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eBay Autoblogs - A Learning Experience

Everybody else seems to be getting into the eBay niche store business, so I thought I’d give it a shot too.  Lots of failure later, I thought I’d give you guys a few tips to help you avoid the mistakes I made.

First of all

Here’s what I did:  I registered a fairly generic domain with the word ‘auction’ in it and set up Wordpress mu.  I then created twenty blogs, each with a different niche, and setup FeedWordpress on each one.  From there, I created 20 auction feeds through EPN’s feed creator tool, plugged them into FeedWordpress, set it to update every hour, and turned everything on.

Note:  FeedWordpress seems to have some issues with the feed URLs generated by EPN.  I ran each of mine through tinyurl and that seemed to fix the problem.

Anyway, while I was doing this I missed some fairly obvious problems.

Problem 1:  Gigantic Database

I picked some fairly popular niches for some of my stores.  Within three days my Wordpress database had reached half a gig.  Huge database = slow site.  What did I do wrong?  Well, my site was pulling each and every listing from those categories, meaning I had tens of thousands of auctions (with images) in my database.  Oops.

How to fix:  Limit your search results to 50-100 items.  Possible ways to do this include only searching for items that already have bids, minimum price range, etc.

Problem 2:  Not getting indexed

By default, FeedWordpress directs all permalinks to the original post, ie the eBay auction.  This does not bode well for getting indexed.

Solution:  Change this:

Problem 3:  Sitemap is being overwritten each time you add a new blog

An automatically generated sitemap is a very useful thing.  Most blogs use this plugin, which is fine for a single blog.  When you try to use it with Wordpress mu, however, it only creates one sitemap which is overwritten every time a blog updates.

Solution:  Use this plugin.  Someone was nice enough to rewrite the original XML sitemap generator to be compatible with Wordpress mu.  Now every blog gets its own sitemap.  Very handy.

Hope that helps

Now go out and make some autoblogs.  Watch your traffic to see which keywords are bringing you the most results, then create a real niche store for that one product.  Rinse, repeat.

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