Winning the battle for search engine rankings can be an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. While there are multiple factors to consider on your quest to the top, major SEO studies have found that the most important one is having high quality content on your website. This, like most things in life, is easier said than done.
No matter how you slice it, you’ll need to invest time and money to land on the first page of Google and boost your traffic. The key is to use your resources effectively. If you’re looking for a cost effective method to create content, then outsourcing pieces to freelance writers is your best solution. Here are five reasons why.
#1. In-house writers are expensive
Businesses that lack the deep pockets of mega-corporations are often reminded (by invoices and price tags) that money doesn’t grow on trees. Every dollar needs to be directed carefully, and hiring someone is a serious investment. Not just because of their salary either — a Harvard study of 610 CEOs suggests that a company ends up fronting 1.5-3x the actual salary cost to get an employee fully integrated into their system during the first year.
What would that mean for your business?
According to a survey by Payscale, an average full-time content writer in the US can expect to make $42,324. This means that you could expect to actually pay between $63,500 to $127,000 for a first year in-house writer, then 1.25 to 1.4 times their salary from year two onward (taking into account taxes, benefits, equipment, and more). In the past, these expenses were unavoidable. Companies begrudgingly accepted them — after all, they needed employees to do work.
Today, however, there are more ways to find people to work for you. For instance, hiring pre-vetted freelance writers has become a more common practice among many small- to mid-sized businesses. The major reason for this is cost. It’s hard to pin down the rate of a freelance writer because it can vary so much, but hiring one is almost always going to cost you less. This is especially true if you hire them through a platform, where you’ll normally pay $50-100 per blog post.
At this rate, if you wanted 30 articles each month (roughly one a day) for an entire year, you’d be paying between $18,000 and $36,000. Hubspot has crunched the numbers — you don’t even need that many pieces to achieve positive results. Their research found that businesses (both small and enormous) see the biggest traffic spike from posting 11+ pieces of content per month. For $6,600 to $13,200 a year, you can reach this content threshold and get the most online traffic for your dollar. Compared to the $42,324 salary and benefits due an in-house writer annually, and it becomes apparent that hiring freelance writers has great cost appeal.
#2. The market for freelance writers is competitive
There’s never been a better market to outsource work for your business. A recent study conducted by the Freelancer’s Union discovered that there were over 55 million American freelance workers in 2016, and they accounted for $1 trillion of productivity in the US. These numbers have been steadily growing, and freelance writing is no different.
With so many freelance writers to choose from, it’s easy to find someone suitable for handling your site’s content needs. Technical copywriters, pop culture experts, legal scribes — regardless of your business or industry, you’ll find people on the internet that can get the job done. If you aren’t online drawing from the largest talent pool in human history, you’re missing out.
The biggest concern for freelance writers in 2017, according to a study conducted by FreelanceWriting earlier this year, has been finding enough work. While this is unfortunate for writers, as a client it means you have options. You’ll be able to pick and choose until you’re working with quality freelancers who understand your industry, and then you can cultivate positive professional relationships with them that last long into the future.
#3. Pay for the quality of content you need, when you need it
Freelance writers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are recent graduates from state universities who demand minimal compensation for their efforts. Others are pulling $100,000 a year through their work writing in technical fields and for major newspapers or journals. Based on your company’s content needs, you can find the precise caliber and style of writing that your audience wants.
If you need a large number of articles about a something non-technical (pop culture, music, television, etc.), you don’t need to hire a specialist — which means less money spent for your business. On the other hand, if you need someone to write about the structural integrity of platinum trusses, they’re available online too. They just may cost you more.
Furthermore, depending on the size of your company and what market you’re trying to cut into, you’ll need varying amounts of writing for your website. For many smaller businesses, paying the salary and benefits of an in-house writer is simply impractical because there isn’t enough work to keep them occupied. By outsourcing your content, you only have to put down money when you want pieces written for you.
How many blog posts do you need on your site?
LinkedIn, which was just purchased last year by Microsoft for over $26 billion, has a blog that posts one article or more per day. However, most companies don’t need that kind of quantity to stay relevant. A study conducted in 2016 discovered that having 52+ blog posts on your site boosts incoming traffic by 77%, and traffic trends upwards as you continue to publish more content for your audience. Your company doesn’t need to be post at a prolific rate to see tangible benefits from blogging.
#4. Not happy with a freelance writer? Work with someone else
If your freelance writer doesn’t meet expectations, it’s pretty simple: hire a new one. There’s no need to fire anybody, just move onto someone else. The only thing you lose in this scenario is time. Many freelance writing platforms, including ours, have money-back guarantees in place as well — ensuring the client is satisfied with what they paid for. No need for expensive severance checks or phone calls from the ACLU.
Firing employees is a drain (emotionally & financially)
LinkedIn estimates that the cost of firing an employee ranges from 30-50% of the annual salary for an entry-level worker to upwards of 400% the salary of high-level or specialized personnel. This doesn’t take into account the time and energy of finding a replacement either. It’s a huge pain for a company to fire someone, and this can sometimes result in lazy employees and lower productivity levels.
On the flipside, freelance writers understand the nature of their work, and the impermanent nature of such work acts as an incentive for them to provide compelling content to their client. Most understand there are people waiting in the wings to pick up their gigs if they fail to meet expectations. They are incentivized to produce excellent writing for job security as well as to expand their network and create job future opportunities, so you can expect high quality (or at least a willingness to fulfill your expectations with detailed edits).
#5. Curate your own team of expert writers
This is the long-term benefit of outsourcing content — having a core group of knowledgeable writers who understand your company and the products it sells. You’ve worked with them numerous times, they understand your job requirements and expectations, and most importantly you trust them to handle things in a way that positively reflects your business.
Save time & energy
In turn, this will save you major time down the road. After developing trust with your freelance team, you can put the vast majority of content production in their court. With their knowledge of your product, they’ll be able to research and produce topical articles on their own without much supervision. Putting this part of your business on auto-pilot as you direct time and energy elsewhere is a major benefit of outsourcing content.
Furthermore, the team of freelancers you build to handle your content needs is scalable. You can grow and shrink the size of this group as your company evolves and establishes its identity over time. If your business succeeds beyond your wildest expectations, you’ll need a larger team; if your business needs to downsize, it’s a simple matter to cut the numbers of freelance writers you employ.
Once you’ve established positive working relationships with multiple freelance writers, you can swiftly and punctually take care of your business-specific content needs. Plus, With organizational tools like Trello and others available for reasonable prices across the net, communication and project management has never been easier. Dominating your market niche on the internet requires a lot of quality writing. Build your team of freelance writers so you can make it happen.
The global workforce is rapidly changing. While white and blue collar labor still account for the majority of the US economy and others worldwide, the number of freelance “no collar” workers (who primarily work online and remotely) continues to rise.
If you’re running a business, there’s never been a better time to outsource work; especially content writing. There’s an enormous talent pool of freelance writers available on the internet, and working with them can yield real benefits to your profit margins. If you’re looking for the most cost effective way to build your company’s online presence, outsourcing your content writers is a great place to start.