Automating Email Scrapping

Automating Email Scrapping With A Web Scraper

So, if you don’t know what email scrapping is, it’s going through a webpage and looking (scraping) for an email address you can use to contact the admin or owner of that site. This is referred to as email scraping or web scraping.

Why would this be useful? Well, this is all about contacting these sites to ask if you can feature or write some content, asking for link backs and generally any other such request you would like to ask.

Doing this the manual way can be, as you may imagine, a time consuming task. You would need to go to every website, search around for contact details, then write them down, or copy them into a spreadsheet.

This is certainly a task where automation will save you time and effort. Automating this task would also allow it to be run in the background while you continue on with other tasks that can’t be automated – such as creating content.

Contact scraping tools

As you can imagine, many people have come across this before and many have created tools and services that will help you with this task.

I myself used to use a tool; a web scraper as they are referred to; a tool which had a plugin to do this scraping. You would then need to run this tool (using proxy servers so as to not have issue with search engines) to scrape.

Today there are online services you can use. Many have numerous packages with each package giving you access to so many searches or content scrapes.

Using online web scraping services.

This is my personal new way to do this type of scraping. I am trialling out the use of a particular service; a service that has a free package. Although limited, the free package from Hunter gives you 100 requests.

What you don’t get with that particular entry-level service is CSV exports. If you want to automate that little bit further and you would prefer the tool to output to a CSV file the details it finds – then you would need to choose a paid package.

However, to test out and get some value from; like me, you can begin with the free service and go from there.

This is just one service; there are other companies and tools out there that you may prefer. The best options are to take some time, do some research and pick whichever tool or service is best for you.

The end goal is to automate the collection of emails. This data can then be used to send emails; which can also be automated – but that is for another article.

Improve your workflow

Improve and increase your workflow by choosing to automate tasks such as email scraping. This is the type of operation that you get little value out of your time doing it yourself manually.

Automating Your Backup Process

Automating Your Backup Process

Let me start by saying that the first few posts of this new site is to deal with, what I think is, the big hitters when talking about automation.

These big hitters as I am calling them are the functional core tasks I believe you should have in place.

One of those core tasks is backing up your site. Without a backup plan, you could find your site going down and you would be in a difficult position to recover all your work.

The tools

So, establishing a backup process is core to your blogging routine. You could do this manually. You could use a tool that allows you to manually backup your site at a time schedule you would like.

There are plugins and service providers that will aid you in this though, making it automated so that you would not forget or miss a day.

There is a difference, that I see, between using a plugin and a third party service. That, in my experience, is ease of setup and storing your backup.

Let me quickly add, before we talk about each, that when you store a backup; doesn’t matter if automated or manual; you need to store it somewhere other than the drive hosting space you website if running from. It needs to be offsite and independent- which could be your local hard drive or some other space.

Plugin backup tools

Let’s start with examining some WordPress plugins for backing up your site.

Some plugins are completely manual. What I mean by that is, you have to go to the plugin screen and select to backup and download the site by clicking the appropriate buttons.

These plugins have no automated process, they are completely manual only.

There are other plugin’s that have both a manual and automated process. Generally, these plugin’s you can choose to take a manual backup and download.

These plugins also have a section to set up a schedule for automated backups. When these are set you normally have to give it a shared online location for the backup to go. This would be something like your Dropbox or an Amazon S3 space.

Quite often, these plugins will require you to pay for the “Pro” or similar edition of the plugin to unlock this automated process.

As well as that, depending on the frequency of the backup, you may need to pay for some extra space.

These small payments will allow you to set up your automated backup which could save you time and money in the future.

A 3rd party service

One other automated backup process you may want to check out is through 3rd parties.

What these tend to be is a 3rd party, company, that will automate the backup process for you. Generally, you have to install a small plugin that allows them to connect to your site to facilitate this process.

Most often, these 3rd parties will also store your site backup offsite – generally in their own S3 storage space.

Price on these can vary from Free to a nominal amount – which is generally depending on the service.

For example, I use a service called WPManage. They have a free backup service and paid. The free service allows for a single backup a month which is stored on their S3 server. For many a single backup suffices. If you want a more frequent backup, currently at the time of writing this it costs just $2 (plus any taxes for your country) per month for daily (or some other scheduled time greater than that) backups.

Personally, I’ve used their service for a few years now. My site has been backup daily on autopilot (you set the schedule through their site interface including time of day for backup). If you need to redeploy the site from a backup, its done very simply through their site – just a button to click.

I’m not affiliated with their site but I have used and gained great benefit over the past 2 years.

There are other backup services out there that all offer similar benefits. There may be a different service that best suits you. Backup on autopilot is the goal that I want you to think on and not the service provider you use.

Does your web host backup?

