The Art of Outsourcing Content Creation
The biggest challenge of owning a website is creating a constant flow of engaging content for your audience to view. Your reader base will abandon you if your website doesn’t have up to date quality content. If you have a small blog that has dedicated followers, then you can be a one man army and create all of your own content. However if you have an operation that is a larger scale you may need to outsource some content creation. For smaller blogs, the best practice is to keep the articles as personalized as possible and not outsource, however for scaling operations, below is a guide on how to outsource content creation.
With outsourcing, the first main key is to identify your budget versus quality expected. For a larger budget company, the easiest way to have a solid workflow is hiring on site employees. This makes discussing article requirements and proofreading easier. I myself worked for a local ecommerce company for 5 years as a newsletter creator and product expert. I would write selling points on webpages (using Magento) and I would craft newsletter subject lines and bodies. This was a company with over 50 employees total so obviously the budget existed for me. This workflow model was very simple; I would just show my daily assignments to my manager and the COO for the review & approval process, then make edits as needed. Since we were in the same office building this process was very efficient. However most smaller scale sites with only one or two admins won’t have the luxury of a mid size business budget.
For smaller scale operations that can’t hire in house salaried authors, you can find freelance writers on Linked In. The upside of using Linked In is that it is easy to find specialist authors that represent each field & industry with proven experience. The Linked In search engine is simple to use, you can search keywords relevant to your niche. For example, if you own a video game review site, finding Linked In users in the gaming review field will be a quick process. This is the best way to find authors, however the downside is the work flow and potential need for an escrow. The negotiating of pricing can also be challenging. It is always nice if the author is instantly open and upfront with their pricing model, so you won’t have to make an offer. If you have to make an offer without the author showing their rates, this means estimating pricing can be difficult because you will need to be cognizant of different regions expected pay rates. If you are used to working with clients in Arkansas and accidentally offer a California author the same rate it could end the discussion. Due to the cost of living expenses in California and general CA pay, that author might be offended and feel insulted. They may believe that you under appreciated their skill. This can result in burning bridges on Linked In, even though you initially had no ill intent. Not only does regional pay vary, but if you don’t have years of business experience, evaluating a fair pay scale based on experience levels can also be difficult. This pretty much sums up LinkedIn, you can find great authors, but if the process involves negotiating it can be stressful. The best way to approach this is by asking the author their rate up front and never making an offer first.
The next place to find authors are freelance sites such as freelancer.com and upwork.com (formerly known as Odesk). These sites allow you to post your job with a budget where freelancers can accept your job. These sites also allow you to post a task and allow authors to place bids on your job. These sites feel less personalized than Linked In. This can be an upside to negotiating pricing for content and also a downside since it is harder to verify an authors expertise. The other upside is that the site (platform) acts as a middle man escrow system. The other downside is that not every user that requests to complete your article writing is actually an author. These freelancer sites have a large amount of jack of all trades and master of none workers. There are many users who try to do SEO, graphic, writing, video editing work, web design, coding and game design. It can be impressive that one person has that many skills, but if they spread out their time that thin, this results in having a non focused author attempting to write articles for you. This is one of the downsides of Freelancer and UpWork.
Another route for acquiring content is content specific sites such as textbroker.com. Sites like this are focused on one goal and that is authors seeking work. This is a marketplace where website owners post jobs and the authors select the topics that they want to write about. These sites usually have a star based author rating system, for example a newer author might be a 3 star writer and receive less per word then what a 4 star author would receive. This allows site owners to dictate the quality of their content. If you need top notch articles that are error free, then you have the ability to pay more for your articles by posting jobs for 5 star authors only.
The last common place to get new articles for your website is Fiverr. Fiverr has hundreds of authors advertising their services, but Fiverr also isn’t an author specific site so it isn’t build solely as an article marketplace such as TextBroker. Another thing to keep in mind is that it sometimes feels dirty to purchase articles from Fiverr due to the pricing being too low. Some authors will write 1,000 word articles for only $5. It feels immoral to pay an author such a small sum of money for 1,000 words. Even though the author chose to set their price that low, for some reason it still feels unethical to pay that little. My conscience won’t allow it, but to each their own.
Sites such as Freelancer, Fiverr and UpWork can be used towards other content creation. If you need more than articles, those sites have clients also offering green screen video creation. If you have the spare time, it is always great to personally create your own videos regardless of niche (sports discussion, gaming, political talk, etc). These all feel better to personalize, but if the scaling is needed, video content for your site can be outsourced too. However this article is mainly geared towards written content, so I will save that discussion for another day.
The last task of adding written content to your site is inspecting your articles. There are many sites that allow you to scan articles for free to ensure that the articles aren’t plagiarized. To finish this article, I have added the plagiarism scanner links below: