I had a conversation with one of my subscribers last week who told me he was simply ‘dreading the idea of starting a blog’ because he couldn’t sustain the ongoing demand of content to feed hungry visitors’. Although he saw himself as being a competent writer, educated in fact to a Masters level, the idea of being a content creation machine fell flat like a lead balloon.
Writing content is time consuming even for human content creation machines. And for many people, writing does not come naturally. My subscriber friend would rather spend his time making money from his unique product than writing about it. This sounds fair enough.
So it is difficult. A manifestation of this is in the vast quantities of duplicated content there is flying around. Copyscape is big business. Fact: people want fresh, useful content. They do not want different sites with the same information.
From the Google Webmaster Central blog http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com
“Our users typically want to see a diverse cross-section of unique content when they do searches. They are understandably annoyed when they see substantially the same content within a set of search results.”
13 Ways To Original, Ongoing Content
1. Be open to guest posts- advertise your invitation for guest bloggers on sites such as Myblogguest.com
2. Pay someone to write your posts for you. Clearly the major disadvantage of this method is that you will need to spend money. If you are cash rich and time poor then this is a great solution. You can find writers on sites such as Guru.com, Elance.com or oDesk.com. If you pay someone to write for you, draw up a straight forward contract saying that the work is for hire and that you are also buying all the rights to it. This will allow you to do as you wish with the article, such as syndicate it on other sites or in newsletters for example. There are also sites that will work with you to develop your internet marketing content strategy and write the content, eg www.idealaunch.com
3. Summarize articles related to your subject order. Set up a Google Alerts for your keyword, then create an articles page on your site in which you summarise the best articles and link to them. Make sure your summary is keyword rich. A good tip is to include the first few sentences for the article. This comes under copyright fair use and is generally accepted practice. The operative word though is few in this scenario (you don’t want to be sued). Another tip is to let the source of the article know about your summary and ask them to add a link back to your site.
4. Review sites such as fuelmyblog.com provide opportunities to review products and sites etc- fresh content. Again make your reviews keyword rich. Another site to try is Engadget.com and sponsoredreviews.com
5. Use Press releases. These are copyright free and you can use them as you wish. Try sites such as www.prweb.com; www.free-press-release.com; www.i-newswire.com; www.pr-gb.com; www.prnewswire.com
6. Ask for permission to use other people’s content. You will generally not be allowed to modify the content however except if it is open content whereby some syndicators will allow it. If you can, great – replace some words with your keywords but appropriately; making sure you retain the spirit, tone and context of the article. Use paragraphs, bullets and keyword rich subheads to optimise the copy as much as possible.
7. If you are selling products contact the manufacturer and find out what materials are available: brochures, spec sheets, technical documents and so on. If the material is in PDF format, it is best to convert it into HTML which load more quickly than PDF files and which are more SEO friendly. You can easily do this conversion via systems such as www.pdfonline.com. Or simply search for pdfconverter.
8. Use articles from other websites which are non-competing or newsletters: www.ezinehub.com or http://new-list.com you could also try searching for a combination of your keyword followed by the word article or newsletter, eg homeopathy newsletter. If the article has an attribution attached to it make sure you contact that person and request permission to use it.
9. Use public domain material eg www.projectgutenberg.com (stay on the right side of the copyright law by contacting a lawyer to be sure of what you can or cannot do). Government sites are also a useful source of content which you can place directly onto your website. The content will probably be in PDF format so you will need to convert it into HTML as mentioned in point 7. Not only will you find useful documents for your site which are text heavy and therefore good for SEO, in many cases you will also find video. Try the following search: site:gov+ your keyword
10. Use content syndication sites. These are popular internet marketing strategies as you can obtain numerous articles without fear of copyright infringement. Examples include: www.ezinearticles.com; www.freesticky.com; www.goarticles.com; www.ideamarketers.com. You should also try The Open Directory Project’s List of Content Providers at www.dmoz.org/Business/Publishing_and_Printing/Publishing/Services/Free_Content . It is best to go for sites that use manual inclusion techniques whereby you can copy and paste the content you want into your pages directly. This is in contrast to automatic-inclusion techniques which allow the content owner to amend their content immediately at the source file which will change the article on the host sites too. This may not help your keywords!
11. Paid for syndication- that is you pay to have the content on your site. In theory the quality of the content should be better than articles which you have obtained for free. Try sites such as www.moreover.com; www.yellowbrix.com
12. Use Open Content material. This is a great internet marketing strategy that is free and available for you to use. Open content relies on copyleft; whereby the owner of a piece of copyrighted work does not release it into the public domain but releases the work for public modification, on the understanding that anyone using the work does not claim original authorship and to similarly release all derivative works under the same conditions. There are literally stacks of content available under copyleft. Try these sites for starters:` www.creativecommons.org; dmoz.org/Computers/Open_Source/Open_Content Wikipedia is the best known open content see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wikis
13. Set up a Question and answer area on your site. The disadvantage of this technique is that it could well be time-consuming; so if you are time poor then this is not the strategy for you. If you do have the time then it’s a no-brainer option. There are free and inexpensive software tools which will automate the creation and management of these questions and answer areas. Try www.resourceindex.com or outsource to a professional from eLance to help you install the tool if you don’t feel confident enough to do so yourself. Getsatisfaction.com is a customer service tool worth exploring and you can search for ‘forum software’ too.
Photo credit Djuliet
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