This is a guest post by David Walker. You can read his blog on DavidWalker.TV where he teaches how to make money online. Read in this post, what David thinks over using “free articles” on a blog and why you should avoid using it on your blog.
One of the emails I have queued up in my autoresponder sequence is an offer to write a guest blog post for any of my subscribers who wants one.
There are a few stipulations, of course, such as I’ll only write a post for blogs hosted on their own domains, e.g. smartbloggerz.com rather than something.blogspot.com or somethingelse.wordpress.com. But even with a list of perquisite requirements in place, I still end up rejecting around 99 percent of all requests.
The majority of blogs I am asked to write a guest post for are filled with generic, “free” articles the blogger has simply copied and pasted from one or more of the major article directories.
Such directories are places where writers submit articles to be used by other website owners for free as long as any links, usually in a footer section at the end of the article, remain in place.
This is potentially great for the writers who submit the articles because the theory behind doing so is their content could be republished on thousands of websites, creating thousands of backlinks and generating tons of free traffic.
However, it’s a deal not so great for the blogger who republishes them.
Sure, they are getting “free content” but if I see a blog which contains nothing more than bland, generic, article directory posts then that blog holds little value for me. I certainly won’t waste any of my time producing an original, informative article for that blog if the owner themselves cannot be bothered to.
I am sure I am not the only person who thinks this way so if you want to make your blog the focal point of your online business in 2011 and want your visitors to stick around, here are three of the main reasons you should avoid using free articles:
1. You Lose Value Using Free Articles
This is a sweeping generalisation but spend a few minutes browsing the articles at any of the large directories and you will soon see they do not add any value whatsoever to your blog.
Many of these articles have been written with keywords and word count in mind, rather than containing any helpful content.
The articles are often very general rather than solving any specific problems and only exist because the writer wants you to click the link in the footer section to visit their blog or sales page.
2. You Lose Your Voice Using Free Articles
Call me old fashioned, but I believe a blog should be personal to some degree, whatever niche you are operating in. If you use generic, free articles, your blog loses its identity, its passion and its voice.
Your blog becomes identical to thousands of other low value blogs out there, nobody will leave comments or take notice of what you put on there – you will become irrelevant.
3. You Lose Authority Using Free Articles
There is of course the issue of duplicate content which your blog will have in abundance if all you do is fill it up with content from article directories.
It is unlikely your page containing duplicate content will rank in the search engines, meaning very few new visitors will find it.
The search engines may also not consider your blog as an authority if you have very little or no original content on there and neither will your visitors who will have seen hundreds of generic blogs before.
These are just a few points to help you create a more personal, valuable and authoritative blog using your own, unique content rather than going for the easy option of copying and pasting poorly-written directory articles.
More and more blogs are appearing online every day and competition for visitors is only going to increase.
Give yourself an edge by producing your own content so that when people visit, they will want to stick around because you offer value, unlike the hundreds, perhaps thousands of the identical generic blogs they have visited before.
Also, if you follow the above advice, I’ll probably agree to write a post for your blog if you ask me to! 🙂
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