Outsourcing Online Content

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How can I find good web content writers- a guide to using textbroker.com to find the right writers to work with.

When your job is to create regular online content, it’s easy to sink all of your time into writing the actual copy, leaving little or no room to keep an eye on the bigger picture of where you are and where you’re trying to go with your content. Outsourcing allows you to continue to produce content while focusing more on the overall direction of your marketing strategy and execution.

There are, of course, many avenues that one can take to find freelance writers. If the scale of your project is relatively large and long-term, it’s likely worth your while to post a proper job listing, or actively browse freelance writers’ individual websites to ensure that whomever you choose meets project-specific criteria.

If you’re budget doesn’t permit hiring a dedicated freelancer, or you’re unsure of the amount of work you’d like to outsource, the most common avenue for finding content is through an intermediary website that connects thousands of writers with clients looking for content- finding a suitable writer through such a website can appear to be both daunting and a bit of a gamble.

Luckily, with the right approach, one can often develop a relationship with a writer that meets your needs just as well as a contracted freelancer if approached correctly.

Below are some key points  to consider when using such sites. In this case we’ll discuss using textbroker.com, but the same principles apply to many similar sites.

When searching for a writer through such a website you’ll face the following considerations:

  • Knowledge– This, of course, is usually a crucial factor in outsourcing writing. Although some content can be written by anyone with writing skills, one will often find themselves in need of someone with a familiarity, if not an intimate knowledge of, a particular subject or field. A writer’s knowledge of a particular subject can also be difficult to asses through their resume, particularly if it’s not an established, professional field. Readers, of course, can tell if a writer knows what they’re talking about- less knowledge and experience means less engagement.
  • Voice. Outside of technical writing, one of the main considerations for those in search of online content is a consistent, engaging voice that represents their company or organization through their content. Voice, though, is something that is difficult to assess through a resume, and writing samples will often not represent the range that a writer is capable of.
  • Commitment- Due to the ease with which a writer can create a profile on textbroker, as well as the fact that some writer’s may have gone months without receiving an order through the site, it’s possible that their enthusiasm for writing through the website has dropped since they initially created their profile. Also possible is that a writer has a large volume of freelance work, and that they’re unable to prioritize your needs, even if they’d like to.

Below are suggestions for finding the right writer among the faceless thousands available to choose from:

Search Keywords- This is the first step in narrowing your search for the appropriate writer. One has the option to search for keywords as they appear in author’s profiles or in their texts. Be sure to look through the entire profile for your keywords. Your keyword may very well be under the author’s Interests section rather than in their resume. Taking this into consideration, don’t be afraid to be creative with your keyword searches. You may end up finding a suitable writing candidate circuitously.

Research profiles- Similar to other websites, textbroker offers many ways in which you can assess writers before contacting them with an order. On Textbroker.com, these include a resume, writing samples, and author’s interests. Furthermore, one can view the number of pieces that the author has completed, their rejection rate (number of pieces rejected / pieces written), and an average star rating as given by previous clients (1 to 5). These profiles are great for identifying potential writers, but are no substitute for an actual job done on your behalf. Thus the following two step

Make Initial Contact with the Authors- Using the messaging system is the first step in assessing potential writers. Not only does their response itself, or lack of one, give you an initial idea as to their level of commitment, but it also gives you an initial opportunity to begin to feel out their voice, writing skills, and familiarity with specific subjects. However, an enthusiastic response is not enough to rely on, so it’s important to:

Cast a Wide Net… Twice- Content on sites like textbroker is often offered at a very reasonable price (each author’s cost is listed per word). By being willing to send successive direct orders to several of writers that you’ve identified as potentially suitable, you’ll find it’s worth your while in several key areas:

  • Many authors will immediately weed themselves out by not fulfilling the direct order– Textbroker allows you to set a time frame for article completion after acceptance, set a timeframe that is realistic and that represents what your needs will be if you plan on requesting articles on a regular basis. By sending a second order to an author who met your initial request you can further gauge their reliability (ensuring that their first article was not just fueled by a one time burst of enthusiasm).
    • Additionally, the speed of the response to both your order and to any revision requests are telling factors.
  • The most obvious benefit of these initial orders is to assess the actual quality of the writing- style, voice, and level of familiarity/experience regarding the topic. Thus it’s important that you…
    • Create an order that represents what you will be looking for in the future.
    • Be as specific as you can in your instructions, particularly in giving style and voice guidelines. If you have a preexisting body of content that the author will be adding to,  sharing this with the author will give them a better chance to create content that fits in with your style.

Build a Relationship- Once you’ve found one (or more) authors who’ve satisfied you throughout the first few steps, building a true relationship with an author is beneficial to both parties. By doing so you can be more productive, communicate more effectively, and foster greater commitment. This can be done by putting in a little extra effort to directly express appreciation for jobs particularly well done in messages or, one can also take the option to give authors a bonus for a fulfilled order. By making this effort your working relationship becomes much more effective, and it also allows you to transcend the constraints of sending out orders to unknown quantities. You can even begin to outsource creativity and concepts to authors with whom you’ve developed a quality relationship as they better understand your project’s goals, and requirements.



