PLR Writing Basics
I began blogging about writing as a career partly to have a journal of my writing work, but even more importantly as a personal exploration into writing markets.
One of the first new ideas I bumped into was the concept of PLR writing. PLR stands for “Private Label Rights”. PLR articles are written once and then sold to multiple web site owners, each of whom purchases the rights to use the article as is or modify it as needed and then “privately label” the article as their own. As Courtney Ramirez points out, PLR articles are commonly sold as filler for Adsense web sites.
Freelance writer and trainer Angela Booth has also written extensively about PLR writing, including her article on Writing and Selling PLR Content. Angela’s article does a great job of making the case for PLR content as an first rate business model for an online writing career. She also gets into more detail than Ramirez on the PLR licensing model.
Of course, not everyone likes PLR. To answer the PLR critics, CatalystBlogger’s Jennifer Williamson wrote a fine article recently entitled PLR: Legitimate Business Model or Morally Bankrupt. Jennifer examines some of the controversy among Freelance writers surrounding PLR articles. As a real estate broker in my other life, much of this debate reminds me of the debate around discount brokers. As Jennifer points out, one of the problems with PLR writing is that it’s cheap. So at least part of the backlash against PLR articles stems from a purely financial consideration: people can pay less for them than for custom work.
At this point in my exploration, my own position is that I’m fairly ambivalent about PLR. On the one hand, the combination of writing SEO-optimized copy together with the opportunity to distribute my work online is a natural fit for my current background as a real estate web site author/webmaster/blogger. On the other hand, at least a part of my motivation for exploring new writing outlets was that I wanted to escape the daily grind of “pimping to the search engines”. That being the case, you’d be hard pressed to find a worse example of “moving in the wrong direction” than becoming a PLR Guru. Just call me Stephen King to the Sploggers. (Or is that Gore Vidal of Viagra?).
I don’t say PLR’s wrong for everyone. I certainly don’t find fault with those for whom it’s a lucrative living. I’m not even saying it’s wrong for me at this point.
I find it an interesting addition to the march of business models.