If you know anything about search engine optimization, then you know that search engines love original and fresh content.
Writing original and informative content will not only increase your website’s ranking on the major search engines, but also improve conversion on your website.
Despite this, many website owners do not have enough time to write content for their blogs because they are busy running other aspects of the business.
Therefore, they often choose to hire content writers to do the work for them. However, hiring writers to write content is not cheap.
A 500-1000 words article by a highly qualified writer will set a business back about $250 and $500.
This means that businesses that do not have enough money to hire copywriters usually neglect their blog and their readers, which can hurt the businesses’ search engine ranking and their overall business.
So, what are some of the ways that you can use to get free content to keep your visitors engaged when you cannot write the content yourself?
1. Accepting Guest Posting
Accepting guest posts on your blog is the easiest way to get high quality free content.
The main reason why bloggers choose to write guest posts is to increase their own exposure by writing for popular websites.
Therefore, you will have to give a link back to the contributor’s website in exchange for the content they give you. As this is a no-follow link, guest posting should have no negative effects on the ranking of your business.
The major benefits for accepting guest posts include:
- Improving the engagement with your clients by posting content regularly, even when you are short on content ideas
- It gives you a brief break from writing content
- It will help you build relationships with bloggers and experts within your industry.
- It will expose your blog to a wider audience (especially when the guest bloggers share the post with their social media followers)
- Your website will get credibility and authority if the guest writer is well known within your industry,
- Gives your blog a new voice or a new point of view
While all of these points make guest posting tempting, you should always remember that quality is more important than quantity. Therefore, you should subject every blog posts to the same editorial standards that you subject your own content.
2. Content Syndication
Content syndication gets a bad rap in the content marketing world, but if done right, it can be a very good source of quality content, greater exposure, and traffic for a website.
So, what is content syndication?
Content syndication is a method of republishing content on other sites in order to reach a broader audience.
As a website owner, you can ask other websites for permission to feature any content that you find helpful to your readers on your blog. In exchange, you will provide a link back to the original author.
Ideally, your blog should contain no more than 10% syndicated content to avoid being penalized by search engines for having duplicate content.
3. Content Repurposing
Content repurposing is not exactly a way of getting free content because it involves a lot more work than the two methods that I mentioned above.
Unlike syndication method where you post duplicate content from other sites on your blog, repurposing involves creating spinoffs of popular – or viral- posts.
On way of doing this is by creating an infographic from a study or writing a dummy version of a technical version of a report so that your readers can understand.
You can also repurpose your own content. One way of doing this is creating a video of some of your content and posting it on social media or on youtube.
4. Using Other People’s Infographics
Creators of infographics usually give guidelines for using their work on your own blog.
Some of them provide a code that website owners can copy and paste onto their blog or website in order to display the infographic. Others just say that you are free to use the infographic, and leave it up to you to figure out how.
Using an infographic is a good way to improve social media engagement and reach. However, you should write a keyword rich descriptive text above the infographic to help the search engines to rank the page and to prevent thin content penalties.
The best practice when using other people’s content is to give proper attribution (and a link) to the original creator/publisher.
Getting the original designer is straightforward if you find the infographic on their blog, but you might have to do a little research if you find it in search results or on someone else’s blog.
In this case, you should hunt down that original source to make sure you give correct attribution because posting content without proper attribution can get you in legal trouble.
If you cannot find the original creator, or there is no mention at all about how to share the infographic, find a different one to use.
5. User Generated Content
User Generated Content is any type of content that has been created by the fans or users of the website. User generated content can be in the form of pictures, videos, tweets, blog posts, testimonials, and everything in between. User generated content acts as a way of users promoting a brand rather than the brand promoting itself.
User generated content is extremely helpful in converting readers to buyers because users are more likely to buy something if it is recommended by a friend or family than if they hear about it through the company’s official marketing channels.
Some of the ways of creating a free content using the user generated content strategy include:
- Starting a forum on the website where users post questions about issues they are having regarding your products or the industry in general. You can then answer these questions or allow other users to answer them.
- Opening the comment section on your blog so that users can leave their opinions
- Asking your users to rate your products or services
- Allowing users to submit content to your blog
- Asking them to share photos or video of them using your product on social media
The best content to publish on your blog or website is content that you create yourself. Whether the content you publish is in the form of blog posts or photos or videos, you will get the most benefit out of using original content. This is because your audience wants to hear from you, and blogging is your opportunity to show them why they should do business with you.
You should also remember to write for your readers and not for the search engines. Your readers will appreciate it and, as a bonus, the search engines will love it.
It is also ok to rely on other people for your content from time to time occasionally.
Everyone loves free stuff!
I am also sure that you can do with the break that getting content from other people gives you!