Automated & Bootstrapped Content Creation & Production for Small Business WordPress Sites
In this Special Report for our members, we will be sharing the following aspects of automating and bootstrapping content creation and content production for your Small Business WordPress Site. We have decided to create this report in the form of a blog post rather than present it in the form of an ebook as we foresee making yearly updates to this report due to the constanly changing nature of WordPress.
Here are the topics we will be covering in this Special Report:
The Importance of Content Creation
Everything You Should Know About Effective Content Creation in WordPress
What is the Auto Blogging Feature in WordPress?
Explore These Five Auto Blogging Plugins to Start with Effective Content Creation
Using WordPress Plugins for Creating Effective Content
The Five Content Types in WordPress and How to Work with Them
Four Steps to an Effortless Content Production and Publishing System
1. The Importance of Content Creation
It is necessary for any business to constantly create new and exciting content. Not doing so negatively impacts the business in consideration, failing to meet its marketing goals. Companies that set aside ample time and resources for content creation benefit greatly in the long run. Content can provide value to any business both internally and externally. Although content creation in itself is not a sales strategy, it ties in effectively with marketing campaigns. In fact, most of the times, it is a more effective alternative to paid advertising. When you create engaging and shareable content on your social media handles, your social media followers get an opportunity to act as your brand ambassadors if they so wish to. It works beneficially to improve your brand reach. Regular blogging also increases organic traffic to your social media platforms. If you have a steady flow of organic traffic and a website that has been search-engine-optimized, your website is sure to generate new leads and maintain your customer base.
Five reasons why content creation is important:
- It helps in building your brand – Content creation is the best way to build your brand on the Internet. Content may be in the form of a blog post, a video, a Twitter status update, a Facebook post, a podcast or a webinar. Content is all-encompassing. Observe big brands to learn about their content trends. Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike – all have their own YouTube channels where they regularly update their content, building their brand as they go.
- Sets you apart as an expert on the field – When you write on a specific subject, you are assumed to be the authority on the subject because of the opinion and insight you share. The customer is automatically predisposed to trusting you because of the valuable information you shared. Sharing content in this manner helps you build a solid and reliable customer base.
- Content creation helps the entire sales process – As already discussed, content creation helps build trust between you and your customer. Having an individual share a video you’ve created for marketing purposes will generate you more leads than spamming your customer’s Facebook feeds.
- Content publicizes your product – More often than not, content that publicizes your product will gather more eyeballs than an email sent to your followers with a weblink to the sales page. For instance, you create a video that shares valuable content on your product and then offers them a course to learn more about it. It is a wonderful way to put your product out there without having to hard sell it.
- Retains your customers – It is no secret that it is easier to get your existing customer to buy your product than acquire a new customer. If your content is powerful enough and you already have a steady customer base, sales should not be a problem when it comes to your products.
There are multitudes of other reasons why content creation is one of the most effective marketing strategies in the business world today. We’ve discussed only a handful here to learn about the primary reasons why content holds such an important place.
2. Everything You Should Know About Effective Content Creation in WordPress
Yes, content creation is important to grow your website traffic and generate new sales leads. However, simply creating content will not help you achieve your marketing goals. You need an effective content strategy to help you create content suited to a manner that will work best for your business. WordPress allows you a host of systems and plugins that make managing, publishing, and sharing your content relatively easier. The main aspects that go into running a successful WordPress site are- frequency in publishing, sharing your content, and managing subscribers and comments.
Publishing regularly on your WP site is the first way to gain organic traffic to your website as it enables search engines to find you easily. It also ensures that your existing customers return regularly to check your updated content.
Sharing content allows you to gain traction outside your website. You must share your content and encourage others to do it too.
Managing subscribers and comments are as equally important as the former two steps. If your audience is responding, you should make it a point to engage with them too, before they assume your lack of response as lack of interest.
