Content marketing · Outsourcing

Should I outsource content writing?

Anonymous

May 12th, 2015

I'm wondering if the quality of outsourced writing will be worth the fact that the person writing isn't totally invested in the success and culture of the company? In other words, I'm afraid their lack of insider knowledge about the company (besides what I share with them) will hinder their ability to write great content. On the other hand, writing is time consuming and hard to just switch to if you don't do it regularly. Does anyone have experience with outsourced content writing? If so, what was your experience or do you have a better strategy.

Mike Whitfield Sr. Software Engineer, EPAM, Google

May 12th, 2015

The benefit I had working with a proof reader for my book is that they took paragraph #3 and put it up top as sentence #1.  It made the writing immensely more powerful.

It's very healthy to build communicating your brand into the communications process (i.e. hire someone to draft the content).  If you can't communicate to someone working for you, how are you going to communicate to your market?

I'm in a similar boat (need a person to write PR/tech intern to assist with documentation/HR person to write job ads).

Dennis Work Phamaceutical Consultant; Publisher, Guyvorce.com

May 12th, 2015

From my own respective, it's best that your core experts do the writing. They have the presence of mind, the credibility and the experience. Once they have completed their writings, turn the prelim document over to a proficient editor who will get the content corrected and ready for publication. 
This is what I have done and it has worked wonders for me with my website. 

Stefan Lubinski Sales Communication Specialist | Digital Marketing Enthusiast | Social Media Evangelist | Training & Consulting

May 12th, 2015

My POV is it depends on what is being written and the length of time with which you will be engaging this writer. If it is a short, one-time project I would agree with your concerns. If you are establishing a longer term relationship with the writer and you are committed to spending the right amount of time with them so that they can properly wrap their arms around both the mission of the writing, and the "voice" of the company, you can indeed outsource the writing. Think about it. Virtually ALL brands outsource their most important writing to advertising and PR agencies everyday. *Stefan * *Content+Conversations=Conversions* *Follow me* @stefanlubinski http://www.thegrowthfactor.com http://linkedin.com/in/stefanlubinski *Bat Phone: *512-850-7310 *"The Dude Abides"*

Rene Sanchez Director, Digital Operations at Kindred

May 12th, 2015

Hello Nadja, My experience has been that if the writer is professional and is really good at what they do that outsourcing will be fine. Professional bloggers and writers are accustomed to writing for multiple sources and understand the importance of conveying the Brands message and right tone for your audience. The good ones have a knack for picking things up quickly, and although it can't replace years of experience in an industry, it usually is sufficient with the right amount of oversight. Invest the time in them upfront and it may take a few articles to work out the kinks, but you should be fine. Good Luck! Rene

Joanan Hernandez CEO & Founder at Mollejuo

May 13th, 2015

Well,

My take is different from the majority here.

Why would I want another person to write about my project? I know it takes time to write, but describing thousands of ways your project IS a big part of the project.

Personally, it's hard to justify to pay for a person to evangelize (i.e. write) about my product, specially starting-up.

But hey! That's me.

After all, the one of the best salesman and evangelist of all time, did wrote his stuff, even though due to the size of the company he ran, most surely professionals writers helped him, nevertheless it was his vision put on writing.

My 2 cents.

Dawn Fotopulos HiddenProfitProphet.com - I help small businesses find hidden existing profits | Award-Winning Business Author

May 12th, 2015

Nadja, What I have found important is to find subcontractors you can learn your organization and function as if they're insiders. It may take a few people before you find the right one, but that's what you need. Warmly, Dawn Fotopulos Dawn Fotopulos Founder, Best Small Biz Help.com

Patrina Mack Experts in global commercialization

May 12th, 2015

I think it's invaluable to have someone outside your company write your content.   I'm a management consultant and we frequently determine positioning and write content for our clients.  When it comes to my own website content I always outsource.   It's great to have a neutral third party play back your messaging and identify holes in your thought process/logic/story.   Even though I have written my own copy and blog I always have someone else review the copy.   Someone asked about rates - you can pay from $75 t $200 an hour based on the caliber of the person - not all writers are equal.  It's helpful to find someone who seems genuinely enthused about your business and will put the emotion and energy into your copy.

