Using the Public Domain for Free Articles

Many webmasters find the idea of writing articles for their website both tedious and daunting. People tend to procrastinate when it comes to writing articles and delay as long as they can. The reason for this is that many people dread the idea of writing articles, because researching the topic and finding unique content appears to be too taxing and time-consuming to them.

When you start to write articles, the first thing you’re one of the fine is that you need to have your creative juices flowing. Downloading an article and not even attempting to rewrite it would just be plagiarism, which is the same as plagiarizing somebody’s copy. In other words, you would be stealing it. While this is not exactly the best way to go about it, there is an alternative called the public domain. Articles that are in the public domain have already been written by authors who have declared their works, public, which means that anybody can use them for whatever purpose they need them for.

There are a number of people who don’t mind sharing their work. Many authors copyright their work, and you have to get permission before you can use any or all of it. Writers who put their works into the public domain are essentially saying that anybody and everybody can use the information and the article. In essence, these writers have waived their rights and given their works to the public.

These public domain articles can be a big help in writing your own articles. You can simply edit them, adjust them to your own style or rewrite them as you like. All the ideas and writing is essentially gone. So it’s just a matter of finding the correct article with a topic or subject that you want cover.

One of the easiest ways to write articles is by utilizing material that’s already in the public domain. What this means is that you skip the time-consuming step of scouring around the library for surfing around the Internet looking for information and then taking it in starting the article from scratch. Webmasters, who are looking for web content to fill up their site and increase their page rank, can simply modify an existing public domain article, infuse it with keywords and key phrases that are specific to the niche they are talking about and post them on their website.

Using public domain articles allows you to avoid any chance of getting sued for copyright infringement, and doesn’t require that much work to get good, relevant content for your website.

Public domain articles can be used for any website or any Project, and with them. You can save a lot of time and money. You will culminate the need for higher freelance writers, and you also won’t have to write all of your articles from scratch. In terms of savings in money, freelancers generally charge anywhere between $10 and $15 for a 500 word article. So you can see how that would begin to add up in the long run.

If you decide to take articles to create newsletters or e-zine, articles in the public domain can be very beneficial. With prewritten articles, you don’t need to search around for contributors or pay freelance writers to write articles for your newsletter or e-zine. You can create a newsletter, and not incur any costs or worry about being sued. All you need to do is copy and paste the public domain articles and build your newsletter with them.

Content writers and freelancers who are doing articles have expanded significantly because of the rise in demand for articles for websites. There are many more topics and subjects, and the demands for new articles grow daily. As a result, an entire new industry has been formed around this worldwide demand.

Public domain articles are an excellent alternative for webmasters who don’t have much money, as well as those who don’t have time or skills to do the articles themselves.

Searching for public domain articles is actually quite easy. You can do searches in all of the standard search engines, look and directories for topics and subjects that you need. When you find what you want, simply copy and paste them into your newsletter program, e-zine program or word processing software. Then all you have to do is edit them and modify them to suit your specific needs.


  • Henrik Blunck - Denmark

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Hi Reed

    Thanks for this article. Very inspiring indeed. I must say that I have done article-writing as “undercover” or ghost-writer, and though 25$ seems very little once you get accustomed to writing it comes flowing like honey from bees…

    It is rather easy to keep a pace of two articles per hour and consequently you would earn over double what many employees get as “normal” employees.

    So, outsourcing is good for those without the talent, and for those who have it, it can be rather lucrative when the subject interests you.

    Seasonal greetings, Reed. πŸ™‚

    Henrik Blunck – Denmarks last blog post..Twitter Tools

  • Brad Pollina

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Thanks again Reed for another great article. I hate writing my own articles, so it’s good to know that there is another way of getting them than paying for it.

    Brad Pollinas last blog post..Thanks 4 your prayers! Just go…

  • Kokoharada

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Hi Reed,
    Great Post. Sometime it’s just too hard to write articles continuously. Hiring ghostwriter is one way to overcome.

  • Shawn Horwood

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    That’s strange, the fact that most freelancers charge that much. When I was looking at having articles written for me I noticed that the highest anyone else was charging for a 500 word article was $0.80, and they had plenty of offers from people willing to write the articles at that price. I don’t know what kind of quality those articles are, but I know of pretty big names in internet marketing who only spend $3 an article for their article marketing, and if the big names are using it, then they are probably fairly decent articles.
    Shawn Horwood

    Shawn Horwoods last blog post..Membership Site

  • Jerry Goodwin

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Public Domain is absolutely wonderful and I totally agree. I actually like to write and am listed as Platinum Level at

    But sometimes I simply have too much on my plate to write an article for something I need, so I check Public Domain, and if it is there and it usually is then I may rewrite it which takes far less time than writing from scratch.

