Niche Website Content – Our Process And Providers For Site Content
We’ve had some questions about content recently and I wanted to give an in-depth article regarding the different styles of content we have written for our sites. When first starting out, it was my thought that we wanted less-than-stellar content so that readers would be less than impressed and might be more likely to click to find more information. While that may be true, you’re also more likely to have searchers back out from your site and you won’t get some of the long-tail traffic that will get the searchers there in the first place. Over the last few weeks we’ve tested out various content strategies and sources for content and I wanted to share with you what we’ve found and give you some ideas for having your content written as well.
Process For Ordering Content
When we started ordering niche website content, Fiverr was our primary source due to a tremendously low price point. Since then, we’ve ordered almost 2,000 gigs from Fiverr! We also liked the fact that if you’re ordering from Fiverr, you’re getting multiple writers which will vary the style and quality of the content. When we passed this responsibility on to our Content Manager role we added many of the steps that Joe and I had neglected a bit when we were still ordering the content ourselves. They the ran with it and did a much better job than we were able to do with it, actually. They’re quite militant with the writers and very strict on what they’ll accept! Here are the steps in their process:
- Primary keyword and long tails are ready to go – This is party of our keyword research. All content being ordered (Whether the primary article for the site or one of the secondary articles) has a Primary keyword and at least 3 long tail keywords to target.
- Order from Fiverr – Log into Fiverr and go to our regular content providers and order the content using the proper script, depending on whether it’s primary or secondary content. (We give our content writers and script away to those subscribed to our email list, check it out here!)
- Record the order – Log the Fiverr order number in the Google Doc for quick reference and so we can follow up if the order is taking too long, has been cancelled by seller, etc.
- Login to Fiverr and download the file
- Check for duplicate content via Copyscape via paid account – It’s important to note that you should put sections or paragraphs into Copyscape at one time rather than the entire article…you’re more likely to find duplicates this way
- Check grammar and spelling – Our Content Managers are much better writers than the average writers on Fiverr and can quickly make a few edits to the document to improve the overall quality
- Check keyword density – We currently look for the primary keyword to be mentioned once per 100 words or more and the long tails once or twice per article
- Check snippets of the content via exact match Google search – They’ll take 6-10 word strings in the content and search in quotations for those snippets online. This is a more thorough check for duplicate content than Copyscape
- Check for “natural language” in the article – They’re trained to look for content like, “You probably won’t find a better ____ than this. Many people rave about this ____ online because the quality is unmatched. You can pick up a _____ for cheap at your local store or even with many online retailers…” This will NOT cut it. If the article is about curling irons, for example, it should read more like, “Make sure you consider the quality of the curling iron before purchase. If you go with one of the cheaper brands, it’s more likely to damage dry hair, or create that unmanageable frizz that everyone hates…”
- Save the content and mark it ready to go in the Google Doc – Once this step is complete, another agent will see that it’s done and ready to be uploaded to WordPress.
- Advantages: Plenty of writers and writing styles to choose from, CHEAP, can work directly with the writers to get the content you want
- Disadvantages: Relatively low delivery rate, quality of content can vary significantly, more difficult to track orders
- Price: $5 for primary articles and around $2 on average for secondary articles
- Your Time: When factoring in non-delivery, it’s around 45 minutes per order, so around 2 hours 15 minutes per site
- Delivery: Anywhere from 2 days to 14 days, depending on whether content is delivered
- Advantages: Higher quality articles on average, various pricing levels depending on content needed, can count on delivery, pretty cheap
- Disadvantages: No ordering “system” and have to order via email, slight edits needed, limited capability
- Price: Anywhere from $0.68 to $3.49 per 100 words. We ordered 500 word “Keyword Optimized” articles for $5.00 each
- Your Time: Around 15 minutes per piece of content, or 1 hour 15 minutes per site
- Delivery: Anywhere from 3-5 days, depending on how much content is ordered
- Advantages: VERY well written content, easy to use system (after you sign up and get the hang of it), lightning fast delivery, built-in keyword density tool
- Disadvantages: Awfully expensive, keyword density tool doesn’t work with our current “system” (we want our primary listed once per 100 words at least and long tails once or twice each post…the keyword density will apply similarly for any keyword you put in)
- Price: Expensive. Right a $8.00 for a 500 word article for 3-Star content and $15.40 for a 700 word article from a 4-Star writer
- Your time: Around 10 minutes per piece of content, or 50 minutes per site
- Delivery: Very quick, 90% of articles delivered within 48 hours, with the rest at around 3 days
Great detailed article Justin!
