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The truth about done-for-you health content
Done-for-you health content are pre-written articles, emails, social media, etc. that save you a huge amount of time when it comes to consistently staying in touch with your audience. You simply choose the health topics that are most important to you, purchase the pre-written documents (at a much, much lower price than having someone create something from scratch just for you), spend a few minutes customizing them to suit your style and brand, and then publish them as though they’re your own.
You essentially cut your creation time to about one-fifth of what it would be if you created your content from scratch for yourself.
Done-for-you content is a very easy way to regularly communicate with your readers, subscribers, and followers with excellent content that looks as though you spent a ton of time researching, writing (or recording), and editing, when in fact, you have all that time still available to help your paying clients and run your business.
Full transparency: I’m a prolific creator of done-for-you health content.
But honestly, done-for-you (DFY) health content is not for everyone. If you absolutely love finding and reviewing studies, writing, and editing, AND your time and effort in these areas pay off to get you clients and/or patients, then, done-for-you health content is not necessary for you. Plus, there’s another situation where DFY content probably won’t cut it for you.
This article goes over some of the major pros and cons of using DFY content.
For me, creating credible health content (i.e., based on legit scientific studies) is seriously my jam. Not only do I create a range of different DFY health articles that I sell here; but, I’ve ghostwritten and/or edited hundreds of health and wellness blog posts. Hundreds! My clients and customers include physicians, dietitians, yoga teachers, nutritionists, health coaches, fitpros, health-centred non-profits, etc.
At the risk of losing sales, let me spill the truth about DFY health content. (I surely don’t want you to have buyer’s remorse!)
What exactly is done-for-you health content?
Done-for-you (DFY) content goes by a few other names, like “white-labelled” or “PLR” (Private Label Rights). It’s basically pre-written content (i.e., articles, programs, etc.) that you buy the right to use as your own.
For example, the full-length health articles I write are created specifically for health & wellness professionals who want to build their authority with easy-to-understand, engaging, research-based content. They’re in Word docs, so you can edit them and use them almost however you want to.
You can re-purpose them in so many ways:
- customize & personalize them (more on this below)
- publish them as your own blog posts and you become the author
- copy them (or parts of them) into your newsletter
- pull out excerpts and quotes for social media posts
- give them away as opt-in incentives to grow your email list
- add them to your paid health & wellness programs
- talk about the research in your podcast or video
The only restrictions I have are that you don’t re-sell them, don’t use them as posts on more than one website, nor submit them to your prof as your assignment (’cause that’s just icky!).
There are other DFY products as well, such as pre-written “mini” articles that are perfect for keeping in touch with your subscribers. These Health Scoops are updates on recent health studies that you can share via email without having to publish a full-length article on your blog.
So, by purchasing pre-written DFY health articles or emails, you buy a license to use them for your health business. And you have a lot of freedom to customize and re-purpose them so they suit you. The goal is to be able to consistently market your health practice while saving a ton of time and money by not creating those materials from scratch.
Why I think done-for-you content rocks (for some people)
As health practitioners, we’re also entrepreneurs and online business owners. And we’re often our own admins, social media managers, customer service agents, and accountants. Sometimes we even design our own graphics and websites.
You get the picture. We wear many hats when we’re running our businesses. And that takes a lot of different skills.
If you’re like me, when I went to nutrition school I wasn’t that interested in (nor did I learn) the basics of bookkeeping, social media management, nor graphic/website design.
So, this is why I think done-for-you content rocks (for some people) – because YOU don’t have to spend the time and effort to create health articles and emails yourself.Done for you health content rocks because YOU don't have to create it yourself. Click To Tweet
Sometimes it just makes sense to outsource certain tasks and responsibilities—especially ones that we know are going to move our “business needle” forward. We simply can’t always dilute our energy into half-heartedly doing every single thing we need to do.
To be honest, I keep farming out more and more things for my biz. Sometimes because they’re not my passion or zone of genius. Most times it’s because I frankly suck at them and hate doing them. But when it comes to research, writing, editing, and keyword optimizing—that’s my jam.
