As content marketing booms, 77% of small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) in North America now maintain a company blog. Outstanding content, that which engages and excites potential customers to come back and buy what your business sells, is a must. It’s also time-consuming to research and difficult to write. That’s where hiring freelance article writers comes in.
If a dedicated creative team falls outside the budget of your SMB, hiring freelance writing talent is a powerful alternative. Planning a content calendar helps to understand in advance what article ideas you have and how many you’ll aim to publish in a three to six-month period. The writers you hire can help with this process, providing you take the time to think about what you need from them.
Integrate Article Writers Into Your Content Calendar
Consider these tips on working with those you hire to develop a content plan that will give your competition cold sweats:
- Plan your budget: Find out how much it will cost to get the quality of writing that you need, then calculate how many articles you can commission over a set period.
- Identify knowledge gaps: If an article will take a lot of research or knowledge that you don’t have first-hand, add it to the pile for your writer. It’s what they do best!
- Know what you do best: It’s your business sector and you know it better than anyone. Set aside articles that fit your experience, especially those you’re passionate about, and channel your own expertise into them.
- Your job, your rules: Create a template of editorial rules for writers to follow, including word count, tone, subjects to avoid and anything else that’s important to you. This sets out expectations clearly and saves you time.
- State your goal: Give your writers a goal for each article. Tell them who it’s aimed at and what you want it to accomplish for your business.
- Make them your muse: At some point your well of ideas will run dry. Your writing team is an ideal place to find a fresh spring of inspiration. Ask them!
- Get into Google: Factoring search engine results into your content writing requires a deft hand (well, keyboard). Experienced writers will weave SEO into your articles without making them sound robotic.
- Work well in advance: Having topics laid out several months ahead of time is what your content calendar is for, so ensure you place orders for your articles in plenty of time to publish.
- Allow for revisions: Even the best writers can’t hit the mark every time. Factor in time to communicate change requests and get that piece perfect.
- Follow your favorites: After a few months you’ll have worked with a variety of writers. Keep a list of the superstars so that you can come back to them when the right type of article arises.
You set the work, they write the words; a powerful content marketing mix (without breaking the bank!).
Steve B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.