Free Passive Income Generation & AutoBlog Tools

Royal Wedding Bandwagon

So you might know that BlogPiG is a UK based company.  Today, 29th April, Prince William, the future heir to the British throne married the lovely Catherine Middleton.

Spiffing! Splendid! Hurrah!

Now, I’m not sure about the rest of the world, but here in Blighty we’ve gone Royal Wedding crazy.

Flags are waving, cardboard cut-outs of Wills and Kate adorn seats in cafes and stools in bars (I know, I’ve seen the photos on Facebook), street parties abound and the UK has even been given the day off work!

William and Kate do seem an ideal couple.  Kate brings to William the warmth and stability of a normal family background, home cooked meals and trips to the supermarket.

William brings to Kate the ultimate little girl’s dream-come-true of growing up to be a princess!  They are a perfect match.

WARNING: You are about to be exposed to the gratuitous shoe-horning of a marketing message into a topical item of world interest.

And here it is: Just as William and Kate are an ideal match, so many of the BlogPiG products are ideal partners.

Take the industrious CommentPiG. This busy plugin benefits no end from the guiding hand of TagPiG as its partner.  Like any good husband should, CommentPiG will take orders from TagPiG and do a much better job of its task as a result.

Likewise, CSVPiG, with its awesome store building strength, needs a good partner to look out for its best interests. CloakPiG will protect the commissions due from all those product listings on the online store, and will make sure CSVPiG’s hard work is not wasted.

So, if you have one of our products and think it would benefit from a partner (or more than one partner, as far as I know PiGs are not monogamous creatures), then consider our rippingly royal herd of prospective companions:
Simply click on the links below to find out more about each product:

  • TagPiG – Tag your blog posts instantly
  • CloakPiG – Cloak your affiliate links and increase your revenue
  • CSVPiG – Build online stores from datafeeds in minutes

Don’t forget that you can trial the products for just $7 for 7 days and if you go on to buy a full license, it comes with our 60 day money back guarantee.

Now, I’m off to put in my order for 10 of those delightful commemorative tapestry cushions – one’s parlour can’t be too regal, you know.

Royally warm regards,
Fiona

Top Tips for Automated Comments

Since the Google Farmer update and the renewed focus on website content, we are finding more WP site owners are installing CommentPiG on their blogs.  (As discussed in a previous post, a blog with comments does not have one of the obvious footprints of an autoblog or ‘content farm’).

As a result, I find I’m getting more questions about CommentPiG these days.  Ultimately what people are asking is this:

How Do You Get the Best Results from CommentPiG?

You want comments fast, you want a good supply of them, you want this done automatically. BUT you also want the comments to be as on-topic and life-like as possible.

Based on a recent blog where I installed CommentPiG, and Gary’s thoughts on the matter, I thought I’d share some tips to help if you are using or plan to use CommentPiG.  They’ve worked for me.

Steer The PiG

To run CommentPiG in fully automated mode, delivering the best possible comments automatically, you need to set it off on the right track (and then the PiG gets passive, honestly):

  1. Make sure your tags are spot on.  By default CommentPiG searches for suitable comments based on the tags in the posts.  On topic tags = on topic comments.  (We use TagPiG on all our WP sites, including this one).  You can ask CommentPiG to reference other targets e.g. post title or another custom field of your choice but the same rule applies – make sure they are on topic!
  2. Under the ‘Filters’ section of the plugin, tick the ‘Keyword in Comment’ box.  This means the keyword (taken from the tags or post title etc.) will feature in the comment to be posted, helping relevancy
  3. Set CommentPiG to reference tags only with two or more words – you can do this under ‘General Settings’.  S0, on a post about trout fishing tagged with ‘trout fishing’ and ‘fishing’ it would get comments about the tag ‘trout fishing’ (on target) but ignore the tag ‘fishing’ (too broad)

Personally, this delivers results I am happy with but different niches or topics can get different results.  If you really want to hone CommentPiG’s perfomance on a particular blog, you can employ this fourth tactic:

  1. Take the time to switch each comment source on individually to test the quality and relevance of the comments.

Different sources can deliver better or worse results depending on the niche of the site. By testing them, you will get an idea of which sources to enable and which to disable for your niche.

