How to customize done-for-you content in minutes
Do you hesitate using pre-written done-for-you (DFY) content because untold numbers of your colleagues and competitors use the exact same thing? (While this is true for almost all DFY content, I know of one option where the quantities are limited—more on that below.)
The true benefits of using DFY content is that it can save you A TON of time and money! Why invest your time as a clinician to create content or programs from scratch when you can buy it already done and ready to customize and sell?
There is a way to get the best of both worlds: using DFY content to save time and money and not sounding like a broken record in the health sphere of the internet.
By considering DFY content to be 80% done, not 100%.
Yes, it technically *should be* 100% done, high-quality, and ready-to-go. BUT, I always recommend customizing it for yourself.
That last 20% is . . . customizing it so it’s unique to you!
Here’s how to customize DFY content so that it:
- Doesn’t feel like it’s regurgitated or “cookie-cutter”
- Sounds like YOU speaking in your authentic voice
- Fits into your content strategy and markets your unique health practice to your ideal clients
- Doesn’t take too much time (saving time is the name of the game when it comes to DFY content!)
The tips in this article will show you how to find quality DFY content, customize it for your audience, and turn it into content that markets your business (unless you’re running a hobby blog, your content should actually be content marketing)!
Let’s go over the ways . . .
Before you invest in any DFY health content
Not all DFY content is equal! Before you buy there are two big things to consider so that you get the value you want and the time savings you need.
1 – Choose the best done-for-you content for your health practice
The better the content, the less time you need to spend customizing it. You want your final product to reflect the excellence of your practice.
Imagine the difference between two pre-written health articles.
One is short, generic, and boring. It may have one or two writing/editing errors. Maybe it has few, if any, studies cited and they’re mostly pre-2010 (as if health research stopped a decade ago 🤦♀️). And the topic is really not niche-specific at all—in fact, it’s probably one of the first topics the first health pros blogged about back in the 1990s.
The other article is professionally written and researched. It’s long enough and contains several niche-specific sub-topics so that you can easily (like, copy/delete in 2 seconds easily) remove the few sections that don’t apply to your health practice or audience.
Which one is right for you?
Consider the amount of time you’re going to have to spend making that content work for you. Ideally, you want the content to be super high-quality with a bit of customization (that you’ll learn below) it will be excellent and you’ll be proud to share it far and wide, amiright?
Before you invest, find out whether the DFY content:
- Is customizable in the first place
- How many others in the industry will also have and use it
- Is high-quality without a bunch of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors
- Has up-to-date information (we’re not still talking about the “cabbage soup” diet, right?)
- Is accurate and credible and that the author actually read the studies and interpreted them correctly (this is especially important for health content)
I highly recommend checking these out and making an informed decision before buying any pre-written DFY products or programs.
2 – Make sure it’s the right topic
None of the customization strategies work if the blog post you purchase is irrelevant to your niche, audience, or brand. The topic and references have to jive with your area of expertise and your ideal clients as much as possible or you’re better off researching and writing a brand-spankin’ new post from scratch!
For example, if you only deal with nutrition and food, then you’re not going to need an article on sleep. Or, if your ideal clients aren’t concerned with food cravings, why would you need content on that? If your focus is solely on digestive health, then an article on atrial fibrillation may not be that helpful for you, either. And, if you’re against any and all types of dieting, a post on intermittent fasting may not support your message.
See what I mean?
The bottom line is to be sure you’re not going to have to “over customize” a piece of content to make it work for you. To begin with, it should be a high-quality product on a relevant topic. Make sure that you’re investing in quality niche-specific content that works for your practice, brand, and audience!
8 ways to customize done-for-you content
Now that you’ve purchased a license for a excellent, relevant content. You most certainly have the right to use it as is. In this case, you’re more than welcome to copy and paste it without customizing it at all. In a pinch, you can consider it to be 100% done and hit “publish” without any further time investment if you want to.
However . . .
I highly recommend spending a bit of time on each piece before you use it. Go through these eight steps below to customize and make it your own. Whether you have just ten or ninety minutes, I’ve listed these steps in priority order. If you have a time limit, set your timer. Then go down the list and implement them one at a time. Stop when you run out of time or you’re done.
1 – Change the headline (and subheads) to address your target market’s pain points and goals
If you have two minutes to customize a DFY product, at least do this!
Headlines are arguably the most important part of an article. Without a good headline, very few people will ever read it. Your headline should grab your ideal client’s attention so they stop scrolling and open it up. Whether they see the headline on Google, social media, or their personal email account, you want to get them to click through, see the value you offer, and build your expertise in their eyes.
