Building an online presence for your business can be time consuming and, let’s face it, costly. After purchasing a domain name, signing up for one of the top web hosting services, and designing your site, you still need to fill it with content.
After all, engaging, high-quality content is ultimately what will keep visitors coming back to your website and becoming loyal customers. Pay to license or create pictures, videos, writing, etc. can be prohibitive for many small businesses. But luckily, there are plenty of resources you can use to fill your site up and keep it up to date.
Before we dive into how to get this free content, we need to point out a few important caveats. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for with online content – the pictures, videos, and writings you get for free usually won’t look as good as what you might pay for.
It is also essential to make sure that whatever you use is legally allowed to be reused. Using content without permission can put your website and business in hot water very quickly. With these points in mind, here are six ways to get free website content to build your site.
1. Free items
Want to add a blog to your website to boost your SEO? The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to create all of your own content from scratch. There are plenty of free articles online that you can reuse for free, written by people who just want to get their work out to the world.
There are a number of sites that anyone who wants to see their work published can visit. EzineArticles is one of the largest databases of articles available for free, with over half a million authors contributing to the work of the site. The topics covered vary widely – anyone can write about the niche topic they are most interested in – so you should have no problem finding content that matches your website’s theme.
If you need more content, check out these five sites where editors frequently add fresh, free content:
- Amazines, which sports articles on a wide selection of subjects
- Sphere article, which you can use to create an RSS feed on your website
- ItemCity, which offers very high quality articles
- Articles Factory, which focuses on technical writing
2. Free charts
Images and graphics are essential in making your site visually appealing to visitors. While you might not be able to get the photo you want to put on your homepage for free, you can turn to free images to inexpensively add media to the rest of your website.
There are a handful of sites you can turn to for free photos, including Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash, and Negative space. Most of the images on these sites are impressively professional and can be downloaded in full resolution if needed.
You can also find free vector graphics online at sites like Vector portal, Stockio, Vector4Free, and Vexels. Since these are vector images, they can easily be edited and customized using software like Adobe Illustrator. It’s a good option for customizing free content on your website without spending a ton of time and money on graphics.
3. Royalty free music
Just like you need to make sure that your website has licensed text and images, you also need to make sure that you are using royalty-free music. More and more services are running the web to detect unlicensed use of copyrighted music and audio files, so it’s easy to get caught if you’re lax about it. This is especially important if you are creating your own video to add to your website.
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources you can turn to for free or low cost leads. Some of our favorite databases are:
Be sure to check the fine print that accompanies any audio files you decide to use. Some are not allowed to be edited with editing software, and others require you to credit the artist on your site.
4. Free videos
Adding video to your website is a great way to give it a more professional experience and capture the attention of your visitors. While you probably won’t find a free video that captures your brand or message perfectly, you will find plenty of free video clips that you can use to create your own video.
These stock clips can be extremely useful if you are working on a tight budget. Gather enough of them and you may not need to shoot new footage. Then, all you have to do is assemble the frames on your computer and you’re done! You have a new video for your website.
So where can you find royalty free music videos? Pixabay and Pexels Video are two of the most trusted sources for high quality videos. If you can’t find what you need, you can try Free Stock Footage 4, Videezy, Video, and Clipstill.
5. Just ask
One of the best ways to get free content for your website is to ask. Many writers and website owners are more than happy to have their articles, photos, and videos repurposed for another site. You get content to help build your site, and they can see their work displayed to a larger audience than they would otherwise reach.
To go this route, find a blog post or photo on another website, then email the author asking them to reuse it. You should always credit the original creator on your site and make it clear in your email that you plan to do so. You can also give information about your website and explain why you think their work is a good fit for your audience.
Of course, you need to do a few checks when choosing who to email to. A competitor in your industry probably won’t allow you to reuse content, for example. It’s also helpful to look for websites that don’t see a lot of traffic, as the owner will benefit more from their content reappearing on your site.
Remember, the worst thing that can happen is if the owner of the site you’re emailing to denies your request. It only takes a few minutes to find content and send an email, and a single positive response can save you hours of work.
6. Idea generators
If you’re a knowledgeable writer but just don’t know what to write about, an idea generator can help. These online tools, like SEOPressor, simply asks you to enter keywords related to your website or business. From there, they’ll spit out potential blog post titles that you can flesh out into full articles.
It takes a bit longer than other free content generation methods because you still have to write the article itself. But, having a title can help you get started and stay on track for finding keywords that can improve your website’s SEO.