I am getting user generated content to build my web businesses. Except for some copying and pasting and moving some images around for my own uses, it’s all on autopilot.
What Is User Generated Content?
User generated content is when a visitor to your website, or a person on your list, writes content, provides images, or a video for you to use on your website (or even for other purposes).
It’s one of the most important techniques you can use in your niche because getting other people in your niche to provide content will open up doors to ideas, products, and articles you never knew you could write about, and there are so many more advantages to it (hint: Traffic!)
So here’s the deal: I am using my own techniques in several different niches to get clients, customers, and subscribers on my lists to send in pictures of their projects, or whatever is related to the niche site, and then leverage their submissions to get more search engine traffic, social media traffic, and more subscriber (list) interaction.
I also use a similar strategy to get testimonials for my local businesses.
And when you use these these techniques to get user generated content, and when YOU do this – you’ll build a more unique, quality site that people will come back to, which not only boosts your traffic but also will boost response rates to your offers.
How It Works:
Basically, after an initial sequence of 5-7 emails that contain quality information I will request that my subscribers send in pictures of what they’re doing in regards to the products or product that I offer, or I’ll ask for pictures and descriptions on anything to do with the niche subject.
Side Bar: Some of my lists get regular text emails for the first 5-7 emails, others get a few videos or a combination of all of them. And it’s all excellent quality content. This is very important.
What I have found is that getting my subscribers more involved by getting them to interact with myself, or more commonly with my site, in different ways, my open rates and response rates increase. And that is assuming all I send (aside from an offer every now and then) is content of the highest quality.
Also, this technique works best if you have a list of subscribers or customers – including local business owners! (I own two salon and spa’s). It will work if you are just working with visitors to your site, but don’t’ expect to get a ton of content and pictures to work with just from visitors. It will work over time, but you need to build a list so you can send emails to this list and build a bond with them, because when you do they are much more likely to send in pictures and content.
And it will not work if you do not have high quality content on your site or provide high quality content in your email autoresponder.
If you don’t have a site yet you can easily build a site using wordpress, or use any number of static html templates that are out there.
I won’t go into details on that because there are lots of products and information on this subject and it requires separate attention which is beyond the scope of this guide (and I can direct you to some guides if you want, email me here).
I think this technique will work in all types of niches, particularly niches that are not related to Internet marketing. I have used it in five different niches and I have three more to go at this point, and there even more in the future. In addition, I used a variation of this to get testimonials for our offline salon and spa businesses.
What’s The Worst Case Scenario If I Use These Techniques to Get User Generated Content?
The worst case scenario is that you won’t get any submissions. If this happens there is something terribly wrong with your site and the information you are sending.
But assuming you have a good site, and you are sending quality information, the worst case scenario should be that you’ll get additional content that you can use to get search engine traffic, create videos, and more.
So this is a win win technique (I really hate that phrase but I can’t think of anything else that describes it best). It does require a little bit of work. However, I found all of the work fun and you work now will reward you for as long as you have your site.
OK Let’s Move On…
What I do after the fifth or the seventh e-mail is to ask my subscribers to send in pictures and a text description of what the pictures are about. Depending on the niche I will ask for before and after pictures, because these are exceptionally helpful in my content and marketing efforts, and fun to work with.
In addition to before and after pictures, and depending on the niche, I will ask for mug shots, pictures of the product in question, action shots etc. etc. It all depends on what your goal is, and what you want to achieve with this unique strategy.
But you don’t have to ask for images! To get user generated content in a professional niche I ask for tips, or articles only (and maybe for a picture of themselves). This can work even more effectively because sometimes people don’t want to bother with uploading a picture.
Side Bar: Sometimes I make an offer to buy my information product or products for sale, and then start into another sequence of 5-7 quality emails and then ask for pictures. It’s up to you how you want to do it, and it depends on the niche…
For example, if what I am teaching or providing does not take long to incorporate into one’s life or business, then I feel comfortable asking for pictures, results, or content submissions after the very first 5-7 emails (and I’ll poke them on the shoulder about it again for as long as they are on my list).
I get user generated content from visitors and subscribers in one of two ways:
- I simply ask for pictures, results, or content submissions without providing an incentive to do so (the more passionate your subscribers are about the niche the more likely you’ll get pictures and content coming in).
- I ask with incentive: I will either give everyone something for free, or I’ll have a contest for the best pictures and content, or both (both is a really good way to get people to send stuff in).
This is a really fun strategy for everyone involved!
You get to see the impact your content is having on people’s lives (which always blows me away! The people sending in content enjoy showing off what they are doing and they feel like they are helping other people, and the people who get to see the pictures and read the content enjoy learning new ideas.
Here’s Three Examples From Hundreds Of Submissions:
These are all niches that have nothing to do will teaching marketing or internet marketing. But you can easily use these techniques in those niches as well.
Email Technique To Generate User Generated Content:
Use a contest to get more pictures and text from your subscribers. For example, you could say something like:
Hey, thanks for reading my articles on container gardening. I hope they’ve been very helpful. Could I ask a favor? Could you send pictures of what you’ve been with your container garden?
I would especially love to see if you’ve used or learned from any of the information I’ve been sending you.
I would love to see what you’ve been growing or how you built your container garden. And if you can’t get me any pictures, just write about it.
You can send the pictures and write to me simply by replying to this email.
Oh, and just to make sure you don’t forget about this (because I really want to see how you are coming along with your container gardening) I will send you a special guide called, “Name Of Special Guide” just for taking the time to send in a picture and some notes.
PS: You can write about anything to do with container gardening, and sending in one or more pictures would be great!
Full disclosure: The information you just read above on how to get user generated content was taken from my guide called Content Windfall Volume 1. It’s a guide on how to get user generated content on autopilot, and I think it’s awesome. But of course I am biased…
In this guide are more detailed step by step instructions, tips, techniques, emails, that does the work for you. This is not a guide that will lose it’s muster of the next few months or weeks. It’s not available right now because I am turning it into a kindle ebook which will be available any day now. (But the plugin I created is available…)
This is information you can use now and for many years to come. Getting user generated content is one of the key’s to success in building a quality website. This guide show you how I do it, and how you can do it too.
Here’s how the plugin works to help you get user generated content on your wordpress site: