For the uninitiated, what does outsourcing mean exactly?
To outsource something means that you look outside of your business for someone to take care of certain tasks that, for whatever reason, you would prefer not to do yourself.
- If you have a webmaster, then you’ve outsourced your website management.
- If you’ve hired professionals to handle your customer support, then you have outsourced that element of your business.
- If you have a virtual assistant, then you’ve outsourced some of the administrative tasks in your business.
You get the idea …
In brief, outsourcing involves you entrusting certain jobs in your business to specialists (at least, you hope!) who are not direct employees.
It gives business owners similar benefits to having an employee, but without the hassle and overhead of being an employer.
But it’s not an either-or choice, and many businesses enjoy the best of both worlds – a team of direct employees, and a team of outsourced professionals that can be used as and when required.
In fact, now that business owners realize that all the work done for a business does not have to be done under one roof, outsourcing has become a key element to successfully running a business.
So what do you outsource?
Generally speaking, you would outsource tasks that you either don’t want to do or are not able to do. This then frees you up to focus on things that you’re really good at, rather than things that you struggle with. And consequently makes running a business more fun and pleasurable.
One such task is of course writing … business owners know they should be writing, and on a regular basis too, with content marketing an increasingly important way for a business to attract leads and get noticed. But for many business owners, writing is something of an anathema, they avoid it completely, and consequently miss out on all the benefits content marketing can bring them.
For content marketing to be effective, the complete opposite approach is in fact required – writing content for marketing purposes should be a regular, ongoing activity for any business owner. For example, many of the top online marketing strategies require a continual supply of new content:
- Blog posts
- Social media updates
- Email follow-ups and broadcasts
- Video scripts
- And so on …
But what do you do if you can’t stand writing, don’t feel you’re very good at it, or would prefer to do something else with your time?
The answer, as an increasing number of business owners are discovering, is simple. Outsource it!
You get the benefit of a quality piece of content, potentially attracting leads to your business for a period of several years (for example, a blog post), but without any of the pain and aggravation you’d otherwise experience trying to create it yourself.
So where do you get started? Here are some common questions that people ask when they’re considering outsourcing their writing:
1 – Who owns the copyright of the content that I outsource? Am I the copyright owner or is it the person who wrote the content?
When you outsource written work to a professional writer, you want to be sure that you will be the sole copyright owner of the work that you pay for. The finished work should be owned by you, and you can legally put your name on it as if you wrote it yourself.
2 – Will people mind if I’ve employed a ghostwriter to write my content?
As long as the content is high quality and offers something of value to the reader, then it makes little difference whether you or someone else has actually written it.
It is however a good idea to review any piece of writing that you’re going to use for your business to ensure it is in line with your business philosophy, work ethic, and gives the kind of image you want your business to present to the world.
After all, you won’t want content appearing for your business or under your name, but that goes against what you stand for or is potentially offensive to the type of person you are hoping the writing will attract.
When you’re regularly outsourcing content, it makes it easier to put together some guidelines for writers to follow and adhere to, and you can simply add to it and update it as you go along. This helps ensure writers are able to produce content in line with your requirements, speeds up the process, and everyone’s a winner.
3 – What qualifications should I look for in a professional writer?
Ideally, any writer that you outsource your content creation to should be well educated and have proven writing ability.
It’s preferable if the writer you work with is educated to degree-level or above, though that’s no guarantee they can actually write, and so it’s useful if they also have experience of writing in a professional capacity for a couple years or more, or if they have otherwise verified their writing ability, such as proving adequate skills in grammar, spelling, and sentence structure.
This helps to ensure that the writer has experience with effective research, writing to deadlines, and has a keen awareness of the need to avoid plagiarism.
Generally, most people who outsource their writing find the easiest approach is to use a writing service (such as vWriter) where the writers are pre-screened and verified, and where the content provided to you is screened to ensure it’s unique and hasn’t been plagiarized … which leads helpfully into the next point.
4 – How can I be sure that the content the writer provides is unique?
While it would be impossible to absolutely guarantee the content supplied to you is unique, there are a number of checks and balances to help ensure this and also reduce any chance of plagiarism.
Copyscape is online-based software that checks for plagiarism, and that you can use to verify if a particular piece of content is unique or not (it looks for potential content matches online and will alert you if any matches are found).
If you’re working with a writing service, make sure the service checks for plagiarism before the content is supplied to you, and has a stringent plagiarism policy.
5 – Can I request content that is keyword optimized?
Yes, absolutely – the ability to incorporate your keywords is an important part of any writer’s arsenal nowadays.
If you have keywords that you’re targeting for your website, you can usually simply tell the ghostwriter what keyword(s) you would like to target in the piece of content that he or she will be creating for you.
With vWriter for example, you can specify the keywords you wish to appear, as well as whether the writer can use variations of those keywords to ensure that the content reads naturally, and the system auto-checks the writer has complied with these requirements before the content is delivered to you.
Outsourcing to an individual writer or through a content creation service is a great way to ensure that your content marketing is done on time and to a high level of quality. It also saves you loads of time and takes that stress off your shoulders.