Blogging is a must for modern businesses—it helps engage your customers outside of traditional marketing, drives traffic to your site, and increases your brand awareness.
As a matter of fact, a business that blogs 16+ times per month gets 3.5 times more traffic than a business that doesn’t. Still, some people don’t do it because it’s too hard, it takes too long, or they have too much else to do.
The solution to these problems is outsourcing your blog.
Outsourcing your blog provides all the benefits of engaging your audience and getting new leads, but with much less effort and stress. Here are the five biggest reasons for outsourcing your blog content to freelance writers.
1. Freelancers help your blog maintain a regular publishing schedule
As your business or project grows, you’ll want to begin delegating tasks to others in your organization.
The problem is: blogging tends to be the first thing forgotten, which means less consistency in posting and less enthusiasm for maintaining it.
This is where having a freelance writer run your blog can be especially handy. Part of what makes blogs successful is featuring regular, high-quality, and engaging pieces. With a freelancer handling your posts, you can go on autopilot and still experience all the benefits of hosting an engaging blog.
<div class="tip">Regularly publishing blog posts helps keep your brand on your customers' minds while also growing your site’s traffic potential.</div>
When you are unable to maintain your own blog due to other responsibilities (or if you have yet to get started), a freelance writer contracted to post periodically can ensure that your blog remains consistent. This will keep subscribers’ attention and, more importantly, keep traffic flowing to your site.
Without a writer to post every so often, your attention will wane, your blog will become less visible, and all of that traffic will flow elsewhere.
2. Outsourcing will save you time
At the risk of sounding obvious, hiring a freelance writer to handle your blog will take much, much less time in the long run.
There are so many convenient ways to set it up. For instance, you can:
- Hire a writer for one post,
- Commission several articles due by a certain date,
- Hire someone on a continuous part-time basis,
- Or any combination of these options!
Many businesses assume that hiring a freelance writer will be tricky, and thus decide to handle all blogging and copywriting in-house. And while it is true that finding a freelance writer can take time, the overall time savings are irreplaceable.
Once you find a solid writer and bring them up to speed about what you’re looking for, they can get started at once with ideating and creating posts that meet your needs.
It’s no surprise that running a successful website involves many competing priorities, but outsourcing your blog’s writing can provide peace of mind on the content side.
And, if you decide you want a full-time writer, your experience working with freelancers will help prepare you for what to look for in employees. Furthermore, if you’ve formed solid professional relationships with a freelancer, you can consider extending their freelance work into a more permanent role.
3. It’s more cost-effective than hiring an in-house writer
Worried about the price tag of outsourcing?
Unless you’re a huge, multinational company, it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to hire a full-time writer. A freelancer (or two) will almost certainly be able to handle your content workload, without you having to worry about interviewing and hiring someone who will be a permanent fixture at your company.
Hiring someone full-time can be expensive, but do you know what's even pricier?
Not producing any content at all. Without a blog, you lose traffic, visibility, and exposure. In other words, you lose money.
Simply put, hiring full-time employees is expensive—a full-time writer averages about $70K annually, and that’s not including insurance and overhead costs. On the other hand, hiring freelance writers to handle content costs closer to $12K.
Though hiring full-time is necessary for some roles, utilizing capable freelancers is the more economical route for creating top-notch content—especially for small- and medium-sized businesses.
<div class="tip">Still not convinced about the benefits of outsourcing? Consider these reasons for using a content creation platform.</div>
4. The wide freelancing pool makes it easy to find the exact skills you need
If you’re an entrepreneur, web designer, or other kind of creative, there’s a good chance that writing isn’t exactly your forte.
And that’s okay—companies are built with teams who have a range of skills. Even with a small business, you shouldn’t have to do every little thing, including writing.
By hiring a freelance writer, you can get someone who’s a master of all of the following:
A strong blog requires content that gets readers’ attention and writing that pulls them in. This means your writer will need to be able to compose interest-arousing headlines and subheadings, as well as be proficient at targeting your particular audience.
Beyond just hooking your readers, your blog needs to feature simple but effective wording. It needs to be both easy to read but also compelling enough so your readers and customers don’t feel like they’re doing homework. Lastly, it needs to tell a compelling story to your target audience and speak to their desires.