    I do sometimes use Public Domain or PLR articles for a couple of things. I may give a Public Domain Article away as a bonus for something someone is buying or opting in for, or I may use it to help me do research. Or I may combine several of them into a report and then give the report away as a way of helping to build my list.

    I also agree with Henrik, 2 articles per hour is hardly unreasonable and at 25.00 a shot you could make some pretty decent cash as a ghostwiter. I hadn’t really thought of that aspect.

    Anyway great article. Good advice


  • Ari Lestariono

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    It’s a good way to drive traffic from article writing from public domain, and also educate your skill of writing, it’s difficult if you have to write article on daily basis and suddenly your stuck, the idea above is great.

  • Laurence Parr

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Yes , very good info , especially for that day
    when your mind just goes totally blank .
    Or when you need a little more just to
    make it half way presentable.
    Keep up the good work.

  • tmobil8

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Greetings Reed, Thomas Richmond here, good choice for people who cant afford a copy writer, make sure though if your using these articals that your copy the whole artical including the person who wrote them and the link to which it belongs to, this way there wont be no hassles in the future. Take care of yourself and will see you on the next launch buddy! πŸ™‚

  • Alan Petersen

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Great article. The public domain is a great source for content but make sure not to submit public domain work into the Ezine Articles directory. It’s against their TOS. I learned this the hard way. And I just used a small portion of PD content for an article. 90% was original but EZA editor suspended me. Once I removed the public domain content from the article I was re-instated and all is well but just an FYI.

  • Melody Baker

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    That is a great idea. It really does help

  • Geoff Dodd

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Reed, Thanks for info about public domain articles. A lot of writers like Joe Vitale pick up ideas for their books from publications originally created in 1910-1920 era. Just when advertising was getting ignited. Earlier books fall into the public domain category and there are some excellent ones!

    Geoff Dodd

    Geoff Dodds last blog post..Unlimited Download MP3 and Movies

  • Lynne Sherman

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Reed, I have been reading your posts for a long time, and you always give good information.
    Today is no exception, but…

    Maybe I’m just being picky, but there were a lot of typos and confused bits, like this one:

    “the first thing you’re one of the fine is that you need to have your creative juices flowing”


    Otherwise, I love your stuff and do keep on writing, with maybe just a bit of proofreading now and then!

    Lynne Shermans last blog post..Beware The Homonyms: Sound Isn’t Everything

  • Darren Harris

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Thanks for the invite to your blog, very interesting information. Should help me with my article writing. I have just started to write articles myself and do find it daunting at times. Thanks

  • Jeen Hao

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Great Reed. This is an informative article. It does help me a lot.

  • Charles Anderson

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Reed, great post. Does public domain have a specific name where all this content is located? I am a real estate salesperson who is just now creating a web presence, and it sounds like this info would be quite helpful. I await your response.

  • Nickolove Lovemore

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    While I’ve re-published Public Domain material I haven’t used Public Domain material for articles. I get inspiration for articles from a variety of sources – teleseminars, quotes, movies, newspapers, magazines, everyday occurrences, etc.

    Because I’m conscientiously seeking to improve my writing as well as use articles as a marketing technique I continually jot down ideas that I can develop into articles. In this way I always have a steady stream of material.

    Best wishes


    For article marketing and writing resources click the link below:

    Article Marketing and Writing Resources

    Nickolove Lovemores last blog post..The Universal Law of Thinking: The Importance of Controlling Your Thoughts to Achieve Success

  • Gamini

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Good Article.I still think creativity is some thing you cannot copy.If you do not provide this ingredient at least a good portion of your readership will sooner get bored and leave.

  • Gamini

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Good Article.I still think creativity and freshness in information is some thing you cannot copy.If you do not provide this ingredient at least a good portion of your readership will soon get bored and leave.
    Paying $0.5 to 3 to us in the 3rd world is therefore an option worthwhile considering!

