One of the questions I am asked on a persistent basis is about website or blog content. People want to know how they can come come up with topic ideas and where to get good content. While I am at the point where I just figure out the content phrases and hand them off to a writer that isn't the way I started.
Whenever I make up a website the first thing I do is take my keyword list and set up about 10-20 Google alerts. Google alerts is a pretty cool way to get content ideas and also a good way to find websites that will exchange links and content with you. Take your keyword phrase's with “quotes” around it and enter them into Google alerts and you will have content ideas delivered into your email box the next day.
Every morning I will get 10-20 emails with 2 or 3 links in each that mention the keyword phrase and if the topic is hot you will get more. It only takes a few minutes to give a quick glance over the emails and look to see if they are a good match. You can get some good ideas for content this way. I will look over the emails and end up with a topic that will allow me to create a whole page and maybe two. If you don't want to be overwhelmed with looking through all the emails just choose one keyword to work that day and let the others sit in your inbox for another day. By the time you are ready for the next subject you will have more emails to work with.
If the story is hot at the moment I will create the page myself and then alert the other pages that I found in the alerts. This is done either through commenting on their site and include my link as a reference or I will send an email to the website owner and tell them that their piece was great and that I have a similar article. Maybe hint at a future guest post or to trade links back and forth. Something will usually come from it, if not during this exchange the ice has been broken for future stuff. They may even know another webmaster in the niche that would also like to work together.
Outsourcing Your Content Writing
If I am in no hurry to get the content up I will usually hire a writer. I will get together a bunch of keyword phrases and put up a job on Elance.com or more recently I have been using IWriter.com. While both are good services I am happy using ELance for larger jobs but that is only because I have used them more frequently. After you use either of these services you get to know some writers that are good and you make sure you invite them to do the next job. It is also not a good idea to settle for the cheapest writer as odds are you will get lousy content back. You want to plan your job with as many details as possible. I always choose writers from the USA and pay a little more than have articles written by someone that their first language is not English. It never works out and saving a few bucks on content that is going to be on your website for years just is not worth it.
Get Your Words Transcribed
If it is a topic that you are knowledgeable about and you don't feel like typing out the information you can always use a voice transcription service. It may sound dumb but if you are lazy like me and you type slow you can do a voice recording. Hook up a headphone and mic to your computer and peak the content for your pages. I know I can talk 10 times faster than I can type. I load up a program called Audacity (Free) and make some audio files. After I am done I upload the files to speechpad.com and get them transcribed. It is cheaper than hiring a writer and I know the content isn't some plagiarized copy that has been spun ten times to Sunday.
You will end up with some pretty good content this way. Odds are you will surprise yourself with the results, I know that every time I get the content back I am amazed at how accurate the content is and since you talk faster than you can type (and think at the same time) you end up with twice as much quality content than if you had hired a writer.