Running a blog is a lot of work.
You have to continually feed it new content, keep up with WordPress updates, maintain your hosting account, moderate comments, respond to readers…dozens, maybe even hundreds, of little tasks. On top of all that, there’s promoting and monetizing your blog, which is even more work.
It’s hard for anyone to manage, and the larger your blog grows, the worse the situation becomes. That’s why it’s good to prepare in advance for blogging eventualities you might face.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, one of the questions you should ask yourself is “should I outsource my blog?”
If so, there’s a few ways to do this.
You could split up the work with guest posts, staff bloggers, or outsource your blog completely. The method you select will depend on a couple of things.
1. Your Relationship With Your Readers
When you blog, you need to build trust, bonds, and relationships with your readers. They grow to know you and like you, and they can’t wait to read your next post.
There’s a downfall to this though: your readership may want content only from you. They may be turned off if you step back and start outsourcing your blog posts.
What will happen to your blog if you outsource your blogging? It depends.
If a blogger like Dooce or Naomi Dunford decided to outsource their blog, their readers would probably revolt. Their personalities are such a large part of the blog that it would be hard to get their readers to accept anyone else.
If your blog is already big and established, and you have thousands of loyal readers, it could be tough to outsource your blog. There’s a good chance you’ll lose some readers if you hire staff or start adding guest posters.
Fans will read their work politely, but it’s really you they want. It will take time, a good plan, and weathering rumbles from readers until they accept it.
No one likes change, but eventually, things will settle down. They’ll hang in there, especially if you’re still publishing quality content, are active with posting now and again, and if you hire a blogger whose style and tone match your brand personality. Make sure the blogger also provides similar-quality advice, info, or entertainment as you’ve been giving.
Of course, all of that only matters if you have an audience. What if you’re just getting started?
The truth is it’s a lot easier. You can build your blog around posting awesome content, rather than one particular personality. It won’t matter where the content comes from; as long as it’s awesome, your readers will be happy. That leaves the door open for you to hire other writers.
2. What Type of Content Writer Do You Need?
You can’t hire just anyone to write for your blog. You need to find a writer who fits with your business brand, its mission, and the level of knowledge your blog provides. Of course, this writer also has to be able to fit in with your goals and get results.
Here are some questions to think about before bringing someone on:
- Does the writer have the knowledge for the job?
- What’s the person’s writing style and personality like?
- Does that style fit with your business and brand?
- How long have they been writing online content?
- Do they have proven results?
- How experienced and skilled are they?
- Can they help you achieve your goals?
(Note that I didn’t mention, “How much do they cost?” We’ll get to that in a bit.)
First, though, recognize that outsourcing writing comes down to basically trusting someone with your business reputation. You’re not just shoving off a task; you’re giving someone permission to represent you and your business.
This means the person you hired needs to be able to maintain your credibility (or enhance it), please your readers and get them talking, and generally make your life better and easier by freeing up your time and becoming an asset to your blog.
Tips for Finding Outsource Writers
- Connect with freelance writers using tools like UpWork or Fiverr
- Join social media groups dedicated to writers, like Facebook’s Binders (this group is only for women but there are similar ones for writers of all genders)
- If subject matter expertise is a requirement for you, search for influencers in your field; look at the speakers and participants at conferences in your field; target members of professional associations; check out trade journals
- Search for writers with particular subject matter experience on LinkedIn
3. How Will You Compensate Them?
Good writers don’t work for free, but they don’t always want just money, either.
Some ask for marketing exposure. Others want a link to their blog, republication rights, or a barter arrangement.
Before hiring someone, decide what you bring to the table. Can you send them traffic? Build their credibility? Improve their search engine rankings? Recommend their products and services to your readers?
You need to have something to offer in exchange for a writer’s work (and you’ll need more than $10 and a link), so figure out what you’re prepared to give in return for what the blogger brings to you.
In general, the more you give, the more you get.
Pay $10 for a blog post without offering anything else in exchange, and you’ll probably get a bad headline, sloppy grammar, and ordinary ideas, none of which would do much to build your blog.
At the other end of the spectrum, some bloggers will do everything for you, including editing, polishing, getting photos, and promoting your post to generate traffic. You’ll pay a lot more, anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per post, but you’ll be getting a lot more for the money, too.
4. Should You Hire a Ghostwriter?
Ghostwriters write on your behalf and you present the work as your own. The President uses ghostwriters for his speeches; nothing wrong with that.
It’s controversial, however, especially when it comes to blogging. Some feel it’s dishonest.
Others feel that there’s nothing wrong with hiring someone to help write and share your knowledge with your audience. There’s no rule that says you must slave over writing posts if you absolutely can’t stand it, don’t have the time, or just don’t want to.
Here’s another argument: if your writing skills aren’t up to snuff, you might be potentially damaging your credibility and sales.
People with average writing skills often hire ghostwriters who turn their notes, audio files, thoughts, and outlines into great posts. You’re using the same knowledge; someone else is just doing the writing. Often, it’s the knowledge that your readers care about, not who puts it into words.
Ghostwriting may be a great option for you if you don’t like to spend time writing, can’t write well, aren’t seeing the results you want, or want time to develop other areas of your business.
5. What If It Doesn’t Work Out?
Every time you make a change in your business, there’s always the risk it might not have been the best decision.
Let’s say you hire a writer, work with a few guest posters, or decide to hire a ghostwriter. After a couple of months, you realize that you’re not getting the results you wanted; maybe traffic is down or your audience has shifted or sales have dropped.
Don’t freak out. It happens. All you need to do is adjust. Unless you’ve completely trashed your business reputation, you can always change your content and blogging strategy.
You can go back to blogging yourself, hire a new writer with a different personality, get a ghostwriter to write more posts for you; whatever works.
As we’ve demonstrated in this article, if you’re wondering “should I outsource my blog,” the answer is: it depends.
No matter what you decide about outsourcing your blogging, you’re never stuck and committed forever. A blog is just a marketing tool that you can play with and test, adapt to your needs, and measure for effectiveness as you go along, just like any other form of marketing.
If you’re nervous to start or shift your blogging strategy, reach out to us for a consultation. We are here to help you find success with your blog and content marketing in general.
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