Hi , i was thinking where to get my article for site as a Pillar post, which do you recommend fivver or textbroker
Just created my first site based on your model. I was able to land 10 domains with SEO values of 319 to 16 dollars but several ar very closley related. My question is, can you use spun versions of the same article on different sites. Also can you use spun versions of content articles to create back links? FYI love the podcast.
We highly recommend against using spun content. Pay for 100% original articles of high quality and you will rank for low competition keywords without link building.
Iwriter is way better then any of the above mentioned services (in my opinion anyway.) The article turn-around time is really really fast – most get written within 2 to 5 hours of ordering them. AND you can reject them and resubmit them if you don’t like them.
you can also order the level of writing you want done. I always do the mid level ($5 for 500 word article) and i get really good content for that amount. I don’t trust the entry level writers ($4 for 500 word article) but haven’t actually tried them. And I think the mid level is good enough that I don’t bother with the high level writers (I think its $7 per 500 word but not sure).
I ordered articles from Fivver once when I first started outsourcing and hated that I had to wait for 5 days.
I mostly agree with you, although I’d say that the quality level of content from Textbroker at the higher end is significantly better than the content you get from iWriter at their higher end. iWriter is probably the best value for money that we’re using. We’ve used (and still do) use Fiverr, only because of our low-cost outsourcing agents that do the ordering/editing.
This post was written quite some time ago, though. We did a more updated podcast on content where we definitely discuss iWriter, and we refer to them quite a bit in our latest guide…
Any comment on iWriter and MyArticleExpress? Have you tried them at all?
Ack…yes…thanks for bringing it up, Brian. BIG fan of iWriter and we use them regularly for primary and secondary content for the niche sites. Never did try MyArticleExpress so can’t comment there…
I am a seasoned writer with over nine years experience in freelance writing. I can do the tasks at the quoted rate delivering at least 10 400 words articles daily.
Hi guys, great site and system you have going on here. I’ve just spent all day on here!
One thing I’m trying to work out though, what process do you use to decide on the keywords to target for the secondary pages?
We allow our content people to select two secondaries based on relevance — what they feel is most appropriate. The other two are based on search volume, but still have to be somewhat related to the primary keyword.
Thanks for reviewing our service! We just recently updated our keyword counter function, and now you can set keyword density for each keyword, and it will work with your current keyword requirements.
If there’s anything else we can improve for you, please let me know.
Wow…a little love from TextBroker…awesome! 🙂
We really like you guys for content providers. You have a nice/clean system, but for our niche sites your content is a bit more high end. Still, very happy with the content we received back from you guys. Have been talking to quite a few people that write content about using your content as an arbitrage and just editing for their needs…
Thanks for stopping by, Christina!
I haven’t really tried Fiverr in terms of content creation, but I see how having the Fiverr UI would be a benefit for tracking and researching providers.
The price can definitely be right with Fiverr. The problem is that you have writers “bail out” of creating the content on a regular basis. You have to find writers/providers that are good and trustworthy and try to stick with them the best you can…that seems to be the best approach.
Yep, you definitely need to take care of the writers you trust. Over the past few months i’ve developed a good relationship with some decent writers….I just have to get some capital to put them to use! Til then, i’m the writing team!
Hi, you mentioned that you give your content writers and script to your email subscribers. I’ve been following your site and have gone through the blueprint pdf. Did I miss an email with that info? It would be very helpful!
Not sure what happened there…just sent it to your email…hope that helps!
Hello, I recently subscribed as well and couldn’t find the email or location for the script and content writers on fiverr either?
It will usually come after a series of emails. Let us know if you still didn’t get it.
for copyscape checking, you may want to try plagiarisma.net
Let me know your results versus copyscape – as this is a free service and im curious on how effective it is…
Also, no comments on scriptlancer projects, admittedly it is like winning the lottery. However the prices are more in line with the second tier article rates Justin mentioned.
