You don’t need to be a good writer to have a good blog, as long as you outsource writing services to the right professional writing company.
An astounding 77% of internet users read blogs, while U.S. users spend three times as long on blog posts than email.
That’s a pretty powerful testimony as to a blog’s worth.
Blogs have continually topped the list of marketing efforts, helping them receive 67% more leads than non-blogging companies. And even more surprising? A whopping 62% of companies outsource their content marketing.
But just as there are good and bad doctors, lawyers, website designers, and DJs, the same holds true for professional writing companies. Choosing someone to outsource writing services isn’t a decision to take lightly, especially since your brand’s reputation and worth partly depends on the blog content you provide.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of things to consider before you outsource writing services to anyone, even if you found them at the top of Google’s Page 1.
5 Things You Need to Know Before You Outsource Writing Services
Before you ink a deal, make sure the company you partner with can live up to your expectations on these six critical points:
1. What is your project objective?
Not all professional writing companies are created equally. Some of them target niche industries while others focus on specific objectives, such as SEO or hot topics. Knowing what you want from your project can help guide you to the right company that can deliver on your needs.
Some common objectives include
- Thought leadership in your industry
- Trending topics
- Social media-friendly posts
- Industry news
- Sales collateral (ie whitepapers)
- Website copy
It’s helpful to partner with a professional writing company that has experience in the objectives you want to accomplish. Make sure you check out their writing samples to get a feel for the type of content and quality they’ve produced in the past.
2. What is your project scope?
You need to communicate the elements of your project scope up front to companies you’re considering for outsourcing. Scope includes
- Type of writing, including subject matter and project objectives
- Length of writing (Google’s top-ranking content is between 1,140-1,285 words)
- Number of pieces of content
- The potential for ongoing projects
Knowing these things ahead of time is as much a benefit to you as they are to the companies you’re considering for outsourcing. Oftentimes marketers don’t always understand what they want from a blog, other than they want one.
Here’s a helpful hint: if you didn’t think about these things ahead of time, good writing companies will ask. If they don’t, they’re probably not the right writing company for you.
3. What is your project budget?
Or perhaps a better question, how should you budget for outsourcing writing services?
Blog posts can range from a bottom-of-the-barrel five bucks all the way up to a thousand dollars or more per post.
Someone who has a minor grasp of the English language or who scrapes content from other blogs and reworks the content will cost much less than a reputable professional writing company. The cheaper your blog post costs, the more likely you’ll be spending time editing, rewording, and verifying until you feel it belongs on your website.
To budget for blogging, consider what a good blog is worth to your company. How much do you stand to gain from your blog in terms of leads, website traffic, conversions, and loyalty?
Companies who hit a total of 21-51 blog posts see a 30% jump in blog traffic, while companies who reach 52+ blog posts see an average of 77% more blog traffic. You might start by calculating what it will take to help you reach these numbers. If you already have a stable blog, think about what it costs to produce yourself in-house to give you a starting figure.
4. What do your readers expect from your content?
Blogging is about building trust and relationships with your readers in ways that only you can. So whoever you choose to write your blog content should be able to connect with your audience in the same way you do without seeming like a different entity.
- Who is my blog for?
- Does my blog require industry-specific knowledge that only an insider would know?
- What tone/perspective/writing style do I want to establish in my blog?
Most professional writing companies have a staff of writers they can pull from (think of it as a blogging matchmaker service). But it’s your responsibility to tell them what you’re looking for in terms of writing style, tone, brand voice, and other nuances that will make your writing look as though it came straight from your own mouth.
But to be certain, make sure you ask the company if they can deliver on your specifics. Good writing companies won’t want to risk their reputation on a project they aren’t capable of handling properly.
5. What are the terms of the professional writing company?
You can learn a lot from a professional writing company’s website, but what you don’t know can hurt you.
While things like price, content length, and turnaround time might be mentioned up front, there are a few additional criteria you should establish:
- How many edits are you allowed once the first draft is submitted?
- What is the timeframe in requesting edits?
- What is the additional charge for edits, if any?
- Was my content verified by Copyscape?
- When is payment expected?
- What if I’m not satisfied?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Good writing companies revel in the opportunity to demonstrate why they’re the best solution.
You might think you’re doing yourself a favor if you outsource writing services to a professional writing company. True, it can prove worth its weight in gold in building website traffic and loyal fans, especially if you’re not a strong writer. And, depending on your project, outsourcing could be cheaper than if you did all the writing yourself.
But that’s only if you outsource writing services to the right company.