Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2016 but has been updated with new information and republished to reflect current information and trends.
It’s common for small- and medium-sized businesses to outsource business functions like accounting, human resources, payroll, and more to stay lean and flexible. But outsource blog writing? This can seem more challenging—after all, your blog is the voice of your company, and a critical part of your content marketing strategy.
Should You Outsource Your Blog Writing?
If you approach it the right way, outsourcing your blog writing comes with several key benefits:
- Save significant time. The time to write a blog post averages about three hours.
- Reduce your budget, especially compared to hiring a full-time writer for your business.
- Stay flexible, increasing or decreasing the writing power depending on your needs during a given day.
- Instant expertise through experienced writers in your industry and for your audience.
- Better scalability as you grow your business and your writing needs increase.
In other words, it is definitely possible to outsource blog posts and do it well. And we’d know—we’re Verblio, an outsourced writing service that’s helped thousands of businesses around the world outsource their written content quickly and in a scalable and cost-effective manner.
Along the way, we’ve heard tons of questions from businesses on how to outsource blog writing. What follows are some of the most common, along with our answers and recommendations.
10 Frequently Asked Questions on How to Outsource Blog Writing for Businesses
Question 1: I’m considering outsourcing blog writing, but can an outsourced blog writer really capture my tone/style/business personality?
Writing is personal, and businesses feel like they have a unique tone or style they’re looking to capture in their blog. So the very concept of outsourcing might feel like it will, by definition, cause you to lose some of your business’s personality.
We think there are two solutions to this problem.
1. Take time to educate your writers. When outsourcing content writing, the time you put in at the start pays off in the end. Spend some quality time explaining your business and content goals to your outsourced writers. This can feel painful at first and might not seem like a time-saver, but we’ve seen it pay dividends again and again with our Verblio clients.
When they put in effort at the beginning, they create relationships with writers who require less and less coaching over time. We believe this process is so important that we’ve spent huge amounts of time building a client onboarding process designed to help our writers get to know our clients effectively. That process is so crucial, we keep evolving it. We’ve also written about working with freelance writers.
2. Don’t expect to give full control to your outsourced writers, particularly on more personal content. We often tell clients to expect the content they receive from our writers to be 85% to 95% done. But that last 5% to 15%, the final polishing and tweaking, becomes the client’s responsibility. You’re serving as the editor, and part of that process is inserting tone, style, and other unique insights about your business.
Question 2: What about quality? I associate outsource writing services with lower quality.
Outsourcing, like anything, exists on a quality spectrum. For writing, the two opposite ends of the spectrum might look like this:
- Outsource some of your writing to a freelance journalist who has written for the The New York Times (yeah, you can really do that), to
- Bad quality (think translated English, sentence fragments, etc).
Your job is to figure out where on that cost/quality spectrum you’d like to fall, and how to find a provider who can get you there. We’ve written more about your options for outsourcing here.
We’ve also produced a free, downloadable e-book where you can learn more about how to find and work with freelance writers to produce quality content for your content marketing efforts.
Question 3: Should I consider outsourcing my blog writing overseas?
In a word: no—unless you’re outsourcing to another native-English-speaking country.
Outsourcing overseas makes a lot of sense for a lot of disciplines. For example, we outsource some of our development work overseas. Writing isn’t one of those disciplines. While it’s possible to find non-native English speakers who can write English at an extremely high level, it’s very uncommon.
You’ll be searching for a needle in a haystack, and eat up savings quickly. Don’t be tempted by the low initial price tag. That advantage goes away when you waste precious time combing through writers to find the few who can cut it.
Question 4: How do I get writers for my blog?
There are a bunch of different ways to get writers for your business blog. And a number of considerations to go along with these. So, we wrote a whole post about it—our guide to finding freelance blog writers.
5 Tips to Hire a Freelance Writer or Content Creator
Going the outsourcing route? These tips can help you make sure the work you get will actually help your business.
- Don’t look for price alone. The cheapest writers are often less experienced, and less qualified, than those who charge more.
- Look at past work. It will tell you a lot about the writer’s qualifications and topical sweet spots.
- Set expectations. Share not just your brand voice and tone, but also the type of content you’re expecting to receive.
- Outline your plan. Are you looking for a single piece of content or an ongoing relationship with your writer?
- Look in the right spots. You can hire a single freelance writer or partner with an outsourced writing service that gives you access to a whole host of freelance writers (hint: this is what we do).
Question 5: What’s the best way to create blog content when using outsourced writers?
