The Guide to What Is “PLR” (Private Label Rights) and Why Should Solopreneurs Use It for Mightier Content Marketing
If you’re creating content, building an email list, or selling digital products in your online business you’ve probably come across the terms “ PLR”, “white label rights”, “done-for-you content”, or “licensed content.” If you’re a service-business based solopreneur newer to online marketing you may have a lot of questions around those terms. I know I did when I leaned fully into online marketing years ago. Here’s your guide to what PLR is, where you can use it, and how to make the best of PLR in your business. Smartly using Private Label Rights (PLR) gives you leverage to create more content, products and authority in a more efficient way.
There’s a lot of pressure on business owners using content marketing to grow and build a business to be prolific with their content. Yes, you do need to be consistent with your content creation and marketing efforts. But you don’t need to succumb to the pressure to have new, from-scratch content all the time. PLR (private label rights) content is a great resource for those who don’t always have the time, skills, or interest to research, write or create tons of content.
Since I was once a service-business based solopreneur who was unfamiliar with PLR or how to use it, I wanted to share my research and experience with you about what PLR is and how to get the most from it for your business.
What Is PLR (Private Label Rights) Content?
This type of content is also known as “white label rights”, “done-for-you content”, or “licensed content.” The content can be modified, edited, branded, or reformatted by the purchaser to best fit their needs.
The license you are purchasing covers your rights to edit, reformat, re-use, put your brand/logo/name on it, and claim the copyright as your own. In fact, it’s assumed, or even required, that you edit and put your own style and examples into any pre-written content you purchase. PLR is an efficient, cost-effective, and fast way to create content for your online business.
PLR or licensed content can work for nearly every business type – whether you’re a mom blogger, parenting coach, health + wellness coach, business coach, or any other niche. If you are creating and sharing content to attract your audience and customers, you may want to add in some PLR-based content to your marketing efforts.
You can use PLR content to:
- Build your email list
- Consistently publish blog content
- Engage your audience via emails
- Share social media content
- Offer new, valuable free content in lead magnets or opt-in gifts
- Create a value-added bonus to an existing offer
- Drip out consistent, helpful content via a free or paid membership or online community
- Use PLR to create a bonus for promoting related affiliate products
- Release relevant, useful paid content via checklists, workbooks, planners, webinars, workshops, courses, or more
Pre-written content comes in a variety of formats, including: .doc (or equivalent Mac files), .txt, PowerPoint, images (as .jpgs and sometimes in .eps or Photoshop formats, and also now in Canva (affiliate) or Affinity formats or templates), .mp4 video files, .mp3 audio files, even HTML or other done-for-you web pages.
White Label, Done-for-You, or Private Label Rights content can vary in scope, size, depth, format, quality and price point. My past experience says it’s worth finding the sellers that match your style, tone, and niche and where it’s easy to edit their stuff so it works for you. You don’t need to buy every piece of PLR you come across. I have some recommendations at the end of this post.
Is it Really Ok to Use PLR?
Yes, it really is ok and a legitimate thing to use pre-written content in your business. It’s a great time-saver, inspiration-starter, and shortcut to staying consistent with your content and marketing. Use it smartly for mightier marketing!
You have purchased, or licensed, the right to use this content as if it were your own creation, via the original creator or PLR seller. This content was designed to be sold to, and used by, multiple purchasers. You don’t have to pay any ongoing royalties nor credit the seller after you purchase. In fact, it’s a condition of purchase that you NEVER use the name of the original seller on the material.
It’s Not Cheating to Use PLR
If you aren't good at creating logos, is it ‘cheating' to hire a graphic designer to create your logo? Of course not!
If you hired someone to design or setup your website because that's not a skill you have or want to develop, is that ‘cheating'? Again, nope!
It's not different from taking advantage of the skills of content writers who create done-for-you or licensed content that you can customize and use in your business.
It’s also not a copyright violation, nor is it plagiarizing. You’re buying the right to use this content.
It’s not the same as ‘duplicate content’ that Google penalizes. It’s true that Google doesn’t like when EXACTLY the same content shows up on multiple websites nor the same content showing up on multiple pages of the same domain. But that’s not what you’re going to be doing with your purchased licensed content! You’ll use the tips below on editing, changing the headlines, adding your examples and making it yours.