You can speed up this process by hitting the ‘Post Comment Now’ link after each source has been turned on, so you can see immediate results.  This button can be found under ‘Status’ on the top right of the CommentPiG settings page.

So, this up front work can take a wee bit of time (maybe an hour to test the sources?) but then you can leave CommentPiG to run automatically in confidence.

Holding CommentPiG’s Hand*

*Trotter?

If you have a website which needs special attention, or you feel you need to be especially fussy about the comments posted to your blog, you could consider running CommentPiG in semi-automated mode.

You can use our four free comment scrapers (available in the members’ area) to pre-scrape comments and drop them in an Excel file. You can then manually edit them in the file and upload them to CommentPiG as a local database.

You can set CommentPiG to draw comments from this database, meaning you guarantee you are happy with each and every comment because you’ve had some input before publication.

This takes more time than the fully automated mode but is obviously a hugely faster and more scalable means to get comments than waiting for real visitors to comment.

Get More from BlogPiG

So, I hope this helps you get the best performance out of CommentPiG.  I’ll post this content to the knowledge base too for future reference.

I’d be interested to hear if you think we should change the default settings of CommentPiG to those I’ve outlined here.

Got any more helpful tips you’d care to share about using this product?

You can find out more about CommentPiG here.

Happy blogging,

Fiona

Video Demo: How to Build an Online Store With Data Feeds

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So, you might remember that earlier in the month we invited you to watch a webinar and live demo of Gary building an online store using a data feed and CSVPiG.  The webinar was hosted by the US online retailer, Football Fanatics, who have a product catalog of over 165,000 items available via data feed.

Football Fanatics have two brilliant affiliate managers who are providing their affiliates with more support and training than I’ve seen from a merchant in a while – hence the series of educational webinars they are hosting and their invitation to us.  The webinar went well and you can watch the archived version here:

***Please note that the offer included in this video expired at midnight 24th March 2011!***

As well as seeing two stores being built realtime, if you watch the video you’ll also get to hear some questions which you might want to know the answers to, like:

  1. Will Google consider the product descriptions you publish to be duplicate content?
  2. Can you modify the content?
  3. Can you upload multiple datafeeds into one blog?
  4. How much server space do you need to host these data feed stores?
  5. What’s the best way to manage a huge product catalog?
  6. Can you put different feeds into different categories?
  7. Does CSVPiG play nicely with other plugins?
  8. Does CSVPiG work with other sources of content?
  9. How many templates does CSV come with?
  10. Is it possible to add other fields?

This webinar can give you a great insight into building online stores from data feeds, and also how CSVPiG works.

At the end of the video you will see that we ran a special offer on CSVPiG. The offer was crazy (someone even called it ‘ridiculous’) but we ran it for two weeks.  The offer expried on 24th March so I am sorry if you missed out but there can be no exceptions.  CSVPiG is a well priced, good-value product at $77, really!

Later this week I’ll be publishing another post about data feed marketing.  A seasoned data feed marketer will be revealing some very good tips on how to get your sites approved by merchants and affiliate networks first time around (Glenis, this one is for you!).

Let me know if this demo has been useful and if we can do more of them for you.

Fiona

P.S. You can find out more about Football Fanatics and their affiliate program here.

Five Tips to Avoid the Content Farm Scythe

Something our members have asked us to comment on recently is Google’s latest update and how BlogPiG products stand in light of it.  Given here at BlogPiG we produce ‘PiGs’, it does seem quite apt that I should be writing about a Google update labelled as the ‘Farmer’ in any case.

We all know by now that Google’s Farmer update was a large-scale cull – everybody’s been talking about it and blogging about it.  Some big names have taken a hit, not to mention the swathes of smaller players who are just trying to make a buck.

So how can you help protect your sites from Google’s scythe?  Well, we have some proven theories and tools to put to you but first look at the context:

Who is Google aiming its scythe at?

Google is clearing out content which it deems to be of low grade.  Google wants to serve the best content it can to its users so it can keep hold of its share of the search market (erm, that’d be total domination, then?).

What defines low grade content?

Content which is shallow or duplicate or, critically, which looks software-generated rather than human-generated.  This is because Google thinks auto-generated content is not as useful to its users as hand-crafted, human-generated, unique content.

How does this affect you?

If you’re a BlogPiG customer, chances are you run multiple blogs, or one or two very large and critical blogs.  Some of our customers have hundreds and hundreds running at any one time.  Let’s be honest:  it’s an impossible to task to have totally human generated content on that many blogs.

So if you use content that hasn’t been bespoke-written for your site by a human, how do you not look like a content farm?

Actually, the question to ask is: how to I make my blogs or websites look human generated and human managed?

The key is to go and take a look at the sites that are still ranking high in the search engines. We’ve been doing this for years and we’ve noticed five major trends.

Comments

Comments are like votes.  Blogs only attract real comments if their posts are of value to the readers and in most cases this means they are not automated. Google knows that comments are difficult to get so a post with lots of comments is a trust indicator.  In general Content Farms do not have comments. We’ve always considered this to be a big footprint which is why we developed CommentPiG. CommentPiG gradually adds on-topic comments automatically to your posts removing the very obvious “no comments” footprint.

Read more about CommentPiG’s comment simulation here.

Tags

Most people who hand craft their blog posts will also spend a bit of time adding appropriate tags to it before publishing them. Tagging is very beneficial but also very manual process which is why it is another trust indicator.  In general we’ve noticed that Content Farms do not tag their posts like real bloggers do. Again we consider this to be an unnecessary footprint so we developed TagPiG to totally automate the tagging process and wipe out another obvious footprint.

Read more about TagPiG’s auto tagging here.

Site Growth

Most real blogs grow gradually over time, maybe a few posts per week on average. This is often termed ‘organic growth.’  For years now it has been possible to simulate a site that grows automatically over time – every autoblogging tool worth its salt has auto growth built-in including our own CSVPiG.  In fact, you don’t even need a plugin as WordPress’ own Schedule Post feature gives you the ability to completely automate organic growth. Content Farms often publish new posts & pages over time. Given the ease of automation we no longer consider organic site growth a reliable trust indicator.

Page Freshness

This is a very different concept to site growth. Real blog pages tend to grow and change over time as more and more comments are added. This keeps the pages fresh.  If each time Google visits a page on your site it appears exactly the same as the day you published it then Google is eventually going to stop coming back. Studies have shown that Google tends to visit static pages once every 25 days whereas it will visit daily for regularly updated pages. Content Farms tend to publish static pages that receive no comments and so become stale very quickly. This is another reason we developed CommentPiG to add fresh new comments to your pages on a regular basis just like a real blog.

You can read more about CommentPiG’s page freshness feature here.

Social Voting

As well as being commented on, real blogs are also talked about elsewhere. People will tend to bookmark, Like, retweet, vote, crosspost, trackback, pingback.  Call it what you want it’s all effectively the same thing – a social vote of confidence in the site and its content.  People will not bookmark, vote or retweet Content Farm posts & pages.  Simulating social voting naturally is very, very complicated and costly so it is a very accurate trust indicator. We’re currently developing SocialPiG our very own social backlinker so we know exactly how hard it can be to achieve this.

You can register for more information on the SocialPiG launch here.

So, you see that BlogPiG’s product development path has always been, and continues to be, about automating the tasks which a human would perform in as accurate and efficient a way as possible.  Our plugins create the clues or ‘trust indicators’ which Google is seeking when deciding whether content is of good quality.

  • What methods do you employ to present Google with the content it demands?
  • Are these methods automated or manual?
  • Have you seen drastic changes in your rankings since the end of February?
  • Have you changed tactics in recent weeks?

As ever, we love to hear from you, so let us have your thoughts.