Are you planning to outsource content writing to freelancers this summer?
It doesn’t have to be summer (winter, autumn, you name it), the point is content outsourcing is an option you are considering, right?
It’s a perfect idea. You get to free up time and work on important administerial tasks while your freelancer handles the content writing for you.
Besides, if you’re a CEO, Founder, business owner, you already have enough tasks to do every day, and outsourcing your content is just the best thing you can come up with.
But here’s the problem:
Outsourcing your content writing to a freelancer means that you’re putting your brand tone and image at stake.
Besides, you don’t want to complicate the quality of your content. And the most burdening thought is how do you hire a freelance writer that fits your brand.
Right here, I’ll be walking you through the process of outsourcing your content to freelancers to free up your schedule.
Having worked both paths as a freelancer and a content marketer, I know what it takes to hire a freelancer that fits your brand.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
What is Content Outsourcing?
Content outsourcing is the act of hiring a third-party (freelancers and agencies) to create content for your blog.
You can either outsource your content to a freelancer or to an agency. Either of the two have their benefits and shortcomings.
Outsourcing your content to a freelancer is cheaper compared to hiring an agency. However, hiring an agency means that each of the points in the content creation is done by an expert.
I find it easier to work with a freelancer than working with an agency. Besides, hiring an agency can be expensive.
Still considering either to outsource your content marketing and writing or not? Then let’s look at some of the benefits that it comes with.
Benefits of Outsourcing Content Marketing (Writing)
Outsourcing your content writing isn’t the same as outsourcing your content marketing because your content writer will not provide any value in distributing your content on most times.
And content marketing is more than writing alone, you need to create videos, engage on social media, and a lot more.
The point is, outsourcing your content writing isn’t the same as outsourcing your content marketing.
If you want to outsource your content marketing, then you should consider working with a content marketer or a content strategist.
Let’s get into details here on the benefits you stand to enjoy.
1. Time Management
You only have the same 24 hours and nothing more. If you have a bigger project or you’re a solo-entrepreneur, then hiring a content writer will free up some time for you.
Instead of spending your day creating content, you can spend it working on other stuffs like outreach, networking, attending business conferences, and many more.
Besides, if you are a blogger or you run an agency, in order to consistently create content, you might need to outsource your content writing.
2. Fresh Ideas
Running out of ideas is common, especially if you’ve been working on your blog for a long-time.
And when that happens, you either take in fresh air and accept guest posts from other authoritative bloggers, or you outsource your content writing.
So, if you are running out of ideas, then it’s a good thing to outsource your content writing.
3. Engaging and Converting Content
As bad as it hurts, some of us aren’t good writers, although we run businesses. We are better off a business manager than a writer.
So why suffer your content? You shouldn’t waste your time pumping out boring content that doesn’t drive results.
Your best bet is hiring a content writer to help you out. An experienced freelance writer can help you turn a boring blog to an interesting one that works.
4. Earn More
So you’re wondering if it’s possible to earn more when you’re spending money instead? Yes it is.
You can earn more by outsourcing your content writing and I mean it.
For example, let’s take the case of a freelance writer or an agency into consideration. As an agency, you can only take on as much as the number of jobs you can take.
So instead of having a limit of the number of projects and clients you accept per month, why not increase your capacity by outsourcing your content to a freelancer.
As an agency, you charge way higher than what a freelance writer will charge and you’ll be able to make more money from your services.
Now for a Saas founder or a Saas company, hiring an experienced freelance writer can help you increase your conversion rate.
You wouldn’t just know it, but you’ll notice an increase in your conversion rate, new customers, and engagement rate.
That’s the power you get to enjoy by hiring a content writer.
Finally, as a blogger, outsourcing your content will free up your time and give you more time to monetize your blog.
And with your free time and schedule, you can start a new blog and also scale it, then automate it with the help of a freelance writer.
There are many more benefits you stand to enjoy, but all of these remain valid if you hire the right content writer.
So let’s get into the real deal.
