Have you ever noticed that you continually encounter what seems like the same information in slightly different words? And, at other times, you could have sworn the article you’re reading came from another website by another author? Well, you may be encountering a PLR article.
What Are PLR Articles?
PLR stands for “Private Label Rights” and it is a huge part of internet marketing. In fact, it is, for some, the number one source of content for their blogging business. A PLR article is an article for which an author sells the rights to certain uses. Although there is no legal definition, this is known as a usage license. Sometimes, this usage license is quite broad. For example, many PLR articles give you permission to do anything, whatsoever, you would like with the article, including to resell it.
How do Bloggers Use PLR Articles?
A blogger may go to a PLR site, of which there are many examples. Let’s say our blogger wants to write some fitness equipment product reviews. He or she may possibly find single articles or packages of PLR articles of equipment reviews. If the license is very broad, as most are, he could simply post these articles exactly as they are on his website, inserting appropriate affiliate links. He can put in his own name as the author of the article, etc. Most licenses are broad enough that the content can even be used for commercial purposes. For example, you could put it in a book you plan to sell. Other licenses may be more restricted, but still quite adequate for a blogger’s need. PLR articles and packages are normally released for a limited number of customers so that they don’t end up in the hands of thousands. However, it is quite possible that something like 500 other people will also download the same material.
Look for the Content Needed (Easy)
So, when the blogger looks, he might easily find a PLR review article for Total Gym XLS. This is a good choice because it gets a high number of searches and is a popular item. Remember, the purpose is to make money, not to actually do the work of reviewing the product.
Change Up the Article a Little (Much Easier than Writing Your Own Article)
A smart blogger will then take this PLR article (most likely purchased as part of a package with other articles), and change it, to some extent, into his own words. He does this because he knows that other folks will be purchasing this article, and he doesn’t want to be posting what is basically duplicate content…especially not if he is claiming to have written it. It is much easier to change the wording of an article and reorganize it than it is to actually write one. This is especially true since our blogger would have needed access to an actual Total Gym XLS if he were to review one.
It would help if our blogger actually knew enough about fitness to be able to review such equipment from the standpoint of an expert. But, he doesn’t care much about being an expert…only being perceived as an expert or an authority.
Add Something Extra to the Article
Now, if our blogger is extra clever, he will add a few paragraphs to the article to further differentiate it from all the other iterations of the article. No problem, this is easily bullshitted. He still doesn’t need to know anything. In fact…he can simply go to somewhere like Amazon and see what other reviewers are saying, and just add some of that into his article. Or, he could put in a section for ‘what other reviewers are saying about the Total Gym XLS.”
Deliver the Content to You, The Reader
Let’s skip ahead. A review of the Total Gym XLS is posted on your blogger’s website. You come across it, because, again, this is a commonly searched subject. You may have been searching for home gym equipment, exercise equipment, or even for the Total Gym. The article will probably have all the appropriate keywords. This may not guarantee it will come up in a search, it does make it more likely. Just writing this it is going to appear as if I’m packing this article with keywords, but I assure you that the subject matter is too off-topic for there to be even a slim chance of a searcher finding it through these kinds of searches.
Searching is not the only way you might find the article. Perhaps you already follow the blog and you get an email notification about the new article. You just happened to be thinking about buying a home gym so this was “just what you needed.” Or perhaps the article appears on your Facebook feed, either because a friend liked or shared it, or Facebook shows it to you based on interest. There are many ways, in other words, for content to appear in front of the correct pair of eyes other than it being highly original. And these ways are often just the kind of thing that makes you say “oh, this is just what I was looking for.”
Well is it really? Is the article just what you were looking for? Well, if you were looking for an honest review from a knowledgeable blogger who actually has been in the same room with a Total Gym, perhaps not. But still, is it all bad? What is wrong with the blogger using a PLR article?
What is Wrong with PLR Content?
There is nothing necessarily wrong with it. I know, you thought I was going to say it was deplorable and completely dishonest. Well, it is a bit dishonest but our blogger did purchase the rights. He really can do what he wants with the content. And, hey, who cares as long as it is a good and accurate review. Oops..that is where the problem comes in.
Remember that he purchased this article from a dedicated PLR website. So, who wrote it? Well, some PLR sites actually just resell other PLR content, and they could care less who wrote it, let alone how accurate it is. Yes, some licenses will allow you to resell the content. If you can market your website well enough and get enough customers, you might be able to make some fairly good money from an article that cost you, perhaps, 5 bucks. Or, an article that came as a package where you paid even less per article. You can usually spot these types of PLR sites.