- Publishing regularly requires a publishing plan that will suit your lifestyle. It will help you stick to a schedule and maintain regularity in publishing content. The steps usually involved in this process will be-
- Setting a publishing schedule
- Identifying post-ideas and scheduling them accordingly
- Drafting new posts
- Preparing for videos and images, where necessary
- Editing posts
- Publishing posts
- Sharing posts so you can reach out to new readers
- Sharing content should not only be limited to SEO but should also include broadcasting. Your site may be chock-full of interesting, valuable content, but it still won’t be able to find any audience unless you go about announcing it to the world. Sure, social media is a method by which you can accomplish this task, but it is not the only way. E-mail marketing and newsletters are effective ways to share content you’ve created with the rest of the world. Your followers/subscribers will automatically be notified about new content in their mailboxes as you come up with it. WordPress also automatically generates an RSS feed for all your posts and post types. If you include this link on a prominent place on your website, it is sure to get you more subscriptions.
- Managing subscribers and comments are of utmost importance to retain your existing customers, convert new leads, and ensure that you have repeat customers. You need to engage with the customers who visit your site and take the time out to comment so that they not only return to your site later but also endorse your products/services to their friends and family. A number of decisions have to be made while deciding who and how visitors to your site will comment. For example, will you let comments to be put up without approval? Will only subscribers to your website be able to comment? Will you be using a third-party tool like Disqus or let people use their social media handles to comment? Once these decisions have been made, ask your readers for their comments and to share their experiences with you. It is a bulletproof technique for increasing comments on your site.
Subscription may be paid, pay-per-view or free according to your desire. There are WP plugins like WordPress Membership Pro and Pay Per View that help you monetize your page.
While running a WordPress page is hard work, there are a number of tools, plugins, and other forms of help available to ease your workload. The key to effective content creation on WP as on any other site is to ensure a crisp content strategy that will take care of your content creation targets.
3. What is the Auto Blogging Feature in WordPress?
Managing a blog can be a difficult task. You have to constantly think up ways to present new and valuable content for your readers. Autoblogging can help ease your workload by some measure. Autoblogging refers to content that is automatically published with the help of a software. Autoblogs pull data from other sites using RSS or other feeds to create content on their website. Autoblogs are best put to use by websites that curate content. Utilizing summaries of original posts can be good for your site as well as the site you’re extracting the content from, as you provide backlinks to the source post. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that you do not lift entire posts and images from other websites without giving credit. Doing so will land you in trouble regarding copyright issues.
WordPress offers its own autoblogging plugin that allows you to run a blog on autopilot. These autoblogging tools are a wonderful technique to create a niche website where content catering to the niche will be available from multiple sites. It can also be useful in running a personal website where you do not have to constantly rack your brain for the next content idea; however, your website will do best if this automatically generated content is supplemented by the original, manually produced content.
The following steps will show you how to run an autoblog:
- Find a site that you want to source information from.
- Extract its RSS Feed.
- Find and install an aggregation plugin.
- Feed the RSS URL in this plugin.
- Ensure that the curated content is added as “Post” and not “Page.”
- Change or keep the post date as it is.
- The Full Content option will allow you to get the entire content from the source website. As discussed before, this may not be suitable.
- Setting featured imagery- some plugins will allow you to remove the image entirely while others will avoid posts that do not have an image of their own.
- Add multiple feeds from a range of websites by separating the URLs of the RSS feed with a comma.
You can now run an autoblog that curates niche news, YouTube videos, and other blogs, and even create a blog directory of your own. The options are endless. The only requirement is exercising caution when it comes to copyright sensitivity.
Let’s discuss a few WordPress plugins that will allow you to autoblog your way to glory:
- WP RSS Aggregator – Any source including non-RSS feeds can be added here. Premium features allow the user to add images, categories and more automatically.
- WPMUDEV’s Auto Blog Plugin – It offers a variety of add-ons at no extra cost. It gives you complete control over the number of posts to retrieve, publishing intervals, author name, and other options.
- FeedWordPress – It is similar in nature to the two plugins described above. You can choose any of them for almost the same functionality.
