If you’ve been in the online marketing world for more than five minutes, you’ve undoubtedly heard the saying, “Content is King.” And while you might be so tired of hearing that adage beaten like a dead horse that you want to pour molten lead in your ear canals so you never have to hear anything again, it is still spot on.
In fact, the more search engines like Google “punish” sites for low-quality or duplicate content with their algorithm updates the more this saying rings true.
Creating fresh, unique and engaging content is the price of admission for your online campaigns; there is no way around that. Not only does it keep the search engines happy, but it also is the best way to increase your conversions once you get that traffic.
Some people are content machines and can crank out copy like no one’s business. Others would rather have their eyelids stapled open and be forced to watch the Justin Bieber movie on loop for a year than put fingers to their keyboard,
For that second group, we’re here to help!
If you’re not going to create content yourself, then you’re going to need a content creation service to do it for you. Today, we’ll break down the big players, what you should be looking for and how to decide what path is right for you.
Are Content Writing Services Right for You?
When it comes to creating content, you have two choices; do it yourself or outsource it.
But how do you know which way is better for your business? If you’re not sure, run through this quick checklist:
- Budget: How do your funds look these days? You don’t need a lot of money for content creation but depending on the amount of content you’re looking to create, it can add up quickly. If you’re bootstrapping this deal, then maybe you should go it alone.
- Abilities: How are your writing chops? If you’re not sure, get someone who will be brutally honest with you to evaluate your content. If writing just isn’t your bag, then maybe it is better to pay someone else to do it for you. But don’t forget; you can improve your writing. So, even if you’re not the best right now, that doesn't mean you won’t get better with practice. Also remember that writing web copy is different than other writing. If you weren’t the best at writing essays in school, that doesn’t mean you won’t be a good online content creator.
- Time: It’s our most precious resource and if you just don't have the time to invest in content creation then it’s best to get it done on the outside.
- Quality: If you’ve tried creating content and you’re not seeing the results you need, then maybe it’s time to get a second opinion.
- Needs: Do you need thousands of pages of product reviews or a single sales page? Are you creating content for link building purposes or to close customers?
After looking at these factors you should have a better idea about whether or not content creation services are for you or not.
Don’t be afraid to reevaluate once you start, either. If you find that you’re miserable creating content or don’t like the amount of cash you’re paying out to get it created, try the other way and see how it fits.
Where to Outsource
If you have decided that outsourcing is the way to go, then you have a lot of options when it comes to providers and content writing services.
Choosing the right one will be a function of your needs, budget and some trial and error. These tips should help you cut down on that last part a bit though.
One of the most popular options for content creation is freelance writers.
By tapping into the freelance community, you can get bids from a diverse cast of providers. In that giant matrix of writers, you’re sure to find someone that will meet your quality, budgetary and timeline needs.
Some of the most popular places to find a freelance writer include:
- Upwork: The two biggest freelance networks merged to form Upwork, which is now the go-to place to find a content writer.
- Fiveer: Everything is only $5 and you can find a lot of good writers.
- Freelancer: Another great site for finding writers.
When evaluating freelance writers, make sure you do your due diligence. Check their portfolios, reviews from past gigs and any other information these sites may offer about the contractors.
Just like anything else, you get what you pay for. If you’re blown away by a super-low bid on your job, don’t expect the content to be a sales-conversion machine.
And one final note: don’t be tempted to cheat. I know you would never do this, but there are people out there who ask for a custom written sample to “evaluate” writers, only to turn around and use that content without paying. That’s not cool and it could get you banned from using these services in the future.
Content Writing Businesses
While you will find a lot of content-based businesses bid on jobs through freelance sites, there is a healthy number of content-creating businesses that work directly with clients.
These are typically bigger, more corporate outfits that have found good writers and systematized the process of content creation for a large amount of clients.
Some of the biggest and most well known are:
One of the benefits of dealing with these companies is that you get a more consistent experience than you do with freelancers. Where an individual can get sick, have family issues, disappear off the face of the earth and so on, a company won’t. If the writer assigned to your project gets hit by a bus, the company will assign someone else.
Another benefit is that many will have different levels of service and quality. If you want native English writers with college degrees, that will cost you x cents per word. If you don’t care, then you can get it cheaper.
A potential downside of working with these companies is the lack of a neutral middle man like the freelance networks. If there is a disagreement with a freelancer, you can request the dispute be arbitrated and a solution reached via the network. If you have a serious problem with one of these companies your only solution may be to slam them with bad online reviews.
Heavy is the Head that Wears the Crown
You know content is king and if you want sit on the digital throne, you’re going to need plenty of it.
If you don’t have the time, patience or ability to produce quality content yourself, then hire someone who does and make your life easier. If you need or want to keep it in house and create it yourself, then go for it and outsource other tasks you’d rather not do.
No matter which route you chose, you should still learn the content creation ropes yourself. This way you can create content in a pinch if need be and you can also be a better judge of the content you purchase. The more you know, the more specific you can be when hiring for a job or asking for fixes.Where do you land on content creation? Would you rather outsource it or do it yourself? Let us know in the comments!