Autoblogging was once a popular way to use WordPress. Autoblogging plugins could pull in content from other websites and republish it, creating a low-cost and low-effort site that attracted search traffic and generated advertising revenue.
Today, autoblogging is less popular and is not well regarded. Spam blogs used autoblogging plugins to generate revenue from other people’s work. Content creators are, justifiably, not in favor of having their content monetized by a third party. There are still autoblogging spam sites: any moderately popular web content is likely to be scrapped and republished by dishonest site owners looking to generate a few cents. But it is no longer a viable business model.
Google cracked down on duplicate content many years ago. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act made it easy to have infringing copyright removed with takedown notices — providing the site’s web hosting provider follows the letter of the law.
In short, there is very little money in spam autoblogging today. It is not a strategy that any business that cares about its brand should adopt. But does that mean there is no place for autoblogging on the web in 2019?
Original Content Is The Only Way
There is no doubt that the best way to build a successful WordPress blog is to publish original, useful, and compelling content. In fact, it’s the only way to build a successful blog. However, autoblogging can be used to provide a useful aggregation service to your audience. A blog that aggregates niche content can attract a readership. In large part, that is what sites like Reddit do.
There is value in curating niche content. The reckless autoblogging — some might say theft — of the past is dead. But the same technology can be used to collate content from high-quality niche sources, publish snippets with links, and provide a centralized hub that sends traffic back to the original publisher.
Black-hat autobloggers were attracted by an opportunity to make money without doing any work — the site and a plugin did everything for them. In 2019, that is a defunct business model. Even with an autoblogging plugin, you should expect to spend time curating and filtering content — after all, that’s what will differentiate your site from the spam blogs of old.
WordPress Autoblogging Plugins
Autoblogging plugins are essentially RSS aggregators. Just like a feed reader, they periodically check RSS feeds for new content. Unlike feed readers, they publish that content to a WordPress site automatically according to criteria set by the site owner.
WPMU’s premium Autoblog plugin is one of the most popular autoblogging plugins. It was designed for the creation of news aggregation sites. Free autoblogging plugins include RebelCode’s WP RSS Aggregator and RSS Post Importer. One of the best ways to add value to your aggregator site is with a voting plugin like WPeddit, which allows readers to vote posts up and down, and can reorder posts according to their popularity.