Try your hands at autoblogging now and experience the results first-hand.
4. Explore These Five Auto Blogging Plugins to Start with Effective Content Creation
Auto blogging plugins make a content creator’s life easier by sourcing content from other sources to add to his/her site. The content creator is no longer under pressure to constantly create interesting content and may breathe a sigh of relief. Autoblogging updates his/her site with content when he/she is unable to manually do so, for whatever reason. The only challenge to autoblogging is ensuring that copyright laws are adhered to. WordPress provides a number of plugins to enable autoblogging. Let’s take a closer look at some of these plugins below:
- WPP RSS Aggregator is one of the most popular and user-friendly RSS feed aggregator plugins for WordPress. Once the plugin has been activated, you can source your content from as many websites as you want. You are also allowed to stagger feeds to optimize the performance.
It is so convenient that it enables you to find content using auto-discovery when you don’t know the exact URL of a source. Using a shortcode can display the feed on your site. The display function of your theme can display the feed items. The settings can be adjusted to import feed items with specific titles. You can set limits to the number and age of items and also update the interval on a ‘per source’ basis.
- RSS Post Importer enables you to import posts through the RSS feed and then publish the entire content of that post as a standalone post with your other posts. Your content is refreshed according to the time interval you specify. The plugin is especially helpful for news and deals blogging websites that display news or deals sourced from various sources. The features of this plugin consist of the ability to preset specific keywords and authors for specific feed sources, so the content sourced is filtered accordingly. It allows you to choose to display only the titles, set the number of posts and categories per feed, and add no-follow tags to outbound links. You can also set the status of each post after it has been imported so you can filter them before publishing.
- FeedWordPress automatically converts imports into posts. Imported content appears as a series of specialized posts in the WordPress database. The post database serves as a back-end for an aggregation site when you import content using multiple feeds. FTP and SFTP access to your web host is mandatorily required.
- RSS Import is a slim and sleek plugin for WordPress that makes use of standard WP functionality for displaying feeds on your blog. A shortcode, widget or PHP function is required after installation, to make the plugin work. It helps keep your blog active by consistently pulling feeds and displaying them on your blog.
- WPeMatico automatically creates posts from RSS or Atom feeds. The UI of the WordPress post editor is the same as WPeMatico’s. It allows you to manage your feeds using categories in a familiar environment. It processes images, supports multiple categories, tags and feeds using native WP functions. It also has an auto-discovery feature. It permits the flexibility of posting in any public WordPress custom post type, status, and format. Re-writing of phrases is supported, and it is multi-lingual-friendly.
WordPress offers many such plugins to make autoblogging a walk in the park. These plugins ensure that your website never lacks in content and is well looked after, in your absence.
1. Using WordPress Plugins for Creating Effective Content
Almost a quarter of the current web-space is made up of WordPress sites. It is by far the most popular Content Management System there is. Its open source nature greatly adds to its positioning in the market. No matter how convenient the CMS, content creation is the content creator’s prerogative. There are many plugins that can make managing this content easier. About 44,000 plugins can be installed and used with your WordPress site.
We will discuss the most useful among these below:
- WordStat – WordStat can be considered as the single-most important plugin for WordPress. It provides for facilities such as the keyword count, word count, and readability analysis of a website or blog. It can also monitor and analyze posts from a certain author, displaying the type of posts, top 20 keywords, and word count of content related to the author. In addition to that, it has a diagnostic table that links new and old posts together depending on which ones need more attention. These posts may have been judged as difficult to read, too short or keyword-dense. In a nutshell, WordStat performs the following functions – word count, keywords count, charting a graph that displays the monthly word count for each type of post and showing the post type by number and percentage.