Someone mentioned us in a previous comment, we do offer content at $0.01/word and have the infrastructure to handle hundreds of article orders simultaneously – and have an advanced ordering system to facilitate bulk ordering.
I noticed that you use nice looking stock images on all of your articles. Where do you get these at?
Are you talking about this site? Our agents search out and add some of the photos for us. I know that we have an account with iStockPhoto and there are some other free photo sites out there to choose from. Additionally, some of the photos are pictures we took ourselves, obviously.
has anyone used iWriter.com service. its pretty cheap
Hi Brian. I signed up for iWriter last week and had 5 articles done….mixed results, but what’s cool is that you can just reject the article if you don’t like it and get another writer to do it. The price is good, I’ve had a few excellent 450-500 word articles done….the only thing I didn’t like is the turnaround time. It was very inconsistent….so for now I’m sticking with The Content Authority because quality and price has been good and turnaround time excellent. Hope that helps.
I really like the UI from iWriter.com, but it doesn’t look like they support a very large volume at this point, unfortunately. I’d like to set something up like iWriter…even if we just used it for personal use or for the use of our readers…would be cool.
Shae, Thanks so much for the feedback about The Content Authority! We definitely strive to provide quality content at a reasonable price with excellent delivery and service! Thanks again!
What do you guys do for backlinking and ranking your sites? i.e. do you order fiverr gigs or use some software, etc?
Check out our post on backlinking strategies here:
Great information. I have used Fiverr in the past, but found their writing inadequate for what I needed. Too many errors to correct. To much of a gamble. I’ve recently been testing out http://www.contentwriters.us their price is .01 per word and are premium copyscaped verified or rewritten for free.
Thanks again for your great post.
Thanks for this list guys. I made all the content for my first niche site myself and while gratifying to do so…it took ages and was time I could have spent doing SEO etc. As a result it has taken me much longer to get the site up and running.
While working on my 2nd I used Fiverr quite a lot and agree that the quality vaires, though for the pricing you cannot argue!
Now I am working on a 3rd one and taking so many of the lessons I have learned. I’m jsut about to trial text broker for a few of the more ‘pillar content’ articles that I need to launch but I may look into the others you mentioned here.
It’s great you did the content yourself to start…it gives you a good appreciation for having someone else write it the next time around! Fiverr is ok as long as you edit the content as it comes in, check for spun/copied content, etc. Text broker has some pretty good writers…I’m sure it will turn out pretty nicely for you.
Justin, I actually have been using Fiverr myself to find writers for two new niche sites of mine. I agree that the quality varies, but for the price, I’m willing to take the risk. I was previously finding writers on Digital Point Forums, and the content was usually horrible.
Anyways, I just read a whole bunch of your recent blog posts, and I’m definitely going to be back here regularly. Reason I say this is that, though I have been into internet marketing since I was 14 years old (I’m 19 now), I never was big on Adsense. Kid you not, it took me 5 years to get over the whole “get rich quick online” mentality. I did make a good amount of money in those 5 years, but nothing consistent, and definitely nothing that made me rich.
I’ve now come to the conclusion that it really is possible to make $xx,xxx a month (btw, congrats on hitting $10,000 this month!), but it takes time. My plan is to build 1 niche site, every week to start, and I will up that once I have more capital.
I look forward to learning a lot from you; you seem to know you’re stuff well!
Wow, Ben, thanks for stopping by and we hope to see you around quite a bit! We originally started this site to just kind of share our journey, but what we’re finding, selfishly, is that we’re bringing people together that can help us with a wide variety of knowledge regarding IM…really cool!
Our July income report was pretty awesome, but just wait for what we have in store for August (and I’m hoping) September. This project is now the biggest “client” we have for our small company and continuing to grow…we’re really excited. I think if people dispense with the tricks, focus on unique content, and stop trying to trick the search engines, this can be an actual business plan.
Anyway, great to have you join us. Do check in and let us know how it’s going!
