I have to admit, I used to do this manually…. go through the articles collected in my Gmail account and cut and paste them into templates. There has been software available that automates the task, but it has all been in the $200+ range, or not keyword specific. For $200 I could have my own software built… maybe not very pretty software, but it would work however I specified, so it would work for me.
So I never spent the bucks on someone elses solutions. I even had my coder look into building a similar product.
But then I found something at a REASONABLE price ($47) that kept me from following up. And after buying and testing Article Site Developer, I’m quite pleased with the results.
ASD allows you to gather content from a number of article directories, as well as a press release repository and a Wiki News.
I usually run ASD in two sessions for each site: The first collects articles from the article directories. Those go in an article section. Then I collect Press Releases and News for a “News” section of the site.
It’s pretty simple to use. First, you log in (yeah, it’s got a weird log in thing that actually logs you in to a web site), then you can move along the various tabs at the top of the application. Once you’ve chosen the sites you want to retrieve articles from, you head to the Keywords tab and enter your first keyword or phrase. Clicking the “Retrieve Keywords” button will bring up a list of other related keyphrases. Enter a second key phrase and do the same with it. The application will keep existing key phrases and add new ones as you proceed.
I pretty much leave the collection options at the default settings, except I choose 20 articles from each source.
The templates for ASD are really easy to deal with. There are just a few tags to add to your template to get it working, and there are several sample templates in the ASD program directory to get you started. The only flaw is that the Index and the Articles require different templates.
Once Article Site Developer finishes collecting articles, you can remove any irrelevant or off topic articles it found, then output to your specified directory. And when it’s all done, the application can even FTP the whole thing to your directory if you choose.
I must point out that once you hit the “Collect” button, you may as well move on to something else, since the process of collecting the articles can take a LONG time. I generally have ASD running on my laptop, while I work on my desktop computer. If you don’t have a second computer, you might want to set an ASD project to run at night before you go to bed. That way you won’t be using up needed CPU and bandwidth while you’re doing other things.
The one thing I dislike about ASD is that the file names are automatically named with a .html extension. Since I use PHP includes to add headers and footers, this is a pain. I use 1-4a Rename, a freeware Windows application, to rename all the files to .php, then use the search and replace function in my web editor to change all the links inside the files to .php from .html. It’s an extra step I wouldn’t have to go through if Article Site Developer allowed me to specify my own extension.
On the whole, though, you WON’T find a better deal for article content generation on the Web, and for $47 it does a fantastic job.
Since I purchased the application last month, it has been updated twice, so it is well supported and not abandoned by its creator.