Sometimes we don't have enough time to keep up with content marketing, especially with how fast trends and practices are moving these days. How we originally used online advertising and marketing has changed very drastically, and business owners tend to have other things to worry about (like that very important golf appointment). It is very common for busy businesses to outsource their content to freelance writers, and it will probably be this way for a long, long time. But, what traits should you look for exactly when outsourcing content?
Most freelance writers find their bread and butter from businesses outsourcing their work to them, whether it's press releases or an on-going blog writing gig, this type of work is very common. However, every business owner or head of marketing should have a shortlist of "traits" that can be sought after in outsourced writers. There is the typical "must know English, have fast turn around," but we're talking about going even deeper than that. What else is there?
Try to stick with United States based writers
We've talked about it before and we are going to nag you again: If you're based in the United States, then by all means find an American writer to outsource to! Yes, inexpensive and reliable freelancers can be found in the United States whose first language is English and you don't have to schedule meetings with them at 2:00 AM because they're on the other side of the world. Outsourcing content should mean quality, not quantity.
Must understand SEO and Google Panda/Penguin
Sure, most marketers and writers know how to use SEO at this point in time--at least the basics. However, does your outsourced writer know the ins and outs of Google Panda? How about optimizing content with Google Penguin? If they just think those are cute animals, then you might be in trouble.
It's more than just words
An experienced writer, even a freelancer, should know the basics of layout and how a reader will respond to text both visually and through written words. It's more than just words on a website, it's usually a call to action or landing page to entice potential customers. Everything matters when it comes to content. An outsourced writer has to know the basics of layout, proofreading, and editing, too.
Finding the intersection of interesting writing and business writing
You're trying to run a business and your current writer is trying to be the next Shakespeare through your business blog writing. Obviously there is a problem. When it comes to writing for a business, a freelance writer must understand that the tone and style of content needs to reflect that. Using big words, flowery sentences, and forcing people to crack open that dictionary is a no go.
Fitting your voice, not the other way around
When outsourcing content, it is best to find a writer who is a shapeshifter. Not literally, but if you do find a shapeshifter, you should probably alert the news. No, we mean someone who can change the tone or "voice" of their writing to fit your business. Since a upscale hotel might not want to use Internet chat speak like "LOL!" or "OMG" in their blog posts and press releases.
And there you have it, some lesser known traits that can help you find the best fit for your content writing needs. Of course, there are tons of different ways to find an outsourced writer and there are tons out there who can fit into your schedule and budget. It might feel overwhelming at first, but it really is easy and can be fun!
Who do you outsource your writing to, and do they follow these traits? Tell us about your outsourcing content adventures!