So I recently hosted my first Facebook Live blogging Q&A session, which was certainly a fresh new experience for me.
Despite making a few small mistakes, I think it went quite well.
More importantly though, live streaming really opened up my eyes to the possibilities.
I’ll certainly be using live video to promote content and to connect with my audience in the future.
Are you using live stream video as part of your strategy?
Anyhow, during the Q&A live session I wasn’t able to answer all of the questions submitted to me via email.
In particular this one sent in by Rohit Rohan from India:
“Should I hire someone to write my blog content, or should I write content myself?”
Thanks Rohit, and very good question too.
So to help answer this question for Rohit, and for anyone else thinking of outsourcing blog writing, I’ve written this post for you.
Let’s get started.
Blogging is now considered to be just one of the many critical ingredients for doing “effective” online content marketing.
So to answer this question, I simply cannot give a simple “yes you should outsource” or “no you shouldn’t”.
There are both pros and cons of outsourcing depending on how you do it.
Why I’ve started to outsource blog writing for my blog
In the past I’ve always produced content for my blog myself.
I’ve always believed that outsourcing was not such a great idea, and I’ll explain later why.
It wasn’t until earlier this year (2016), that I started to outsource a few writers to create content for me.
I simply didn’t have the time to write “quality” content for my blog, being busy with website design projects and client deadlines.Are you thinking out outsourcing blog writing? Read this first!Click To Tweet
I know I’m not alone either. I’m sure there are many of you reading this thinking;
“I’m also struggling to find time to write blog posts for my blog, or company website”.
That’s where outsourcing can work for you.
It has been working for me quite well, but then again I don’t outsource that many articles.
Why newbie bloggers should not outsource blog posts
I wouldn’t recommend newbie bloggers start off their blogging ventures by outsourcing all of their blog writing.
It’s important for new bloggers especially, to get into the habit of producing good quality content themselves.
It will help them to establish who they are better, as an authoritative writer.
It will help them develop their own writing style and find their own unique blogging voice.
OK so let me stop with the ranting for now, and begin weighing out some of the pros and cons of outsourcing blog writing.
The pros of outsourcing your blog writing
- Can free up your valuable time.
- Can give your blog readers some fresh perspectives.
- Can help you boost your blog authority and credibility.
Now let’s take a look at each of these more closely.
#1. Outsourcing blog writing can free up your valuable time.
Without a doubt!
As I mentioned earlier, we all live very busy lives.
When it comes to running your online business or your blog, there’s just so many things involved.
Sometimes it’s hard to play the roll of being everyone and being everywhere.
Whether you’re a freelance web designer like myself, a graphic designer, a business coach, a virtual assistant, a business mentor, an author and speaker, what ever your skill-set may be, you have your work cut out.
There’s being the content creator (huge task), webmaster, business administrator, business developer, marketer, event organiser and manager and so on.
Then there’s scheduling and managing appointments, attending to clients, doing consultancy work, providing services, dealing with discrepancies, accountancy and the list goes on and on…
Then… Amongst all of that, you’ve got to find time to sit down to write amazing, compelling, useful blog content and engage with your audience on a regular basis.
Like I said, there’s a lot involved in running a blog or business online.
So that’s where outsourcing your blog writing can be beneficial I think.
Or, you simply could outsource everything else, so that you can take care of blog writing and focus on providing services to your clients!
Problem solved, but not very cost effective.
#2. Can give your blog readers some fresh alternatives and perspectives.
Sometimes it’s nice to bring in writers that can provide something new and fresh to your blog.
Writers who can provide your readers with different perspectives and alternative points of views.
This can help you boost engagement and traffic for sure.
It is also your opportunity to learn something new, simply by reading an article written by someone else.
#3. Can help to boost your blog authority and credibility
Yes, outsourcing can do just that for you.
That is if you are able to find credible and authoritative writers in your industry, and not just the average run-of-the mill content churner.
Upwork is a great place to find expert writers in your industry, you just have to do your homework very carefully.
The cons of outsourcing your blog writing
Now let’s look at some of the pitfalls of outsourcing your blog posts.
Sometimes by giving the job of writing blog posts to someone else, someone external from your establishment, perhaps to a ghost writer, you can run into some risks. Especially if you don’t research your writer properly.
- YOU know your style of writing better than anyone else.
- YOU know how to communicate and engage with your audience, better than anyone else.
Let’s dive deeper.
#1. You know your style of writing better than anyone else.
Since I started blogging 6 years ago, I’ve written over 1,000 unique articles for my own blogs.
In all that time, I’ve outsourced blog writing no more than a few dozen times, and most of it this year actually.
If you’ve been blogging for a length of time too, then I’m pretty sure you have a decent sized audience right?
You have subscribers and regular readers that have become familiar with your style of writing.
They’re able to recognise your tone, your honesty, the humour you use and everything else.
We call this having a unique voice.You know your style of writing better than anyone else #outsourcingblogwritingClick To Tweet
Eventually you’ll become super fine-tuned with your audience, and develop an even more powerful and unique writing style that no one will be able to touch, or even attempt to mimic.
Now in some cases, if you begin to publish content produced by ghost writers on your blog, all of that begins to change.
Again, in some cases.
And if you end up using someone new each time you outsource an article, and more frequently too, you begin to change the dynamics, the atmosphere, the style and tone of your blog.
