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Zennoposter Tutorial: Web Browser Task Automation for Marketers

Zennoposter is a web automation tool that is particularly good at automating marketing tasks. What makes it unique is you don’t have to be a programmer or know how to write code to use it.

You can automate browser based tasks in a matter of minutes that would take even an experienced programmer a few hours to program manually.

Why is Zennoposter useful?

Think of all the tasks that you do online that are repetitive and performed in the browser. Whether this is sending an email, adding content to a website, or even something immensely more complicated.

Zennoposter can be used to automate those tasks.

Zennoposter can run in the background and produce results entirely on its own, while you focus on the more important aspects of your business. There are literally thousands of online tasks that Zennoposter can automate and as you use it, you’ll recognize some of the things you do where it can be applied.

This is what makes the software unique. Every business has needs and the bots you create are exclusively yours. If you come up with a great idea and spend a day automating it with Zennoposter, you’ve now got yourself something that can be repeated indefinitely without having to spend time on it yourself.

Keep in mind, most tasks that can be automated and don’t require human interaction are not complete game changers, but it can free up a significant portion of your day. It also means less money spent on outsourcing to freelancers, such as not having to pay your virtual assistant to do tasks that Zennoposter does for you.

End your reliance on software

Software can go a long way with digital marketing, that’s why there are already hundreds of tools out there that help automate some of the many tasks you’ll face as a business owner or entrepreneur.

There’s software for keyword research, on-page analysis, link building, and dozens more tasks.

You might be thinking, why do I need Zennoposter if there’s already all these great tools?

Many of these tools are really expensive and there’s a chance they can be automated with Zennoposter. You could save a lot by not paying the high monthly price of marketing tools and simply using your Zennoposter bots to accomplish the same thing.

When you are in control of creating the bot, you also control the output and the results. Furthermore, Zennoposter bots can be edited and making changes is easy to do. If your bot needs updates, it’s only going to take a few minutes of your time to implement a fix. You no longer have to wait impatiently on software developers.

Zennoposter automates what no one else will

It doesn’t make sense for a software developer to create a bot that does something so specific that their client base would be severely limited.

If you think about the online tasks your business does, there’s probably a few things that come to mind that software would be very useful for, but simply wouldn’t be marketable or profitable for a developer to create. It’s just too specific of a tool to justify its development.

Whether it’s just a small task or something that not that many marketers engage in, you are likely to encounter hundreds of scenarios like this. That’s why Zennoposter is an incredibly powerful tool. You can use it to automate small things that are useful and productive for your business, that you would never find being sold by software developers.

How the Software Works:

Zennoposter provides a browser much like Google Chrome or Internet Explorer.

As you complete actions in the browser such as navigating to a website, clicking a button on a page, typing something into a text box or any other action, Zennoposter records it. Those actions are now automated and you’ll see the actions recorded as step-by-step procedures within your bot. It provides a visual drag and drop interface.

Actions can be connected to new actions, so that the bot knows what to do next after it completes a step.

You can also instruct the bot to do something different depending on whether the previous step failed or was successfully completed. This allows you to account for bugs or complications that your bot may encounter, and you can implement fail-proof actions.

Zennoposter can read text files stored locally on your computer, save data to text files, use variables, implement IF statements, do logic, use regular expressions, macros, spintax and proxies. It’s also multithreaded and you can run multiple instances of a bot simultaneously. It’s very complex and has advanced functionality but it’s easy to learn and even a beginner can create their first successful bot within hours.

Zennoposter Tutorial – The Layout

ZennoPoster Tutorial Web Automation Tool

The above image gives you an inside look at Zennoposter’s Project Maker and its layout. The Project Maker is where you design your bots, which you can later run using the actual Zennoposter application.

At the top, you can see that “Recording” is highlighted. This lets you know that your actions in the browser are being recorded. The browser is the section where you see WordPress.com on the right hand side. As you do anything in the browser such as going to a website, entering text in a text box, clicking a button, clicking a link, etc. these actions will be added to your project, which is on the left hand side of the screen. You can see that the software automatically recorded the steps we took which were:

  1. Navigating to WordPress.com
  2. Entering in a website name
  3. Clicking the “create website” button.

The steps are recorded in the same order you complete them and are automatically grouped for you so that the next action will be taken after the previous action finishes.

