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Content Really is King
It is every affiliate's wish to have unique site content absent of any re-write or editing restrictions, effectively content with an "open license." Many sources do exist for content that can't be changed, but there are very few sources which allow an affiliate to manipulate the article and make it unique and specific to their site(s). However, this trend could be changing in the near future.
There is a war between content sites and sites which purely provide product lists. Google, for the moment, has clearly indicated that sites providing unique content will prove victorious in the battle. This means affiliates who want to compete on Google need to have unique content for their sites or risk vanishing into that ever increasing special black hole Google seems to reserve for affiliates.
So where does an affiliate get unique content from? Some affiliates can write their own, but it's generally a minority that has the time or desire to do so. A few pay for content to be produced by freelance writers on networks such as Elance (www.elance.com) or by professional copy writing services such as InfoSearch Media (www.infosearchmedia.com).
Others are lucky enough to get content from their merchants. That is until the merchants realize that distributing their own content is only a short term gain for long term oblivion. The content's value is diluted and degraded due to being repeated and copied to a point where the merchant loses control of it. Affiliates absent of the gratuitous merchant turn to sites such as Ezine Articles (www.ezinearticles.com) and ARA Content (www.aracontent.com) where the content is free, but can't be edited or changed. In most cases, content provided from these sources must also retain links and/or credits to the author as well as the source site.
The obvious solution is to have merchants develop content specific to their affiliates, no credits required, no back links requested (well other than affiliate tracked and tagged ones that is), the right to edit, cut, slice, dice and the expressed permission to generally edit the content to make it unique.
The niche of "open license" content has but a few players in the arena. For example, Wikiepedia (www.wikipedia.org) while not a merchant, does allow articles to be re-written; however, this permission does come with a few strings attached as they apply a fair number of requirements in order to use the content. Various Affiliate Management firms now provide in "open license" house content development for their affiliates. These services should place them as leading contenders in the affiliate content arena. At the end of the day though, each individual affiliate still needs to sit down and work out how to make the content unique to them if they want to win their battle with Google.
Article can be used with permission of Chris Sanderson as long as the signature and in place links are left unchanged. Chris Sanderson is an Affiliate Marketing Manager based in Bangkok Thailand with AMWSO.com and the owner of Xaap.com.
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