The Smart Marketer's Guide to Great Content

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					Copyright 2010 · Cindy Bidar ·
                         The Smart Marketer's
               Guide to Great Content

                                       By Cindy Bidar

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DISCLAIMER. The information presented in this report is the opinion of the author and is
for informational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to verify the facts presented
here, but neither the author nor her affiliates assume any responsibility for errors or

The author of this report is an affiliate for some of the products mentioned within, and may
earn a commission if you make a purchase through a link you find here.

                  Copyright 2010 · Cindy Bidar ·
The Scariest Part of Internet Marketing

Your Online Business Requires a Constant Stream of Content
It's a fact. No matter what your business model is, you need content. Got a
blog? You need blog posts. Information marketing? You need ebooks.
Affiliate marketing? Who writes your autoresponder series?

Content is the gasoline that keeps your online business running, and just like
the gas tank in your car needs to be refilled from time to time, your business
needs constant content refills.

Writing that constant stream of content is what trips up a lot of would-be
entrepreneurs. This report is your guide to getting content written, whether
you choose the DIY approach, outsource the creation, or some combination
of the two. I've even included resources and checklists to help you find the
system that works for you and your business.

Just What is Content Anyway?

Some Content is Obvious
Blogging. Blogs are the 800 pound gorilla of content. You know you have to
post regular updates to keep your readership, and for most bloggers that
means a new post at least three times per week. You don't have to post
award winning journalism three times a week, but you do have to write

Newsletters. Here's another more or less regular thing. If you have an
email list, and if you're in business you should, then you have to keep in
contact with them on a regular basis. Let your list grow cold, and they'll
forget who you are and hit the spam button the next time you get around to
sending out an update.

Article marketing. Article marketing is an important and cost-effective way
to market your business. But as the title says, article marketing requires
articles to work. Articles are written. You see the dilemma.

Free reports. Free reports are a time-tested way to build that all important
list every business needs. You write up a free report containing valuable
information your target customer needs, and you give it to them in exchange
for their email address. It's perfect in its simplicity. Except someone has to
write it.

              Copyright 2010 · Cindy Bidar ·
Information Products. For a lot of marketers, their paid information
product is the bottom of their sales funnel. It's their most important revenue
generating tool. Or it will be, once they finally write the darn thing!

Press Releases. Press releases are an announcement about some aspect of
your business. Often, it's the very first place a potential customer
encounters your business, so it's important that it's professional and well-
written. Offline businesses use press releases to announce new store
openings or new product lines. Online businesses can use them to promote
new services or a new membership site, or anything newsworthy in their
niche. But before you can do any of that, you have to write it.

Content Can Be Disguised as Something Else
Written content is everywhere. Sometimes it hides behind another format,
but it was still written originally.

Think about podcasts. Do they just develop? No. Someone writes them.
What about videos and slide presentations? Both written. Even things like
Tweets and Facebook updates are content. They're small pieces of content,
but they were still written by someone.

Once you've figured out your own content needs – and it was probably more
than you thought – it's time to decide where all those words are going to
come from.

The DIY Approach to Content Production
The simplest way to get content for your blog, articles, ebooks, or podcasts
is to write it yourself. You know your topic better than anyone else. You
know your audience and what they are looking for from your blog or emails.
You know how to reach them. So it makes sense that you write your own

Just because it makes sense doesn't make it easy, though. Here are some
pointers to help you get started writing.

But I Don't Know What to Write About!
The “I don't know what to write” complaint is one that comes up often. The
problem most people have is in thinking the knowledge they have is useless.
It's the false idea of “if I know how to do this then so must everyone else.”
The first thing you need to do is conquer that fallacy.

Read forums in your niche and see what questions come up most. This is a
              Copyright 2010 · Cindy Bidar ·
great way of getting over the I-don't-know-anything-of-value dilemma. It's
also a good measure of what others are looking for. When you see the same
questions pop up again and again and again, you know you've got an
important piece of information that people are looking for. If you know the
answers to the questions that are asked over and over, then you have the
raw material you need to write blog posts, an ebook, or newsletter content.