I stopped pushing myself to do stuff I wasn’t good at
A few years ago I was a nutritionist. Now I’m a health writer/editor, blogging expert, and research nerd. These last three are what I love to do. And I’m freaking good at it. (Oh, and I’ve been researching/writing science-based health info since I started university a long time ago—it’s not a new skill of mine.) 😉
Honestly, I didn’t thoroughly enjoy being a nutritionist and acting as a health mentor and coach. I had great clients, but it didn’t light me up. It wasn’t my zone of genius. It wasn’t my jam.
I’d rather research and write health topics All. Day. Long. rather than muddle my way through someone’s food journals or practise food photography.
And I have tons of respect if you are absolutely fabulous at coaching and being a health mentor for your clients. I can imagine how it feels when someone tells you that they’ve met their health goals, they’re feeling so much better, and they actually looove your recipes. That your professional recommendations and support with a new nutrition and lifestyle plan has benefited them immensely.
In the course of my business, I’ve muddled my way through things . . . like graphics.
If I really tried to do them well, then I would spend SO much time tediously grinding through each one to do a great job. And that time I was using to struggle through things I didn’t love is SO much more valuable to me if I focus on my superpowers like research and writing. I don’t have an eye for visual design, so I made do with what I could and that was good enough for me.
NO LONGER! I’ve starting to get professional help with certain designs because outsourcing stuff I’m not awesome at and simply don’t love doing just makes so much sense.
Do you know how you feel when you’ve turned around someone’s health with a new amazingly better lifestyle? THIS is how I feel when someone tells me that the health articles they buy from me helps them:
- “Look smart! I look like I’ve spent a lot of time researching those articles.”
- “Save a ton of hours from looking. I know how to do this but there are only so many hours in the day.”
- “Establish trust with people so they’re willing to pay for my services.”
- “Get guest blog opportunities. People trust and share what I write. Because people trust me I’ve been able to develop ambassador affiliate relationships.”
What I’m saying is that businesses need a lot of inputs to be successful and no one is great at everything. Being an entrepreneurial health practitioner takes a TON of different skills and a TON of time.
Perhaps it’s about “self-awareness” (have you seen Gary V’s video on it? Head’s up—contains swearing):
THIS is why I love done-for-you health content.
If each of us goes “all in” on our strengths, we can rock as a team. We can change the world of health.
You can probably coach clients 10,000x better than I can and that is amazing!
Technically, I could keep pushing myself to be a nutrition coach or graphic designer because that’s what I should do. My nutrition clients would never see and feel that spark of passion in how I help them. My designs would NEVER be as good as what professional ones look like.
If I forced myself to grind through every day, I would clearly be less effective and successful as my colleagues (you!) who are amazing with nutrition clients and/or graphics.
Do you remember those few teachers or professors who made each class a totally amazing, memorable experience? They’re the ones who filled it with enthusiasm and had that spark for their subject? Ya, that’s me when it comes to research and writing about health topics.
I would never help as many people or make as much of a difference if I constantly did what I “should” and spent So. Much. Time. on my weaknesses.
Pros of done-for-you (DFY) health content:
- Saves you time because you’re not creating everything from scratch.
- You can have ready-made excellent blog or newsletter articles that you just have to customize and publish.
- Saves you money from hiring someone to create articles exclusively for you.
- You don’t have to pay a freelance writer $500 for each 500-word article custom written for you (unless, of course, you want to)
- Saves you frustration from doing something you don’t love that isn’t your superpower.
- You don’t have to feel overwhelmed doing tedious work when you’d rather help your clients or market your business instead.
Win – Win – Win!Done-for-you health content saves you time, money, and frustration #DFY #health #blog Click To Tweet
Some downfalls of done-for-you health content
Done-for-you content definitely solves a lot of problems for a lot practitioners.
BUT . . .
Let’s be honest, even awesome done-for-you health content has a huge drawback. It isn’t unique to you.
Others, sometimes hundreds of others, are marketing that exact same content at the exact same time as you.