At the bottom, you will see a section on the left for “variables” and a section on the right for “action property.”

Variables are placeholders that you can create and use for storing values. For instance, you could create the variable “WebsiteName,” have Zennoposter read the website name you’d like to use from a file stored on your computer, save it to the variable “WebsiteName,” then use that variable to insert the website name instead of “mynewsiteaddres739.” You can see that this would become particularly helpful when you want the bot to create a new website name for every registration that it does.

Action property is a section that allows you to edit the settings/options for individual actions within your project. By clicking on one of the actions recorded in the project, we would then be able to edit its properties. When you start adding custom actions, rather than recorded ones, this becomes important. Action properties are also how you change your bot to use variables, rather than the text you entered when you first recorded the script.

The “Play” buttons will run your bot, starting from the action that you have selected. The first play button will only run the selected action. The second play button will run until the bot successfully finishes, encounters an error, or reaches a break point. Break points are how you define where to stop the bot during testing. To assign a breakpoint, simply right click on an action.

You can also mark certain actions as “Optional” by right clicking on the action. This means the bot will attempt to complete the action and even if it doesn’t work, the bot will still proceed to the next action.

Custom Actions:

Web Based Task Automation with ZennoPoster

To add custom actions to your project, simply right click on any empty space in the project area. Hover over “Add action” and hover over a type of action to add. You will then see the actions that are available to you. There are tons of actions available within Zennoposter and learning each one, what it does and what its settings and options are can take time. Try not to get frustrated if things aren’t progressing quickly.

Zennoposter supports advanced features like logic, if statements and even adding your own code. If you know C# or you’re an experienced programmer, you can benefit from being able to add code segments when you can’t figure out how to do things from within the Zennoposter GUI.

Set text fields from Profile or Variable

Accomplishing Web and Browser Automation with ZennoPoster

You can set the value for specific fields based off pre-defined “profile” fields that Zennoposter has built in. They have all of the common input fields and you can edit these as well.

You can also set the value based off variables that have values stored to them. For instance, if you read text from a file and store it to a variable, you could then use that variable to input text into text boxes. This is useful when the text for the text box will change each time that you run the bot.

Making your Bot Fail-Proof

Browser Task Automation with ZennoPoster Tutorial and Guide

Each action has a green and red button that you can use to connect it to other actions. The green button represents the path to take if the action is successful and the red button represents the path to take if the action fails. Making your Zennoposter bot fail-proof is possible when you utilize this feature to its full extent.

Recognize places where your bot could get stuck, such as if a website goes down and isn’t working, and provide an outlet for it to pause for a certain amount of time and try again.

Page Source / Get DOM of Page:

ZennoPoster DOM of Page Browser Task Processing
At the top of the browser on the right hand side, there is a button here to view the page source. This will display the HTML code for the page.

This can be very useful when extracting text from a page. You can use the page source to create regular expressions (regex) so that your bot can properly extract the text.

Regular expressions are used to single out specific blocks of source code that you want to extract from the page. For instance, if you are attempting to extract an article, you can use the code at the beginning of the article and the code at the end of the article to create a regular expression that tells Zennoposter that the article is in the middle of that code. If there are multiple articles on the page, multiple results can be saved to a list.

Where Zennoposter Shines

Zennoposter becomes incredibly powerful when you utilize software, tools, and web-based accounts that you already own. There’s been a huge movement in the software industry toward web-based programming and internet marketing developers are beginning to recognize the potential that it brings to their applications. Top internet marketing tools such as Moz, Majestic, Raven Tools, SERPBook and dozens of others are entirely web-based. Desktop software is becoming obsolete, at least in this industry.

You can use Zennoposter to login to your favorite web-based software and use these tools to automatically perform internet marketing tasks. Software for keyword research, competition analysis, on-page optimization analysis, backlink analysis, link building and more can be fully or partially automated with Zennoposter, as long as it’s accessible on the web.

This is where Zennoposter truly shines. Software and tools that you have paid for access to are generally the most valuable. Using Zennoposter to automate these tools is a powerful combination.

By | 2018-02-20T02:52:03+00:00 May 3rd, 2014|Entrepreneurship|0 Comments

About the Author:

Founder of Empowermented, software developer, and U.S. Marine, Dylan Bozeman is an avid learner with a diverse web development portfolio and an entrepreneurial drive.

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