Let’s face it.
Getting content is hard work.
In fact, it’s a lot harder than you imagined.
Your content has to stand out.
Well planned and it needs to be constant.
And getting persistent content published is another challenge.
You’re looking at a blank page and you have no idea where to even start.
Generating content on your own will be a daunting tasking and you likely to fall behind schedule.
What do you do?
You find content that’s not only free but also usable for your own website.
What's Free Content?
Before we dig into how, let’s dig into the what.
Free content is is content that’s allowed to be used on your blog and it’s easy to generate at little or no cost.
However, content of this kind shouldn’t be used as they are as most free content is too generic and your visitors are smarter than to read without considering the quality of the content.
You want content that your readers can use to solve their problems that they have.
Free content should only be used for low ranking pages that hardly receive any traffic or with existing content that can benefit from the extra information.
You can link the top pages from your low traffic pages to your top pages, thus directing your traffic to the high-priority content.
In most cases, you will find that free content is often scanty, lacks detail, poorly organized and doesn’t meet the high-quality standards expected in the top pages.
Such content will never outrank your competition and generate high conversions.
Before we proceed let’s get one thing clear, free content is only suitable for your low ranking pages.
Don’t try to use this content on your top pages as it may decreasing your rankings and you don’t need to anyway as they are your best pages.
How To get Free Blog Content
Before you get your free content, think about your readers.
What type of content do your readers prefer?
What are the needs of your readers?
If you are going to post free content you might as well post useful content.
You want content that is relevant to your blog.
There will come a time when you’ll need free content for your website and hopefully some of the methods detailed below will come in handy.
Request For Permission To Publish From the Author
This is a tricky method that is also time intensive.
For this method to work you have to send out emails to the authors requesting permission to publish an article/blog post they have written.
Detail why you want to use the blog post and if you are publishing it on your site will it add any value to the author’s site.
Value could be in terms of traffic or backlinks. Also, remember to indicate if you are running a commercial site.
Make sure you add your contact details and request a response regardless of the decision.
Out of 30 emails sent you will probably get 10 responses and out of the ten, around 3 will allow you to use their content.
The best part of using such content is that it’s authoritative especially if the author’s website ranks high.
Try using this method, you might be surprised at how generous people are.
For this method to be of any use to you, you’ll have to search for the right content- content that appeals to your readers.
Offer something in return, it could be a guest post, increased traffic, fame or payment.
Preferably, look for a hobbyist- someone who writes blog posts for fun and have extensive knowledge on the said topic.
Such kind of bloggers will often have a simple website where they post all about their hobbies.
Get their contact details and send emails, emphasize on how you like their content and would love to use it on your website.
Content Generator Tools
1. SEOPressor Blog Title Generator
This is a WordPress plugin that generates blog titles from a keyword or topic.
2. Hubspot Blog Topic Ideas Generator
This is a product of Hubspot, a company that specializes in inbound marketing.
The tool was developed as a way to generate blog topic ideas.
Instead of generating ready content for your website the tool offers ideas on the kind of content you should write.
It’s not perfect but it’s good enough. You simply input 3 nouns and the tool generates topic ideas out of the nouns.
You will still have to proofread the topic ideas and tweak them to suit the needs of your readers.
3. Free Article Spinner
Free Article Spinner is almost like hiring a writer and instructing them to use specific articles as reference.
You select and article/post, copy the text and paste it on the input text.
Confirm you are not a robot and the article spinner generates the output text.
Basically, what the tools does is rephrase, rewrite and paraphrase each sentence.
The end result is a funny article that you can barely comprehend or understand the flow of ideas.
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Like earlier mentioned content generator tools are not to be relied on fully.
Such tools will get you the free content you want but it needs a human touch to make it perfect.
You can either handle the editing part or hire an editor to go through the article and correct the sentences that don’t make sense.
4. Article Writer Rewriter
It’s similar to a Free article spinner but instead of spinning the content it generates spin suggestions.
You are then required to choose the ideal spin suggestion for you.
The spun content will have a few issues which can be sorted by simply proofreading and editing out the mistakes.
Free Blog Content Directions
There are various sites where articles are produced.
Some of these articles are free and others are for sale.
