How to Get Free Original Content for Your Site Without Writing it Yourself

As a web business owner you will be well aware that content for your website is good. The more content the better, but of course it must be relevant and of high quality. If you know anything about search engine optimisation you know that Google loves content. The problem most webmasters face is how to get the content without writing it yourself, which takes time, or without spending money to pay someone else to do it.

I recently faced this problem. I wanted some fresh content for my site, but beyond sales pages and basic features such as contact information I really didn’t have the experience with the subject matter to produce good content. To get around this problem I came up with a method to attain good quality content, for free, which I could use for my web business site. It’s not the easiest method, but to get good content you sometimes have to work a little harder. This is how I did it.

Step 1: Think about your customer’s needs.

Before chasing content you have to think what sort of content your customers want and what needs they have. Obviously you want people coming to your business site that are interested in what you offer so think about what other things complimentary information they might be interested in. For example if you are running a website that sells tennis racquets then you should fill your site with quality articles on how to improve your tennis game.

If you can provide valuable free content then your traffic will increase but it’s important to make sure it’s the right kind of traffic. By providing content that attracts your target market you have the best chance of converting those prospects into customers.

Step 2: Locate the best articles based on customer needs.

Now that you have a good idea what sort of content your potential customers would be interested in you need to get out there and find the best articles to meet this need. Thankfully it’s Google’s job to do this so all you need to do is think like someone that would be searching for content in this area and pump it into Google. The search results at the top should be the best and most relevant content on the subject matter you are looking for. If it’s not then you might need to adjust your search terms until you find some good articles.

The ideal situation is to find a hobbyist fan, someone that writes articles for fun to indulge in their hobby and happens to be an expert too so they write good stuff. You can usually spot these types of websites because they are not professional, after all they are not trying to run a business, they just want to help others out while they enjoy their hobby. So continuing the tennis example you should hopefully find a few mad keen tennis fans or trainers that have written up some good content.

A note on PageRank: Try and pick the articles that have a high PageRank, at least a 4 or more is best. The first page or two of results on Google should bring in those types of sites. If you don’t know what PageRank is read about it. When a page has a high PageRank and shows up in the first few results in Google you can assume the content is of a high standard. If in doubt, sit down and read the article, you should be able to judge for yourself if it provides something of quality.

Step 3: Ask for permission to publish the content.

This is the tricky part. Write out an email template to send to the author of the article explaining who you are and what you want to do with the article. Be sure to be completely honest and tell them that your site is commercial although you will not be selling or making any direct money from the article. Make sure you state that the article will be clearly sourced with a link back to the author’s homepage. Here is an example from an email I used:



My name is INSERT YOUR NAME and I am the owner of an INSERT YOUR
looking for resources to add to a new online library that we are
developing. I came across your INSERT ARTICLE NAME and I believe it
would be perfect for our library. In fact I think it could be one of
the main features, if you are willing to share it. We will of course
list you as the author and link directly back to your website.

The library will be completely free to use and we are presently
putting together a collection of quality articles to help our
not intend to make direct profits from the library, it is intended
to add value to our website and hopefully indirectly increase the
sales of our INSERT WHAT YOUR BUSINESS DOES. The business is a
commercial enterprise. If you have any questions regarding my
business or intentions please contact me.


Be certain to sign it off personally and make yourself available for any questions. I also request a response from the author regardless of their decision so you can be certain the email made it through. You have to ensure the author has some potential value from allowing his/her article to be re-published. In this case it can be fame and traffic back to his/her website.

This technique will not always work. Every single author may reject you, some may never respond. Your business may operate in an industry where there just isn’t any good individual authors writing good content that isn’t in some way linked to a commercial enterprise. To get around this you can offer to buy the content if you have the available funds, but I advise against paying much unless the article really is top class and not distributed anywhere else.

I sent out about ten emails and four authors agreed to have their articles published. This provided me with thousands of words of quality free content. Best of all these articles are probably only published in a handful of places, perhaps only on my site and the author’s site. It was definitely worth the time and effort I put in and I recommend you give it a try too, you may be surprised at how generous people can be.

