Imagine this: you’ve spent a long day running your business, and the day is wrapping up. You’ve been at your desk for nine hours and there’s still more to do. While all you want to do is go home, you’ve still got to create your blog and social media content for the week.
Does this describe you?
If you’re a business owner, chances are you don’t have to work too hard to imagine this.
And if that is the case, now is a very good time to consider how to outsource your content writing.
Whether you simply dislike writing (it’s ok–we can’t all be perfect!), or just don’t have the time, knowing how to outsource your content creation is an excellent way to make your business more successful and free up your time to grow your business.
I’ve compiled this guide for you with key advice from myself (as a writing agency owner, dealing with thousands of clients in the past five years), and from staff members in our team that talk to our clients on a day-to-day basis. Keep reading and learn how to effectively, and smoothly, load your writing needs over to an outsourced provider.
How to Outsource Your Content Writing Successfully: A Guide
For this guide on how to outsource your content creation, I teamed up with our amazing content staff – Katria, our Content Manager, Tamila, our Client Engagement Specialist, Tara, our Content Development Specialist, and Korilynn, one of our full-time writers. Their quotes are below!
First, let’s start with a few signs to help you know when it’s time to outsource your content.
3 Tell-Tale Signs it’s Time to Outsource Your Content
Just how do you tell that it’s time to outsource your content writing?
1. Your content is dropping off, you’re missing publishing times, and people have stopped engaging with your content
If you’ve noticed a significant drop in your engagement lately, it could be because the quality of your content is slipping off. This happens when business owners start getting so busy that they neglect the quality of their content creation, and it could be happening to you right now. Fortunately, there’s help to be had before you disappear into that wormhole of obscurity. Outsource your content for the love and attention your social channels and blogs need to thrive once more.
2. You’re just never able to find the time to write
Being a business owner or entrepreneur comes with the requirement of an insane schedule. If you’re one of those people who eats in the car, spends half the day on the phone, and has started keeping survival supplies in the bottom left drawer of your desk, it’s likely that content creation isn’t your main priority right now, and – hey, rightfully so. Even though you want your business to succeed, content creation is time-consuming, and it’s hard to balance that, which can seem a bit obscure, with all of the real, tangible, everyday demands of your physical business.
Some business owners who find themselves in this position just stop creating content altogether. Never do that. You could lose all your new inbound lead opportunities if you do. Remember: businesses that publish 16 or more blogs monthly get 3.5 times more traffic than businesses that publish 0-4 posts per month (Hubspot).
3. You simply dislike writing
Writing is not for everyone, and that’s okay. It’s one thing that can be tough to master – especially the skill of online writing. If you hate it, don’t stress yourself out over it. Instead, call in a trained team of writers who can take the icky task off your back while you focus on things you do like.
Express Writers’ Staff Shares 8 Tips on How to Successfully Outsource Your Content & Get Amazing Results
It’s not every day, unfortunately, that business owners outsource their content and get incredible results from it.
We’ve seen new client after new client come to us with this kind of story:
“I just hired a writer. It was a year-long contract for a blog per week. He claimed he knows the industry. Now not only is my client rewriting everything from scratch, it was so bad, he’s actually about to leave me because the writer stopped showing up and I have no content to give my client.”
Is this your story? It doesn’t have to be. Fortunately, there are content creators that really care about content creation.
As a content agency, we’ve created thousands of projects for hundreds of clients since 2011 (check out one of our creation reports), and we know how to do content right. Here are eight key tips from five of our leading staff members.
If you’re looking to outsource your content, follow these carefully to successfully manage both quality and expectations for yourself and your writer.
1. My key tip: Evaluate how you provide instructions.
Even the best writer is only as good as the instructions that he or she receives.
With this in mind, be sure you’re setting your would-be writers up for success by evaluating the way you provide instructions.
Here are two examples of instructions:
Poor: “Write 300-words of web copy for our ‘about us’ page.”
Helpful: “Write 300 words of web copy for our ‘about us’ page. The URL of our site is www.company.com. The key points we want to communicate are as follows: Company is a Texas-based provider of custom dog coats. All our coats are environmentally friendly and made from recycled pop cans. We never undertake animal testing, and we give 10% of our proceeds to grassroots non-profits. Our contact number is 867-5309, and we specialize in producing coats for small and medium breeds.”
