For your business to thrive in 2020 and beyond, you need to be doing some form of content marketing. Blogging still works very well, but there is a lot more competition than there used to be.
To ensure you stay ahead of the game, you need writers who understand your niche inside out and can deliver consistently.
Blogging From An SEO Perspective
If there’s one thing we’ve learned at Linkredible after analyzing data from thousands of our client’s SEO campaigns, it’s that publishing high-quality content alongside a powerful link building campaign really unlocks the floodgates of traffic from Google.
If you’re cranking out fresh content on a regular basis, your SEO strategy is no longer limited to just pushing as much link juice to your product/service pages as you can.
If you’re only focusing on building links to your e-commerce pages, this can look suspicious to Google. Not only that, but you are also limiting your reach and the number of keywords you are able to rank for.
However, if you are consistently publishing fresh content and building high-quality backlinks to those pages, then this changes the game completely.
It’s now about building new pathways to your product pages by targeting new keywords and keeping your SEO strategy as diverse as possible.
It’s not just about publishing as much content as you can write though. The content that you put out should communicate a deep level of knowledge and understanding to your audience and align with your business goals.
It also needs to be helpful and easy to read in order to keep your readers engaged. You should set your sights on producing better content than the competing content in the SERPs for your target keywords.
The Content Outsourcing Dilemma
If you want your business to be running lean, you should outsource the tasks that you don’t have the time or expertise to handle internally.
It’s normal for businesses to outsource things like accounting, web development and graphic design, but when it comes to outsourcing content writing, things can get a little trickier.
This is because the words that you put out there are the voice of your company, making it difficult for someone from the outside to replicate.
The best person to write content for your blog is someone from within your company who has a deep knowledge and understanding of your industry and is in the trenches dealing with customers on a daily basis.
In reality, though, delegating blog writing tasks within organizations usually results in them being pushed to the bottom of pile among an endless list of other jobs their employees have to carry out on a daily basis, and it simply never gets done.
This is why outsourcing is the next best thing, as it doesn’t require you to hire a team of writers, nor do you to have to assign content writing to current members of staff.
Can Blog Outsourcing Work For My Company?
Don’t worry, it is possible for you to leverage professional writers outside of your organization to help you make progress on your content marketing efforts and deliver consistent results for your company.
Plenty of organizations do this all over the world. Even President Trump has someone to write his speeches (who knew? 😊).
In this guide, our goal is to help you understand that having a team of content writers within your organization is not the only way forward. It is possible to hire high-quality writers from outside of your organization, provided you follow some basic rules.
Outsourcing content isn’t just about hiring great writers though. There are many other factors which come into play.
Firstly, you need to find writers who fit within your budget. Then you need to make sure that you brief them properly and provide them with good instructions.
You also need to understand that even the best quality writers out there will only write content that is around 90% perfect for your organization. It’s up to you to then take the content and give it some final polishing.
You should edit the content before publishing it to put your own stamp on it to give it the voice of your company. You can also use this opportunity to provide unique insights from within your company that will show your readers that you are experts in your industry.
This doesn’t mean that you are doing all of the work though. Being in business is about results, and it’s better to start with something that is 90% finished than have to start from scratch.
The Long-Term Blogging Approach
Before you start jumping into hiring writers, you’ve got to understand that blogging is a long-term strategy. The true value of it can be achieved over time.
So, although it may be tempting for you to knock up a few keyword-stuffed posts in an attempt to try and snag some quick search rankings, this is a very short-sighted approach and won’t do you any good in the long run.
You need to have a long-term system for producing quality content which will generate search traffic to your website and build strong online brand awareness.
You want to use your content as an opportunity to position your company as an authority in your marketplace. As soon as you’ve found a team of competent writers who can consistently write great content for your blog, you’ll be on the right track.
Hiring Good Writers
Unlike other functions in your business, it’s not a wise idea to outsource to writers overseas to countries where English isn’t their native language.
This will be a waste of your time as you’ll spend more time editing the content and trying to make it passable, than the time it would have taken to just write it yourself in the first place. Don’t get tempted by 10-dollar articles.
Delegating To Team Members
Delegating content writing to a member or members of your team will usually guarantee you a good amount of knowledge and industry experience goes into your writing. They also may be able to share insights from with your business which an external writer simply does not have.
The problem with delegating writing internally is that it often leads to businesses falling behind on their publishing schedule due to inconsistency. This is usually because their team members are working on other tasks such as dealing with customers.
Although freelance writers may not understand your business fully, they may have some skills that you don’t have. A dedicated freelance writer should take the time to understand your business and then write from the perspective of your customers. Not only that, but they can also put fresh ideas on the table to make your blog better.
If you’re lucky, they may have also worked with other companies in your niche, so they have the knowledge and insight to bring to the table from all of those different companies which you can leverage.
The problem with freelancers is that it may take a lot of interviewing and trial and error before you find one that is a good fit for your industry and can work within your budget. Freelancers also often tend to balance a lot of projects at the same time too so you need to make sure that they can deliver your content on a consistent basis.
Content Writing Services
Outsourcing to a dedicated team of writers allows you to stay on track and continuously crank out high-quality content on a weekly basis.
It also means you can cut out the hiring phase and instantly use writers that have already been vetted, as well as find writers who can write for your industry.
This is what we do with our Linkredible blog writing service.