Ahhh didn’t realize it was $7.50 for the decent content. My bad on that. Congrats on another great sale today, your best yet I believe.. 27x the monthly revenue! I gotta start selling some sites and getting that credibility up! 🙂
No worries, Ethan…might give them a shot on Primary content anyway…or content for “Authority Sites” we’re testing.
27X…not too bad, right? Cool thing is the buyer’s a reader and has been following our progress a bit…sweet! He’ll be getting the discount, bonus content, etc. I think he’s new Flippa, so we’ll be gently walking through the transfer process…not sure if he’s new to niche sites or not.
To be honest, an ideal buyer for us is someone who’s built a few niche sites before for himself/herself and knows the process, but has more money than time and is willing to invest. That way they’ve gone through the process themselves, made a few mistakes, but have a general understanding of how it works and is ready to start loading them up, you know?
We’ve had two or three buyers so far that were pretty IM and SEO savvy which makes the sale/transfer a breeze, but it’s fun working with those that are new and excited for their new sites, hehe.
Have you tested thecontentauthority.com? Heard some good things, price seems right and heard there turnaround time is 12-24 hours. Might be worth a small sample order. I currently use Kapsco1 (a guy on fiverr) he does 2 425 word articles.. they come out pretty good. What I like to do, is have him write 3 articles, each of about 285 words (they end up being 300-320 each) and that’s all for 5 bucks! haven’t been able to beat the quality for price yet, freelancer is very cheap but I find myself editing almost everyones work I have tested. Okay, gonna stamp rambling. Always love your posts.
I’ve heard of them but never used them. Looking at their site, it looks like their cheapest content is $5.00 per 500 words…that’s priced right for our Primary articles but too much for secondary articles. They do mention that that price, though, it’s best used for article directories. They want $7.50 for website content that’s decent…at that price, I think I’d stick with TextBroker, probably.
Still, though, the more resources the merrier!
By the way…we’ve used Kapsco a TON of times as well…he’s delivered quite a bit of content for us, heh.
Hey Ethan and Justin…I use the Content Authority and I’m very pleased with the work they do — both on original content and rewrites. I’m usually doing articles between 450-550 words.
Justin….fantastic blog here. This is my second time visiting and first time commenting 🙂 I have several niche sites and more under development. .
Hey Justin! I found Adsense Flippers via Spencer’s blog and have been lurking up till now (and honestly, don’t know how I missed this post but glad I got the newsletter this morning).
While I’m just starting out, I’ve already been doing some testing of my own with regards to content providers. Personally, one of my biggest criteria is delivery time as time spent sitting is time the site is not aging (and essentially making more money and becoming more valuable). With this in mind, I too love Textbroker’s turnaround time. Personally, I’ve been receiving articles in about 24 hours. That’s their upside. The down side, as you mention, is the cost. Since we need to think in terms of hundreds (if not ultimately thousands) of sites, lowering the cost per site has become my #1 concern.
It is for this reason that I have abandoned Textbroker. Even at $8 for a 3 star article, that represents a 60% increase in cost over a $5 option. The cost of a 4 star is plain nonsense for our needs.
With this in mind, I have started testing other options. Right now, I am using 99centarticles.com. The cost per article is fantastic and the quality seems in line with Textbroker. Of course the down side is turn around time, they ask for up to 14 days (ugh!). Now, you can order very large quantities of articles at once and I believe you can have them spread the order out over an extended time, getting a preset number of articles per week. This also pushes the cost per down even lower. I think their lowest tier is $4.32 per but that is for 500 articles. Anyway, if you are interested in checking them out, use the link from their WSO at:
This gets the pricing I mentioned above.
So, my question for you guys… What is your cost per site and how much of a priority do you place on controlling this cost? Would you be willing to break out your costs in line item form (or have you done this in the past and I missed it)?
Thanks again for sharing!
Hey Dave…great to have you and thanks for joining the conversation!
Totally agree with you regarding TextBroker on all accounts. With the bit of content I’ve ordered from them now, though, it does seem that I’m getting more long-tail searches with their content…but that’s anecdotal…I haven’t really tested it.
