Your content strategy is an important part of your overall marketing campaign(s). Content marketing can help you attract potential clients and customers and build rapport with your target audience. And because content correlates heavily with SEO, you’ll also be able to expand your reach and grow your brand. Unfortunately, not all business owners have the time or expertise to manage blogs of their own. That’s where content writing services come in. With a good service on your side, you can achieve many of your marketing goals in no time. Here’s what you need to know:
Create Content Goals First
Before you start hiring other writers, it’s important to have your structure defined. Who is your target audience and what keywords are necessary to target them? In some instances, you’ll hire a full marketing agency that will spearhead keyword research and search engine optimization for you, but this isn’t always the case. Decide what your content goals are and what your target market expects from your blog. From here, you’ll be able to create a much more tailored approach to hiring different writers and writing services.
Work With Niche Agencies
There are certain industries that could benefit from the expertise afforded by niche writing agencies. For example, the legal industry requires thorough research and know-how. For firms that want to start their own law blogs, it’s important to understand that not all legal content writing services are created equal. In this case, you’d need to work with writers who will limit liability, know how to craft content with legal jargon, and specialize in the legal area.
The same applies for the medical industry. General writers will take significantly longer to research necessary information, and you may not get the best quality for what you’re paying for. Where necessary, always search for writers and agencies who have demonstrable experience writing in your field.
Create a Style & Usage Guide
Any time you decide to outsource your writing efforts, you should have a guide in place. When it comes to editorial work, a style and usage guide is a must. A style and usage guide (take a look these editorial guides for inspiration) specifies the rules necessary to maintain brand consistency. It outlines the tone, style, voice, and grammar conventions that you want to enforce throughout all your content efforts.
This helps onboard new writers who aren’t familiar with your brand, and also helps ensure that multiple contributors will all be able to write with a similar tone. It also saves you time from having to answer questions any solid writer would ask. Instead, they can refer to the guide time and time again. The same goes for your staff and design team, who can refer to and update the guide as needed.
Avoid Content Mills
You might be tempted to enlist the services of a writing content mill, but it’s best to avoid it at all costs. There are many reasons why eager business owners turn to content mills for writing services. For starters, they may be attracted to the low cost. But like most services, that low costs typically corresponds to low quality. These include bid-based platforms like CrowdContent and Textbroker.
Platforms that charge companies cheap pay their writers significantly cheaper. Professional writers are often deterred by low prices, and a large portion of writers using content mills for writing gigs hail from overseas, where the dollar stretches much further. Another reason people use content mills it to take advantage of high volume with a short turnaround. When it comes to blog content for your business, this isn’t necessary. Sure, the more content you have, the more opportunities you have to boost your SEO, but this comes with fine print.
Too much content in a short time frame is a red flag for Google algorithms, who aren’t looking for bulk content, but for consistency. Throwing a bunch of blog posts up doesn’t create value and it doesn’t build the brand. Two to four well-researched and well-written blog posts per month will do the trick.
Generic content will rarely take your business far. In fact, back in 2011, Google made strides to pinpoint surface-level, generic content by cracking down on content mills. During this time, so-called content farms and directories were hit hard by the Panda update. They lack branding, create a poor user experience, create an unsustainable business model for talented writers, and can damage credibility.