Content and content marketing are pivotal to every successful SEO strategy.
But keeping on top of multiple content campaigns can be overwhelming.
That’s where content outsourcing comes in.
You can scale your content creation without leaving your in-house writer like a caffeinated squirrel, frantically typing away in a desperate attempt to beat looming deadlines.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
- What content outsourcing is
- Why it’s helpful for businesses and agencies
- How to outsource content writing the right way
What Is Content Outsourcing?
Content outsourcing is the process of using freelancers or specialist companies to handle content creation tasks.
The most popular content task to outsource is writing.
Instead of producing content in-house, you can outsource to get the content you need. It can include creating blog posts, web copy, press releases, and other content assets.
If you want some inspiration for the types of content you can outsource, check out our list of 27 killer ideas for your next content campaign.
Outsourcing content writing can free up time and resources so you can focus on your core agency activities. You can handle content strategy and optimization while delegating time-consuming writing tasks.
Why Is Outsourcing Helpful?
There are a bunch of reasons why outsourcing content creation can be helpful. It can be a game-changer for your agency.
Expand Production Capacity
Back in 2011, the average blog post was around 300-500 words.
But the Google Panda update changed everything. And the average blog post has been getting longer and more in-depth ever since.
It now takes around four hours to complete a blog post – a 67% increase from previous years.
A growing client base and a full content calendar can max out your in-house team. Deadlines creep up faster than you can say “content backlog.”
That’s why outsourcing your content writing can be so beneficial.
You can use external content partners to help manage the workload and expand your production capacity.
A recent survey by Semrush found the need to scale up production was the number one reason for outsourcing content writing:
Outsourcing is how smart agencies handle large content projects without compromising on quality.
Add New Services
You should always be looking for ways to grow your agency. And introducing new services is one of the best ways to do exactly that.
Adding new services opens up opportunities to upsell and cross-sell to existing clients. This can increase revenue per client and boosts overall profitability.
But expanding your service offering isn’t easy.
It requires time, resources, and expertise you may not have readily available.
You can use outsourcing to seamlessly add content marketing to your services without spreading your internal team too thin.
If you want to grow your agency, you have to learn to outsource.
You can’t do everything yourself.
— Luke | AI & Marketing 🎯 (@lukeb2b) October 15, 2022
It’s not just about ticking off a box on your list of services or adding a new landing page to your website.
Outsourcing content writing services allows you to provide added value to your clients.
You can offer a more comprehensive SEO package. Provide your core services alongside a powerful content marketing strategy to boost your client’s online presence.
It’s a win-win situation.
Your clients benefit from a one-stop solution, and you open up new avenues for revenue and growth.
Content writing isn’t the only service you can outsource. Check out our guide to outsourcing SEO to discover the other tasks you can contract out.
Increase Quality For Clients
Outsourcing content writing can elevate the quality of your service offering.
In the latest B2B Content Marketing Trends report, 83% of content marketers agreed that producing better quality content was the best way to differentiate their content from competitors.
Outsourcing can help you to raise the bar for content quality. You can tap into the experience and creativity of writing pros as and when you need them.
It’s not just about ensuring your content is polished and error-free.
You can partner with writers with extensive knowledge and experience in your clients’ industries. They understand the trends and pain points that resonate with your client’s target audience.
You can also potentially use their expertise and credentials to bolster the EEAT credentials of your client’s articles and site, either by directly crediting them within the content or simply via the additional quality they’ll provide in their work.
Keeping up with content deadlines can be a struggle.
The demand for fresh, high-quality content is relentless. And so is the pressure to deliver.
This is especially true in fast-moving industries where you need to react quickly to breaking news and fast-moving trends.
Outsourcing can help you to meet the demand for fast turnarounds.
A recent survey found that 69% of companies that outsource agree it helps them to consistently produce and publish new content.
A content writing service like those from FATJOE can help you deliver exceptional content within the tightest timeframes. You can react to market trends and seize time-sensitive opportunities.
How To Start Outsourcing Content Writing
Trusting someone else to produce content for your agency clients can feel a bit unnerving. Your deliverables are your baby, and you don’t want to risk undermining them with shoddy work.
This is completely understandable, but it doesn’t have to be nerve-wracking.
Here’s how to outsource your content writing the right way.
Determine The Volume Needed
First, you need to have a clear understanding of your content requirements.
How much content do you need to outsource to achieve your marketing goals?
According to a recent survey of SEOs, creating more blog content and posting more often was the most effective tactic for boosting search ranking:
You can use content to increase your, or your client’s, online presence throughout each stage of the sales funnel.
Covering relevant topics in your niche can also boost topical authority. It can increase trust and credibility in the eyes of search engines.
You’ll also need a strong link profile. But you can also outsource link building to boost domain rating and website authority.
With topic clusters and semantic SEO, topical authority and knowledge maps, it’s apparent that you need a lot of content to maximize your SEO performance or that of your clients.
Brainstorm 50-100 questions potential customers ask about your clients product.
Group them by topics and sub topics.
Now create remarkable articles to answer those questions.
Publish them ASAP.
— Joe Davies (@fatjoedavies) July 4, 2023
Assess your current capacity and determine how much additional support is needed.
It’s important to note the volume of content needed may change.
Outsourcing your content is a great way to stay flexible and be prepared to adapt as your content demand evolves over time.
