How To Treat Your Blog Like A Business
As the world is switching more to work from home and laptop lifestyle, online business trends have peaked markedly during the COVID-19 pandemic of this year and are strongly being anticipated to rise for long after that.
It is said that the pandemic has changed and is going to change the way companies work and businesses operate all around the world.
The idea of a side hustle is common nowadays where a lot of people are looking to start a home-based online business along with a 9 to 5 job (if they still have it).
If you want to have a solid foundation for any online business or side hustle you are planning to start, a viable content marketing strategy is always necessary.
What Is Content Marketing?
The best definition I have found about content marketing is given by Curata on their blog.
Content marketing is content a prospect finds valuable.
It’s content aimed at a reader’s needs and wants, focused on what they care about.
Content marketing doesn’t explicitly promote a brand but aims to stimulate interest in an organization’s products or services by creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online.
Content marketing is a long term strategy that aims to build a relationship with customers and potential customers by giving them something valuable for free, no strings attached.
So when it comes to buying time, a customer
A) is already aware of an organization’s brand, and
B) already trusts and respects that brand.
Valuable, informative, entertaining content can include
- Social media, and more.
According to Angela Defranco of HubSpot.
“ Content creation is the hardest part of inbound marketing”
Zazzle Media’s The State of Content Marketing 2017 survey, reported 60% of businesses find it a challenge to produce content consistently.
That’s because creating content is time-consuming, requires a specific skill set and can cost a lot of money
Blogs Are The Best Form Of Content Marketing:
A blog is a collection of consistently published quality content related to your business It plays a fundamental role for any online venture, be it a digital marketing agency, any e-commerce brand, a drop shipping business, a SaaS etc.
Blog is the best way to tell readers what your business is about, increase brand awareness, provide value and form a solid customer base..
What Content Does Any Blogger Usually Need?
In the pyramid below, Curata has very precisely depicted the content needed by online businesses according to their value and effort required for creation.
The pyramid shows that it’s not just the blog posts which is the only required content for a blog but its other content as well like social media posts, guest posts, ebooks and presentations for a successful content marketing strategy.
This easily gets overlooked when you are trying to write all of your content by yourself.
Infographics can be a highly effective way of boosting your SEO as other bloggers can use them and link back to your site.
Decide Whether Your Blog Is A Business Or A Hobby?
When you are managing a blog or website alone there are a lot of things on your plate to deal with.
From setting up a website, updating it every now and then, writing blog posts for your own blog, planning strategy for link building and guest posting outreach, scraping data from LinkedIn and other sources on the internet for cold emailing, managing social media and Pinterest accounts etc.
And if you have any consultancy services or courses to offer, the work simply doubles up.
When you read how to start a blog, the biggest advice you get is to write X number of posts every week or every month or to follow an editorial calendar, so that you can produce quality fresh content consistently.
Writing anything good is hard…….
It requires aggressive brainstorming to come up with new and unique ideas, keyword researching, tracking competitors, reading a lot of already published related content, drafting, editing, proofreading and then publishing etc.
An average of 2500 word post costs me around 3 to 6 full days. That means I am not able to look at any other matter of my blog for this long.
If my target is to add 4 to 5 blog posts every month in my blog which is definitely less, that means I am going to spend the whole month writing and publishing posts for my blog that is just a small part of blogging.
I am a new blogger and I refuse to accept the idea of writing all of my posts myself.
Why Don’t I Write Every Blog Post Myself?
I am not an inherently good writer and most of the bloggers are not. I have to block out time, concentrate and think a lot to draft an article which makes me end up exhausting mentally, unable to focus on anything else.
Why do people start an online business? To make money and to do it fastly. Nobody invests their time and money and effort in business with the intention of making money in the next five years.
And I am sure you are not blogging as a hobby right?
For a successful business, you need links, friends, relationships with the right people.
You have to reach out to people, befriend them, go to networking events etc.
If I am spending most of the time writing articles for my blog and the leftover time managing my social media accounts, how would I reach out, build relationships and do the tasks vital to improving my business?
I have read somewhere
The successful business person is the one who is able to identify people more skilled than him and then make them work for himself.
If Your Blog Is A Business, Outsource Content Writing
If you want to be the CEO of your blog,
Eliminate Writing From The Equation Of Your Blogging Business.
Good content takes time to research, create, and publicize. If you want to put out blog posts that are well-researched and comprehensive, it may not be practical to expect even a full-time writer to manage more than one post a week.