Some web host services also have automated backups, or offer them at an extra cost.

In some cases, this offers an easy to use service too and may fulfil all you need. Some of these may offer that service for free.

You may want to consider if the backups are on their own servers – if the issue is with their service farm you may lose the site and backup.

What may be a better solution, is, that, if they offer their service for free – also use the second method of automated backup to ensure you always have a backed up backup.

In conclusion

So, the goal of this post is to get you thinking about your site backup and the process you should put in place to automate this.

Having a manual backup is good. Having an automated backup daily is best. However, you may be able to benefit from the free monthly backup service I mentioned if your updates are more around this frequency.

To backup, your site is an important goal and having it happen without you have to remember means it gets done. This is the important factor here.

How To Post Out To Social Media On Autopilot

How To Post Out To Social Media On Autopilot

In today’s social online world, part of our SEO effort has to be put into connecting into social media channels.

When we create a new blog post or content post, we should spend a little time linking it out to our social media channels – influencing the people who are there to come and check out our new post.

If you do this at the moment though you know it can be a little time-consuming. You need to log onto each of the social channels and create the post, at the link and send out.

This is a key candidate for automation.

Automating your social media posts – the tools

So, let me start by saying that there are a number of services out there (and tools) that will post out your content for you.

They range from website services all the way through to software tools and plugins. You will need to take some time to pick the right one for you.

That said, and probably the reason you’re reading this post; let me share with you my experience, as well as my preferred tool for doing this.

Just so you know, I have not tried every service out there – so there is possibly a better tool than I use. The tools I use through work well for me as well as countless others.

That now said, let us take a look at the option.

Online services

There are a number of online tools available now that will allow you to manage your social posting. Then all offer similar services, but also some tool-specific options.

One other thing they have in common is, that, to get access to the full functionality of the tools you need to pay a subscription model service.

Each of these tools manages your social media posting differently. Some require more manual intervention than others. Some you can just set on autopilot and leave. Others will require changes from time to time.

There are a number of online services, but here are a few of my favourite.

First, we have Socialoomph which I just love the name of. It seems like quite a popular pick, I see many posts on my twitter feed these days coming from this service.

Socialoomph has some free options, but for posting to all the social media networks you would like, you would need to pay for the service.

I did try, and still, use the free service to post to my twitter for another blog. It works quite well and I can certainly see why others use it.

Hootsuite is another similar service. Again this has a free service but to get the most out of it you would need to upgrade to a paid service. I’ve also tried Hootsuite and it does work well, though I found it a little more tricky to use.

There are other services I’ve not mentioned which, when you do Google search you would find. The 2 I mentioned here are 2 services I have personally tried and like – but that’s not to say another service won’t feel better for your needs.

What you should be taking away from this is that there are services available to help you automate your social posting. However, they are not the only blog social posting automation you could use.

WordPress plugins

There are some plugins for WordPress that have been designed to post new posts (and old posts) out to your social media networks.

To date, there are plugins that have free versions and some which are only paid.

I checked out a few social network publishing plugin’s and went with NextScripts plugin. It has a big list of social networks it can post to and you can even schedule old posts to be reposted. There is also a free version which supports many of the social networks you would want to use.

This WordPress plugin can be set up on your site so that it posts out a link to your latest post as soon as it goes live on your site.

This means that as soon as the post is published (either it’s by clicking publish or if you schedule the post), the post will appear on the setup social media channels.

As an example. I have a site setup using this plugin that will send out any new post on my site. This particular site has 4-5 scheduled posts through the day which means the associated Facebook Page, Twitter Feed and others get 4-5 posts per day with links to each new post.

This removed around 30-60 minutes of work for me every day. That’s 30-60 minutes I can spend writing or marketing my sites. 30-60 minutes I can spend doing whatever I would normally miss.

The other great option is that, like some of the posting services mentioned above, you can set up this plugin to post out old posts.

You can set intervals where the tool will pick at old post (you can define timescale to pick from) and post it out to the social media channels giving you exposure to your older posts.

Any new members to your social media feeds that may have not seen those posts linked previously will have then appear in their social feeds, potentially giving them links to content that may be useful for them to read.

There are other services and plugins

It goes without saying that there are other online services and many other WordPress plugins available to do this post to social media automated posting.

Many of them need some payment or subscription costs. There are some social media networks that don’t have their own in-house API and so paying for the service through the tool provider is the only way of posting to them automatically.

For most of the popular ones, you could get away with using the plugin I use, mentioned above (NextScripts in case you didn’t want to scroll back up).

I personally also love the feature of auto-posting older content – though you could also use a different plugin such as the Revive Old Post WordPress plugin.

This is the automation we want

When we talk about automation and setting up our blog out autopilot – this is the automation that really matters.

