Often times bloggers go through an evolution where they start writing, enjoying it for its own sake. Over time they build an audience and develop their site. Perhaps on a lark, they start monetizing their site. The monthly income keeps growing, and over time becomes more central to their motivation than that initial desire to write for its own sake.
Eventually they hit the point where it has become a job – they’re running the blog for the money it brings in. It isn’t unreasonable at this point to start considering ways to pay for the content, rather than continue to create it yourself.
There are benefits and drawbacks to making this shift:
Pros of Buying Content
- Less of a time commitment for writing from you
- For the same time commitment, you can focus more on monetization and other aspects of running the site
- Allows a new voice, with different perspectives
- Gives you the option to increase the posting frequency
- Allows you to guide the creation / purchase of content in the direction you feel your readers will appreciate – editorial oversight
Cons of Buying Content
- Change in writing style may alienate your established readership
- Your costs will increase, as you now have to pay the writers
- Less control over the exact content, you’ll probably need to give your writers SOME latitude in what to write about
Where to Buy Content
There are many places that you can buy content from, depending on your budget and preferences.
- Hire staff writers: If you have a large enough audience, just posting that you’re looking for staff writers can be enough to get new talent writing for you. Lazy Man and Money recently posted about hiring two staff writers. He wouldn’t disclose their exact payment, but revealed there was a wide range of expected payment from the writers he interviewed. I used to be a staff writer at Money Smarts and was paid $20 / post.
- Get a blogging partner: If you don’t want to be paying directly for content, one option is to get writers and offer them a cut of the revenue. You can then set up revenue sharing based on the traffic their posts generate.
- Buy content from sites: A number of websites have been established that will let you buy content directly from them. Text Broker seems to be the biggest site, although recently a smaller version of the same thing came up for sale on Flippa. This one was especially interesting to me, as it discloses how profitable it is for the site. The prices on these sites seem to range from $5-25 for a blog post length piece of content. Like eBay, their business model is to take a cut of every transaction.
- Buy blogs for their posts: I haven’t actually seen anyone do this, but it seems to me that a reasonable idea might be to buy a blog, pull out any of the good posts and use them as cheap content going forward. You’d have to give each post a proof read before it went live (removing references to the old blog for example), but I think this could be a cost effective way to get some content.
Google penalizes having duplicate content on multiple sites. You want to be sure that when you purchase content you get full, exclusive, unlimited, indefinite rights to it. If the same content appears elsewhere, that can undermine what you’re trying to achieve.
Have you ever bought content? Would you buy it in the future?