How to Outsource Content Writing – Steps
1. Identify your Goals
I know for sure that most marketers don’t have a real goal before creating each of the contents on their blog.
But since you’ll be spending money to hire a content writer, then you need to seat up, and identify your content marketing goals.
What do you plan to achieve with each of the content you’re outsourcing to a writer? I can’t answer this for you and only you know best.
For me, each of the content I publish has a goal.
This particular content you’re on is to drive more freelance writing clients my way.
I have content that I create for the main purpose of building links, I have content created for affiliate incomes.
2. Create a Content Strategy
A content strategy is the science of content creation. Creating a content strategy will help your content writers create better content.
A content strategy will include content auditing, content calendar, content experience, etc.
By creating a content strategy, you’ll be able to identify loopholes and content opportunities that you can leverage on.
Besides also, you’ll find more content ideas that you can put together to make a content calendar. Between, there are content calendar tools to help you with that.
And finally your content experience should also compliment your content. For example, if you’re writing a review post, adding buttons to take action will provide a better experience.
These things are required if you want to get the best out of outsourcing your contents.
3. Prepare Content Briefs
A content brief is what contains the information a writer needs to execute a content. For each of the content, you outsource you need to prepare a content brief that will guide your writers.
Some of the elements of a content brief includes the goals, the keyword focus, the target audience, the tone, the content highlight, the angle you want the content to address, and many other things your content writer needs to do a perfect job.
Always create a content brief for your writers in order to ease their work.
Don’t just provide topic and keyword focus. Prepare a content brief to ease their work.
4. Set a Budget
Outsourcing your content doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. It shouldn’t at all.
Although there are writers that charge expensive rates, there are also a lot of quality writers that aren’t expensive.
But you won’t enjoy the hunt for a writer if you don’t have a budget. Because without a calculated budget, negotiating with a freelance writer might be difficult.
And to ensure you don’t exceed what you can afford, you need a budget. And when calculating your budget, think about the amount of content you plan to outsource.
If it’s a long-term project, this can help you get a writer at an affordable price. Some writers charge less if its’ a consistent project.
So before setting out, calculate your budget and don’t make things hard for my co-freelancers and for yourself too.
5. Post Jobs on Job Boards or Freelance MarketPlaces
Yes this is the part you’ve been waiting for. I know what it feels like already; post a job ad, get thousands of proposals, then try interviewing them all, get fed up, consider quitting the idea.
I get you, already. That’s the struggle most marketers and businesses face when looking to outsource your content writing.
And I will be straight with you, it’s part of the process.
So let’s dive in.
Here are some job boards you can post your content writing jobs:
Problogger Job Board: This is my best pick when it comes to posting your job ads. Problogger is known for attracting high-quality writers.
Posting a Job ad on Problogger attracts $70 per ad. And it’s worth it. When you post your job ad, interested freelancers will pitch you or reply to the job ads.
Then you get to interview them and there’s no other way around this.
Upwork: Upwork is a big community of freelancers to outsource your content writing. Posting a job on Upwork is free.
However, you might attract thousands of applications than you can imagine. If Upwork is your chosen platform, you should choose verified freelancers to non-verified content writers.
Between, Upwork isn’t all that bad, you can find competent writers there too. And you can do so by setting clear requirements and narrow your search to the category of writers you are looking for.
PeoplePerHour: PeoplePerHour is another job board to post your content writing needs while you get interested candidates to send you a proposal.
In actual sense, PeoplePerHour has a smaller amount of content writers compared to Upwork. However, you can post your content needs there.
Freelancer.com: Freelancer.com is one of the earliest freelancing platforms to post your job board.
I’m not that familiar with Freelancer but I’ve seen a good number of testimonials about their excellent service there too.
Posting your content jobs on Freelancer.com is free.
Fiverr: Although Fiverr is already known for having cheap services, there are a considerable number of bad reviews about their service.
However, Fiverr still remains one of the best platforms to source your content writing needs. And thanks to their premium services, you can have experts handle your content creation.
