22 Apr Outsourcing Your Blog Writing – Tips & Warnings
Discovering reliable sources to find writers to help with copy can be challenging, especially for small businesses. We get it. We’ve struggled with it too. Here are a few tips—and warnings—to help you find the writers you need.
Commit to Commitment
Be In It For The Long Haul
When you’re first getting started with content marketing, be prepared to commit. Readership and SEO juice doesn’t happen overnight. You can expect it to take 3-12 months to actually start seeing an increase of traffic to your website.
Commitment is key, but you can’t only commit to writing the post. When you write content, there is planning, outlining, writing, editing, graphics, and sharing it across social networks and beyond. Most people underestimate the amount of steps it takes to get one quality blog post.
We’re very fast at it and it still takes us considerable time to get a post out the door. Depending on how complex the post is, it can take us anywhere between 4 and 10 hours. Before you start, make sure you’re realistic about your expectations and remember that all success takes time.
Ready to Get Going?
Don’t hire a writer just yet! Once you’ve decided to commit, start with these 4 steps to prepare.
Know Who You Are
Consider your brand guidelines. List out terms that really represent you as a brand so your writer gets you. You want your writer to understand your brand and what tone you’re going for. While we like edgy, funny, and an approachable style, other clients prefer to be very serious or technical. Listing out your expectations up front is crucial. Ask yourself:
- What tone is appropriate for our brand?
- What kind of terminology do we use?
- What are our colors?
- Do we have a logo?
Once you know who you are, you need to determine whom you’re speaking to.
Know Your Audience
Time to to dig out all those audience personas! Make sure they’re updated and accurate before you hire a writer. The writer must know whom they are speaking to and exactly how to address them.
Know Your Budget
Budgeting means looking at your money and also your time. How much time do you have to outline? Be realistic and start small. Remember, most people often underestimate what’s involved in creating blog content. We usually recommend 1-2 posts a month, consistently.
Know Your Schedule
Pencil out a couple month’s worth of content. We recommend aiming for 6-12 months, which means you’ll need to have a list of 6-12 topic ideas ready to go.
Hiring a Freelance Writer
Once you have who you are, whom your audience is, an actual budget for time and money, and a few months of content listed out, you’ll be ready to start finding a writer! We’ve listed a few services below, as well as their pros and cons, but remember that clarity is crucial no matter which you choose.
Verblio and FatJoe
Pros of these services:
- Writers are fairly inexpensive.
- They work for very tight budgets.
- Writers are inexpensive for a reason.
- They may cost you more time as you’ll probably need to redo the tone, add some of your personality back to it, make sure it matches your brand, and ensure it talks about your products and services correctly.
- These services typically won’t code for you or get graphics.
- Before you outsource, understand what each of the services can and can’t do.
- You’ll get different writers every time.
- Since you won’t have much back and forth with your writers, you won’t be able to teach and coach them on what your brand is or how to talk as your brand.
- Your documentation must be clear and dead on.
Upwork or Freelancer
- You’ll get to work with the same writer.
- If the first writer doesn’t knock the content out of the park, you’ll be able to coach and train them to fit your needs.
- You can find the writer that fits you.
- We recommend trying 3-5 writers as it may take you a while to find one that understands your brand.
- You may be able to find a writer that can code and get you some graphics
- Even better, they may be able to share it on social media!
- They can be expensive.
- Expect to pay more.
Make Your Move
No matter how you cut the cake, you’ll be spending time or money. You can go with a service like Verblio or Fat Joe to do the coding, editing, posting, and sharing, or you can go with a freelancer who can do much of it for you.
Undecided? Look at your own skillsets, time, and budget.
- Can you code it yourself?
- Can you get graphics?
- How much time do you want to spend?
Above all, remember that content marketing is not a quick fix. It takes a long time to see results, but those results are long term. The shelf life of a blog is much longer than a paid ad or one Facebook post.
Investing in Content Marketing is Worth it
Still have questions? Not sure you’re ready? We’d love to hop on a call and talk more about blogging for small business, what to look out for, and how to approach it realistically.
If you’re ready to outsource your writing, be sure to provide them with a detailed outline of what you’re looking for. We’ve done that work for you! Download our go-to blog outline to make sure writers have everything they need to represent your brand.