The other day someone emailed me a question that got me all heated up.
“How and when should someone use PLR content?”
This was my – somewhat flippant – response:
Was I having a bad day?
Of course not… every day’s a perfect day here at Rock And Roll Copy towers! #bullshit
If you’re not familiar with PLR (Private Label Rights) content, it’s basically rights-free, pre-written ‘content’ you can buy and reproduce under your own name or brand.
Totes legit, btw – not questioning that.
So if you’re a marketer or entrepreneur who needs, say, a lead magnet to give away as a freebie to people for opting-in to your list, you can buy PLR content cheaply and give it away to your heart’s… um, desire.
That’s apparently been the most common use for PLR content in digital marketing for a while now.
It gives biz-owners who are just getting started (and presumably don’t yet feel they have anything of value to give away) a chance to get their subscriber list up n’ running.
That may sound like the apex of vanilla-preneurship (yeah, I just made a word up, and I DEMAND that it catches on)…
But now I’m hearing horror stories about marketers and biz-owners using PLR blog posts, supposedly to ‘keep their subscribers engaged’…
So, now you can buy pre-written (by somebody else) articles you can edit or ‘tweak’ to your liking.
How much tweaking goes on is of course entirely up to the buyer…
They paid their money, they can leave their precious post completely untouched or just use it as an outline, and add their own original (ha!) thoughts to it.
I’m guessing that anyone buying a bunch of canned articles –
(As opposed to a guest post, which is different, because you’re actually expending some effort to curate your blog)
…wants to spend as little time as possible on writing, creating or providing value for their audience.
Which means it’s likely that post is getting CTRL-C’ed and CTRL-V’ed in full, with just the by-line changed.
(And y’know what else comes in cans?
What a glorious time-saving convenience this is for the blogger/biz-owner…
…and what a fantastic way to short-change your readers.
Eeesh, I dunno about you, but doesn’t this whole PLR thing kind of miss the point of content marketing?
Surely the whole point of producing original content – whether it’s your own, your team’s or a guest expert’s – is about educating/informing your audience while demonstrating your biz’s unique value?
Publishing ‘content’ for the sake of it just seems like yakking when you have nothing to say…
And with PLR, you’re not even talking about your own opinions or expertise…
You’re just regurgitating someone else’s.
So where’s the value for your audience in that?
How is that demonstrating your own unique value?
(Other than showing that you know where to get your hands on cheap content.)
I say to any entrepreneurs thinking of using swiped PLR articles:
Worry less about being forgotten about…
Worry more about making a meaningful connection with people.
The goal with content marketing isn’t to try and reach as many people as possible by plonking any old crap in front of them to remind them you exist.
If it’s not original, doesn’t reflect what makes you ‘you’, and isn’t created with anything else in mind than to fulfil your publishing schedule, people won’t remember you anyway.
In content marketing, the old cliche “write what you know” actually applies…
All over the interwebz there are people writing about and explaining their specialist subjects for the benefit of others, and growing their business as a result.
If you choose ‘canned content’ over a chance to demonstrate your own value, you’re only really hurting yourself
Ok, rant over.
What are your thoughts on PLR content?
Let loose in the comments below – opinions all your own please! ; )
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