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Outsourcing Content Creation: It’s a Process

Textbroker CEO, Phillip Thune, provides valuable insights on the process of understanding when to outsource your content creation.

I recently sat down with Benjamin Shapiro, host, and producer of the Voices of Search Podcast. We had a valuable conversation about content strategy and scoping the content creation process. I decided to also my thoughts with you on our blog, and you can catch the full episode here.
So, when you really think about it, outsourcing content creation can be a cost- and time-effective strategy for any organization, right? The key is viewing content outsourcing as a process that should be carefully planned and executed.

So, what exactly is content outsourcing?

Let’s be honest, strong written content is a must for business success online. Simply, great content attracts search engine attention and builds stronger consumer confidence in your brand. Content outsourcing is a time-effective way to get the high-quality content you need. When you outsource content creation, you work with a freelance writer or a writing agency to get original content for your online marketing channels. Like outsourcing the design of your company’s logo, outsourcing content ensures that you get a professional result. You might not have the time or experience to create content yourself, but you can outsource the job to experienced writers for a reasonable cost.

Know What Parts Of Your Content To Outsource Vs. What You Can Do In-House

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, business owners and freelancers are more comfortable than ever before working remotely. Maybe you’ve realized that outsourcing content could work for your organization, but you’re not sure which parts of your content strategy you should outsource and which should stay in-house.

Start by assessing what your resources are. Who on your team can write content? How much time do those team members have to write content? If your team is too busy to meet your content demands or doesn’t have the necessary skill, it’s time to outsource. The good news is that you can outsource all but a very few content tasks to freelance writers. The key to getting high-quality content is to create a great job brief that explains exactly what you need in terms of both content and tone.

What are the tasks you shouldn’t outsource to freelancers? If you need content that is highly technical and requires advanced training in your field or insider knowledge of your company, you shouldn’t outsource its creation. However, you can hire a writer to help you with revisions and improvements if you struggle to create readable text. If you’re launching a new product, you may be best served by having someone at your company familiar with the product’s specs write for you. Of course, you should also be cautious about outsourcing content that includes proprietary information or trade secrets.

Clear Signs It’s Time for You to Outsource Your Content Creation

By now you’re thinking you should be outsourcing content creation. In my experience, for most business owners and entrepreneurs timing is a key factor. There are a variety of reasons it might be time to start outsourcing. The most pressing reasons include:


  • First and foremost, we have to acknowledge the element of time. You’re out of it or the ability to write content is extremely restricted by lack of internal resources

  • Inadequate knowledge of SEO best practices in writing

  • An increase in your content volume needs that can’t be met in-house

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Envisioning The Beginning Of The Content Production Process

Content production is a process much like anything else in business. You’ll need to think about time, money, and platform in order to succeed at outsourcing content. Take the time now to sketch out the basics of your content outsourcing plan so that you can evaluate and adjust it periodically without fuss.

Figuring out your budget comes first.
Before you come up with a big content outsourcing plan, you have to determine how much of your budget you can dedicate to buying content. Knowing how much you can spend will help you decide how much content you can afford and how you’ll schedule that content. Don’t be discouraged if your budget isn’t as big as you’d like yet. You can use a combination of original and curated content to meet your needs.

Next, you’ll need to figure out your timeline.
Set a target date to start posting outsourced content. Remember that you’ll need to leave adequate time to find writers, order content and request any necessary revisions. If your budget allows, schedule a pilot phase where you ask several different authors to complete a similar blog or article. A pilot phase will allow you to home in on the best writers for the job.

Finally, decide which platform you’ll use to find and hire writers.
You have several options to fulfill your outsourced content needs. You can work with writing agencies, which tend to charge high rates to match clients with authors and provide editorial services. You can search out individual freelancers via online job boards, but you’ll have to renegotiate pay rates every time you hire a writer. A more time- and cost-effective method is to use an online platform such as Textbroker, which combines the benefits of an agency with a huge author database.

Finding A Team And Ensuring Effectiveness

All writers have a unique style and voice. Of course, different writers also have different professional backgrounds and knowledge bases. Recruiting reliable authors who can assist with your content needs is an essential step in launching your outsourcing strategy. In order to get the best results, you’ll need to create a job description much as you would for a full-time office position. This will form the basis of your order brief template. It should include basic information about your company, an example of the tone you want, a rundown of your target consumer and any other information that you think is essential to getting what you want. You’ll provide this background material anytime you order content.

Once you’ve put what you need from your team in writing, start searching for writers. Familiarize yourself with your platform’s author search features. You can use this tutorial to find authors on Textbroker if you’ve never searched for a writer on our platform before. To help narrow your searches, make a list that describes the ideal writer’s:


  • Experience in your industry

  • Level of education

  • Writing style

  • Prior writing experience

  • Price per word or project

It’s important for us at Textbroker that you can target only authors from certain quality tiers. If you need the very best professional content, for example, you’ll search for five-star authors.

Making Sure Your Team Is Effective

Of course, finding authors for your team is only half the battle. You also need to make sure that the team is contributing to your marketing success. Remember that the freelance writers you work with are all humans. Some writers are better than others at creating certain kinds of content. As you find writers for your team, determine which of these three areas they best fit.

Consolidated Content

Consolidating content is the art of taking multiple articles, blogs or written resources and combining them into one cohesive document. Many companies use this approach to create e-books or buying guides for their products. If consolidating content makes sense for your company, look for authors who specialize in long-form content such as white papers and e-books. Authors who enjoy handling revisions or rewrites may also be good choices for your content consolidation team.

Refreshed Content

In an ideal world, all of the content that you buy would be evergreen. In reality, though, there are times when content needs to be refreshed. Dental surgeons, for example, may need to refresh content from time to time to reflect changes in industry practices or advertising regulations. Writers who excel at rewrites are ideal for this task because they know how to rewrite and update content without plagiarizing.

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New Content Creation

Most professional writers can create new content without any issues, so this is usually the easiest team to fill. Of course, you’ll still need to look for authors who meet your style and tone needs. Keep a list of your favorite writers to seek out when you need content.

Once you’ve created your team, monitor it to ensure that your writers continue to create successful content. A primary challenge is keeping your team creatively encouraged. Writing is different than many jobs in that it requires constant creativity. You can help your writers by brainstorming unique content ideas with your internal team. If you need to buy articles about the same topics repeatedly, work with several different authors to avoid overwhelming any single author. Monitor your team for signs of burnout such as lack of creativity, poor writing or an unusual number of errors. You may need to give writers who are suffering from burnout different types of assignments or even breaks.

The final step in the process is ongoing evaluation. Keeping track of online marketing metrics is important. Looking at your data periodically will help you decide whether your content outsourcing strategy is succeeding or needs to be adjusted. Simple adjustments such as providing authors with different keywords or changing up your job brief can have a noticeable impact on content success.

 

I hope this gives you a better idea of content creation. It really is a process.

 

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