We've talked a lot about how web content developers can be one of the best tools your business can employ in its online marketing strategies. They're inexpensive, dedicated to their jobs, and can produce better content than most businesses can do in-house.
However, there's still one major problem to address when you're looking for web content developers: finding good ones. The content writing market has exploded in recent years and has become a haven for freelance writers and artists looking to stay competitive and keep their heads above water as other jobs have become more scarce.
There are a lot of good content developers out there, but there are a lot of bad ones as well.
Fundamentally, there are two major ways you can look for web content developers: You can hire a freelancer directly, or you can hire a web marketing firm for a more robust experience.
Looking For Freelance Web Content Developers
If you have a small-to-medium sized business without the need for heavy levels of output, this may be your best option. Freelance content development comes cheap these days, very cheap. Most writers accept rates of 5c or less for blog posts or white papers.
There are plenty of freelancers out there who've hung their own digital shingle and set up their own website. In those cases, it's easy to evaluate them: read their stuff and look at their portfolio. It takes some time, but with a little Google searching, you'll find someone who meets your needs.
Because they feature open assignments that you can post for the perusal of unoccupied writers, you are virtually guaranteed to find someone to write your content within a matter of days, if not hours.
The writers have already been vetted once, during the site's signup process, and are virtually always assigned ratings based on their writing quality, so you can specify how good you want them to be.
Payment is handled through the site, rather than one-on-one, making it an easy process for all concerned with all terms clearly laid out in the site's terms of service.
The downside is, it's still something of a spin of the roulette wheel. You may have to post a few jobs to screen out unworthy writers. However, once you do find a good one, these services always have ways to send work to them directly, making it only one step removed from having them on your payroll, while always paying freelancer prices.
Hiring A Web Content Development Firm
Your other option is to go all the way and hire true online marketing professionals to create your content. There's no doubt, this is a significantly more expensive prospect, with typical rates running into thousands or tens of thousands of dollars a year. However, you also get much more for your money:
Trained marketing professionals who've studied advertising directly
Assistance and support in developing your inbound marketing strategies
Social media marketing services
Full-featured studios suitable for creating quality audio and video productions
Detailed numeric breakdowns of your website's growth and progress
This is the option larger businesses or those seeking to aggressively market themselves would want to investigate.
When vetting an SEO firm, their past results are the single most important thing to look at. Ask for portfolios and case studies as proof that they can deliver the goods. By all means, review their website and associated materials as well, but fundamentally, the main question is whether they've successfully helped others in the same way you need.
However you go about it, hiring quality web content developers is a great step towards achieving your online marketing goals.
How have your experiences with freelancers been? Is it worth the effort?