, because they feel that their own articles are being ripped off. And for sure, there are abusive ways of performing auto blogging, or reposting of content from other’s people articles.
But, as always, the truth lies somewhere in between.
In this review, we’re going to look at the latest version of WP Robot (Version 5) – the very popular autoblogging plugin – and we’ll see why this is the best version yet.
This plugin is mostly used by affiliate sites, or those settings up blogs capitilizing on old expired, backordered or non-dropped domains (typically for PBNs), which can get strength based on the links pointing to the domain.
What is WP Robot?
This plugin is useful for two primary reasons:
- Autoblogging (i.e. posting articles automatically)
- Content curation (i.e. finding good posts from various sources and reposting it)
Both of the above scenarios have good uses for them, particularly content curation, there are sites out there such as webdesignernews.com, which are SOLELY article curation, and have made a very good business out of this.
Given that we know that you can use the plugin to autopopular your WordPress site with stuff from other sources, let’s take a closer look at a number of specific features for different use-cases and the complete list of the major features available.
- Affiliate networks – WP Robot works with major affiliate networks such as Shareasale, Commission Junction, Skimlinks, Rakuten LinkShare and others
- Travel blogs – extract and pull listings from Expedia
- ECommerce – Autoposting of products – the plugin can automatically pull products from a number of large ecommerce stores and brands such as Etsy, AliExpress, Amazon (in its various forms), Shopzilla, eBay and many more.
- Music and media sites – the plugin is able to pull media from sites such as Flickr and Pixabay, videos from YouTube and Vimeo and music from iTunes
- Jobs and classifieds – listings can also be pulled in from a number of other sources, such as Yelp and Indeed.
- RSS feeds – of course, if the site you need to pull articles from is not supported, there is always the old fail-safe – RSS. The plugin also supports pulling via RSS, which means you’ll be able to use content from any RSS source
Here is the full list of features available with the plugin:
- Bulk posting and backdating – if you are looking to jump start the articles on a new site, you can use the feature which allows you to bulk post and use backdated items to fill up a site with “older” text.
- Supports multiple languages – WP Robot also integrates with translation software and can therefore automatically translate autoblogged articles into one of its 20 supported languages.
- Customizable post templates – if you want to create any specific unique content attached with your posts, you can create unique templates to go with your autoblogged posts stand out.
- 32 different content sources – although which we mentioned a few above, there are (at the time of writing) 32 sources, besides the generic RSS of course. You can see the full list here.
- Automatic monetization – the beauty of pulling from affiliate marketplaces such as CommissionJunction or Shareasale means that pulled products already automatically include your affiliate link allowing for quick and easy monetization
- Ensure no double posting – the plugin has checks in place to make sure articles are not posted twice to your site (for example when a post is updated with a new publication date).
- Theme independent – as with most plugins WP Robot will work with any WordPress theme you have set up on your site.
- Works automatically in the background (hence autoblogging) – the WP Robot plugin is a “set and forget” kind of plugin. It has a number of jobs (called campaigns in its terminology) which are jobs which are run automatically to pull the posts in the background, without requiring any manual intervention.
- Automatic word replacement – since duplicate content will typically not rank (and may even get deindexed in Google) the plugin is able to replace specific words automatically with any other words you choose.
- Supports spinning software – since you might be pulling articles and product descriptions from certain sites, you can use the software’s integration with spinning software to create “unique” articles. Although this might seem like a shady or dodgy practice (i.e. spinning other people’s posts), the use of this software is legitimate (at least in our opinion), when it comes to spinning product descriptions (to avoid any duplicate content issues).
As can be seen from the above set of features, you’ll notice that there is a particular slant to its feature set. These are features which are typically used by affiliate sites, PBNs (private blog networks) or sites which are after a particular type of monetization, possibly through AdSense, or sponsored posts.
Apart from that though, you can also legitimately use the software as an aggregation tool.
New features in v5
If you’ve already used WP Robot in the past, you’ll notice that Version 5 has introduced a number of new features:
- Complelety rewritten interface (new)
- Additional pulling source modules (from 20 to 32)
- Campaigns with specific own settings rather than one global set of site-wide settings
- Better template creation interface
How to use WP Robot
Now that we’ve reviewed the uses and features of the plugin, we’re going to go through the actual use of set up setup a site using the autoblogging features on a local test server with a new installation of the plugin. As soon as you install and Activate the plugin, you’ll see the quick start guide, or getting started wizard. It leads you to the Options tab so that you can start setting up your sources:
In this screen, you’ll find all the sources (or modules) which can be used as sources for the posts on your site. Besides the actual article source, such as AliExpress or Amazon as per the above screenshot, you can also see any languages supported by that source. There’s also a direct link to the API of the source, which you’ll need to Sign Up to if you intend to use that specific module.
