The topic of outsourcing blog content can generate controversy. The only way for many successful bloggers to add fresh content to their blog is to outsource topics they are not comfortable writing (or don't have time to write). Bloggers who specialize in lifestyle or personal blogging may believe that their content should only be created by them.
There are both proponents and opponents of outsourcing writing. Should your blog contain only content you have written? This question can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. We'll explore the pros and cons of outsourcing content for your blog in this post. Let’s start with the cons.
The pros of outsourcing content writing
✅ You can grow your business much faster
Let’s face it, few people grow very successful businesses on their own. Yes, there are outliers, but most bloggers need a hand. And scaling your business from a couple of blog posts a month to several a week will free up your time for negotiating sponsorships, building business relationships, and most of all, for more travel. Sometimes travel bloggers are so caught up in the content production technicalities that they have little time for enjoying their travels. That’s what it’s all about though, right?
Even the biggest travel bloggers like Nomadic Matt have teams of people that help with managing the blog, including content marketing, social, and copyediting.
Nomadic Matt is one of the best-known and most popular travel bloggers, and hiring freelancers certainly hasn’t impacted his meteoric rise to the top of the travel blogger charts.
✅ You can hire experts on topics that you want to cover
Let’s say you’re a fan of wine, but you’re not an expert. What can you do if you want to write a deep dive into Spanish wine? Well, you could spend days researching everything there is to know about the wine from Spain. But unless you really want to spend all that time on this topic, your time might be better spent elsewhere.
And in case you’re wondering, every post on this website was written by me. I will never outsource my own personal blog or put my name to someone else’s writing. That’s just a personal preference and not a preachy statement.
Ghostwriting is a huge industry and while I feel some visceral reaction to it, I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon. Copywriting is another skill that is hard to master and often easier to outsource.
The Cons of outsourcing blog writing
❌ Your own voice is diluted
Many bloggers' audiences subscribe to their emails, read their blogs, and follow them on social media. You have a unique voice among the millions of blogs out there. Attitude and writing style has a lot to do with it. Sometimes it’s the difference between the successful blogs and the also-rans. Of course, hard work counts for a lot but you get the idea.
What happens when a blogger outsources content to a freelancer and passes it off as their own? In truth, there are few negative consequences. Bloggers who provide their readers with fresh and relevant content may feel justified in purchasing outsourced content. But there’s always the chance that your blog turns into another content farm like Thrillist or Culture Trip. While these websites are extremely successful, they lack quality control and authenticity.
❌ You change the relationship between you and your readers
This depends on the brand, but some bloggers are so connected to their fans that any change in the status quo might send ripples of discontentment through the audience. One thing is for sure, if you’re not writing the content, you are going to be less in tune with the content that appears on your site, even if you proofread and edit it. Writing is a very personal endeavour and writing for an audience forces you to connect with your ideal readers.
❌ It’s hard to find good people (or is it?)
Writing is one of the hardest tasks to outsource. Social media, tech, and website design are more binary. It’s good, or it’s not. But good writing has so many facets that unless you’re paying top dollar, you might get bland or badly written content. Outsourcing is supposed to save you time and money. But it could end up costing you more money in the long run. And sometimes it can be even more time intensive. It’s best to start of outsourcing only the topics that you absolutely cannot tackle yourself. Proofread everything in detail. Once you find the writer that works for you or can follow your instructions, pay them accordingly. Don’t forget how difficult it was to find them in the first place.
Looking for good writers?
Where to outsource your blog writing
The most important thing to remember is that for a blog to grow, content is THE most important thing. Don’t pay 0.1c a word. Use the best writers you can afford and it will pay off in the long run
There seems to be an endless supply of places to source writers from. The problem is knowing which ones are good before you spend money and time on them. Your writing standards are different to everyone elses so you can’t always rely on referrals and recommendations. With that in mind, here are a few that I’ve found to be reliable.
Pro Blogger Job Board
This is the place to go if you’re looking for experienced writers that are used to dealing directly with clients. The writers that look for jobs here are some of the best freelancers around and the prices reflect that. But if you’re looking for the best of the best, this is where you can find them. Keep in mind that you will also have to pay a fee to post a job (currently $75 per post). 👉 Pro Blogger Jobs.
