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"But I'm not a writer!" Easy ways to get content for your site


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"But I'm not a writer!" Easy ways to get content for your site

It's time to start creating that content. In this lesson we'll go over some ways of sourcing content for those who aren't so excited by writing.

Once you've got your website mapped out, know what your important keywords are and have a site structure in mind, it's time to start creating some content. If you're blessed with time, writing talent and a firm grasp of your topic, you can write your content yourself. However, if you're short of any of these commodities you might want to consider some more creative methods of sourcing content for your site; in this lesson we'll cover several easy ways to get content.

#1: Outsourcing

If you have more money than time or literary skills, you could pay someone to write your articles for you; there are a number of websites that connect publishers (like you) with freelance writers - one popular example is Upwork.com. Just post a project and writers ("Upworkers") will "bid" for the job, offering to write X number of articles for Y dollars per article. At the bottom end of the scale you can spend around $5 per article but, typically, the more you spend the higher the quality of the writing.

Upwork  

This can be a hit and miss way to get content for your site; a lot of writers out there (particularly the very cheap ones) don't have English as a first language, or seem to specialize in writing vague, confusing passages that really contribute very little to your site except for bulk. Good writers do exist on these sites, but you may need to try a few before you hit on a winner (and you might need to pay a little more!)

Another option for outsourcing your writing is to hire a student from your local college to write for you - this way you have the benefit of being able to interview your candidates beforehand and discuss the topic with them in person, and (if you're in an English-speaking country) you can generally be sure that their English skills will be reasonable!

#2: Use private label rights resources

Private label rights (PLR) articles are articles that essentially become "yours" once you purchase them: you can edit them, alter them, put your name on them, post them on your website, bind them together into a book and sell it... The choice is yours; when you buy PLR articles, the author relinquishes almost all rights to the content.

There are a number of ways to get PLR content; usually you will need to either:

  • Purchase a PLR membership from a PLR site (do a little research and look around before buying)
  • Purchase individual packs of PLR articles from non-membership sites (more expensive cost per article, but better topic selection)
  • Or scrounge around on forums for people re-selling packs for cheap (can be very cheap per article, but quality can be very worrying!)

Some PLR sites will also include market research information with their articles, and have chosen the topic based on keyword search volumes or other salient measures.

The good thing with PLR articles is that the quality tends to be considerably higher than articles you get for bottom-dollar on Upwork. In fact, you'll see PLR membership sites emphasizing the fact that their writers are native English speakers! This seems like a ridiculous point to advertise, but you will come to appreciate it once you experience the alternative.

The biggest issue with PLR articles is that they get around! Others will be using them too. To avoid duplicate content issues, you'll need to heavily edit the content. In saying that, it’s often much easier to re-write something than to write it from scratch, and you’ll often get good ideas from PLR content.

So basically, it's best to see PLR content as topic generation and research, rather than content to use as-is. Keep in mind that it's only worthwhile if you can get them for a low cost, because you will need to spend time rewriting them yourself, or money hiring someone else to rewrite them for you.

#3: Using content from article directories

You can also source a wide range of articles, reviews and other content from free article directories such as ezinearticles.com. With content from article directories you're free to post it on your site, as long as you don't edit the content at all; this includes keeping the author's "bio box" and any links in the content intact.

 

There are some obvious and major downsides with this kind of content: Firstly, since you're not allowed to edit this content it will suffer from serious duplicate content penalties from the search engines. Only one site with particular content will receive the credit for that article in the form of a search engine listing, while all other sites with this content will be relegated to the "supplementary results", and often the site that makes it into the search engines is the article directory itself!

Secondly, you're forced to link to whatever sites the author wants to link to in their bio box or within the article itself. Thirdly, you're not able to insert your own affiliate links into the content. Fourth and finally, the quality of these articles is often not all that great. All that hassle for lackluster content. Is it really worth it?

In general, if you're planning to build a site for search engine optimization, or if you're looking for content for your newsletter series, you should steer well clear of article directories. If you're simply looking for something to beef up the back end of your PPC site, this might be an acceptable solution for the meantime. (No guarantees for the future though - the search engines are getting pickier all the time!)

(Read more about the perils of article directories in our lesson on avoiding duplicate content)

#4: Don't write - talk!

