A Tale of 2 WAHMs

Ramblings of 2 WAHMs - Anita DeFrank and Kara Kelso. Partners in business discuss how we manage successful websites and young children at home.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Original Content a MUST!

Today I stumbled on a new service for gathering articles written by others. Here in the business world, articles available for reprint is not hard to come by. This "service" was a tad different, offering only a limited amount of "subscribers" to gain access to the articles. Alright, still not original content but a little better.

While I'm not against the idea of being able to share your words on other sites, I believe it's gotten a bit out of hand. Do I submit articles? Of course! Do I use reprint articles on my site? Absolutely! Only in extreme moderation.

I think half the internet world has forgotten how to write their own content in their own words. You'd think with the growing popularity of blogs this would have changed, but it hasn't seemed to. At least not on websites. Seems we've saved all our personal words for blogs while using mass submitted articles for websites. How backwards is that?

While yes, I do use articles on occation, I fail to see the purpose in creating a website where you use nothing but content which can be found in other places. What's worse, I see reprint articles used on sites and original content used only to make a buck. Is what you have to say really worth THAT much? Or is it just easier to throw up a website full of reprint content just for the purpose of having an Adsense site?

I'll admit right now, I do have what's called an Adsense site. It's not fully built on the purpose of gaining income from Adsense, but at the momement that is it's main source of income. Although there's one big difference between my content site and all the other billions of adsense sites you see out there - mine has ORIGINAL content. Sure I may use some other content here and there, but it's fully wrapped around my own unique content. Something that seems to be hard to come by anymore.

What happend to the days when you built a website only when you had something interesting to share, rather than just trying to make a few dollars on fluff? Scan the search engines and you'll see what I'm talking about. Sure we've all got to make money, but the way some are doing it just turn my stomach. Paying someone to get articles several others are using as well couldn't make me feel more sick!

I'll get off my soap box now, and back to writing my OWN content for my 100+ page site.

19 Comments:

  • At 4:43 AM, Blogger Fatherandchild said…

    Kara, any suggestions to make the situation better?

     
  • At 6:14 AM, Blogger Anita said…

    Yeah, I'm not sure I understand this whole concept of PAYING for articles that are being sent to that "limited amount of subscribers". First of all ... if you HAVE to use other articles ... there's TONS you can get for FREE.

    It kind of goes along with the way I feel about "Ghost Writers" and I'll be quite honest upfront, I seriously considered hiring a Ghost Writer. I had even gone as far as to inquire her pricing but, that's when it hit me. My subscribers read MY content, my information that I'm passing on to "train", and "coach". I cannot morally have someone else write my articles and pass them off as my own. (Just my thoughts here ...)

    I mean seriously, if you were being coached by this wonderful mentor for a year and then found out that he/she didn't write their own content? He or she didn't coach you ... their ghost writer did!

    I'm sorry but I see absolulely no good in using the same content that is being sent out to 100 other people. Eeek ... and you KNOW the search engines are going to break down on it more and more.

    To the person who asked for suggestions ... in all honesty, my utmost forward advice would be to write your own content. I hear it all the time ... I can't write. Well, you don't know that until you try. I used to say that before and now I don't know how many articles I have under my belt, not to mention my mini ecourses and a co-author of our book. It takes practice but, you'll get there.

    If you have to, invest in your business and take a writing course. Another option is to take all your ideas and write them down. Then find someone to hire to "help" you put it into article format. The main idea that I want to enforce is ... don't try to trick your subscribers/visitors by passing off articles written by others and taking credit for yourself.

    Ooops, guess I rambled a bit. Passionate about the topic??

    Off my soap box now. But a great discussion topic!!

    Anita :)

     
  • At 1:15 PM, Blogger Carrie Lauth said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 1:45 PM, Blogger Carrie Lauth said…

    edited to say:

    Not sure if you're referring to All Mom Content, the wonderful service Alice Seba and Mila Sidman are providing.

    Firstly, a clarification:
    you said: "you use nothing but content which can be found in other places"

    False. Private label articles can be chopped up, edited, rewritten, repackaged, etc. In other words, made to be unique.

    And it's not content that is found in other places by virtue of the fact that it's not available on free reprint sites. It's private label. Something people like Joel Comm and John Reese recommend all the time to their subscribers.

    PLR articles fill a great need. Since there is no need for an outgoing link or author bio, they're wonderful for use in ecourses, newsletters, free bonuses, etc. They can be changed at will.

    Those of us who utilize free articles realize that our time isn't always best spent writing all our own content. If I'm pumping out two, three, four new sites a month, I can't always write all the content. The sites are still my "babies" and my ideas however.

    And paying a ghostwriter to provide valuable information that others are looking for is no differnet than hiring a web designer. Some of us don't have time to design all our new sites. The ideas are just coming too fast to take an hour or two to design graphics. We outsource that stuff.

