The Good, The Bad & The Ugly On Using PLR

plr products

Maybe it’s OK…then again maybe it ain’t OK to use private label rights articles in your content.

Struggling to keep your readers engaged with a constant stream of good quality content? Even considered using Private Label Rights (PLR) to help you crank it out?

And why not? Many successful marketing folks use PLR. Heck, some of your favorite marketing coaches and mentors suggest you use PLR. 

The thing is…

Often when you utter the phrase PLR, a bunch of people high-tail it indoors fastening the locks and pulling down the shades. They don’t want to see it or hear of it and when prompted, they have nothing good to say say about it.

What’s the deal? Where did PLR get such a bad reputation? Is it the bad egg that many make it up to be? And most importantly, should that stop me from using it?

What is PLR?

First of all, PLR are rights to specific content such as articles that you purchase. The rights allow you to modify the product and make it your own. You can slap your name on it, you can sell it, you can give it away for free, you can even add affiliate links or links to your blog. 

The one thing you’re not supposed to do is sell the rights to someone else. 

So How Is Using PLR Good?

Ideally, PLR helps you build a website that entertains, engages and builds a relationship with your audience by providing relevant content. That is, content that helps them. You can use it in many formats, written or otherwise such as video, audio, and email autoresponder series.

The point is it saves you time and allows you to supplement your own created content, resulting in a bang-up website and online presence. You can also use PLR articles for researching topics and for identifying ranking keywords. As long as you are using quality PLR.

Here’s how you find quality PLR. Professional PLR:

  • is well written,
  • is current,
  • has limited circulation (say under 50 copies),
  • is often optimized with keywords for search engines.
  • and costs you money, but hang-on to your horses, the price is usually very economical.

But quality PLR is only half of the battle. To make good with PLR, even the quality stuff, you need to modify it and make it your own as well as relevant for your readers.Tim Hicks at Home Biz Digest put it this way:

When you write for your blog or website, you want to build your “brand.” One of the best ways to do that is to develop your own “voice” (i.e. style of writing).  If you post unaltered PLR articles, you are not presenting a consistent “voice” for your readers.  People like consistency and they like knowing what to expect.

And I would add, your readers like to get what they want. Unlike ghost-written articles, PLR products are not customized. It’s up to you to tailor it to suit your audience.

If you don’t use quality PLR and don’t modify it, then you’re wandering into bad PLR territory where unfortunately nary a customer roams…

How Is Using PLR Bad?

Using PLR without taking the measures indicated in the previous section can lead to losing customers or worse, not getting any attention at all. You might as well send in the tumble weeds.

To be more specific, the last thing you want to do is use poorly written, outdated, massed produced and over-circulated PLR. And there’s tons of it out there.

How do you tell bad quality PLR from the good stuff? Problogger makes a few suggestions:

  1. Stay away from large PLR packs that sell for a dollar or that are offered as a bonus with the sale of an internet marketing product.
  2. Obtain PLR from a reputable PLR writer.  Some names I crossed often in my research include Tiffany Dow , Peggy Baron , and Nicole Dean.

A lot of marketers take it a step further and use automated spinning software to modify an already shoddy PLR. While others don’t even bother. They simply cut and paste the PLR directly onto their website or products.

Here’s where PLR starts to stink, possibly turning your site into a ghost town:
private label products

  • When you are using mass produced PLR that’s been around for years, you are letting your audience down by providing them with old news and maybe even content that makes no sense.
  • You could lose your reader’s loyalty and come off as a fraud should they find what they thought was your content on some other blog under a different author’s name.
  • Have you ever encountered a fully automated content site? Talk about unfriendly and bland. Funny enough, some of these use spun PLR articles, resulting in boring and impersonal sites. When visitors land on these boring buggers, they bounce faster than a jackrabbit on moonshine. Off to greener and cozier pastures!

