Outsourcing has become something of a dirty word in the modern lexicon over the past decade – with the fast pace of globalization, it’s come to invoke images of empty factories and jobs leaving. Of course, not to say that this view has no truth – the shift of the economy thanks to the internet and how easy it is to move goods, services, and people across the world has taken jobs and shaken up the way the world works.
With all of this in mind, keep in mind that outsourcing has a good side, too. With the heightened ability to communicate that modern technology is giving us, outsourcing tasks that you might find tedious or time-consuming is as easy as logging on to the internet. In my opinion, outsourcing is rapidly becoming a cornerstone for entrepreneurs and many small businesses in particular – can’t build a website? There’s a legion of web designers out there looking to make a deal. Can’t stand bookkeeping? A Google search will introduce you to a crowd of people who will count your beans gladly.
The same thing goes for content writing. Many people are hesitant to work with content writing services since, well, most people do possess the ability to write. Why would you outsource your blog if you have a staff of people with reasonable command over the English language and word processing programs?
This is not to say that no company can handle in-house writing on their own. Just as I very well could get down with my bad self and Quickbooks. However, I’m fully aware that my strength is not in numbers – and sitting around inputting financial transactions is not exactly my jar of beans.
So I outsource. Success in business depends much on a sense of understanding the strengths and weaknesses of yourself and your team members – you need to know where individuals shine and where they’ll just lump along.
In the blog post 5 Valid Reasons to Outsource Blog Content Writing, much is spoken about priorities. No matter what sort of business you’re in, you’ve likely got a million things demanding your time and not enough hours in the day. (I know that feeling, bro.) While there is something to be said about the independent nature of the one-man-band, there’s a reason why most musical acts have multiple people manning the instruments. It’s hard to play guitar and drums at the same time. Even if you actually can play both.
Outsourcing writing to a content writing service doesn’t mean you’re admitting defeat when it comes to the written word. It simply means that you’re prioritizing – yes, sure, you are likely able to operate Microsoft Word functionally, but if it’s going to take you two hours a day to produce a blog, why not send it to somebody who not only knows the ins and outs of content marketing, but also can produce posts more efficiently?
Even if you can write well and efficiently on your own merit, it’s worth sitting back and comparing the value of your time. If you can write efficiently but your main job is managing people and controlling bank accounts, it still might not be the smartest idea to take on a blog campaign on your own. After all, it’s not part of your job description. With outsourcing, you can get back to managing your hot-button affairs while letting the writers do the writing.
Getting Down to Brass Tacks
Of course, you don’t want to outsource to somebody who can’t do the job. Doug Williams has a great blog post on How to Hire a Web Content Writer, which outlines a great checklist of things to look for when you’re searching for somebody to king your content. Web content writers are not novelists or journalists – there’s a specific skill set that comes along with the job, and certain indicators that you should look for when getting down with outsourcing.
- Check for a presence on the web. Many content writers work off of sites like www.guru.com or www.elance.com, and these include profile pages with satisfaction ratings. Another good place to look is company websites (like this one!) and personal blog sites. A web presence will let you learn more about the writer’s place in the industry – and it will also give you a glimpse of writing ability, as well.
- How much experience does the writer have? Those who are SEO gurus are doubtlessly going to charge more for their time – but there’s also a higher chance that you’ll get more bang for your buck as far as content marketing goes. For those who have a keen eye on the bottom line, you can outsource to writers around the world for cheaper prices; however, this can also affect the quality of the content on your website, so be careful. Of course, we here at Content Equals Money are all about the positives of working with native speakers with college educations – you can see the difference when you work with experts.
- How much research is the writer willing to do? Research is an essential part of all content marketing. The writer needs to be able to capture your voice and understand your industry to write about hot-button topics that engage and draw in consumers to convert – and this all depends on research. I’m in the process of building a blog series entitled Substantiating the Ghost (Writer) which goes into detail about this very subject – research and a comprehensive understanding of your industry is what separates SEO writing wizardry from simple words on a page.
The ins and outs of outsourcing basically end with this: it’s all about efficiency and placing skills where they are best suited. There are companies out there who can handle all of their writing in-house; however, outsourcing can free up time and give your business the flexibility it needs to succeed in the modern marketplace. Outsourcing has a bad rap, but it’s not all doom and gloom – after all, there’s a good reason why the phrase “far out” means something that’s awesome.
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