First things first: we love interns. Every single one of Verblio’s (formerly BlogMutt) employees has completed at least one internship that helped them advance or become meaningful over the course of their career. Chances are that the same thing applies to the vast majority of our writers. Internships can add significant value for all parties involved.
That being said, it might not be a great idea to have your interns write your company blog. They may be amazing writers. You may even have hired them specifically because of that skill. And if they have the time, they can probably knock out some pretty great pieces of content for your business.
All of that makes interns a valuable addition to your company. It should not mean, however, that you can simply put them in charge of your content and walk away.
Here are three reasons why your interns shouldn’t write your blog.
1. They don’t know the company.
Content marketing has moved from a unique opportunity to promote your business to the status quo in the digital realm. In fact, though not all of them have a consistent strategy, 88% of B2B marketers and 76% of B2C brands now use content to attract and convert their audience. Meanwhile, 81% of businesses plan to increase their content marketing output in the near future.
In other words, simply putting out content is no longer enough. To succeed in this increasingly crowded environment, you need to stand out as a unique brand, leveraging your niche expertise to convince your audience that you, not your competitors, should be the go-to resource.
As a result, your writers should know the company and its core competencies inside and out. As much as they might try, it’s next to impossible for interns to accomplish that feat. After all, they’re only with you for a couple of months, during which time they’ll probably be too busy learning the ropes to write content actually connected to those ropes.
You know who does know your company, though? Your leadership, and your employees. If you’re going to make content a significant investment for your company, it deserves attention from someone who can connect each post on your blog to the value your brand can offer. Content is a powerful marketing tool, but only if you can connect it to your brand.
2. They don’t know the strategy.
Give a great intern the freedom to create, and they’ll come up with great content. Unfortunately, none of it will be connected to your larger strategy. Of course, that’s not their fault. After all, how are they supposed to know what you’re even trying to achieve?
Great writing without the context of your marketing goals is doomed to fail in actually creating content that reliably attracts visitors and converts leads. Blog posts don’t stand on their own; instead, they are small pieces in a larger strategy that can only work if each piece functions perfectly.
Take this case study as an example. When we set out to rank on page one of Google’s search results for ‘outsourced blog writing,’ we knew a simple keyword on the issue wasn’t enough. Instead, we needed a more comprehensive strategy. Four blog posts and a number of other, relevant pieces of content later, we accomplished that feat.
Now, imagine handing off that responsibility to your interns. Through no fault of their own, chances are they don’t know your target audience or marketing goals enough to come up with a similarly comprehensive strategy and execute on it in short order. Their efforts will fail, not because they cannot write or don’t have the talent, but because they’re not as enveloped in your marketing strategy as a full-time employee could be.
3. They don’t go beneath the surface.
The key to content marketing success, as outlined above, is not creating good content. Instead, as search engine optimization expert Rand Fishkin from Moz explains, the minimum bar for content optimized for modern SEO goes far beyond simply being unique. In fact, your goal should be to compete with the single best piece of content on the search engine results page for your chosen keyword.
On the content quality scale for your blog content, effort and quality are directly related. ‘Making the intern do it,’ unfortunately, will not get you far in improving your Google rankings. Industry leaders like Fishkin and Neil Patel, who go above and beyond for each blog post to create a content marketing powerhouse, are some more relevant examples.
Five years ago, you probably could have gotten away with finding a relevant keyword and having an intern write 300-500 words of general, surface-level posts on it. Today, in an increasingly crowded digital environment, that’s no longer enough.
That’s not to say your interns cannot help you create great content. They can conduct research, gauge audience reactions, and even help outline future posts. For your marketing strategy, they can be immensely beneficial, and learn valuable insights about their craft in the process. But if you entrust your blog into their hands entirely, be prepared for it to underwhelm while they’re working for you, and fall apart once they leave.
Creating Blog Content that Converts
Writing great blog content, in other words, requires more than just an immensely talented writer or intern. Instead, you need a professional who can write as well as they understand content marketing. If you don’t have that individual in your company, consider outsourcing your blog writing. We’d love to do it on your behalf, and it might even be less expensive than a paid intern! Consider outsourcing your blogging with Verblio to create content designed to succeed in 2017 and beyond.