If you were to hire a whole new content writing team, you may find them spinning their wheels during lean periods or overwhelmed during busy ones. If you instead outsource your content writing deliverables, you can manage your capacity simply by upping or lowering your orders as-needed.
Find Competitor Examples
Next, you need to analyze your competitors’ content strategies. This can provide valuable insights to inform your content marketing efforts.
The first step is to identify who your competitors are. If you’ve performed keyword research, you should know who you’re up against in the SERPs.
Pay close attention to the type of content they produce and the topics they cover.
You can use tools like Semrush to perform a content gap analysis. This will show you the keywords your competitors rank for that you do not.
Check out our content gap analysis guide if you need some help discovering content opportunities.
Look for topics your competitors haven’t covered extensively or that you can cover in-more depth and add more value for users.
Note down the competing content pieces.
You can share these with your writers to provide a reference of what you are trying to improve on and outrank in search results.
You’re not copying your competitors. It’s about understanding their strengths and weaknesses and then using that knowledge to create something unique and compelling for your own audience.
Bear in mind, though, that you shouldn’t just blindly copy what they already have.
Even your closest competitors will have variations in what they offer compared to you.
Use their content as a baseline and then assess what you can add to it to improve the help it offers your clients or your client’s customers.
Create A Scalable Brief
The content brief plays a vital role in the content outsourcing process.
It provides a blueprint for your content writer to follow, detailing the objective and guidelines for the piece.
When you start the project with a detailed content brief. pic.twitter.com/42CU2w6NDt
— Ashley R. Cummings (@ashleyrcummings) March 13, 2023
Defining the objectives ensures that everyone involved in the content creation process is aligned. That includes your client, freelance writers, and editors.
A recent survey of content marketers revealed the most common benefits of a content brief:
Think of your brief as a roadmap. It helps your content writers get to the desired content piece with minimal edits required.
Start by clearly outlining your content requirements, objectives, and expectations.
What are the main goals you want to achieve with the content?
It could be to increase brand awareness or something further down the funnel to convert visitors into leads.
Next, provide detailed information about your target audience.
Who are they?
What are their interests and pain points?
This will help your writers tailor the content to your target audience’s needs.
You’ll also need to be clear about the style and tone you are looking for. Setting your expectations up front ensures the content reflects your existing brand personality.
You can reference your existing content to give your writers a better idea of the style and tone you’re aiming for.
It’s important to keep your brief scalable.
Make sure it can be easily adapted and applied to different content projects. It should provide standard instructions that can be customized based on the specific requirements of each content piece.
Grab a copy of our free scalable content brief template if you need a hand. All you need to do is fill in the details and hand it to your writer.
Get A Variety Of Examples
Make sure you see a diverse range of examples before you start working with a freelancer or content agency.
This allows you to gauge their ability to adapt to different tones, industries, and content types.
Look for examples that align with your specific needs.
A freelance writer without experience in your industry isn’t always a deal breaker.
It can work. But the writer must demonstrate an ability to research, understand, and write about various industries.
You may want to match certain writers with specific clients.
For example, here at FATJOE, you can reorder from your favorite writers and build your own content marketing team. If you have a writer who nails your content briefs, you can use them again and again.
Don’t Just Use Samples, Get A Test Piece
Portfolio samples can provide a glimpse into a content writer’s style and expertise.
But a test piece takes it further.
You can see their skills in action and assess their ability to meet your specific content requirements.
Make sure you provide a clear content brief.
This will help you evaluate their research skills and ability to adapt their writing style to your brand’s voice.
You can use a client brief. But be prepared for some additional editing before it’s ready to be shared with your client and published.
Make sure you account for the extra time involved so you don’t miss any deadlines.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re reviewing the test piece. Assess the writer’s ability to:
- Follow guidelines
- Meet deadlines
- Communicate your brand message
You must also pay attention to content quality, clarity, and overall engagement. Tools like Grammarly and Hemmingway App can help you judge the quality of the content.
It’s also important to provide feedback on the test piece.
Constructive feedback will help your writer refine their work for future pieces. Providing detailed insights now will save you a lot of time later.
You don’t want to spend hours editing their work before submitting it to clients.
Work With A Specialist Company
For most agencies, partnering with a specialist company is much easier than managing a roster of freelancers.
You don’t have to deal with multiple contracts, invoices, and payments.
It also lets you access a range of writers who specialize in different industries. Whether you need content for finance, SaaS, or any other niche, you can find freelance writers experienced in your niche.
You also get consistent quality and reliability.
Here at FATJOE, we have stringent quality control processes in place. Our experienced writers review and refine your content order before it reaches your inbox.
4. Fully trained out of the box 📦
When outsourcing, you’ll generally be hiring experts to do one particular thing, over and over.
They’ll be competent specialists with their own SOPs from day 1.
— Joe Davies (@fatjoedavies) November 6, 2022
When you outsource content creation to a specialist company, they can help you produce content at scale. They can handle large content projects and sudden surges in demand.
And with no lock-in contracts, you can scale your order volume up and down as and when you need.
Accelerate Your Agency’s Growth with Content Writing Outsourcing
Outsourcing content can be a great way to streamline your agency’s content creation. You can save time and money and improve the quality of your content.
With some initial planning, outsourcing can help you deliver better client results and fuel agency growth.
It’s all about creating scalable briefs and partnering with the right content specialists.
Head of Content
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