Are you part of a professional language learning, language teaching or literacy association? Does your association have a newsletter or website with resources for its members? These two items together can add value to an association, making it more attractive for members to belong, pay their dues and take part in activities.
The problem is that it can be difficult to get fresh, relevant content for your newsletter or websites. Many associations rely solely on members or a web master to produce content. This can lead to the same people getting published over and over again, or very little content for your newsletter or site because so few people contribute.
There’s an answer!
Did you know that there are services designed specifically to provide free, high-quality content for your newsletter, website or blog? Yup. No cost to you. The only catch is that you credit the original authors with their work and publish a link to their websites. In return, they agree to share their content at no cost to you. Here are some sites where you can get free content for your website, blog or newsletter:
How does it work? Go to one of these sites and enter a search term into their database. Something like “Teaching ESL”, or “Managing EFL schools” or “Promoting Literacy”. The database returns a list of articles written on the topic. I write for a number of these services and give the articles away to anyone who wants them.
Some of these sites screen the articles and others don’t. Most will spell check at the very least.
Here is a checklist of things to look for:
Author credibility – Who wrote the article? What qualifications and experience does he or she have? Some sites have an “Expert Author” category. This usually means that the articles are written by someone with a degree or a specialization in the field.
Content – Does the article meet your readers’ needs? It’s all about your readers and giving them good, solid content they can learn from. “How to” articles are especially popular on these sites. I wrote one called How to Find the Perfect Host Family that readers seemed to enjoy.
Writing – Read over the article before you publish it. Is it well-written? Does it make sense? Is it free of language or spelling errors? Only publish articles that meet your standards.
When you find an author whose work meets your needs and writes in a way that your members will appreciate, you’ll start looking for more of their work. You’ll find other authors whose work you like, too. Before you know it, your website, blog or newsletter will be full of solid content that your members will appreciate.
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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.