Google also doesn’t care – in a negative sense – if you take some content that was written as a blog post and turn it into a video, or infographic, or an email or anything else. That’s just good repurposing.
And honestly, when your ideal client is out there searching Google for answers to their pressing problems, and find your mighty awesome blog post – they don't care who wrote every word. They care that you have quality content that answers their questions or helps them do something.
Always check licenses, terms or conditions for purchased content
Do check with the PLR seller for their terms, conditions, and the rights associated with each package you’ve purchased. Rights for how or where you can use content may not be the same across every PLR seller.
In most cases, purchasing PLR means you have the right to edit, re-write, re-format, add your own graphics, your brand colors or other branding, and your name as the author of that content. PLR sellers WANT you to edit, tweak, add, subtract, and make the content your own when you put it out into the world. You can use it on your website, in emails, in videos, or to create courses, products, or services that you sell to clients.
Note – some PLR sellers will limit how many times a package can be purchased or licensed, but that’s not the most common way PLR is sold.
You generally do NOT have the right to turn around and re-sell that exact package of PLR as a licensed content for someone else to use as PLR. That would require a master reseller rights license – some PLR sellers do provide that for some content but it will be spelled out distinctly. Never assume any resell rights unless explicitly stated in the terms. You may also occasionally see “unrestricted rights”, which give the buyer the right to use, change, or resell.
Private Label vs Personal Use Rights – Briefly Explained
A content creator or PLR seller may also sell content with “Personal Use Rights” – this is NOT PLR. This is content you can use in your own business (but not as marketing content) or to learn from. For example, a worksheet you use in your private, one-to-one coaching sessions only – but you can’t use that worksheet as an email opt-in gift or lead magnet.
Some PLR sellers do sell both Private Label Rights content and Personal Use Rights content – so be sure you know exactly which you are purchasing and the terms for use. Don’t assume something is PLR.
“PLR” and the related terms were new to me when I transitioned to being a consultant and then online business owner years ago. When I first learned the concept of PLR, I was skeptical because of my education and background as a librarian, educator, and researcher. After all, a core part of my study and work in the library world was around things like copyright, intellectual property, plagiarism, and closely protecting an individual’s or creator’s right to their content. I had to learn – and unlearn – some things!
Where Can You Use PLR Content In Your Business or Marketing?
Better to ask, where can’t you use PLR? 😁
There are nearly endless ways to mix-match, tweak, or repurpose the licensed content you purchase into something new that can benefit your audience and your business.
The best thing that PLR can do is save you time. And save you from the headache of staring at a blank screen wondering what to say, how to get started on a blog post or an email, or how to create an attractive new email opt-in gift.
Using PLR in a smart way means you save time and energy that can be spent on working directly with clients or customers, serving and helping them.
Common types of PLR content
Blog post or website content
Using PLR for social media content – posts, graphics, videos
PLR for email marketing content
PLR for creating email opt-in gifts, aka lead magnets
PLR for courses, workshops, webinars or other training (free or paid)
PLR as resources for bonuses, add-ons
PLR as resources or material for memberships
Templates – I would consider many of the templates being sold, whether Canva (affiliate) graphics, email templates, checklists, planners, sales page templates, as done-for-you content. That’s a type of PLR and many of the same tips for editing, using, and repurposing will apply to those done-for-you templates.
How to Make PLR Your Own – and Get It to Work for You
Start with Finding Quality PLR that Fits Your Business
To get the most effective and time-saving use, you want PLR that suits your business, your niche, and your own style. Not every PLR source will be a good fit for you.
Look for samples of a PLR sellers work to see if their topics, depth of material, writing proficiency and style suit your business and audience. If you can, find out if they create their own content from scratch (possibly with a team of writers), and beware any sellers that are creating products off someone else’s PLR!
Not every PLR source is the same level of quality. Buy high quality PLR.
Buy PLR in formats that you know you’re likely to use. It could be generally high-quality PLR in an audio format, but if you don’t use audio or you feel strongly you’d have to re-record it – that’s not quality PLR for YOU.
Quality isn't just about writing style, grammar, or graphics quality – it means it is easy for you to put into use and saves you time.
Want another great example of high quality PLR in a free sample? Check out this Coach Glue Guide to Getting So Many Clients Your Calendar is Full.