Other PLR sites sell content that they generate. Sometimes only one person is behind all of it. Sometimes several. In order to be successful, they have to generate content for a great many needs. The question is, are they experts or even highly knowledgeable about the subject domain? Most probably not. Most of the information in PLR article is based on what will be the most searched and the most popular, not on how factual the information is.
Chances are very, very good that the person who originally wrote this Total Gym XLS review that our blogger purchased and then posted on his website never actually used a total gym. And, there is a reason that our blogger found this article and not some other product review. The Total Gym, as I already mentioned, is a popular search (perhaps too popular and already saturated), and a good seller. PLR sites would not bother doing reviews of esoteric brands of fitness equipment that never get searches on Google. They also have a need for their articles to convert. Product review PLR articles are aimed mostly at affiliate bloggers. If they purchase a bunch of product reviews that utterly fail to convert (assuming they receive traffic, a more complex consideration), they aren’t likely to purchase from this supplier again. Having a product review convert may not be the same as having it be honest and accurate. Still, to be completely honest, blogger product reviews do not usually have to convince the reader to buy, only get them in the door to the sales site, which does most of the heavy lifting. That is, it is a consideration but reviewing a product is not the same as selling one.
Can You Write Product Reviews Without Ever Using the Product?
It is not that difficult to write product reviews without using the product. It is done all the time. Go find yourself a website that posts nothing but reviews of stand mixers, or something like that, and then ask yourself if you think it is likely this person has a storage room full of stand mixers. That’s correct, you can write a product review based on some basic skills at writing reviews and some research. This is not to say that all blogs that do a lot of product reviews are fake. Nothing of the sort. A clue, though, is that they post all sorts of other stuff about their niche that are not all reviews, and, as well, they tend to make it clear when they are reviewing a product they have actually used versus just discussing a product, and perhaps asking for their commenters opinions.
Generating Large Amounts of Content
Bloggers these days don’t just write posts on their blogs and leave it at that. They have a need for content for their blog, for their eBooks, for their Social Media posts, for their videos, for their online webinars, etc. They can purchase all of these through PLR sites! For example, a blogger might purchase a Newsletter Package. This package may have something for them to send out in their newsletter once a week for several months. This is a part of the blogging world, especially the part of it that refers to itself as ‘marketing blogs.’
Can PLR Be Used for Good?
It is possible for a blogger to find great value in PLR content and still be quite honest and scrupulous. A writer has a need for ideas and lots of them. Well, PLR content could be used as an idea-generating device. Even if the info is incorrect, it could be useful to have an example of just the sort of misinformation that the writer needs to counter! PLR’s are great examples of this. In fact, I came across a PLR article about coffee once, and from the sample, I knew it was all going to be dead wrong. I actually purchased it! It gave me a great model for the mistaken beliefs about this aspect of coffee. And after confirming that these beliefs did seem to be commonplace, if not the absolute norm, I ended up writing a very in-depth article refuting all the misinformation and giving the straight dope plus a lot of scientific information. So, this article was useful, if for no other reason than to direct my thoughts. But the article required a lot of hard work and research, and, admittedly, I would not find it worth my time, or money, to hunt up PLR articles and pay for them specifically for this purpose.
Still, many bloggers who are really authorities in their domain may use PLR content but add a lot of their own information to it, and perhaps remove incorrect bits. They may view it as a kind of content skeleton for them to flesh out. Some of these people are basically running a business and they like to use anything they can to make the process of content creation more efficient. However, it is doubtful that any but a few actually use PLR in this way.
Some PLR Content is Better Than Others
Not all PLR content is created equally. For example, a food blogger could certainly use PLR content for their website. Such content may come in the form of recipes complete beautiful food photos. Maybe the food blogger actually tests out the recipe or they don’t, but chances are it’s a good recipe. Why? Because a PLR site selling recipe content with bad recipes or recipes that don’t work will quickly find itself without clients. Our food blogger has followers, and those followers expect the recipes to be great. A flood of negative comments about how the dish tasted terrible, the instruction didn’t work, etc. would quickly dissuade the blogger from purchasing materials from the same PLR site in the future.
Other types of content, however, don’t have as many quality restrictions. Not many people would buy a Total Gym XLS based on a review, find that it didn’t fit their needs, and then go back to the website and blame the blogger and expect them to supply a refund. After all, nobody can make you purchase a product. You should be diligent and purchase at your own discretion. As well, and perhaps just as importantly, many people purchase home exercise equipment but only use it for a few weeks and then stop.