The same is true of Yahoo! Answers. People are asking questions about your
topics. Find out what they want to know, and help them get the answers
they need by writing a blog, articles, podcasts, and videos that address the
questions they're asking. Questions are kind of like mice – if you see one,
there are twenty more you don't see, and if one person is asking a question,
you can bet there are dozens more who are too shy to ask but who are
quietly waiting for the answer.

If you have a blog, your commenters will give you ideas as well. Listen to
their questions and comments, and answer them in future posts. If they're
not asking questions in the comments, then ask them what they want to
know. Make a short survey and request people help you out with answers.
Invite your newsletter subscribers to submit questions for later issues.
Engage your readers, and they'll give you plenty of topics to talk about.

There are also lots of other places on the Internet that people are discussing
your topic. To find them, grab your list of keywords - you've done your
keyword research, right? - and plug them into Google to see what other
people are talking about. Better yet, set up Google alerts for your keywords
and whenever someone says something new about your topic, you'll be

Twitter can work in much the same way as Google alerts. If you use
TweetDeck or HootSuite you can set up search columns for your keywords.
You'll find all kinds of interesting links about your topic that way. Twitter was
a life-saver for me when I had to write 20 articles on the same keyword. The
topic was pretty darned boring, but my search column gave me a nearly
endless list of ideas.

If you're still stuck for ideas, try this trick: Make a list of all the different
types of blog posts and articles you can think of. List things like

      Step-by-step instruction

      List of resources

      Product review

      Personal experience
                Copyright 2010 · Cindy Bidar ·
      Best of the web

      Industry news

      Debate an issue (either with yourself – part one and part two – or in a
       cross-blog conversation

Then take your list of keywords and plug each keyword into an article type
and see what you get. For a dog training niche, you might have a keyword
list that looks like this

      dog training collars

      interactive dog toys

      dog obedience training

      crate training a dog

      leather dog leashes

If we put the two lists together we'll get a list of article topics that will keep
you busy for weeks!

      Step-by-step instruction + dog training collar = “The Proper Use of a
       Choke Chain: What You Don't Know Could Hurt Your Dog”

      List of resources + interactive dog toys = “7 Best Online Shops for
       Keeping Boomer's Boredom at Bay”

      Product review + dog obedience training = “Is Bark Busters Worth the

      Debate an issue + crate training a dog =

Well, that last one practically writes itself. But you get the idea. I've included
a worksheet at the end of this report that you can print off to help you get
organized. One hundred keywords + ten types of articles is 1,000 articles or
blog posts. One thousand.

Now don't tell me you don't know what to write about.

But, I Hate to Write!
Virtually every person who ever stepped into a high school English classroom
(shows how old I am – it's not even called English anymore) has uttered
those words. Even I've said them, and I write for a living. But if you want to
                Copyright 2010 · Cindy Bidar ·
make it in business, whether it's online or off, you need to be able to write.
Yes, you can pay someone else to do it for you, and we'll talk about that a
little later, but it's still a valuable skill you should develop.

So you hate to what? I hate to wash dishes, but I continue to do
it, because I have to. Sometimes you just have to complete tasks that are
less than pleasant. The easiest and least painful way to do that is to make it
more pleasant, or at least less hateful. Listening to an audio book or podcast
on my iPod makes washing dishes almost enjoyable, and putting a system in
place for easy content creation will make writing almost enjoyable for you,

The first thing to do is to make the time. A lot of my clients tell me that they
don't have time to write, but what they really mean is they don't make the
time. They'd rather watch the Biggest Loser than sit down at the computer
and type up a blog post. Decide where your priorities are. If watching
television is more important to you than building your business, then plop
right down there in the recliner and turn on the TV. But if you want to grow
your business, you have to schedule time to do the important things, like
blogging and writing other content.

I suggest getting out your appointment book and setting daily writing
appointments. It doesn't have to be three hour stretches of time, but it does
need to be an unbreakable commitment. You know how your doctor charges
you for an office call if you don't show up for a scheduled appointment? Your
writing time should be just as important to you, so make sure you pick a
time that you will be able to be there. Ideally it should be the same time
every day.