To be honest, there’s still a lot of crappy PLR floating around on the web and you still come across a sale with hundreds or even thousands of articles for a low price. Run! You’ll spend more time editing, improving, fixing errors, adding value, and personalizing – it isn’t worth it. Don’t buy iffy, slim, generic, bland, or boring licensed content. Don’t buy anything that looks like it’s been sold over and over, plugged into old e-article directories or blog mills. The low-quality stuff will be harder to work with and leave a bad taste with your visitors. [ see my personal recommendations below]
Organize Your PLR To Use it Efficiently
Before you dive in to editing, take time to organize your purchases so you know what you have and it’s easy to find and use later. I know too many stories from colleagues and clients who have accidentally purchased the same content over again. D’oh. Ok, maybe it’s even happened once or twice to me!
I’m not just a marketing pro but a former librarian – so I still organize my content by subject first. Then I may add initials to a folder or file to note the original purchase source.
Example: High Level Folder = Email Marketing , sub folder(s) may be: List Building, Automations, Email Engagement. Or I may leave the subfolders as the names of the PLR packages, with the seller brand’s initials added.
Email Marketing > Forgotten Email Marketing Tasks-PMB (means this is a pack I purchased from the awesome ladies of Piggy Makes Bank)
Organizing your PLR in a way that makes sense for you means you’re more likely to USE your PLR. You won’t accidentally buy the same thing twice, you won’t forget what you own, you won’t let it sit around forgotten until it’s outdated and useless. You invested in the PLR – now go use it to build your business!
Combine PLR packages on the same topic to make something new.
Yes, it’s ok to combine pieces of content from across different packages and different providers. Don't get too hung up on where the PLR came from, what the original format is, the length or even the style – you can edit all of those things.
For example, you could combine several articles into an e-book, a mini course, or even turn the text into a video series.
Don’t hoard your PLR or sit on it. Use it!
It's especially important to not sit on something so long that the info is out of date or needs more revisions than are worth your time. Your PLR purchases are doing you no good if you hoard them, hold them, let them gather digital dust. Make a plan for using a purchase WHEN you buy it.
As a recovering PLR-hoarder myself, it's important I remind you that PLR only helps your business if you USE it. Buying that pack of content with an awesome lead magnet / email opt-in gift is cool – but it doesn't grow your email list if you never get it up on the web and connected to your email software. It also won't do any good if you don't share and promote that new email opt-in, but we'll save that for another post. 😉
Cross promote and repurpose your content.
Use a piece of PLR as a starting point for a blog post, then take snipped of that post and turn them into social media posts. Or use some of the tips from a post in one or more emails and link back to your blog post or a related video. If a PLR package includes PowerPoint slides and you don’t intend to use them for a webinar or a course, consider turning some of those slides into .jpg images for blog posts, social media posts, or even turning into a simple animated video. You can even create the video right inside of PowerPoint. (I show examples of this kind of repurposing in my Mighty Content Repurposing Workshop)
Tips for Editing PLR More Effectively and Efficiently
First off, don’t work so hard! You're not meant to rewrite the PLR! This is when all my fellow recovering perfectionists need to be ok with ‘good enough' – and DONE and out in the world is mighty good.
➡️ Don’t over do the editing.
That takes away the time-saving aspect of PLR. Set a timer for 15- 30 minutes for the first, light pass through a particular piece of content. Look for areas you can make a big or priority impact in customizing – like headers, changing key phrases to suit your audience, or looking for places you can add a story or example.
➡️ Use your own tone of voice and writing style.
Edit it for your style, tone of voice, brand, audience. If you're funny, a bit sarcastic, then you may need to add some interjections, asides, or humor to a post. If your audience is older women entrepreneurs, make sure your tone, style and examples suit those mature women with experience in the world. Take out references or words that don't fit.
➡️ Do add in examples that speak to your audience.
This is the best way to make licensed content your own, to stand out, and to work for your business. Add in case studies or detailed examples from your business, from your clients or customers. Use your own examples from your business as well as examples from your clients and niche.
➡️ Format and brand it.
This is especially key for any PLR that you are turning into email opt-in gifts, worksheets, checklists, items to be downloaded. Those files need your URL, your bio, your brand colors, your logo and other touches that clearly mark this as something that fits in with the other content or marketing pieces you've created in your business.