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  • Don’t forgey about the dozens or free article sites either. The only downside is they may be published on a lot of other sites as well – depending on the nature of the topic.

    On the flip site, writing articles and distributing them to these sites is a good way of driving traffic to your site.

    do a Google on “free article submission”

    • Molly

      You’re right – there are many websites that are filled with valuable content on a bevy of different subjects. While most feature branding, your readers can certainly benefit from the information either way. is one example. Yaro – I’ll be interested to read what you’ve found about these types of sites. A big problem with blogging is that it’s incredibly time consuming. Free content allows proprietors of business to position themselves as subject-matter experts (and gives potential customers a reason to visit their website) without distracting them from day-to-day business operations.

  • I’m planning a seperate article on the free article distribution sites later. At the moment I’m testing them to see how they work from an author’s perspective.

  • Very well done Yaro – just what is your subject matter may I ask? I can’t stop thinking about possible ventures for me to take in the world of online business, but I just can’t put my finger on one! I know I like online games, the interet, German language, English patriotism (yeah – bit of a mix!), reading and football – but I can’t quite think of a venture to take. I’m sure I’ll find out sooner or later… Thanks for the info by the way – 40% isn’t bad at all; must have been generous! 🙂

  • Hi Ben,

    What is the subject matter of what? For this article I was searching for content to go into the BetterEdit library.


  • Yeah, I meant what was the topic you got the 4 free content sources from. Hope I don’t sound too nosy – just interested hehe. Ben.

  • Ben – just things like how to write an essay or thesis, topics my target market at BetterEdit would be interested in.

    We are actually presently building up more content for the library in much the same manner so hopefully it will turn out to be a popular resource and add value to the business/website.

  • gab

    What about building up a team of web developers?
    Do you have other places for finding content?

  • The problem with most article sites these days is that newer owners use them merely as a way of creating their own OPT-IN lists and begin REVERSE communications trying to get the authors to sign up for the latest and greatest piece of internet nonsense.


  • john

    hi. currently i’m just undergraduated and i’d like to start promoting sites.

    i check google news from time to time and almost all the articles i see there for different topics are just bare reformulations of the same news.

    in the quest for original content people just use different words for the same facts, eventually adding some generic considerations but very rare own research. and this is not done by regular guys, but by very big and respectable media trusts.

    i’m not wanting to promote some big site with news but i want to start a small business and promote hundreds of very little sites, which already have some (poor) original content: adding some extra-content would drive much more traffic in and i’ll be able to increase their page rank.

    so i have a short question: is it really bad and unethical to use software to transform texts to original content? i’m thinking to some artificial intelligence software, like, followed by a short human-review. i am only one person, i’d like to use my time for something else rather than content reformulation and i don’t have the means for the moment to hire somebody to do this.

    what do you think?

  • Hi John,

    To answer your question – I’ve never heard of anyone who has had anything but very sporadic success by scraping content.

    If you don’t want the bother with content creation yourself – outsource it. The focus must be on value and originality if you want long term success.

  • You can also try this great free online content rewrite service at

    There are much additional content downloads like; WordPress Article rewrite plugin, standalone content rewriter, content finder, content submitter and more!

  • Good article. Good idea. This plan will come in handy when I’m having temporary writer’s block and need someone else’s ideas.

  • Duplicate content may not be an issue, but what about the reputation you try to build? Will people like it that your site is nothing but scraped hub?

  • Using other people’s content could hurt your SEO. However, if your not interested in SEO then that doesn’t matter. I’m wondering how serious is the Google “duplicate content” penalty?

    As for myself, I’d rather spend the extra time and write my own content due to the SEO thing.

  • Hi Yaro,

    My understanding is Google loves original content frequently. It is important to have original content on your site or blog and not to duplicate articles. Even better to re-write them or have someone else re-write them.

    Also, good idea to put original articles on other sitre with PR 3 or higher, with links back to pages on your site or blog to get the Google ranking for certain keywords. Very effective for targeted natural search traffic.

  • Interesting. I think I will stick to writing my own content however. Getting my pages dropped from serps because of duplicate content isn’t worth it. By the time you finish finding an article to use you could have written 100s of words of fresh content!

  • amazing guy, amazing site…what more can i ask for? the figures says it all, almost everybody subscribes to you. good work man!

  • Very well written. This is a great idea to get good content to your site blog. I am a blogger myself. I love writing and creating multiple blogs, but time matters a lot. I am not in a position to give more time to writing blog posts. I fear that my blog might go stagnant, hence I wish to get good quality content from resources. There are lot of resources online that might give free content to republish, but they all fail to grab my attention. I don’t have a specific topic to write about except the technical jargon I’m good at and can express myself well at . But still i’m more fond at writing about a topic thats already popular with users and can get me users without much promotion and marketing. The topic on its own should do the work. Let me know if you’ve got any ideas on this. Would be really greatful. Thanks. I would even like if you could be generous enough to give me permission to republish your articles with due credit and link back to your blog.

  • So, in 2013 is it bad or not bad to use free content? Nothing has been said about it in quite some time. Anything definitive? Curious…

  • Hi Yaro,
    I think using the others articles results duplicate contents in search engines and will decrease your website popularity.

  • Outsourcing has been another way to get content for your site, there are sites that employ writers from underdeveloped countries to do the writing.

    I am in the Philippines at the present time, this is a standard ‘go to’ place for article writers. Writing good quality content is not easy, and were these people get off taking advantage of the poor is beyond me.

    I read a comment on an article addressing this issue, the woman made a statement, “they have a choice” how selfish is that?

    Here, the costy of living is only about an average of 75% cheaper than the U.S., and they have massive job discrimination here. Yea, they can dis-qualify you for emoployment for age, and gender. If you are a man over the age of 30, and find yourself unemployed, you are basically screwed. Women too, but it is not as bad.

    Content mills should be outlawed, this is organized slavery. There are also those that will not pay you at all. Why is it thart U.S. based companies do not have to abide by minimum wage laws online?

  • This is lovely.
    Make me love more research into making one’s customers get the best out of one’s content.
    Great job yaro

  • Your advice is practicable. I used this technique successfully a number of times while working as managing editor with a magazine.

  • Thank you 🙂

    So useful

  • A good article and thanks for the example email. It’s worth noting that with Google now admitting that 30% of the web is duplicate content, that using other people’s content (with their permission of course and referencing it) won’t be penalised.

    SOmething to think about if struggling for unique content.

  • Thank you for this resourceful article. Writing content can be very time consuming for webmasters, and article reprinting is a helpful resource. I would also like to suggest hiring freelance article writers.

  • This articles describes good strategies to improve your content marketing strategy productivity. Thanks for your example email too – I will give this a try.



  • Seiko

    This was a great read, i learn something new and i am happy to know i was going in the in the right direction. What i do also is read the website terms and conditions and privacy policy. they will tell you on there if you can and can’t use the work on their website. If not, i just contact the writer directly.

  • Anthony Colon

    Hey Yaro! Nice article. Free content is always nice! But… like you mentioned, it’s not easy to obtain and does take time to implement your strategy. As everyone in business knows, time is money. When I first started building affiliate websites, I tried to get as much free content as possible. I even tried writing articles myself. After numerous edits, I realized it just wasn’t my gig. Too much time wasted. I switched to purchasing content for my network of sites. Don’t get me wrong, I did waste a lot money testing content generation companies. Luckily, I found a low price option for content that made it a no brainer to go that route. Much easier for me and honestly more cost effective. is where I get most of my content from now. Been buying from them for a little over a year. Solid service and great prices.

    This is just my story. I recommend everyone to try your route first. It might work for them. Thanks for taking the time to help people get started. The web needs more people like you.


  • Even though duplicate content may not be penalized I always like to think of the future and how one day it could do some harm to a site, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Also, I find a well-written unique article always indexes easier and provides better rankings than scraped or spun content.

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