If you’re going to sign up to an API, you’ll need to generate API keys from the source, which can then be used to authenticate the plugin, and thus allow you to access the source and pull the content.
For simplicity’s sake, we will sign up with a source which doesn’t require an API registration for our review, so we’ll opt to use Pixabay and iTunes, particularly because working with localhost might cause any callbacks to fail.
Once we’ve chosen the sources and clicked on Save My Settings, a couple of new tabs appear such that we can configure the sources we’ve just chosen.
Now that these new tabs are available, below you’ll see the options you are able to configure. As you would presume, the options vary according to the source. This is, of course, the reason why modules are released slowly, because each source requires a lot of customization and development, to be able to cater specifically to that source.
As you can see, for this case, you can select the Country, Language and Categories of articles you want to pull from iTunes. There is a template for this content, which is directly available for editing. To customize the template, you simply click on the available template tags to insert them into the template.
Creating an Autoblogging Campaign
Now that we’ve configured the iTunes source (and other sources you’re planning to use), you can create campaigns which will use your article sources. As a quick catch-up, a campaign is a task which WP Robot will complete on your behalf, which will autopost or autoblog my pulling content from that source onto your website.
We still have to set a number of options for the campaign
- Posting frequency – how often we would like to post on our site
- Keywords – which keywords shall be used to determine which articles to pull
- Categories – which categories should be used, to determine which posts to pull
You can then chose to either automatically publish this, or save it as a draft. The latter is useful so that you can log in and quickly review and publish any posts you’re happy with – essentially this is a form of manual approval of the articles before they goes live. Of course, if you’re happy with your setup, you’ve also got the option to publish everything automatically.
Now, we can start making real use of the templates – it’s possible to create a single post by combining multiple content sources where it makes sense. For example, let’s say we add a Pixabay image to our posts. It might not make sense to do this with our iTunes listings, but if we’re pulling other types of posts, stock images from Pixabay might be useful to differentiate and improve the quality of our listings.
For variation or to create a bit of randomness to our articles, we can create multiple templates, and then use them randomly, so that our autoblogged content uses different “styles”.
Then, we can exclude, require, or replace certain keywords with our own specifications.
Should you require, you also have the option to set up translation or article spinning here, if you require this functionality for your own articles and sites.
Once everything has been configured, you’ll see that it starts pulling songs from the artists we have specified. The posts will be pulled based on the post-interval (let’s say 2 minutes)
It is possible to refine and view details for our campaigns on the Campaigns page. The view includes a detailed log (View Details) of actions taken, so that you can understand what’s happening for each campaign.
Content Curation with WP Robot
Content Curation is a new feature introduced in Version 5. This allows the creation of backdated bulk articles to popular a website with articles.
Let’s have a look at how to set this all up.
You can either use the WordPress API to populate the content, or else upload the articles straight to the site via content files.
Once we’ve defined how we’re going to import the articles, we’ll decide what dates and authors to assign to the pulled articles. You can assign random dates (from a specified date) and random authors to each post.
Last, you can set to which categories you want to post, what post type to use and whether to publish the posts or set them as drafts and a number of other specific settings as can be seen below.
WP Robot Version 5
Previous versions of the plugin had received a number of negative reviews about its interface, which was not well designed and difficult to navigate. Clearly, the new intuitive Version 5 has been very well thought-out, focused on achieving and end-result and vastly improving the user experience, resolving any problems which existed in older versions.
If you get stuck, there’s detailed support documentation available to guide you.
Given that this is an autoblogging plugin, it’s strength lies in creating articles which do not stick out sorely as duplicated content, particularly in the eyes of Google. Most especially, the problem of creating identical product descriptions is something which requires a fix. The fact that WP Robot helps you spin up content, until you have time to work on the article and improve it (when it starts to rank), allows you to create unique content. It also allows you to focus your attention where necessary, rather than having to rework all of the posts from the get-go. This is a great advantage for those who operate in this sector of the industry.
Overall, we believe the plugin is easy to set up and get it up and running. We believe you should be able to launch your site within 30 minutes tops, even if you’ve never used the plugin.
Advanced users also have the full flexibility they require to set up auto blogged articles as necessary.
The pricing of WP Robot starts at $99/year for 3 sites. If you have more sites, there are higher tiers, up to $259/year for up to 100 sites. At about $2.60 per site / year, this is a great deal.
We do believe that compared to the alternatives, WP Robot is a great option for auto posting, autoblogging and populating your site from other sources. Even compared to alternatives such as WP RSS Aggregator which has a single source (RSS), you’ll see that with WP Robot’s 32 sources, the two plugins cannot really be compared.
Given that any previous issues with the interface have been resolved, we believe this plugin is now ready for prime-time. We also love the fact that you can manually review posts before they go live, giving full control to the owner, if you so-require.
We believe that for the feature set, you’re unlikely to find a good alternative to WP Robot.