It's [insert year here]. The gig economy means we should be ordering our ice cream, hover boards, robot butlers & content at the press of a button, right?
Unfortunately, UberWriter isn't a thing yet, so we've decided to take over with ContentFly (that's how it works right? They can't magically come and take all our business....right?)
If you're ramping up a business and trying to get content out so you can start ranking, this is the general process you're probably familiar with. Note: I'm assuming you aren't a content genius.
- You fumble around doing "keyword research", i.e pressing "search" on ubersuggest and just picking random phrases that sound nice
- You come up with a few topics, spend 3 months interviewing writers on Upwork, and end up hiring some agency which seems suspiciously cheap for "Americans"
- You publish 2 or 3 posts per month, sit on your giant throne you financed, waiting for the dough to roll in
Does that sound at least somewhat, awkwardly familiar? Don't worry, we're "content geniuses" and we basically did the same thing for years. On points 1 and 3, ContentFly is soon going to start building features like keyword research and content scheduling, but for now we'll leave those out.
What I want to talk about is outsourcing content. Why the hell is outsourcing content so damn hard?
It's hard enough that hundreds of businesses are trusting us to do it for them. Seriously, that's how bad it is! (My CMO Annika is shaking her head because she doesn't appreciate my self deprecating humour)
If you don't want to use ContentFly, here are some tips to make outsourcing blog posts not suck quite so much.
1) Lower your expectations. Look, Upwork is not an optimized marketplace and it never will be. I'm making a core assumption here that you don't want to spend months and hundreds of dollars finding a good writer - so if you're going the Upwork route, suck it up and accept what you get or you're in for a world of hurt.
2) Quantity over quality. If you can't control for quality, your best bet is to control for quantity. You need to blog every day - there are 10 quantillion blogs going out every day (source), so how the heck do you expect to stand out and rank if you're putting out one crappy article a month? Don't half ass it, full ass it and unload a barrel of awful writing every day. The internet demands it.
3) Pray. Alright, I know it sounds like I'm just taking the piss (I have literally never used that phrase before) out of our biggest competitor.... and, well, I am. But this is literally something one of our customers told us - they used to go on Upwork and pray that the writer figures it out over time.
Yes, this is where we're at in the professional gig economy. We thought the internet would make things ridiculously simple - you want a plumber? Here's a plumber. You want a great writer? Here's a great writer.
Instead of creating a dynamic platform for anyone to get what they want, we've taken the yellowbooks and somehow built billion dollar businesses out of it. That doesn't make sense! Why, in [insert year here] are we only able to crack the demand aggregation code for cars?
Anyway, that's what we're trying to do at ContentFly - we're still a long way away from nailing it for everyone, but we can confidently say that we've nailed it for most people.
So, let's switch gears a bit - if you decide to finally suck it up and try a proper blog post outsourcing service like ContentFly (or one of our less attractive competitors), how do you ensure you get success from the get go?
1) Know what you want. Keywords, tone, sample articles. Spend a day doing your research and come prepared.
2) Find your optimal. We blog once a day. Some of our customers blog 2 or 3 times a week. Others, 2 or 3 times a day. MINIMUM you should be blogging once a week. Find your optimal.
3) TRACK. The worst thing you can do is not have analytics set up to know how your posts are performing. Track end to end, so when you publish you can immediately see what's working, where you're ranking, and where you need to improve.
It's finally possible now to outsource your blog posts, and if you're not doing it you're falling behind the competition. Ensure you come prepare, pick the right vendor (*cough*) and fire the missiles.