You don’t need to create a grand content marketing strategy here to get started. Just think through the basics.
Two things to consider here:
- Strategy: Start by asking why. “Why do I want a content marketing strategy?” and build from there. Marketers become enamored with starting the next thing without first asking the critical “why are we doing this?” or “what are we building toward?”
- Support: Support your writers (this should be a bumper sticker). Give your writer nothing to work with, get nothing to work with back. It’s that simple. You’re the subject matter expert.
Writers are the ones to bring your expertise to light in a readable way. When you provide more information and direction, you’ll get more of what you expect out of your writer.
Question 6: What blogging tips should businesses consider when outsourcing blog writing?
- Don’t outsource until you have a strategy and editorial calendar in place.
- Have a budget; commit to it.
- Understand the long game of content marketing.
- Experiment and test content lengths, CTAs, headlines, etc.
- If you’re just starting out in content marketing, start small and get early wins.
- Repurpose your content across other channels: For example, take a blog post and turn it into an infographic (see what we did there?).
Question 7: Outsourcing my blog feels kinda weird. Do many other companies outsource content marketing services?
Yep. Just like small businesses and major companies hire accountants and PR firms, outsourcing content creation is commonplace.
Companies who outsource content realize two things:
- Scaling is difficult, especially when it comes to meeting the content needs of your organization.
- There’s more competition for content marketing. It’s increasingly popular, which means you need specialized resources. Outsourcing your blog posts gets you specialized writers who know content marketing, inside and out.
Question 8: If I outsource my posts, will I have exclusive rights to what gets written?
You damn well better get that assurance! In modern content marketing, and particularly SEO, duplicate content (the same, or very similar, content on two websites) is bad news.
So wherever you get your outsourced blog posts, make sure you get exclusive rights to the content you purchase. Many reputable providers will offer this to you but beware of anyone whose pricing seems too good to be true (see below).
Question 9: How much does outsourcing blog content cost?
We’d ask you a couple of questions before answering this one:
- What’s your budget for blog content creation?
- What type of quality do you need?
- What are you using this blog content for?
Answering these questions will help you home in on the right answer for how much businesses should spend outsourcing blog posts—because the answer is you can spend pretty much any amount you want:
How much should you pay someone to write a blog?
- Expect to pay as little as $5 per post or pennies per hundred words on a service like Fiverr or some overseas content farms. In exchange, you’re at high risk for plagiarized content, nonsensical content, content that’s copied and pasted in large chunks from other websites, or just, to put it bluntly, total crap.
- Expect to pay between $25 and $200 per blog post with a crowdsource content solution or freelance writer community. The exact amount depends on the length, required research, and writer experience. Our pricing here at Verblio can give you a good feel for what you’ll pay.
- Expect to pay between $100 and $1,000 for an individual freelance writer. They’ll charge more than what you pay on a platform because they need to handle the administrative side of things (finding clients, invoicing, etc.) and take on the risk of working with clients directly. A freelance writer may end up spending half their time looking for clients, and needs to recoup that time when they aren’t being paid.
- Expect to pay up to $5,000 for a specialized service that creates highly-personalized and in-depth pieces with extensive research and data analysis.
How much should you pay for a blog post? That depends entirely on where within that spectrum you land.
Question 10: What else should I think about when considering a move to outsource my business blogging?
We’d offer a couple of points to think about:
- Getting ‘words on the page’. You might know blogging is important and want to write your own, but find that it continually gets pushed to a lower priority. Content outsourced to a freelance writer is better than content that never gets written.
- Professional writing. An outsourced writer isn’t going to know your business as well as you do. Period. But they probably have skills you don’t—a good freelancer is probably a professional writer, while you (likely) aren’t.
- A customer point of view. A good freelance writer will work hard to not just understand your business, but also understand how to write from the perspective of your prospective customers—something that is difficult people running or working in their own company.
- New ideas and potential topics. Trying to come up with fresh ideas for your blog is tough. A good freelancer writer (or a crowd of them) brings fresh ideas and insights that can make your blog better.
Yes, you can do these on your own. But chances are that you don’t have the time or resources to get it done. Think these points through as you decide whether or not you should outsource your blogging.
Have a Question We Did Not Answer?
If you don’t see your question here and want to discuss your outsourced writing needs, feel free to ask us any other questions you have.
Looking for a Way to Get Started?
We happen to be a company that has helped thousands of businesses outsource blog writing and other content marketing services! Yes, we’re biased, but if you wonder if we might be able to help out, let us know what questions you might have by reaching out to sales at Verblio directly.