When you’re a small business owner and trying to save a buck, writing your own content can seem like a good idea.
“It can’t be that hard! I’ll save lots of money!
I hate to break it to you, but writing content is not as simple as sitting down in front of a word processor and scrounging up 800 words off the top of your head.
To be blunt, writing content isn’t even as simple as plain writing.
To earn return-on-investment, to be profitable, content needs so much more:
- SEO smarts
Can you ostensibly create this kind of content on your own – not to mention consistently, at the highest levels of quality – and still have time to run your business?
Maybe if you’re a super-human or a wizard with magical powers.
Maybe if you give up a social life, relaxation time, and sleep.
Enter the case for hiring a writer and outsourcing content.
It’s not only for the health of your business and your content’s ROI-potential; it’s also for your sanity.
That’s why we’re discussing:
- When to outsource your content
- Why you should outsource
- And the real numbers involved, including the dollars and time you’ll save by hiring a writer (because time = money)
To begin, here’s the first question we’ll answer: When should you start outsourcing your content?
Spoiler alert: The answer is right now.
Allow me to prove that to you.
When should you start outsourcing your content? @JuliaEMcCoy asks this tough question in today's blog, complete with an infographic. Click To Tweet
Exploring the Hidden Costs & Risks of NOT Outsourcing Content (Infographic Case Study)
What will it cost you, in minutes and hours & dollars and cents, NOT to hire a writer with expertise in content marketing?
Time = money.
What is your time worth to you?
Let’s estimate exactly how much time it takes to plan, research, write, and edit a high-quality, high-ROI content piece, like an in-depth blog post. Then we’ll compare it to the time and cost of hiring an expert.
1. Time Required for DIY Content (100 Hours/Month: Equivalent of a Part-Time Job)
To create DIY content that actually gets results, the work you put in must include the following (assuming you’ve already researched your audience). The estimated time it takes to complete each step is included.
- Keyword research – Finding keyword opportunities to scoop up high-potential traffic (15-20 minutes)
- Planning – Ironing out a post topic that appeals to your target niche and uses your target keywords (5-10 minutes)
- Researching – Gathering relevant facts, stats, and supporting information you can link to and reference in your post (20-30 minutes)
- Outlining – Planning your argument, organizing your thoughts, laying out main points, and drafting headers and subheaders (10-15 minutes)
- Writing – Writing up the post, citing sources and linking to them, using SEO best-practices, adding visuals as needed, and finalizing your headers and subheaders (4-8 hours [dependent on MANY factors, including inspiration, the quality of your research, and your motivation – could take much less or much more time])
- Editing – Checking your work for accuracy, proofreading for flow and tone of voice, checking for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors (20-40 minutes)
Estimated time needed to craft ONE in-depth blog post: about 10 hours
Estimated time needed monthly to publish 2x/week: 100 hours/month
You read that right: It takes nearly an entire day to crank out a blog post worthy of ROI.
To publish these types of posts two times a week, it will take about 20 hours per week, and 100 hours per month.
That’s like having a part-time job.
And those numbers are just an estimate!
It could take much longer if you run into problems like writer’s block, or research fails such as coming up short for solid, recent studies to back up points in your content.
It will take EVEN LONGER if you haven’t researched your audience, or if you don’t have a workflow and plan in place for strategizing your blogs.
It takes a lot of work. Look at all the activities that top-performing content marketers commit to, from that same CMI benchmark survey we already mentioned. Top performers:
- Value craft and creativity in their content (88%)
- Have excellent/very good project management flow (70%)
- Deliver content consistently (75%)
- Use high-quality content to build their audiences (92%)
For businesses who out-perform the rest, content quality and consistency is prioritized.
If you DIY, that WILL take a huge chunk of time, effort, and resources that can add up to hundreds of hours over a few months.
What’s your time worth? What is 100 hours/month worth to you?
What could you do for your business in that time besides pulling your hair out over content creation?
More importantly, could you repeat this exact same routine, ad-nauseum, to produce consistent results?
2. Time Needed to Hire a Writer and Hand Off the Dirty Work (Potentially 25 Minutes / $90)
We know how long it takes to produce a high-quality, amazing blog that wins ROI.
In contrast, how much time and money do you need to hire a writer to take care of it all for you?