If that does work for you, you can always try PLR articles.
These are articles that you buy from an author/writer which grants you veto powers over the article.
You can edit and publish the articles as your own with no legal implications.
PLR articles are great, the only problem is that PLR resellers often sell a single article more than once.
Which means there will be a lot of content duplication and the quality of the content is also questionable.
You can’t compare the work of a professional writer to that of a PLR reseller, obviously the former has better quality content.
5. EArticles Online
Articles Online is a site where bloggers and authors connect.
Writers generate content and upload it to the site.
Anyone can use the content on condition that all the credits go the author.
The collection of articles is vast and it keeps growing.
All you have to do is choose your content, republish it and credit the author.
This is another content directory where bloggers connect with expert writers.
You get quality content with all the credits and citations ready.
It is as easy as copy and paste.
The only problem with this is that the content is not limited to a single publisher.
Multiple sites can publish the same content as they credit the authors.
7. Blogger Linkup
Blogger Linkup is a newsletter that connects blog owners to bloggers.
Once you subscribe to the newsletter, you will receive an email every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
In the newsletter, you are likely to find bloggers and blog owners requesting for guest posts or product reviews.
You'll find all the content writing services here.
However, content generated from such sources still requires proof reading and a little bit of editing.
8. Article Sphere
Article Sphere is a one-stop shop for all your content needs. It has tons of free content which are generated by writers from all over.
They only accept articles written in English.
However, their writer rules are a little bit relaxed thus the content quality might not be the best.
They have veto powers over their content and the only way you can post the content is by using their republish button.
The most annoying aspect of this website is the User Interface, there are so many ads.
Before you finally get to the republish button you’ll have cancel so many ads that you’ll probably never want to use the site again.
If you have no problem with ads, then try out the website.
Amazines is another online directory for current articles.
The catch is that you can only copy and paste their articles using their script.
If you are in need of free articles written in more than one language, then Articles.org is exactly what you are looking for.
Articles.org is an online platform that offers free articles on condition that they can and will track your online activity.
11. My Blog Guest
MBG is an online community where bloggers can exchange content for links.
It’s a large community that comprises of bloggers and blog owners.
Everyone has something to offer whether it’s links or unique content.
And the best part is that almost all niches are represented, which means it’s very unlikely that you will not find content for your site.
The articles are not entirely free as you have to provide link juice (aka backlinks).
More Blog Content Ideas
12. Guest posts
Google rankings are now dominated by sites with the quality backlinks from authoritative sites.
Newbies and low ranking sites are always in search of quality backlinks.
And the best way to get such backlinks is through guest posts.
The author of a site writes an article/articles for your site and in exchange he/she attaches a link to his/her site.
The link is posted together with the article and ‘hemorrhages’ link juice to the author’s site.
Another thing you need to remember is that, guest posts are not requested from every Tom, Dick and Harry.
The reason you are agreeing to a guest post is to get exposure or a dofollow link from the particular website.
Look for a website in your niche that has a higher domain authority than yours.
Request to write a guest post in exchange you get a dofollow/nofollow link or exposure.
13. Content Syndication
Although it’s fast withering away, content syndication is still viable even today.
You get new readers almost every day and chances are that they don’t have the time to go through your archives to read old content.
How about you repost some of your previously published work either via the Fair Use doctrine or with permission.
Don’t except such content to rank well but the idea here is to provide your readers with valuable information.
Also, remember not to overuse this method.
Use it sparingly as the idea of blogging is based on originality.
Use content syndication only when it’s absolutely necessary.
It’s not only free but it is also keeps your site updated without necessarily creating new content.
14. Embed materials From other Author
It might sound like plagiarism but it’s not.
The idea here is to pick out content like videos related to your niche and adding them to your blog post.
You can even come up with a post detailing the best videos within your niche.
For example, top 10 motivational videos of all time.
The best part about using videos is that the content is free as long as you link it to the original video.
15. Leverage Amazon
Currently the largest online retailer, Amazon is one of the best places to source free content ideas.
There are so many items on sale on this online platform and each of these items is classified under a department.
Log in onto Amazon, head to the department section and choose the department that is closely related to your niche.
Click onto the department and filter best sellers.
