Why outsource content writing? Content is king. Everyone knows that. However, not everyone can manage their content writing by themselves or do it in-house. Here in this post, we outline the benefits of outsourcing content writing, the challenges, where you can start looking, and some best practices to get you started.
What Does a Content Writer Do?
The main goal of a content writer is to inform or educate readers about a person, company, product, service, process, etc. Content writing is typically associated with online articles, blogs, and long social media posts. However, you can hire a content writer for email campaigns, newsletters, whitepapers, reports, and much more.
Content writers can be hand-picked for their specialized knowledge in a particular industry, or technical knowledge like SEO. Some freelance content writers are incredibly flexible and able to write on a variety of different topics. The elite can write effectively on a range of topics and also properly optimize their posts so search engines will quickly pick them up.
How Does Content Writing Benefit My Business?
Written content is advertising for your business. Content writers are necessary to create engaging content used in content marketing strategies.
You can effectively communicate your brand voice through content. The content you create builds your brand identity, too. It represents the personality that you want to convey to your target audience. It can also differentiate you from the competition.
Search Engine Visibility
You can rank higher on the SERPs with SEO-friendly content. A good content writer uses SEO best practices when writing blog posts, web page content, and the like. This increases your chances of appearing high on search engine results pages. The higher you rank on SERPs, the more people see your content, and the more clicks you get on your website. With quality content, you also have a higher chance of converting visitors to customers.
High-quality content improves brand awareness and reputation. Content is valuable when it is written with an understanding of searcher intent. High-quality content answers searcher questions and anticipates what their next question will be and answers it in the same article.
Backlinks refer to when other websites link to your website content. This tells readers that other companies recognize your authority in the space. This is also a Google ranking factor.
Can I Do My Own Content Writing?
Absolutely, if that’s something you want to do! However, content writing can be demanding. If you are a small-medium-sized business owner, chances are, you will be better off if you outsource content writing. Even if you’re a good writer, this is true simply because you are probably juggling multiple roles at once. When you outsource content writing, your business will be able to produce the volume of content recommended to gain the visibility you need, and to acquire the number of customers you need. You will also be able to maintain the quality, which may not happen if you focus on all the content yourself. This also ensures that you focus on important business objectives.
When you outsource content writing, it provides you with the freedom and flexibility to use your expertise to grow your business.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Content Writing?
As we mentioned previously, you can definitely do your own content writing, and do it well. However, you may not have access to specialized knowledge, such as SEO best practices, email marketing copy strategy, useful writing and research tools, etc.
Note: If you decide to write articles or other blog content yourself, we still recommend also hiring a writer well-versed in SEO. This gives you a better chance of getting that content in front of people.
With content, you want to be consistent and pump out content at a healthy pace. Sometimes, this can’t always happen because you and your team are focused on furthering other important business goals. Outsourcing it to a team can free up your time and human resources.
You can save on hiring and recruitment costs, in-house employee benefits, salaries, training, and more when you outsource content writing. Sometimes, hiring locally can be more costly than going international. Get the same quality and access to a larger pool of talent when you outsource content writing.
Freelance platforms make hiring and paying a content writer easier. This means you don’t waste time going through long recruitment processes. Content writers have years of experience and their own writing processes that make them more efficient at churning out excellent, relevant content at a faster pace. Not only that, but hiring a content writer who is an expert in your industry could cut the time between posts down even further.
Outsourcing content writing can directly improve the rate at which your business grows. More writers mean more content. More high-quality content increases your reputation. Better email marketing language means more potential conversions. More conversions means more profit. More profit means the ability to scale different operations of your business.
Risk of misrepresentation
A content writer represents the voice of your company. When you outsource content writing, you are essentially allowing a person to speak to your audience on your behalf. Now imagine multiple different freelancers writing for you. There’s a risk that they could misrepresent the tone of your brand.
This can be mitigated by onboarding them properly. Get them familiar with your brand, your goals, your values, and have them review previous content.
