If you are a blogger, local business or just about anyone who owns a website, you might be struggling to come up with enough content to fill out your site. Here at Keysearch, our selection of keyword tools and blogging tools like content assistant can help speed things up massively but it still can be a grind developing enough content even if the ideas are there. It just may be too time-consuming to develop all of it on your own.
We all understand that content is at the heart of search engine optimization (SEO) and it is what drives traffic, yet you may have exhausted all of your writing options. As content creators, we all know the struggle of coming up with new and engaging articles to please the search engines.
Finding ways to get free content gets harder when you realize that the content needs to be of high quality and unique. There are plenty of ways to get free content, the problem is you wouldn’t want to use most of them. For example:
Copyright Free Content For Publishers
This is also known as PLR (Private Label Rights). These are articles considered “free use articles”. You can use them on your site without any need to cite the original author and with no fear of violating any copyrights. You can change the articles if you’d like as well.
Even if these articles end up being high quality, the problem here is the content is not unique. This means other website owners will have the same article or at least a very similar article on their site. Google absolutely hates this and this will get you virtually nowhere when it comes to driving traffic through SEO. It may actually have the opposite effect and lead to a Google penalty.
This can be hit or miss and usually only works well if you are a big established website with a lot of trust. Syndicating articles is when you post articles from another website, citing the original website source and giving them credit. Sites like Ezinearticles are probably the best example of this.
You are basically curating quality content and re-posting it on your site. Doing this once in a while may not hurt your site but it probably won’t lead to any traffic either. This is because it runs into the same unique content problem we discussed above.
Free Content Generators
Content generators are almost always a bad idea and considered black hat by Google. Not to say all automatically generated content is bad (some news sites use it all the time as discussed here), but the type we would most likely get would not be looked too kindly on by Google.
Most content generators are article spinners. What is a spinner you ask? You can read about article spinners and spun content here.
This type of content is usually low quality, runs the risk of violating copyrights and Google hates it! Getting a free article is not worth the risk when the article itself is low-quality and potentially harmful to your site. Auto-generated content may have worked years ago but these days you are just asking for trouble.
How To Get Unique Content For Your Website
Now that we’ve discussed some of the “not so great” methods of getting free website content, now lets dive into some of the actual tried and true methods for getting free content for your blog or business website that Google will love.
Invite Guest Posters To Provide Free Blog Content
Guest posting also known as guest blogging is a method of allowing guest authors to contribute to your website’s blog. To start, get in contact with websites in your industry and send them a personalized email inviting them to share a little bit of their expertise on your website.
You might ask, “What’s in it for them? Why would they want to write for my website?” Many webmasters are aware that links to their website will increase their rankings. Suggest that you will offer them a link to their website if they write a unique article for your site. You can also offer them a short description of who they are and what they do for readers to view. This is called an author bio.
Not only do they get the SEO benefit of the backlink but they also have the opportunity to further build their audience and drive more referral traffic to their site. It’s a big win-win for both parties. You’ll be surprised how many website owners are willing to write in exchange for guest posts!
What is great is many times guest posters will have their own content ideas which make things even easier. If not you can do some quick keyword research to find a topic that will work well, or you can just ask for the poster to provide a typical “tips of the trade” style article or see if anything interests them personally that would fit with your blog content.
When it comes to blogging platforms, there’s probably a good chance you’re using WordPress for your blog. WordPress makes it incredibly easy to set up author accounts and manage guest posts. You don’t need WordPress to manage this though. Simply publish the article they provide on your website and provide credit back to them.
As you get more and more comfortable with the process of guest posting you can even add a “write for us” page to your website detailing what you are looking for from guest posters. This gives people the ability to find you, rather than the other way around.
Enable Blog Commenting For User-Generated Content & Reader Interaction
If your website does not have comments enabled, you can do this through WordPress or contact your webmaster and politely request that they enable it on your website. Website visitors love sharing their reviews, experiences, opinions, and responses to your website articles and blog posts. A commenting platform is a perfect place for acquiring free content from your website visitors.
However, not everyone is so ready or willing to write up a comment response on your blog post. You may need to entice them. Encourage them to leave a comment by mentioning it on the bottom. A popular encouragement is a short blurb of content such as, “What do you think? We’d love to hear your opinion. Leave a comment below!” This simple mention will drive attention to your commenting section and encourage the reader to jump in and offer their opinion. Comments add up, and you may find that you’re getting hundreds of free words of content on your most popular blog posts.
Word of caution though: Make sure to moderate your comments before allowing them to be posted. Comment sections get spammed heavily. There are endless bots that automatically post irrelevant comments filled with broken English, advertisements, spammy links etc… This can be a real headache and an absolute nightmare if you don’t use WordPress (WordPress has ways of filtering out some of the spammy comments.)
Create a Leave a Review and Read Reviews Page
If you’re a business that offers any type of product or service, you will want to consider a review platform. This is a simple form that encourages your clients or customers to share their experience with you. If you are a store or business that sells products, then encourage your clientele to leave a review after their purchase. If you’re a restaurant, consider creating simple business cards that encourage your patrons to share their experience on your website. If you’re an in-person businessman or woman, mention your website to your clients after you finish providing service.
In order to take full advantage of your leave a review system, consider monthly drawings for a free gift card or discount on products or services. This is a perfect message to include on your website. A $10 gift card to Best Buy or Starbucks goes a long way in encouraging your clients or customers to share their experience.
After you receive the review, place it on your website. Include their name, review content, star rating, and photo if you have one. You may or may not include their full last name depending on their wishes.
Review content adds up quickly; it’s quite easy to generate thousands of words of free content by encouraging your clients or customers to share their honest experience. Reviews also have a positive impact on new website visitors who are considering your services. Some say that positive reviews are just as important as high search engine rankings.
Free Content Goes a Long Way
You can do content marketing, email marketing, and social media blasts all you want. If you are just promoting the same content things will get stale with your readers and with Google.
By opening up these avenues for free content, you’ll be that much more effective in increasing your website’s user experience and SEO power. The saying is, “Content is king” and that’s for a reason. The more high-quality content you have on your website, the better chance you have at driving traffic loads of traffic from Google!