Free content. I must be smoking something good to think I can get high quality free content, right? Wrong.

I buy a lot of content but I also get it from every direction and it doesn’t cost me a penny. Well, I don’t pay the writers.. it costs me in other ways.

Before the weekend I posted this article about how you can start an online business for less than $89. I got a lot of emails after that one and there were so many people wondering how to find contributors and guest posters to fill their new site with content. There are many ways, so I decided to write a post that just talks about ways to get high quality content uploaded to your blog every single day. If you do this right you can have daily blog posts scheduled a month in advance.

IMPORTANT: No matter how good your sites look, nobody is going to give you content unless the metrics are strong. I’ll be the first one to tell you that Moz’s Domain Authority is useless (it can be faked so easily) but the sheep love it. They want to feel all warm and fuzzy thinking they just got a guest post link on a DA45 site, even if that DA is inflated with some BS nofollow blog comment links.

You will need to do some link building for 45-60 days before you start to look for people to give you free content. It depends on when you start in relation to the newest Moz data refresh, but it will usually take 1-2 updates to get a nice looking Domain Authority. Build some strong links.. not even super hard to get links. Some examples: a .me profile link, all the popular web 2.0 profiles and popular mainstream directory links. These are a good starting point. Then do some blog comments and some blog roll links. You will see that it is VERY easy to game and you can have a DA 40+ in no time with basis links that aren’t going to make you rank #1.. but they will tickle Rand’s pickle enough to give you decent Domain Authority.

These are all ways that I use to jam pack my niche sites with great content that I don’t directly pay for.


1. “Contribute” Footer Notation

You need to make sure that anyone that visits your website knows that you accept contributors. The best thing to do is create a “Become a Contributor” page on your website that has a submit form that anyone can complete in order to become a contributor. Then, make sure this page is visible in your website footer. This allows your visitors to see it but it also allows the professional guest posters to find it with a Google search.

We all know that the people searching Google for guest posting opportunities are after one thing only.. links. But you know what? Fuck it! That is fine. They aren’t bad people and you sure as heck shouldn’t turn them away. Look, you want free content and they want a link. It’s a win/win situation. You get your content and they get a link with whatever Domain Authority Rand’s mustache has granted your website.

Just make sure you have high standards as far as content goes and they will make sure to get you good content. I would have a very strict link policy.. like only name or site brand links. Nothing spammy. Remember, you want to make sure your website isn’t viewed as a link farm.

If Google manually reviews your website and sees that it is filled with all user generated guest posts that each contain a link back but it is a brand name then there won’t be a problem. If they were all keyword anchors then there would be a problem. Create an author box and allow each guest post to have a link back to the authors site. This is the easiest way to keep them happy and remain off Google’s bad list.


2. Sticky Bar Offer

This one will vary depending on your niche.. but for example I use this on niches where the visitors have a lot of opinions, such as a sports related blog. Think about it for a minute. Every sports fan has their own opinions about why a team is good, why they suck, what is wrong with them and what they need to do in order to play better.

If you are seeing a lot of traffic then use a sticky bar plugin and make a huge “Become a Contributor” offer that directs them to your contributor application form page. Some niches, like sports don’t even care about a link back to a website because they don’t have one. They just want to become a voice and be heard. In this case make sure that they can link to their social media profiles in their author profile. People eat this up.

I have a blog that has several authors that submit multiple 3,000+ word posts (that are REALLY good) every month and they don’t even have a link in their profile and they don’t ever put links in the content. They are contributing because they like the topic and it gives them something to do. These type of people will share it on their social media profile and think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread!

Writing for your niche blog is like writing for the NY Times for some people. So, don’t think everyone just wants links. A sticky bar with your contributor author is a great way to draw interest.. and lock down some consistent writers that will keep the content coming.


3. Fiverr

Want fee content and $5 per article? This is so simple I’m shocked more don’t do this. OK, so first you want to make sure your niche sites have decent Domain Authority then you can post gigs like “Link on DA45 Sports Niche Website” and in your description you state what you want. 900+ words of original high quality content and they will get a link to their site. So, they are paying you to post an article that they write. Amazing.

If you do this for all of your niche sites you will rack up quite the Fiverr balance that you can then use to order stupid little shit. I can’t remember the last time I had to even pay for a gig because I always have a huge reserve to use to pay. This is great for cheap logos, animated videos and stuff like this. I think Fiverr for SEO is suicide but for some things it is great.

Also, anytime someone orders your gig after you post their content invite them to become a contributor. You will see a large number of your orders convert to regular contributors. This is 100% up to you to ensure that you only accept high quality content.

Let’s not forget that it is Fiverr.. land of shit. There are going to be people that order and even though you say high quality content they will send in a spun pile of shit. Simply refund them and tell them to learn to read. Don’t ever compromise your site with shit content. This is a great way to get interest.. and content.. but you have to be aware that some of the content you will need to return and refund.