Is the second example a little wacky? Sure. But is it specific, and useful tot he writer? Yes.
When it comes to giving your writer instructions, be as specific and granular as you can.
Provide examples of content you like, reference websites for research and statistics, very specific directions and outlines, etc. The more information your writer has to work with, the more efficient he or she will be with your content creation.
2. Tamila’s key tip: Communications is the key to a great outsourcing experience.
Tamila, our Client Engagement Specialist, knows what it takes to succeed. She says: all communication is a two-way street.
As the client, provide all information upfront. This includes word count, subject, outlines (if content needs to be really specific), keywords, audience, and tone of content. Also, be sure to provide your writer with your deadline upfront. If you need open communication (emails daily, Skype chats, etc) with the writer, let them know this as well.
3. Tara’s key tip: Know your expectations, based on the provider type: solo writer or agency.
Our Content Development Specialist, Tara, says that if you contract a solo writer, you need to understand that things happen – illnesses, holiday time, other jobs, etc. If you go with an agency, you should expect the agency to fill any gaps or absences seamlessly – and for a competitive price point. When you’re evaluating writers, you should look for industry experience, testimonials, a website, native-level language on all written materials, and sample content by request. One or more revisions should also be included in your cost.
At Express Writers, we provide two revisions with every piece of content and meet all the above criteria. Additionally, we have a team of seasoned editors reviewing every piece of content before it goes to our clients. We offer two levels of writing service: general and expert. I always explain it to clients using my own writing abilities as an example. I could write an expert-level piece on guest blogging or content marketing, but I wouldn’t be able to complete an expert piece of content on something like crochet, which I know nothing about. If you need impactful, industry-specific content, go with a writer in that niche as often as possible.
If you’re looking to make a real impact in 2017, make your mark with authority content. This type of work will set you far above your competition and the generic noise they make, and it’s not a level you’re going to find at most other agencies. Our goal is to showcase your expertise – we’re just putting a definitive shine on the knowledge you’ve already gathered.
4. Katria’s key tip: Share key details, your intentions with the content and the audience.
Our Content Manager, Katria, shares a simple but effective tip. We tend to nail content a lot more often when the writer has clear direction in what the content will be used for and what audience to write for.
Little details like word count and keywords are important, but overall, knowing the intent of the content (what it’s meant for, where it’s going) and the audience are critical for a writer to succeed.
5. Korilynn’s key tip: Be specific, but not too constricting.
3 Additional Key Tips to Outsource Your Writing Successfully
6. Understand that editing is part of writing
If you’ve never worked with a writer before, you might not know just how integral the editing process is to content creation. When your writer submits a draft to you, consider it just that – a draft.
Not quitting on the first draft is essential. To forge a good relationship with your writer, you’ll need to work together to determine a process for content creation. Remember: no matter how good your writer is, it takes some time to “teach” him or her what you expect from your content.
What’s more, writers want to do a good job, and they can’t fix mistakes in formatting or voice unless you let them know they exist. That said, work through the editing process in close collaboration with your writer to create a more functional partnership.
7. Reward your writer for a job well done
For copywriters, it can often seem like assignments come and go and are never heard from again. This can be a discouraging way to work, and it’s something that bothers many writers. Instead of letting this happen in your newfound writing team, be sure to reward your writers – either financially or verbally – for a job well done.
Something as small as calling out what you liked about a certain piece or adding a bonus to a writer’s assignment every now and again can go a long way toward boosting the morale of your team. It also has the added benefit of helping your writers see your assignments as their top priority, and encouraging them to turn in quality work at all times.
8. Remember to hire based on skillsets, if you have an industry need
If you own a high level niche company, look for writers with niche experience in your industry. Writers with niche medical, financial, and technical skills are all over the web, and they can help enhance your content and create the high-level material you need to help your business thrive.
Know How to Outsource Your Content to Great Writers, & Your Business Will Grow
If you hate writing, aren’t any good at it, and can’t bear to do it one more day, it’s critical to know how to outsource your content to a team of skilled writers.
Finding a great group of copywriters is a rewarding process, and it can help your business grow now and in the future.
Looking for the right team to help you craft your content? Talk to us to learn more about our outstanding content services!