    AllMomContent is getting raves reviews from members. In my opinion Alice provides more value to the work at home Mom than any other guru out there. Hands down.

     
  • At 2:23 PM, Blogger Kara said…

    I guess I feel since content is king, it should be THE most important aspect of your business. Especially if you own a content site.

    I really have no desire to pump out several websites a month - I'd rather spend my time taking care of one and writing original content for it in my own words. If I use something that isn't mine, I'll say it isn't mine.

    Like Anita, I don't see how a Ghost Writer is helpful. If I wanted to spend the time editing the article to make it mine, I would have wrote it in the first place. And if not edited, well those certaintly aren't my words being writen.

    Writing one simple article is not that big of a task. It takes me under an hour to write a well written page or article. I feel good because it's my own words, and I know the return on it is more than the time invested.

    I guess that's just my opinion though.

     
  • At 10:47 PM, Blogger Patty Gale said…

    I guess I'm confused, too. I've never used PLR articles, but I disagree that web designing and ghost-writing are on the same platform.

    Color, layout, style, appearance, navigation, those are all important, yes. We have less than 5 seconds to make an impression to our visitors.

    But the written word? Our words represent our beliefs, values and the very core of trust that we are trying to establish with our visitors, newsletters, blog content, etc.

    Our words respresent and establish our credibility and expertise.

    Our words say, "This is who I am, this is what I believe and I want YOU (the visitors/customer) to trust what I am saying."

    If I hire ghostwriters to create those words for me, then they are not my words any longer.

    If PLR articles and be chopped up, dissected, rewritten, etc. why bother if the original intent was supposed to save time?

    Why not take THAT same amount of time and write those words ourselves?

    I understand that some people "think" they can not write, but our visitors and customers aren't looking for Nobel Prize authors.

    They are looking for honesty, trust and someone who isn't pulling the wool over their eyes.

    If we expect them to hand over their hard-earned dollars to purchase our products and be loyal, long-term customers, then we need to treat them with the honesty and integrity that they deserve.

     
  • At 11:52 PM, Blogger Alice said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 1:41 AM, Blogger Alice said…

    LOL...I'm a self-editor too. I'm just deleting the last paragraph because it was a repetition of what I said earlier in my comment. Here's the new and improved version:

    Hi ladies. I agree with Kara to a great extent. Original content is usually a must - it helps create an original voice for your website and newsletter. But that doesn't mean there is no room for a wider variety of content from different sources. If it's useful to your reader, by all means provide it.

    With all due respect, there seems to be very little original content on mommyshelperonline.com and the newsletter the two of your publish together is largely put together using content from other sources, so I was rather surprised to read this blog entry when a friend referred me to it.

    As a business owner, you can oversee all the messages that are put out by your business, but if you feel you have to make them all yourself, then you'll run yourself ragged. That's why there are copywriters, article writers and press release writers with flourishing businesses.

    Now, if you have an issue with paying for content, that's totally within your right. I personally prefer to use as many marketing tools that are valuable to my readers as possible.

    Thanks for your time,
    Alice

     
  • At 6:46 AM, Blogger Anita said…

    Okay, first of all ... this I'm going to throw out right off the bat. Why is it that when we voice our opinion ON OUR OWN BLOG (incase you missed that) someone feels the need to come along and decide that we're ... what was that again? Oh yeah and I quote:

    "Oh brother. Another thinly veiled criticism of Alice Seba.

    Obviously you're referring to All Mom Content, the wonderful service Alice Seba and Mila Sidman are providing."

    (Yes, that is a direct quote from the very first deleted response here.)

    My apologies Alice, I wasn't aware that you had the market cornered and is the only one offering it.

    For those of you that are new to our blog ... please know that I'm not going off the deep end here, lol. This isn't the first time this has happened and we've been walking on egg shells since the last episode. Frankly, I'd like to take my own blog back.

    Trust me, I'm ALWAYS game for a great discussion. As long as it's done with respect for one another. To come along and just "assume" something like that is just taking an unnecessary jab at us. Sorry Carrie. I thought we were better friends than that.

    I really didn't want to bring this up here but, I just wanted to let it be known that I don't appreciate this at all. If you don't agree with me or Kara, then by all means, feel free to share WHY you disagree. But, let's do it in a more professional (and might I add adult way). Dang, it's driving me crazy to leave a post like this on my own blog. Tell me Carrie, how do feel okay with doing it to someone else?

    About MommysHelperOnline.com. I agree, a LOT of that website is made up of reprint articles. The reason for this is when I first started out, this is what I was being taught to do. However, as time went on, I found out differently. But, MHO already had taken on a life of its own and I wasn't going to change it now. That website is and always will be my first and my baby so therefore, I'm not going to just delete it or stop updating it now. But ladies, guess what? It's by far NOT my money maker. Guess where my money comes from? Yup, the sites with the original content. So, take my lesson learned the hard way.

