Making Money with Content Aggregation

So the electricity is out here in my neighborhood in Puerto Rico, again!

But looking for the silver lining, I now have time to write another blog post. You know constant motion. I want to share with you another online money making method, which can be a completely passive way to earn, but if done correctly is more like a semi passive method. Content aggregation is all about gathering content from different sources, generally in a particular niche, and displaying it for public consumption. It may sound difficult at first but it is really a simple setup. Making money with content aggregation can be the first step to becoming the editor of your favorite content distributor.

Step 1: Choose Where To Display Your Content

Before you begin aggregating, or gathering, your content you need to know where you are going to display it.  A popular place for content aggregation sites is WordPress, and creating a WordPress site is fairly simple.

You can also distribute other peoples content across social media networks and earn, as well as in mobile applications. Just make sure you are familiar with the platform of your choice.

Step 2: Gather The Content

Now comes the most critical decision in your journey in this type of business model, what kind of content will you gather? Think of yourself as a newspaper, magazine, or blog editor. What topics would your readers want to read about? Once you’ve answered that question then you can begin gathering your content. With platforms like WordPress there are many plugins free and premium that easily perform the content aggregation for you.

Free Example:

WP RSS Aggregator

This plugin has over 40,000 active installs (including on one of my own sites) and is regularly updated by the plugin author. All you have to do is choose the RSS feeds of the content you want to display, configure a few settings, and begin aggregating.

The free version of the plugin has some limitations. If you want to build a brand I would suggest getting these 2 paid upgrades:

Feed to Post is an advanced importer that lets you import RSS feed items as WordPress posts or any other custom post type.

Full Text RSS Feeds adds connectivity to our premium full text service, which allows you to import the full post content for an unlimited number of feed items per feed source, even when the feed itself doesn’t provide it.

Paid Example:

RSS News – Autopilot Script

This plugin is available on a website were bad products are rare and if you have trouble with your aggregator there is a medium for support and the possibility of a refund. In addition, it has many features including support for monetizing your aggregated content.

The plugin receives a really high rating of 4.63 out of 5 stars and has had over 500 sales. This plugin will cost you $30 but should help you if want to produce something professional out of the gate. I am a believer in making small investments in yourself like this, and you can challenge yourself to earn your $30 back with your new business.

Sources and DMCA/ Copyright Complaints

Making money with content aggregation will require that you know your audience well, so if try to stay as on niche as possible when choosing your sources. Content aggregation is an accepted part of the internet, and many sites support it by providing an RSS feed of their content. However, proper sourcing is required to avoid running into trouble. Also make sure you provide a method in which you can be reached for complaints, you don’t want to get your platform shut down due to copyright issues.

Step 3: Decide, Completely Passive or Semi Passive

So at this point in the setup you now have a place to display your content + content to display. You could decide to let the aggregator run and build an unlimited amount of pages, which definitely has its advantages…

Or you can become a content curator which is a little more difficult. My advice to anyone who wants to begin curating their aggregated content is to make sure you really pay attention to the questions you were asking yourself in step 2. I say this because if you do not really love the content you are curating (even if 60% you may not post to your site) you just will not do the curating the way it will take to make this technique a real business model.

Curating is about fine tuning the content your audience wants to see so it definitely requires a certain selectiveness.  Making money with content aggregation will be much easier when you put out the best content, in your niche, that your readers will be excited to read.

Step 4: Monetize

You will want to make sure that you have created a lot of content before monetizing with something like Google Adsense or your application will more than likely be denied. So let your aggregator run for a few months, build some authority, and an online presence for your website; then apply for your Google Adsense account. If you just want to share links across your social networks, instead of taking on a website, then check out this post I wrote on how to monetize link sharing.

Lastly, the Traffic Issue & My final thoughts on Making Money with Content Aggregation

I say this in all of my posts but this business model, content aggregation, is dependent upon getting traffic. There are certain factors that make getting traffic easier in content aggregation versus other methods.

One is the ease and rate in which new content is created, having a big site with lots of pages (thousands) will just help you automatically. It provides more avenues for people to bump into your content and possibly click on your ads. When the SEO for large sites is done correctly the outcome is usually increased traffic and conversions.

Regardless of this advantage, the disadvantage will always be that the platform that you’re sharing on is new and maybe relatively unheard of. If its not, and you have already built an audience, then I recommended adding a blog or section to your platform to test this method on your users.

Remember that regardless of if your blog or app is new or frequented by thousands, you will need to promote your new monetization method to get traction. So in as much as you may want to earn from running ads, don’t forget to run a few ads for yourself.

In my next post I will be writing more about monetizing your social networks with content automating platforms like Hootsuite. This is a simple technique, that I love to do, so I am going to create a video of how I set up this method. Hopefully you all will enjoy it 🙂



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