One of the big – and positive – evolutions in Internet Marketing today is the all-important focus on quality content.
While the interwebs are still littered with an unfathomable quantity of ‘junk’ and low-grade content, including tons of PLR (“Private Label Rights”), the combination of Google’s efforts and the general public’s increased impatience & intolerance of it has ‘raised the bar’ significantly. And that goes across the board: articles & blog posts, ‘free’ content, sales pages, and info-products.
The bottom line is this: you simply MUST be publishing high-quality, original content if you want to have any sort of sustainable success.
Whether it’s for your own website, or to gain high-value backlinks via guest blogging (or the high-end relation, “Authority Posting”), or for your own info-product – your sales pages, even your ‘free’ lead magnets – high-quality content is essential.
Easier said than done? It doesn’t have to be…
Fortunately, that’s what this post is all about: reducing the time & effort required to produce great material.
While you could outsource your content, even then you must at least come up with the basic ideas – and for guest posting or “Authority Posting”, you must come up with the ideas AND titles (here’s a great article about easy ways to create great titles & headlines).
And of course, you could simply create lots of great articles, posts, reports, etc. But, at best it’s very time-consuming and mentally taxing; at worst, well, the fact is not everyone is a good writer.
Fortunately, there are ways to come up with as much great stuff as we might need without necessarily having to write it all or pay someone else to do it for us.
‘Spinning’ is so 2010…
(For those of us who have been around a while, it seems odd to even have to explain ‘spinning’, but such is the accelerated ‘dog years’ half-life of “time” on the internet…)
Once upon a time (had to say that lol), in the still-never-ending efforts to automate, leapfrog, short-cut, and ‘magic-button’ our way to success, someone came up with the brilliant idea of ‘content spinning’.
(Back when gaining tons of backlinks by syndicating tons of ‘unique’ articles could actually get you tons of free traffic from Google, someone realized they could automate the task of generating these tons of ‘unique’ articles by creating software to replace words & sentences with synonyms, creating zillions of marginally-different copies of the original article. The process was termed “content spinning” – and eventually just “spinning”. The results were universally awful, but it was really only intended to ‘fool’ the search engines, and it DID accomplish the task. For a short while, anyway.)
As with so many things we marketers latch on to, it was very quickly ‘done to death’, particularly with PLR or Private Label Rights content.
Thankfully, not many people still use this tactic, though it’s worth pointing out that Google can recognize spun content far better than you imagine.
Besides, the key to ranking, to gaining ‘Authority’ stature, and to getting your guest- and Authority posts accepted – not to mention the REAL goal of getting people to actually READ your stuff – is Quality with a capital “Q”. Which begs the question…
What Exactly Defines “Quality Content”?
While this is a very subjective question and has been debated ad nauseum, I believe Google nailed it when trying to answer that very question.
To paraphrase Google, “Quality Content” can be discerned with this ‘test’:
Would a qualified visitor, reading your content, be able to HONESTLY say, “yeah, that was a good article, worth my time to read”…?
This means your articles, posts, etc. MUST be useful, and have good, interesting, well-written information about things THAT MATTER to the reader.
And that leaves spinning out of the question.
So why all this focus on spinning, and what does spinning have to do with creating NEW content – or answering our original question?
The answer, and the methods I refer to in the title of this post, are to use use a similar approach, manually.
(Note: when I say a “similar approach”, I mean ‘mechanically’ similar, NOT “cheating to rapidly produce worthless content” similar. Just want to make sure we’re clear about that…)
I’ve coined the term “mental spinning”… pretty bad, I know – but pretty accurate.
The idea of “mental spinning” is to use your brain rather than software, to go through an article – or any existing, quality content – and quickly & easily re-write it. The results can be rapid development of quality content.
This is an excellent tactic for rewriting PLR and turning it into quality, usable content.
Start by finding some really good PLR content covering the niche, idea, topic, etc., that you need.
One good way to do that is to do a search on the topic or keyword phrase, and find an article that ranks on the first page. Being on Page 1 validates the quality concern, at least as far as Google is concerned.
From there, we’ll use some quick but powerful methods to make the process both easy and effective.
It’s far easier than you think. Here are some guidelines or methods for re-writing excellent articles so that they remain excellent and maintain their “yeah, that was really good” value.
1) Change the audience
If the original source article is written for job-seekers, for example, re-write it by turning it around and making if for employers. An article entitled “Tips for Acing That Interview” can easily be turned around and re-written as “What to Look For When Interviewing Job Applicants”.
Some other examples: take an article written for seniors, and change it around by re-writing it for retirees. Or an article that is written for single-moms, and re-write it by shifting the target focus to new moms, or single dads, or new grandparents.
2) Change the perspective
Consider the article’s perspective, then consider how a sports team coach might say the same things. Or a doctor; or a teacher, a lazy guy, a ‘matter-of-fact’ guy, etc.
3) “Localize” the topic
Re-write the article specifically for online, or specifically for offline, or for a particular location or locality.
4) Go ‘opposite’
If the article deals with minimal, short, small, etc., re-write it for large, expensive, big, etc.
For example, a great article about planning a dream vacation or dream wedding can be re-written to be about planning a small get-away, or a budget wedding. Simplify the elaborate, or elaborate the simple.
5) Use sub-topics
An article about investing in the real estate market can be re-written to be about investing in co-ops, apartments, or rental properties in general.
6) Change the focus
Perhaps one of the easiest, and most open-ended ways to rewrite articles is to change the focus.
Re-write a factual article as inspirational; make it a ‘before-and-after’ by dividing it into what it’s talking about, and the results that would come of it; couch it in the ‘reasons for’ by talking about the conditions, position, or need that has to exist in order to make the article something the reader needs in the first place.
As an example, an article entitled “How to be more assertive” can be re-written by first talking about what type of person can benefit from being more assertive, or the social consequences of being socially passive, or what it might feel like to be socially anxious.
All of these methods will let you take PLR – or really any good article – and quickly produce an excellent ORIGINAL article with a fraction of the time & effort of doing it from scratch.
And if you start thinking about these, you’ll find you can come up with dozens of ways to ‘change up’ an article for re-writing!
Something else to consider – you can hire freelancers to re-write articles much cheaper than paying writers for original works – and it’s an easy thing to tell your freelancer “here’s an article; I need it re-written from ‘this’ perspective” or “re-write this so it’s appropriate for ‘this’ audience instead of the one it’s originally written for”.
Along with the basic ‘mental spinning’ outlined above, you can further differentiate – or “originalize” (yeah, just made up that word) – your article by including graphics, tables, photos, etc.
Another option is to create and incorporate different headings. Break up long text passages into smaller logical ‘components’, and separate them with appropriate headers.
Rewriting PLR can be quick, easy, and result in quality original content you can use.
As long as you maintain the quality of the article – and you can do this by making sure you are including all the relevant information from the original – then you’re almost certain to end up with a quality NEW article, far quicker than it would take you to produce the same article from scratch!