The Diabolical WordPress Toolbox, Martinis and A Beach Somewhere

Inspired by the season and by WPLift’s recent article on WordPress’ Black Economy I wondered just what does it take to free myself from the shackles of my day job and enjoy a life of Martinis on a beach somewhere.

Apparently, it’s as little as a weekend to get started and from between nothing and ten hours a week thereafter.

Oh, and a Diabolical Toolbox.

Photo of a sunset over a beach with a martini
All going well by the end of the weekend this will be the rest of my life.

It’s not easy putting together a Diabolical Toolbox. There’s all the 3,000 word landing pages to wade through, the worry about getting the last remaining plugin at that special offer, or just being overwhelmed by an assault of paragraphs in large red font Where Every Word Has To Be Capitalised and has to end with an exclamation mark!

It can also be a bit depressing to be told so many times that you’ve been doing it so wrong for so long and that the answer is so simple.

Whether any of these plugins work even half as well as claimed who knows? But if they do then this will be my last post for WPMU.org as by the end of the weekend, I’ll be sitting on that beach sipping my Martini and never having to work again, all thanks to my completely automated blogging cash cow empire.

And although I really shouldn’t tell you, here, in no particular order, are the key components of a Diabolical Toolbox.

Not Getting Enough Comments? Generate Your Own!

Save your readers the trouble of commeting by doing it automatically
Save your readers the trouble of commeting by doing it automatically

This is my favourite, simply because the developer has gone to such impressive lengths. The purpose of the plugin is to automatically generate comments on your posts but not the rubbish “great article, thanks” but proper comments that are actually related to the subject of the post.

What It Does

xCommenter will automatically create comments on your blog posts and WordPress pages. It does this by analyzing the post title, content and tags to determine find relevant Yahoo Answers comments and questions. Optionally xCommenter will then run the content through a powerful content spinner API to make the content more original and unique to improve quality. xCommenter then can approve it’s own comments if you wish, and once a new comment has been made xCommenter will then optionally PING the updated page URL to all the RPC Ping services listed within your WordPress Admin panel, getting the updated page crawled and indexed quickly and more frequently. All of this is done on auto pilot.

Why You Need It

[xCommenter] will add unique content to your pages, entice user interactivity, and improve your SEO efforts by making your posts and page content fresh and updated when crawled by Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.

Where And How Much?

Available on Code Canyon for $16 for a single-site licence.

Verdict

A definite for the ne’er-do-well toolbox. Combine with an auto-poster and neither you nor your visitors will ever actually have to post any content at all. All they need to do is click on an AdWord.

Only disadvantage is the licence is single-site only, which means it will set you back a bit for that network of 100 auto-posting, auto-commenting blogs. 

Hide Your Intent With An SEO Cloaker

The problem with search engines is that they have rules and a basic rule is that they like to be crawling and indexing the same content that your visitors see. This can be a problem when it comes to your carefully crafted 3,000 word, capital-letter ladened, red-heading intensive landing page. Not only do you want the search engine to index it, you don’t want to scare off potential visitors with an unfavourable search result snippet.

The answer is SEO cloaking.

What It Does

Cloaking is an aggresive way to deal with the search engines. You show the search engines all the content they want, but you show your visitors your money making offers. Doesn’t matter if you’re selling treadmills or how to treat man boobs cream.

(Man boobs cream? Now you’ve got my attention.)

Why You Need It

Google keeps cracking down on affiliate sites and pages they consider “bridge” pages to the actual vendor offer. This includes datafeed pages and opt-in squeeze pages and even pages promoting eBay and Amazon products that have unique content on them.

Now You Can Use Your Favorite Blog CMS And Target Long Tail Converting Keywords That Multiply Your Traffic Through The Roof Without Endless Article Writing

Using The Wrong Cloaking Tools Can Get You Shut Down Faster Than You Can Spell G-O-O-G-L-E

Seems Like You Have To Use Capitalize Every Word If You Really Want To Get People’s Attention.

Where And How Much?

Directly from the website for a bargain $197 (normally $297). It also comes with free access to the Aggressive SEO Workshop, also worth $297 although due to health issues for the presenter, the workshop has been delayed.

Possibly also here for $197 for an unlimited licence and a 30-days 100% money back guarantee. No workshop though.

Verdict

Has some nice features such as the ability to redirect users to different landing pages depending on the referrer but the price seems a bit steep (even if is a snip of the price of its competition). I am also disappointed about the workshop being delayed and with a lack of a link to the man boob’s cream.

Trick A Click With A Covert Action Bar

Now this is thinking outside of the box.
Now this is thinking outside of the box.

The developers of this plugin had an epiphany and it was…well…I’ll let them tell you:

For The Past 10 Years Microsoft Has Been Brainwashing Your Website Visitors To React In A Certain Way…

It seems that users have been conditioned to click on action bars, such as the venerable pop-up blocker, at the top of browsers and that by replicating those bars you can unwittingly get visitors to click on links that they wouldn’t dream of clicking on if presented to them in a normal way.

What It Does

[…] in just a couple of minutes you can have a Cover Action Bar live on your blog. It will look like a normal pop up blocker notification from Internet Explorer – It will even play the same familar sound!

Why You Need It

With This Simple Plugin You Can Tap Into That Psychology, Grab Your Visitors By The Eye-Balls & Force Them To Click On Any Link You Want!

A Yellow Line, A Single Sound Byte & One Line Of Text Turned A Few Clicks A Week Into Thousands Of Clicks Per Day & An Unstoppable Avalance [sic] Of Leads & Sales!

Okay, can we stop the capitalization now?

Where And How Much?

Available directly from the website, a snip at $17 (but hurry as this is an early-bird special and price will soon be rising to $67, honest).

Verdict

Worth the price just to see if it works. The key seems to be the bar text: the more duplicitous the better.

Generate Your Content Automagically

Essential for the toolbox and there's legitimate means ongoing support
Essential for the toolbox and there’s legitimate means ongoing support

It’s all well and good having an enormous network of sites, I hear you say, but how are you supposed to create content for them all?

Duh! The internet is full of content. No wonder you’re not sipping that Martini on that beach yet.

Welcome to the world of Auto-blogging.

What It Does

imagine you have a robot that goes out for you, finds and retrieves Niche Related Content every day from just about any Feed Source you want (like article directories, blogs and forums), and posts this content to your own blogs.

Posts are scheduled over time so you don’t have to ever worry about being penalized by Google for posting too much, too fast or being tagged as a spammer.

Thank goodness you won’t get tagged as a spammer as you steal content. Imagine the potential damage to your reputation.

Why You Need It

Readable blogs that will greatly benefit your readers. No More Keyword Research. Appear more productive and reliable to your readers. Get more Search Engine listings from popular Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and others by posting lots of fresh content on a regular basis.

You could easily build ten new sites per week working probably no more than 10-hours per week!

Where and How Much?

When it comes to auto-bloggers you are spoilt for choice. You can get this one for $97 and be comfortable that the vendor is completely transparent about the fact it was built to be diabolical. But be quick, because the price will definitely be going up to $197 any time now and then after “the holidays” will be $247!

There are also auto-bloggers from reputable sources including WPMU Dev itself with its full-featured AutoBlogging plugin for a mere $19 which can easily form part of an evil plan.

Verdict

An essential part of the ne’er-do-well’s toolbox for populating all those blogs but be sure to shop around as there some bargains out there.

Spin Those Posts, Stay Fresh and Avoid Duplicate Content Penalties

Spinning is a great way to turn that one post into multiple different posts
Spinning is a great way to turn that one post into multiple different posts

Auto-bloggers are essential but can be a pain in the neck as posting the exact same content to multiple blogs doesn’t sit well with Google. It’s also not too popular with content creator but hey, Martinis don’t pour themselves.

What you need is a content spinner.

What It Does

Rewrites wordpress posts automatically to get fresh new content by replacing words and phrases by its synonyms on auto pilot.

Insert Google images and YouTube videos based on a posts keywords.

One implementation actually does it per view so that search engines think that the content is being constantly updated.

Why You Need It

To avoid being penalised for duplicate content by those pesky search engines. To pretend to the original content creator that you happened to think of the same topic at exactly the same time. See, this word is different, and that one, and that one.

Where and How Much?

Again, spoilt for choice. There are a number of free plugins in the official WordPress Plugin Repository which is helpful as we all like free. There are paid options such as this one on Code Canyon which promises integration with auto-bloggers which is probably worth paying the $16 for.

Verdict

Another essential tool especially when integrated with the auto-blogger.

Hide Those Affiliate Links With Their Very Own Invisibility Cloak

We know that affiliate links are essential to our Martini-beach plan and the more we have the quicker we’ll be doing our best James Bond “shaken, not stirred”.

But affiliate links have issues. Firstly, (and can you believe this?), some people actually cut and paste the link and remove our IDs so we get no credit. Outrageous. And secondly, Google (again!) frowns upon pages with multiple affiliate links.