In this case, you find any gig worth your time and you chat with the freelancer to know more about their service and if they’re a fit for your blog.
Let’s stop here. There are more than enough job boards to post your job, but not everyone is worth it.
For starters, Problogger or Upwork will be a good fit for you.
With that said, there’s another approach to outsourcing content creation. And that’s by reaching out to a content writer of your choice personally.
I mean, this is you sending an email to that good writer in your niche to work with them.
Instead of spending days reviewing hundreds of applications, you can get straight to the point by asking a content writer you already know to write for you.
And you can find them by going through the list of guest bloggers on industry blogs in your niche or your own personal blog (if you do accept guest posts).
6. Interview Content Writers
If you’re going to post your job on a job board or site, then the interview stage is inevitable.
Interviewing the content writers will help you to find a better fit for your business. When interviewing them, ask for their samples and how familiar they are with your niche.
The need to outsource your content to a freelancer that knows your niche very well cannot be overstated. It’s that important.
You can carry-out your interview on Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. There are different platforms you can carry-out your interview, so make do with what you have.
Absolutely, it doesn’t have to be a video interview, so far your content writer can show that he understands the niche better.
Besides, writing a test article is the best way of analyzing their writing skills.
7. Onboard Freelancers on your Content Strategy and Content Brief
Here’s the deal. And that’s why you created a content strategy and content briefs in the first place.
If you already have a big team or a small team before, there’s a possibility that there are already tools and documents you make use of to enhance your project.
For documents and strategies, you need to train your content writers to understand the big goal and the small goals you aim to achieve in the long-run.
Likewise, you need to train your content writer on how to use the content brief.
Lastly, if you’re using some tools to manage your workflow, then you’ll need to onboard your freelancers on that.
Maybe Airtable, Monday.com, Slack, Chanty, there are a lot of tools that you already use and your writers are new to.
For example, I learned to use a lot of the tools I use daily now thanks to working with a small agency.
8. Create Content Outline (optional)
Content brief and content outline sound similar but they’re totally different. Creating a content outline is listing all what you need to be covered in the content.
A content outline will have the subheadings, the quotes, the statistics, and everything the writer will include in the content.
It’s the basic structure of the content. While the content brief contains the goal of the content, the target audience, the main idea to be passed in the content, etc.
Sometimes, you don’t have to create the outline, the writer could also do this. However, you have to create a content brief for the writer in order to make their work easy.
9. Review first draft and Give Feedback
At this point, I guess that your writer has already written the first draft for the test article.
When reviewing the first draft, you need to ensure the content is well above average before sticking to the writer.
Also, if you’ve a good number of writers to choose from, then grade them in order to know who performs best.
Most importantly, always pay for a test article. While you’ve nothing to lose if you decide not to pay writers for a test article, it’s best you treat your writers well too.
10. Set a Communication Medium and Stick to it.
Communication is important. And not just important, you need to decide on a medium that’s comfortable for the both of you.
Just a reminder, email isn’t the best medium for communication.
I have found Slack and Skype a better way of keeping in touch. Slack still remains the best tool for communicating with your team.
Even though it isn’t Slack, you need to find a medium of communication and then stick to it. It’s best if the tool supports sharing of docs and other documents.
As an entrepreneur, we don’t get attached to the process, instead we get attached to the outcome. And that’s the kind of thinking I want you to have.
But if you’re going to do that, you need to automate. Even with or without you, your freelancer shouldn’t be stranded in the process.
And this still falls back to why you need to create a content strategy, content brief, and maybe content outlines.
Automating the process is what I always teach. Learn to automate the process so that with or without you, your content marketing can progress.
How Much Should You Pay a Freelance Content Writer?
This is the big question. How much should you pay a content writer?
First of all, it depends.
It depends on the experience of the content writer you’re hiring.
It depends on the content writer. There are content writers who possess quality and top-notch skill but only charge a little. So it depends on the writer.
