How To Start Your Own Automated News Aggregator Site

How To Start An Aggregator Blog

You don’t necessarily have to write a lot of original content to be a great blogger and publisher. You can be a news aggregator.

There are many popular blogs and news sites that work as content curators and gain readers by sharing content. The key to success is to share great content that is niche-targeted to a specific subject or service.

Before I explain how you can start building a news aggregator site, here are a few examples to show you how it can work.

The most well-known aggregation websites are news aggregator services.

Examples of a news aggregator

You probably read Google News from time to time to check the latest news.

It is a perfect example of a collection of trusted sources at work.

Google News

Google scoops up articles from news organizations such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Washington Post, among hundreds of other news sources.

Then it categorizes popular news items into top stories or breaking news and then into different news topics or sub-topics.

As an aside, it is a pity that Google Reader has been discontinued because I enjoyed using it to read the news.

The facility to use RSS as a feed reader has disappeared on all browsers.

So you need to use a news app now for anything similar to the old RSS newsreader.

However, there are plenty of iOS and Android apps available now to read news feeds.

But you can also access websites that are similar to Google News.

The Drudge Report is another example of a news aggregator website.

It is not the best-looking site, but it has been around for a long time and gets a lot of traffic.

Drudge Report

But it is not just news. PopURLs is a site that pulls content from a variety of sources, including YouTube, Flickr, and social media. It even aggregates (again) Google News.

There are hundreds of sources on its site, and for a news aggregator, it has a very slick user interface.


Lastly, there is Blog Engage. It is a text-based blog that gathers web content from thousands of blogs.

It is a site that is a win-win. Bloggers get more traffic, and Blog Engage makes money from advertising.

Blog Engage

How can you create a news aggregator content site?

You can start by building site content manually.

When you do this, it is called curated content.

Whatever your topic, you can find plenty of articles or posts.

You might search online or keep a list of sites on your topic.

All you need to do is grab a small piece of an article and perhaps its featured image as well.

Then, post it (always) with a link to the original article.

Here is an example of creating a curated post using an article from Publishers Weekly.

Books for Emerging Readers

Publishers discuss the unsung value of early chapter books in fostering literacy

publishers weekly

Ask educators or editors, or even some parents, what constitutes the trickiest writing assignment in children’s literature, and a lot of them will say the same thing: the humble chapter book.

“I think it is perhaps the hardest category to write for, because you are writing for kids who are just learning to read on their own, but it’s incredibly important to create a book that will encourage them,” says Erica Finkel, who edits Ellen Potter and Felicita Sala’s Big Foot and Little Foot series at Abrams. Continue reading here.

You can do this on any blogging platform, even on free sites such as Wix, Blogger, or free WordPress.

Tumblr is another option for reblogging content.


How to build and start a news aggregator site

To build a multiple-source blog, you will need a self-hosted WordPress site.

The advantage of a self-hosted WordPress website is that you can automate the process of creating article snippets, links, and even posts by using a site’s RSS feed and a plugin.

If you are using a premium site on, there might be plugins available for you, but you will need to check.

When I first started Just Publishing Advice, it was part of my personal site. I used this technique to set it up as a news feed for publishing news.

By luck, I was able to find a screenshot of the early days of my site by using the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

JPA aggregated news

It ran very happily for a couple of years, automatically posting fresh news from a handful of sources every day.

In the end, I decided to change tack and build Just Publishing Advice by writing original content.

But at least you can be reassured that I know how content aggregation works.

To create an automated or semi-automated site, you will need to use a premium plugin. I used the WP RSS Aggregator plugin.

I can vouch for how well it worked. But I have to add that I have no affiliation, so I am offering my opinion as a user only.

There is a free version that only publishes text snippets and post titles.

If you want to add images, set up individual WordPress posts, and style your site’s aggregation, you will need to buy premium add-ons.

I used the Excerpts & Thumbnails add-on, and it worked perfectly for me for more than two years.

There are so many ways you can use simple RSS feed sources to create stunning content on your blog.


Becoming a content or news aggregator

There are a few reasons why this type of blog may suit you.

One is that you do not have time to write original content. I know full well how time-consuming this can be.

The second is that you would like to find a way to make a passive income.

Many news aggregators make a nice monthly income from Google Adsense and other forms of advertising or affiliate marketing, so perhaps it might be an option for you.

Third, you would like to become an online influencer on a particular topic.

Attracting comments and leveraging social media can work for any subject, such as cooking, gardening, politics, baby care, or even self-publishing.

It will take time to build a great-looking site and find the perfect WordPress theme for the job.

But after that, it is only a matter of using search engines to find feeds to the type of content you want. Then, you can add a new post very quickly or even automatically.



Is using news aggregator software for a site cheating?

No, not at all. It is a win-win for you and the content creators you add to your site.

If you can attract reasonable traffic, you will be giving the original content owner a backlink to their site that will help their SEO ranking and referral site visits.

For you, you can hope to build your advertising earnings.

However, like any new blog, you should expect that it will take some time to establish and attract enough daily visitors to make it profitable.

Building your social network with Facebook and Twitter is often the quickest way to do this.

It is not an option for everyone. But done well, it is a viable and lucrative means of online publishing.


Related reading: Why Content Scraping And Copying Articles Is A Really Bad Idea

7 thoughts on “How To Start Your Own Automated News Aggregator Site”

  1. great article! Is 8 gig on an intel core 13 enough to get started on a News Agg. site. Also do I need MSN Office? I just purchased an HP laptop and dont want to spend $$ on worthless software that I wont use.

  2. Hi: I started a small aggregator political-oriented site (3 sites, one with broadcast media, one with conservative perspective and one with progressive perspective). Each of these three feeds had 10 news sources (30 total), downloaded every 4 hours, and up to 3 articles from each source. So, in 24 hours I could bring in 360 articles. My 1 GB storage on my hosted server filled up quickly. I deleted all 3 sites because I was just practicing with them but am perplexed how people control their server/bandwidth usage. Seems any aggregator service is going to create a storage problem. Any advice? Thank you.

    1. I have to say Ken that posting 360 articles in 24 hours is a LOT! Particularly if your hosting site has such a small limit. Either get better hosting or slow down.

  3. Thank you for the article write up. Very informative.  I’m thinking of creating a site myself but I have 2 questions:  1.  Will higher ranked sites allow a new unproven site to publish their posts?  Why would they say no? 2.  Would my site’s ranking go down if I was permitted to publish posts from much lower ranked sites?  Any thoughts would be welcomed.

  4. Good question, Zee. I only had one page of my site using an Aggregator feed. It worked extremely well and brought in Adsense income. But I removed it when I changed my site to 100% evergreen advice content. The news feed page was obviously dated and time stamped for each entry, so it wasn’t compatible with the new direction for the site.

  5. great article. One question is to why did you move from New Aggregator to Blog? Was monitization difficult. I am asking because i am thinking of setting up a news Aggregator and want to make informed dicisions.

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