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  1. Kate Toon wrote on

    Hi Glenn,

    Great post as always. I write blog posts for several companies, and also Ghost Write for a few Creative Directors of large advertising agencies (obviously I won’t name).

    They usually give me a basic premise and I then write the blog piece in their tone of voice. It can be quite cost effective as, after a while, writing ‘as’ that client becomes second nature, and there are very few amends.

    Putting aside a little budget each month for professional blog writing can take away the stress many businesses have about keeping their blog current. And we all know that regular content updates are a positive from both a user and an SEO perspective, so money well spent!

    Thanks
    Kate

  2. Sarah Mitchell wrote on

    Hi Glenn,

    I’m thrilled to see this post on your blog. I started my freelance writing career as a journalist. Prior to that, I worked in the software industry and wrote my fair share of technical publications. Being a technical writer wasn’t my preferred work but project invariably had a writing deliverable and I could do it – more efficiently and with less edits than the rest of the technical teams I worked on.

    I started Global Copywriting with the idea I would specialise in White Papers and Case Studies. What I found out pretty quickly was there was a huge demand for original content. I’m a content marketer by way of technical writer –> journalist –> copywriter. It’s a good fit for me and I pull on my experiences in other writing forms.

    I blog for several organisations for the exact reasons you mention. They want good content and want to be found. They also want their brand represented accurately and professionally. When I outsource blogging work I always look for journalists to help. They’re terrific at working to a spec, understand deadlines and can their copy is always reader directed.

    I can vouch for Junta42. Joe Pulizzi, the man behind the Junta42 organisation, is a founder of the content marketing movement in the USA. Junta42 is very happy to help people find the right content marketer(s) to help with any project. The Junta42 blog is an excellent resource.

    Another good place to find information about content marketing is The Content Marketing Institute, an off-shoot of Junta42. I’m a regular contributor to that blog but find WAY more value from the other bloggers. It’s a goldmine of instructional content.

    As a disclaimer, I’m also the Australian editor of the Content Marketing Institute’s magazine, Chief Content Officer. It’s a free digital magazine published 4 times a year written by and for content marketers.

    And with that, I need to put my nose down in copy. I’ve got 2 blogging deadlines for clients today.

  3. OtherAndrew wrote on

    An interesting post, Glenn. In the end, it probably depends on who the copywriter is. There are many who are probably, by your definition, ‘content marketers’ but wouldn’t necessarily go by that label.

    As for me, I communicate with written words. That’s my job. If you want me to sell something, I’ll sell it. If you want me to teach something, I’ll teach it. If you want me to… well, you get the point.

    I would have said ‘Copywriter’ covers that, but maybe that’s changing. I probably wouldn’t call myself a ‘Content Marketer’ at this stage as it sounds a little too Web 2.whateverwe’reuptonow and a lot of my work still appears offline in traditional channels like magazines, on billboards, etc..

    As for people pumping out content for $1 a page… I think you’ve addressed that suitably before!

  4. Aprill Allen wrote on

    Hmm. Interesting post. I’m a bit of an all-rounder but I wouldn’t call myself a content marketer.

    I’ve written articles, web copy, product descriptions, technical documentation.. so I tend to call myself a freelance commercial writer. But nobody knows that term when they’re searching for someone like me, so ‘copywriter’ it is.

  5. Shauna wrote on

    Great post Glenn. I love to write, but I’m just a beginner. I have worked in a Gov’t Agency, where writing is done by the ‘book’ but the ‘book’ changes with every change of Minister!

    I’d like to investigate ‘ghost writing’ a lot more, what would you suggest as a place to start learning?

    Thanks in advance.

  6. Garrett French wrote on

    Hi Glenn,

    Thanks for the shout out… and I couldn’t agree more that a copywriter may not be the best choice for your company’s blog. Especially if you’re more than a thin-affiliate site!

    Content can also include free widgets, web-based tools, videos, podcasts etcetera as well… When marketing Ontolo with placed-content (aka guest posts) I consistently link to our free tools, some of which require a free sign up (eg: http://searchenginewatch.com/3641949).

