HOW TO OUTSOURCE YOUR BLOGGING CONTENT
A lot of you have been asking me for advice about outsourcing your blogging. I love outsourcing because I am all for working smarter not harder, and hiring people to do the things I don’t have the time to do or don't want to do. I also have lots of thoughts on this as I’ve been on a few different sides of blogging – as a blogger, a freelance writer and outsourcing blog posts for my clients. There are a few things to consider, so before you dive in, make sure you read these steps below.
The first step you need to action is to identify if you even need to outsource your blogging. For me, this comes down to two things – time and money. If you literally do not have time to write your own blog content and you know it’s a valuable source for attracting new business, clients and customers, then yes, you absolutely need to look at outsourcing. But of course, you need to pay to outsource. Can you afford to do this? Read on to find out how much outsourcing your blogging really costs! If you can’t afford to outsource, then you simply have to find more hours in the day to do it yourself until you attract more customers or clients. You could get someone, such as an intern, to write your blog posts for free too of course, but be aware the quality might not be up to scratch and this could inevitably affect your brand - and not in a good way. Plus I'm not a fan of this; people deserve to get paid for their work.
Once you’ve figured out if you need to outsource your blogging, the next thing you need to do is to create a blogging strategy. How many blog posts do you need per month? How much budget do you have put aside to pay for writers? What is the purpose of your blog posts? Who are you blogging for - do you know your readers? How are you adding value to your readers lives? What do you want your blog posts to do for your business? Where will you be sharing your blog content? If you haven’t already thought about these questions, I recommend you grab a pen and paper to jot down your answers before moving onto Step Two. By answering these questions, you’ll begin forming the basis of your blogging strategy.
Once you have a clear strategy written up, you’ll need to have an editorial calendar in place. This is where the fun starts. Your editorial calendar is usually written three to six months in advance, so the first thing you need to do is determine your blogging schedule. Figure out how often you’re going to post on your blog. The key here is consistency so don’t overcommit. One blog post per month is better than randomly posting here and there. From here you need to define your blogging categories; otherwise known as content pillars. These should be three to five categories you consistently blog about. From here you need to brainstorm and research blog post ideas.
Your editorial calendar should be developed every three to six months in advance, so set a decent amount of time aside to do this – it can take a few hours! Make sure you identify holidays and special events too in this process. And always ask yourself “how is this blog post idea helping my readers?” Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to establish copywriting deadlines, a clearly defined budget and a schedule/publish date for each blog post. When it comes to deadlines, most writers need at least two to four weeks to get a blog post written. The more time you give them the better. In terms of how much it costs, I am going to give you a bit of an insider’s tip. It usually costs around $0.60 per word for a blog post if you want someone decent. So that equates to around $300 for a 500 word blog post.
Now that you have your strategy and editorial calendar in place, it’s time to find some writers. If you can’t delegate this to anyone in your team, or if you’re a one-man band, ask a friend to help you out. Or if don’t know anyone immediately, ask your colleagues, family and friends for their recommendations. Ask your community on social media. Once you’ve found someone, you need to organise a contract and take the time to educate them. Outsourcing blog post writing is a case of ‘the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it’. If you don’t have a contract, Google suitable templates and get a solicitor to give it the ok. Trust me, it’s worth the investment.
Take your time educating and training your writers. At first it will feel counterproductive as you’ll be allocating a lot of your valuable time doing this, but I can guarantee it’ll pay off in the end and save you a tonne of time. Another tip – don’t be a control freak. Give the writer creative control but make sure they stay on brief. And to that point, write and provide a really clear brief with all of your expectations for the topic and content, the desired word count, how many headlines you want them to create and the copy deadline.
Whilst your blog posts are being written, you have to start planning your marketing. Have a think about how you’ll share and market each blog post. Will you tease the blog post to your newsletter list? Will you share the blog post on your social media? Will you use the blog content for a quick podcast episode or as a topic to interview a guest? It’s one thing outsourcing your blog posts and publishing them on your website, but it’s a whole other game to get people to read it. If anything, this is the most important step in the entire process. There is no point investing in outsourcing your blog posts if people don't read them, so shout each and every single blog post out to the world!
And that’s it! Other than checking in with your writers regularly, it’s truly is a very simple process once you know the ins and outs.