Now I’m not saying that all ghost writers are crap at creating content that engages with people. Many of them are great in fact.
I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with a few very good ones in the last 12 months.
But in all honesty, true from the heart. No writer or blogger other than yourself, will truly know the style of writing and the tone of your blog better than you.
#2. You know how to communicate and engage with your audience.
You are the face of your blog or business.
You’ve developed over time with your community.
You’ve always put yourself in front of your audience.
You’ve always looked for genuine ways to help out your readers however you can.
You’ve become a bit of an authority figure when it comes to your subject matter.
You know how to communicate and engage with your readers, better than anyone else.You know how to communicate and engage with your audience better than anyone else #outsourcingClick To Tweet
When you begin publishing outsourced content on your blog on a frequent basis, you run the risk of stopping that communication and engagement altogether.
You might agree or disagree with me, but from my own personal experiences, this can happen.
A ghost writer will simply not be able to create a piece of content that connects or engages with your audience the way you would be able to.
Unless of course you went through and edited parts of articles yourself, to try and make it MORE engaging.
But then what happens if or when someone comments and asks a technical question? A question that you might not know the answer to?
After all, you didn’t write the article, you outsourced it, so your knowledge might be somewhat limited on a particular topic or subject?
You can’t ignore your readers either.
This is something else you have to consider.
Again I’m talking from my own experiences here.
So what other risks may be involved by outsourcing your blog writing?
- YOU stop improving your writing skills.
- YOU stop expanding your own knowledge.
- YOU have to start budgeting to pay for your outsourced content.
- YOU run the risk of discrediting your blog.
Let’s dive into each one of these in more detail.
#1. You stop improving your own writing skills.
I have to say that thanks to blogging, I’ve been able to really improve my writing and speaking skills over the years.
I don’t consider myself to be a professional writer of any kind either.
My spelling and grammar skills are far from perfect.
I over use commas as if they’re going out of fashion.
I don’t place enough full stops at the end of sentences and all the rest of it.
But because I’m consistently writing every day, I’m slowly becoming better at it.
If you run a blog but don’t actually contribute to writing your own content that often, and you consistently outsource your articles, you won’t improve yourself as a writer.
I mean, what other better opportunity will you have to improve your writing, if you don’t write blog posts that often?
#2. You stop expanding your own knowledge.
If ever I want to write an article on a topic that I’m not very familiar with, I’ll always spend a few days researching that topic first.
Handing this job over to perhaps a ghost writer, takes all of that away instantly.
The opportunity to learn something new, gain new experience etc goes away.
Sure there’s a good chance I’ll learn something new from reading the post my writer sends me, but it’s not the same as doing the research yourself.
#3. You have to start budgeting to pay for your outsourced content.
Let’s face it, outsourcing blog writing isn’t cheap.
If you want to outsource blog posts, you’ll have to come up with some kind of budget to pay your writers.
But the last thing you want to be doing is spending money right? Especially when you’re just starting out with your blog or business.
If you’re thinking to yourself;
“Well I can get my writer to whack me out 5 articles for $50 on Upwork”…
Well all I’ll say to that is expect to get what you pay for.
Whilst paying for outsourced blog posts can have it’s benefits, I think your readers might just value reading a piece of content written by you more.
They’ll get to read about your thoughts, insights and perspectives on a topic, and get to read about your personal experiences through story telling too.
#4. You run the risk of discrediting your blog.
If you end up hiring and using a new writer each time you want to publish an article on your blog, then you run the risk of discrediting, or even devaluing your blog.
Not all freelance writers, guest bloggers, ghost writers are created equal.
Whilst there might well be some very good, reputable, knowledgable, experienced writers out there, you’ll also run into writers who claim to be the best in their field, but actually aren’t.
There are writers that simply won’t give two hoots about your specific requirements, but only in the money the can make from you hiring them.
If you don’t research writers properly, you can do more harm to your blog or business credibility than good.
Now it’s important for you to understand here that I’m not tarnishing every writer out there.
Once again, I’ve used a few external writers for this blog, and fortunately I’ve found some who have been very good indeed at fulfilling my requirements.
I’ve been able to find writers that care to listen, learn and adapt to my style of writing, and respect the tone of my blog.
If you don’t research writers properly, you might run into problems like;
- Finding incorrect facts or the wrong advice being given in articles.
- Publishing respun, remashed content from the web.
- Generally publishing low quality articles that read more like self promotional crap.
This kind of stuff can really discredit your blog.
My final thoughts
I want you to know that I’m not at all suggesting that outsourcing blog posts is bad business, because it isn’t.
It’s how you do your outsourcing that really matters.
I’ve highlighted some of the benefits and pitfalls in this post.
If you’re thinking of getting in writers with outsourcing, do it right.
- Invite reputable, well established, authoritative guest bloggers to come and write for you.
- Use NinjaOutreach or Inbound.org to find and connect with industry influencers and bloggers.
Over to you
Time to get commenting, so please let me know what you’re thinking.
Do you agree or disagree with anything I’ve talked about above?
Are you currently outsourcing blog posts for your blog or business or project, and want to share your thoughts?
Are you thinking out outsourcing articles for your blog even? So that you can have more time to do other important things.
Leave me a comment below.