While it might seem like some bloggers and content marketers have bionic abilities when it comes to publishing content on their blogs, the truth is that most of the seemingly prolific writers out there aren’t really writing at all. In fact, many of the “how to make a successful blog” guides published by well-known authors actually suggest that the first thing you do in order to be successful with your own blog is to stop writing for it.
So how do you make a successful blog without writing? You do the same thing they do. You buy blog content from someone else (or hire someone like me) and free yourself to work on promotion and monetization.
At first glance, that seems like a pretty easy proposition. Let someone else do the writing. Buy your blog content. Promote and make a profit.
If only life were so simple.
Once you start looking for content that you can buy and post on your own blog, you’ll quickly find that there are plenty of places to buy from. From pages advertising prewritten articles at dirt cheap prices to individual freelance writers charging hundreds of dollars for a single five hundred word post, there is certainly no shortage of options.
Just like everything else on the Internet, if you’re looking to buy blog content, you’re going to get your share of the good, the bad and the ugly. If you don’t know what you should be looking for and you head off in the wrong direction, you’re going to end up with a lot more of the bad and the ugly. And in case you were wondering, the bad and the ugly are going to turn your dream of a successful, money making machine into a nightmarish, money sucking failure.
So with all of that in mind (and just because I’m such a nice guy) here are seven common mistakes that will end up costing you money instead of making you profits when you decide to outsource your blog writing (to someone who is not me).
Looking For Rock Bottom Prices
There are plenty of places where you’ll find blog content at seemingly impossible low prices. Among writers they are commonly referred to as “content mills”.
The bottom line with these types of sites is, much like other areas of life, you get what you pay for. You can’t expect to pay someone less than one cent per word and receive native English, SEO optimized, well-researched articles.
In most cases, you are going to get someone from an Asian or African country where they can (almost) make a living off the subhuman wages you are offering them. They’re going to speak broken English and make all kinds of mistakes with both grammar and spelling. We won’t even get into the research.
In the end, you’ll have to edit anything they give you in order to make it readable. Not only will you be spending money, you’ll be wasting time editing everything they write for you. You’d do much better to just keep your worthless offering of compensation and write yourself.
Good writing is not going to be cheap. Price often depends on several factors like the length of the writing, purpose, research involved, and other things. You don’t necessarily have to spend $300 to get a great post, but you’re definitely not going to get anything worthwhile for $10 either.
Buying Any Article You Like
A side effect of handing the writing off to someone else is slacking off on the planning. Even if you’re not doing the writing, you still need to maintain a direction for your blog content and stay in control.
If you want to make money from your blog, you need to have a plan. Everything that is published, no matter who writes it, should fit into that plan somehow. If you’re just looking around until you find topics you like or leaving the choice of topics up to your writer, there’s a very good chance that things won’t quite fit together the way they should.
Especially in the area of content marketing, you should have a calendar that lays out exactly what you want to do. Not only should it show when you want to publish, but what you want to publish. You should know ahead of time what is going to happen. If you’re picking today’s topic five minutes before you buy it or send it over to your writer, you’re doing it wrong.
Posts Lack Consistent Quality Or Voice
Every writer has their own natural way of writing. This is true even of people who are not writers. Just as every person you know has their own unique way of speaking, they all have recognizable traits in their writing too.
If you’re buying blog content from different places, it’s important to make sure the content you get fits together in terms of the writing or language quality and the voice or tone used in the writing. If they don’t match up, anyone who reads more than one article on your blog is going to think something is off.
Content marketing and blogging rely on trust to create success. Inconsistencies in your content will create trust issues with your audience. It’s really that simple.
It might take you longer to find a good writer who is good at matching the style of others, but it will be worth it to maintain consistency. If you’re spending money to buy content that creates trust issues, you can see the end result much faster by just sending your money to me. I’ll be happy to demonstrate how it works by not buying anything from you.
Paying High Prices For Low Quality
We’ve already talked about why you shouldn’t look for the lowest price you can find. While extremely low prices often mean extremely low quality, the opposite isn’t necessarily true. Just because someone is charging above average prices doesn’t mean they are an above average writer.
When working with a new writer, especially if they don’t have public samples or published posts, you should always try to negotiate a trial of some kind to see how they actually write. Some writers do extremely well on certain topics and bomb when it comes to others. It’s important to see how well a new writer fits your particular needs.
A trial will, of course, be paid. The idea is to get one or two articles done without getting into contracts and obligations, not to get a free article or two. If you ask for a “free sample”, you will likely get back an angry, yet creatively rude and insulting, email that shows exactly how well that writer can write.
Buying More Blog Content Than You Need
There is a constant debate about just how often one should blog if one wants to be successful. Some say that quality is more important than quantity. Others will tell you that blogs with more posts attract more visitors, regardless of outstanding quality on every post.
The truth is that results are going to vary depending on the blog, but, unless you’ve got a very specific purpose in mind, you don’t have to race to put out a new post every day, or even every week. Most bloggers will agree that posting once a week is a fair schedule that seems to keep audiences interested. There are also sites out there that attract thousands of visitors publishing once a month, or even less, because their topic just doesn’t warrant much more than that.
If you don’t have a solid audience on your blog, buying and publishing more content just for the sake of it is probably not going to change that fact. You’ll be better off spending your time and money elsewhere.
Not Checking Sources And Links
It’s important to check sources and links within any blog content you buy for a few reasons. First, of course, you want to make sure links are legitimate and work. Second, you want to make sure that the information in the post you just bought is actually correct. And third, the links and sources in the article can tell you a lot about the writer.
Especially if the topic of your blog content requires a bit of research to write about, you’ll get an idea of just how knowledgeable your writer is by looking at the sites they link to and use as information sources. If they’re using high-quality sources, you can assume they either have good knowledge about the topic or are very good when it comes to doing their research. If their sources are lower quality, it can indicate that they aren’t too interested in what they are doing and they’re just using the first few links they find on Google to fill out the article and move on. Of course, if you run into intentional spam links, it’s time to look for a new writer.
Failing To See The Writer’s Side
It’s important to remember that although you’re most likely going to be communicating with your writer(s) through the computer most of the time, you’re talking to a real person, not a machine. Every writer is a little bit different and deserves consideration.
If you work with more than one writer, all at once or over time, they will all have slightly different preferences for how they like to work. Some prefer lots of details while others just want the basics and plenty of room to work. Some can take an order at 9am and have the completed work to you by noon while others will want a 7 day lead time on anything they write, no matter how short.
Most of all, it’s important to remember that when you’re working with a freelance writer, even if they’re coming to you through an online service or site, you are their client, not their boss. They are not your employee and will not respond well if you treat them as such.
If the writer you are working with doesn’t seem to fit your needs, just tell them so and move on. Complaining and making demands and trying to get them to conform to what you want is only going to cause lost time and money. Don’t be afraid to ask for small changes here and there if it’s needed, but if you find that you constantly have to ask for things to be done differently, it’s most likely time to find someone else to work with.
How Is Your Blog Doing?
Need help getting a handle on your blog content and marketing? Feel free to ask questions in the comments below, or contact me and I’ll be happy to show you how I can help you hit your target.