Just like any skill, writing takes practice. The more you do it, the better you
will be at it, and the better you get, the less you will hate it. Keep your
sights set on the ultimate goal of being a prolific content creator and keep
working toward that goal, and eventually you will get there.

If you're stuck about how to put together a blog post or article, try outlining
the piece first. List the major topics you want to cover, then list the
subtopics, make a note of the keywords you're targeting, and then just fill in
the blanks. In fact, Jeff Herring has a whole series of article templates you
can buy that do just this. All you have to do is adjust the topics to match
your niche, and off you go.

Another trick is to just sit down and begin. Words beget words, and you'll
soon find yourself in the rhythm of writing. The more you write, the easier it
becomes. Remember, you can always delete the stuff that's no good and
move things around and improve it (we all write garbage sometimes), but if

               Copyright 2010 · Cindy Bidar ·
you have a blank page you have nothing with which to begin.

Some people get stuck simply because they feel intimidated by what they
perceive as the more formal nature of article writing. They feel they have to
live up to a certain standard of writing, and pack their writing with three-
syllable words that sound impressive but mean little. Try instead to sit down
and write an email to a friend. Imagine your friend has asked you a
question. How would you answer it? That's a good start no matter what
format content you are creating.

If your aim is for consistent content creation, then you need to train yourself
to write consistently. Your brain is a muscle, and you need to exercise it just
like you would any other muscle. Your brain workout should include

      Showing up, preferably at the same time every day.

      Use a timer to stay on task. Set it for 10 or 15 minutes and begin
       writing. No Twitter, no Facebook, no “looking something up quick.”
       Write until the timer goes off.

      Reward yourself for a job well done. If you need to get that guest blog
       post written and you just aren't feeling motivated, try bribery. Take
       yourself out to a movie or your favorite restaurant or order that book
       you've been wanting to read – but not until you're finished!

Do remember that just because DIY content creation is the simplest way to
get it done, it's not always the best way. If you really struggle with writing
and end up wasting half your day just writing a short blog post, then your
time will probably be better spent on other aspects of your business. In that
case, there are other options to get your words out there.

When DIY Isn't for You

But I Really, Really Hate to Write. And I Suck At It.
Okay, so you really hate to write and you think you're no good at it. Some
people aren't writers. You're probably good at bookkeeping or some other
task the rest of the world hates. It's a trade-off. And there are solutions for
you in your quest for quality content to build your business.

The first is to outsource. Most businesses outsource something. Cleaning the
office, preparing tax returns, and manufacturing widgets are all commonly
outsourced. Writing is no different.

Outsourcing Options

               Copyright 2010 · Cindy Bidar ·
As with any other outsourced project, you have your choice of premium
service, cut rate service, and everything in between. Let's take a look at
your choices and what you can expect to pay for each.

Premium Content Provider. This is me, or someone like me. You will find
prices ranging from $10 to $100 per article and up. What you're getting is
well researched, 100% original content written by someone with strong
writing skills. You won't have to worry about factual or grammatical errors,
or that you'll find your article on another site. You do still have to practice
due diligence when choosing a provider, however. Ask for recommendations
from other business owners and read the provider's clips and testimonials.

Also, if you use SEO as a marketing tool in your business, make sure you
hire a provider who knows how to optimize articles for good search engine
results. A trained SEO writer will help you with descriptions, excerpts, title
tags, and headings written with your keywords in mind.

Elance, Rent-a-Coder, oDesk. These types of sites act as auction houses
for service providers. You post a job opening, and freelancers bid for the
work. You can find some quality providers on these sites, but be aware that
the nature of the site (lowest bid usually wins) can drive high-quality writers
to seek work elsewhere.

For writers, I would recommend checking either eLance or oDesk first.
Simply register on the site, post your job, and begin "interviewing"
candidates. You can specify the credentials applicants must have, such as a
certain level of English skills or experience with search engine optimization,
and you can check the feedback from previous employers. Most importantly,
though, you are paying through the site, rather than paying the freelancer
directly. While that can cost you a few dollars more, you have the advantage
of knowing you won't be stuck paying for content you don't receive.