I HAVE used 99centarticles before, actually…a while back. I used their article writing + submission service that they offer. (I think it was for 10 or 20 articles? Can’t remember)
Anyway, it did take a LONG time. I waited like 2.5 weeks to hear back as I didn’t want to rush them and thought I’d let them work it out. When they didn’t I contacted them. They worked it out, but it didn’t seem to me that it would have gotten done without my following up. As I’m quite busy, I don’t always have the time to follow up on these types of things and I just expect them to be done. (I was doing this personally as it was a test)
Andrew asked us on the June Income Report about the breakdown in the comments and we answered there, but i can copy/paste it here as well:
I’d also like to point out that we’re testing some backlinking strategies that will push the cost up to around $50 per site. The big question is whether or not it’s worth it, right? Fairly hard to determine…ugh…
Really appreciate you guys sharing like this. I wanted to give you a couple other tips for content. I actually run a content service (I’m full right now, so I’m not trying to sell you anything), but for “adsense” content here’s what I do.
I have writers in the Philippines write an article (typically I can get readable content for about $2), then I pay an editor in the US $1.50 to spiff it up. It’s absolutely the best way I’ve found to get decent content at a decent rate.
The trouble is to produce in volume you end up managing a pretty large team. I’m starting to use my VA for that, but we’ll see how it goes.
Just wanted to throw that out there.
FYI you guys inspired me to expand my adsense operation. I’ve got about 80 domains in production. It’s way more work to do this on a large scale than I anticipated.
Hey Paul, excellent tip!
If we were staffing up writers ourselves this is EXACTLY how we’d do it as well…in fact, we know other content houses and teams that run it this way.
We started with a couple of staff writers on the project and ultimately promoted them to Content Managers. The idea was that we didn’t want this quickly becoming a largely in-house staffed team…we figured we could give up a little by outsourcing the content, but it keeps the team tighter and, honestly, managing people is just more of a pain.
This may change in the future if we’re not able to keep up with the price and volume of content we need, but for now we’re happy to have less staff and simply use outsourced content for the most part. Our in-house writers are the best we could find, so they do a pretty good job of editing so far. Having an American editing would be ideal, though.
I’ve used Fiverr as well. After I receive my product, I run it thru grammerly.com. The grammar gets check and the copy gets checked for duplicates.
But lately I been going with textbroker.com.
Cool…had never heard of Grammarly.com before. I really like TextBroker, but not such a fan of their pricing for our secondary content. That being said, I “trust” their content to be unique and their use of LSI is quite good, I think.
I just started using Grammarly.com last night. Does anyone else use this to spruce up their outsourced articles? It seems to be an incredibly useful tool for a one man show (I have very little time as it is) and anything that will point out the errors right off the bat as well as check for plagiarism is worth $20/month in my book.
Has anyone found this service as valuable as I perceive it?
I was just checking your sites, and it seems you use Bluesense theme on every site. Have you tried other themes to check if you get a higher CTR?
It’s actually the ProSense Blue theme (Joe calls it BlueSense all the time too, hehe)
We’ve tested the Heatmap theme, ProSense Gray, Clickbump Theme, and CTR Theme. Too be honest, we didn’t find a noticeable difference. Honestly, if you’re using any of the AdSense-ready templates that are available and follow best practices, you’re going to be fine. What we’ve found is that it’s the NICHE that is going to make the biggest difference in CTR, not the theme.
That being said, CTR Theme has a pretty nice back-end and is worth a look.
Yes I frequent Spencer’s blog a lot 🙂
I suppose fiverr will have to do for now 😛
Do you have a spreadsheet template which you are able to share for keeping track of orders better?
Yes, I remember you from your picture. If I remember right, you went into a fairly detailed explanation about something or other that I was impressed with, heh.
We do have a spreadsheet template we use for account management…I think we’re going to do a post about it in the next several days or so. It’s a bit long/detailed so it will have to come with some explanation, I think.
Ah yes, my explanation on assets and diversification. Im glad you enjoyed it, its certainly one of my better posts 🙂
I look forward to the post talk again soon.
I think im at the same point you are Justin – in need of a fiverr priced system which offers better quality articles.
I have heard lots about one service that may fit the bill but Iv not gotten around to use them yet. Perhaps you could do some testing and come back and give some feedback.
Its called: http://www.needanarticle.com
Prices are in between fiverr and textbroker and it seems to have textbroker like UI and quality.
