If your site is based around a topic that you are passionate about or are an expert in, then you can create much of the content yourself. But I’m going to show you how to get a lot of other content for free.

Republish Existing Articles

Visit an article site like EzineArticles.com (www.ezinearticles.com) and browse through the articles in your niche. While the majority of the articles are horrible, you should be able to find some diamonds in the rough. When you find some quality articles, send an email to the author of the article and ask him if you can put the article onto your membership site. Let the author know that it will only be seen by people that actually spend money. Ask him if there is a “meatier” version of the article, and ask him to send you additional articles in the same topic if he has them.  Contact at least 30 authors and you should find your inbox filled with articles that you are free to use.  Don’t be afraid to use articles that are already on the internet. Your members want someone to weed through the rubbish that is floating around and pick out the best information for them. On the flip side, don’t publish garbage just because you have permission to use it for free.

Republish Videos

Getting free videos is easier than you might think. While you can always embed any video that is on YouTube, your members might feel like they are getting ripped-off since it’s obviously a free video from YouTube.  A better strategy is to visit the Google Video site at http://video.google.com and do a search for videos on your topic. The Google video search engine will return results from many different video sites, but you only want videos hosted on Google. Look for videos that you would like to include in your member’s area and contact the owner of the video. Send the video owner an email similar to the sample email shown above and ask if you can include the video in your site. Most people will give you permission since they know you can easily embed the video anyway with code that Google supplies. When you have permission to use the video, download the video (don’t embed it) by clicking the download button to the right of the video. It will save it as an iPod video, but it’s really just an Mpeg4 video. Download an MP4 to Flash converter and you can convert the video to a flash video and put the video into your member’s area. Since the video is now part of your site and is not hosted on a free video service, it will have a higher perceived value. As far as the member knows, it could be exclusive content.

You can find a video converter at:  http://www.alivemedia.net/video-to-flash-converter.htm

Get Content from Affiliate Programs

Most affiliate programs have content to help promote their products. Join several affiliate programs in your niche and check out their marketing tools area of the affiliate program’s website. Contact the affiliate manager and ask if they have any articles, audio, or video files that are not on the website. Many times they have content that has never been seen on the web before. Also ask if you can do an interview with the product creator. Not only will this strategy give you content for your site, but you can also put up your affiliate link to monetize the content.

Email Interview Experts

This is a quick and easy strategy that can give you a lot of content quickly. Create a list of 15 questions that you think your audience would like to know the answers to. Create a list of the top experts in your field and email out the questions as an email interview. Ask them to email you back with the answers. Tell the interviewee that you wish to publish the text of the interview on your site. If you get 12 interviews back, then you will have a year’s worth of expert interviews by having an “Interview of the Month” section.

Record Audio Interviews

The world is filled with people wanting to be interviewed. While many sites focus on the “Guru’s”, many people are more interested in everyday people that are involved in your topic.  For instance, if your site is devoted to dog breeding, you could interview just an average dog owner that while not a professional breeder maybe just breeds her dog occasionally. The best thing about audio interviews is that they can be done with anyone anywhere in the world over the phone.

Put Yourself on the Hotseat

If you are an expert on your topic, you can make audio recordings of yourself. Interactive recordings are more engaging… but it’s hard to interview yourself. A good strategy for creating audio content is to offer free coaching calls, and record the calls. If you are an expert dog trainer, you could fill your site with calls from average people calling you with their pet problems. Chances are, if someone is calling in with a problem, then many of your members have the same problem.

Have Your Members Provide Content

As your site grows, your members will become a huge resource. On the front page of your site, let your member’s know that you are looking for high-quality informative articles. Most content management systems can be setup to let people post information. Just be sure that yours is setup to where the articles or postings must be approved first. When an article is submitted, you can simply edit it and then post it in seconds.

Outsource

If you don’t have the time to write articles yourself, you can always outsource the writing. There are a number of sites where people will bid on article writing. The five most popular ones are:

1)    www.Guru.com

2)    www.rentacoder.com

3)    www.elance.com

4)    www.scriptlance.com

5)    www.workaholics4hire.com

One thing to be aware of is that sometimes writers will simply copy and paste other articles from the web. So before you use any articles from an outsourced writer, take a few key phrases from the article and plug them into Google to see if a duplicate article appears. If you don’t like to write, but you still want your ideas to be inside your site, you can sit down and record your thoughts into an audio file. Then take bids for someone to take your audio file and write an article based around it. To do this, simply create a project on any of the above sites. Ask for a writer to take your 10 minute MP3 file and transcribe the notes, then edit it into an article. By doing this, you will have a grammatically correct article based around your ideas.

Buy the Rights

In the past couple of years, hundreds of PLR (Private Label Rights) sites have appeared. These sites sell content that you can publish, edit, modify, and brand in any way you wish. In other words, if you bought a PLR eBook, you could chop up the book into 10 different articles and put it onto your site with your name as the author. PLR products are available in all different media formats, articles, eBooks, audio files and even video. To find PLR products in your niches, simply visit Google and type in “PLR” along with the name of your niche. For instance, if you type in PLR “Dog Training”, one of the first sites to appear is www.articlebrainstorm.com which has hundreds of PLR articles on dog training.