Attracting your ideal customers by providing high-quality content is a trend that is showing no signs of abating. Almost all B2B marketers surveyed by CMI used content marketing. And, according to DemandMetric, more than three-quarters of CMOs believe that custom content is the future of marketing.
While online marketing continues to evolve, the part that involves entertaining, educating, and/or informing your visitors remains a priority. It’s more important than ever to have great content. Companies across many industries are producing more content year on year.
As you may have noticed, producing content takes time! And time also needs to be invested in creating a strategy that works for your ideal customers and fits your brand, getting you where you need to be.
Whether you manage marketing for a small business or you run a digital marketing agency, it is likely that you and your team have found yourself under increasing pressure to not only steer your company or client in the right direction but also to provide the content that fits this vision.
For many marketers, outsourcing blog writing is the solution. By hiring a blog writing service, you can focus on other areas. You might hire a freelancer to help out with the occasional post when you and your team are under pressure. Or you might invest more heavily in a team of writers that can provide content packages and SEO strategy.
Whatever your needs, a blog writing service can take the pressure off you or your team. Having someone else take care of producing the words can give you time to direct your marketing effort. Or you can enjoy more leisure time. Outsourcing to a blog writing service gives you that choice.
How do you choose a blog writing service that will serve your business needs? Here are questions to ask before hiring.
1. Can I see examples of your work?
A good way to judge a blog writing service is to look at blog posts it has already written. An experienced blog writing service should have example articles available that they can share with you.
Look for articles that demonstrate the service’s ability to provide writing in the tone that you desire. Or look out for a variety of styles if your needs will vary. If there are typos or grammar errors in the example articles, take this as a warning sign. You may want to check some of their articles using an app like Grammarly, which will highlight spelling and grammar issues, as well as stylistic weaknesses and plagiarism.
As well as churning out content, your ideal blog writing service will also demonstrate that they are experienced in editing and proofreading. Quantity matters when it comes to content marketing, but quality will make a big difference between you and your competitors.
Quality content is very shareable, it demonstrates your professionalism, and is more likely to inspire trust than low-quality blog posts. If that isn’t enough to convince you, know that Google employs people to check website quality. It’s not all about keywords and meta-tags. Engaging content with a human touch will give you an edge.
2. Who is writing my content?
It might be useful to know something about the writers who will be creating your content, such as their age, backgrounds, and education levels. You may want your content written by people similar to your buyer persona or, at least, people who can understand your goals and your audience.
At a minimum, you’ll want to make sure that they speak your language fluently. If your blog posts do not sound as though they were written by a native speaker, you risk eroding the trust of your readers.
3. Who owns the rights to the content?
Make sure the content they are providing you is unique. Google penalizes sites with recycled content.
To ensure that only you will have the content that is provided, ensure that you not only have the right to use the content, but that you also retain ownership of the content.
4. What is the typical turnaround time?
Think about the answer you want to hear in response to this question, then ask. Don’t allow yourself to be dazzled by a fast turnaround time. While receiving your requested content quickly can potentially improve your profitability and productivity, a fast turnaround time may also suggest a lack of emphasis on quality.
A good blog writing service should have a process in place to ensure that content is not only produced to agreed deadlines, but that it meets measurable quality guidelines.
5. What do you need from me?
Find out if you need to provide anything. Some blog writing services can work with very little information, generating ideas, topics, and even long-term strategies for your business or your clients. Others ask that you remain responsible for ideas generation and SEO strategizing.
One way of working may suit you more than the other. If you find a blog writing service that you love, but they won’t come up with ideas, don’t despair.
Check out https://bloghands.com/blog/how-to-generate-the-most-effective-blog-post-ideas for help generating ideas for content.
6. What if I want revisions/refund?
In an ideal world, your blog writing service should deliver perfect content first time every time. In the real world, however, there will most likely be times when your service doesn’t quite get it right. This might be because it has misunderstood the brief or you are breaking in a new client or angle. Protect yourself from getting stuck with content that you are not happy with by asking if they provide revisions and how the revision process works?
Find out how many revisions you are entitled to and how soon you need to request them. If you’re unsatisfied with the content – before or after revision - you may want a refund – find out if this is possible before the situation arises.
7. How are blog posts formatted?
Find out how the blog writing service formats its blog posts and whether or not they have any flexibility here. If the service’s formatting matches yours, or if they can adapt to your way of doing things, this can save you time and money dealing with layout and compatibility issues.
It’s also worth remembering that producing content doesn’t only mean writing blog posts. There are many types of blog posts, including how-to posts, list posts, and long-form content. Find out which types of blog post the service is capable of writing?
8. Do you write with SEO in mind?
If you want your blog posts to rank well in search engines, you’ll want to test their knowledge on SEO. Google is the King of search engines, so make sure that they follow Google’s Guidelines.
Ask how they handle keyword placement? Look and listen for anything that suggests keyword stuffing. Google doesn’t like it, so neither should you. Any blog writing service should be familiar with Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. Make sure that you are familiar with them too as they will help you evaluate any blog writing service.
An experienced blog writing service will be able to use keywords effectively so that they tell Google and other search engines the focus of your pages in a natural manner. They will understand how to generate and use long-tail keywords to strengthen your message and avoid being penalized for bombarding readers with keywords.
9. Do you have industry experience?
Make sure that writers have the qualifications and/or experience to write on your subject. It can be worth paying extra for writers who have medical, legal, financial, or other specialist knowledge relevant to your business or your clients.
The right fit here can save you hours editing or explaining to the blog writing service what you need.
Alternatively, you might find that a cheaper or faster blog writing service without experience in your industry works for you, because you are able and willing to add technical or specialist details during editing.
Look for an arrangement that works for you and your team.
10. What is your pricing structure?
Give the blog writing service an example of how many posts you want and how long you want each post to be and ask for a quote. Ask if there are any additional costs, such as writing for SEO or press releases. Can you upgrade from one package to another to get a discount on your content?
11. Do you work with agencies?
If you’re an agency, find out upfront if the blog writing service works with other agencies. If so, find out how they typically handle that relationship. You may be entitled to an agency discount. If not, you could consider suggesting one.
As a marketing professional, hiring a blog writing service can save you a lot of time. This means that you will have more time to invest in strategy and identifying your ideal customers and ensuring that your content meets their needs.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that not everyone is a writer. The popularity and effectiveness of content marketing has turned many marketing professionals into writers, but hiring a professional can give your site the quality to stand out from the competition. With so many marketers catching on to the benefits of content marketing, quality is a major factor that will put you ahead of the competition.