Websites and Free Article Content
Although this can sometimes be the only option for those who are running on a non-existent budget, it is not a way that will effectively build your website or revenue. There are a few potential reasons why this may be detrimental to your business building efforts.
Problem #1 - Search Engines
Search engines will only look down upon your site if it has the exact same duplicated content than other sites. The more sites that share your content, the less it will help you achieve good search engine rankings.
Good search engine rankings are essential in getting visitors to your sit so that they have a chance to click on your affiliate links. If you cannot even get visitors, then will never make an revenue. Working on the search engine optimization of your site so that you will eventually be high enough in the results to get customers, should be priority one.
Problem #2 - Getting visitors to click
Although getting your site high on search engine result pages and acquiring site visitors is hard work, unfortunately this is only half of the battle. You must also be able to convince those visitors to click on your affiliate links. If your visitors see the same content they have seen on a multitude of other sites, they will be least likely to click on your links. This is because most people want to buy things that are recommended by people that they trust or whom they feel like are an expert on the subject.
If your content is just duplicated from other sites, you will be exposed as someone who does not really know what they are talking about and therefore will not look heavily on your product recommendations. This will reduce the number of website visitors who will be willing to click through.
Problem #3 - Author Bylines
Most free content is only given to you if you agree to place the authors byline under the article (you can get into trouble if you try to use it without following the stipulated rules). This poses a problem because most author bylines include links. When a reader gets done reading a really intriguing article, there is a strong possibility that they will click on the author's byline link rather than your affiliate links. This is the entire reason why these authors offer free content to begin with, so that they may get their name and links out there to the public. Using this type of content may mean shooting yourself in the foot and losing possible profitable website visitors.
Once you put these three problems together, you are looking at a serious decline in revenue simply because you used free website content from article directories. Although it may be the only option for some, if you have the funds to buy your own original content, then you should go this route. If you don't have the finds, however, you may be better off writing your own content and then hiring professional services once you have made a profit to work with.