How to Outsource Content Writing
Content marketing is considered the most influential form of marketing as it has the power to build brands, attract the audience, bring leads, and convert them into sales.
But writing a compelling piece of content is the hardest part of content marketing.
In fact, 31% of marketers struggle to create content that resonates with the audience and maybe that’s the reason why more and more businesses choose to outsource content writing these days.
So if you’re ready to outsource content writing (or still dwelling upon it), read this guide on How to outsource content writing.
Moreover, you’re going to find here everything you need to know before outsourcing content writing, from its cost to its advantages.
But before, let’s start from the ground and see what it even means to outsource content writing.
What Does Outsourcing Content Writing Mean?
Simply put, delegating your content creation tasks like– website copywriting, blogs post writing, emails, newsletters, and/or writing for social media platforms, to a third party from outside your company is called outsourcing content writing.
What? You already knew that?
Yeah, right, because outsourcing is not a new term to marketers, but too many similar terms related to ‘content’ are wandering on the internet to confuse you.
So let’s figure out some commonly used words.
Content marketing is a broader term than content writing. It involves planning and implementing content strategies and distributing content on various marketing channels like website blogs, social platforms, and email marketing.
It can start as soon as analyzing your audience and their common problem and ends… oh wait. It never ends as you have to keep it going by testing and revising your content over time.
Content marketing strategies can help you figure out some common issues like what type of content to create and how often you should post content for different marketing channels.
Content writing is the process of writing creative, compelling, and engaging content for various marketing channels, but generally, it refers to article or blog writing.
Content writing also includes optimizing content for search engines to rank better and content research to make it more valuable, meaningful, and factual for your targeted audience.
It basically means the same as content writing, but it is not necessarily limited to written content.
Content development may or may not include other forms of content like visual and audio content.
Content creation is often used as another synonym for content development, and it includes (but is not limited to) content writing.
Creating other forms of content like graphics, social posts, and videos for platforms like youtube is also called content creation.
So now that we are on the same plane and you understand the difference between these content-related terminologies let’s get back to outsourcing content and how it’s done.
How to Outsource Content Writing in 6 Steps
Outsourcing can make things easy and lower your workload to an extent, but outsourcing content writing services is not an easy job.
And if you want to make your outsourcing a success, you should prepare yourself first and then only outsource a content writer.
- Check Your Budget
- Set Your Content Writing Goals
- Prepare a Brand Guide
- Find the right Place, and People
- Take a Test Drive
- Analyze and Revise
Check Your Budget
Most companies outsource to cut their costs, so no doubt the first step before you outsource content writing for your business should be to assess your budget.
Analyze what would cost lower, hiring an in-house content development team or outsourcing content writing services.
You can find a content writer for every budget, and to decide your budget, you should first know your business needs. Ask yourself these questions
- Do you want to outsource your entire content development section or just a chunk of it?
- What type of content do you want for your business?
- How much can your business spend on it?
The cost of outsourcing content writing can vary widely from person to person or agency to agency, depending on the services offered, quality of work, degree of complexity and many other factors.
Asking yourself the above questions will give you a price bracket and filter the spread of content writers available in the market.
Set Your Content Writing Goals
“Content marketing is meaningless exercise without business goals.”
Says author Sonia Simon in one of her articles.
So yes, before you outsource content writing, you should set clear content goals for your business.
This will allow you and your outsourcer to better understand what you want from them, increasing the chances of success for your outsourced project.
The best practice is to document your goals and current content strategy so that your outsourced writer can understand your content strategy and work accordingly.
Also, make sure to keep your content marketing goals realistic because setting unrealistic goals is one of the primary reasons behind outsourcing failures.
Here are some examples of typical content marketing goals
- Spreading brand awareness by creating compelling, engaging, and shareable content.
- Building audience trust and educating them by posting valuable and informational content.
- Educating the audience about your product or services to attract more leads
- Extremely high-value content to convert leads into sales.