➡️ Add your own unique graphics.
But don’t let this slow you down. Use any included graphics as inspiration and go tweak some things in Canva. Or add a different style of graphic – maybe some of the text tips would be better in a simple infographic.
➡️ Change the format if you need to.
For example, maybe a written piece of content marked as a blog post would be better as a live social video from you. Or use it in a series of emails. Or take something that’s text-based and turn it into notes for a Facebook or Instagram Live video.
➡️ Add your own personal introductions or summaries even to pre-recorded video or audio content.
Use a custom intro, outro or transition. Edit the video or audio to add a personal story to the beginning or at the conclusion – that’s much easier editing than trying to chop a video into bits and insert yourself in the middle.
In my Trello training courses I share many Trello boards, including ones that have great checklists included. I have a checklist with steps on editing PLR to make it your own. Want my checklist as a PDF you can download and use for yourself?
Get my Mighty Customize Your PLR Checklist here…
Make It Easy!
Don't Let Your PLR Sit Around - Use It!
PLR or Done-for-You content is an inspiration starter and time-saver - if you an edit and get it out. Use this checklist to make customizing easier and faster.
For some more tips on how to make PLR content your own without pulling your hair out or taking more time to edit than creating from scratch – check out this post from my pal Melissa Brown at She’s Got Content on how to customize your PLR in just 4 steps. Love how Melissa practices what she teaches. You can see we’re each believers in the power of PLR, if used smartly!
What NOT to Do With PLR
Obviously don’t do anything you don’t have the license rights to do with that particular PLR package!
Most PLR packs include thing you can and can’t do – and some are ‘universal.’ For example, it’s against the terms and conditions of Amazon to use PLR for creating Kindle books. So don’t bother. You can’t submit an article that’s based on PLR to most article directories (not to worry – those really aren’t a thing anymore anyway! Bye 2009!)
Most importantly, don’t just take a package of PLR you purchased and put it up word-for-word on your website with zero changes. That’s boring, ineffective, and about the only way that using PLR will actually penalize you.
But also don’t totally rewrite the content. That’s incredibly inefficient.
Do rewrite headlines, subheads, and put in your own examples.
Don’t feel like you must use every piece, or every format of content included in any PLR packages.
Don’t hoard your PLR – go use it! It doesn’t help your business if it’s sitting gathering digital dust on your hard drive.
Similarly, don’t buy PLR willy-nilly, grabbing it from every bundle or giveaway, from providers you don’t know, without a plan for using that content.
Don’t be afraid to delete or trash PLR that is low-quality, outdated, or not a fit for your audience or niche. It won’t help you to put out bad content. And it will take up too much of your precious time to make it better.
Are there any other downsides to using licensed content?
People who create and sell licensed content do so to many people – look for what's unique.
The same package of content on a topic may be sold to many people, for them to use as blog posts, emails, etc. It could mean that a competitor in your field or niche has also purchased the same content – and maybe they aren’t really putting their own spin on it, just throwing it out there.
Licensed content can be bland or overly general.
PLR creators have to keep things broad to sell to as many people in a given niche as they reasonably can. So the content is often fairly general or broadly applicable. You won’t get detailed examples, opinions, specific niche case studies, or up-to-the-minute trends. Be prepared to add those examples, stats, or updated links to what you use.
Tip: That’s why this content can be a good starting or jumping off point, but it needs your cases, your examples, your opinion to make it really usable, and useful.
Material can become dated quickly.
This is especially true in any fields with lots of technological changes. Most PLR creators work quickly and don’t dive deeply, nor do they often go back and revise what they’ve been selling to bring it up to the latest software or app updates.
Tip: Don’t buy old PLR. Don’t buy it and hold on to it, always have a plan to use it.
Tip: Be wary of buying licensed content in areas that change frequently – software, website tools, apps, trends, etc.
Buying ‘sight unseen’.
Unfortunately, those who sell licensed content won’t let you take a peek and see exactly what’s inside a PLR package or bundle. You’ll see titles and topics, whether items are short blog posts, long posts, reports, include images or not – but you won’t see the sentences, the tone, or the quality of writing. You may not know how much editing a piece needs to really make it yours. And if it needs lots, well, it wasn’t a time-saver after all and not much help to you or your clients.
