If you are familiar with the saying “content is king,” it likely doesn’t surprise you that creating digital content is one of the most costly and time-consuming areas for digital marketers and companies implementing a content marketing strategy.
Blog posts, marketing emails, eBooks, white papers, and infographics are all great ways to drive traffic to your website, but creating content isn’t free even when you are doing everything yourself. Every minute spent on blog writing is one you aren’t focused on running your business.
Excellent content curation is a priority for SMA. We use a team of in-house writers that are also freelancers. Assigning content to writers who work consistently on the same account ensures consistent SEO best practices are incorporated into each article.
We’ve determined that we create the best content using in-house writers. However, for business owners with limited budgets, freelance writers are an excellent solution to consistent content development.
Here are Tips for Vetting Freelancing Services
Every type of freelance writing varies. You get what you pay for when outsourcing content, so It’s important to distinguish between your options. Generally speaking, the less you pay for content, the more you will have to edit before publishing. Let’s take a look at various freelancing services.
A content library platform provides pre-written blog articles. In some cases, the content is specifically for a niche or business, such as real estate or a third-party marketing product. Many believe that pre-packaged content is beneficial because it requires little editing before publishing.
The problem with buying content from a library is that you have no control over how many other people will use the exact same blog article. If you post something that is 90-100% the same as multiple other websites, Google will not be happy.
Google’s search engine optimization best practices prioritize content that is E-E-A-T.
Everything you publish should show your experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. When you use an online platform and publish from a content library, you risk sounding like many other people in your industry.
To avoid this, you will need to add sections that personalize the article to make your content stand out amongst the multiple other websites also using the same article. Using a content library can have the exact opposite effect on your organic traffic than you expect and actually drive down your website rankings. This is a shortcut you need to avoid.
You will reduce your risk of publishing duplicate content by using a freelancing platform. A freelancing platform will minimize direct contact between writers and clients. However, you will be able to include specific guidelines for your content before it’s written. This should ensure unique and helpful content.
When choosing a freelancing platform, consider these questions:
- Is SEO writing a necessary skill for freelancers?
- In what ways are you allowed to communicate with the content writers?
- Are you able to review writing samples before paying for content?
- Are you paying for an hourly rate or per word?
In some cases, freelance writers do not allow direct contact with writers. In other cases, you may be limited to communicating through the freelancing platform. These added barriers may slow down the content production timeline. Delegating content writing is only helpful when it reduces the time you spend focusing on content writing.
When a writer is unable to clarify a writing assignment, the chances of receiving content that does not meet your expectations increase significantly. If you need a writer to re-write or edit the content, this extends the content production timeline and takes your focus away from other tasks.
Other challenges we’ve encountered with freelancing platforms are:
- Writers not accepting assignments
- Writers accepting assignments, then requesting last-minute extensions
- Edit requests taking too long to complete
- Account managers spend extensive time re-writing articles
- Not finding experienced writers for specific niches
- Writers not understanding or implementing SEO best practices
Another option available for your article writing is to avoid the middleman and hire a freelance writer directly. Hiring an independent freelancer, such as a technical writer, may save you money because you’re paying the writer directly rather than a third-party service. It’s possible the only way to find a knowledgeable writer for your content is to contract an independent freelancer who specializes in the area. The challenge is that finding an independent freelancer may cost you more money than you prefer to pay.
Freelancers are professional writers. The business they run likely includes costs for advertising and networking expenses. If using services to find assignments, there may be a membership expense associated with the freelance writing job board.
Additionally, since assignments aren’t always consistently available, many freelancers charge several hundred dollars an article. If you have a client who requires content written by an expert in a specific field, you need to make sure you include the total cost of each article in the fee your client will pay.
It takes a lot of time to find a potential writer, review multiple submissions, negotiate rates, and then work through a writing assignment with the writer. Compensation for each article needs to include your time and the writer’s time. Remember, you will spend energy finding writers, and this takes away from other tasks. Finally, there is no guarantee an independent writer will be willing or available to take on more than one assignment depending on your timeline and budget.
There are many types of freelance writing to choose from, but as a business owner, you need to weigh options with time constraints.
In-House Content Team
Regardless of the type of writing you need to develop, when you partner with an internet marketing agency, you’ll save time and ensure you receive high-quality content.
At SMA Marketing, our content goals include:
- Improving the quality of content for our clients
- Decreasing the turn-around time from assignment to completion
- Decreasing the time spent clients spend editing blog articles and offers
- Streamlining content submissions
- Improving collaboration opportunities between clients and those assigned to writing projects
The best part of working with an in-house team of writers is that you’ll our team has been pre-vetted. Regardless of the writing, you can be assured that their content writing skills stay up to date with SEO best practices. This means you can focus on the daily needs of your business while you continue to receive excellent content.
Content writing requires a specific skill set. Excellent content will speak to a targeted audience and meet them at different stages in their Buyer’s Journey. We’re thrilled to have a team of writers dedicated to honing their writing skills who also consistently deliver high-quality writing for our clients.
Do you need help developing strategic content for your marketing efforts? We’re ready to partner with you, so give us a call.