So, herein lies two opportunities:
- Investing in more exclusive (not as “mass market”) DFY products (more on this below)
- Customizing and personalizing DFY health content
I would argue that you *can* use DFY content as is, BUT I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to make at least a small effort to customize it to your brand, your voice, and your audience (Do you know how massive the wellness industry is? It’s too easy to get lost in the sea of sameness.) I highly recommend that you consider any content you invest in to be 80 percent done, where you just need to tweak it by 20 percent before you put it out into the world. (Hence how it takes only one-fifth of the time as doing it all yourself.)
You should edit it so it represents your brand in your voice speaking to your audience.
I’ve listed a bunch of ways to customize “done for you” blog content here.
Spending 20-60 minutes customizing each health article is well worth the serious discount from having a writer custom create something exclusively for you. And it’s certainly well worth the massive time and frustration savings if research and/or writing are not your jam.
You can think about it this way too: what can you create from scratch in 20-60 minutes?
If the answer is: awesome content that your audience loves and you’re proud of, then you don’t need DFY content.
The key to successfully using done-for-you health content is in the niche-specificity, plus quality, plus exclusivity, plus customization.The key to successfully using done-for-you health content is in the niche-specificity, plus initial quality, plus exclusivity, plus customization. #DFY Click To Tweet
BTW, any DFY content should be high-quality and error-free. If you ever find mistakes in something from me, please send me an email to let me know!
What about SEO? (In other words what’s the truth about duplicate content?)
If you’re already ranking well on search engines and you want to maintain that status, you know you need at least a few epic, exclusive, high-quality long-form articles.
Congrats if you’re doing this, by the way (I know how hard it is)!
Done-for-you health articles are awesome when you need to fill a gap for content—especially when it’s the most epic niche-specific DFY content and you customize it, but honestly, it needs to be really customized and optimized for SEO. You want to avoid duplicate content if you’re vying for that first page of search results!
Cons of done for you (DFY) health content:
- It’s not exclusive to you (but it doesn’t have to be generic or mass market, either).
- Make sure the DFY content is niche-specific and NOT “mass market” (i.e. NOT sold to hundreds upon hundreds of your colleagues, like mine that automatically discontinue once the 73rd person purchases it!).
- You still need to spend some time customizing and personalizing it.
- The more you customize, the more it will speak to YOUR audience, and the more exclusive it becomes online.
- It’s going to need a lot of work to support your efforts to rank on search engines.
- If you’re ranking already, you know you need at least a few epic, exclusive, high-quality long-form articles called cornerstone of pillar content. It truly is tough and competitive. Technically, you can use the very best done-for-you article on the market (or put two similar ones together), customize it so it’s unique, then find a great keyword and optimize it. This may still work, although if SEO is your priority, then you probably want custom epic content that’s keyword-optimized.
I love done-for-you articles because they allow inexpensive and quick outsourcing of some of the fundamental content you need to market your health practice and consistently stay in touch with your audience. You can multi-purpose long-form articles into blog posts, social media posts, free opt-in incentives to grow your list, and products and programs to sell to your clients. If creating these is not your jam, then you don’t have to labour at it for a frustrating number of hours or days.
The main problem with DFY content is that it’s not exclusive to you. Other practitioners will have the same content as you, so you really should customize it, at least a bit. Consider DFY health content to be 80 percent done, where you take a high-quality piece of content and just need to make it yours. Also, DFY health content is duplicate content and won’t rank you on search engines; so if you’re already ranking well, you know how hard that was – congrats! Definitely avoid “mass market” done-for-you content by investing in ones that have a maximum limit (like mine do).
The bottom line is that buying niche-specific DFY health content is a GREAT way to outsource things you may not have time or aptitude for, and costs just a small fraction of hiring a ghostwriter to create this stuff exclusively for you. Look out for high-quality products, especially when it was created by someone who’s superpower is exactly that.
These are my honest thoughts. I’d love to hear yours! If you have a few minutes to anonymously answer a few questions about what you would love to see in health content, there is a short survey at this link.
Signing off and toasting: To honesty around the pros and cons of “done for you” health content
Over to you
What do you think about done-for-you content? Would you prefer cookie-cutter content that potentially hundreds of colleagues use too? Have you invested in custom creations that are exclusive to you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below!
Originally published Aug 2017. Updated with even more awesomeness March 2019, March 2021, and October 2021.
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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.