One of the hallmarks of my unique “strong sales through gentle marketing” program is the use of writing, especially blogging, to help businesses promote their products and services. Does blogging work? Yes, it can — but like any marketing activity, you must be prepared to invest time and effort into your blog. If you don’t want to (or cannot) invest time and effort, then be prepared to invest money in someone who CAN invest time and effort for you. It’s a trade-off. If you can write, and you can devote a half hour to an hour per day to content marketing, then blogging may make sense for you.
Blogging is more than just spewing out your ideas and information online. A good blog engages readers and retains their loyalty in the future. A good blog is search engine optimized; it attracts the popular search engines, who like the original posts they find on the blog, archive and index them, and provide them to online searchers. A good blog has personality and style. It is original. It speaks from the heart, person to person, and shares information not easily obtained elsewhere.
Sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it? Fortunately, there are alternatives to creating a blog entirely from scratch.
- Hire a freelancer: You can hire a freelance writer to create you blog posts for you. Be prepared to search for a good writer and pay him or her a fair rate. Rates for good bloggers start at $25 and go up from there per blog posts. Where can you find bloggers? Craigslist, Guru.com, Elance.com are three places that immediately come to mind. Be sure to include the topic of your blog and your expectations in your advertisement. The topic is important. You want a writer who has experience in your area, and who is eager to contribute. A fashion blogger may e ill at ease writing financial advisement tips, and a legal blogger unsuited for home and garden topics. Ask for their resume, three writing samples, and see if you like any writer who applies.
- Work with a third party site: Post your request to a corporate site such as Writer Access: Writer Access allows companies to post writing work for hire on their site. Writers apply with their ideas and you hire, through the Writer Access site ,the best writer for the job. The catch? They take a cut out of the fee, so you have to pay a little bit more in order to attract a good writer. But it may save you time and effort screening applications and some good writers can be found there.
- Buy rights: You can purchase already written content through Constant-Content.com. Writers (including myself) write and post articles with a price tag. When you buy the article, you purchase certain rights, depending on the level you buy. Read the contract carefully. You can also find writers for hire through their site.
- Work with a company: Marketing agencies provide writers who can craft excellent blog copy. They also have on staff researchers, SEO experts and others who can help you get your content out there. They are probably the most expensive option among these four, but if you are working with an agency you like, why not ask about blogging services?
Some pundits claim that blogging is dead, but I don’t believe that for an instant. A good blog, one that engages, entertains and informs, offers readers another venue to obtain useful information. If blogging is part of your marketing plan this year, try boosting your blog’s quality through one of these resources.