We also have a cornerstone content writing service for businesses wanting an even higher calibre team of elite writers.
Our cornerstone content writers are a select group of 5-star writers who have been handpicked from the top 3% of our vast team of content writers.
When you outsource to an agency with pre-vetted writers, you can be sure you’ll get quality work time after time. This is also the best way to go if have a blog which requires writers with specific skillsets.
Briefing Your Writers Properly
This simple step is often overlooked. It is important that you take the time to brief your writers properly on exactly what you want from the content.
This may seem like you’re spending too much time telling the writer how to do his job, but it pays huge dividends. People get lazy when it comes to content briefs and then they wonder why their writers don’t hit the mark.
This doesn’t mean you have to write a 14-page brief for every blog post that you outsource. Just a paragraph or two should be enough to communicate to the writer what topics and points you want them to cover and the tone you would like them to use.
If you give nothing to your writer, you should expect nothing back – it’s that simple. When you give them good instructions, it will bring their expertise to light.
This also allows you to form a personal relationship with both your writers and your blog readers. Over time, your writers will understand the tone you are looking for in future blog posts and adapt their writing accordingly. And if you are consistent with the tone and format of your posts, your readers will learn to love that too.
Focusing On Content That Gets Results
As a blog owner, you ultimately want content which will generate the most quality traffic. You don’t just want any traffic though, you want to focus on traffic which your customers are searching for.
A comprehensive and informative piece of content will give search engines users (your prospects) the answers to their questions, preferably as fast as possible.
The main goal is to ensure readers don’t bounce back to the search engine results to read another post. But that doesn’t mean that a long post will always perform better.
To eliminate any guesswork, you should experiment with different content lengths and see what works for your blog.
Secondly, you should focus on long-tail keywords that closely match what the reader is looking for. If you want to get a high CTR, the headline also matters.
Don’t forget to pay close attention to CTAs too, as you’re not just blogging to help people and get nothing back from it. The goal is to sell your products and services to your prospects by being helpful and by answering any questions they may have.
If you’re just starting your journey in content marketing, you should start small and target some early wins. This will help you to realize the benefits and give you the motivation to continue.
Having A Publishing Schedule And Sticking To It
Blogging as a business takes planning and consistency. You should make a plan of how many posts you would like to publish every week or month and stick to it.
The number of posts you publish will depend on your budget and how fast you can knock out high-quality pieces of content. Even if you can only come up with 2 posts a month, this is still a start and is better than nothing.
If you’re writing in-house then you might not stick to your publishing schedule due to other work commitments. Or if you go down the freelance route, you may have to rush the writers to meet the deadline if they are balancing other client projects. This is why hiring a professional blog writing service is usually the most reliable option.
If you’re planning on taking your content marketing to the next level, there’s no need to go at it alone. When you outsource blog writing, you can be sure you’ll maintain consistency and meet your deadlines.
Defining Your Budget And Sticking To It
The beauty of content marketing is that you can still reap the benefits even if you’re on a tight budget. To understand the true cost of outsourcing, you should consider what to expect both on the low end and high end of the spectrum.
But before you decide on how much you want to spend; you should keep a few things in mind.
- What grade of quality will you be happy with?
- How long would you like your blog posts to be?
- What is the objective of the content?
- Are you prepared to do any editing?
The way you answer these questions matters a lot because you can decide to spend any amount you want.
One thing that cuts across all blog writing services and freelancers is that price affects quality. A lower-priced post typically requires a lot more editing than a higher-priced post and vice versa. Going for the cheapest content you can find will cost you more in the long run.
Let’s look at a typical example:
If you pay a writer $10 to write a 500-word article, but then you have to spend another 2 hours editing it, rewriting sentences and rearranging paragraphs in order for it to read well, is this really cheap content?
In that price range, there’s also a risk that it is copied from other websites. This is obviously not what you want.
But this doesn’t mean that you should blow your entire monthly content budget on a superstar 5000-word post when you can answer your client’s questions and provide enough information in 1000-word posts.
The average length of top-ranking content on Google is around 1,200 words, and this is often all you need.
There’s a common misconception that freelance writers are cheap. While you may be tempted to go for individual freelance writers, you may end up paying more, since freelancers have to do all of their own invoicing, taxes, promotion and so on.
Depending on the experience of the writer and the number of words you need, you should expect to pay between $25 and $250 for a good quality blog post.
If you want Forbes level writers and 3000+ word posts, then you can expect to pay in excess of $500+ per post. This is why you need to decide what your budget is and where it fits on the spectrum.
Just to give you some Linkredible insight, our clients typically go for 1000-word posts and between 4-12 posts per month. We recommend that you start with a 1000-word post package choose a post quantity that fits your budget and scale over time.
Ensuring Your Content Is Unique
In content marketing, duplicate content can be bad news for your business from both an SEO and a copyright perspective. Therefore, when you outsource, make sure you get exclusive rights to your content and ensure that it hasn’t been copied from elsewhere on the internet.
As the blog owner, you are responsible for copyright violations. If you publish duplicate content, this can damage the reputation of your blog as well as your search engine rankings. You can use tools like Copyscape to make sure your content is unique.
We hope that this post has served as a great reference guide for you when it comes to hiring writers. It should help you to scale your content production so you can really start seeing some solid results from content marketing.
If you still have unanswered questions on content outsourcing, feel free to give our team a shout.