So, you’ve heard that you should be producing regular blog posts or articles but you’re putting it off? In that case, it might be time to outsource.
Learn how to recognise the signs you may need to outsource your posts and how to do so safely.
Signs it’s time to consider outsourcing your blog posts
- It just feels overwhelming. Feeling overwhelmed is usually a clear sign you’ve got more than enough on your plate. If this is you right now, outsourcing your posts might be on the cards.
- There aren’t enough hours in the day. As a business owner, you might feel you just don’t have any spare hours to devote to writing. That is unless you give up sleep – which wouldn’t help you in the long run! So if you’re barely managing something like two posts a year it might be time to call in a professional writer.
- “I just don’t feel like it!” We all feel like this about certain things that need doing sometimes (and then feel relieved when someone else comes along and offers to do those things for us!). If you really don’t feel up to it yourself, don’t be afraid to delegate to someone who does!
- Writing just isn’t your forte. We all have different skillsets and can’t all be great at everything! However, quality content is highly important (see why below). So if you can’t do it yourself, you might need to find someone who can.
- You have the skills and inclination – but not the time! Even if you are a good writer, if you’re struggling to keep up then you need to consider hiring someone else to do it. It’s also important to note that writing for the web is a specific type of writing skill you may not have, and if that’s the case you should use an experienced copywriter.
The risks of outsourcing
Outsourcing (of anything) comes with risks and it’s important to be aware of them. Here are some examples of the risks of outsourcing your blog posts or articles.
- Too much fluff and nonsense. What you don’t want is writing that’s full of padding to meet a word count. On the contrary – your posts should always provide value and substance.
- Poor quality research. If you want to reference facts or statistics in your posts you need high-quality research and links. Your writer should be finding data from legitimate credible sources as much as possible. Referencing the latest YouTube conspiracy site really isn’t a great look!
- Rushed writing. Most of us can tell if something has been written in a hurry. Avoid publishing writing that sounds rushed on your website.
- Getting monkeys when you paid peanuts. Like a lot of things in life, when it comes to copywriting you often get what you pay for!
How to reduce the risks and outsource safely
1. Go for quality
Badly written content not only looks unprofessional – it can damage your credibility and your brand. It can also lead to search engines demoting your site in the ranking stakes.
So make sure to check out the testimonials and experience of any writers you are considering hiring. Don’t be afraid to ask for samples as well.
2. Hire native English speakers
This isn’t some kind of prejudice – it just makes sense. I mean, if I wanted to produce a post in Mandarin I wouldn’t do a course in it and attempt it myself – I would look for a native Mandarin speaker.
So if you’re thinking of getting cheap writing services from overseas – please think again!
Also – make sure your writer uses localised written English; it doesn’t look so good (for example) for an Aussie site to have American spelling all over it!
3. Look for someone who cares
It’s crucial your writer takes the time to understand your business and your brand voice and to produce content that aligns with that.
So make sure to look for someone who actually cares about these things.
4. Avoid automatically going for the cheapest you can find
It could be tempting to just go for bargain basement prices, but if you do you are risking getting bargain-basement quality!
At the same time, you don’t need to fork out a fortune – there are plenty of affordable services around and it shouldn’t be too hard to find one that fits within your budget.
5. Consider hiring an expert in your industry
If you can find someone with some expertise in your industry who can actually write, then you’re already halfway there!
That said, an experienced professional writer can usually turn their hand to most topics – so don’t feel you necessarily MUST find someone with expertise in your industry.
6. Create a blog strategy
You know your business best, so it’s not a good idea to just hand it all over to a writer who knows nothing about you and expect them to read your mind.
It’s up to you to set the goals and purpose for your blog posts and to provide a clear brief. This includes – who you want to reach, what tone you want to be used, what points to cover and keywords to include, and so on.
7. Educate your writer
Take the time to explain your strategy to your writer. The more they know about your business and your goals the better.
I’ve worked with some businesses for years I’ve come to know so well that I can usually pop out articles for them very quickly once they decide on a topic.
It really is worth the effort!
8. Set a budget
I had someone contact me recently to try to talk me into writing an article for almost nothing. When I refused they just went on to the next writer they could find to do the same.
But rather than wasting everyone’s time like this person, you’re far better off setting a budget (or at least a range) you’re comfortable with and then seeking out a service to fit within that.
However, do be reasonable and realistic when setting a budget – unlike the person I described above!
Where to outsource
Here are a few of the options:
- Content marketing agency – content agencies often provide an all-round service, including SEO, keyword research, content strategy, editing services, planning, scheduling, and more. They might also have a team of writers which means they can select one to match your needs. It’s likely to cost you quite a bit more than using, say, a freelance writer, but if it’s what you want then go for it!
Note: for an agency that provides top-quality services, I recommend Article Writers Australia in Sydney.
- Post jobs on freelancer and task sites – like Upwork, Contentfly, Firvrr, and Airtasker. There are plenty of these around to choose from and you might find a great writer for your posts on one of these – who knows?
However, some of these sites border on falling into the content mill category where quality and consistency could be an issue. See my previous post on content mills for more info.
- Hire a regular freelance writer – could be the best solution if you want regular and consistent services but you don’t want to pay high agency fees. In this case, look for a writer you can form a good working relationship with and whose services fit within your budget.
Check out my blog services here and if you think I might make a good match for your business, I’d love to hear from you!