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Archives for May 2008

Is PLR Content Dead?

PLR content may be on its way out the door. As an SEO* content provider, I have mixed feelings about this. Before I delve into why, let’s explain what PLR content is for those who may not know.

What is PLR Content? What are PLR Articles?

PLR is an acronym for Private Label Rights content. It is content sold to many different parties. Many businesses are built around the PLR content model.

For example, have you ever seen ads on the net that sell you on the concept of starting your own niche site? They promise you a website already loaded with pre-written content.

The vast majority of these sites use PLR articles. The idea being that you will take over the site and build it out with fresh, unique content on a regular basis. Many never do, of course. Read more on how to make money with PLR content as explained in the article Turn $1/Day into an Online Empire: How to Make Money with Minisites.

Why PLR Content is Extremely Popular

Most PLR content is written for and by web entrepreneurs who run what’s known as VREs (virtual real estate) businesses. They may operate as many as a few hundred sites. Even if they only have 20 or 30, that’s still a massive amount of content that’s needed.

These sites make money by showing ads from programs like Google AdSense or affiliate programs from affiliate operations like Clickbank. The reason this is such an appealing business model is because “all” the site owner has to do is drive traffic to the site. All is in quotation marks because that’s the hardest part of any internet business. And, that’s where the need for loads of content comes in.

Why would someone waste their time on a business like this you may be thinking. Consider this: if a site owner has 25 sites and each one is making $5 a day, that’s $125 day. Keep adding sites and you can see why a lot of web entrepreneurs like this business model. But, keeping the sites up to date with fresh content is a big chore. And, this is why there’s such a huge demand for PLR content (and PLR content sellers).

How/Why PLR Content Providers are Discriminated Against

Following though is why there is a lot of discrimination against PLR content providers. I’ve experienced it firsthand.

3 Reasons PLR Content Providers are Discriminated Against

1. Article Directory Discrimination: If you write and sell PLR content, many article directories are not your friend. They won’t let you link to your PLR site – even if the link you provide is in the proper place – ie, the resource box of your article.

As article marketing is one of the top ways to market your PLR website and its services, this means a powerful avenue of marketing is shut down to PLR content providers. PLR content sites get about as much respect as porn and hate sites on the web as for as how they’re treated by some article directories.

Hyprocrisy at Work?

This smacks of a bit of hypocrisy to me, as article directories are basically PLR content providers. How? Well, they offer free content to millions of website owners, e-marketers, newsletter publishers, bloggers, etc. And, they make money off of this “free content” because many article directories are monetized via ads from Google AdSense and similar programs.

Hmmm . . . could article directory owners be policing the web for their own benefit?

2. Clients Don’t Want PLR Content: Many clients simply don’t want PLR content; they want original content. For me, this is completely understandable and is the law of supply and demand at work. The thing is, many want to pay PLR rates though. However, that’s a discussion for another article.

3. The Duplicate Content Penalty: Many clients worry about the possibility of being banned from powerful search engines like Google. This is what some attribute to what’s known as the duplicate content penalty.

If you don’t know what this is, read this article on the duplicate content penalty. It does one of the best jobs of explaining it so that it makes sense. And, it also happens to mirror the experiences I’ve had as an article marketer.

Now that you understand what PLR content is and why it’s not favored by many, I’ll give you my personal take on it and how to use it effectively.

Why the Death of PLR Content is a Good Idea

The web is progressing to the point where surfers no longer want regurgitated content that can be found on 50 other sites. They want unique, specific content. And, this is why the death of PLR content is a good idea. As the vast majority of PLR articles are so generic as to be practically useless, having less of this on the web can only serve to better search results.

End users will get a lot less crap when they search. But, as an SEO writer who produces PLR content, I hate to see its demise on the other hand. Following is why.

Why the Demise of PLR Content is a Bad Idea

PLR content has two good uses, in my opinion.

(i) It allows new web entrepreneurs to get up and going quickly. If you want to start a website, but have no writing skills or tend to procrastinate, starting with a PLR site is a good way to get up and going quickly. Then, you can build it out, adding original content on an ongoing basis.

While many may take issue with starting a web business in this manner, I know from personal experience that the thing that stops many from achieving their dreams is that they simply fail to start. With PLR content, you can have a complete website in minutes.

All of that frustrating, beginning, behind-the-scenes work is already done. This allows you to delve right into what you do best – building the site out with original content, marketing it, creating new products, etc.

(ii) It allows established web entrepreneurs to stay on track with their marketing: What I mean by this is, using a PLR article every once in a while is one of the best timesavers you can rely on. For example, if you have a blog that is updated four times a week, but you’re so busy that you only have time to update it three times this week. Rather than throw off your schedule – and disappoint your readers – using a PLR article to “fill in the gap,” so to speak, can keep your marketing efforts on track.

