Creating content that converts is complicated. Business owners like yourself may resort to outsourcing content creation to a freelance writer. Then again, even the process of outsourcing can be problematic. The writer you hired might not be understanding the content topic. You tried finding more people who can help you, but somehow, everyone fails to hit the mark.
The issue here may be your content production process. It could also be the way you select and screen quality writers. This post will teach how to deal with both if you are looking to outsource content that converts.
The problems businesses face when outsourcing content
Outsourcing content helps you save time, but it isn’t free from a few problems. There are a number of these that businesses have encountered along the way.
The content doesn’t represent your brand
When it comes to creating content, you need to make sure the message reflects your brand. Otherwise, you could be wasting time and resources on content that is disconnected from your business’s identity.
Effective content marketing requires consistency. It’s important to find a writer who can take your brand identity into account.
The content doesn’t speak the language of your industry
Whether you sell machining tools or offer web design services, your content should be relevant to the industry you are in.
Content helps you build credibility. Every blog or case study you publish helps you build authority. People are drawn to experts, so you need every piece of content to sound authoritative.
If you are hiring someone else to write content, never settle for a general writer. This type of content will only scratch the surface, and the writer might not have a good handle on the terms you are using. You are better off with a specialist who knows your industry from the inside and out.
The content doesn’t hit the knowledge level of your prospects
When writing great content, it’s vital to remember that you’re writing for an audience. Every piece of content you produce must deliver value. It has to educate, inform, and influence your audience.
You won’t be able to do this if your content fails to consider the knowledge level of your audience. It should be built around what your prospects already know. Beating around the bush won’t help. Likewise, you also risk turning prospects away with highly technical content.
The content doesn’t convert
If your content doesn’t inspire action, then your content production process might need to be fixed. Good content speaks to your audience and encourages them to take action.
The solution: Detailed content briefs
The issues listed above are avoidable; you just need to provide your writers with enough information about the project.
Before they start creating content for you, provide them with a detailed content brief that outlines what you expect from them. This should include a working title, keywords, and references. It should also provide guidelines on tone, grammar, and style.
Think of the brief as a blueprint. A writer can use it to build brand-consistent, industry-specific, and high-quality content that converts.
How to Find an Elite Writer
There are plenty of writers out there, but only a few can deliver what you need. Visit places where professional content creators converge. Here are a couple of tips to help you out.
Monitor Facebook groups focused on your industry
As a social platform for niche groups, Facebook has to be on the top of your list. Consider visiting groups in your industry. The best thing about this is that you can find specialists who can produce the kind of content your business needs.
If someone posted about finding a job as a content writer, send them a private message and schedule a virtual meeting.
Check out niche websites
Another way you can find quality writers is through niche websites that consistently produce industry-relevant content. Most freelancers contribute articles to these websites for a fee. Many of them also write for clients in your industry as well.
One way you can find a potential writer is by finding a great piece. Read through it and see if it matches the tone of your brand. If yes, then identify the author and search for them on LinkedIn.
How to evaluate writers
Even if a writer has a background in your industry, you still need to measure their skill level. Apart from research skills, you need someone who can write using proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
Have the writer provide their portfolio so you can gauge their style. If you want to measure turnaround time, you might require a written test to be completed before a deadline. Either way, you will need criteria or a scorecard system to grade a writer across different competencies.
The missing piece: Content briefs
If you have interviewed a writer who shows promise you may be wondering what the next step is. The onboarding process should include an introduction to your company, as you will want the writer to learn as much about the organization as possible. To do that, there are a few approaches they can use:
How to establish the foundation of a post
What will you want the writer to emphasize in the post? You won’t want to settle on a general thinkpiece, so give the writer time to ask questions relevant to the task.
If the focus of the post is brand awareness, have the writer research your company. Have them include narratives that give life to the brand. For more technical content such as product reviews, the writer should ask your opinion about the product.
Quality content starts with a solid foundation. The best way to establish that is by having brainstorming sessions with the writer. Otherwise, the post could end up lacking a clear objective.
How to create a great post brief
We all know what a post brief does, but how do we create one that effectively guides a writer? You can start by creating a template or an outline of the post. This should include detailed descriptions for each section. Include specific information you want to see in the introduction, body, and conclusion. It also helps to provide subheadings.
The post brief should also include SEO specifications. These will include information about internal linking and targeting certain keywords. You can help your writers further by suggesting tools for ensuring quality. The Hemingway App and the Yoast Content Analysis tool can assist with creating readable and search-optimized content.
In case you are using an exclusive content management system, consider recording a video walkthrough. This will help the writer navigate the content production process of your company.
Making sure the content converts
In the post brief, it’s important to include a strategy for converting prospects. Here are two of the best options:
If the post is intended to result in a purchase, it should include a statement promoting your product. You need to make sure that the post is relevant to the product itself. If you are promoting a car cleaning service, the post should talk about automotive topics.
In addition, mentioning the product shouldn’t come off as a sales pitch. Your writer has to remember this, especially if they are doing a guest post.
A call-to-action (CTA) does the job of converting a reader into a customer. While generic CTAs are fine, but you can do better by being creative. The trick here is to use imperative sentences. These contain bold and commanding verbs at the beginning.
If you are promoting an exclusive discount offer, don’t settle for “get your offer here.” You can try other phrases like “give me my discount!”
What to do once the post comes back
Once the writer finishes the draft, you now have to refine the post further. This allows you to iron out certain errors or mistakes the writer may have missed, along with ensuring that the post is search engine-ready. Before publishing, go through these steps:
Use tools like MarketMuse for analyzing the relevance and search-readiness of the post. There are other tools you can use as well, such as Clearscope and Yoast. These provide suggestions on how to make your post readable and visible online.
This process involves checking if the post aligns with the brand’s voice and style of communication. You will need to look for spelling errors. You should also see if the writer has followed the proper subheading structure, indentations, and use of bold and italic fonts for emphasis.
Unless the writer is required to add internal links, you may have to do it yourself. Look for keywords in the post and link relevant pages to these. This is crucial from an SEO standpoint. It’s also a great way to keep visitors browsing your site.
Ready to create content that converts?
Outsourcing content creation has its share of problems, but it doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of it. All you need is to come up with a detailed post brief and hand it to a skilled and experienced writer.
If you need any help with content marketing, we’re all ears! We specialize in helping businesses like yours succeed through a sure-fire content strategy.