I first heard of Constant-Content.com through Aaron Wall’s blog (selling content articles). I’ve linked to them once or twice but hadn’t really tried using the service ( see long term content and content spam). I was contacted by Chris from constant-contact who asked me to review his companies services. After he agreed the “articles would stand on their own”, he gave me $100 in credit, and I took a look at the service.
When you first visit the article category page you’ll see there are about 50 different categories to choose from, including popular SEO topics like finance, dating, real estate and travel. If you are looking for articles about other topics, you can submit a request to have a new article written for you. I will admit coming into this I fully expected the articles to be similar to the ones you find a free article websites, little more than thinly veiled shameless self promotions.
When you start browsing through the categories you’ll see articles listed like the one pictured below. The things to notice are the title, the author, the date, the number of downloads and the two prices.
This just helps you judge if the article is about the topic you are looking for. At the basic level you can’t change anything including the title. We’ll talk about the levels later on.
If you’ve used the service before or seen articles on other websites you can seek out the authors you like and avoid those you don’t. It’s just another screening tool.
This is the approximate date the article became available. Personally I like newer articles more than older articles. The newer the article the less likely you are to find it being used or in some paraphrased version floating around on someone else’s website. If you’re looking for very niche markets you may have to be a little less discriminating with this criteria.
This is one of the fields I think you should pay a lot of attention to. This number tells you how many other people have downloaded the article to put on their website. The lower the number the less likely the content will be flagged as duplicate content. While “first discovery” is a good rule of thumb for the search engines it’s not the ultimate deciding factor. There’s some other factors at play as well. Let’s just leave it at the less downloads the better.
Here’s where it gets a little interesting, depending on how you are going to use the article the pricing is on a sliding scale. If you just want to reprint the article that is the lowest price (in this case it is $30). If you want full exclusive rights that is the highest price (in this case it is $50). At this point you have to decide what the article is worth to you.
The FAQ page does a much better job of explaining how the content can be used, here’s a screen shot of what’s important:
So if you see an article with no downloads you can get it for the lowest price ( I saw articles ranging from $10 to $30), however someone else is going to come along after you and use the article. If you see an article you really like for a higher price you can use it on multiple websites and have it removed from circulation (I saw prices ranging for $30 to $50 dollars). Try to figure out how much revenue you think the article can generate for you in a 1 year period, decide if it’s more or less than the unique purchase price. In my opinion this is the best use and value for articles from this website. The final level is the full rights, I’m not sure why you would want to go to this level. You will have full ownership of the article can change anything and remove the authors name if you wanted to. The prices I saw for this level were much higher (starting at around $50 to over $100 in some cases). To me it just didn’t seem like it was worth it.
Before You Purchase an Article
Before you decide to purchase an article I’d do a little checking first. Go to the detail page and get a preview of the article, make sure it has a style and tone that will match your website, or to quote a line from Risky Business, “You don’t buy Sony if you want RCA“. If the style looks ok grab a section of text, put it in some quotes and search on the major search engines. You should always get one result from Constant Content. The number of other websites listed should match the number of downloads. I tried this on half a dozen articles and didn’t come up with any nasty surprises, but still better safe than sorry.
Finding the Right Authors
If you haven’t seen any of the authors work before, try looking for some free articles written by them (there weren’t many but there were few). If not find three or four of the most prolific authors in the category, and buy an article from them at the lowest price. Once you find someone you like, you can make more confident purchase at the unique and higher price points
Now to the real question, how good are the articles? As I said I wasn’t expecting too much here, however I was pleasantly surprised with what I got. The articles were reasonably authoritative, well written and interesting. Out of the 9 articles I ordered, I would classify one or two as average, with the rest being above average in my opinion. Now if you’re a person who looks for articles with an exact keyword density between X% and Y%, you aren’t going to find that here. THese are not articles written by SEO’s, these are articles written by authors or writers who approach the project from a narrative or storytelling angle, so you get different end results. That’s not to say the articles won’t trigger the proper ads if you are using them on pages with contextual advertising. I published the pages, and gave the media bot a chance to hit them, a day or two later the proper ads were showing. These articles give you the opportunity to really set yourself apart from your competition as far as quality content goes. This is really a bonus if the subject happens to have a high keyword dollar value, and is something you aren’t genuinely interested in writing about. The only bad thing I will say about the articles is you will have to do all of the HTML formatting yourself. After purchasing the articles you download them in WORD or TXT files, so you’ll have to put all of your own paragraph, bold, list, and other tags yourself.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the articles I received. They were much better than anything I could have written myself. Additionally if you can find articles by authors you like, that have zero downloads, I would really recommend buying them at the unique level, to get the most value out of them. I feel the articles I downloaded were worth the price, and I plan on using this service again.
Added: Constant Content asked if I could add this bit of information
all content is checked for plagiarism and publication before it is accepted. We also have a strict acceptance policy and our reviewers donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t let anything slide.
Disclaimer I did receive free articles from constant-content.com valued at $100 prior to making this post. The free articles were not contingent upon a positive review or endorsement. No other compensation, occurred to influence this blog posting. For more information please see my advertising policy.