I’ve seen you around…on NichePursuits and WF maybe?
Anyway, I’m taking a look now. It looks like their pricing is more in-line with what we would pay for a “Primary” article. That’s good…it always helps to have another source…but we’re in need of Secondary articles at $2-$3 each for 400 words.
I really like the IWriter.com site, but they don’t have enough writers there yet, it seems. I liked it so much I was thinking maybe we could purchase even if just for personal use…but I did some quick research and saw that the domain itself sold for just under 10K recently….ugh!
I feel like I’m often looking for interesting things to read about a variety of niches, but I manage to include your blog among my reads every day because you have compelling entries that I look forward to. Here’s hoping there’s a lot more top-notch material coming!
Glad you like Nelson. Funny, now my articles have been delayed….wonder why? 🙂 Thanks for the good read today.
Sorry to let the cat out of the bag, Kevin! lol
Him and his team are pretty good, though. The quality isn’t quite as high as TextBroker, but the price is definitely right! I think, of the three, he’s offering the best value right now.
have you looked at http://www.iwriter.com
I only found them today, it looks promising, worth a test!
We had an account with them…I guess I must have signed up previously? Anyway, I like the design/ease of the site, looks pretty cool! When you get inside, though, you’ll see they have very few projects and even fewer writers, unfortunately. I do hope it takes off…I’d like to work with them there…but I’m not sure they’ll be able to meet our needs yet.
Great article. That’s great to know that I can spot a copy by running each paragraph through copyscape and running a couple random snippets through google in quotes. That shouldn’t be too difficult. The challenge I think comes from the grey area of “natural language” or “filler” garbage. Every article is going to have some of this, but where do you draw the line? Do you look for a certain number of specific and factual information? How do you handle it when you receive an article that has been copied or slightly rewritten from a PLR article? How do you handle it when there is too much filler? Do you send it back for rewriting? How does that conversation go? I am lucky enough to have someone I personally know writing all my articles, however, she’s at capacity, so I’ve been thinking about making her more like a content manager and reviewing/cleaning up outsourced articles. Good timing.
Yes, that should handle most of the duplicate content issues and, you’re right, making sure you’re not getting the filler articles is a bit of a trick, isn’t it. I refer to them as the “…___…” articles.
I tell the crew that if you could fill in the keywords with totally opposite products and change just a word or two around and it would still make sense, that’s crap content. Still…sometimes you’ll get well written crap content and that makes it kind of tough…I think we had a case of that today when they were asking me to take a look and even I wasn’t sure.
I just found yall’s site a few days ago and it has really inspired me to ramp up my efforts. I’ve been creating all the content for my sites which I believe is where I spend most my time. Also I started using BlueSense back in July and it did increase my CTR. I’m not going for the 6 page sites, but rather 50-100 page sites.
Anyway, what has been holding me up the most is writing the content. I’m on a shoestring budget and by trying to save a nickel I’m only creating about a site per 6 weeks.
One last thing: Have you considered using Genesis or Thesis framework? I’ve been surpassed by a few sites recently and they all use one or the other. October 14th was a bad day.
Thanks for all this great information!
Hey Michael…great to hear!
How has BlueSense worked out for you? I know others that swear by that theme, but we haven’t used it yet.
With the amount of content you’re attempting to put on each site, I understand why it would be a bear to create many sites…but hopefully, each of your sites has higher or larger earning potential on average to make it worth it. If not, you might want to consider smaller sites until you find one or two that you think we do well with a ton of content.
In your situation, it might make more sense to outsource the content writing and just edit it yourself. You end up paying more, but you can get quite a few more sites out that way. Of course, you’ll want to have a proven model up and running first if you’re going to be adding that additional spend on the content.
I’m familiar with Thesis but we’re not currently using it. We have a WooThemes subscription and use them for any of our larger sites currently…but I know others doing what we’re doing that have built off Thesis.
One more vote for The Content Authority. They take instructions quite well and the ordering system is quite easy to use. Best quality I’ve had for $5 articles – fast delivery plus grammar and spelling free from error. The best value for me so far compared to textbroker, fiverr, elance and WF.
Thanks El Chong!