- PrePost SEO – For content to be popular, it must first be distinctive in nature. Keyword density, image optimization, broken links, and meta tags are other areas that need careful attention. The WordPress plugin PrePost SEO ensures that your content meets all the above criteria. It helps a content creator create successful content by helping them understand what should and should not go into effective content. It can be used for the following functions:
- To show broken links present in a text
- To count the number of links
- To help calculate keyword density
- To analyze meta tags
- To provide suggestion on how content can be improved
- To optimize the title of posts
- WordPress Keyword Suggest – It is not always easy to regularly come up with content that caters to a niche group of target audience. The WP Keyword Suggest makes your life easier by suggesting keywords that are frequently thrown up by search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Then again, the plugin has its drawbacks too- one of which is the results thrown up may not always be compatible with the content of a website. A good portion of the results is usually useful making this a nifty plugin to use.
- Editorial Calendar – A content manager may easily lose track of the content schedule, the number of posts due, and other content-related concerns. An editorial calendar steps in here for the effective management of content- sharing the content with the target audience as and when required. Some features that the plugin boasts of are-
- Keeping note of when posts are to be published
- Status check of each post
- Tools to manage posts from different authors
- Drag and drop facility
- Search Everything – Big blogs often struggle to provide fresh content to its loyal customer base, which has taken years to gather. They may want to link or reference former posts that may have dealt with the subject matter in hand. Scouring through the WordPress dashboard in search of these posts is a waste of valuable time. The Search or Research Everything tool helps preserve precious time by automatically linking to related posts.
- Add Link to Facebook – Sharing your blog content on social media is a good way to increase the audience reach. The idea of blogging content in itself is to make sure the content grabs the maximum number of eyeballs possible. Many bloggers prefer to share the link to their blog posts manually on social media platforms. Others prefer to have it done automatically. The Add link to platform plugin allows the site to link its posts to Facebook, for instance. It becomes easier to tell if the content is suitable for FB with the help of this plugin.
- SEO Internal Links – Content needs to be both search-engine-optimized and valuable in order to perform well. A content creator can strike a balance between the two with careful consideration. It is a known fact that creating internal links to blog posts provide visitors with rich reading experience. The SEO Internal Links plugin makes this task enormously easy as it can be fully customized. A visitor’s experience cannot be negatively impacted, as a result. The plugin also performs some other options-
- It helps in setting up URLs and personal keywords
- It has a streamlined admin panel that makes for convenient usage
- It creates a custom-keyword list
- Zedity – If you want to create professional looking visual posts and pages on WordPress, Zedity is the plugin for you. No programming know-how is necessary to run this plug-in. It is very easy to use no matter what the task. Add WP themes to posts, create or add unique designs with a flourish using Zedity. It is possible to add a variety of design elements from the editor’s menu, manipulating them as wanted to fulfill your aesthetic sensibilities. After all, the look and feel of your content are just as important as its contents. Zedity offers more legroom than any other design plugin and can be used to make your web page visually commanding and attractive.
Of course, as already stated before, these plugins are only a few among the vast number of plugins available in the market. They happen to, however, be the most favored of the lot due to their versatility and ease-of-use. These plugins can benefit your blog greatly and add the extra oomph it desires. It is possible that you may not be completely satisfied with the performance of one/other of the above-listed plugins, but either way, they deserve to be tried on. Maybe you will find just the thing your blog was missing!
2. The Five Content Types in WordPress and How to Work with Them
WordPress contains several types of content. These content types are called Post Types. For example, a page is much a post type as a post. All these post types are saved in the same place – the wp_posts database table, separated by a database column called post_type. WordPress allows you to create custom post types in addition to the already available default post types.
Post types are sometimes connected to template files. Different template files display different post types. The purpose of template files is to display content in a certain way. The post type, on the other hand, categorizes the type of content one is dealing with.
Five post types are available to users:
- Navigation menu
These post types can be manipulated and removed by a plugin or theme. However, it isn’t recommended to interfere with WP’s built-in functionality for a plugin or theme. The most common post types are – Post, Page, Attachment, and Custom Post Types. The first three post types are easily accepted as post types, the latter two struggle a bit for being accepted into the same category. Every revision is saved in the wp_posts table with the post it relates to as its parent. Navigation menu items are saved as posts and then output in the event of a query when the menu is displayed.