Blogs are one of the best digital marketing and outreach tools, especially when written with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind.
A freelance writer who understands the importance of keywords, interlinking, anchor text, and user intent may very well be your secret weapon for driving more traffic and leads to your business.
<div class="tip">Be careful when hiring someone who claims to "know all about SEO." It’s more complicated than many writers think, and it's also something of a time investment. Just because you aren't ranking #1 in a week doesn't mean it isn't working. If a writer promises you immediate results, they probably don’t understand SEO.</div>
Perhaps most importantly, your writer will need to have some expertise in your business specialty. For example, if your business sells medical equipment, you’ll need a writer who at least has science-writing experience, if not technical medical knowledge.
Fortunately, there’s never been a better market to find a writer that suits your exact needs.
In 2016, there were over 55 million American freelance workers, and this number has been steadily rising.
With so many freelance writers to choose from, it’s easy to find someone for handling your site’s content needs. Technical copywriters, pop culture experts, legal scribes—regardless of your business or industry, you’ll find people that can get the job done.
In fact, the biggest concern for freelance writers in 2017 was finding enough work. While this is unfortunate for writers, it means you have many options as a client. You’ll be able to pick and choose until you’re working with quality freelancers who understand your industry.
But wait! What about those who say outsourcing makes hiring unnecessarily complicated?
After all, with so many freelancers to choose from, you may find yourself overwhelmed.
That’s where platforms like Compose.ly come in. Unlike other content services, our writers are vetted and assigned to projects based on their subject matter expertise—meaning you won’t have to sift through applications to find the right freelancer for you.
5. The icing on the cake: freelancers are easy to manage
There are really only three concerns when you take on a freelance writer, all of them painless:
Providing Clear Instructions
Making sure your writer knows exactly what you want is your most important responsibility in managing them. With regard to content creation, you need to specify:
- Your industry and any critical information about your business and products
- The topic you want a post to be written about
- Who your audience is
- The goal of your commissioned content, e.g., to convince readers or something or provide more information about a product
- Any key points the writer should include or leave out
Correcting mistakes early and giving course corrections is necessary: You will need to actively pay attention to your freelancer’s work. Ask for periodic drafts and don’t be afraid to offer guidance—yes, they might be the professional writer, but remember that it is your project. And don’t just give up on a writer immediately—sometimes it takes a few tries to really get what you want out of the experience.
Paying Freelancers on Time
Neglecting to pay freelancers when you say you will can mean penalties from hiring platforms and regardless of whether you’re using a platform, unhappy writers.
Also remember that writers talk to each other. If your name or business comes up on a forum, and any freelancer has a negative experience with you, say goodbye to finding strong writers in the future.
Not to mention, if you’re seriously delinquent about issuing payment, writers can pursue legal action—and that’s a dance you absolutely don’t want to do.
Handling the Relationship Professionally
Aside from communicating your content needs, it’s also important how you communicate with your outsourced writers.
Etiquette is a must for both clients and freelancers, so be polite and understanding when sharing the goals and expectations for your outsourced content.
If you’re not satisfied, you’re in luck—there’s no need to go through a messy firing and recruitment process as you would with an in-house writer. Of course, one of the most difficult things to do as an employer is to say goodbye to employees who depend on your company for their income.
With a freelancer, when you have to say goodbye, it’s to be expected, and you aren’t their only source of revenue. So instead of, “Hey, sorry to do this…” change your language to something more along the lines of, “Thanks for all your work and best of luck.”
The global workforce is rapidly changing. While white and blue collar labor still account for the majority of the U.S. economy and others worldwide, the number of freelance “no collar” workers (who primarily work online and remotely) continues to rise.
There’s never been a better time to outsource work, especially content writing for your blog. The enormous talent pool of freelance writers available on the internet makes outsourcing easier than ever to develop your blogging strategy and build your company’s online presence.
And, if you really want to simplify things, services like Compose.ly take care of your blogging strategy—that means ideas, writing, and publication—from start to finish.
This post was originally published in September 2017.