  • Timothy Millar

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Hey Reed, Merry Holidays to You and Yours. Public
    Domain is one of the truly free sources that we can count on for great content and product Ideas and solutions for problems that you hope arise in your Marketing Travels. Controversy Sells!
    Have A Wonderful Day, Timothy Millar

    Timothy Millars last blog post..Jacob Mails Updated

  • Steve

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Great bit of advise here. Thanks!

  • Iago

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    I take it that the article that you have here is not from the Public Domain, but I am wondering if there is such content, that is, articles about using the Public Domain for articles within the Public Domain.

  • Steve Lightfoot

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    I have been meaning to write an article about the business I am involved in and keep putting it off, but after reading your article, I am now going to tackle it and do some research. Thank you for your information, it is so helpful. Keep it up!

    Steve Lightfoot

  • Alexis

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    I’m glad I took the time out to read this. I found it to be very informative and interesting.
    I will be using the Public Domain. Thank you.

  • PV Reymond

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    Public Domains are a great source of content.

    If you need content for your site or newsletter you can use Public Domain works, you can tweak and adapt them to your situation and you are done.

    There are some people that are making a lot of money with Public Domains… So, consider them when you need content.

    ^PV Reymond

    PV Reymonds last blog post..Twitter Tools

  • Dominique

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Hi Reed,
    your blog post really openned my window to new article resources. I didn’t know about public domain till today..thanks πŸ™‚


    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Hi Jerry Goodwin

    Do you write articles for others? If so do let me know

    Further could you mention some of the public domain by name


  • Halcyon

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Reed…another great article. The real compliment here is that you show how to modify a May, 2006 article to make it your own.
    Well done!

  • Lorrie Herndon

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Hello Reed:

    I really liked your article. I am just starting out. I have a website but nothing in there yet. So getting articles from Public Domain will be great for me.

    Can not wait to read your next Blog.

    Happy Holidays

  • Bill Coughlin

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    The Public Domain must be a secret place because I can not find it. Go to Google and type in Public Domain Articles and what do you get?
    Website trying to sell you information about how to find the Public Domain. Read this one.

    Bill Coughlins last blog post..A Insomnia Natural Cure Will Give Your Great Sleep

  • Pat Gunning

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Yep public domain articles are a great place to start for content and ideas but I whole heartedly agree that a re-write is necessary to ake this totally unique and yours!

  • Derek Anders

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Great post, public domain articles are a great way to get your site started with content. I believe that unique content is the better way to go. Freelancers are available to write content for you are very low prices if you have a difficult time writing articles.

  • admin

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    @Henrik agreed a lot of people would start seeing some success online if they took a freelance position first while they learned marketing

    @Brad glad to help

    @Kokoharada it’s great

    @Shawn and where are you finding articles for that?

    @Jerry PLR’s are fantastic

    @Ari I suggest building up a repository of articles… For instance when I started this blog I wrote 3-4 months worth of articles… Now I’m close to the point where I need to do that again…

    @Laurence thanks

    @Thomas yes either make sure you have the rights to it or get permission to post someone’s work

    @Alan thanks for the heads up

    @Melody thanks

    @Geoff great point

    @Lynne feel free to proofread and edit them and send back to me. I really don’t like doing that at all.

    @Darren you’re welcome

    @Jeen glad to help

    @Charles is a great place to start also my interpretation is almost anything created by the Federal US Government is in the public domain.

    @Nickolove nice to see you seeking inspiration in everything

    @Gamini people can relearn how to unleash their creativity… society robs of us this childhood power

    @Timothy agreed controversy sells

    @Steve you’re welcome

    @Iago you can look for various works in the public domain and turn them into articles

    @Steve you’re welcome

    @Alexi you’re welcome

    @PV yeah just look at Walt Disney he got rich with public domain

    @Dominique you’re welcome

    @Halcyon yep this is a mod job of a PLR article πŸ™‚

    @Lorrie glad to help

    @Bill is a good place to start

    @Pat agreed rewriting can really help make you stand out

    @Derek yeah outsource as much as possible

  • Gamini

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Does the public domain always provide you with the latest information.People come to your site to get information and nothing else.If you cannot retain them with you for 50 sec or so you lose!They will not do so for stale information.You will be down hill after that and wondering what has hit you.Regular up dating too is vital for higher ranking of your site.With outdated public domain information in my opinion this will not be that easy!
    [This is to Lorrie:If Reed is agreable i do not mind forwarding you an initial set of original and well researched articles with basic SEO in Word format (say 10 to 20 on any subject other than IM) absolutely free and without obligation (THIS WILL BE THROUGH THIS BLOG/REED ONLY) to get you going.If interested Just let Reed know. All the best].

