If there is one important lesson I’ve learned in the past 12 years of running an online business, it’s that you shouldn’t try to do things alone and making your business all about you, makes for a very exhausting day-to-day grind.
Those Are Really Two Lessons. Let Me Explain…
#1 Doing it alone is too much work.
Trying to do all of the work for your business, means you focus far more on TASKS than actually growing your business. Let others work on the tasks, while you focus on other important matters.
Please…don’t be fooled into thinking you’re the only one who can provide great content to your readers. While we might be AWESOME at what we do, we aren’t the end-all be-all by any stretch of the imagination. By getting help, not only do you save time and you can refocus, but you also get the chance to bring new perspectives and ideas to your readers. That’s tremendously valuable for your audience, but more importantly…
#2 Don’t make your business all about you. At least not for the long-term.
If you’re the sole face of your business and it’s your expertise and help your readers rely on, you automatically create a higher maintenance business where you are constantly in demand and working your fingers to the bone. It also makes it more difficult for you to remove yourself when needed.
Think about it. What happens if you are ill, a family member is ill, you’re looking to retire or you’re ready sell the business. You want your business to be a valuable asset that brings you money and realistically, you have to prepare for your exit from it. If a business is all about you, it’s value as a long-term asset is compromised.
Building a personal brand is easy because our personality and viewpoints can become our Unique Selling Position (USP). The problem is, it’s a short-term plan. After all, we can’t work or live forever…even if we wish we could.
So whatever your goal – to work less, to focus on growing your business or eventually exit your business, the time to get help is now. It doesn’t matter what your budget is, here’s…
How to Get Help…Even for Free
Getting help with your content creation doesn’t mean you have to pay a writer, although that will probably be in the mix somewhere along the line. Here are a few ways to get help…from the most economical to the most expensive. And regardless of cost, each method comes with it’s own unique set of benefits and potential drawbacks. The key is to figure out what works best for you and get started.
There are plenty of article directories (EzineArticles.com & Lady Pens, for example) where you can find a ton articles that you can publish on your website.
You can also create a “Submit an Article” section of your website to receive content directly from contributors.
Check out the affiliate programs you sell for, many will have articles that you can reprint and as a bonus, you can add your affiliate link, so if any sales are generated…you get the commission.
One drawback of reprints is that they will already appear on other websites, but if the content is valuable to your readers, this shouldn’t be of much concern. Go the extra mile and include editorial comments with the reprints you publish. Your audience will appreciate your own unique perspective on the topic at hand.
The other thing to be aware of is the quality of the content – many people who submit their articles simply want to rank for keywords and forgo on the quality of their work. So be picky, choose quality content and add your own commentary.
Use Guest Authors:
People are dying for traffic and links from other web sites. Many website owners are more than willing to give you original articles or blog posts, crafted specifically for your own audience. They don’t charge money for this, but all they ask for in return, is a link or two back to their website. Search around your network of online business owners (think forums, Twitter, etc.), or try My Blog Guest to find guest authors for your blog.
If your website or blog isn’t particularly busy and you don’t have guest authors knocking down your door, you might forgo the original content requirement and simply ask for first publishing rights of the content. For example, you publish the article first and then they can publish it elsewhere 2 weeks later or whatever time period you determine.
The benefits to having guest writers are plenty. You get original content, it’s free and you expose your readers to new information and viewpoints. The only drawback is having to link back to the blogger’s white, a small price to pay for great content.
TIP! Guest Content from Your Readers & Customers: What could better social proof than stories and updates from your very own readers and customers? Plus, it’s free content that you can readily publish and share. Make it easy for them to submit their content: Have a submission page, ask for contributions in your follow-up autoresponder and remind them regularly that you want to hear from them.
Use Private Label Rights (PLR) Content:
Easy-peasy…it’s content already done for you, plus you can edit it, monetize and you don’t have the obligation of linking back to anyone’s website. It’s perfect for adding content to a website, report, information product or newsletter. It has the same drawback as reprint articles, in that it’s content that will likely be published elsewhere…but again, you can edit it, add to it and the likelihood of your readers stumbling upon the same article isn’t too likely.
Unlike, the two above options, PLR is generally not free. However, it is a less expensive option to hiring a staff writer or ghostwriter. The PLR seller sells multiple licenses of the content, so you pocket the savings. You also need to be very choosy in finding quality as there is some stinky stuff out there, but once you find some quality providers, you’re all set. We offer a variety of PLR content here and here.
If you’re looking to learn more about using PLR for massive content creation, here’s a free how to PLR guide.
Hire Staff Writers:
This is terminology from traditional media, but I am using it for a lack of a better term for small online business. The writer may not be your actual staff, but is likely a contractor that you pay to regularly contribute content. In addition to getting paid, the staff writer would still get a byline, but it would be up to you to decide if they would get a link back to their website in the byline.
You might choose this option to keep your writers motivated to post content on a regular schedule. If you’re relying on free guest bloggers, you may not get the regularity you’re looking for. Look for people who are already writing good stuff in your niche and approach them with the opportunity. Many people run niche websites as a labor of love and would jump on the opportunity to get paid regularly for sharing their content.
This is likely the most expensive option (unless you’re hiring rockstar staff writers), but it gives you the most control. Hiring a ghostwriter means a professional writer creates your content and you can publish it, edit it and monetize it as you see fit. You can even put your name on it as the author. The content a ghostwriter creates for you is completely original and is not sold to multiple businesses like PLR.
Working with a ghostwriter gives you most control over the output. You get to choose the topics and it’s created according to your specific standards. Use ghostwriters when you need completely original content on specific topics.
So where do you start? If you’ve been going it alone all this time, start making connections with others writing in your market. These are your potential guest bloggers, staff writers or even ghostwriters. They may also have reprint content readily available that your readers would really appreciate.
Create a balance between content you create and content you share from others. It doesn’t really matter where it comes from as long as it provides value to your audience.