While outsourcing can provide you with affordable labor, it can also be the end of your days on page one of Google.
Is the cost you pay to get out of a Google penalty worth what you paid for the content that got you there in the first place?
It’s no secret that the world is becoming an on-demand workforce. Uber has taught us that just about any business associated with this type of on-demand business model can make money. Just about every industry is turning to outsourcing to complete their projects. Marketing is no different and cheap content writers have popped up everywhere to take advantage.
Employing a marketing team can be expensive. You need to generate quality content on a regular basis in order to compete in a crowded market. Blog posts, backlinks, and other content writing is one of the most effective ways of increasing your search rankings, but paying someone (or multiple people) full-time to do this for you can drain your budget.
The high cost of employing people full-time to generate content has forced many to turn to cheap article writers. While this is not an issue per se, hiring a cheap freelancer to regurgitate boring and keyword stuffed content is.
When outsourcing your content writing, cheaper is not always better. In fact, cheap content writers can actually cost you in the long run if they do not provide you with the type of content Google is likely to reward. You do get what you pay for when you elect to use a professional content writing team. It will cost you more than hiring someone from a freelance site (Elance, Freelancer, Upwork, etc.), but it will not cost you nearly what it would to hire someone full-time.
Although it will cost you more than hiring an overseas contractor, think about what you will get when you contract with someone who has the experience needed to generate quality content.
Keeping up with writing and SEO trends.
I guarantee you that you can still find cheap article writers that recommend jamming keywords into an article. While keywords are still important, keyword stuffing will get you penalized by Google rather quickly. Hiring this type of writer is already putting you at a disadvantage as they are providing you with bad advice.
A professional writer who has experience with the industry takes the time to stay up to date with industry trends. For instance, I wonder how many content writers actually know what LSI keywords are? It is unlikely that a cheap article writer does as they churn out content so quickly in order to make money that they have little time for research or refining their skills.
Is your content writing team turning out content so quickly that they don’t have time to research trends? If so, it’s time to make a switch.
Ultimately, you will still need to do your research as hiring a more expensive writer does not mean that they are higher quality. It only narrows down the field as someone charging more is likely to do so because of the quality they provide.
Quality will always trump quantity.
This has become the trend in content writing over the last couple years; however, it has always been Google’s advice to webmasters.
“If you create quality content, Google will reward you accordingly.”
So, can the person you outsource to provide you with quality?
Cheap content writers are normally great with churning out “quantity.” I know as I used to be one.
When I started off in freelancing years back, I had to take on many low paying freelance jobs in order to make a living. It was quantity that ultimately paid the bills. The more jobs I completed, the more money I made.
My content writing services have changed through the years and I now take the time to write quality content. I research, write, rewrite, and often obtain opinions from others before submitting content anywhere. This gives me a leg up on others as people are more likely to read a quality article than they are to read a keyword-stuffed article that regurgitates the same information you can read anywhere.
Here is my challenge to you.
Outsource a single article to three different freelancers. Make sure it is all on the same topic and that you provide the same details to everyone you contract with.
For your test, find the cheapest article writer you can find (likely $1-$2 for a 500 word article), one of the most expensive you can find (likely $50+ for a 500 word article), and then someone in the middle.
Once you obtain the finished product, evaluate the quality and customer experience. You will see exactly what I am talking about once the drafts start coming in.
Quality must still be interesting.
I like to take people a step further when it comes to content writing and the quality thereof.
Even though you write a quality article, are people still going to enjoy reading it?
You not only want people to read what you write, but be so interested that they are willing to share it with everyone. You can base this on social shares, time spent on the page, etc. If you do not already use an analytic tool for this data, then you are missing out. If you do, make sure to take advantage of the data.
Making content interesting requires pictures, videos, and quotes. These are all good ways to make your content enjoyable for the reader and lead to more shares. Ask your content writer what format they will use to create content and why. I use short sentences as calls to actions, along with highlighted headings to make things easier for readers to find.
A great site to help you with this is Backlinko. I have it bookmarked as I use his techniques regularly. He not only focuses on quality, but also lays out articles so that they are easy and interesting to read. Get a copy of your content writer’s portfolio and see if you actually enjoy reading what was written.
Finding a solution for cost versus quality.
As stated previously, cost is not necessarily a deciding factor, but can be a strong indicator that you are contracting with the right person. User my earlier challenge and find a good balance between cost and quality.
Don’t simply choose a freelancer because they are cheaper than everyone else. You will wind up paying twice as someone will need to rewrite the content so your website is not sandboxed by Google.
In the end, I can sum up cheap article writing in this sentence. Is the cost you pay to get out of a Google penalty worth what you paid for the content that got you there in the first place?