If you're not much of a writer one easy way to create a lot of content for your site, fast, is to get a Dictaphone and record conversations between you and a partner on a particular topic. Often it's much easier to talk about a topic than to write about it, and one hour of conversation can yield around 40 pages of content! You could even find an expert in your field and interview them.

Once you've recorded your conversation you can hire an Upworker (or a student) to transcribe it for you; an hour of talking will typically cost around US$25 for an Upworker to transcribe.

If you're really keen, you could also add the audio to your site with an audio play button. It's a bit of a gimmick, but a lot of people prefer to listen rather than read. It can also add some "real person" credibility to your site. Just be aware that you can't rely solely on audio for all your content, since the search engines can't spider it!

#5: Blogging

If you're able to write an email to your friends or family updating them on what you've been up to, then you're able to blog. Blogging is a lot less formal than article writing, and a lot of affiliates find it much easier. It's also a lot more engaging for your readers since you're able to let your own personality shine through.

The other benefit to blogging is that, by allowing comments on your blog, you can get visitors to your site to help build your content for you! Don't think it gets you out of targeting your keywords though — you should try to work your keywords into your blog posts, particularly in the titles.

Lesson Summary

In this lesson you've learned a number of approaches to finding content for your website that don't involve pulling articles out of your own head.

  • Outsourcing to friends, students or through sites like Upwork.com
  • Pulling articles from article directories like ezinearticles.com
  • Recording conversations or interviews and then transcribing them
  • Blogging

 

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Questions & Comments + Add a comment

Reply Jennifer Gait854 days ago
If you prefer talking to writing, buy Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking which will write what you are saying as you say it. It takes a bit of time, practice and patience to 'train' the program to your voice and the types of words you use, and to learn the commands you give to fix mistakes, punctuate etc, but once you've done so you can produce an article very quickly, for about the cost of 4-8 E-lance transcribed articles. Nuance have sales on their products about a couple of times a year, so you can sometimes get it for about $99.
Melissa Johnson852 days ago
Hi, Jennifer!

That's a really great tip! I don't think I've seen anyone suggest it before.
Reply Aurang Zeb Awan501 days ago
Don't you think PLR products are also sold to several customers which means they are also be duplicated contents?
Melissa Johnson499 days ago
Hi, Aurang --

Basically, yes. That is why we mention that PLR articles need to be heavily edited to ensure they're original.

You're ultimately better off writing yourself, or hiring an experienced writer to do it for you.
Reply Gary Trotman418 days ago
Is it more powerful to have articles submitted as natural web pages or as blog posts?
taking into account in WordPress, blog posts can be submitted to all of your social media once published!
Melissa Johnson416 days ago
Hi, Gary!

You're right. There is a huge value in blogging. At the same time, it's worth remembering that some information is better off as a static page that is always visible on your site. Blogs by nature are always updated, so older posts get buried under new ones, which can make it harder to find something that might have essential information. But I would only reserve that option for absolutely critical information.
Reply James Wani355 days ago
I have an idea for content creation, which I need opinions about, it is basically using a good book about my niche and benefiting from the rich info in the book plus the logical organization for both content and website structuring, of course with some editing and adjustments. Please need your inputs!!
Melissa Johnson354 days ago
Hi, James!

You'll want to be sure you don't violate copyright in using the book. You're allowed to reproduce sections of a copyrighted work under a few instances of "fair use" but that's only a small quantity of content that you can fairly use. Comment and criticism is allowed, so if you wanted to use a quote from a book and explain it, or respond to it, that would be "fair use" - but you couldn't just re-edit a chapter of a book and slap it online.

Not only do you need to be wary of copyright, but you really don't want to get slapped with a duplicate content penalty by Google. So apart from small portions of text that you quote and attribute, you really need to make sure that you're producing something original, even if you're using a book as a resource. Valuable content, not just regurgitated ideas, is what sets one affiliate apart from the crowd.

I hope that makes sense!
Reply Fiona Wilson130 days ago
I would try and write the article and then get my mother to read it pick up on any mistakes thats what I do is that a good idea?
Melissa Johnson126 days ago
It is always a great idea to have someone else read over your work. As long as you trust the person's judgment and they're willing to help out, it doesn't matter who it is!
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