I’ve come across a few companies that are considering, or actually using, purchased articles for their newsletters.
I’m not talking about hiring someone to write unique articles for you. I’m talking about purchasing articles from a library that other companies can also purchase from.
I get why they’re doing it. Creating original content takes a lot of strategic thinking and mental effort. It can be challenging for ultra-busy teams to figure out a process to create their own stuff. What do you write about? Who’s going to write it? Who’s got time?
Having a library of content to choose from is fast and simple. However, there are definitely some important considerations before you jump into a plan like that.
You Can’t Use the Purchased Articles on Your Blog
If you purchase newsletter articles from a community library, you can’t post them on your blog. Well, you can if you want, but it can do more harm than good.
One of the main reasons to have articles is to put them on your blog to increase SEO mojo (search rankings), and promote them out on social media to drive people back to your website.
The problem with purchasing duplicate content is that it doesn’t count for SEO at all. Google ignores it, and your search rankings may actually go down if you have it on your website. Google has rules against stuff like that.
So, if you want to get found on search engines and create conversations on social media, you have to create original content for your website and blog anyway.
You Don’t Showcase Your Own Expertise
If I’m considering doing business with a company, I want to hear from them. What they think, what they’ve experienced, their philosophies, their successes. I want to get to know them, and I can’t do that if they don’t create their own unique thought leadership.
You Lose Credibility and Subscribers
So, if you’re pushing out articles that aren’t really aligned with what your prospects and customers want to know about, they’re going to to tune you out. You already will lose 25% of your database to attrition (unsubscribes and bounces), and if you’re emails aren’t AWESOME you’ll lose a lot more than that.
One newsletter I get from a company sends out cookie cutter articles, and they have nothing at all to do with anything about the company or industry. They’re just random articles. It’s kind of weird.
It makes me feel like the company doesn’t care about me at all. If I open a newsletter from a company and say "Huh? Why does this matter?" that’s a huge disconnect between the sender and reader.
Plus, imagine this: What if your customer was getting your newsletter and one of your competitor’s newsletters, and they got the same article from both newsletters. Boy, wouldn’t that be embarrassing!
You Have Less Control Over the Topics
Personally, I write articles to use as a sales and prospecting tool. It’s a way for me to help my prospects understand where I’m coming from and why I suggest the things I do.
I listen to my prospects and customers questions, concerns, and issues, and try and write articles that will help them be better at their jobs.
There may be some good articles in the community library, but you minimize your ability to be responsive to your unique audience.
Well, I guess you can tell how I feel about purchasing newsletter articles. Maybe it’s the easiest solution, but is it worth it in the long run?