One way to do this is to take your most popular post and look at your headline. I always suggest instead of reinventing the wheel, double-down on what’s worked for you in the past. Does your popular headline start with a question? Paint a picture? Promise a benefit? Whatever has worked in the past to connect your readers to your content, try using that format and style again.
Have no headline ideas of your own? Here are a few resources that can help you generate your own epic headline (and subheads):
- Tweak your biz title generator
- 47 headline examples: steal these nifty formulas from popular blogs
- Ask yourself these 3 simple questions to craft better headlines
- 6 lessons for writing irresistibly magnetic blog post headlines
- 39 ways to write deliciously seductive headlines (and attract more blog readers)
- The ultimate guide to writing irresistible subheads
Have too many headline ideas?
One way to get feedback on your headlines is to run them through a headline analyzer like one of these from:
PRO TIP: You can use your email autoresponder to decide on the best headline for YOUR audience. I love this market research strategy! Find out which of your top two headline ideas resonates with your email subscribers by using your email software, like ConvertKit (affiliate link). I do this by using the email subject line A/B testing function. I publish my blog post knowing that I may tweak the headline after hearing back from my subscribers. I simply include both headlines as options for the email subject line (headline A/headline B). Then, ConvertKit automatically sends each one out to 15% of my subscriber list. After four hours, whichever email had a higher open rate, that is the subject line that goes out to the remaining 70% of my subscribers! Then, I can go back and tweak my blog post headline afterwards.
PRO TIP for titles if you’re trying to rank on search engines: As you know, your blog post headline and subheadings are important factors that search engines like Google use to identify the topic of a post and understand which keywords it should rank for. So, if you are going the extra mile to optimize your post for a keyword (yes, you can do this with DFY content, too—this makes customization even more important!) be sure that your keyword is part of your title.
2 – Add images that reflect your brand and resonate with your audience
Images are necessary for blog posts. While I haven’t seen great research in this area, some top marketers recommend including one image for every 150-350 words of text. Yes, that’s a lot of images! There’s no hard and fast rule about this, but be sure your articles aren’t a wall of text. Think about people reading your post on their desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Break the text up with lots of white space and some relevant images that help drive your point home.
Just as you wouldn’t use a random blog post as your own, do NOT use a random image you find online either. Make sure it’s from a reputable company that is offering it for free or purchase rights to use it (pay the fee in advance, rather than the penalty later).
BONUS POINTS: If you want an image that people will remember, run it through LaMem to find out how memorable it is.
Once you have a few great images, you can customize them—if you want to—by adding your brand colours, website, and/or logo. Also, you might want to put your snazzy new headline smack in the middle of it so it shows clearly in social media thumbnails. Canva is super-popular and I still use them sometimes. But, my serious lack of graphic design skills has me gravitating toward another image solution. RelayThat (not an affiliate link) has so many great templates and once you’ve created an image you’re happy with, you can download it in the right size for just about every platform (YT thumbnail, vertical for Pinterest, square for IG, etc.).
3 – Add unique calls-to-action (CTAs) to encourage your ideal clients to take the next step
Technically you buy content; but you actually need content marketing. You need the content to work for you and market your business and expertise.If you buy content, keep in mind what you actually need is content marketing. You need the content to work for you and market your business and expertise. Here's how to make that happen. #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet
According to Jon Morrow of Smartblogger,
The purpose of content is to create influence.
The purpose of marketing is to convert influence into action.(ref)
Hence, “content marketing.”
The Content Marketing Institute defines “content marketing” as:
Creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
The marketing part of content marketing is specifically for driving action.
So, after your headline and images are done, CTAs are uber-important! What do you want your readers to do (during or) after they read your article?
Here are a bunch of ideas (but you only need a couple for each piece of content). Should your readers:
- Sign up for your email newsletter (or download your opt-in freebie or content upgrade)? *Note this is a great CTA because when your readers sign up for your email newsletter they’re giving you permission to email more content to them.
- Share the post on social media (maybe even with a click to tweet or your custom hashtag)?
- See another related blog post or page (add internal links)?
- Join your online group?
- Book a discovery call with you?
- Comment or email you their thoughts on this topic?
- Do your survey?
- Check out an affiliate product/service you are selling?
- Purchase one of your related products or services?
- Follow you on social media?
By adding in social sharing buttons, email opt-in incentives, and links to your products and programs and other valuable content, you are making sure it’s building your email list and business. Hence “marketing.”
Here’s an example of a CTA:
Struggling to find topics to blog about?
Instantly download these health blog topics!
