In the last post, I outlined a strategy to create an autoposter – a web app that helps Clickbank affiliates create automated sales pages.
What You’ll Need
There are some great free accounts / web scripts / libraries that we need – all open-source, free… bonus!
A Google Account
If you have a gmail address, then you’ve got access to one of these. When you’re logged into your account, just type in “google alert” into the search pane, and follow the prompts.
If you don’t have a Google account yet – sign up for one – its free.
UPDATE: Alternatively, just scour the web for RSS feeds that are on the topic for which you want to be found. More on that later.
Simplepie – silly name, but this is the library that we need to parse the RSS feeds of the Google Alert (or other RSS feeds) we’ll need to create or follow. This will allow us to iterate over the feed, and grab the URL of the post referred to in the feed.
Readability - this is a great PHP library that allows you to grab the actual meaty content of a blog post from any website – if you have an iDevice and have installed Flipboard or Zite, or use Safari on an iDevice, you may have seen an option that says “Reader” at the top of the screen. This allows you to see the content of the webpage you’re viewing as just the body of the content – no ads, no sidebars, no distracting stuff. The content, and just the content. That’s what we want, and we get the URL of the post from the feed that gets parsed by Simplepie.
adodb – a library that allows us to write PHP code that lets us add and retrieve information from a MySQL database. I chose this one because of my background in writing database applications for the Windows platform, which provides a similarly named library for database access. (BONUS! adodb even supports the Firebird database, which I’ve used to create a desktop app for Windows that has never been released, but which can be also accessed via PHP for all these new web app stuff…. oh goodness! That’s a topic for a completely new foray into building a web app using …. stop me now! *slap*)
Glad you asked. I’ve just tested the script I’ll be showing you, and I showed it to my wife who was flabbergasted that, by simply running a script, a website could be populated with content – all on auto-pilot! Set it once, and forget it! Cron! Cron! Cron!
All In All…
There is really only a few things we need to get this going:
a) a code library that lets us parse RSS feeds (Simplepie)
b) a code library that lets us grab the meaty content from articles parsed by Simplepie (Readability)
c) a code library that lets us maintain our backend database so we don’t keep posting the same article over and over again (Adodb)
This is very exciting. The script I’ve developed has autoposted articles into my test WordPress installation, and it has actually worked! LOL.
The next thing to introduce is the Clickbank Marketplace feed and API and how we can use it to determine the best ads to display on the articles we’ll be generating from elsewhere on the web.
Have a look below for Part 1