Selecting Good Technical Content on a Budget
There are plenty of content suppliers and blog writers for hire available on the Internet for all types of writing, but technical content can be another matter. First off, the writer needs to actually have training and familiarity with the topic to be able to write about it adequately. Second, the right jargon needs to be used, especially when the targeted audience are already familiar with the topic’s general knowledge and are looking for advanced technical knowledge not available from just any source. Third, the material needs to be accurate and correct, avoiding any problems with third parties checking the validity of the information and pointing out embarrassing mistakes.
The first approach would be, of course, to hire the expert outright, but this can be an extremely expensive option as many such such experts will charge their full rate for such service. For example, an attorney in archaeological law is not going to write articles for piecemeal rates. He’s going to want to charge full legal advice rates, which can be as much as $300/hour or more. Unfortunately, just posting the same writing job on any open board is not going to work either; many writers will take the work but will produce material that is at best rewritten from an archaeology 101 class book picked up at a used bookstore and at worst outright incorrect and inaccurate. So a website or small business looking for an online presence needs a middle-of-the-road option that has an affordable cost for product but ensures the product is valid and tested before being delivered as content.
The trick is to work with content providers who make a point of providing writing from suppliers who have been certified in their areas. If it’s financial writing, the writers should be able to show and verify they have a formal education in finance, accounting, business or similar as well as a good number of years of work experience in the field that can be confirmed independently. These services will charge a bit more for the product because of the extra steps in validation involved, but the product will cost far less than if a consultant was hired to do the same work. The small business gets the desired content and does so without breaking the bank as well. Further, the validation of the content is insured far more by the service who confirms the writer has the requisite skills before ever taking on the job in the first place. This avoids wasting everybody’s time in the process.
Granted, there are always some types of content where a true expert is needed, and there is no way around that. The expertise may need to come from someone with a specific name in the field, and no substitute service will be able to fill that gap. However, for most technical content that a small business website will need, a validation service is the better way to go, keeping the cost down but ensuring the technical accuracy is followed through before delivery.
Writer Bio: Tom L written over 3,500 technical articles, runs a small business, and provides business and technical research advice regularly. He also has three degrees in politics, finance, and fire science, and is working on a few more in justice and anthropology when time permits.