If there's one 'rookie' mistake we tend to see businesses make when they order custom content, it's overestimating how much the writer will contribute to the process. Most content writers simply work to order – generic instructions will generally get generic articles, whereas specific instructions will get specific articles. If you have a definite strategy in mind when ordering your content, you'll get material back that more closely matches your vision.
So, here are six things to think about before ordering content that will greatly increase your chances of receiving work back that matches your overall online strategies!
Six Tips For Getting The Best Custom Content
Decide On A Tone
The tone of your blog writing and other content will have subtle effects on how your visitors view your entire website. Do you want to favor the first, second, or third person perspectives in your writing? Generally, most people use a mix, but lean towards one style more. Do you want your content to be funny? Authoritative? Laid-back? Traditionalist? Think of it like matching a salesman to leads – which “voice” would be most persuasive to your customers?
Revise Before Rejecting
When ordering custom content, some businesses appear to want a writer who hits it out of the park on the very first try. While it's great when this happens, it's pretty rare. Remember: most good content writers can utilize a variety of styles and voices. They're just taking a first guess as to which voice you might like best.
So, give them a chance to revise a piece before rejecting it. It helps you too: They'll almost always get you revisions more quickly than a new writer could deliver a new piece. Plus, this bit of back-and-forth will help establish rapport between you and your writer, something else that's vital if you want a successful blog collaboration.
Include Plenty Of Customer Information
Quality custom content writers also have an understanding of market demos and how to write copy aimed at very specific target audiences. While they can do some basic research into who your customers might be, you're going to have a lot more data at your fingertips than them. Give them your buyer personas or at least a good spread of basic demographic information. You'll get back blogs that are tightly aligned with your overall strategies.
Is Anything Off-Limits?
Here's another question to ask yourself that a lot of businesses overlook: What shouldn't your writers talk about? Lay down a few guidelines. For example: Should they feel free to mention your competition in a positive way when warranted (showing you're good sports) or should you be the sole focus, depriving them of attention? This is vital if you want material which is humorous or edgy. Few things scare blog writers more than the instructions “Be funny!” without any hints about their client's sense of humor.
Try More Than Just Text
Remember that while that blogs will be the main kind of custom content you order, there's nothing limiting you to text! Look to pair your blogs with visual aids such as slideshows, infographics, or potentially even custom-fit video productions that will greatly increase your reach. The Internet is a multimedia environment, so make as much use of it as you can!
Finally, never let yourself get stuck in a rut in terms of your online content. One of the amazing things about Internet marketing is the ability to precisely fine-tune your messaging. Through CMS software like Hubspot, you can try out different strategies, test them for a week or two, and see immediately how they affect your stats. Your content writers can contribute here as well, if you keep them in the loop and communicate what your current strategic goals are.
It's not hard to get great custom content - just keep the lines of communication open with your writers, and it'll pay off for your online strategies.
image 1: http://wpmu.org/wordpress-custom-content-plugin/
image 2: http://educationviews.org/floridas-grammar-controversy/