Blogging remains one of the most effective online methods of keeping your business up to date. It allows Google to rank you higher through SEO and also ensures that your consumer base is kept informed about news, trends and events that are involved within your niche.
So it should make sense to outsource that department of the business, right? Well this is where we stumble upon some tricky territory because it will come down to a number of factors. No two operations are ever the same, so unfortunately there will be no black and white answer here.
The ultimate decision will come down to you and your circumstances. In order to reach that conclusion, there are a few points to consider. Like any decision that will effect the company, it is advised to strike up a comprehensive list of pro’s and con’s, deciphering whether an external body should be creating and posting your online content.
If they are educated with the right guidelines and given the time to adapt to the demands of the business, then outsourcing a blog can be incredibly effective and a great return on investment (ROI). However, should time be sensitive where expertise is paramount, then blogging would best be served in-house. Some markets require specific qualities and diligence that cannot be bought from a writer interstate or overseas.
Here are a few different points of conjecture on the subject that explore the positives and negatives of going down the outsourcing avenue for your blog:
Argument For Outsourcing A Blog
You have to create regular content regardless
Blogs achieve nothing and go nowhere without regular content. More than just quantity of words on a page, there has to be a use of keywords categorised in well-written paragraphs inclusive of sub-headings, inbound links and multimedia like images and video that makes your site attractive to search engines. In other words – quality with quantity.
If these boxes are not ticked regularly, then Google, Bing and Yahoo will overlook your business for the competition. These demands will not wane, making the outsourcing proposition appear like a smart choice.
Outside perspective can offer fresh take
Have you ever considered catering towards a new audience? What if you created an online video that promoted your latest offering to the Asian market? There are surely opportunities waiting out there and customers who are prime for the picking.
These types of ideas could be thrown around the brainstorming table during the weekly meeting, but another voice from an individual who does not come to the party with any baggage or weight of expectation can surprisingly break down genuine barriers.
Once a company has been established, particularly if they happen to be a small enterprise that only hires a handful of people, the group can become quite safe and stale in terms of ideas and insight. It is not the top priority or even a vague consideration of bringing a freelance blogger onboard, but after a period of time they can outline solutions that you never thought of previously.
Running a website on top of a business means one thing – there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. From micromanaging a customer enquiry from interstate to planning ahead to that grand extension that has been 10 years in the making, there are a plethora of concerns that are sitting on the table needing your urgent attention.
To help manage this stress, outsourcing blog content can be a weight lifted off the shoulders. Deadlines can be set where a hired professional has a planner to schedule out and produce the content that drives your business forward. Tie that in to a social media and email marketing campaign, and all of a sudden there is a perfectly operating mechanism that compliments the rest of the business.
Do you know how to handle updates on a WordPress platform? What about dealing with a complaint in the comments section? What happens when the domain is up for renewal at the end of the financial year?
These are all elements of the blogging realm that a hired, freelance professional will know how to manage. They encounter these issues daily and relying on their background in this domain is like referring to any other trusted source for a technical problem that will surely arrive.
Then there is the small but not so insignificant matter of deciding exactly what to write. Blogging is so much more than expressing an opinion or posting a product update. There are some applications that will help you discover where the hotspots are located in your specific niche and point you in a good direction for blogging:
Yet those programs barely scratch the surface. To score big on SEO and maximise the potential of the blog, there has to be a degree of keyword analysis, inclusion of tags, sub-headings, multimedia and a range of other data.
They are all elements to a website that reflects the professionalism of the enterprise. That is a lot to handle on one set of shoulders, particularly for an owner or partner who manages a multitude of other daily responsibilities on top of blogging.
Argument Against Outsourcing A Blog
Betrays readership trust
It might sound unusual to those that are not overly accustomed to blogging, but a loyal readership over time develops an intimate relationship with the person who crafts the words. They begin to understand their unique sensibilities, quirks and sense of humour along the journey.
Should a blog be well established over a period of years, inclusive of a strong readership, then it is strongly advised not to begin outsourcing. Even something as benign as a brand can elicit a sense of ownership and belonging, so sending that through a vacuous process will ultimately betray those people.
Extra payments to make
In some instances, a guest or freelance blogger won’t desire or require payment in cash. They might want rights to the site or a stake in the operation. Yet more times than not, it will be a basic transaction of words written against money spent.
Searching for a regular blogger in 2017 has never been easier. These are just a handful of outlets who can service your business:
- Get a Copywriter
- Virtual Employee
- Writer Access
The issue then has to surround your budgetary constraints. Can you afford to layout revenue to have content developed, something that could be managed internally? Once more, this will depend on your size, targets and niche specifications – all of which will determine whether your ROI sits in the black or the red.
Ghost blogger guise can be shady
Should you not be upfront about the articles that are written, leaving your name in place while another individual is actually crafting the words behind the scenes, then that can begin a slippery slope – especially if that information becomes public.
What other departments of the business have been manufactured and outsourced? It might be fine for an athlete who develops an autobiography to have a ghost writer on hand, but the scenario becomes all the murkier when a trusted organisation leaves it to a third party to inform their customers about important news and information.
There is nothing illegal about the practice. Just be aware that it can be poorly looked upon depending on what niche the content is written in and in what form.
Lack of intrinsic knowledge
Nobody knows your business like you. Having filled your quota of employees with marketing experts, designers, engineers, a customer service department and a team that can create and push the product to new heights, there is a true sense of individual worth with everyone understanding their specific and unique role within the larger framework.
Now the inclusion of an external freelance blogger has come into play. Do they know the best lines of communication? What assets make the company attractive in the marketplace? What sells well and what terms are most identifiable to the consumer base? These are questions that must be asked.
When it is all said and done, this decision has to come down to your sensibilities. Is there budget constraints that make outsourcing too difficult, or do you not have the time to undertake the process off your own accord?
On the subject of readership trust and loyalty, the stakes of outsourcing are raised. When a site drives plenty of traffic as they read through on a daily or weekly basis, those consumers have a level of expectation and understanding. They know the source and believe in their expertise and opinion.
For others who are starting out brand new or want to drastically expand their operation and presence on the web, then outsourcing becomes a sensible route to take. It frees up time for a company owner or marketing executive to focus on other domains of the operation while regular content is produced at a healthy rate.
So long as the investment is not made on minimum wage, hiring a blogging professional will add more than an extra string to the bow. It will increase output, viewership, number of customers and ultimately revenue.
What are your thoughts? Have you outsourced your blog and if so, was it a wise investment? Continue the conversation in the comments section below and let us know your take.
Charlotte is a digital marketing and communications practitioner at SEO Shark. She takes on a range of roles relating to SEO and has a keen interest in studying the SEO industry and its future direction, particularly in relation to content marketing. Charlotte takes her writing very seriously and always seeks ensure the content she produces is of a high standard of quality.