Writing quality content is a fickle little devil.
To some, churning out a 10,000 word thesis is like taking stroll in the park. To others, writing even a single paragraph feels like you’re climbing mount Everest.
The simple solution?
Outsource your content writing to a professional copywriter or content writer.
It all sounds nice and and easy except…
8 out of 10 times, the article wasn’t what you expected.
Worse if you went to cheap content writing platforms like Fiverr where the writers are promising to deliver SEO-grade articles for 5 bucks.
Sounds too good to be true?
It very often is.
The Perils of Outsourced Content Writing
Now, I’m not saying you can’t find a cheap yet good writer for your content needs.
There will always be freelance writers just starting out. So, to build their portfolio, they’re definitely willing to write at a fraction of the market rate.
But once they’ve earned their credibility, their rates are bound to shoot right up.
Add in the fact that these novice writers are usually rare and difficult to find. You are likely to undergo several rounds of interviewing, trial assignments, reviewing, editing, re-writing, and if you’re lucky…
Find that perfect writer!
But more often than not, it’s back to the drawing board.
For us as a content writing agency, we’ve developed our own unique recruitment and training process to maintain a certain level of quality work. Plus, it is our primary business to build up a pool of reliable and certified writers.
That’s why we can provide quality content at such affordable rates.
True, they’re slightly higher than engaging a fresh out of school graduate, but that small premium you’re paying is for the hours our team spend filtering and training the “creme” of the crop.
I wished I could say this is an easy process but the truth is… it takes time and lots of effort to identify the right talent.
Needless to say…
As business owners and entrepreneurs, your focus is generating sales and bringing in the dough. Activities to grow the business.
The Single Most Important Ingredient to Ensuring High Quality Content
Here’s the thing…
Even if you managed to find the perfect person for the task, your outsourcing role doesn’t end there.
To ensure the quality content you want, there are several other things to consider or you may find yourself sorely disappointed.
Firstly, always remember that a writer is NOT a mind reader.
There’s just no possible way for them to predict the sort of content you want or the style you’re looking for.
Let me explain with a famous blockbuster movie as an example.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you would probably have heard how Marvel (or Disney rather) broke the box office record with the Avengers: Endgame in 2019.
Yet, despite such spectacular achievement, there are movie goers dissing that movie and the other Marvel movies.
It’s simply a difference in taste. That’s all. Nothing special.
Likewise, you’ll find book lovers supporting the Twilight sage and others hating it.
In essence, we are all different.
Which brings us back to outsourcing your content writing…
Keep your instructions simple and clear.
I can’t tell you how often I hear clients telling me they weren’t happy with a previous outsourced writer they engaged.
After doing some fact-finding, I realised it wasn’t completely the writer’s fault.
For some of these clients, they wanted an SEO article for their website, so they give the writer a keyword, and expected them to complete the rest.
No other instructions. Nothing whatsoever.
Unfortunately, some of these freelancers are not SEO-trained and have never ranked a site before.
Then there are those who are not sure about the actual project requirement.
The truth is…
It is hardly either of their fault.
After all, the boundaries weren’t set right, making the outsourced project doomed from the start.
Instead at Manuscript, we always refer to our on-boarding questionnaire. This reduces the “guesswork” and sets the direction for our writers to work with.
Both client and writer are therefore clear about what to expect.
Crystal Clear Instructions
If you’ve ordered any one of our article writing services before, you’ll probably be familiar with the fact that we don’t offer revisions.
Well, we’ve added the option to “top-up” for revisions but not for the basic offer.
It may seem strange to some clients with regards to our policy…
But keep on reading and you’ll see why this process makes perfect sense to you as a business owner.
As I’ve mentioned previously, our writers are not mind readers. That means they will never know what you want written unless you tell them.
So, to help smoother this process, our writers rely heavily on the on-boarding questionnaire.
We believe strongly that it takes two hands to clap, especially when it comes to content writing.
Almost every writer will need clear and concise instructions to write a masterpiece, and that instruction has to come from you – the client.
Instructions such as:
- The article length – we simplified this when we choose the type of article you want
- Is SEO elements required – there’s an add-on option
- The writing tone you prefer – covered in our on-boarding questionnaire
- Interview or live coverage required – again another add-on option if required
If you’ve been as thorough as what we’ve been discussing till this point, your article’s instructions should be shaping out quite well.
By now, your writer would have a clear idea of what you need written.
Why Seasoned Outsourcers Don’t Need Content Revision
Having a content revision option usually acts as a form of insurance.
It give an inexperienced outsourcing client a safety net in case they need to revise certain areas of the article.
And for most freelance or even agency writers, the revisions are already factored into the pricing.
Think about it this way…
Each revision request could take the writer another hour or two to look through and revise that article.
That’s additional man-hours the writer has to set aside, more if the request is completely different from the original instructions.
So, to keep our rates affordable, we provide this option as an insurance and even then, it should not be completely different from the original scope.
Then, there are some writers, usually the inexperienced ones, that offer the impossible…\
While that idea sounds great from a buyer perspective…
More often than not, the end result doesn’t benefit either party.
With an unlimited revision offer, the article buyer is more likely to forego the article planning process since they could always “revise” it later.
When the writer submits the first draft, the probability of it being wrong is almost 100%. (Think about it, you can’t hit a target if there’s no target to begin with.)
That means one round of revision.
Again, another miss since neither party has really thought through the objectives.
But hey, since it is unlimited revisions right, just request another one again. This process is likely to continue for a few more rounds until…
Finally, the writer will decide that the pay doesn’t justify the amount of work involved.
Which leads to one of two possible outcomes…
- The writer refunds or abandons the project – leaving the buyer with an incomplete or unusable article
- The writer rushes to complete the project – resulting in sub-par quality content since there is no motivation to complete
Ultimately, everyone in this scenario loses since no one got what they wanted.
Return on Investment
Up until now, I’ve been explaining about the different things to expect when it comes to outsourcing your content writing.
Unfortunately for most business owners, it is largely a hit or miss affair, as testing out different freelance writers takes time, resources, and money. Not to mention the know-hows to decide if a writer is good.
I know… I’ve been through that exact process before, and I’m a practicing copywriter.
That’s why I decided to start Manuscript as an online on-demand copywriting and content writing service portal for the busy business owners.
Sure, the rates are slightly more premium than engaging a freelancer, but we have systems and processes in place to ensure quality content.
Our writers are required to conduct proper research on a given topic and their content is vetted by a separate editor.
And even then, we’re continuously tweaking and refining our processes.
That said, the most important thing I would like you to walk away with from this article is…
To have clear instructions when you’re outsourcing.
If could be a content piece, a website development project, or a graphic design work, no matter which, just invest a little bit of time to plan out what you need…
You’ll be glad you did.