Facebook isn’t good for much these days but there is still plenty of value in the groups. And some of the content writing and freelance writer groups can be goldmines for finding great people to work with.
You will have to do your own vetting to find high quality candidates with Facebook groups but there’s no fee to post and the groups are accessible to people all over the world at no cost. I’ve heard from many entrepreneurs that groups like these are some of the best places to find talented people.
Based in Egypt, so the prices are reasonable, and with a high standard of writing. You can expect quality content most of the time. Most of the writers are non-native English speakers, but to be frank, they write better than most of the “native English writer” content writing service companies I’ve used over the years. 👉 ContentWish.
Fiverr & Upwork
Surprisingly, you can find decent content creators on Fiverr and Upwork. But it takes some time. You might want to set aside a budget and a day or two to try out different writers. Don’t trust the reviews, trust the person and make sure to set out a list of guidelines and instructions. Test candidates right front he start by asking them to reply in a certain way or to provide examples. If they can’t follow simple instructions or their application contains grammar errors, move on.
The advantage these two platforms have over the others is that you can find subject matter experts and deal directly with them. On content writing platforms, you’re essentially given a writer who may or may not know about the topic.
Human Proof Designs
What started off as a business selling started websites and pre-made websites for people wanting to get into the online space, has turned into a suite of services that helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses. From ebook writing and content creation, to keyword research, website building, and monthly content delivered to your inbox by in-house writers.
The writing team now uses artificial intelligence tools like Frase (highly recommended, by the way) to improve the content from an SEO perspective. Choose from 2 to 20 articles of 1000-words in length per month to get the best prices and results.
AI Content Writing Tools
An alternative to outsourcing content to writers directly is using the power of AI to create unique content. It’s not quite at the level where you can enter a prompt and receive a finished article (and may never be), but the technology is advancing fast. And at the moment, it’s possible to create entire blog posts (on certain topics) with a bit of work. This is an option for a skilled writing assistant or VA to take over. I’d advise against posting the exact outputs of these tools. They are there to help and guide, not to provide content that you can put your name to.
Here are the best of the new AI content writing assistant tools that you should add to your content marketing strategy.
- Copy.ai – the absolute best AI writing tool on the market. Use Copy.ai to write introductions, suggestions for listicles, email outreach templates, blog outlines, blog titles, and meta descriptions. There's a free plan. And there's a special deal at the moment: upgrade within 4 days of signing up for the free trial and get a 40% discount on the first year.
- Frase – lets you create entire outlines for writers and makes suggestions for headings, length, keywords, and sections. While it’s not an automatic content writing tool (none of them are), Frase delivers a complete outline that any competent writer can use to create content that dominates the search results
- Smart Copy by Unbounce (formerely called Snazzy.ai) – a great AI copy tool from the experiecned team at Unbounce with some unique features and plenty of options for sparking creativity. There’s a free plan that gives you 5 free content generations per day.
- Nichesss – a terrible name and interface but great output from this one-person project. It’s very popular with niche website owners and affiliate marketers. The results are often incredibly good and need no editing. It’s entirely possible to write long blog posts with this tool, although that’s not something I would recommend.
- Genei helps streamline the content creation process and deliver quality content in a fraction of the time. Genei uses AI techniques to create high-quality summaries and annotations. Explore and evaluate knowledge mined from the web, and summarise content for your articles, blog posts, and research papers. If your work involves reading research papers, reports, and lengthy documents and PDFs, this tool will help you research faster.
- Don't forget to run all of the work you receive through your own plagiarism checkers. Don't trust the agency or freelancer's own checks. You certainly don't want plagiarized content on your website. You can find out more about checking for plagiarism here.
- Even if you prefer writing the blog content yourself, you can still outsource other content writing activities, like social media. Some bloggers have outsourced their newsletters. Paid newsletters are growing fast and it can be a lucrative business for people who regularly publish great content. Podcast show note writing is another task that many people give to freelancers and marketing agencies.
In the world of blogging, content is everything. There are so many ways to get content for your blog: you can do it yourself, you can hire a ghost writer, you can outsource content writing to an agency, or you can look to freelancers for your content outsourcing needs.
What are your thoughts on outsourcing content? Do you do it?