Sourcing Good Original Content
You may not be a writer but handed the role of producing blogs, newsletters or website copy for your business. The responsibility may seem daunting if you are not comfortable and everything seems a mystery as to where you should start. My best advice is to stop worrying and just put pen to paper as if you were talking, think about story telling. Think keywords especially in the titles when writing to gain the most benefits possible and put yourself in your readers seat so it is easy to read, no jargon, no slang and basically plain English. If you don’t think you could type your article, then record it and find someone who can transcribe it for you. The average person can talk a lot of words in one hour of recording. Consider articles that support the intersection of customer interests and the value the company can provide to those customers.
The options to getting started are easy: either master the craft or outsource it to a professional copywriter or virtual assistant.
So where do you source quality content?
Private label rights (PLR) articles are articles that essentially can be bought and then you claim the authorship and they become “yours” so you can edit them, alter them, put your name on them, post them on your website and even sell it. You are the owner of that article. When you buy PLR articles, the author surrenders almost all rights to the content. There are a few downsides to using PLR articles though as there will be other people using the articles as well; especially if you have bought them from online sources.
Look at your ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ on your website. Often that can be the inspiration for writing, being the solution to your customer’s problem. One issue = one blog.
Set up Google Alerts and have the content ideas come to you. Think about the keywords (assuming you know your keywords) and set up alerts for content on these words to come your way each day with an email.
Subscribe to other newsletters or RSS feeds to get content that others want to read about. I am not suggesting you just recycle the content, but using these items as your inspiration to get writing. When you subscribe to other newsletters, use a personal email address i.e. Hotmail or Gmail so you don’t get overwhelmed with your business emails being clogged up with excess, often unnecessary emails. Set up rules in your email account if you wish so they go automatically to a folder for you to read ‘some other day’.
Look at your social media groups and see what problems people are asking and then write about a solution.
Survey your customers and ask them what problems they may experience, what do they want to know more about or listen to them at the point of sale. After all, they are probably the majority of your readers so give them what they want.
You may also want to investigate free article directories such as www.ezinearticles.com to source your content. You are allowed to use the articles as long as you don’t edit the content at all, this includes keeping the author’s credits and bio and any links in the content intact. Not the preferred option as you may just be back-linking to the author’s website and therefore missing the benefits.
How can your test your content is original? Once I have written an article that was inspired by someone else’s writing, then I will scan it to ensure there is absolutely no plagiarism or breach of copyright. Check out www.copyscape.com by putting in your URL of the blog and scan it. If there is any section of your blog that is duplicated, then edit your article, scan again. Nobody wants there intellectual property stolen, and plagiarism is exactly that. If you article has been inspired by another article, it needs to be at least 20% different (but more is better) to gain benefit and credibility from search engines for your effort.
Encourage comments on your blog as this will also add original content and increase engagement.
If you want to gain credibility and become the expert in your field, copy writing about your expertise and sharing your knowledge should come easy and naturally. That is surely part of the purpose for your writing, isn’t it?