Prepare a Brand Guide
Preparing a brand guide means documenting your brand history, values, codes of conduct, and ethics.
You can even record a video about it if you don’t want to do the writing part.
Doing this will educate your outsourced writer to know more about your brand and how you want to represent it through the content.
Many entrepreneurs hesitate to outsource a content writer because they think an outsider can’t convey their brand voice. But that’s not true.
You can find several excellent ghostwriters on the internet who writes for many brands at once and still maintain a distinct voice for each of their clients.
But to get such results for your brand, you need to understand that outsourcing is a two-way street, and you can only get better output if you provide your outsource writer with all the necessary inputs.
Find the right Place & People
Once you have prepared your brand guide and know what type of writer you are looking for, it’s time for you to go out and find your perfect content outsourcing partner.
But where can you outsource content writing?
We will discuss this in a later section in detail, but for now, here are some things that you should keep in mind when you outsource content writing.
- Keep Your Niche in Mind
You can find some great writers in the market who provide content outsourcing services for a particular niche like real estate copywriters, law copywriters, or fashion brand writers.
Having a writer familiar with your niche makes content outsourcing much easier and more effective because you don’t have to educate them about industry trends. They can write better content according to your industry trends.
2. Make Sure to Check Their Reviews
Always check your outsourced writer’s reviews and experience to understand their writing style and efficiency better. Although reviews can not give a 100% guarantee that their content will work wonders for your business, at least you can be assured that the person you hired has some experience.
3. What’s their academic level
Knowing your outsourced writer’s academic level and evaluating their skills before hiring them for a project is essential. To assess your content writer’s skills, you can ask for samples and/or a portfolio. See whether they have a particular writing style or if they can adapt different voices and choose according to your needs.
Ask for the number of free revisions they offer for a piece of content and, if not free, how much they charge for every revision. Also, ask how many times they have to revise the content on average to deliver the final copy.
5.Time Taken to Write
Generally, this depends on the length of content you want and also, if the writer you outsourced is not familiar with your industry, it might take them longer to do the content research. But asking them for an average time will give you an idea of what it’ll be like to work with them.
Take a Test Drive
Okay, suppose you have found a writer to outsource your content, have seen their sample work and checked their reviews and testimonials.
Everything seems good.
But is that enough to give a green flag for your content outsourcing journey?
Actually, no. Why?
Because sometimes average writers can have extraordinary samples to showcase. And sometimes, you can also miss some hidden gems because their samples or past work doesn’t seem exactly similar to your business needs.
So it is best you ask for a test run and ask your outsourcing writer to write a trial sample for your business. Don’t ask them to write on a random topic; instead, ask them to write on your business keywords, something you could publish for real.
And that will give you the exact picture of how it’ll be to work with them and if they can write in your brand voice according to your industry trends or not. And enter into a long-term content outsourcing deal only when you are satisfied with their trial sample.
Analyze and Revise
On some big blingy sites, they say, “Outsource your copywriting to us and relax.”
No matter how astonishing it may sound, your job doesn’t end after outsourcing your content writing. However, you can now save much time, which otherwise would have gone into researching and writing tons of white papers and newsletters.
If you want your content outsourcing to succeed, you have to check and revise the content yourself because even great writers can make minor mistakes.
Reviewing the content will make sure you get what you want for your brand, and if you are not completely satisfied with your content copy, send it back for a revision to your outsourced writer.
Why You Should Outsource Content Writing
Now you mostly know the ‘How’ part of outsourcing content writing so let’s move on to the ‘Why’ section. According to a 2020 report, half of the companies outsource at least one content activity, out of which 71% are large companies with more than 1000 employees.
But if you are still not sure how it can help your business, here are some advantages of outsourcing content writing.
Advantages of Outsourcing Content Writing
Outsourcing Content Writing Can Fit into Every Budget.
If content creation is not your core business activity, outsourcing content writing is always more affordable than hiring an in-house content team. Most companies outsource content writing for the sake of saving their operational cost.
