We asked the inbound marketing community what was most important to them when outsourcing content writing and here's what we found.
Outsourced content writing is an excellent way to boost your website and generate high-quality information for your company, especially if you do not have the skills or the time to write content on your own.
However, it is important to understand that not all outsourced content writing is done equally. While it may be tempting to go for the lowest priced content you can find, it will almost inevitably be worse, regarding quality, than what you will get with more of an investment.
Investing in the best outsourced content writing you can find should ultimately lead to better business, stronger engagement with clients, and a more robust web presence. It is worth it to pay more for writers who can do their job well.
Instead of getting hung up on the price of the content, consider the qualities that should be important to you, when you are outsourcing. Here are seven essential qualities to look for in outsourced content writing.
1. Strong Brand Synergy
“If they can't convincingly sound like you or your brand, they aren't a good fit.” - Lacy Boggs Director The Content Direction Agency
Top notch outsourced content writing shows a strong understanding of your business and brand. You likely have a style and a voice that is unique to your company, immediately cluing your clients and potential customers into the fact that it is your business speaking or writing. This adds an element of trustworthiness in the information you are providing, as the public already knows they can rely on you.
When you hire good content writers, they can capture that very same style and voice, creating content that is seamless with the rest of your image. The finished piece should ultimately reflect your business, its values, and its goals.
Your customers should find outsourced content indistinguishable from anything already written in house. If the content blends in, you will know it is a good fit.
2. On-Time Content
“Someone who sticks to the plan and delivers quality content on time.” - Suraj Dubey Content Marketing Manager at MoEngage
One of the best parts of outsourced content is that you can create a consistent schedule for articles, blog posts, and other writing. Instead of putting the pressure on your company, you can rely on your content writers to follow a schedule.
This, of course, means you must find content writers that can deliver high-quality content, on time. You do not want to sacrifice accuracy, style, and synergy for speed, nor do you want to wait endlessly for the content you require.
A good content writer understands the balance between a quick turnaround and the need for impeccable writing.
3. Thinking Outside The Box
“They bring unique insight and experience to the table.” - Victoria Taylo Content Marketing Manager at Readz
An excellent content writer can think outside the box, generating new ideas for content with a fresh perspective. As someone who is close to your business you may find yourself struggling to think of exciting new ways to engage clients and potential customers – outsourcing your content writing to creative, innovative individuals is an excellent way to break out of that problem.
The content you outsource should not be repetitive, and a writer must be able to look at a writing prompt or subject from a variety of angles to ensure that what they provide to you is always fresh and exciting.
4. Expert Knowledge
“At the end of the day what we need is someone who can understand our niche.” - Sawaram Suthar Internet Marketing Manager at The Next Scoop
You are paying a content writer to know and understand your business, any technology you use, and all of the trends and details of the industry. You should not be receiving generic, basic content – it is worth it to outsource with someone who can quickly gain the expert knowledge needed to create in-depth, accurate writing.
Well-crafted content with attention paid to accuracy and detail is far more effective than amateurish, nonspecific content. When you hire out to someone willing to work as an expert, you will notice the difference.
5. Digital Marketing Know-How
“Ability to build a useful post around a keyphrase without making it an "SEO article.” - Jacob McMillen Copywriter at JacobMcMillen.com
One of the primary reasons people want web content is the digital marketing benefits. You are uploading content to reach your customers, yes, but you can also use it to attract more visitors to your website, boost your search engine results, and ensure that anyone looking for you or your industry will be able to land on your page, quickly.
High-quality web content goes a long way in attracting clients, so it is vital to outsource to a content writer or agency with a strong knowledge of digital marketing. Even if you do not personally understand search engine optimizations or how to leverage local searches, your content writers should.
Another aspect of this is ensuring you have hired out to content writers who will not go too far in the opposite direction, and over-optimize your content. You want your web content to be as natural as possible while still benefiting from digital marketing strategies.
6. Ability to Take Direction
“The thing I've come to value most in freelance writers is the ability to take direction.” - Melissa Bierly Content Marketing Manager at Mode Analytics
Many people who outsource web content are looking for a long term commitment. This is ideal as it allows for your web content to all sound alike if it is written by the same author, adding to the consistency and synergy with your brand.
For this to work, you must outsource to a content writer who can take direction. A writer who responds to feedback, and remembers your requests for next time, will save you lots of time in revision and editing. This will free up more of your time for other business endeavors.
7. Impeccable Language Skills
“Deliver post-ready content -without grammatical, spelling, or factual errors.” - Sherry Smith Gray Freelance Content Marketing Writer
People will notice the spelling, grammar, and language in your content. This is where paying more for high-quality content makes sense. Inexpensive writing services may provide lots of content, quickly, but you will likely be sacrificing language skills.
A writer with a strong command of language can turn any material into a gem. These writers are almost like storytellers, weaving your company, industry, and goals into an article or post that is captivating and engaging, while matching specific language requirements like regional spelling.
Poor grammar and spelling will stick out and add an unprofessional air to your website. If you want to appear as your very best, make sure you hire content writers who can provide first-rate, well-written articles.
Do you think outsourcing content right for your business or do you think we missed an important quality? Join the conversation on inbound.org.