But it gets worse…

The Ugly Side Of PLR

Unfortunately, the PLR story doesn’t end at boring. Here’s what pervasive mishandling of PLR can lead to:

Extra sifting and digging for internet users: Many marketers’ top priority is to rank on the first page of a search engine. When they use PLR content to achieve this and ranking overrides relevant content for users, they lower the quality of information at everyone’s disposal. In other words, we have a lot more sifting, clicking and bouncing to do before finding the info we’re looking for.

Publishing sites struggle to provide quality products: For instance, Amazon’s Kindle, an online publisher, suffered an upsurge of spam ebooks, many of which are created using PLR.  The spam books populate the results, lowering the quality of books available on the market and making it more difficult for shoppers to find the good stuff.  Offering bogus products taints a business’s reputation, even big names like Amazon (see Reuters and Indie BookSpot).

Extra challenges for online authors. Authors who publish online on platforms like Kindle and Smashwords now have to deal with more competition. To make matters worse, many spam books lowered their price points to $0.99, potentially influencing the price at which legit authors can sell their books.

PLR & relations get a bad rap: The worst part of PLR misuse is that PLR and everyone and everything related to it get a bad rap. They get labeled as spam and underhanded. Truth is many legit online businesses using PLR bring value to their customers, providing quality products and services online by using PLR intelligently and ethically. In the end, isn’t that what it’s all about? Bringing value to the customer?


So, as you can see, it’s not PLR itself who’s the rotten apple. Rather, as is often the case in internet marketing, it’s a group of unethical people misusing a great resource that could help you bring great content to your readers.


Now that you know the good, the bad and the ugly, what are your thoughts on using PLR products?


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2 Responses to The Good, The Bad & The Ugly On Using PLR

  1. I totally agree with the post. You should always make sure that you modify the PLR content to make it unique. Too many people just use it as it is, and don’t give it a second thought of what they’re doing mainly due to the fact that they’re inexperienced with using PLR content.

    Even some of the so-called bad PLR content can be turned into something really good provided that you work with it to fix it up. Just slapping a bunch of affiliate links in the PLR content and calling it a day isn’t going to cut it.

    Modification is in order, and you must modify the content if you want to make it shine and stand out above all the other content out there relating to your niche. Sure, it takes some work to do, but it is well worth it in the end.

    Also, like was mentioned, you want to choose your PLr from reputable sources. Now this isn’t to say that free PLR isn’t any good because believe it or not, you can get some really great free PLR content too.

    One thing that you should stay clear away from is PLR that wasn’t written by native English writers. More often than not, PLr content is written by people whose second language is English, and they’re not very good at it. If the English is very good in the material, then you may have stumbled upon a gold mine.

    However, if you get PLR taht was written poorly, or doesn’t make sense, it could be that it was written by a non-English speaking individual. This type of content is very hard to understand, let alone trying to modify it and make it unique.

    The key here is simply modification, and lots of it. Contrary to popular belief, people think that just because they have PLR that they don’t have to write a single word. That’s not true. In order to make the PLR really worth your while, you need to go in there and really modify it.

    That is; take it apart, add new bits and pieces from other PLR to it, add your own writing style in there and much more. PLR does increase the rate at which products are generated, but you still have to do something to it to make it uniquely yours. Most people don’t realize that. That’s why they just add their affiliate links, change the title and put their name on it and think that this is all that is needed to make the material unique.

    They couldn’t be farther than the truth when they believe that way. They miss out on a huge opportunity to really create an information product that could bring them sales and revenue that could last for years to come.

    So if any of you reading this get anything out of the post above, it should be this; modify the content, and get the content from reputable sources. Do whatever it takes to make the content unique and make it fit into whatever it is that you plan to use it for. Make it flow nicely and most importantly, add your voice into it so that it doesn’t sound like verything else out there.

  2. Thanks Donald for the feedback!
    One day, competition will be such that you won’t be able to get away with using non-modified PLR. Your product will need to stand out and offer something unique, which PLR doesn’t quite offer. PLR is a great starting off point, only.

    Thanks again!