Most content marketers and publishers eventually come around to the idea that they need more content than they can create. You realise that you have build this set of content channels, however you don’t have enough to pump through it. Maybe it is cost, that you can’t afford to hire your own people to do what you need. Maybe it is finding the right people. Either way, you look out there for your content saviour.
What Is Right For You?
Well this depends on what you do and what you need. Hopefully the above will help you refine your thoughts on the subject, however here is some basic guidance from someone who has been creating content since 1982.
Generally bloggers have two basic goals: Bulk Content or Specific Content. Regardless of your Content Marketing Goal, they tend to fall into one of these two.
Bulk Content is where you don’t care as much about what is actually says, as you do about having decent new posts produced on a regular basis. They can be topic specific, however you are more interested in volume – you have a voracious blog to feed.
Specific Content is where you need content produced to meet specific goals in quality, subject matter, style, design, etc. Volume is important, however more important is the specifics of what you need. Specific Content usually requires a solution that finds knowledgeable partners to produce that content, or a partner willing to train their staff to produce it.
News & Reviews
News and/or Reviews website also fall into the General and Specific, and the same basic rules apply. General is “don’t care” content, it just needs to fill space and be adequately written. Specific needs to be focused on the subject or product, well written and real.
This is a different world and you need a solution that produces 100% perfect content every time. Additionally reseller content needs to be produced on a schedule so products can go live. There are only about three partner companies on the planet that can deliver the whole package here, with the leader being Safety Harbour Creative.
Almost everything else is similar to those above. You either need bulk or you need focus & quality. Try using small blogs and content as well
The Cost Factor
The cost for your outside supported content production is going to be a great challenge, unless you have a realistic idea of what it going to cost you. There are no short cuts in this, you are going to pay for the performance you ask for.
Here are your choices and an approximation of what you can expect in a very general sense. The specifics will depend on what you want created.
Local Temp Labour – this involves hiring locally on either a content marketing project basic, part time, or full time. Expect to pay between $13 and $50 an hour depending upon the talent you can find. This gives you the advantage of managing them directly, assuming you have space and the time bandwidth to do it. You have to provide everything here: space, computers, desks, chairs, everything.
Crowd Sourcing – this involves posting tasks on a crowd sourcing website and the price you are willing to pay. Sounds like a great idea, except it isn’t. You never get consistent quality, or consistent content. You never know if each piece will be done or not. So you will get some cheap content, and maybe that is ok, however not if you run a real business. For any real business crowd sourcing is a waste of time.
General Outsourcing Partner With Staff By The Hour – this may look cost-effective, and may times it is, however the down side is controlling productivity. If you leave them waiting on you, you are still paying for hours. If you give them confusing directions, your productivity, and that means your cost per piece, will suffer. In short, paying by the hour means you need a partner that already does exactly what you want, and knows how to manage it for you, otherwise you are wasting your money.
General Outsourcing Partner With Staff By The Month – this is actually useful in specific circumstances. You can acquire remote staff and pay a fixed budgetary amount per month. You don’t have to management them, because they will be there when you need them. This sometimes works very effectively, except if your business needs productivity then you have all the problems of hourly staff.
Specialist Content Marketing Outsourcing Partner With Fixed Cost Per Piece – this is generally the best model, and one that allows you tight financial controls, because when you send them will come back at a fixed price. Unfortunately there are only a couple of companies on the planet that do this model.
A Syndicated Content Supplier – there are syndicated content suppliers out there in the marketplace, some of them are even free. An RSS Feed is the simplest form of syndicated content. The problem is that all syndicated content is going to multiple websites, meaning it is ALL duplicate content. Search engines penalize websites that publish duplicate content. So the basic law of SEO is NO DUPLICATE CONTENT.
A Stock Image Supplier – a stock image supplier like Corbis, is in fact a content supplier. With them, you are basically outsourcing your photography to them. Stock images are a great way to add content for a fixed cost. However, always read the fine print to see if their permitted uses includes your use.
Affiliate Content Source – many ecommerce publishers offer affiliate content through sites like LinkShare. Affiliate content supports those ecommerce company’s content marketing strategies to build traffic and increase sales. However, once again, ALL affiliate content is duplicate content by its very nature.
Link Exchange Source – these are a bag full of crazy. There are many Link Exchange networks out there, most of which are trojan horses in disguise. They may very well work for you, and help you build traffic and be able to afford better content, however you really don’t know where those links will be going over time – what they were when you inserted them can be totally different months or years later. Use with extreme caution.
Other – well you can always just steal content, many people do with content marketing. Remember what I said about duplicate content? Plus you run the risk of having your website shut down. It’s not a wise approach.