Custom post types enable you to add as many post types as required for your site. They are simply additional post types and behave in the same way as the other post types depending on how they are set up when registering the post type.
- Posts are the single-most important content type on WordPress. It can be a little confusing to determine posts as posts refer to almost anything in the wp_posts table as well as particularly specified post types. Posts have certain characteristics. These are-
- They are displayed in reverse sequential order; the newest post is displayed first.
- Usually have a date and time stamp.
- May have default tags and categories applied.
- Are used for the creation of feeds.
- Pages lie outside the normal blog/stream. They are static post type. Their features include-
- They are not dependent on time and come without a time stamp.
- They don’t have tags and categories applied.
- They may have a page template applied to them.
- They are usually organized in a hierarchical structure. For example, pages can be parents/children to other pages
- In case, the permalink is enabled – the permalink of a page consists solely of the main site URL and the user-friendly and URL-valid names of the page and its parents if they exist.
- Attachments are used to display images or other media in content. They may also be used to link to relevant files. They may contain certain information (such as name/description) about files uploaded through the media upload system. They contain metadata for images that are stored in the wp_postmeta table including other information like size, thumbnail, location, the HTML alt text, information gathered from the EXIF data embedded in the image and more.
- Revisions are meant to consist of draft posts and past revisions of a published post. Each revision is identical to the published post it belongs to. They have the post set as their parent in the post_parent field of the wp_posts table.
- Every menu will contain a number of navigation options which will be stored as a post. Information about the order of navigation menu items is stored in the menu_order field, and additional data such as the target and parent menu items are stored in the wp_postmeta table as records. They are the first kind of entries in the wp_posts table that is used for a purpose other than displaying content on the blog.
Some other post types
- Custom post types allow you to create your own post type. The functionality should be placed in a plugin instead of a theme. Such a measure ensures the portability of the content. Hence, even if the theme is changed, it would not affect the content stored in the custom post types.
- Custom CSS – It is a theme-specific post used to store CSS which is saved from the customizer’s “Additional CSS” screen. It is possible for each theme to have their own post. However, when displaying the theme, only the active theme “custom_css” post is used.
- Changesets – It is similar to auto-saves, but is specifically for the customizer. It is meant to keep him/her in a persistent state. WordPress attempts to keep content changes made via the customizer during the user session in a “customize_changeset” post and try to pull them up in case the browser is closed accidentally.
Linkage between posts
The post_parent field is important as it stores information about relationships between different posts. It includes parent and child pages, revisions and the posts they are related to, and the attachments and the posts they were uploaded to. The post_parent field can be used in any query. You can use it for child pages of a given page; you can use it to display the attachments for a certain post or even to query attachments with no parent.
There is no need to query revisions as you would want your visitors to only see the published content. Post_parent_in can be used alongside many IDs to identify the children of different posts and pages.
In wanting to understand the WordPress database, one must understand the wp_posts table and what it stores. It is used to store posts, including the five built-in post types- posts, pages, attachments, revisions, and navigation menu along with any other custom post types that you may invent. It also stores data about the relationship between posts in the post_parent field.
While the default post types in WordPress are more than capable of taking care of your website’s needs, WP allows you to create as many post types as you wish using the Custom Post Type option. It makes your job as a content creator a lot easier, providing a framework for every kind of content you can think up.
Four Steps to an Effortless Content Production and Publishing System
Creating interesting content consistently is a difficult task. Many content creators stumble when it comes to performing it. A clear content strategy needs to be in place that will direct the content creator in the process of content creation. There are primarily four steps that go into making a content production and publishing system. These are- preparation, production, publishing, and promotion. We will take a closer look at each step below-
- Preparation – Content production requires a good amount of preparation that goes into it before content production can begin.