    But here's where I see a huge difference. I get my articles all over the place and are hand-picked by myself. With a service such as the one we're discussing here...

    Let's see how this works. (Just for example sake.) There's only 100 people allowed to be members of this program. So, now you have 100 members of your closest readers join - which more than likely are all part of the same "network" of folks. These 100 people are all getting the same content. You can't tell me that the search engines aren't going to come down on this eventually.

    To answer the question before it's asked ... Do I risk this with MHO? Absolutely. But at this point, I can afford to loose that site. Yeah, I'm going to be pretty upset by all means, but I'm certainly not going to be out of money if Google decides to do a new dance. Which is exactly WHY my NEW website are original content.

    Quoted by Alice:
    "But that doesn't mean there is no room for a wider variety of content from different sources. If it's useful to your reader, by all means provide it."

    Absolutely! Within reason of course. The whole concept of the exact same articles being sent out to 100 people (again, just an example) that have to be paid for, I just don't understand in this concept.

    But I'm sorry ... There's NOTHING that's going to change my opinion on ghost writing or private label articles. I guess it's just my morals getting in the way but I cannot morally pass off something as my own that was written by someone else. And that's JUST MY OPINION. We're all entitled to one ;-)

    Now, by all means, please do let the discussion continue and share your own insight. I LOVE a good debate. But, can we leave out "AllMomContent"? Last time I checked, this wasn't the only one available.

     
  • At 7:52 AM, Blogger Kelly said…

    Anita said "But I'm sorry ... There's NOTHING that's going to change my opinion on ghost writing or private label articles. I guess it's just my morals getting in the way but I cannot morally pass off something as my own that was written by someone else."

    Ghostwriting has an important role in internet marketing. I love to write and I wouldn't personally have someone write something to be released under my name because as you've pointed out - what I write represents my own opinions and knowledge.

    I have hired ghostwriters to create content for a website that falls outside of my usual target market. I was able to take these articles and release them to the article directories as original content under a pen name. This helped me to gain back links and good exposure for a project.

    There's nothing morally wrong with this.

    I've been offering a ghostwriting service for about three weeks now where I connect my team of talented ghostwriters with internet marketers who need something written - and I think you may misunderstand how people use them.

    It's rare that they have a ghostwriter write something from scratch and plop their name on it and represent it as their own ideas. Usually they have provided the premise of the content in rough form and need someone with skill to put it together.

    In the cases where they do have a writer create content for them, it's been my experience that they really do struggle with the written medium of communication.

    You just can't fault them for outsourcing what they don't do well.

    All businesses are not built on communication and guru status, so hiring someone to create written content isn't a misrepresentation of anything. It's just smart business.

     
  • At 8:06 AM, Blogger Carrie Lauth said…

    the reason I deleted my first comment was because, after rereading it, I realized I shouldn't have assumed. So, I deleted that comment and rewrote it.

    This is not the first time I have seen something Alice is doing being criticized, but still... I shouldn't have made an assumption.

    I think most internet marketers use mostly original content in their business. When I sit down to write an autoresponder series or an ecourse or my newsletter or blog post, etc... that's me speaking.

    But to call into question the morals of net marketers who use other people's content, that's not appropriate.

     
  • At 10:09 AM, Blogger Belver Ladson said…

    I'd have to agree with this orginal blog post. When I first started making my websites, I used articles that everyone else was using. I didn't feel too good about it, but I wanted to get started quickly. As things have progressed, I'm seeing where having original content can not only make people come to my website, but make them stay at my website long. I dont' have to get that "Oh, I saw that article on a nother site." response. That's not to say that using content everyone else has is bad. But to me, original content is the best way to go.

    Also, I don't think people should come to "defend" a site, just because an opinion is voiced. To me, that just makes the site look worse. If you know your site is good, go do your best with your site. But to have people storm in an try to defend a site, somehow lessens it's credibility to me.

    Belver Ladson

     
  • At 10:31 AM, Blogger Carrie Lauth said…

    Belver, to clarify, I don't storm anywhere to defend a "site". I was defending a person. :)
    I've known Alice Seba to be of the highest integrity. She earns a boatload of money and manages to be a nice person at the same time.

    Original content is best, yes, but slamming private label rights articles or implying that people who use them are somehow unethical or less than is not appropriate.

    Every successful marketer I know online utilizes free reprint articles and/or private label rights articles in a tasteful manner. It's all about providing valuable information to the reader.

    As for Google not liking duplicate content, why does EzineArticles.com consistently show up high in search engine results pages? They certainly aren't punishing article sites.... like wahm-articles.com, Anita and Kara's own.

     
  • At 11:03 AM, Blogger Kara said…

    Quote from Alice:
    "With all due respect, there seems to be very little original content on mommyshelperonline.com and the newsletter the two of your publish together is largely put together using content from other sources, so I was rather surprised to read this blog entry when a friend referred me to it."

    Actually, our first newsletter published together is one we are thinking of getting rid of (or at least changing) because it doesn't have our own original content. The newsletter we now publish together related to the direct sales market has original content (two article per week at that) from us and us alone. We realise the importance of original content in our OWN words.

    From Kelly:
    "I have hired ghostwriters to create content for a website that falls outside of my usual target market. I was able to take these articles and release them to the article directories as original content under a pen name. This helped me to gain back links and good exposure for a project."

    I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing I've used someone else's words as my own to profit off of a market I know nothing about. This is exactly what Anita is talking about.

    I'm going to end here because I don't feel as though I should have to defend a post on my own blog.

     
  • At 11:20 AM, Blogger Alice said…

    I do apologize if you feel like you're home has been invaded. That's one of the things of having a public home, like a blog. You have to expect people to disagree with you, but you expect them to do it in a meaningful way...as you've stated yourself.

    I didn't really come to defend myself, because I don't really feel like I need any defense. I'm here to share another opinion, so that perhaps your readers can see another point of view that sees wider opportunity on the Internet. Your audience is the same as mine - work at home moms - and I want to assure them that the things you're taking issue with, work very well with online business.

    The Internet is not a small place and the chances of one of your readers seeing an article on your site, that they just read somewhere else is slim. And even they do, what's the big deal. All the big news websites report the same stories and even your local newspapers will have the same stories. It's about delivering interesting information to your readers.

    As far as search engines go, I've been making reprint articles, PLR articles and the like rank well on search engines for years. There's no problem with that. Besides, search engines should never completely guide your business decisions. Otherwise, you're here today and possibly gone tomorrow.

    As far as ghostwriters go, why do we moms always have to think in such small terms? Do you think the owner of eBay writes all his written content? What about Google? Of course, we will probably never be such enormous organizations, but you get my point. As I said in my previous comment, we can OVERSEE all our marketing messages (whether it be content, email or sales copy), but there's no logical reason we have to write them all.

    Of course, we can all take the approach we want to our online business, but to pass moral judgment on someone who decides to hire a writer or use somebody else's articles is not only like the pot calling the kettle black, but it's unfair to your fellow online business owner.

     
  • At 11:25 AM, Blogger Alice said…

    From Kara:
    "Actually, our first newsletter published together is one we are thinking of getting rid of (or at least changing) because it doesn't have our own original content. The newsletter we now publish together related to the direct sales market has original content (two article per week at that) from us and us alone. We realise the importance of original content in our OWN words."

    I think that's a great decision. I believe email marketing needs to be far more personal than content displayed on a website.

    I really don't want to be misunderstood. I think original content has a very important place in all online business - but to limit ourselves ONLY to the words we personally type onto our computers can really hinder our possibilites for growth.

    Good luck ladies!

     
  • At 11:38 AM, Blogger Kelly said…

    Kara said 'I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing I've used someone else's words as my own to profit off of a market I know nothing about. This is exactly what Anita is talking about. '

    I didn't say that I don't know anything about the market. It's just not the target market that I choose to focus my personal attentions on.

    But - even if I didn't know anything about a market, that doesn't mean that I have to stay out of it to sleep at night.

    Good grief, does Donald Trump know everything about every market that he reaches into? Of course not. He hires good people to study the market, give him advice, make the best products that market is looking for and provide the best marketing efforts. And he rakes in the profits. Is he sleeping at night? You betcha.

    Being a full time internet marketer who takes advantage of a wide number of niches often means that you will dip your toe into areas that you're not familiar with. That's why we have talented ghostwriters, research assistants, virtual assistants, marketing advisors, advertising managers, etc.

    If you only want to do one thing - I applaud that. I like a tight focus! We don't all want to have wide and varied internet businesses and that's ok.

    You like a business where you write everything. I like a business where I provide writing work to a number of other work at home Moms.

    Is one good and one bad? I don't think anyone would really want to say that. It's just a different way of approaching business.

     
  • At 9:03 PM, Blogger Anita said…

    Well, I'm willing to agree to disagree. Although, for readers who are just starting out ... I'm thinking that one thing we all do agree on is to try to use as much original content as possible. Am I right on this?

    One thing I do want to mention though is that I do apologize if my words came across a little harsh earlier. I was offended by the comments that were made and I shouldn't haven't posted while I was angry. As business women we have to remember that we're always being scrutinized and our actions are held accountable.

    Anita :)

     
  • At 9:36 PM, Blogger Carrie Lauth said…

    As much original content as possible... agreed ;)


    To your continued success Anita...

     

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