Learn how to build a content marketing strategy, hire high-quality content writers and measure your return on investment over time.
Most business owners recognize that content marketing is a great way to build relationships and generate leads.
The problem is that you cannot be spending all of your time writing content and growing your business at the same time.
You may have hired a freelance content writers in the past using services like Fiverr or Upwork, but the content quality rarely matches up to your expectations. Visitors these days can smell fluff content a mile away — and it can hurt your brand.
Let's take a look at how to hire content writers the right way and hold them accountable for producing high-quality content.
I have been a freelance writer for more than a decade and have worked with many different companies and agencies along the way. While it might sound straightforward, content marketing involves much more than writing a blog post.
My typical process looks more like this:
Before you hire writers, it's important to have a plan in place to maximize the value of the content that you produce. You don't want to spend $500 having a solid writer create an article and drop the ball because you didn't spend another $20 for a proofreader or compelling social media graphics.
You should also think about how to manage the content marketing workflow. I typically use Trello to keep everyone on the same page with columns for each step of the process and cards for each article in production. You can also use CoSchedule or countless other content calendar services.
The easiest way to get started with content marketing is to hire a content marketing agency rather than hiring individual content writers. That way, you don't have to worry about vetting writers, coming up with topics, and managing every aspect of the content marketing process. The only drawback is that it costs a bit more.
AudienceOps is a great example of a content marketing agency that handles everything from idea generation to promotion for you, so that you can focus on your business and put content marketing on autopilot. You hop on the phone for a couple introductory calls and the rest is email approvals. They even handle setup on your blog.
If you do hire writers, you should focus on finding domain experts. The easiest way to find those expert is using platforms that already have vetted writers and looking for those that work with the leaders in your space. You can also browse authority blogs and reach out to writers and contributors manually.
Scripted is a great example of a freelance writer marketplace where you can find experienced writers in a given niche. While not every writer is going to be the best, you can read reviews and easily find the ones that are churning out top-notch content.
The vast majority of businesses fail to review their content marketing efforts on a regular basis. In fact, 99% of clients that I've worked simply assume that their content marketing spend will pay off over time.
That's dangerous thinking for a couple of reasons:
I've seen both ends of the spectrum.
You should take the time to setup Google Analytics dashboards that at least track organic page views from your content marketing efforts over time. If you're not doing this, I encourage you to take our free e-course to get started and you'll receive our Google Data Studio template at the end! Sign up here.
If you don't have time to view a dashboard, you can also setup weekly email alerts to show you trends.
Content marketing is a great way to generate leads and build a relationship with your audience. When hiring content writers, you should ensure that you already have a process in place to handle the other 90% of the research, production and promotion steps. The good news is that there are several agencies that can help along the way.
It's equally important to ensure that you're assessing your content marketing efforts over time to ensure that you're not wasting money.
Our free 5-day e-course will guide you through the process of building custom Google Analytics reports that deliver insights into content quality and help you measure tangible ROI.
WordReturn helps entrepreneurs and business owners quantify the return on investment for content marketing campaigns.