10 Ways to find content ideas for your SEO efforts

For most of our SEO efforts we have dealt with the need to find ideas for content and writing for our client blogs and websites on a regular basis. We typically prepare monthly tasks for our writers and sometimes it happens that we have trouble with unique fun content to write (especially for those clients that don’t sell space travel and that we have been working with for a long time).

This article will explain a few ideas of how to find new content and a walk-through of a sample website and keywords to showcase how easy it can be.

Website Topic – Ecommerce Site Selling Yoga Mats (we choose this because we do not have a client in this field and it is the first idea that popped up in mind)

Strategy #1 – Using Google AutoSuggest

We would like to begin with a variation of the terms you all learned in preschool, The 5 W’s OR The six W’s and one H’s:

Our tip is to take the 6 terms and add to them. For example “who sells …”, “what is a…”, “when is the …”, “why do …”, etc.

Please see real live examples of ideas that we have found:
#1 Why are:

includes: why are yoga mats so expensive, why are yoga mats so thin, why does my yoga mat smell

#2 Why do:

includes: where do i buy a yoga mat, where to buy yoga mat

#3 What is:

includes: what is yoga mat made out of, what is yoga mat material, what size is a yoga mat

#4 How does:

includes: how does a yoga mat help, how long does a yoga mat last, how much does a yoga mat weigh

* NOTE – ofcourse this strategy gives you content ideas for your blog as well as new things to add to your site, products descriptions, reviews, etc.You can go on and on for this.

Strategy #2 – Use Twitter Content Ideas, Suggestions and Funny Topics

Using a quick search for “yoga mats”, https://twitter.com/#!/search/yoga%20mat we have found a few topics to play with:

a. Funny or not, this is your decision: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/2012/05/28/every-dog-has-its%E2%80%A6-yoga-mat/
b. “Walking around with a yoga mat is the new borrowing your friends dog.”
c. “Lately there’s been an improvement in my wife’s trustworthiness. Now she even takes her yoga mat when she goes to yoga class.” – Suggested topic learned form this post – “Becoming serious in yoga, invest in a quality mat”
d. “mat cleaning tips” link

Strategy #3 – Google Insights for Search

http://www.google.com/insights/search/#q=yoga%20mat&cmpt=q – Use Google Insights for information such Country searches and trends.

found sample articles such as
The McRib Sandwich and a Yoga Mat: What Do They Have In Common?
Fangtastic! Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev turns contortionist as she uses Conan O’Brien as a human yoga mat
An 8-months pregnant Lara Dutta on the yoga mat

found terms such as:
best yoga mat
manduka mat
jade yoga mat
yoga towel

DON’T FORGET – to add the search terms and rising searches to your igoogle if you are like me and you load igoogle multiple times a day once you load your browser.

Strategy #4 – Search Social Sites

Compare and get ideas of what works – We typically use reddit, digg and delicious to start with but you can search for both yoga related or any other desired site. Please see a few topics we have found:
– Yoga 30 Day Challenge (Starts Friday 4/20!) Join us!
– Border yoga event stretches boundaries at U.S.-Mexico fence
– Five Reasons You Can Thank Yoga for Better Sex

Strategy #5 – Look at Video Content

Search for ideas of videos that work – for example on youtube.

Use you have come up with ideas for videos, if you don’t have budgets to create videos, search sites like fiverr or craigslist for help with videos.

Strategy #6 – Use customers questions to write content

In addition to updating your FAQ, try to write specific detailed content on your blog about the most frequent emailed questions.

Strategy #7 – Write an annual summary report

Some users love to use the year in their search terms. Try to include the year in your content for the year in review and the upcoming year. We have found that in many cases these terms as much less competitive.

For example – Yoga Mats Reviews 2012 or Upcoming Yoga Mats 2012

Strategy #8 – Use Google Adwords Keywords Tool

This is a pretty obvious tool to use while completing keyword research but finding long tail terms is great for content ideas.

Ideas found: model numbers, coupons (coupon code), personalized, materials (cotton, plastic, bamboo, etc), non slip, thickness, shape (round, rectangle, square?), colors (pink, green, red, etc)

Content from above idea: what are the colors …., what is the best material, …. can a yoga mat be round?

Strategy #9 – Finding Niches from Article Submission Sites

A quick search on ezinearticles shows new topics to read about and learn from including:

– 5 Yoga Mats for an ECO Friendly Practice
– How to choose a yoga mat
– Improve Yoga by Learning How to Clean a Yoga Mat
– What Does an Ashtanga Yoga Mat Provide?

Strategy #10 – Experimental and Photo Galleries

With the entire inventory of products, try to be creative and photo shoot unique products, products together and be creative.

Examples just made up:
– Rainbow yoga class pictures
– Create a quiz for “What does your yoga mat color mean about you”
– Yoga mat kite flying in the air
– Red Carpets photoshop changes at Academy Awards with yoga mats.
Etc Etc.

Hope you loved this article from Astral Web. Also see our Yoga SEO Link List. Share the love and spread this on Twitter, Google + and Facebook.