    Content marketing can do so many different things for companies, from lead generation, email list building, buzz + branding to link bait, etc… And sometimes ALL of those things at once ;)

    If you’re looking for someone to execute your blogging, I’d recommend that you STILL invest time in directing their efforts and providing the insights and expertise that comes from your experience in business. Otherwise they will be rehashing what everyone else has said and you won’t get as many shares/links/retweets… Wil Reynolds at Seer Interactive has an excellent piece on a process for extracting great insights from clients and writing posts around their unique viewpoints (http://www.seerinteractive.com/blog/how-to-produce-2-3-quality-blog-posts-in-1-hour-a-month/2011/02/10/)

    Thanks for starting a great conversation Glenn!

    Garrett

  7. Glenn (Owner) wrote on

    Great comments, guy. Thanks!

    @Kate @Andrew @Aprill, I write in a lot of different forms too. (Although I do tend to steer clear of blog ghost-writing — mostly because clients require high volume, so budget becomes an issue.) Like you, I struggle with the label ‘copywriter’, not because it doesn’t fit my main WRITING activity, but because writing isn’t really the crux of what I do. More on that another day…

    @Garrett, I agree that clients should still direct their writer/content marketer’s efforts. Without that input, the client is relying purely on the expertise of the provider, which will never be an adequate substitute for the expertise of the expert! I checked out that Wil Reynolds post… interesting. I suspect 2-3 in an hour, even with that approach, is a little optimistic, but it certainly seems like a good way to fast-track the process of getting subject matter expertise into a post. Have you used this approach much yourself?

  8. Garrett French wrote on

    Glenn I haven’t tried it myself yet…. the closest I’ve gotten is citing expert forum users in a B2C vertical. And I think Wil’s 2-3 hour estimate was for client involvement, not for the writer’s time spent.

  9. Glenn (Owner) wrote on

    The more I think about this method, the more I like it (for certain clients).

    I re-read it, though, and I’m pretty sure it’s 2-3 posts in 1 hour of the writer/provider’s time… The only way I can see that happening is if you use the original interview for 2-3 posts. Otherwise you’d be recording 2-3 interviews, each of 30 minutes, and that alone would obviously blow your time limit. PLUS you’d have to be doing it all the time, in order to become really systematized.

    Personally, I still think it’s highly optimistic, but it’s still a lot quicker than writing 2-3 high quality posts from scratch…

  10. Anna Roe wrote on

    Some very good points Glenn – the difficulty as I see it is this: as one is trying to build a business the funds flow out. In order to regain some of this one has to advertise and work on SEO. The funds keep flowing out! So blogging remains my responsibility until the funds flow back in [sounds tidal, guess I’m hoping for a king tide].
    Now that appears all doom and gloom. However, I am now on Page 2 of Google [was page 19, 6 months ago] and occasionally say out loud, “Here I come!’ to the page one-ers. Also, sold more leather briefcases and leather luggage in the last 8 days than the last 2 months combined, so am feeling optimistic.
    What am I trying to say? If it keeps going like this I will pass the blogging to someone who knows the power of the written word better than I.

  11. galdies wrote on

    I would be more interested in the topic if it has wider vision on the SEO outsoursing rather than putting stuff like this which everyone in the industry has seen day by day. I am looking for some unique content i need to research on.Thanks

  12. Jamie wrote on

    Being mindful of the role SEO plays in blog writing and driving traffic to your website is vitally important in the blogging process. For those who you who may be considering outsourcing a freelance copywriter or doing some freelance copywriting yourself…we’ve just published an article discussing the Top 10 Tips for Pricing your Freelance Copywriting Servcies: http://blog.jobcrowd.com/top-10-tips-for-pricing-your-freelance-copywriting-services/

    Hope this helps.

  13. Randy wrote on

    A lot of people think SEO is a technical task. Not so. Copywriting is by far the most important SEO strategy – especially for blogs. Just as important is ensuring an accurate and believable voice. So buying copywriting from India or Pakistan is pretty dumb. Our online marketing firm hires north-american-based writers only, and we always rewrite to our clients’ needs and personality, plus have the client s do a final tweak for authenticity. Let’s talk Divine Write – we’re always looking for great copy. :-) For clients that want to do the small things on their own, we’ve written a short blog article on writing for Tweets, Shares and Statuses here: http://www.kayakcreative.ca/blog/bid/100419/3-3-Tweets-and-Statuses-tips

  14. Glenn (Owner) wrote on

    Couldn’t agree more, Randy. Thanks for your comment. :-)

  15. Pingback: Why the hell would you outsource your blogging to a copywriter? Seriously! - Sandiya Solutions

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