When someone purchases a home gym, or a treadmill, gets all excited, sets it up and goes to town with it, only to find it collecting dust or serving as a coat hanger a few months later, they usually blame themselves unless the equipment was downright defective. Few will consider the possibility that they stopped using the equipment because it was not a good fit for them, perhaps due to the nature of the exercise they could and could not do on it. Only very experienced people will realize this. Others, by the time they do realize that, yes, it was just not the right fit, have forgotten all about some review they read about the equipment before they bought it. In other words, it is not necessary to assure readers that the equipment is “just what they need.” They will often do this part for you. As long as you know it is of decent quality and will do what it is designed to do, without falling apart after a couple of uses, you’re probably safe.
Given that, you might assume that it is possible to find reviews of fitness equipment that actually inform you of it’s limited, drawbacks, etc. A more knowledgeable person might tell you, for example, that is you have any inkling of becoming very strong, the Total Gym is not the right product!
Before we move one, I’d like to point out that I do not think the Total Gym is a bad piece of equipment. I actually had a precursor the Total Gym when I was young, and for general resistance training, it was a fun and effective machine. It could be awkward at times, and it had its drawbacks but I can see why many people would like it very much.
Fitness PLR Articles For Every Niche
Fitness equipment reviews, of course, are only one small part of PLR fitness articles. There are articles (and eBooks) about fat loss, general fitness, weight lifting, bodybuilding, health-related fitness subjects, and many other domains. A search turned up the following packages, in no particular order:
- Exercising on a Budget
- 5 Tips For Exercising On A Budget
- 5 Tips For Building A Fitness Budget
- Top 5 Low-Cost Cardio Exercises
- Top 5 No Equipment Muscle Building Exercises
- Top 5 Sources Of Low-Cost Fitness Equipment
- The Ultimate Muscle Building Diet (mixed content)
- Sleep and Health
- How Much Sleep Do You Need For Good Health?
- The Health Benefits Of Sleep
- The Disadvantages Of Not Getting Enough Sleep
- How To Boost Your Sleep Quality
- Top 5 Sleep Trackers
- 10 New Year Fitness Tips
- New Year Fitness Tip 1 – Decide What You Want To Achieve = 280 words
- New Year Fitness Tip 2 – Consult An Expert = 329 words
- New Year Fitness Tip 3 – Have Fun = 352 words
- New Year Fitness Tip 4 – Fill Up On Water = 332 words
- New Year Fitness Tip 5 – Get Other People Involved = 311 words
- New Year Fitness Tip 6 – Improve Your Diet = 308 words
- New Year Fitness Tip 7 – Boost Your Sleep Quality = 331 words
- New Year Fitness Tip 8 – Don’t Over Train = 297 words
- New Year Fitness Tip 9 – Use Fitness Rewards = 326 words
- New Year Fitness Tip 10 – Don’t Dwell On The Negatives = 414 words
All of the above came from the same website. And there were hundreds more. Do you notice something? Is it that you’ve seen it all before? Did you also notice that we have a mix of ever-green and trendy? Sleep, for example, is kind of trendy right now. Who would have guessed?
Have you seen stuff like this popping up on your Social Media news feed, being enthusiastically shared by hundreds of people? No, perhaps it wasn’t these particular pieces of content, but other similar pieces that went through the cycle before being retired and then brought out again with a revamp. Make no mistake, the information may be nothing spectacular or even correct, but it is delivered in a way that works.
PLR Websites in a Box
Now, look at the promises on this health and fitness PLR sales page. Sounds like an instant website in a box, doesn’t it? Why yes, that is exactly what it is. In fact, it is possible to purchase a kit that includes not only a bunch of articles, but also a WordPress theme, images, and everything else you need to monetize the site. It is even possible for this to all be automated, so that your new website is pre-populated with the posts, etc. Although not many would think it was smart to purchase an entire website in a box, it is an example of how far the PLR world goes.
Does it sound like I am trying to imply that a whole lot of the so-called fitness information is recycled, regurgitated PLR content? I’m not implying it. I’m saying it. It is something you should be aware of. I cannot tell you that using PLR content is absolutely wrong. Much depends on how it is used, and as I’ve already pointed out, the quality of the content in the first place. Different niches have different needs. So, as mentioned, while bad PLR recipes would probably not work, PLR articles on fitness and health, which is full of so much uncertainty, enjoys a lot of freedom. When it comes to product reviews or any other ways that products are brought to your attention, remember to do your own research, read more than one review, and, you know…exercise due diligence, before you purchase. For more general fitness and health information, seek out other sources of the same subject, and see how what you read fits in with what others are saying, or not saying. If all else fails: buy a good, informative, book. I could give you a link to a few!