The reason you are filtering best sellers is to understand what people are interested in.
Use this information to come up with a relevant topic.
16. Host Interviews
Look for an expert in your niche and request for an interview.
Ask all the questions related to your niche and turn it into content for your website.
The content will not only be original but also fresh and authoritative.
And the best part is that you don’t have to do a lot of research.
17. Expert Roundup Posts
It’s a way of crowdsourcing content but instead of sourcing it from just anyone, you target influencers and experts in your niche.
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Bloggers are always looking for new ideas, content and backlinks.
You can use this to your advantage.
Start by creating a survey form and send it the experts/influencers in your niche.
Send to at least 200 to get at least 40 responses.
Curate the responses, add links from the authors’ sites and turn the responses to an article.
This will take about 2-3 weeks to get all the responses and curate them.
Newjacking might be familiar to most of you, it happens almost every day.
It’s all about turning news to an article.
It’s very effective if you know how to use it to your advantage.
For example, pick a trending topic or news and use it to promote your website.
Trending news get a lot of traffic, which can be used as a way of directing traffic to your other articles.
Join the bandwagon of news bloggers and blog about trending news once in a while.
The more people read and share your content the more traffic you get.
19. Create A List Type Post
Curate the best blog posts you have published or the top upcoming events in your niche.
It’s all about coming up with lists of things people are interested about.
Add short descriptions to keep the readers captivated.
20. Translate Content
There is a lot content on the web and a significant part of this content is written in languages such as French, Mandarin, German, etc.
If you are from an English speaking country, most of your content will obviously be in English.
However, if you check your daily traffic you might notice that you also get traffic from other countries such as Russia, Spain, France and China.
You can start by translating your content into these languages.
Translate your most popular article and publish it.
If your website has sponsors who at times pay you to promote their content, you can use it as a way to get free content.
In most cases, sponsors will come up with an article containing the kind of content they want you to promote.
Along the same lines, you customers can become your top contributors.
For example, a blog that focuses on DIY projects can request the readers to share the steps they follow when tackling certain DIY projects.
Another reader could share tips on how they train their dog.
Engage your audience and you might end up getting free content.
You can form partnerships with local business in your niche.
They can become your guest contributors and the best part about such partnerships is that the contributors have an extensive knowledge of the niche/field.
Your audience will connect with such authentic content and all you have to do is approach a local business owner.
23. Affiliate Programs
Join an affiliate program that promotes products in your niche.
Be sure to ask if they have content of their own that you can promote on your site.
Tweak their content just a little bit and post it on your site.
You get free content and commissions for any customers you refer to their site.
24. Use Your Camera
Free content might be readily available but it’s not as authentic as content you create on your own.
Use your camera as your tool of trade.
Capture moments and blog about these moments.
If you are in the food niche, you can shoot videos/images of your recipes.
Give your readers a reason to read your website again.
If you are a travel blogger, travel with your camera and capture the serene moments of the various places that you visit.
Attach the images to your blog posts.
25. Offer Great Benefits
This is similar to guest posts but not entirely.
If you want part of your audience to contribute to your posts, you have to offer them something in return.
Guest posts are a one-time thing, you get a free post in exchange you give out a backlink.
Instead of that, how about you offer something greater.
Whatever you decide to offer is up to you, however, it has to be attractive enough to garner support from your audience.
You can offer an ad spot for your top contributors. You get free content in exchange you give out ad space.
26. Repurpose Old Content
You obviously have old content that has not been getting the attention it deserves.
Some of your old content might be lengthy and boring.
Free Content Resources
27. Copyright Free Articles
Copyright Free Articles is a platform where bloggers can access over 15,000 news features and free content.
Most of the content is published by NewsUSA.
The content is well written and edited by a professional editorial team.
The content covers almost all niches from auto, health, food to home.
Bloggers, writers, media professionals and editors can publish the articles on their blogs as snippets, excerpts or entire articles.
28. Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia is similar to Wikipedia, where content is crowd sourced.
Literally, anyone can write content on the site and it free to use.
Anyone can republish the content, which brings about the problem of duplication.
Infogram is your one-stop site for visual data.
Free users have a limit on the number of images they can upload, the number of maps they can create and also the number of projects.
