So you’ve just launched an affiliate website and are looking to fill your pages with relevant content. Only trouble is, you’re not a writer, you are prone to bad spelling, and don’t know where to begin when it comes to producing blogs or articles. Many affiliates opt to purchase content from unknown sources they find online; however, if you take this approach, you may be doing yourselves more harm than good.
There are a lot of companies in and outside North America that make a business out of providing content. Elance.com, for example, facilitates the purchase of content between provider and user. India and other markets are major competitors in the content supply area, as fees are less expensive and turn-around time is much faster. This makes the industry much more competitive for freelancers and agencies alike.
That being said, some affiliates who we work with are revealing more and more about the bad experiences they’ve had with purchasing content. Often times, they discover (or perhaps even their affiliate managers find out) that they have copied content on their website. If you are thinking about buying articles and blogs to be used as content for your website, here are three reasons why you should consider coming up with your own original content, or at least getting to know the source you’re buying articles from much more closely.
Google Panda Will Punish You
Ever since Google Panda came on the scene, affiliates have had to up the ante, so to speak, on publishing unique content. So, if you are playing the game accordingly, you will be publishing original content and not suffering the ramifications of Google Panda’s new algorithm for ranking pages. If you really feel uncomfortable writing content, but don’t want to feel the wrath of Google, try writing what you know, then hiring an editor to polish the content for you. Additionally, you can find freelancers or larger companies to write your content, but make sure you do a few test runs; for instance, ask them to supply you with a handful of articles instead of paying thousands of dollars in content that may be plagiarized. AffiliatePrograms.com has said it before in a previous post called SEO: What Google Panda means to your affiliate site, and I’m saying it again: Don’t use duplicate content.
Affiliates Are Getting Scammed Out Of Thousands
If you check out various affiliate marketing forums, you’ll come across stories of affiliates, who at one time or another, lost money due to content-buying scams. While some plagiarism detecting platforms, such as Copyscape and Copygator may exist to help protect affiliates and other users/buyers identify duplicated content, the only sure way of knowing is to create original and quality content yourself. Again, you can try to write pieces on your own then seek the help of an editor, or, get to know freelance writers and content agencies more closely before giving them your business. Also, ask to see samples of the person’s work, and make them accountable by issuing contracts that should be signed by both parties.
You Risk Ruining The Relationship With Your Affiliate Manager
Personally, I get very disappointed when one of our clients discovers that an affiliate with no original content has been referring sales. Merchants that make affiliates’ with original content a must-have for their program do so to screen and attract quality partners who can be trusted. That being said, if an affiliate is caught ripping off the content of another valid site (we’ve seen this happen sometimes within the same affiliate program or affiliate network) affiliates will be putting themselves in a dangerous position.
What are your thoughts on buying articles and other content? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.
About the Author
Nicole Young is an affiliate manager at the company Share Results. She entered the world of affiliate marketing after moving to Montreal in 2009. Aside from building strong relationships with her affiliates, Nicole spends her days overseeing the growth of the programs she is managing, negotiating deals, blogging, assisting affiliates with the development of their marketing campaigns, and staying up-to-date with industry news and trends!