Your budget decides too. How much are you willing to spend on writing? How much can you afford to pay your writers?
Those are the three things that should give you an estimate of what you should pay your content writers.
However, what I wouldn’t suggest is paying writers peanuts. If you want the best, you should be ready to spend a little.
Here’s a breakdown :
Beginner Writers (1-2 years) – $0.01 – $0.06
Intermediate Writers (3-6 years)- $0.07- $0.9
Expert Writers – (7 years plus) – $1+
P:S: I wrote a post on the average content writer salary, you can also check that out.
Despite listing that, it isn’t a rigid pricing rule to bargaining with a content writer. Besides, you can find a writer within any budget.
However, if you need good writers, you must be ready to spend money.
Another reason why the figure above might not work is that writing a blog post is different from writing an email copy.
An email copy can be less than 500 words. And if that’s the case, using the above pricing rule might not work. Because writers also pay bills too.
However, I repeat, you can find writers within your budget.
Types of Writing Jobs to Outsource?
Other than blog post writing, there are other content writing jobs that you can outsource to a freelance content writer.
In fact, there’s pretty much nothing you can’t outsource to a content writer. You can also outsource your speech to a content writer.
Without further ado, here are the popular types of content writing jobs you can outsource.
1. Blog Post Writing
This is the common type of content writing we are all familiar with. Blog post writing simply means outsourcing your blog content to a content writer.
It’s the most popular form of content writing that’s being outsourced.
To find a content writer for your blog isn’t hard at all because this is the focus for most content writers.
2. Ghost Writing
Similar to blog writing, ghostwriting is the act of hiring a writer to write in your own name. That is, the published content will be bearing your name and not the writer’s name.
In this case, you pay higher than the normal price you pay to a content writer. And that’s because you would be taking all the copyright to the content.
You can hire a ghostwriter to take on your blog posts, emails, copies, and pretty much everything.
3. Email Copies
Writing of email copies is very important. If you’re hiring a writer to write your emails for you, then you must hire a copywriter and not just a generalist.
And that’s because your conversions and sales depend on the email copies you write. By all means, you need a writer that’s skilled in using words to convince customers and readers.
Generally, email copies are always ghostwritten.
4. Website Copy
Your website copy is practically the content you have on your landing page or website. They aren’t blogs, they are the static content on your website.
These website copies are written to drive sales. And if yours isn’t then you should hire a copywriter that could change the story.
You don’t have to be a blogger or a content marketer before outsourcing your content. As a matter of fact, you can outsource novels for someone to write for you.
And the best part is that you get the full accreditation of the novel despite not being the writer.
99% of the time, novels are ghostwritten.
So you’ve to be ready to spend money on writing a novel.
6. Book / eBook
Either you are publishing a paperback book or an eBook, you can outsource the content to a freelancer to help you out.
Just letting you know, most of the bestseller authors aren’t the author of those books. The majority of them outsourced it to a content writer to help out.
But the best part is that you get the credit.
If you’ve been having an idea for a book before, then you can proceed by lending the help of a freelancer.
7. Research-Backed Posts (Case Studies)
Similar to writing a blog post, but in this scenario, the content is an analysis of a research or experiment.
For this, if you’re planning to outsource this, it has to be to an expert who understands your niche very well.
A researched-backed post can be re-packaged as a white paper.
8. White Papers
White Papers are very similar to eBooks, but they’re official and they’re used to address a particular topic.
A white paper addresses a single topic and its’ research-backed.
Final Conclusion on Outsourcing Content Writing
The process of outsourcing content creation isn’t a rigid formula. There are different ways to do this and do it right.
Either you outsource your content on the Problogger Job board or you outsource on UpWork, following this process will help you a lot.
Have you tried outsourcing your content? Share your experience with me in the comment section.
Between, are you presently looking for a freelance content writer or marketer? You can check out my portfolio to know if we are a great fit.
I write for Saas and B2B businesses on topics related to marketing, project management, business and I also review Saas tools.