Constant Content. Constant Content offers articles on virtually every topic
imaginable. Freelancers write articles then offer them for sale with a variety
of licenses. You can buy articles with full rights (ghostwritten), unique rights,
or usage rights. Prices range from $10 to $50 per article, and are set by the
author. You can also make public or private request for articles on topics of
your choice.

Free reprint articles. Article directories are brimming with free reprint
articles you can use on your site, in your newsletters, and in ebooks. The
only stipulation is that you must keep the author resource box in tact. The
link back to his or her site is payment for the article. One downside to using
free reprint articles is that you cannot change the article, so you may find
your content on many different sites. Also, a lot of free reprint articles are

               Copyright 2010 · Cindy Bidar ·
junk, so you may have to sift through a lot of garbage to find something
you'd actually want on your site.

Private Label Rights

One popular choice for finding quality content is private label rights articles,
or PLR. Whatever niche you're in, you will probably find PLR to match.

Private Label Rights articles are a special kind of content that is sold to more
than one buyer, but with the intent that you change it to make it unique. PLR
is generally inexpensive to buy – usually costing around $1 per article –
because the writer intends to sell multiple copies.

Let me just repeat that the intention of PLR is that you rewrite it. Don't just
put it out there as is, because even though you should never do that, people
will do it. You don't want to be one of them. If you don't want to or can't do
the re-writing yourself, there are lots of great writers out there who will do it
for you for a decent price, myself included, so there is really no excuse for
putting PLR out there as you bought it.

Now that we've made that clear, here's what you can do with that PLR
package you bought.

      Turn a group of articles into an ebook or a free report

      Use articles in your newsletter

      Take an ebook apart and use the pieces separately

      Use an article as the basis for a podcast or video

      Use a how-to article as the start of an instructional slide show

      Break an article down into short tips and Tweet them

      Use articles on your Facebook fan page

To learn how to use PLR with these and other methods, be sure to grab a
copy of my FREE report Profiting with PLR.

There are also some things you cannot do with PLR, and you should be
aware of them as well. You may not use PLR for article marketing (doing so
is in violation of the terms of service of all the big directories). You also may
not repackage it and sell it as PLR. There may be other restrictions as well
depending on who you buy from, so be sure to read the license that comes
with your PLR package.

                Copyright 2010 · Cindy Bidar ·
Just like with service providers, PLR can vary greatly in quality. Here's a list
of PLR sources I have personally used and recommend. These folks put out
the best PLR available today.

      My very own All Quality PLR – several subjects including weight loss,
       sustainable living, and Internet marketing. Limited quantities at an
       affordable price.

      Nicole Dean's Easy PLR – multiple subjects, from health and fitness to
       holiday recipes. Limited quantities available, so check back often.

      Alice Seba's All Private Label Content – also multiple subjects, with the
       option for membership or single article packs. Quantities are limited
       here as well, so be sure to get on her mailing list so you don't miss

      Ronnie Nijmeh's – if you're in the self-help niche, you need to
       get in on this PLR membership site. Ronnie goes way above and
       beyond with beautifully formatted pdf files, outstanding writing, and
       gorgeous graphics.

      Arika Lewis' Yummy PLR – for the food blogger, recipe site, or mom
       niche, Yummy PLR is perfect to fill out your content. Nicole Dean is a
       partner, so you know it's good stuff.

      Wendy Wood's Mom PLR – if you're a mom blogger, or if your audience
       is moms, you can't do better than Wendy's ebooks, article packs, and
       blog posts.

      Loretta Oliver and Lisa Marie Mary's Product Review PLR – because
       product reviews are important for building credibility and sales, but
       finding the time to buy, use, and review bunches of items can be

Interview an Expert

One underused source of content is industry experts. And just so we're clear,
“expert” in this case is anyone who knows more than your readers. Are you
promoting an ebook to your list? Get the author to answer some questions
for you and you'll have a killer pre-sell to get your subscribers in the mood
to buy.