This posting is more efficient to be done on autopilot. This does not affect the site or indexing of the site. What it does do is improves your workflow; giving you time to work on the important things.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. What this means is, there is no extra cost for you if you decided to purchase through them. However, I would get a small percentage paid out to us for that sale.

Blog On Autopilot - Podcast Episode 2 - Autoblogging

Blog On Autopilot – Podcast Episode 2 – Autoblogging

Just a short post to link our second podcast. I’m really trying to do one a week at the moment so that I can share all the info I have and gather to help you improve your workflow and get to do more of the things you enjoy doing with your website.

In this episode I talk about autoblogging and if you should or should not be doing it.

So, here it is. If you are enjoying this content can you please leave us a review.

Should I Automate My Posts Creation

Should I Automate My Posts Creation

This is the big one… Well, what I mean by that is, that, when talking about automating your blog or affiliate site, the first thing you would think of is automating your posts.

This is probably why this particular automation tasks seems to be big business – at least for WordPress based plugins. There are a number out there and they each cost…

However, the reality of it is – should you actually automate your posts?

How would I automate my WordPress posts?

So, I’m going to concentrate on WordPress as this is what all those plugins are aimed at.

Let me clarify one thing first. When I say “automate your posts”, this is not a little robot sitting there, taking in a title and beavering away writing.

What it is, is the plugin requires you to put in some competition sites, sites which have content you would like to see on your site. It then copies the latest posts and creates a post on your site faster than you can say “copyright infringement”.

So, these should not be called “autoblogging” plugins, but rather auto blog post copy plugins.

You can spin the autoblogging posts

So, we established that these plugins copy posts from other sites and post to your site which will probably cause problems. Firstly there is the copyright infringement issue. Secondly, Google will see and potentially hit you with duplicate content flags.

This is not going to bode well for your rankings in search engines.

One thing many of these plugins suggest is doing what is called spinning the content. Now, if you take a look at this link I have an issue with the word SEO being in there.

So, spinning the content basically involves changing some of the words for words that mean the same, or similar, and so changing your post enough so that its not duplicate posts.

There exists sites and plugins that do this for you. You can have them spin content that is “auto generated(copied) on autopilot too.

So, in theory, you’re getting a unique posts, right?

If you’ve ever looked at any content done this way, its terrible. I often do it to have a good laugh to be honest. Quite often it sounds quite strange to read. Words used do not make sense in the context of the sentence, etc.

So, you may get unique content. However, it’s not good quality unique content which is readable, enjoyable and will not be good SEO quality.

Let’s recap

So, we’ve talked about the auto blogger tools. We’ve said that you can spin the content to make it unique. Should I use these to create my content.

Let me answer that with a definitive NO! Don’t do it, unless you want a low quality site that really isn’t going to rank well.

That’s not to say there isn’t a case to use these tools. I have a site that lists freebies available on the internet. I used to spend hours finding content as well as listing 1 free kindle book per day.

As more and more of these sites hit the internet and the seemingly lower availability of freebies I lost faith. However, I still wanted to keep this site ticking over.

So, I used one of these auto generation plugins that could interface with Amazon to go and pull in several free kindle books per day.

Now, in this case, the post has a button link to go back to the Amazon site so they can get this free ebook. It’s not me copying the post content and passing as my own, it’s giving he info for them to link to the original content.

In this instance, the auto generation works. It’s not trying to rank off those posts. It’s not trying to deceive, but it is instead linking to the original content.

This is the only exception I would say to the auto post generation be a valid thing to do.

In conclusion

In conclusion, I would say never to use tools to auto generate your content. It’s much better to write your own better content giving everyone your views and showing your personality.

After all, it’s not the content that your readers enjoy, it the writing style and personality of the person writing it they they really people really want to enjoy.

Introducing The Video And Podcast

Introducing The Video And Podcast

Lots of content for you to consume

I’m approaching this new endeavour, new webpage and, hopefully, more; with a three-pronged approach.

Firstly there is this nice, new, shiny website on which I will be publishing posts for tip and tricks, what to automate, what not to and really all content about improving your workflow. Automation is the only way you will be able to complete everything you need to do – but it has to be the right automation.

Secondly, I’m going to start releasing videos on YouTube. These videos will be supplementary content, so either example on what I am talking about or other content on top of the posts.

Third and final is a podcast. Initially, the podcast is going to be a direct conversion of audio from the YouTube videos – but as we progress I intend to make this its own content.

So, 3 lots of content…

So there will be 3 different (eventually) parts of content to consume, each giving some value to helping you produce content better. Whether you blogging or creating content for affiliate, dropshipping or company website there should be something to help you.

Let me guide you through the automation minefield and get you producing content faster than ever before.