Loss of control
When you outsource content writing, or any task, for that matter, you surrender an amount of control. You cannot monitor the creation process as closely as you would with an in-house team.
While you don’t pay as much as you would with an in-house team, freelancer rates can fluctuate from person to person. Sometimes, freelancers will change different rates depending on the type of content, scope of responsibilities, their expertise, etc.
Risk of turnover
Freelancers aren’t bound to typical employee-employer contracts. Freelancers could drop the project without any notice. This could lead to business slowing down while you search for a replacement and begin the whole process of explaining the project all over again.
Communicating with remote teams can be a struggle. Miscommunication can lead to errors and wasted time. Ensure that you have an understanding with your hire about the channels of communication you will use during the course of your work relationship.
How Do I Outsource Content Writing?
Perhaps you are considering outsourcing as an option, but aren’t exactly sure how to go about doing so. Preparation on your part can make hiring an outsourced content writing team much less of a gamble. Below are some tips you can follow before you start canvassing for your content writer.
Scope of Work
One of the most important things to prepare is a list of tasks and responsibilities that the writer will be handling. What type of writing is it? Are they writing full articles or editing AI generated paragraphs? Do you want them to help you create a style guide to help maintain brand voice across multiple writers? Do they need to do research? How extensive is the research?
Additionally, you will also need to indicate:
- The number of articles or posts you require
- The length of each piece and the length of the whole project (short or long-term)
- Milestones they should hit every month
- Meeting schedules, timelines, and deadlines
- Other deliverables
Getting A Good Fit
We mentioned earlier how you can be taking a risk when you outsource content writing. A writer could do bad research and taint the reliability of all the content you produce. This is why it’s important to screen your candidates. Thankfully, freelance marketplaces make this easy since most of them show reviews and ratings from other clients. This can give you an idea of their experience with the freelancer, and if you can expect satisfaction.
Even so, a highly-rated writer might not necessarily be the right person for you. You need to consider the type of content needed and if this person has experience with companies similar to yours.
Ideally, you want someone with extensive knowledge pertaining to your industry, however, a less experienced writer could surprise you. On top of reading reviews, ask them for samples of their work or a portfolio so you can assess their abilities and quality of work.
Setting up a test project for promising candidates can show you their ability to adapt to the topic given. You could be saving yourself some money by choosing a less specialized writer with a lower rate yet great writing quality and adaptability.
Determining Length and Frequency of Content
Whether it’s a weekly or a monthly objective, make sure to lay out how many articles, posts, newsletters, etc., you want the writer to complete in that time period. 3-4 articles per week is the typical amount to ensure your website remains updated. However, this number can vary depending on the industry you are in. If you are in a dynamic industry, you may want to create more frequent content to keep up with changes and new developments.
Now, sometimes business can pick up and the number of articles needed increases. Be sure to communicate this to your writer ahead of time. Ask if they can take on more pieces or hire more writers to accommodate the increase in volume.
When it comes to the length of posts, this can vary depending on the topic and audience. However, a general estimate is between 1,500-3,000 words. Quality does not always mean length, however, so make sure you have enough content to provide answers to a searcher’s questions.
Determining Your Budget
Freelancer rates can vary depending on the country, level of expertise, specialized skills and knowledge, and scope of the project. Make sure to do your research, compare rates, and get an estimate of fair compensation for outsourced content writing services.
Think about how much you are willing to spend for consistent content. Weigh your options. Is it better to pay for 2-3 articles a week from a good writer or spend for a more specialized writer that can do 1-2 articles a week? Assess your potential ROI and see if it’s worth digging a little deeper in your pockets for higher-quality content that’s more likely to perform well on search engines, attract customers, and drive conversions.
Final Thoughts on Outsourcing Content Writing
Outsourcing content writing can be a game-changer and give you the space you need to grow your brand and reach your goals. There are a number of freelance marketplaces online with hundreds of skilled content writers. Some of the most popular include UpWork, FreeUp, and Fiverr.