Let’s break it down:
- Finding and vetting a writer – At Express Writers, we handle writer vetting and match you with an expert who can write with authority about your industry topics. (0 minutes)
- Relaying keywords, topics, and strategy – With us, all you have to do is order the content you need (either fill out our guided order forms or talk to a content specialist). One of our content strategists can also do keyword and topic research for you. (5-10 minutes + $90 for an expert blog)
- Reviewing the completed content – All the creative work happens behind-the-scenes. All you have to do is wait for your completed content, review it, and, if needed, ask for any revisions. (10-15 minutes review time)
Estimated time/cost for outsourcing content: 25 minutes, $90
What’s the Better Investment?
About 25 minutes is all it takes to hire a writer to create a high-ROI content piece, plus an investment of $90.
Compare that to the 10 hours you might spend trying to do it all yourself, not to mention the estimated 20 hours/week and 100 hours/month needed to keep it up ON TOP of your other tasks/projects for growing your business.
It would be like having a part-time job on top of your full-time job.
It’s Time to Outsource Your Content When…
1. Your Knowledge of ROI Content & SEO Is Hazy, At Best
What are the major factors that contribute to high-ROI content?
If you can’t immediately reel off a few answers to this question, you might want to take a step back.
Of course, that’s not to say you don’t understand the value of quality content.
You just might not be clear on what has to happen to create those types of assets.
If this describes you to a tee, you shouldn’t be writing your own content – you just don’t have the expertise to create the stuff that leads to results and business growth.
There’s nothing wrong with that, either.
Instead, delegating this task will free you up to focus on what you ARE good at, where your true expertise lies.
Check out the most common success factors for content, according to CMI’s 2018 benchmark survey:
B2Bs that were MORE successful overwhelmingly attributed their success to better, more efficient content creation. Also notable: They spent more time on content, and many relied on outside expertise.
They did not settle for “good enough,” and if they didn’t have the chops, they got help.
2. You Don’t Have Time to Create Your Best Work Day In & Day Out
Growing a fledgling business is a full-time job. If you have to take care of the content creation, too, where does that leave you?
It leaves you hassled, stressed, and exhausted. It means you’ll be doing lots of tasks but not excelling at any of them.
Unfortunately, the type of content that’s profitable requires your best work, consistently. So, even if you understand what it takes to create that type of content, if you don’t have the time to devote to it, it won’t matter.
3. You’re Spending Too Much Time on Lackluster Content
Here’s where thinking you can “do it all” snowballs into wasted time with zero ROI.
Writing half-assed, lackluster content gets you half-assed, lackluster results – not because you’re incompetent, but because you don’t have the time or expertise to craft pieces that are truly GREAT.
Instead, you’re expending the little time you DO have on content that just doesn’t cut the mustard.
What do you end up with?
Wasted time, and content that staggers along for a while before dissolving into internet obscurity.
You’ll never get that time back.
That’s time you could have spent actually growing your business in ways in which you excel.
It may hurt to hear it, but it’s the plain truth.
How do you know when it's time to outsource your #content creation? This post has three signs to watch out for! Click To Tweet
Outsourcing Content: What Does That Investment Look Like Over Time?
If you choose to outsource your content, you’re in good company.
47% of B2B marketers outsource their content creation activities.
As you’ve already seen, there’s a huge reason why.
It’s worth it.
Let’s dig into some examples of what investing in outsourced content creation looks like over time.
What’s the ROI?
Real-Life Content Outsourcing Example: Marketing Labs
A U.K.-based digital marketing agency, Marketing Labs works with clients to increase their online growth, including traffic and conversions.
Though they had a team of experts, including two copywriters on staff, their business was getting more writing work than they could handle alone.
Rather than stretch their in-house writers thin, they hired us at Express Writers to handle their content strategy and blogging, and to step in for one of their clients with improved, optimized product descriptions.
Here are just a few of the results (read the full case study here):
The results and ROI were phenomenal, but only because Marketing Labs invested in quality content, which also saved them time + money.
Here’s what Marketing Labs’ CEO, Matt Janaway, said about outsourcing content to us:
Outsourcing Your Content: Get Back Your Time and Grow Your ROI
Your time is valuable. Your dollars are limited.
Content creation is a HUGE undertaking that requires both – especially oodles of your precious time if you DIY.
As a business owner, as a marketer, or whatever you do, you know that you could be spending your time in ways that are more productive.
This is especially true if you’re shaky on what it takes to create amazing, ROI-heavy content that turns into a profitable ASSET.
Instead of fumbling your way through content, delegate. Outsource. Let experts do the heavy lifting.
You could see bigger, better growth from your content + have extra time to devote to your strengths.
Doesn’t that sound incredible?
We agree, and that’s why we’re here.
Trust us at Express Writers for outsourcing your content – we can deliver.
Read about our process, then request a client account to start moving forward in the right direction.