As mentioned earlier, there are many reasons to create a blog, especially if you just want to write.
However, maybe you don’t want to write…
Maybe you just want to have a website with content on it that will help people find information on a topic.
In this case, creating a WordPress site with a free news aggregator on your site can be helpful for you and your readers.
For you, it can help your site by improving clickthroughs, and reducing “bounce rate”.
For your readers, it can help them find other articles on other sites that are related to what you are writing about.
You can add a news aggregator in a widget on your WordPress site, or you can embed it in a post or a page.
In terms of embedding it on a single page, you can use a news aggregator as a useful as a tool when creating a single page website when you are selling a domain name.
This post provides a simple process for creating a free WordPress news aggregator using RSS1 Google Alerts.
After you have created your free news aggregator, you can upgrade it with premium functionality such as “Feed to Post”, “Keyword Filtering”, “Categories”, “Excerpts and Thumbnails” and autoblogging (aka “content spinning”).
Why Create a Free News Aggregator For Your Site?
Sites such as Guy Kawasaki’s “AllTop” have become popular home pages as well as destinations for people searching for news topics.
News aggregator sites crawl the web to find any news articles, blog posts, videos, etc. by specific keyword then present the headlines in a neat column.
The same can be done on your blog with RSS by combining Google Alerts and a free WordPress plugin called WP News Aggregator.
For instance, if you write a cryptocurrency blog, you could create a news feed on cryptocurrency mining called “Crypto Mining” and refer to it anytime you want the latest news.
The following are steps to get a quick win in terms of creating automatic content for your blog:
NOTE: These news aggregator instructions assume you already have a free or premium WordPress.com account or are using a self-hosted WordPress.org account with your own domain name.
If you do not already have a WordPress site, you can easily create one using BlueHost or WordPress.com or GoDaddy.
1) Add WP News Aggregator to Your WordPress Site
- Log into your WordPress site on WordPress.com or on your self-hosted WordPress.org account.
- Go to “Dashboard”
- Go to “Plugins” > “Add New”
- Search for “WP RSS Aggregator” in the search plugins box (also available here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-rss-aggregator/)
- Install and activate the WP RSS Aggregator Plugin
2) Create a Google Alert RSS Feed
Create a custom RSS feed for your site using Google Alerts
- Log into your Google Alerts account
- Create a new alert or choose an existing alert
- Click the “pencil” icon link to edit the alert you want to use
- Under “Deliver to” choose RSS from the dropdown menu
- Click “Update alert” – this will bring you back to your main Google Alerts page
- Right click over the RSS symbol next to your alert, and choose “Copy Link Address“
- Note: Of course, this process could change in the future if Google decides that they no longer want to provide RSS support for Google Alerts.
3) Create Your First News Aggregator Feed
- In the Dashboard of your WordPress site, hover over “RSS Aggregator” and choose “Add New“
- Choose a name for your RSS aggregator (eg. “Crypto Mining News” or “Cryptocurrency Mining”)
- In the URL field, paste the the link address from your Google Alert RSS feed from #7 or Step 2, above.
- Choose whether you want to limit the number of headlines
- Choose whether you want to link to enclosure
- Choose whether you want to have unique titles only
- Click “Publish Feed”
- Now that you have created a feed, you will need to add a shortcode to a page or post where you want the news feed to live.
4) Create a Page or Post to Display Your RSS Feed
- From your Dashboard, hover over “Pages” or “Posts” and choose “Add New”
- Enter the title for your page or post (eg. “Crypto Mining News”)
- Click the RSS icon
- If you’re using the raw Text tab, click the “Visual” tab on the right side under the Page Title you just entered to see the RSS icon
- Choose the feed or feeds that you want to display and click “Add Shortcode”
- The shortcode will be added to your page.
- Click “Publish”
You can add text above or below the RSS feed.
You can also add the shortcode for your RSS feed to a widget and place it on your site to display however you like.
For instance, I added an RSS feed called “Crypto Mining” in an RSS feed on this blog for all posts tagged with “Cryptocurrency“.
Monetize Your News Aggregator with AdSense Ads
Once your news aggregator is up and running, you can add AdSense ads to your blog to monetize it.
If you’re not familiar with AdSense and how to set it up, read this post for simple instructions to install the AdSense header and footer code on your website.
Then, when you start making some passive income from your blog, you can easily reinvest it with Acorns to make it grow over time.
Premium Idea: What is an Autoblog?
An “autoblog” goes a step further than just providing news headlines with links.
An “autoblog” can take snippets of articles, such as the meta description, as well as images and post them in blog format on your WordPress site.
Autoblog functionality is a premium feature and may add a few $$ to your project.
However, after following the instructions to create a news aggregator site above, which is free, you could always choose to add the “autoblog” functionality at a later date using extensions to your WordPress site.
For instance, the Excerpts & Thumbnails add-on allows you to display thumbnail images and excerpts along with the RSS feed item titles with the core WP RSS Aggregator plugin.
You can choose additional premium functionality to improve your site as you build it out. I plan to try these and will write more about them here as I do.
You can learn more about them in real time on the WP RSS Aggregator site:
- Excerpts and Thumbnails
- Feed to Post
- Keyword Filtering
- Content Spinning from Feed
– Good luck!