Tip: Check to see if the PLR seller has any free packs you can check out in exchange for joining their email list. This is a good deal – you can see the style and depth of their content plus get notices of all the sales on new licensed content.
The ladies at White Label Perks offer a free package here. They're known for gorgeous graphics and content that is easy to use as blog posts or email opt-in gifts. The free pack pulls a pillar post & one social graphic from recent full version packs and offer them as “tasty samples.”
Or go check out this usefulNew Client Kit with 17 Done-for-You Forms to Spend Less Time on Paperwork So You Can Do More of What You Love from Nicole and Melissa at CoachGlue.
Ok – Time to Go Shopping for PLR!
Jennifer's Personal Recommendations for PLR or Licensed Content
My list is pretty short these days, because I’m picky. Because I have specific needs. Because I’m no longer being caught by any shiny, bright, special sale. I’ve checked out a LOT, so I know who creates high quality material that I’m proud to adapt, add to, and put my name on. This is my short list of who I’ll recommend:
- Nicole Dean and Melissa Ingold of Coach Glue have more than 20 years success running online businesses and excel at high quality products that have every little extra piece you could use to build and grow an online business. Way more than blog posts – they craft full workshops, training programs, forms, kits, other content that helps you coach, teach, or train your own clients. Want to see how Nicole and Melissa can help more than coaches, but anyone in a client, service-oriented business? Grab their FREE New Client kit – includes things like intake forms, invoice templates, payment arrangement letter, confidentiality agreement, a referral request template, and more. Easily editable to fit many info pro solo businesses.
- Kelly McCausey, Sam Angel, and Avery Wilmer of White Label Perks – you can buy individual packs, or get a money-saving Perks Pass membership and get ALL their content. Grow your email list faster when you have multiple, topic-specific, targeted offerings. Giving a content upgrade or perk to a popular post on your site is a great way to help your audience, while expanding your email list and ability to help even more customers. WLP offers these perfectly sized ‘content perks’.
- Tracy Roberts and Susanne Myers over at Piggy Makes Bank joined forces to create content to support new online entrepreneurs. Their well-written content in popular online niches helps new businesses focus on serving their audiences, so they put money in the bank. Their PLR has topics popular with those talking about health tips, self-improvement, blogging as a business, living well, decluttering, and several important marketing topics. Buy individual content packs or get their membership for a significant discount on content over a year. Check out their style and quality with one of their free packs, like this one on Creating Habits (applicable for talking about personal habits or better business productivity).
- Sharyn Sheldon of Content Sparks . Sharyn is a former educator and trainer, and her instructional design chops show in how well thought out and craftd her workshops and training packages are. This is high quality content and the higher prices to match – but her special promotions when she launches new content are worth snapping up. She also regularly gives tips on how to use content, how to promote your business, how to use certain tools more efficiently,and gives free extras. Just sign up for her emails.
There are others out there who are legit, do good work, and offer content you can use at very reasonable prices. I’ve been on their lists, read their emails and their blog posts, seen them on social media, probably attended a webinar or two, and likely have some of their PLR. You need to find the sources that suit you, your audience, and your needs. Those sources may change over time.
Sometimes I don’t like how they promote anymore, or I feel their content has gotten stale or too generic, or they don’t offer the extras that my faves do (like checklists, worksheets, social media images ready to post, ecovers, the hottest topics), etc. But if you come across someone and want an opinion, to know whether to trust them or buy from them – email me and ask. I’ll tell you whatever I know, give an honest opinion – or tell you if I just don’t know. That’s always part of the way things work here at Mighty Marketing Mojo.
Now you have a detailed summary of what PLR is, how to efficiently use it in your business, how to make it more your own (and still save time), and some of my favorite PLR seller sources. I hope you can see ideas for how pre-written or done-for-you content can help you save time while still providing valuable information to your audience and potential customers.
P.S. I practice what I teach … both when I first created this article and when I updated it, I used my own experiences, questions from my community, AND I mixed in multiple sources of PLR. Yes, there’s PLR out there ABOUT PLR. 😆 Bet you couldn’t figure out what part of this article was originally PLR – and that’s the point.
[Note: post revised and significantly updated Feb. 2022, originally created July 2017]