Make Your PLR Unique By Using Stories
I love PLR content and I'll admit, sometimes I use it “as is”. Yeah, that's hard to admit because the advice you normally hear it to ALWAYS rewrite it, but sometimes, it just makes sense to use it without changing it. For example, the PLR package speaks perfectly to what you want to say AND… you run it through CopyScape and… BOOM, there are NO matches! That's a hallelujah moment for me!
But all too often, the package you want to use has been used on other websites, and worse, they are in your niche. That's when you know you can't use it on your website. First, you'd never get the page ranked in Google, the other sites existed first, so the one that was up first will get credit. And second, you may share some of the other sites' audience, it might look like you were copying their site if it got read by the same person. That wouldn't be good.
So, more often, I end up changing the text in some way or another.
There are several ways to change it up but my favorite is to tell stories. Use your own personal stories to describe something that's being talked about or give an example of what could happen.
Let's say you purchased some PLR about avoiding mistakes while trying to lose weight. You could easily use it “as-is” but if you personalize it with your own story, your readers will empathize and you can create a closer connection with them.
As an example with the weight loss PLR, maybe share a story about when your friend's birthday was at a Mexican restaurant. You thought you'd be able to order a taco salad and be good, but when they sat the chips and salsa on the table, there was no stopping you. You ate chip after chip after chip after chip. Then, since you were already bad, well, you know how that goes.
Stories like that make you relatable to your audience, they learn that you're not perfect either.
BTW, that has happened to me more times than one.
How else do stories help your content…
Stories Grab Attention
You know, stories are a part of your life every day. You hear stories of heroism that makes your heart swell. You binge watch stories on the Hallmark Channel and Netflix, even when you feel guilty for doing it. Your best friend tells you stories about how her day went.
Stories are powerful. And a great technique to use in communicating and getting a point across to your reader. They give readers a reason to stop and start paying attention. Readers want to know what’s going on and what will happen next, they don't want to miss the end of the story.
Stories Invite Conversation
Just as you hear stories all day long, you also talk about them all day long. You do this when you gossip about a co-worker at the water cooler, when you recommend your Netflix must-binge to a friend, or when you repeat a news story to your spouse.
But stories invite conversation, too. Telling readers of your parenting website about your toddler’s tantrum can lead to discussions on what causes tantrums, tips on how to spot them before they happen, and how to deal with them at the grocery store.
Stories Create a Feeling of Belonging
Not only do stories create conversation they also help the people feel like they belong. Every day, your readers are bombarded with ideas of what they should look like, how they should parent, what they should wear, how they should eat.
It can get to the point where your visitors feel like everyone else has a wonderful life but them. But when you share a story and peel back the layers, it takes away the feeling that they are the only ones to experience that situation. Suddenly, your people don’t feel alone any more. They can look at your blog and proudly say, “She gets me!”
Customizing your PLR with stories doesn’t have to complicated or time-consuming. It only takes a few minutes to add a relevant story to your content. Doing this will grow your community and the bond you have with them, in new and exciting ways!
The 4 Essential Elements of a Good Story
Sometimes it's hard to figure out why no one is engaging with your content. I've had this problem in that past. I tend to write in a way that is too sterile. I'm really good at writing how-to do something but never giving any context with a good story. Recently I've gotten better but it still doesn't come naturally. There are certain things that make a story good rather than boring.
When it comes to personalizing your PLR content with stories, it can be helpful to understand what makes a good story. These four elements can guide you through the storytelling process…
Every compelling story starts with a goal. Sometimes, the goal is simple like learning how to use new software. Sometimes, the goal is more complex like seeking a life partner or learning how to eat in healthy ways.
Before you tell a story, pause to reflect on the goal. For example, your goal might be to boost engagement on your blog posts and get more feedback from your readers about what they want to see from you.
Motivation is the why behind your goal. It’s what drives you forward in the face of obstacles and setbacks. Motivation can differ from person to person. You may be motivated to learn new content marketing skills because you want to advertise your business. Or maybe you want a deeper connection with your target audience.
But your friend may be motivated to learn content marketing because she wants to earn enough money to bring her husband home from his job.
Every good story has conflict. Conflict is the obstacle between what you want and how you'll achieve it. Conflict is sometimes internal such as not being sure of the next move, doubting yourself, or getting stuck in a negative mindset.
Sometimes conflict is external. This happens when a force outside of yourself is preventing you from accomplishing your goal. For example, you lack the skills needed to create a website or you lack the time to build your business.
