How To Get Free, High Quality Content For Your Blog
5 votes, 4.40 avg. tacos (86% full)

In mid January I published a post called “How To Do Reddit Right“, which focused on using Reddit for researching your niche and also threw up the idea of using it to get free content.

It’s easy to get caught up focusing on traffic and links when you’re building a blog or site. Reddit can be great for short-term traffic for sure. Traffic and links are obviously so important and it’s because of this that they do draw so much of our attention. I know I find myself continually searching for new ways to drive traffic and new iterations of SEO techniques to give my sites the edge.

But stop and think for a moment…

When it comes to getting traffic and links, what’s one critical element to the success of each?

Answer: CONTENT.

It actually just struck me that I spend only a fraction of my time optimizing the way I get content for my sites, compared to the time I invest into finding new ways to drive traffic and links.

Pretty stupid when content is one of the biggest time sucks and a significant cost to outsource.

How To Get Content Written For You At No Cost

We’re now using Reddit as a way to get new ideas for content, but also as a way to get free content.

Here’s what we know about Reddit:

  • A LOT of people hang out there. It’s basically just a massive friggen beast of a forum
  • A portion of the users gravitate to certain sub-Reddits that are related to areas of interest or EXPERTISE
  • Users share TONS of information
  • Users WILLINGLY give opinions

 

In short, you’ve got a boat load of experts that enjoy sharing knowledge.

Reddit is a gold mine of expert content, you just need to dig it out!

So we decided to put that to use and just start asking questions around article topics we wanted for our blogs.

Here’s what we did as an initial test:

  1. Chose 12 of our money sites
  2. Found a keyword we wanted to write an article around
  3. Asked a question related to that keyword in a relevant sub-Reddit (we had Interns do this as part of our Internship, so the questions were all submitted from different Reddit accounts)
  4. Hung around in the comments to engage with the respondees
  5. Compiled the responses from Redditors into a post to form the “meat” of an article
  6. Added additional information required to turn the article into a killer piece of content
  7. That’s it! Minimal research required (you can clarify anything you’re unsure of by responding to the Reddit users that answer your question)

We also submitted the completed articles back to Reddit (not essential, but we figured we may as well drive some traffic to our new article).

Actually, one of the articles got rave reviews from the community, even scored some Reddit Gold for our troubles!

Reddit

 

Initial Concern: How Would Redditors Respond?

I was initially very unsure of how the Reddit users would respond to being asked a question that would ultimately be turned into an article. It’s a bit of a gray area isn’t it?

Actually, I had a few questions floating through my mind:

  1. Should we say in the initial submission that we are researching for an article?
  2. Would disclosing that have a negative impact on the response rate (Redditors not wanting to support something for commercial gain)?
  3. Would Redditors be comfortable having their responses quoted in an article?

We didn’t feed all of the completed articles back to Reddit, so we don’t have a huge base of data to draw from, but from the completed articles we did post, we received zero negative feedback.

Actually, the one above was a love-fest. The users thanked us, complimented us on the article, and someone even welcomed us into the wolf pack by giving us that little piece of gold.

We disclosed in our submission that we were a freelance writer researching for an article in about half of the test questions. In the other half, we just posed the question as a normal Reddit question. There was no difference in the number or quality of comments. Actually, if anything, we got slightly more responses to the question where we disclosed that we were a freelance writer, which I did not expect.

We chose to link to the user profiles for each instance where we used their comment in our articles. It’s up to you if you do this or not, in reality, it’s highly unlikely that anyone would ever know you’ve used the responses to compile an article. I just feel it’s the right thing to do, as you would cite a blogger if you used an extract from an article.

How To Phrase The Question:

Based on our results, I believe it is best to be upfront and make users aware that you’re researching for an article. You’re not trying to trick people into responding here, so you don’t need to conceal that fact. You can reveal that you are writing an article be using similar wording to the below:

  • “I am a freelance writer and I need to write about {insert topic & question}”
  • “Hi folks, I am a freelance writer and I’ve been asked to write an article about {topic}. This will be fun because I have a keen interest in the topic, despite limited knowledge. My question is……”

Also, use wording that encourages Redditors to share THEIR opinion and HELP:

  • What {topic} advice you agree or disagree with the most?
  • I don’t have any experience on {topic} at all, so I would love some help please.
  • What has helped you {insert detail of topic} and what would you suggest to someone new to it? What should they definitely consider?

The beauty with this tactic is that you can use it to research and receive quality content for pretty much any topic you can think of. You do not need any baseline knowledge of the topic either > the Redditors will help with this!

If you want content that has some real diversity and punch to it and that is sourced from experts, as opposed to paid writers churning content for $10 per article, give this a shot!

And of course you don’t just need to use Reddit for this, all you need is a community of helpful experts (think forums, FB groups etc).

 

How To Get Free, High Quality Content For Your Blog
5 votes, 4.40 avg. tacos (86% full)
  1. Great idea, Greg.

    When you rehash their responses into your blog post, do you paraphrase or place their quotes verbatim? Is there any worry of duplicate content?

    Thanks for the tips.

    • A bit of both Loren. Not concerned by dupe content though as the articles contain mix of direct quotes + other words to pad out the article to a decent length.

  2. Content that is King is the one that answers readers’ questions and offers solutions. Getting a great content for my blog is a way I provide solution to my readers and answer their questions, which is why I choose carefully how to do this. You’ve given great tips on this post already. Thank you!
    One interesting tool that helps me generate topic ideas fast and easy for my blog posts ( http://sg.serpstat.com/ ) . it’s worth a look – it suggests keywords in queries.

  3. Fantastic..!

    I have been seeing this for a long time, but have seen people “inspired” and written articles. But the simplest thing of linking back to the commenter is a great suggestion. Love that. It is time to try that on my own. Will report back if there’s anything interesting.

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