Content Outsourcing Provides Better Work Quality
When you outsource content writing, you get access to a big agency’s tech stack that might be out of reach as a small or medium-sized business.
Content outsourcing companies use premium versions of keyword research tools, plagiarism detector tools, and other content creation tools that can provide you with premium quality content and help you rank better on search engines.
Save Time for Other Business Activities
According to stats, it takes 6-8 hours to write a 2000 word-long content, and those who spend 6+ hours and create longer content get strong results. And suppose you are not a professional at writing.
In that case, it can take you even longer to create a compelling piece of content but imagine, if you spend this much time just on content creation, you will miss out on other essential business activities.
Therefore most businesses save their time by outsourcing content writing.
Enjoy Fresh Content Ideas
Outsourcing content writing can benefit your business with a fresh view as your outsourced writer can see your existing content and business from an outsider’s point of view and can better judge your content strategy, and provide you with new content ideas that can attract your audience.
You Can Publish More Content
Generally, content companies have a whole team of creatives working for you if you outsource content writing to them, and if you outsource to a freelancer, you can hire more than one person at a time for writing different kinds of content for you and more hands means more work. According to a study, consistency is the key when it comes to SEO writing.
Signs You Should Outsource Your Content Writing
All right now, you know how crucial outsourcing content writing can be, especially when you are busy and unable to lift your business by content creation yourself.
But that doesn’t mean that every business that creates content should outsource it, right?
So, how do you know that your business needs outsourcing and when?
To answer that, here are 5 signs that you should outsource content writing.
You Don’t Have Enough Time to Write
Imagine you’re working for more than 8 hours. You have finally sent all those emails, finished all the meetings, motivated your staff, and planned your next webinar, but damn! You forgot to write that 2500-word blog that you have to publish tomorrow.
Does that sound like a horror story to you, or is that your reality?
In both cases, you need to outsource your content writing. Writing content is equally important as any other business activity (if anything, more than some), but it may not look as urgent as compared to other tasks on your to-do list.
That’s why you keep delaying it, and that results in your content strategy falling face-first to the ground.
You’re Not Very Good at Writing Game
Let’s admit to the truth that everybody is not good at everything. Okay, now you might think, what’s the big deal with content writing? You just have to write, duh!
But if you think it’s too easy, you might be doing it wrong.
Content writing to uplift a business takes a lot more than just writing your heart out. So if you really want to level up your business with content writing, it’s better to outsource it to a professional while you can focus on the things you are best at.
You’re losing Your Audience
If you are giving all of your heart, soul, and time to creating content to feed your audience but hardly getting any results, it’s time to re-think about outsourcing content.
These stats by Optinmonster shows that 60% of marketers struggle with creating engaging content. And suppose you feel you are one of them as you see all your content creation efforts going in vain with no rankings, little to no engagements, and no customers (ouch).
In that case, it’s time to outsource a content writer who can serve more engaging blogs to please both humans and search engine algorithms.
Your In-House Team Needs Assistance
Sometimes your in-house team can run out of ideas and lack inspiration because, in many small companies, in-house teams are responsible for more than just writing and creating content, and that’s when you need a fresh mind and view to upgrade your content strategy.
Outsourcing your entire content creation process or a part of it can lower the workload of your internal team and provide much-needed freshness to your content.
Your Losing Inspiration to Write
If you are a ‘one-person-show’ entrepreneur and love to do everything yourself, I get it. Many solopreneurs are of the view that no one can do it better for their business, but as I’ve said, and I’ll repeat it once again for you, it’s NOT easy to consistently create quality content.
Especially when you have 100 more things to do, so even if you are good at writing but are feeling a bit off for some time, you can give outsourcing a shot.
Where to Outsource Content Writing
After soaking in all this information about the ‘how to’ and ‘why to’ part of outsourcing content writing, you might have decided about doing it.
But now you’re like, “Where to outsource content writing?”
Well, Good question.
