Feeding the Monster: Where to Get Content for Your Blog

The following is a guest post from FMF at Free Money Finance, a comprehensive personal finance blog that helps readers grow their net worth by making and saving money.

Let’s face it, having a blog or any other site that consistently needs updated content on a regular basis is like the plant in Little Shop of Horrors, constantly wanting to be fed. And while feeding the blog monster won’t cost anyone their life, keeping up with the regular demands of providing fresh content can certainly be a drain on even the most prolific blogger.

So where can you get content when you’re feeling a bit empty? Consider the following sources:

  • Commentators on your blog — I’ve had many readers leave such great comments on my site that I’ve known they could write a piece that my readers would love. I drop them a quick email and more times than not, I have a great piece for posting within a week or two.
  • Commentators on other blogs — The results above don’t have to be confined to your blog alone. How about contacting a good commenter from another blog you read and asking them for a piece? Or maybe even simply taking their comment and adding your own thoughts to it. In no time, it’s a piece worthy for posting.
  • Other bloggers — It’s a fact of life that smaller bloggers want to post on blogs bigger than theirs (case in point, me posting on JohnChow.com.) If you see regular bloggers from your niche commenting on or linking to your site, contact them and ask if they want to do a guest post. Many will jump at the chance.
  • Authors — Authors LOVE to offer book excerpts because such posts 1) encourage book sales and 2) cost them nothing in time and effort since the content already exists. Find a book that you like, then Google the publisher and/or track down the author. Offer to post some excerpts (even include what pages/subjects you like best) and see what happens. My experience is that most times they’ll agree, and often will provide enough material for many blog posts. The key: always tell them that you’ll link to their book’s product page at Amazon.com (or other bookseller.) A book sale is a win for you both if you have an affiliate program set up with the retailer.
  • Readers — Three or four times a year I make a general announcement to readers that I’m accepting guest posts. Since I get 7,000+ readers a day, you can imagine that this alone nets a good deal of response. In the end, I usually get 10-15 decent-quality posts from this method alone, freeing up much-needed time for me to market my blog or make tech changes that I haven’t had time to get to.
  • Anyone — After years of having guest posts, I finally developed a post on how to write a piece for Free Money Finance. I then linked it to the about section in my sidebar. Simply doing this, I’ve already received three pieces of content in the past month for almost no work at all. In addition, this post helps me with all other writers as well since I can point them to this post for details on my criteria for guest posts.
  • Twitter followers — I recently clicked through to someone who was following me at Twitter. A few clicks later I was at her website, saw that she was covering a topic my readers would love, so I dropped her a note. A couple emails back and forth and I had a piece I knew my readers would enjoy.

These are most of the ideas that have worked best for me, but there are probably more content creation suggestions you can add in the comments below. The point in all of these: we can defeat the constantly hungry blog monster with a little ingenuity and a bit of initiative!

Good blogging to you all!