Ethically Creating Fresh Content for Free

ebaycompatible.gifScott has been doing an excellent job sharing his experiences when buying established domains, what I want to do in this post is share a few ideas on how to fill these domains with useful content on the cheap (you’ve just splashed out buying the domain after all).

I’ve posted before about how I love databases another technology that I’m quite keen on are sites that provide an API (Application Programming Interface) that lets you pull there content for free. You must ensure you read (and) the sites TOS (Terms of Service) od whose API you want to use.

There are a load of big sites that provide APIs and if you’ve got a bit of programming knowledge they’re pretty easy to use. Alternatively if your no code monkey but have a great idea hiring a coder is another option (albeit a paid one).

The following sites and tools are examples of what can be done with a bit of inventive thinking and using other peoples data:

Keyword Ranking Tool
This tool lets you monitor how your site ranks for various keywords. It uses the Google and Yahoo API to legally automate grab results are store them in a database. It’s a useful tool and once coded should take zero maintenance to run (another thng I like).

Last Minute Auction
This site grabs data using the eBay API and displays what auctions are about to close. Not only does eBay give you free content but you can also earn affiliate income from it.

Blog Storm
A cool tool for tracking how popular you blog posts are, it used the Technorati(I think?) and the Yahoo API to monitor how many links each new post receives.

If you’ve found a good value product based domain and are struggling to populate it with content a great place to start is Amazon or eBay. Both of which have 1000s of unique products and an API to get at them, if you can’t find a product on eBay there often isn’t a market for it.

Another cool form of free content is data feeds. These are generally CSV (Comma Separated Values) files full of products. Many online stores have affiliate programs and some of which will provide you with a data feed of all of their products. You can then populate your site with a load of pre-written content and you just need a bit of ingenuity to make it unique.

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.


  1. Nice post I’m a big fan of eBay as thats what got me going on the net & I like to mess with code, at present with 40-50 hrs at work each week its not happening though.

    I’m just finishing up a project at work where I will be able to seamlessly load our 50,000 products to eBay from our DB if you have been around ebay you will know how difficult this is to do 🙂 Then I have a project where a friend is building for a anothr friend & myself a site/store that is database driven with a whole bunch of products in PHP.

    Between the two i should have the base to hack together some interesting projects soon.

  2. I know Al has been a man of honour, especially when it comes to web content. There is a rather thin line between plagiarism and generating site contents using feeds.

    One has to be really careful when threading on such grounds, as you do certainly do not wished you site to be penalised for duplicated content.

    I agree with the comment made above that “… populate your site with a load of pre-written content and you just need a bit of ingenuity to make it unique…” and I think it is an important aspect.

  3. Now if only you could somehow combine the data from Amazon with Chitika ads that would be something!

    Any ideas? 😉

  4. Thanks for the idea primer. I have been following the Last Minute Auction site. I was thinking of doing something similar but drill it down to a more narrow niche.

  5. I am just wondering, a few things..

    Finding the databases is not a problem. But, how do you combine data bases to make the content unique?

    Do you have someone code it for you, or can you use a product like Fourth Worlds Web Merge to make turn the DB’s into html and then combine it that way?

    What if I can’t program the dabatbases myself? Is there a service or individual who specializes in combining databases?

    Have you ever been banned or had problems with Google, for uploading the many pages that some databases provide?

    What is the most amount of pages from a database you have uploaded?

    Is database information unique, in that you don’t have to worry about triggering the so called “spam filter” that I have heard about (but don’t know if it exists) when more than 2000 pages at any one time is uploaded to a site?

    Have I asked enough questions” (LOL!)..

    Thanks for any an all comments..

    Robert C.

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