3 Keys to Successfully Using PLR Content

As a freelance writer and web entrepreneur who publishes my own blog, website and numerous ebooks, let me be the first to say, I’m a big proponent pf original content. I write all of my own content and don’t use PLR articles on my sites.

But for those web entrepreneurs who want to, the pros can outweigh the cons, if you follow these rules:

(i) Use Well-Written PLR Articles: As previously mentioned, many PLR articles are so generic as to be useless. It’s obvious that they’re stuffed with a certain keyword phrase and are only written as search engine bait.

Don’t use these types of articles. Use PLR content that is well written and useful. You’ll have the best luck finding this from PLR content providers who only sell to a limited number of buyers.  

(ii) Use PLR Content Sparingly: This is perhaps the best rule to employ when using PLR content. Most of the content on your site should be original – preferably written by you. As mentioned above, if you find yourself in a pinch every once in a while, a well-written PLR article can be just the thing to keep your internet marketing efforts on track.

It’s the same as using a well-written article from a article marketing directory. But, if you start to use PLR content on a regular basis, you can hurt your internet marketing efforts because you lose your voice, your credibility and the trust you’ve built with your customers.

(iii) Add Your Take to the PLR Article: When you do use a PLR article on your website or blog, add a few lines to make it your own. What I mean by this is, add an introduction or summary, eg:

”The following piece explains why I believe “x”. Pay particular attention to the third tip discussed, as it goes into detail and gets to the heart of my belief.”

Just this simple intro injects your voice into the “conversation” of a PLR article. It maintains a personal connection with your audience, which keeps the trust flowing – and hence the sales.

PLR content is the black sheep of the web. But in my opinion, there is a place for it, if used correctly.

*SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO copywriters provide copy that is optimized for search engines. Hence, it increases web traffic and sales for internet marketers and entrepreneurs. Need a professional SEO writer?

Read more.

Avoid High Gas Prices: 3 Easy-to-Start, Online Work-from-Home Careers

With gas topping $4 in some American cities, many are looking for as many ways to save on fuel as possible. This includes cutting down on commuting time.

Following are three easy-to-start, online, work-from-home careers. If you have a computer and an internet connection, you can get started today – and leave your car in the garage.

3 “Gas Saving” Career Options

Freelance Writing: Freelance writing is a viable career that can easily replace a 30, 40 or 50K/year job with just a little bit of elbow grease. And, it’s possible to make much more than that once you get the basics under your belt.

What’s Hot in Freelance Writing Right Now

One hot sector right now is SEO writing. SEO stands for Search engine optimization. And, while it sounds highly technical, it’s really not. SEO content is copy that is written to drive web traffic to a particular website or blog.

For example, if a company sells vintage cars, how do you think that ordinary web searchers would find that company’s site on the web? They would probably type in “vintage cars” or “vintage cars for sale.” These then become the main phrases (keyword phrases) the SEO copywriter would use in content on the site. This, in a nutshell, is what SEO writing is all about – and, anyone can learn how to do it.

Conservatively, it is estimated by many internet marketing firms that about 100,00 new websites are added to the web each day. Most of these are businesses. And, what do they need to get noticed? Content. The smart ones soon figure out that they need SEO content, ie, content that allows surfers to find them online.

If you provide it, you can quickly have an endless supply of web clients, save on gas and park that car in the garage.

 

Online Seminars: Web technology has advanced to the point where it’s easy to teach online. This can be done via a web-cam seminar, or where you simply dispense lessons via email.

Turn Your Current Career into a Seminar

Say you’re making $40K year as a marketing assistant at an ad agency. There are several seminars you could put together: eg, how to write an effective press release; how to get work from the marketing department of an ad agency; or how to promote your business online.

Undoubtedly in your duties as a marketing assistant, you’ve either done some these duties yourself, hired freelancers to do them and/or advised clients on how to do it.

The point is, you can park your car in the garage, save on gas and work from home.

Sell Information Products: The best information products to promote online are the ones you write from first-hand experience and sell yourself. And, it’ easier to do than you think.

Why Creating a Niche is Key

But, if that terrifies you or you don’t have the time/know how to do it, there are hundreds of thousands of information products you can promote as an affiliate.

The key is to create a niche. I advise staying away from “make money online” type products; and go with an evergreen niche that tends to have a dedicated audience.

Take children. There are all kinds of ebooks that cater to parents, eg, how to get you child to go to sleep, how to protect your child from online predators, how to tell which video games are violence-free, etc. Set up a simple website, find appropriate ebooks from affiliate providers and start promoting.

Oh, and this is the point where you leave the car in the garage and save on gas.

While none of these careers are going to make you thousands of dollars overnight (and don’t believe anyone who tells you that any career will), they will start bringing in money almost immediately – if you market yourself right. And, I can personally attest that with SEO writing, you can be making enough in 30 days to replace your income if you make less than $50,000/year, as outlined in this ebook.

Read more.