Read These 5 Tips Before You Start Outsourcing Content Writers
Are you frustrated with the process of creating content in-house? Have you begun to consider the benefits of outsourcing content writing? Are you looking to proceed, but have some reservations?
While outsourcing is the norm in today’s day and age, it comes with both pros and cons. Fortunately, when you know what you’re doing, it’s easy to harness the power of outsourcing content while avoiding all the potential pitfalls.
There are many reasons for outsourcing this key responsibility, including but not limited to:
- Saves money
- Gives you the ability to spend more time on core business
- Provides access to specialized help
- Enhances the quality of service and results
- Removes this responsibility off of key employees
If all these benefits excite you, it’s time to learn more about hiring a content writing service or freelancer. These five tips will put you on the right track:
1. Have a Plan
Maybe you’re interested in hiring a medical writer. Or maybe you need a writer who can create social media content for your company. Or perhaps you’re seeking a service to craft long-form blog posts.
Regardless of why you’re outsourcing content writing, it’s imperative to have a plan in place from the start. By answering these questions, you can begin to formulate a plan that will help you reach your goals:
- What type of writer or service makes the most sense for this project?
- How much work do you have for them right now? Will this expand in the future?
- What’s your budget for outsourcing content writing?
- Who will manage the process from within your company?
As you answer these questions, you’ll find that many others come to mind. Keep digging and your plan will come together.
2. Search All Your Options
If you’re in a hurry to find a writer or don’t have any experience in this area, it’s easy to choose the first service you come across.
Unfortunately, if you take this path, you may never know for sure if you made the right decision.
The best approach is to compare a minimum of three services. When doing so, ask the following five questions:
- What makes you a good fit for the project?
- Can you share three (or more) of your best work samples?
- What is your rate and how do you calculate your charges?
- Can you discuss your approach to the writing process?
- What do you need from us to get started?
It’s these types of questions that allow you to more efficiently compare your options. Even if someone is a great writer, it doesn’t necessarily mean their style and approach is a good fit for your project and/or company; these are the reasons why Step 2 is so important.
3. Review Work Samples
Anyone can say they’re the right person for the job, but until you review their work samples, there’s no way of knowing exactly what they bring to the table.
A writing service that can’t provide samples is one you want to avoid. This is a red flag you shouldn’t ignore.
The most reputable and top-performing services are more than happy to share multiple work samples. After you review them, you’ll have a clearer idea of whether their writing style works with the content you need.
If you want to take this tip one step further, double back with the service after reviewing their samples to ask the following:
- Can you share the client specifications for each sample?
- How long did it take you to write the articles?
- How much did you charge for each piece of content?
- Did you “nail it” the first time, or did the client request edits?
Yes, it takes time to review every sample from each service you’re considering. However, if you don’t do this, you’re really taking a shot in the dark. Maybe things will work out, or maybe they won’t.
Note: Ask multiple members of your team to read the samples, because they won’t have the exact same impression as you. This is a particularly important step to take if you won’t be the only person communicating with the writer.
4. Start Slow
Even if you have a lot of work to outsource, don’t throw too much at the writer from the get-go. It’s best to start slow, with a small project, to see how things go.
This gives you the opportunity to better connect with the writer, share your thoughts throughout the writing process, and get a better feel for how they work.
If everything checks out, you can slowly begin to ramp up production. Conversely, if you think you’ve made the wrong decision, it’s much easier to take a step back when you don’t have too much work in the pipeline.
Also, a slow ramp-up process helps you remain organized. For example, you may be responsible for reviewing, editing, and posting content. If you have too much content flowing in, you may find it difficult (if not impossible) to keep up.
Before giving them assignments, ask the service how much work they can handle. Their answer will help you manage the manner in which you scale your partnership.
5. You Can’t Set It and Forget It
This is one of the biggest mistakes companies make when outsourcing content writers. They fall into the trap of believing they can hire a service, hand over their projects, and forget about everything. Not only can this cost you time and money, but it can also sour you on hiring writers in the future.
This holds true to a certain degree, but you don’t want to “set it and forget it.” It’s important to remain an integral part of the content creation process by:
- Sharing detailed outlines with your writer
- Answering questions at all phases of the project
- Providing feedback when necessary
You don’t want to micromanage your content writing service, but at the same time, it helps to remain part of the process. Not only does this give you more control, but it also shows the other party that you’re truly interested in their success.
Content Writing Service or Freelance Writer?
On the surface, a content writing service and freelance writer may appear to be one and the same. While it’s true that both can produce high-quality content, there’s one primary difference:
A content writing service is a team of professionals looking after the well being of your project, while a freelancer is only one person.
The benefits of outsourcing to a content writing service include:
- A dedicated account manager to help keep your content calendar on track
- Access to more than one writer, thus allowing you to test out several people and vary the voice of your content (if this is something you want)
- Ability to take on larger projects
- Less likely to disappear in the middle of a project
It’s a good idea to compare both options, but many people discover that a content writing service provides the stability they’re looking for throughout the scope of their project.
Points to Discuss With Your Team
Maybe you’re the owner of a small business. And maybe you’ve come to the conclusion that you need to outsource content in order to stay on track and get things done the right way.
Even if you’re correct about this, you don’t want to make a final decision until you discuss it with your team. This is particularly true of the people who will be working directly with the writers, such as your marketing manager, SEO manager, and social media specialists.
Here are some of the many points to discuss internally:
- The pros and cons of outsourcing content
- How to find a service that delivers high-quality results, within budget
- The best places to search for help
- Details regarding the interview and selection process
A unilateral decision may make you happy, but it could put off other members of your team, and you could be overlooking important details.
By discussing all these points, among others, with your team, you can be assured that everyone is a big part of the process.
Tip: depending on the size of your company/department, you may not be able to include everyone in the decision-making process. It’s best to consult with those who will be working directly with the writer and/or on projects that require content creation.
So, there you have it. If you’re interested in outsourcing your writing needs, these tips should help you move forward in an efficient manner. ContentWriters.com offers a team of experts in content creation who can answer all the questions above and provide your business with the writer who matches your needs.
Chris B. is a freelance writer and digital marketing consultant based in Pittsburgh, PA. When he’s not creating content, Chris enjoys watching sports, working in the yard, and spending time with his family.