To bypass the limit and restrictions you are required to upgrade to the paid plan.
The free plan gives you access to social media visuals, charts, infographics and maps.
If your website requires a lot of visual data, Pixabay is the place for anything related to images.
Pixabay is a platform that offers videos, vectors, illustrations and images for use anywhere.
Pictures are free to use and edit.
31. The Noun Project
The Noun Project is one of the largest library for free icons.
Thousands of users from all over the world curate these icons and avail them for use.
Most of these icons are free but the themed kits are for sale.
Are you using WordPress or do you host your site on other platforms?
If you are using WordPress, then you can add a plugin such as PhotoDropper that makes it easy to access rights-free images for your blog posts.
PhotoDropper sources most of the rights-free images from Flickr- a site that contains tons of free images.
They are currently working on a way to scrap images from other sources.
33. Web Archive
I know, it sounds like the place you go to old articles but it’s not.
It’s actually a platform where users archive stuff from media to blog content.
It’s one of the best places to source content ideas or media for use in your blog content.
Not everything in this online archive is old, there are also new things that people archive every day.
Atlas is powered by Quartz, and tries to improve the readers’ experience by offering better access to visualizations and data.
It’s also possible to edit and use this data in new ways.
All the visualizations are made by select contributors and Quartz staff.
Each chart has a set of tools that makes it easy to interact and download the data.
GIFs and memes have become the new sensation, everyone is using them whether it’s on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook or Blogs.
GIFs and memes spice up your content by making it relatable.
Finding GIFs or memes that relate to your content or topic should not be hard.
There is a GIF for literally anything or any moment, you simply need to know what to type to get the specific GIF you are looking for.
You can also create your own GIFs and memes. That’s free content with no copyright issues.
Snappa is the go-to site for graphic design features for novice and intermediate graphic designers.
You can use Snappa to customize your site for free.
Canva is another graphic design tool that you can use to personalize your blog.
It’s a user friendly design tool that allows you to create unique images for use on your blog.
Almost everything is free except for a few copyrighted images and additional features.
The 'paid' list
Although free content is good it’s not as good as paid content.
Free content is not as audience specific as professional content.
For your top pages, you need quality content written by professionals or content agencies.
Below are some of the tools and services that generate quality content for a small fee.
38. Unique Article Creator
Unique article creator that generate articles for users.
The articles are SEO friendly and the quality is good.
However, to get unique content you are required to pay an extra fee.
$4 will get you a monthly subscription with unlimited article rewrites.
The pricing is good but the quality not so much.
You will still have to go through the article and a make few edits before it’s ready for publishing.
39. Article Generator.org
It’s similar to the Article creator tool where you input a keyword and the tools scraps content from the web.
The result is a ‘well written’ article that has too much plagiarism.
The best way to remedy this is by using a premium key to rewrite the article.
This ensures that the article is 100% unique.
After rewriting the article copy and paste it on Grammarly to check for any errors and plagiarism.
Correct any mistakes that highlighted and read it again.
Make any necessary changes before posting it on your site.
WordAI is an article spinner tool that has a 3 –day free trial period.
Before the three days elapse, you can spin as many articles as you can.
After the trial period, you are required to purchase a monthly subscription of $49.95.
You simply copy content from another site, paste it on the WordAI interface and hit spin now.
It generates a unique article that requires editing here and there to perfect it.
It might not be as perfect as an article written by a professional writer but it is definitely a good place to start.
Almost all free content generator tools produce substandard work which is why bloggers prefer professionals or paid article generators such as Wordsmith.
Wordsmith one of the most efficient content generator tools today.
It can go through tons of data and come up with a unique article that is almost as good as that of a professional.
It produces articles faster than any human writer, however; all this comes at a cost and it’s expensive.
Wordsmith uses data to create insightful narratives with zero errors.
Quill is similar to Wordsmith in that it analyzes data and comes up with intelligent narratives.
The narratives are written in everyday conversational language that everyone can understand.
Free content is nice and easy to get.
But it's not always reliable.
If you use it intelligently you can benefit greatly from it.
This type of content should help your visitors and it should be used wisely without risking your website’s reputation.