So peeps, I recently hosted my first Facebook Live Blogging Q&A Session, which was certainly a new experience for me.
Despite making quite a few mistakes, I think it went reasonably well.
More importantly, though, I enjoyed it and Live Streaming has really opened up my eyes to the possibilities.
Are you currently using live video stream as part of your marketing strategy?
Anyhow, during the short Q&A live session, I wasn't able to answer all of the questions regarding blogging and content writing.
One of those questions was this one sent in by Rohit Rohan from India:
"Should I hire someone to write my blog content, or should I write content myself?"
First of all thanks Rohit, and that is a very good question.
So let me answer this question for Rohit and for anyone who is wondering the same thing.
Blogging can be extremely rewarding, and for a business, blogging can be very effective as a marketing strategy, regardless whether you write the content yourself or outsource it.
However, if you're looking for a simple yes or no answer to the question of - Should you write blog content yourself, or hire someone to do it, I'm afraid it's not that simple.
There are benefits of taking either route, as well as pitfalls, however, let's focus primarily on the pros and cons of outsourcing your blog writing.
But first, let me tell you why I've started to outsource some of my blog writing here at Magnet4Blogging.
In the past, I've always produced blog content myself.
I always believed that outsourcing wasn't such a great idea, and I'll explain why later on in the post.
It wasn't until earlier this year (2016), that I started to outsource a few writers to create content for my blog.
I used the site UpWork mainly for this.
The reason I decided to outsource was that I simply didn't have the time to devote to writing content myself.
I went through a period devoted to doing nothing but meeting client deadlines with web design projects.
I'm sure you can relate to this, and whilst there's nothing wrong with being busy in your business and taking care of your customers, it can take you away from doing other essential things to keep your business running. And when this happens, it becomes impossible to try and do everything yourself.
That is why I decided to outsource. I didn't outsource for very long, and I didn't outsource every piece of content, of course, only when I needed to.
I personally wouldn't recommend newbie bloggers start off their blogging careers by outsourcing all of their blog writing, and here's why.
It's imperative that new bloggers especially, get into the habit of producing good quality content themselves.
It will help them establish themselves better as an authoritative and knowledgeable writer.
It will also help them develop their own writing style and find a blogging voice that is unique to them.
I'll talk more on this later.
OK so let's finally look at some of the pros and cons of outsourcing blog writing.
Now let's take a look at each of these more closely.
Without a doubt!
As I hinted 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 role of being everyone, and being everywhere.
Whether you're a freelance web designer like myself, or a graphic designer, or a business coach, a virtual assistant, a business mentor, an author, or public speaker, whatever your skill-set may be, you have your work cut out.
You've got to take care of -
Then there's scheduling and managing your client appointments and providing services to them, dealing with discrepancies, accountancy work, oh the list goes on and on...
And on top of all of this, you've got to find time to create amazing content and engage with your readers, your audience on a regular basis.
Who said blogging was easy, right?
In a case like the one above, I think outsourcing your blog writing is extremely beneficial.
Sometimes it's nice to bring in writers with different ideas and perspectives about a topic or subject.
In addition, your readers will appreciate the fact that you are giving other experts and influencers the opportunity to share something new with them.
When you hire writers that have more experience and background knowledge on a topic than you do, this can help to add even more value to your blog.
This can also help you boost traffic, engagement and social shares.
It's also an opportunity for YOU to learn something new from other expert writers.
So now let's look at some of the pitfalls of outsourcing your blog writing.
On occasions when you give the job of writing blog posts to someone else you can run into risks. Especially if you don't do your research properly.
Let's dive a little deeper.
Since I started blogging 7 years ago, I've written over 1,000 unique articles mainly for my own blogs.
In all that time, I've outsourced blog writing no more than a dozen time.
If you've been blogging for any length of time yourself, then I'm pretty sure you have a decent sized audience.
You must have subscribers and frequent readers that have become familiar with your style of writing.
Those readers are able to recognize your tone, your honesty, the humor you use and everything else.
Most people call this having a unique voice.
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, let's say you begin to publish content produced by a few ghost writers on your blog, the dynamics of your blog content begins to change, and not always for the good.
And if you end up using a new writer each time you outsource an article, and more frequently too, you change the dynamics, tone, style of your blog entirely.
Now I'm not saying that all ghost writers are garbage at creating content that actually engages with people. Many of them are great in fact.
I've been very fortunate to have worked with a few very good writers in the last 12 months.
But in all honesty, true from the heart. No writer or blogger other than yourself will ever truly know the style of writing and the tone of your blog better than you.
Just something to keep in mind.
You are the face of your blog or brand.
You've developed a unique relationship with your readers over time.
You've always put yourself in front of your audience.
You've always looked for genuine ways to help your readers out however you can.
You've become a bit of an authority figure when it comes to your subject matter.
You simply know how to communicate and engage with your readers, better than anyone else.
When you begin publishing outsourced content on your blog, and on a frequent basis, you run the risk of removing all of those values above.
You might agree or disagree with me, I don't know, but from my own personal experiences, this can and probably will happen when you outsource your blog writing too often.
A ghost writer will simply not be able to create a piece of content that connects or engages with your audience the way you can.
So, what other risks may be involved with outsourcing your blog writing?
Now let's dive into each one of these in more detail.
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, by the way.
My spelling and grammar skills are far from perfect.
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 simply won't improve yourself as a better writer.
What do you do when you want to write a blog post on a topic you're not very knowledgeable about?
You do research, right?
It is during your research time, by reading other blogs, watching videos, reading books, talking with other influencers, learning how to use various tools and what not, that you begin to expand your own knowledge.
Handing this job over to a ghost writer, for instance, instantly takes that opportunity away.
Sure there's a good chance you'll learn something new by reading the articles that your ghost writers have submitted to you, however, it's certainly not the same as doing the research and learning about the topic yourself.
Let's face it, outsourcing blog writing isn't cheap.
And it shouldn't be unless you really want to get low-quality content for your money.
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 right now;
"Well, I can get my ghost writer to whack out 5 articles for $50 on Upwork"...
Well, all I'll say to that is expect to get what you pay for.
Finally, if you end up hiring and using a new writer every time you want to publish an article on your blog, then you run the massive risk of discrediting or even devaluing your blog.
You seriously don't want to do that.
Now I appreciate that not all freelance writers, guest bloggers, ghost writers are created equally.
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 preferences or 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 than good.
Now, it's important for you to understand here that I'm not tarnishing every freelance 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 such as -
This kind of stuff can really discredit your blog.
I want you to know that I'm not at all suggesting that outsourcing blog posts is bad for your 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 smartly.
The very best of luck to you.