About a week ago, I hosted my first Facebook Live Blogging Q&A Session, which was certainly a new experience. Did I enjoy it? Nope, and I probably won't do another one again.
I understand the potential of this streaming platform, but it's not for me. As you may know, if you're a regular reader of my blog, I love creating videos for my business. I have a growing YouTube channel and I realize that video is the future of content distribution.
But, I think I'll leave live-streaming for the naturally gifted. I gave it a bash and didn't really enjoy it. Also, with LiveStreaming, you need an audience there and then. Video content, on the other hand, can be watched any time of the day.
Are you currently using Livestream video as part of your marketing strategy? How are you finding it?
One of the questions I missed giving my thoughts on was this one:
"Should I hire someone to write my blog posts, or should I write the content myself?"
That's an excellent question, but before I answer this, I'll warn you now that I'm very pro writing content yourself. Here goes:
Blogging can be very rewarding, and for a business, blogging can be very effective as a marketing strategy, regardless of whether you write the content yourself or outsource it.
However, if you're looking for a simple yes or no answer to the question - Should you write blog content yourself or hire someone else to do it, I'm afraid it's not that simple.
There are benefits of taking either route, as well as pitfalls. So I think what I'll do is write about the pros and cons of outsourcing your blog writing.
Recently, I started to explore outsourcing content for my blog. Even though I prefer to create most of the content myself, but here's why I decided to make this move -
In the past, I've always produced content myself for my blog.
I've always believed that outsourcing wasn't such a great idea, and I'll explain why shortly.
It wasn't until around 2016 that I started to outsource. The site I used for outsourcing was UpWork.
So why did I decide to outsource:
Time... or lack of it I should add.
I simply didn't have the time anymore to devote to creating content myself. In fact, I was struggling to find to time to blog, end of.
I went through a period devoted to doing nothing but meeting client deadlines with back to back 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 clients, it can take you away from doing other essential things to keep your business running or even growing. And when this happens, it becomes impossible to try and do everything yourself.
That is why I decided to outsource. However, I didn't outsource for very long, and I didn't outsource every piece of content, only when I needed to.
I wouldn't recommend new bloggers start off their blogging careers by outsourcing all of their blog writing, and here's why -
As a new blogger, it's important to get into the habit of producing content yourself.
It will help you establish yourself better as an authoritative and competent writer.
It will also help you develop your own writing style. I'll talk more about this later on in the post.
OK, so let's finally look at some of the pros and cons of outsourcing blog writing because that's what you're here for.
Let's start with the pros. Outsourcing blog writing can...
Now, let's take a look at each of these more closely:
Without a doubt! Whether you're a blogger or manage another type of online business, or you're a content creator of another kind, the thing is, we all live busy lives and have a limited amount of time, not to sound too depressing.
Being a solopreneur means you are responsible for many things. Sometimes it's difficult playing the role of everyone and trying to be everywhere.
Let's take blogging. In addition to creating content for your blog and other marketing channels, as a blogger, you're responsible for -
And the list doesn't stop there.
If you provide services through your blog, there's scheduling and managing your client appointments, dealing with discrepancies, accountancy work, oh the list goes on and on...
Who said blogging was easy, right?
In a case like the one above, I think outsourcing your blog writing would be extremely beneficial.
Just think, what would it mean to your blog or online business if you had more time to work on other things? Perhaps start that podcast you've been thinking about. Or start creating more videos. Or how about writing an eBook to sell online.
Sometimes it's nice to bring in writers with different backgrounds and experiences to offer new ideas and perspectives about a topic or subject.
Your readers will also appreciate that you are allowing other experts and influencers to share something new with them.
When you hire writers with extensive experience and background knowledge on a topic than you do, this can add even more value to your blog.
You should take every opportunity to invite authoritative writers and experts to your blog when given the chance.
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 because it's not all going to be rosy.
On rare occasions when you give the job of writing blog posts to someone else, you are taking a risk. How big the risk depends your research.
So what am I getting at here? Let's take a closer look -
In the ten years that I've blogged, I've produced over 1,000 blog articles. Not just for this blog, but for an array of blogs in a variety of niches, but mostly marketing, blogging, and business blogs.
In all that time, I've outsourced blog writing no more than a few dozen times. That's right, even now, you will not find more than a dozen blog posts created by guest authors or outsourced writers on this blog.
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 regular readers that have become familiar with your blog and style of writing.
Those readers will recognize your tone, honesty, sincerity, compassion, humor, and empathy you use in your writing.
Most people call this having a unique blogging voice.
Eventually, you'll become incredibly 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 ghostwriters on your blog, the dynamics of your blog content begin to change, not always for 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 ghostwriters are garbage at creating content that actually engages real people. Many of them are great, in fact, like my good friend David over at Azahar Media.
I've been very fortunate to have worked with a few exceptional ghostwriters over the years that understand my needs.
But in all honesty, true from the heart. No writer or blogger other than yourself will ever truly know the style of writing and your blog's tone better than you.
Just something to keep in mind when outsourcing blog writing.
You are the face of your blog or your brand. Well, your blog is your brand in most cases.
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. That's pretty cool, right?
You simply know how to communicate and engage with your readers better than anyone else.
So, when you begin publishing outsourced content on your blog and regularly, you run the risk of removing some of those critical values mentioned.
You might agree or disagree with me here, I don't know, but this can and probably will happen when you outsource your blog writing too often from my own personal experiences.
A ghostwriter will simply not be able to create a piece of content that connects or engages with your audience the way you can.
I could stop here, but since we're on a roll, what other risks may be involved with outsourcing your blog writing?
Shall we? Yes, why not! 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. Which is why I use Grammarly 99% of the time, because it makes me look like a competent writer.
But I know I'm improving because I'm consistently writing something every day.
If you run a blog but don't actually contribute to writing any of your own content, and you consistently outsource your articles, you simply won't improve as a writer.
In fact, I don't know how anyone who doesn't write their own content can call themselves a blogger.
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?
During your research time, and by reading other blogs, watching videos, reading books, collaborating with other bloggers, and using productivity and creativity tools, you begin to expand your own knowledge.
Handing this job over to a ghostwriter, for instance, instantly takes that opportunity away.
Sure, there's a good chance you'll learn something new by reading the articles that your ghostwriters 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. Hiring a ghostwriter can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars per post.
If you're paying no more than a hundred bucks for a dozen articles from some random shady-looking content site, then I'm sorry, you're going to end up with mediocre, rehashed, low-quality content. You might strongly disagree, but that's fine.
If you want to outsource blog posts, you'll have to develop some kind of budget to pay your writers.
But here's the thing:
The last thing you want to be doing is spending money, right? Especially when you're just starting out with your blog with a low budget.
My advice? Create the content yourself.
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, ghostwriters are created equally. I know that; honestly, I do.
For all you amazing writers out there, I'm not discrediting you. I've worked with many top writers, remember.
Whilst there might well be some excellent, 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.
Some writers simply won't give two hoots about your preferences or requirements.
If you don't research writers properly, you can do more harm to your blog than good. Here are some things to avoid -
OK, so that is it! I want you to know that I'm not suggesting that outsourcing blog posts is bad for your blog or 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.