Content writing is one of the most popular services that businesses outsource. It is the cornerstone of the content marketing process which has been proven highly effective in generating inbound traffic for business.
If your content regularly provides relevant, usable and actionable solutions, more people will regard you as an expert and will favorably patronize your services over others.
A business has 2 options for creating content. The first option is to set up and fund an in-house content writing team. The second option is to outsource content writing to a third party service provider.
The best option is to outsource content writing to a third party service provider and there are 3 reasons for this:
Lower Cost Alternative – Outsourcing streamlines cost by capitalizing on comparative cost advantages. When you outsource talent, you only pay for total productive hours worked, you don’t pay benefits and they are accountable for their own costs of business.
When you set up an in-house content writing team, you pay a fixed salary plus benefits to all team members. You also incur additional costs per item on your monthly budget. This includes rental space, Internet bandwidth usage, power and supplies.
High Level of Quality – No one has a monopoly on talent. You can find amazing talent for writing, SEO and web development anywhere in this world.
Outsourcing validates the statement of Steve Jobs who once said, “Pricing does not equate to quality.”
You can find extraordinarily gifted writers from other parts of the world such as the Philippines or India at half the cost of office based professional writers.
On Time Delivery – Third party service providers are very professional because they understand the importance of having content published on time.
Because content creation is their core competence and main enterprise, third party service providers are able to better focus on the quality and timeliness of its deliverables.
Given these benefits, how should you outsource content writing for your business?
Outsource SEO. Search Engine Optimization helps your content get found on the Internet. This includes web copy, blogs and articles that are posted on your website, social media and related community blog sites.
The SEO professional will research the best keywords for your content writer to use. If you have an existing web developer, SEO will have the keywords integrated in descriptors; meta and title tags to increase the visibility of your website.
SEO is a growing profession because it is skill that is in great demand. You can find good candidates in freelancer sites, online job markets or connect with professionals in social media networks such as LinkedIn.
Outsource Your Content Writer. Content writing is one of the most popular online jobs. You can find candidates for content writing in online job sites, community billboards, social media networks and freelancer sites.
But not all of them are good.
In order to find the best content writer for your business, you must outline your qualifications:
- High level of proficiency in written and spoken English.
- Appreciable level of knowledge in SEO principles; understands how to use keywords and correct keyword density.
- Ability to write in different styles:
- Undertakes comprehensive research.
- Patient, meticulous and detail oriented.
- Disciplined with deadlines.
- Ability to write short form and long form content.
It is well within reason to test the writing ability of the candidate. It is advisable to pay for this test to alleviate concerns you may be a scammer. If a candidate fears you are scamming to get a free article, you may not elicit his or her best performance.
Conduct Due Diligence. It is not enough that you are able to find content writers and SEO professionals who fit your qualifications. You should take the selection process one step further by conducting due diligence measures such as:
- Contact previous clients
- Run a simple Google check.
- Check their social media accounts.
Prepare Contracts. One of the key reasons outsourcing arrangements fail is the absence of contracts. Some parties feel a handshake is sufficient to legalize a business engagement. That is, until they run into problems.
A contract outlines the working conditions between both parties. Among the standard provisions are:
- Statement of Work
- Description of Services Rendered
- Obligations of Client
- Obligations of Service Provider
- Payment Arrangements
- Pre-Termination Conditions
A contract exists to protect the interests of both parties, ensure the integrity of the arrangement and to keep everyone committed to their specific obligations.
It also provides a clearly defined and mutually agreed upon conditions for pre-termination to guarantee a smooth exit strategy for both parties.
Create a Content Marketing Strategy. With your SEO Professional and Content Writer, draw up a time table for the creation, publication and distribution of your content. The content marketing strategy should include details on the following:
- Types of content and the chronology of its publication.
- Frequency of posting blogs and articles.
- Identified online channels for distribution.
- Schedule for submission of drafts for review prior to publication.
- Use of images and other media for content.
- Schedule for analysis of results
- Short and long term targets and benchmarks.
All of the information should be formalized in a Creative Brief which shall be used as the main reference tool for the content marketing strategy.
Content writing isn’t simply about finding good writers and asking them to create blogs, posts and articles. The process is much a science as it is an art. As important as creativity is, there has to be a method or system to make content writing more efficient in its execution and effective in its delivery.
Theoretically, content marketing is more of a process than a strategy. This is because with the Internet, markets have more access to information. Demand patterns have become unpredictable because tastes and preferences can be influenced by social media and other online channels.
Thus, when you outsource content writing for business, you must understand that content should not stay stagnant. It should remain dynamic just as markets and your audience continues to evolve.