Whether you’ve been working for years to grow your online presence or you’re just starting out, written content is bound to make up a huge percentage of the work you’ll be doing to promote your website. But do you really need to be writing every word or can you hire a writer?
Hiring help online is easier now than it’s ever been before. In this article, we’ll go over the pros and cons of outsourcing your websites written content to freelance writers. Check out these pointers to see if taking on help from a freelancer or content management team sounds like the right move for you. We’ll take a look at the negatives first:
The Potential Downside When You Hire a Writer
Outsourcing can damage your brand if it’s not managed effectively
If you've been running your blog or website for some time, you've probably spent countless hours pumping out glorious content, honing your voice and steadily building a readership that connects with your work on quite a personal level. It'll be very hard to find another writer that'll match your tone a style precisely. So if you have a blog and its main selling point is the unique character and tone of voice in your articles, then letting someone else take the rains is going to be a hard pill to swallow.
Hire someone without being careful enough and the work they produce could end up having a negative impact on your online presence. Did you put in all that work just to have it ruined by someone else's lesser contributions? No dice!
We regularly hire writers here at Virtual A Team. We’ve had stories where articles submitted wreaked with political commentary (a NO go for our brand). There were also the submissions that looked like a mishmash of other articles not relevant to our target audience.
Content management tools like Google Docs will allow you to collaborate with freelancers on projects and pieces of content to ensure you keep a firm grip on the level quality being produced. Google Docs allows people using different computers to access and work on the same document in real time. It makes it easy for editors to leave comments, make adjustments as needed, and share files instantly.
It can take time to find the right fit
This point leads on perfectly from the last one. When you hire a writer to take over your work, expect it to be more of a process than a one-time action. It takes trial and error to find the perfect writer for your project. Expect to have to hire and fire a boatload of prospects before you land one that really ticks all the right boxes.
Every writer tends to have their own style, so it can take a bit of time to train each new writer to understand your brand and write with the tone of voice you’re aiming for. However, most quality writers are flexible and can adapt to your voice with some guidance. In an ideal world, you’d be putting in this initial investment of time to then save bundles of time going forward once the writer is molded to your liking. Find the right writer in the first place and your return on this investment could be long-term and transformational for your business.
Freelancers move on
One of the best things about working with freelancers is how little you owe them. There are no employment contracts to deal with, no benefits to offer, and next to no responsibility on your part. When you need them, they're yours. As soon as you don't, they're gone.
This loose connection is also a double edge sword. You could end up working for months to try and find the right writer, only for them to suddenly decide your project isn't quite right for them anymore, or they could be lured by better options elsewhere.
When it comes to your constant need for content, this stop and start routine can become a new dynamic to worry about in itself.
There are, of course, ways to reduce your freelance writer turnover as much as you can.
- Offer generous rates for the work you require,
- check the profiles of candidates to see if they have a knack for long-term projects,
- make sure you hire a writer that clearly loves your niche,
- review other projects they have written, and
- create a style guide to help onboarding when you hire a writer.
These are all important parts of keeping the good writers on board.
Even once you've found Mr or Mrs right, it’s still important to be prepared for the likely eventuality of them hitting the road. In the future, you may even find it hugely beneficial to hire an online business manager to handle your reoccurring recruitment and training needs.
Working with Virtual A Team can help you find the correct talent and ensure replacements are provided as soon as your writer decides to split. This can be one of the best ways to avoid this huge headache and ensure your project suffers from minimal delays in production.
Those are the potential issues, now let's take a peek at some of the best advantages of handing your content work over to a freelance writer.
The Upside When You Hire a Writer
Outsourcing saves you time
One of the biggest and most crucial advantages of hiring others is time-saving. Writing is a laborious and time-consuming part of digital marketing. When you're managing a blog alongside everything else, you'll no doubt find yourself on the verge of complete burn-out before long. Some people love being overly busy and see it as one of the best things about running an online business. But most of us long for a little bit more time, as little hassle as possible, and easier profits.
When you hire a writer, you free up more of your precious time. Maybe you wanna spend more time with family. Or perhaps you want to devote more of your working hours to other projects. For some, they just want to cut down on the list of things they need to do each and every day. Whatever your ambitions, your day-to-day lifestyle has to be manageable and having someone else do a huge chunk of your daily legwork can certainly play a big part in getting more done much faster.
Running a growing blog? Hiring a virtual assistant could be one of the best ways for you to pump out the level of coverage you’re aspiring to achieve. In today's environment, it's important to be churning out great content continuously to generate consistent marketing results for your brand. This level of production is far more feasible with a virtual helper by your side.
Flexible costs to fit your budget
A steady flow of content is important for your website, but can you afford to take on someone full-time? When you hire a writer, you’re only hiring them to complete the level of work you need at any given time, so it’s easy to keep the cost perfectly in line with your needs. As things change you can simply order more or less depending on how your business evolves.
Taking on permanent contracted staff is more of a commitment, whereas freelance writers can be entirely flexible around your budget and production scale.
Freelance writers can deliver a variety of specialities
Are you wiz at putting together top class blog posts filled with the latest information and bags of personality? If so, good for you! How about website sales content, press releases or paid ad copy? Your online presence can require very different types of work that require specific expertise for best results. You could try and learn how to do all of these things but you’ve already got a million things on your ever-growing list, why add to it? If you wanna stick to what you do best while experts handle other areas, you can hire freelancers with specialities to get things done right.
Some types of writing you may consider when you hire a writer include:
- In-depth, well-researched articles
- Shorter, informal articles
- Copywriting for web pages, landing pages, etc…
- Copy for social media posts
- Press releases
One of the advantages of hiring freelance writers is being able to harness a wide range of talent and expertise as your business needs dictate. Compiling a virtual team is one of the best ways to ensure your array of content is produced as proficiently as possible. Hire a writer that specializes in ad copy to handle your paid campaigns, a second writer that’s an ace in blogging to create your posts, and a third that has mastered PR to construct your press releases.
You’ll be allowed to chase growth for your business
It's hard to pursue opportunities for growth when you're bogged down doing all the work it takes for your online business to simply survive. Letting someone else handle your content means giving yourself the freedom and focus to explore your business's path to bigger and better things.
If you run a blog and your target is to publish new content every day, you'll be spending the majority of each day creating tomorrow's piece. So how much time and energy are you then able to allocate to monetization, competitor research or user analysis? If you're doing all the writing yourself, probably not enough.
Every online presence needs to be managed as if it were a business, and business is all about profitability. If your ambition is to make as much money as possible from your digital projects, then most of your time needs to go into planning and executing the strategies that bring you maximum return on your investments.
In the vast majority of cases, growth only occurs when you have a very detailed and up-to-date understanding of your current market including all competitors, and you actively nail the moves necessary to place your brand in a better position relative to these rivals. This can take serious amounts of research and dedication.
Things tend to change very quickly in the online world no matter what industry you're in, so managing your business's growth strategy can prove to be a whole other full-time job. Is it possible to stay on top of all this extra work while your head is buried knocking out great posts day to day? Maybe, if you don't allow yourself time for things like sleep and food.
When you hire a writer to take over your content duties, you put yourself back in the driving seat and can focus a lot more of your energy toward steering your business upwards. Whether you aim to spend more of your efforts hunting down prospects for sponsorship or advertising, researching gaps in the market or keeping your head wrapped around the latest market trends, with the right help by your side, the world is your oyster.
Quality freelancers can potentially improve the quality of your content
If you’re a literary ace and have a very particular style that you know connects with your audience, you’ll find it hard to let someone else take over. But if writing isn't really your thing, hiring help can actually be a great step in improving your presence. If you’re more of an ideas person, you’ll be able to concentrate on coming up with all the bright ideas while you let someone more inclined with the words get it all down nice and smooth.
Nervous about having to check through everything with a fine comb? There are a wealth of specialist apps out there designed to make proofreading and editing a piece of cake.
Grammarly is one of the world's most sophisticated spell check and grammar platforms. It's free and super user-friendly, so whatever level of writer you are, it'll make your editing duties a darn sight less draining.
Hemmingway App is another tool to use to verify that content is readable for your audience. Unless you are writing for a highly professional or technical crowd, your readability needs to be below a 7th grade level for maximum impact.
Plagiarism is another threat you'll need to look out for when others are doing your writing for you. Go for the cheapest writers out there, and you should be expected to come across more than your fair share of dodgy dealings. Copyscape is another world leading platform in the content management space that helps identify whether or not a piece of writing is genuine or copied from another source. This service isn't free if you want your scans to cover the entire world wide web, but since Copyscape launched their new price structure, checking every post that ever touches your site is more affordable than ever!
That’s a Wrap!
We hope you've found this quick guide to hire a writer helpful! Everyone's needs are different so the most important thing to do is work out the priorities for your business and plan accordingly. Think you have the patience to continuously scour the globe for the right talent? Then go for it! Otherwise, if you think it's best to keep the writing in your hands, you can think about outsourcing other tasks that you'd rather not face yourself. There's no better way to see if it's right for you than getting out there and giving it a good whirl! Stay objective and the right options are bound to pop up. Good luck!