Enter affiliate link cloaking.

What It Does

Affiliate link cloaking can hide affiliate links from visitors…also it can shrink link and make it to be short url/short link. When visitors click on the shrinked link, it will redirect to your original link.

Why You Need It

To stop the unscrupulous from cheating us out of our affiliate commission and to stop Google taking a dislike to our pages.

Where and How Much?

No need to pay for this one. There’s a couple of options in the WordPress Plugin Repository and a whole load of free plugins listed here.

Verdict

Very useful if you have joined every affiliate program going. Actually, quite useful for legitmate sites too.

Scrape What You Can’t Auto-Blog

Image of a box with WP Scraper on the outside
Scrape what you can’t get by RSS. Box not included.

Auto-blogging relies on being able to access the content easily, such as via RSS. Often sites can be incredibly inconsiderate and not offer up all their valuable data, such as sports scores and stock quotes, via feeds rendering the auto-blogging approach useless.

But fear not, there is another method: scraping.

What It Does

…display realtime data from any websites directly into your posts, pages or sidebar. Use this to include realtime stock quotes, cricket or soccer scores or any other generic content.

Why You Need It

You want this data and obviously don’t want to shell out hundreds if not thousands of dollars on bona fide subscriptions.

Where and How Much?

Free! All courtesy of the WP Web Scraper plugin available from the WordPress Plugin Repository. Ironically, it is surrounded in the search results by plugins to designed to prevent scraping.

Verdict

Really one for a specific need but free is always good.

Drown Yourself In Linkjuice

Picture of fake box for product
Black boxes are so cool.

It’s all well and good have lots of content and lots of comments but you are still missing that one vital ingredient: links from reputable sites with plenty of “linkjuice”.

Search engines like to see links, so if your sites are not being linked to (other than to each other) then you are, to quote one plugin site, “dead in the water”.

So, into our toolbox goes the BackLink plugin.

What It Does

…generates hundreds of high quality backlinks on sites that have high PR, are .gov, .edu, or give off a ton of authority and linkjuice.

The thought of a site giving off “linkjuice” makes me feel slightly queasy but wait, there’s more.

…the plugin goes out to take these newly generated links and automatically adds them to your own linklicious account (if you add a linklicious API). It then goes further and puts the links into an RSS feed and pings the feed via two separate pinging services (pingomatic and pingler). Once this is done, it adds the feed to your OnlyWire account (again, optional) and then – as if this were not enough – it shortens the campaign feed link via bit.ly so you can easily share it however you want to (twitter, facebook, etc). After all that (and to top it all off), you are given a detailed report (either PDF or spreadsheet) showing everything that was done (all the backlinks generated, Feed URL, etc).

They missed the bit about the plugin making you a long black and giving you a foot massage.

Why You Need It

If you want your website to be found online, you will need high quality links pointing to it…“quality backlinks” because those are the ones that drastically help improve your rank positioning on all of the major search engines.

Plus there’s the whole dead-in-the-water thing.

Where and How Much?

Available on the Warrior Forum for just $37.

Verdict

Despite the hyperbole, backlinks are essential, so if this can leverage quality sites “linkjuice” to improve your PageRank then it’s probably worth it although considering the process I’m not convinced about it saving “a lot of time, energy, and frustrating manual labor”.

The Essential Diabolical Toolbox

Most the plugins here are about traffic as it is a numbers game. The more visitors you get then the more clicks on ads and affiliate links you are going to get.

The key is building a big network of sites, with plenty of content that is frequently updated with plenty of backlinks to ensure a high ranking for your selected niche.

WordPress is the perfect CMS, especially in multisite mode, when extended with:

  1. Auto-blogger, suck in that content (preferably before it’s indexed on the original site) and then republish to multiple blogs
  2. Content spinner, working in conjunction with the auto-blogger to ensure that the content is not identical and is regularly updated with new images and videos
  3. Auto-comments, make your site look far more legitimate as well as dramatically increasing the amount of new content
  4. Backlinking, to ensure that you maximise your PageRank
  5. Affiiliate link cloak, to both protect your commissions and make sure your pages don’t get penalised

The Covert Admin Bar and the Scraper are not really essential but are useful in specific circumstances. The Covert Admin Bar is worth a look just from curiosity alone and a click is a click.

What is a pleasant surprise is that some of these plugins are available from legitimate providers and some even from the official WordPress plugin repository.

Always seems sweeter to make a dubious living from free or low-cost legitimate tools.

Photo Credits: IK’s World Trip