Abhhey Bhisey Financial Advisor at Max Life Insurance Company Limited

May 12th, 2015

The best strategy would be to write the contents ourselves in our own language and the finishing touches to be given to the outsourced person. This will ensure correct inputs and the other person will only need to make the write-up more professional. Many professional writers follow this strategy. Abhhey A. Bhisey.

Chris Hodge Primary Sorter at United Parcel Service

May 12th, 2015

Finally, a discussion I can contribute to. I've been a copywriter that companies on 6 continents have outsourced to for their content needs for over 5 years, and I'll share some pros and cons with you from my perspective. While I naturally have a vested interest in saying, "Yes, outsource ALL of your content!" that's not entirely true. I'm going to give you some tough love here. For the most part, your potential clients don't care as much about your company as you'd like them to. While they'll enjoy hearing your story, they aren't going to become invested in the vast insider knowledge you've developed through building your business out of nothing. They're interested in what you can do for them. You can share hard-won knowledge, provided it isn't a "pitch fest," but it has to be in the spirit of sharing instead of essentially a chant of "Buy from us! Buy from us!" Think soft sell. Another thing that many business owners don't realize is that they know their businesses too well. What I mean is, you know what you have to offer with such absolute precision and clarity that you can actually miss out on how your offerings can be helpful to others. In some cases, what you offer may be helpful in ways you never anticipated. You may also have the ability to solve problems that exist within your target niche but have simply never considered that. It's very easy as an insider to become myopic. If you'd like an example of this, try going to a bank or an insurance company with an unusual request. They'll inevitably try to fit which "product" they offer with what you're seeking. They're huge and they serve individual consumers, so they can get away with that. If your company isn't huge and it's serving businesses with ample options or higher-income consumers (two great groups to serve, IMO), it's always a good time to learn more about your customers' needs. An outsider can look at what you're offering, what problems you're solving and who has those problems, and can write information-enriched content that is enjoyable to read and mentally positions you as an expert. The lack of an internal bias is actually helpful in this regard. As far as freelancers go, often we sign non-disclosure agreements that will allow you to share whatever you like without fear that we'll "sell you out" (and really, that doesn't happen as often as you'd think). In many cases we even sign agreements to do a certain amount of content aligned with a marketing campaign that we can help you design and implement, ie writing the scripts for short videos and putting together website and social media copy. The fact that these individuals can research with the best of them and may end up saving you hundreds of valuable hours versus "going it alone" or save your employees hours that could be spent doing their actual jobs is almost icing on the cake. Now, there are some bad things about freelancers and outsourcing. Yes, you will get the "paycheck" set who are so obsessed with how quickly they can make a buck that they won't give a whit about your business, your offering, your clients... anything beyond "Can I get paid now???" When you deal with online writers and marketers, just like any kinds of contractors, in time you'll begin to believe in ghosts. One day the person is all about serving you, all gung ho and ready to go... and the next day they won't be available through any contact channel. The money's there, the work is outlined, the campaign may even be started, but they'll just be gone. I have had so many clients who've been grateful for the simple fact that I stay around through the entire project. It's uncanny, and frankly it's sad. If you'd like to discuss the matter further, feel free to PM me. I'm not even shamelessly plugging my services (though I should be), I'm just offering a pinch of wisdom.

Georgiana Ghiciuc Lead Content Marketer & Founder at Beaglecat, Inbound Marketing Solutions

May 14th, 2015

My opinion may be regarded as biased, as I work in a content marketing agency. However, it's always intriguing to see people debating on the topic, as it's the most common question we get from our prospective customers. 
What is most of the times neglected is the fact that the client - the entrepreneur - never disappears in the wind. The process of writing an article/e-book/white paper is one in which content writer and company representative work hand in hand. There are several drafts at work before a final version can be published. 

And of course no content writer will ever be able to get the exact thoughts of the entrepreneur out on paper. But it's the best compromise in an equation in which one side has little time for writing and the other little insight into how the company works (P:S: most content writers will take weeks to understand their client before actually getting to work).