4 – Open the article with a bang so your readers feel understood and are interested to find out more
Make the opening/introduction of your post really hit home with your audience. Start with an interesting or surprising story (that relates to the topic) to grab your readers’ attention.
Perhaps the topic reminds you of an experience or an example you can share. Or maybe you can include a mini case-study showing your audience how you used this information to help a client. Asking an awesome question or stating an interesting fact is a great way to start an article.
Use the opening to really draw your readers in. Here are some great ideas:
- The ultimate guide to writing blog post introductions
- How to write spellbinding introductions by shamelessly copying the pros
- 6 Steps to writing captivating blog post intros every time
- How to nail the opening of your blog post
5 – Add practical tips that help your audience see you as their red poppy in the field of green
It’s great to be educational and share expertise, but often your audience wants to know HOW to apply the knowledge. How is the info you share going to benefit them? What do they need to DO (not just what they need to know)?
Make your customized DFY article practical for them by adding:
- Tips or techniques on how to implement the knowledge (i.e., tips for better sleep, etc.)
- A recipe using those ingredients
- Instructions or a short demo video of you doing a stretch or other move so they can see it
- Review a relevant product you’ve tried. BONUS points for adding in your affiliate links to these products.
6 – Repurpose the content into different formats that work for you
Just because you have content in written form does NOT mean you have to publish it as written content! Why not create an audio or visual component instead? If the research and information are high-quality then paraphrase it into a podcast or video or create an infographic from it. Pull out some quotes or facts and make images to share on social media.
7 – Make the pre-written done-for-you content yours
If you’ve done the first six items and still have time, this is when you get to do some deeper magic with the content itself. There are a lot of ways to change up a post so it’s absolutely perfect for your audience and sounds just like you.
First, ensure everything in the post aligns with your position and branding. If you’re gluten-free, then you don’t want a post with a section on the benefits of grains, right? If there are parts that don’t align, either rework them or delete them altogether.
NOTE: In the done-for-you articles in the Credible Health Blog Shop, I specifically try to keep them educational and not add too much personality. Your audience needs your personality to shine through, not mine. Plus, they’re pretty long with several subsections – you can chop one or two out and still have an article with bulk. 🙂
You can make the content yours by:
- Paraphrasing it (use a thesaurus if you need to)
- Add your voice by including your favourite phrases, slang, or hashtags
- Break long posts into two—especially if they’re nice and long (HINT: If you split them into two posts, be sure to link them to each other and list all of the references at the end of both of them)
- Link to other relevant posts on your website (internal linking is great because it helps direct your reader to other content they may be interested in and it’s also a great SEO strategy if you use the keywords as your anchor text)
If you’re really adamant on having 100% unique content, but can’t invest the time to write it yourself or have it custom written for you, then customize it and run it through:
Of course, if you’re buying a DFY article, you know that some versions will be published on the web, mostly uncustomized stuff. You need to decide HOW different you want your version to be.
8 – Create a branded content upgrade
Here’s an advanced content marketing tip, which is why I left it until the end: create a “content upgrade.”
Content upgrades are a GREAT way to use content to grow your email list! It’s basically offering additional valuable content that’s an “upgrade” to the free content you’re offering online for all to see. For example, you can make a downloadable checklist or use some of the practical tips in #5 as a content upgrade. This is an advanced tip for content marketing because in order for your readers to get the more exclusive “upgrade” you’ll ask them to subscribe to your email list so you can send it directly to their inbox.
I created a content upgrade in this post below:
Struggling to find topics to blog about?
Instantly download these health blog topics!
I hope that these two pre-purchase and eight post-purchase content strategies help you to get the best DFY content for your practice and customize it to make it yours. Remember, you can do all of them, just a couple, or nothing at all to the DFY posts you buy. Of course, the more you choose to do, the more minutes it will take and the more custom your content will become. 🙂
PRO TIP: I’ve personally addressed all of these concerns with the done-for-you content in the Credible Health Blog Shop. These articles are fully customizable, limited edition (max 73 sales—you read that right only 73 are sold and then they’re gone forever), and packed with recent research studies as credible references. In fact, the ones marked “premium” also include headline title ideas, images, email newsletter, and social media prompts. If you opt for the full “content marketing kit” you also get a full tutorial how to customize that article for your business as well as 10 pre-written social media posts to schedule and share your new expert post with your followers for a year or more.
Signing off and toasting: To customizing done for you content like a pro in just a few minutes, and use it to really build your health practice.
Over to you
What do you think? Do you use DFY content? How much have you customized it? Will you do so more now? Did I miss something?
I’d love to know (in the comments below)!
*Originally published May 2017; updated with even more awesomeness August 2018 and December 2020.
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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.
I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.