Working with Blog Writing Services: 10 Best Practices
Most marketing professionals agree that a blog is a powerful tool. Social media enthusiasts, online shoppers, and professionals in all fields rely on blogs to conduct research, make purchases, keep up with current culture and connect with the people, places, and things they find relevant to their lives.
The ongoing need for effective content to deliver value to customers and prospects can sometimes put both large and small brands in a blogging bind. Creating relevant topics, researching keywords, and creating blog articles continually can put a strain on creative juices, hamper the creation of other equally important marketing tasks, and cause blog posts to become fatigued. Enlisting the aid of professional blog writing services could prove an efficient use of resources.
Whether you’re just beginning to set up a blog or searching for more efficient ways to create content for your existing blog, working with professional content writers can make a significant difference in both the quality and quantity of your brand’s content.
Are Blogs Worth the Investment in Blog Writers?
According to Neal Schaffer, social media educator at Rutgers University, blogs help create strong connections between brands and consumers and will remain relevant for a long time to come. To support this statement, here are some pertinent statistics from Opt in Monster’s Ultimate List of Blogging Statistics and Facts:
- 53 percent of marketers identify blogging as their primary marketing strategy
- Blogging has enjoyed continual growth, with a 12 percent increase in the last five years
- 409 million people view more than 20 billion blog pages each month
- Websites that have blogs have a whopping 434 percent more indexed pages, greatly increasing SEO
The Rise of Outsourcing
Outsourcing has been a business trend for over forty years. While its growth has been slow at times, there is no doubt that with the more recent rise of the gig economy outsourcing has grown into a more mainstream global business strategy. Given a boost most recently by the pandemic, business executives and department managers have come to gain trust in the reliability of remote workers.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) says that more than one-third of small businesses outsource at least some of their operations. Marketing, of which content creation is a subset, is one of the more commonly outsourced functions. Businesses have discovered that using an outside firm, such as a blog writing service, gives them a team of writers, editors, and proofers who have the skills to create effective blog posts necessary to grow their audience and attract leads.
Benefits of Hiring Freelance Writers
Today, businesses of all sizes are outsourcing according to the 2018 Deloitte global Outsourcing Survey. For small businesses especially, outsourcing can be key to growth since hiring more full-time employees is not feasible. In addition, wearing every hat in a business might not be a good long-term strategy or the best use of available time and funds.
Many small businesses and entrepreneurs who feel like they have no choice but to manage many aspects of their business instead of outsourcing could be hindering their success in several ways. For one, it makes it more difficult to work on the big picture, set strategy, and seek out new opportunities when you’re also the one implementing daily tasks.
In reality, business owners and managers are not experts at every business function. Consider that the average blog post takes 3.5 hours to create and posts have to be made regularly to be successful. Many business owners will find that investment in time is better spent on a part of the business that could bring in new revenue.
The competition for blog readership is intense. It does a brand no good to grab subscriptions to a blog only to lose them for lack of posting or lack of quality. Each one of those posts needs to inform and provide value so readers keep returning for more.
Over time, freelance writers will have created a valuable body of content that can engage your customers beyond the sale, turning them into followers, enthusiasts, and evangelists.
Getting Started with Blog Writing Services
Onboarding freelance blog writers take the same level of training, careful communication, and preparation as hiring a full-time staff person. The goal should be to set the service up for long-term success by giving them the tools and information they need to meet your goals from the very beginning.
Think of the relationship with your blog writing service provider as a partnership – one in which success is dependent on both partners. To be the best partner to your professional content writers, here are some best practices:
- Communicate Your Goals – There are many reasons for blogging. Communicating those goals to your blog writer will help establish tone, topics, and more. For instance, a blog for an actor who wants to establish herself as a personality and an influencer will have a different tone than a blog for a financial institution that wants to establish itself as a thought leader. A blog to educate its audience will be different than a blog set up to give an insiders’ look into a style brand. Create SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
- Share Your Strategy – Organize strategic information for your blog writing service on how often you want to post, what you want to cover, the competition, seasonal sales cycles, milestones and events, anniversaries or product launches, and more. Your blog is one tactic within your marketing and you want it to be in-sync with your overall marketing strategy.
- Define Your Audience – Your blog cannot succeed if it does not speak directly to your existing or desired audience. Knowing your audience will help a blog writer choose keywords for posts and write effective metadata too.
- Provide History – A brief history of the company, key team members, and products, as well as a historical look at the blog’s history in terms of how content has been created, what worked and didn’t work, could provide pertinent information that will help the freelance writer move forward with a better understanding.
- Have a Style/Editorial Guide -A style guide is intrinsic to creating and maintaining brand preferences and consistency. An internal style guide with rules about how a brand uses a tag line or what voice is desired will save time and money in unnecessary revisions. Also, if your team adheres to one of the established style guides like AP, Chicago, or MLA, your blog writer should be made aware.
- Provide a Detailed Brief of Topics – It will be easier for the writer to deliver exactly what you envision when details are supplied. Without this, the writer can’t help but insert his or her thoughts into a subject. Specific points you want to be covered should be specified.
- Communicate Specific Sourcing Expectations – Make your content writer aware if you only want them to source from academic sites and papers, only include links to your website, or want no sourcing or linking from competitors. It is always wise to inform writers of the importance of sourcing when using the ideas of others, and that plagiarism is, of course, not tolerable.
- Give Feedback & Ask for Revisions – Feedback and the revision process helps writers and editors understand a client’s intent and goals beyond the provided written materials and communications employed to onboard them. The ongoing process of feedback and revisions deepen the writer’s knowledge of a brand. Over time, the freelance writer becomes as intimate with the brand as a long-term employee.
- Understand the Learning/ Getting to Know Each Other Process – Working with a blog writing service is like building a relationship. It takes time for each to get to fully know the other. A good client/writer relationship is worth the investment in time and communication needed to get it right.
- Work with professional, vetted writers – There’s much at stake when hiring a blog writing service. Today’s blog content must drive real business goals. Hiring the right content writing service is as important as hiring the right employee. There are many questions worth asking:
- Does the writer have experience in your industry?
- Do they have research experience?
- Can they deliver consistently, on time, and within the budget?
- Do they have a portfolio and references?
There are advantages to working with a blog writing service such as ContentWriters. One of the more important advantages is that the writers have been vetted for you. In addition, you benefit from the availability of editors and proofers who ensure each project is on topic, grammatically correct, and polished. With ContentWriters, deadlines are met, work is checked for plagiarism, and there are administrators to do the project management for you. As you experience success, ContentWriters can easily help you scale up with their access to additional writers to round out your content team.
It’s hard to keep up the social media presence necessary to keep a growing audience engaged while attracting new prospects. Outsourcing to professional content writers pays for itself over time as it allows you to increase profits, grow your business, and pursue new opportunities.
Deborah was the kid who would rather write book reports and essays than play ball during recess. Although she didn’t score many points with her peers, it did lead to her career creating content for TV, radio, print and new media for companies as varied as Dooney& Bourke, Panera Breads, Visa, SUNY Ulster and Hudson Valley Federal Savings Bank.
She is also a principal of small packages – a digital design company, and past partner/marketing director of whatis.com, the world’s foremost reference on information technology. And, her love of food enabled her to become a contributing editor of both Gourmet Retailer and Food Distribution Magazines.
Deborah has a bachelor degree in fine art from the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford and a masters in higher education administration from Stony Brook University. When she’s not writing, her love of quilting, furry animals, friends, and family sustains her.