Bloggers should outsource content creation once they accept they don’t have the time or talent in-house to produce content at the quality, volume, or scale they need to meet their goals.
This will add new people to their team with new skill sets who can bring new and powerful ideas to the table.
The best way to get rid of writing is to designate it to an in-house team member or outsource it. Either to a freelancer or a content creation company.
Benefits Of Outsourcing Content Creation:
Marketing Insider Group has published a helpful article on the benefits of outsourcing. I have summarized the benefits of outsourcing in the following eleven points.
- It will give you more time to work on other business activities.
- You can publish more content on a more frequent schedule.
- Outsourcing your content creation is cheaper than hiring a full-time writer.
- You can benefit from fresh ideas and varied viewpoints.
- You can hire industry experts on different topics.
- You can reach a wider audience.
- You can experiment with different types of content.
How To Choose Between A Freelancer Or A Content Creation Company?
I understand that the content is deeply personal and finding someone who can help you to craft your story is not easy.
There are also several full-service content writing services like Scripted, Verbalio, Content Cucumber etc. They have a pool of vigorously screened freelancer writers or in-house writers. Any piece of content can be created on-demand. Pricing usually depends on the word count of the content.
Learn more about some top content writing services out there in the market. This article provides a detailed overview of different services offered by these companies, reviews, their packages and contact details etc.
Freelancer or a content creation company, whatever you go for, do your due research.
Initially, you have to give a couple of freelancers or companies a try to find out which one’s writing styles resonate with you the most and then stick with them.
When it Comes to Outsourcing to a Freelancer:
1- Ask for a portfolio. It is good if they have been published earlier. That adds authority to their skills but I advocate you should give new freelancers a try as well.
Give them a topic and ask to write in a given time period. Then evaluate their skills, creativity and writing styles.
2- Provide preliminary research for each project. It’s best to provide the writer with some initial outline of the article. It will help the writer understand your format and writing style. You can direct the writer to some reading resources as well.
I always perform keyword research and SERP analysis myself and provide my writers with a Google Docs document in the following or similar format.
Minimum Word Count of the Article:
Main H2 Headings:
Also, don’t micromanage writers. Give them some space to show their creativity. You can always ask for revisions of the draft.
Don’t Have A Budget For Outsourcing: Get Free Articles
This happens every so often. The new bloggers usually don’t have enough cash to pay good content writers. I can write a good blog post myself but the same problem, it eats up a lot of my precious time.
In such a case, there are two best and legit ways to get good articles written for you for free.
1 – Allow Guest Posting On Your Blog:
If you are a new blogger, write 5 to 10 good long-form, SEO optimized articles for your own blog. Get your social media accounts up to date.
Get your 3 to 5 guest posts published at high domain authority 60+ websites so that you can improve your own blog’s domain authority. Then start offering guest posts on your blog.
Be very vigilant while publishing other authors on your site. Articles should be relevant to your niche, well researched, up to date, search engine optimized with immaculate grammar.
Allow authors to add a few helpful backlinks to their own content.
2- Help Freelancers Create their Portfolio By Publishing Their Credited Articles For Free On Your Blog:
New freelancers are looking for getting their work published under their names so that they can have a portfolio. You can make them write for you and publish it as their article. You will get the article for free and they will have the privilege of getting published on a good website under their own name.
For this, you can post a job at freelancing websites like Upwork and Problogger etc with clear instructions that there will be no compensation but the author will get the credit of their work along with backlinks to their own content.
You can mention specific topics, keywords and the word count you require in the job posting.
Always Compensate Even If You Don’t Hire A Writer:
Always compensate writers for the test samples as per their charges.
In the case of PRO writers, you don’t need them to write a test. They must have a portfolio of published articles. Those should be enough for you to evaluate their writing styles.
If you are trying out a complete newbie, it is ok to ask for a writing test but always pay the writer for that even if you don’t like it and don’t want to work with them.
You will not ask a plumber to fix your toilet to see if they are good at it. Same goes with the writer. Professional writers make living by writing. Never ask them to write for free to prove their capabilities.
Let’s Wrap it Up:
Producing quality content is time-consuming. If you are a smart blogger, you can’t afford to neglect other important business matter to devout hours to content writing.
Delegating the writing part to a professional writer does not mean you lose control; it just gives you more time to concentrate on treating your blog like a business.
So try outsourcing content creation and see your blog get scaled in no time.