Another good way to use expert interviews is product reviews. On a weight
loss site I own, I wanted to sell diet meal delivery services like NutriSystem.
Obviously, I can't sign up for all the different plans, but I still wanted to be
able to offer my readers good information. I found people (Twitter again!)
                Copyright 2010 · Cindy Bidar ·
who were on the plans and willing to answer my questions. My readers got
valuable information, and all I had to do was write the questions.

You can conduct interviews in a number of ways. Email is probably the
easiest. Send off some questions to your expert, and when the answers
come back, copy and paste them into your blog.

If your expert has a blog of her own, you could set up a cross-blog
conversation. This probably works better if you have some expertise as well.
If you're not comfortable with cross-blogging, you could ask for guest
bloggers. Blog owners are always looking for quality links, and guest
blogging is perfect for that, so don't be afraid to ask for guest posters. Most
bloggers will jump at the chance if you have decent traffic – or even if you

Guest Bloggers

Guest blogging is a great way to get in front of a new audience, gain
valuable backlinks to your own blog, and build your expert status. While you
should be the one doing the guest blogging for all those reasons, it's also a
fantastic way to get new content for your own blog.

To find guest bloggers, check out Blogger LinkUp. Cathy Stucker sends out
an email three times per week with available guest-bloggers and their area
of expertise, and also a list of blogs looking for guests. My Blog Guest also
brings bloggers and guests together, but within a forum. You can post a
request for guests, or offer your own guest posts for others to publish.

Public Domain

Public domain is probably the best-kept secret on the Internet. Simply put,
public domain content is any content in any form that is not covered by
copyright. That means books, music, photos, artwork, audio...if it's out of
copyright, it's available for you to use however you like! I've personally used
public domain books to fill niche blogs with content, and I know many
information marketers who have used public domain to build their empires.
The content is out there. All you have to do is find it.

Unfortunately, that's not as easy as it sounds. That's why my friend Debra
Conrad, along with her business partner Logan Andrew, put together a
fabulous training manual that will teach you everything you need to know
about public domain. Not only will you learn where to find the best stuff, but
they also tell you what to do with it once you've found it. Grab a copy of
Public Domain Treasure Hunters and Debra will let you in on all her secrets.

               Copyright 2010 · Cindy Bidar ·

Creating content doesn't have to be stressful or a constant demand on your
time. By using a combination of the tips I've included here – a little of this, a
smidgen of that – you'll have enough useful, meaningful content to fill your
blog, your newsletters, and all your social marketing needs.

All the best,
Cindy Bidar

               Copyright 2010 · Cindy Bidar ·
Writing Resource List
For top quality content, custom written for you:
     All Quality Content
For the best PLR packages:
     All Quality PLR
     Easy PLR
     All Private Label Content
     Yummy PLR
     Mom PLR
     Product Review PLR
To find a guest blogger:
     Blogger Link-Up
     My Blog Guest
To learn about the wonderful world of Public Domain:

     Public Domain Treasure Hunters

Other content options:

     Katro Global



     Constant Content

     Ezine Articles

              Copyright 2010 · Cindy Bidar ·
                               The Endless Content Worksheet

My Keyword _______________________________________________

My Articles

Tips List Article
Personal Story
Product Review
Answer a Question
How-To Article
Best of the Web
Industry News
Best of My Blog
Expert Interview
Video Post

Print one sheet for each keyword, and brainstorm an article to fit each type listed. As
you think of more types of articles, add them as well. You can also use this worksheet to
develop a list of articles to outsource.

                    Copyright 2010 · Cindy Bidar ·

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Description: It's tough coming up with fresh new content to keep your blog readers happy. The Smart Marketer's Guide to Great Content is packed with ideas for keeping the inspiration flowing and getting past the dry spells. Learn how to find free content, where to buy inexpensive content, and how (and where) to hire high-quality writers for your most important jobs.
About Cindy is a professional writer, blogger, affiliate marketer, and producer of lots and lots of content. You can find her online at