I guess one of the drawbacks of being an internet marketer is that you are reliant on technology to do what you have to do. Affilorama members might have heard me say that my trusty laptop hasn't been so trusty since I've been in the States, so I'm sitting in my hotel in Austin using a temporary computer which has tremendous issues with the letter P -- as in, it doesn't work. As in -- I have to copy and paste in every P.
And just to torture myself with the p-problem, I've decided to make this post about PLR websites. I've probably mentioned PLR articles and sites a few times in this blog already -- PLR stands for "private label rights" and typically refers to ebooks and articles that can be altered and published (almost) as if they're your own.
PLR articles are an excellent resource for affiliate marketers. Many people use PLR articles to create article websites around a certain niche topic and then monetize the site by adding context ads like Google Adsense, others might use the articles as a springboard for promoting their other affiliate products, or you could use the articles as the basis for a newsletter series to keep your newsletter subscribers listening without having to come up with new content yourself several times a week.
The real benefit of PLR articles is that you can get articles on a tremendous number of topics (frequently topics that are highly searched for), and it's content that you can use without having to credit an author. You can chop and change the articles, reword or rearrange, give them new titles, optimize them for your keywords.... but since the content is there, two-thirds of the work is already done for you. The articles themselves can vary in quality, but they're typically good -- even if they're not exactly revolutionary, and most of all, they're cheap. Paying a membership fee to join a PLR site gives you access to such a large number of articles that each individual article might come out costing only 30c. Try getting a writer to produce an article for that money!
All this is great, but simply taking your PLR articles and pouring them into a website isn't going to get you earning big dollars that easily. Why? You ask? Isn't that what everyone else is doing? Yes, and that's exactly the problem.
First of all, even though PLR articles are usually limited in their distribution (PLR provider sites will often have a cap on member numbers, for example) there are still going to be hundreds of other people out there with the same article. As I mentioned in my last blog post, the search engines will give the most credit to the first site they see with original content. If you come along afterwards (or even if you are there first, you might not be spidered first) you run the risk of being seen as a clone, and you won't reap the full benefit of your hard work. The risk varies depending on the sites involved, but to be on the safe side it's a good idea to re-work your article so that it's at least 25-30% different from the original.
To do that you can simply reword paragraphs so that they say the same thing with different words, or you can add extra information. An introduction or a footer might be enough of a change to take your article to that percentage difference target. If you're not sure exactly how different your article is (it's a hard thing to measure just by looking), we'll be adding a new feature to Traffic Travis in the next week that can give you a percentage measure. Affilorama members... remember, you get Traffic Travis for free. And for you non-members, you can get a seven-day trial version of Traffic Travis from www.TrafficTravis.com and compare to your heart's content!
The second problem with using PLR articles verbatim is that it does nothing for building your own personality or "voice" on your site. I'm sure you've all experienced the slight disappointment that comes from finding an article from a Google search, only to catch that slight whiff of genericness, forgetableness, numerous other invented words... I'm sure you know what I mean. The articles often lack personality, and there is nothing to endear the website to your readers. The upshot of this is there is no reason for them to come back. Perhaps that's ok for you, particularly if you're just hoping that your readers will stick around long enough to click your context ads. But if you're trying to build an authority site, a community, a living breathing site.... then you might find that PLR articles suck a bit of the life out of things.
So what's the solution?
A while ago I conducted an interview with Sylvie Charrier of Workaholics4Hire fame, who had an excellent idea for using PLR articles. Simply put, she prefers to use them to find ideas for niche websites, and she uses them as a research tool. She recommends that you use your articles to get those electrons firing in your brain, instead of just having an idea and trying to find articles that fit your idea. Then take your articles, read them all, select the best bits and combine them in a new and exciting manner. You'll come up with ideas for sites that you would never think of otherwise, your research time is considerably shortened, and you avoid duplicate content!
The point I'm trying to make is that PLR articles are great, but even if you just spend a little bit of time making the articles your own, making them different and injecting your own voice into them, you'll find the rewards are much greater.
That said, some of you might remember a while ago Marc Lindsay and Daniel Turner from PLR Pro flew over to meet me and film some great lessons for Affilorama members on SEO and how to make money from PLR articles. I want to take the opportunity while we're talking about PLR articles to put in a little plug for these guys, because I think they do marvellous things for their members. Many Affilorama members are also members of PLR Pro and say that they fall into the category of "big names you can trust".
Personally, I've found them to be very honest and hardworking guys. I've seen a few private label rights articles in my day, and in my humble opinion PLR Pro's articles are some of the best I've seen. One of the biggest "selling points that shouldn't need to be a selling point" is that their articles are written by people who have english as a first language. Laugh if you will, but do a bit of research and you'll see what a huge selling point that actually is! They've also done all the keyword research for you, so you can get articles that people are actually wanting to read!
Anyway, I'm not going to use an affiliate link, I'm just making a recommendation. Here it goes: (*Clears throat*)
"If you're looking for great private label rights articles written by english speakers and provided by really nice, really smart guys, visit www.PLRpro.com."
That's it. If there are any PLR Pro members out there who want to chip in on this subject, please do!
Now, because I've been rambling a little (you try to make sense with a bung p-key!), I'm going to let the considerably-more-eloquent Marc Lindsay of PLR pro show you an example of a good article website and give you some SEO tips for article websites.
Note: Video has been removed
Take care guys, and (since I got such good recommendations from my last plea) -- if anyone has any hot spots or must-sees in Austin, let me know?
Oh goodness. I never want to see another P in my life!