Entrepreneurs who want to get ahead in the game are best advised to outsource content. But as popular and effective a strategy as outsourcing is, delegating content creation to a third party could be quite tricky.
For one, content creation is as much a science as it is an art. It requires great creativity to craft original content that is relevant, informative, engaging and a compelling read. Second, content creation needs precision and accuracy when it comes to research, structure and keyword usage.
Entrepreneurs who decide to outsource content may realize it is not as easy as it seemed. It is not just a matter of finding a good writer or someone who has the time to write.
Have you ever come across a website where the copy itself made you click out right away? How about a post, a share or a blog where certain sentences, words and statements made your eyebrows curl in annoyance or look elsewhere?
Put simply, poor content is a turn off for readers. It leaves an unfavorable impression on the proprietor. And chances are, the proprietor outsourced content. If you don’t take a more mindful and strategic approach to outsourcing content it could backfire against you.
Here are 4 keys to successfully outsource content:
1. Read Up On Content Creation
Writing is one of the first skills we learned growing up. We were taught how to write the minute we could hold a pencil in our hand.
But while everyone can write not everyone can create content. Some have had formal education while others just have the gift of writing great content.
Whether you are a good writer or not, you should still outsource content because your time is best served elsewhere. What you should do is read up on what makes great content.
- Read up on SEO; how optimizing pages helps content get found.
- Research on how to find the best keywords for your industry.
- Find websites that are widely reputed for their great content.
By keeping yourself informed on content creation, you will have a better idea and feel of what you want for your business.
2. Create a Content Writing Strategy
Content can be delivered many ways. You can have it written as text or presented in video format. There are also many avenues where you can post content. You should draw up a strategy for content creation.
What type of content do you want created? – There are many types of content a writer can craft. Each one will have a different approach and methodology:
- Web Copy
- Long form articles
- Short form articles
- Social media posts
- Product Reviews
- E-mail Marketing
- Community Blog Posts
- Guest Posts
- Advertising Copy
Where do you want your content to be published? – For your content to deliver results it must be found by the target audience. In addition to optimizing pages, you should consider the level of activity. Frequency of publication would depend on where you want content posted:
- Once a week – Community Blog Posts
- Three times a week – Blog Page
- Once a day – LinkedIn
- Twice a day – Facebook, Google Plus
- Three times a day – Twitter
3. Find a Good Content Writer
Now comes the challenging part: where can you find a good content writer. The truth is, there are many sources you can look into:
Freelancer Sites – These are online job communities that act as a market place between freelancers or service providers and clients. Writing is one of the most popular jobs and there hundreds of thousands of writers plying their trade in these sites.
Social Media – You can join focus groups in various social media networks and ask for recommendations or referrals from members on good writers.
Online Agencies – There are online agencies that cater specifically to providing writers. Over the years, they have amassed a data base of experienced writers who can write on any genre and on any subject matter.
Referrals – Look into your own network and ask those who have outsourced content for recommendations.
You have to exercise care and jurisprudence on the first 3 options because there are many scammers online. There have been cases where well-intentioned entrepreneurs lost money on spurious writers who failed to deliver content.
Do not hire the first candidate who responds to your job post. Build a short list of at least 5 candidates and subject them to strict qualifying procedures.
4. Qualify Your Writer
This is where you separate the wheat from the chaff. You need a strong, strict, tight and holistic qualifying process to help you identify the most qualified writer for your business. Here’s a process you may wish to adapt for your own:
Interview – This isn’t just a stage to exchange pleasantries. You are here to look for a writer not to make friends. Find out why they became writers, their approach to writing and go in-depth with the content of their bio-data.
Due Diligence – A good writer isn’t just someone who can write. He or she must be someone you can work with. Run a simple Google check or visit their social media accounts. A writer who has a website should be a priority. This means the candidate views his or her work as a profession.
Paid Test – Subject the candidates to a paid test. Let them write an 800 word blog post and check for:
- Keyword usage and density
- Grammar and spelling
- Structure and overall readability
- Quality of content
- Validity of research
Run the process as it is listed above. You don’t have to conduct due diligence on those who don’t pass the interview. Those who don’t pass due diligence don’t have to be invited for testing.
Finally, although it is not listed as a key to successfully outsource content you should understand the value of outsourcing:
- What does it mean to you and your business?
- What are your expectations?
- How will outsourcing impact your life and work?
It may be a difficult concept to understand unless you’ve outsourced before but the process is transformative.
- If you’ve felt shackled by doing too many things before that you could not pay attention on the core business functions, you will feel liberated by outsourcing.
- If you’ve never had time to spend with your family before or time to exercise, outsourcing will grant these opportunities to you.
These benefits will not happen immediately because the first few weeks; maybe even months, should be spent fine-tuning the working relationship with the outsourced content writer.
But once work starts to run smoothly… boom! It hits you. Life changes and you know things have become better because you decided to take the time to outsource services.