The final element in any good story is the moment when you overcome an obstacle and achieve the results you wanted. How you overcome depends on your conflict. For example, you may have been dealing with negative thinking and a conversation with a friend helped you let go of those thoughts.
With external conflict, overcoming is usually the result of taking action. If your goal was to build your own website and your conflict was that you’re not good with technology, then your moment of overcoming may have been purchasing an online course to learn how to use WordPress.
The best way to learn how to use stories in your content is to study how other marketers weave stories into their topics. The more you do this the easier it will get to see how the four elements work together to create gripping stories.
Sharing Someone Else’s Story
Sometimes when you’re customizing PLR content, you'll think of a story that's perfect to include. The only problem is the story is not yours to tell. It's a story that belongs to a loved one, friend, or co-worker. You know the illustration fits perfectly but you're not sure how to share it. Here's what to do…
Before you do anything, it's important to ask the person whose story you want to share if it's okay. If you don't ask permission and you publish someone else's details, you could damage that relationship and even end up in legal trouble depending on what you share.
You can start the conversation by approaching the other person and saying, “I'm working on a project about ABC topic and I’d love to share your story about ABC with my audience. Would you be up for that?”
Write the Story
Assuming you received permission, it's time to create the story. Start by creating a messy first draft. Write all the details as best you understand and remember them. You can edit or change this content later. But for now, just focus on the story.
When you've finished writing your first draft, it's time to edit. During the editing phase, you may realize you still have some questions for the other person. If that's the case, set aside some time to follow up and get the additional information you need.
Writing about someone else's life can open old wounds for them. In some situations, this can be a good thing because it opens the door for more healing. But it may still be painful for the person you're writing about.
As you work on this content, tread carefully. Be kind and ask questions without being judgmental or hurtful. Remember that your goal is to help people and that includes the person whose story you're sharing.
Show a Draft
Once you feel like you've captured the other person's story, it's time to ask for their feedback. Show them what you have so far and explain that it's a draft and still in need of polishing.
The person whose story you're sharing may love it and feel it’s perfect as-is. But they may also ask for changes to the piece. For example, a mother who's sharing the story of her teenage daughter’s eating disorder may want you to omit the name of the treatment center where her daughter receives help.
Explain Your Syndication
When you have a final draft ready, be sure to share it with the person you've written about. This is also the time when you'll want to share where this content will appear. Be specific so there are no unwelcome surprises for your interviewee.
You may say, “I’ll be sharing this story on my blog in (month). As part of my promotional strategy, I'll also be posting excerpts to social media networks and I might talk about it on my podcast or in my newsletter.”
On the day the content goes live, reach out and let the person know. Thank them for sharing. If you’re getting positive feedback include that with your message so you're interviewee knows that their story is making a difference.
Making Up A Story
It is perfectly okay to make up stories, that's how fiction books are written. Maybe you've never personally experienced what you're writing about and you don't know anyone who can contribute but you can make up a situation to illustrate your point.
When you're making up a story, it's a courtesy to tell your readers that the story is fictional. There's no need to go further as to why you're using a fictional story verse using your own experiences, it's enough to just let them know it's not real.
Sometimes I share stories about circumstances that have occurred with someone else when it's something so general it could happen to anyone on any given day. When I do that I say I had an acquaintance or a friend but don't give any specifics that make it apparent who the person was. In these situations, a little colorful adlib can make the story much more interesting.
For example, maybe I have PLR about how to have difficult conversations. I could write about how I had a co-worker who would always come into my office keeping me from my work and I didn't know how to tell her to leave. In this case, I would not give the name of the company or even the time-frame when it happened. I would not share any personal stories I was told during the time spent in my office.
BUT… I could make up a story about how we both got in trouble and almost got fired for not getting our work done, or I could add how colorful language was exchanged when I told her she needed to leave (even though neither of these things happened). Then I would cover how the discussion went when we spoke later. The more interesting story would help me illustrate how to have a difficult conversation while holding the reader's attention.
Adding elements like conflict, humor, or shared problems to stories helps keep them interesting to hold the reader's attention and helps the reader understand the point you're trying to convey.
I hope this blog post has given you some ideas for how to pull stories from your experiences to make your PLR more interesting and fun for your reader. It should help you grow engagement while making your PLR unique. Adding stories to PLR content is a great way to customize it. Whether you share your story or someone else's, stay focused on your ultimate goal—connecting with and inspiring your community.
If you have anything to add, please leave a comment below. I love hearing from my readers. What did you learn? Or tell me a story about how you use stories in your PLR.
All my best,