4. Manual Outreach

This one is the process that takes the longest but it is the one that is going to get you the best quality content for your website. You must know what the popular websites and blogs are in your niche. You need to visit them all and look through the content form the past 3 months. Write down every single contributor and all of their social media profiles and contact info. Some sites will display their email addresses and some will just show Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Twitter profiles.

Spend some time and put together a list of every single contributor that has written in your niche over the past 90 days. If you really roll up your sleeves and get down and dirty you can have a list of several hundred people. Think about the number for a minute. If you reach out to 300 writers and just get 10% to even respond that is 30.. then if you can get 1/3 of those that responded with interest to come onboard you just got 10 new contributors.

It’s not easy.. I’m not trying to say it is. But it is a numbers game and you need to do some serious outreach. It’s important to let them know about the reasons why they should contribute to your website.. because you aren’t going to be the only website offering them a guest spot. Let them know that you are always working on the SEO and paid promotion to drive more traffic. They love to hear that. Especially if your site is newish.. if you sell it right people will take a chance on you.


5. Twitter Promotion

This is a great way to attract really quality writers but it takes some time and some money. It’s using highly targeted Twitter ads. So, using the sports niche example above let me explain what I do.

I create an add that links to my contributor page on the website I am looking for writers on. I made a Twitter ad that uses an image that has a simple “WRITE FOR US” image and then explains I am looking for contributors. I target the add to only people that follow specific Twitter accounts. In this example I would target those that follow Sky Sports, ESPN and other general sports profiles.

Then I create a bunch of very specific ads that target specific teams. So, I would create one that only targets people that follow a certain team. Let’s say it is the Liverpool FC.. the image I would include the team logo and then have text on the image that says “Seeking Liverpool FC Super Fans” and then the body of the Tweet will explain the site is seeking contributors.

You have to be willing to create very specific ads. While you are going to only be paying when someone clicks your ad just be aware that some people will just be curious.. if 1 in 10 clicks actually submits the contributor form you are doing fine. This will cost you some money but it will get you some of your most loyal contributors.



6. Craigslist

It still blows my mind that people look for SEO on craigslist.. but they do. If you want a good laugh take a look at the SEO companies that advertise on craigslist.. they are scam artists. Jokers working out of their mom’s basement just ripping people off all day. While I hate craigslist SEO companies there is always going to be people looking for SEO there so you might as well tap into it.. but with a different approach.

An ad with the title of “Boost the rankings of your (insert niche) website” will help to attract niche related websites. Instead of selling them SEO explain to them that guest posting is a great way to get a relevant link and tell them that you will gladly link to their website as long as they provide the content. Now, most of these people won’t know how to write a good blog post.. and that is fine. Have someone to refer them to.. find a good content company and say “here.. this company produces high quality content.. if you order the article form them I guarantee it will be high quality and it will be posted to my site.”

You are going to have to spend some time and money on this.. I would suggest holding off on this method until you have a lot of money rolling in. When you have the cash to spend dropping money into PVAs and posting services is worth it if you can keep the fresh content flowing. You will also get a lot of replies from joker SEO clowns.. just part of the shit infested craigslist waters.


7. Leave Comments on Popular Articles

You can do this one at the same time you are doing #4 above. When you are searching through niche related blogs to find content from the past 90 days make sure you drop a comment on every article. This helps you in two ways:


  • Moz loves blog comments. They get a boner over these useless nofollow links and will give your site a higher Domain Authority if you keep racking up these worthless links. This helps attract more contributors.. as your DA increases they believe they are getting a better SEO benefit and will be more willing to hand over free content.


  • When you leave a comment that says “I loved this post.. if you would be interested in being featured on my website (name) then apply to contribute here (link). We are always looking for great contributing authors!” So there is a chance the author sees this and then the apply but even more helpful is the exposure it will give you. There will be so many people that will read this comment, many that would jump all over an opportunity to guest post. A comment that sticks on a popular post can feed you contributors one after another.


There you have it. Pretty simple, right? There is nothing hard here.. nothing that takes a huge budget or is crazy blackhat. This is common sense stuff and it’s sooo easy to do. It just requires you putting in some manual work! Once you have a solid group of contributors make sure you keep them happy and they will keep pushing out good content.Want a great tip? Hold a monthly contest that awards a $100 Amazon gift card to the contributor that generates the most social shares and then another one for the contributor who writes the post that gets the most reads. This keeps them motivated and it causes them to put in extra thought and work when they are writing. In the end you have excited contributors that produce good quality content for your niche sites.

Any questions or feedback? Fire away.. I’m off for now, but leave your comments and feedback below and I will respond to everyone that takes the time to post here. Also, if you have any topics you want me to cover in the future drop those suggestions below and I’ll do my best. As always I hope you guys enjoyed the read. Until next time.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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