Producing content is only a fraction of the process. Preparing for the task ahead makes approaching the next steps of the process much smoother; you know what your goals behind creating the content are how to go about making the content materialize.
The overarching goal of this step is to ensure that your content is in line with your brand. Taking the time to prepare enables you to create this content efficiently and without extra effort.
You must know what makes content tick in order to produce content that will capture audience attention. While good content can be defined by a variety of standards, the foremost quality that it needs to possess is- it needs to have value. It can be a ton of things from engaging to informative to short to long to anything in between as long as it adds value. Great content is content that understands what the audience wants and caters to it. It is content that is shareable. It communicates your message clearly and drives behavior that is profitable to you in the form of an email opt-in, sale or share. In the business scheme of things, good content will increase customer relationship, conversion, and retention.
- Production – Once you leave the preparation stage behind having determined what kind of content you will be creating, its author voice, the keywords you will use and so on, it is time to produce your content. Good content ought to meet the following criteria-
- It needs to have an interesting headline
- It should have a captivating feature image
- An introduction that jumps into it to explain what the content is about and what the audience consuming the content will learn.
- Background information and statistics to validate the content
- Good formatting that enhances the readability of the content
- A conclusion that rounds up the content
- A call to action that resonates with the audience
- Resources that will support the topic and allow the reader to learn more and put the topic into practice.
- A word count that amply explains the topic without being too laborious to read.
- Publication – The publication stage includes publishing the content and the process that leads to it and after it. Developing a posting schedule and posting frequency helps keep you accountable and maintain a constant flow of content to your website. Review formatting, structure, and errors for a final time after you’re done setting up your posting schedule. View your article in “preview” mode so that you are up to date with any formatting errors. Check the SEO section to make sure it is optimized maximally. Include author bylines and headshots if you want your audience to find out more about the content’s creator. Lastly, don’t forget to date your publications so that your audience knows when the content was at its most recent. You can consider not mentioning the year if you want your content to be more evergreen. Upcycling the content with a recent date is also an option.
- Promotion – After preparing, producing, and publishing your content, it is time to promote it! Industry veterans believe this stage is as crucial to a content strategy as is publishing. Before you begin promoting your content, you should figure out the action you want your audience to perform after consuming the content. It can be to share it on a social media platform, sign up for an e-mail service, look up more sources and so on. Identify which direction you want your audience to take in order to grasp the content’s ROI better.
Come up with a content promotion copy and then decide which social media channels to promote this copy on.
Content creation need not be difficult, all you have to do is formulate a content strategy you’re willing to stick to. Follow these four steps, and you will have an effective content production and publishing system in no time!
Content creation is an important part of any company’s marketing strategy. It helps sell a product or service without going into any visible strong-arm selling tactics. Instead, it provides a prospective customer with valuable information allowing them the freedom to then make a purchase, if interested, or go their separate way. There are many content marketing systems on the Internet, but the most popular among them by far is WordPress.
WordPress’s open source nature and plugin customizations offer businesses with a platform to conduct their operations with ease, having personalized their websites to reflect their brand. Apart from being SEO-friendly, WP also allows its users the option to autoblog. It is a convenient tool for content creators to ensure a steady flow of content to their websites. Often, content creators may be at a loss when it comes to devising content one after the other that will attract the audience.
The autoblogging feature crawls other websites for content and allows the user to feature this content on their website automatically. One has to be careful about infringing on copyright while autoblogging entire contents from another site. Due credit must be given to the author or company from whose website the content is procured. Other than that, autoblogging is an effective tool for bloggers who may be experiencing a time-crunch or a creative block that prevents them from coming up with original content. The best way to use autoblogging is alongside content that has been manually written.
Following this practice makes a web page most impactful for its audience. When you feature content from another person’s website and then attach a backlink to their original post, it not only gets you traffic but brings traffic to the website you have referred to as well. Who knows, maybe the author you have featured will go on to share your work sometime. WordPress and content creation go hand-in-hand. All you need to do is sign up, and you are good to go!