We all know that readers and search engines love fresh content, and lots of it. But keeping a fresh supply of content flowing is hard, especially if you have more than one blog, or you have a website and a blog that need frequent updating.
One option is to hire writers to provide posts and articles. However, paying for content—good content—can get expensive.
So what’s a blogger to do? Here are some ideas for adding fresh, free content to your site.
Solicit guest posts. There are many writers who would be glad to contribute a post to your site. Why would they write for you for free? They get exposure to your audience, plus a link to their site. It is a great way for a new blogger to build an audience and credibility, but even experienced bloggers can benefit from guest posting.
So how do you find these generous souls?
- Let your readers know that you are looking for guest posts. Your best prospects for guest posts will come from among your readership. Add a page to your blog with instructions on how to submit a guest post.
- Submit a request for guest posts to Blogger LinkUp (BLU). BLU is a free service I offer to bloggers. Just sign up at http://BloggerLinkUp.com/ and you will get emails (currently three times a week) with notices from people who are looking for guest posters, offering guest posts and more. You may also submit your request for guest posts at the site.
- Approach other bloggers and ask them to guest post. The biggest bloggers in your niche may not agree, but there are lots of great bloggers who would be flattered to be asked, and happy to contribute.
Use content from article directories. Article directories are repositories for content submitted by writers. Most article directories allow publishers (that’s you!) to use articles from their directories at no charge. If you choose to republish articles from directories, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Know the terms of service. You are usually prohibited from making any changes to the article, and you must include the author information including any links. You may be required to credit the article directory as well. Some directories may limit the number of articles you may use from them. For example, EzineArticles has a limit of 25 articles per site per year.
- Look for quality. Some articles found in directories are very good, others are unreadable. Only use the ones that add value for your readers.
- Don’t overdo it with republished content. The search engines want to see unique content at your site, not just a bunch of stuff they can find elsewhere, so use republished articles here and there, but do not make them a significant portion of your site. They can, however, be a good way to fill in once in a while when you do not have time to write something yourself.
Some of my favorite article directories are:
Post a video. YouTube and many other video sharing sites allow you to use their videos on your site, and even make it easy. To add a YouTube video to your site, simply go to YouTube and do a search for videos using some of the keywords for your site. When you find an interesting video you want to share, look for the “Embed Code” on the right side of the page, near the top. Click on the button next to the embed code to customize the display options. Then copy and paste the embed code from the YouTube page to your site. You may want to add a few sentences of commentary or an introduction, or just post the video.
Repurpose your existing content. Have you written a book? Magazine or newsletter articles? A handout for a speech or seminar? I wrote a newspaper column for more than three years—that is more than 150 columns that could be posted on my website after they were published in the newspaper.
What are your favorite sources for free content?