  • Max

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Very good tip for getting content Have used it some with decent results.

  • Gary Gross

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Thanks for another great post. You can use Public Domain Material for a lot of different things – ebooks, articles, ect.

    And the best thing is it is free !

    Marketer’s Daily

  • Lyn

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    I tend to use public domain books, and break them up into articles or reports. You need to find a good one though.

    Lyns last blog post..Help for Pet Pain

  • Saul Maraney

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Hi Reed,
    Thank your for the great article.
    Your information is fantastic.
    Kind regards,
    Saul Maraney
    Johannesburg, South Africa

  • Thanks for the tip. Writing articles is not easy for everyone. I actually don’t like it to much. One question I di have though is it not considered duplicate content? If it is then it won’t really help with SERPS but will help your readers.
    Thanks again

  • Martha Tucker

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    That was an excellent article. I was paralyzed about writing articles for a long time. After getting my hands on a few written by others, I began to write, and can now knock out a meaty short article of 300-500 words in an hour.

    thanks for the article.
    Martha Tucker

  • faria

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    Thank you for those articles i just haven’t a time to write articles for my blog i will use public domains. i really learned a lot from your blog thank you again.

  • MARINA1965

    Reply Reply December 15, 2008


  • Peter

    Reply Reply December 15, 2008

    Hi Reed,
    This is no comment about your BLOG YOU WRITE AND THATS IT For all those who are not familiar with writing there is something that is boosting your website’s search engine ranking, whereby keyword research is a vital component in the process. If you happen to target the wrong keywords, customers and search engines might not even know your site exists. This means you are loosing potential revenue, wasting time and gaining rankings that are irrelevant. When using this, go to you will
    never stumble upon dublicates when copy some written article and you can chose keywords as much want and the text for your article or blog is done automatically. Do a trial or look at the demonstration and enjoy.

  • Sandy

    Reply Reply December 17, 2008

    I’m just starting into writing articles. It takes me a long time to put it all together. I never thought about going to public domains.
    Thanks for the information.

  • normz2

    Reply Reply December 17, 2008

    Public Domain material can be a good source. You have to be careful as a lot of it can be dated and might be too useful. I have seen some articles based on public domain material that looked kind of stale.

  • Slavica Todorovic

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    I am thinking about using of public domain as an addition to my own writing.I feel myself of being complete person by writing myself-not by copying someone’s work.Only i could do, is using of public domain books/articles to enrich my work and offer more resources to others to get to know an Author or his/her masterpiece that i write a review on.
    One nice packed ebook would be great present.And all the time I’m learning.
    Imagine a pleasure to discover new facts about your favorite writer/or some other person,or other theme all the same/-earlier you didn’t know.Whichever topic you have chosen to write it gets greater value if you accomplish it with a addition source.Write on list building?Find a ancient copy of paper or pencil used once,it would be very interesting to add on your web site,article,ebook…or add an old story on it.
    Maybe it could be sound strange,but even an inserted article on one’s love letter and image would be wonderful to get people’s attention.

    Slavica Todorovics last blog post..Christmas-In the Glory of the Love

  • Nancy Boyd

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    Question: Are you using public domain articles in the same way you use PLR?

    Otherwise, how do you get around the duplicate content issue? Won’t others be using this material as well, and if so won’t the search engines penalize you with a lower ranking?

    Just wondering about this.

    Would love to know what you think about it.


    Nancy Boyds last blog post..Affirming The Elders ~ Every Human Being Has Rights

  • Jussi Koiranen

    Reply Reply December 18, 2008

    You always learn something new. PD was a completely new term to me. Now off to exploit it πŸ˜‰

  • delords

    Reply Reply January 14, 2009

    Good Post Reed.
    Am accustomed to writing my own article,
    But before i write i always read what other marketers says about the topic and instead of copying what they have i just grasp the main points and then start writing that way i put everything i got in my own words, that makes it unique.

    delordss last blog post..Get Yanik Silver’s 14-Point Web Copy Analysis Free

  • alternative

    Reply Reply June 12, 2009

    Great Blog Really enjoyed the article πŸ™‚

  • Alexa

    Reply Reply July 21, 2009

    If you go missing on your journey would anybody know? How long would it take before anyone came looking for you? And where would they start?

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