Content is king…
You have probably heard this saying (or myth, as some call it) at least a few times in your career. Although you’ve heard it, are you actually doing anything about it?
Chances are you are probably not doing enough – and that’s understandable. Creating content takes time. A lot of time! Especially good content.
An easy way to speed up the process is to ask your team to help create different content pieces so that you’re not doing it all by yourself. However, your team might be busy.
Since you’re busy, and your team is busy, there is another method to increase the amount of content you create and perhaps even the quality.
With outsourcing, you can take advantage of the skills, expertise, and knowledge of people from all over the world. One of my favorite parts is that you don’t have to hire these experts full time, and you can pay on a per project basis.
As someone who has outsourced thousands of different pieces of content, and even written for various publications, I’ve distilled my knowledge below to help you accelerate your content creation.
H2. Finding Content Writers
These days, it’s easier than ever to find quality writers for almost every topic, and for a good price. A quick search on Google for “how to find a writer” will easily deliver many results (981,000,000 when I searched), but these are some of the places I’ve had success:
This list is nowhere near exhaustive. Great writers can be found almost anywhere. I’ve worked with people I met at networking meetups, conferences, and even while scrolling reddit.
After you’ve found someone you’re interested in working with, ask for some writing samples. If they have samples from your industry, wonderful. If not, try to find samples of the types of content you’re looking to outsource. Someone who can write an excellent lifestyle piece might not be able to work on a how-to article.
H2. Types of Content To Easily Outsource
Now that you’ve found a writer or two, what can you really use them for? Realistically, your imagination is your limitation. Whatever you can think of, you can usually find someone to help you write it.
Here are a few ideas of content you easily outsource:
- Product Descriptions
- Blog Posts
- Landing Pages
- Affiliate Articles
- Guest Posts
- Press Releases
- Video Scripts
- How-To Guides
- Technical Documentation
This list can go on forever. I’ve even paid someone to write a poem for a personal project.
H2. Working With Writers
When working with writers who aren’t familiar with your brand, you need to create brand guidelines. To do this, ask and answer these questions: what is your brand’s voice, what type of writing style do you prefer, what point of view should content be written in, and how long you would like the content to be.
You can, and should, go a step further and create content outlines for the types of content you regularly create. The outline can break down exactly how to build the piece of content you’re looking for, and the writer can easily fill it in with the words / images.
Another thing you need to consider is if the writer will be an author / contributor on your site or if they will be a ghostwriter for you. I’ve found that many writers don’t mind being a ghostwriter as long as they get paid. However, some prefer to be the published author. You will want to discuss this in the hiring process.
H2. Assigning Topics
After you’ve built your team of writers, you need to give them content to write about. There are 2 ways I’ve seen this done effectively, and it depends on your needs or working style.
Provide Topics To The Writers
If you already have a list of topics generated, then this will work best for you. You can either take the topics and assign them to your different writers, or you can message all of your writers the topic ideas and ask them to claim which they would like to write about.
Generally I see smaller brands / publications do the former, and larger organizations do the latter. Either way, both methods work well.
Approve Topics Provided By Writers
Once you have reached a point where you have covered all the topics you were looking for, or perhaps you don’t want to spend time to do keyword research, you can ask your writers to submit ideas to you.
The way I’ve seen this work really well is that at the beginning of the month each writer will submit 3-5 topic ideas related to the brand. Then reply back with the topics you would like to see written. You don’t need to accept all ideas since you may already have an article around that topic or you just don’t think it fits with your brand.
While both of these concepts work really well, I personally prefer a blended approach. I like to do the keyword research to find topics that people are searching for, but sometimes writers approach me with newsworthy ideas. This lets me create SEO optimized content and publish the latest news.
H2. The Cost To Outsource Content
The costs vary from writer and / or source. Some will charge per word and some will charge a fixed fee for a certain amount of words.
$0.10 per word
$50 per 1,000 words
The costs will also depend on the type of content you’re looking to create. Writing a blog that can be easily researched will be cheaper than an in-depth technical guide.
When negotiating rates, make sure you review their samples, especially when they seem to be cheaper than what you would expect. I’ve had terrible content written by writers that charge 10 cents per word, and absolutely incredible 3,000 word how-to guides for $20.
You may find that some people may not even want to charge you. While more well-known writers will absolutely charge for their time, there are many writers out there that will do it just so they can add to their portfolio. These writers are generally just starting out and the quality can be a hit or miss. They’re definitely worth trying out.
A method to get free content, and sometimes even get paid to publish someone else’s content, is Guest Posting. This is when someone wants to post content on your site in exchange for your linking to their website. I generally avoid these requests since I’ve had negative experiences with SEO people that try this tactic. However, if done correctly, you can get some great content.
Once you have content submitted to you, you will want to review and edit it before publishing it to your site. I like to look at it myself to make sure it has everything I need and follows my brand guidelines.
You can also outsource this. The best person to outsource this to would be a writer who has worked with you for a while and knows the brand.