So here are the top options for you to outsource your content writing.
Independent Freelance Writers
When it comes to outsourcing content writing, the most common way that comes to our mind is hiring a freelancer.
And independent freelance writers are high profile published writers who can create premium quality content for your business.
These independent writers are specialists in their respective niches and can create highly engaging and rank-worthy content with their skills and knowledge.
But this option can be too costly for a small or mid-sized business as these professionals charge high fees.
Talking of freelancers, Gig based marketplaces like Fiverr, Upwork, and many more are some cool places where you can outsource your content writing work.
Here, you can have several options for any budget and every kind of content work, from proofreading to blog writing and everything in between.
But such marketplaces are considered less secure when it comes to outsourcing contracts as there is no written contract between you and the outsourced writer.
And the quality may vary as you get what you pay for, so you have to be careful when choosing your content writer.
Content Marketing Agencies
Another place where you can outsource your content writing is content marketing agencies. This is a more professional option for those who want to outsource their complete content marketing process.
Generally, such huge agencies hire full-time or remote ghostwriters who work under the agency’s name and get paid.
Although you can choose a plan according to your business needs, you have to pay a premium amount for working with a big company.
Virtual Assistant Agencies
Okay, this one is new and less traditional, but it is gaining popularity amongst small businesses. Virtual assistant agencies are basically like content marketing agencies; the only difference is that they offer a wider service range and are not limited to just content writing.
You get all the tech-stack of the agency and premium services, and that too at the price of a freelancer, so it’s a double win. Also, some virtual assistant agencies can also help you with other supporting services, like social media marketing and email marketing, which can further enhance your content strategies.
How do we know it?
Because we are one such VA agency that loves to help businesses across the globe with our content writing and many other services, and if you are unsure if hiring a virtual assistant is worth your money or not, it’s okay. We don’t feel offended at all as we hear this often.
In fact, we want you to make any decision regarding your content marketing only after exploring all your options, and you can learn more about virtual assistants here.
How Much Does Outsourcing Content Writing Cost?
Okay, so here is the most critical question you might want to ask after knowing all the other information on outsourcing content writing.
How much does it exactly cost to outsource content writing services?
Unfortunately, there is no ‘universal answer’ to this question, as the cost of content writing services can vary dramatically depending on your business needs and to whom you are outsourcing.
Other than that, there are several more factors affecting the cost of content outsourcing like:
- Specific content services that you want to outsource, for example, email writing, blog writing, website writing, or writing for social media platforms.
- The geographical location of your outsourced writer
- The native language of your outsourced writer
- Your industry or niche
- Background and experience of your outsourcing writer
Now getting back to the How much does it cost topic, there are mainly three models of costing in the content outsourcing market
- Per Word
- Per Hour
- On Contract/Project Basis
Per Word Cost
Some freelancers charge per word, and this cost can vary from as low as $0.1 to $1 and above per word, depending on the writer’s experience level and other factors.
According to a 2018 survey, nearly 30% of writers with 3 to 7 years of experience charge from $0.26 to $0.50 per word. Those who have an experience of more than 15 years can cost you $1 or more for every word.
It is the most common method many freelancers and content agencies use to charge for their services. The average hourly cost of outsourcing content writing services is $25 per hour and whereas the range can start from $5 per hour and go as high as $100 per hour.
On Contract/Project Basis
The cost of outsourcing a content project depends on the complexity of the project, type of content needed, experience and expertise of the writer and many other factors.
According to some reports, outsourcing can cost anywhere between $1,500 to $10,000 per month, but it’s still more affordable than hiring an in-house content team which can cost you $48,000 to $150,000 a year.
Hopefully, this guide on how to outsource content writing will help you find your perfect outsourced writer, but if you are still confused or have any questions regarding content outsourcing, feel free to contact us.
Furthermore, no matter whom you choose to outsource your content– a freelancer, a huge content agency, or our virtual assistant agency- follow the above described 6 steps to get the best out of your outsourced content.