Every company needs content if they want to survive in today’s business landscape. The marketing slogan “Content is king” reigns true, even in a digital age driven by technology and social media. With the right writer, your blog can easily become the cornerstone of your content marketing and SEO efforts. Website that have blogs are 434% more likely to appear in indexed search engine results pages than those that don’t. But working with bloggers requires a careful and deliberate approach to a true partnership. With that in mind, here are a few tips for working with bloggers to ensure long-term success:
Create a Style Guide
Every writer has a natural style they use in their writing, even if it seems subtle. On the same token, every writer wants to create content that aligns with the brand they’re working with. For this reason, it’s important to create an editorial style guide. An editorial style guide dictates how the content should flow; what type of voice and tone it should have, who the writer should be speaking to, etc. Do you want your content to be conversational or corporate? Enthusiastic or cautious?
Your tone will guide and influence how the reader feels, and it’s important for branding as well. If you hire multiple writers, a style guide keeps their writing consistent with one another, ensuring that your tone is the same from post to post. And lastly, it cuts onboarding time. Instead of having to answer questions or provide examples here and there, your blogger(s) will be able to refer to the document as needed.
Choose Writers in Niche Fields
Searching for the best writer for your company can quickly become overwhelming. Not because there isn’t a wealth of talent out there, but because there’s simply too much. This can easily result in option paralysis. To cut through some of the clutter, it’s best to hire writers that specialize in your niche. For example, if you’re spearheading marketing for an ecommerce company that offers infant apparel, you’d want to hire a blogger that has experience crafting content geared towards your target market: parents. Similarly, if you own a law firm, you’d want to look into law blog writers.
Hiring in your niche offers a myriad of benefits. For starters, niche bloggers understand your industry well. They have the expertise and experience creating copy in your field, and that knowledge shines through in their writing. Furthermore, they understand the complexities associated with particular industries. For instance, law blog writers know that legal companies are hyper aware of liability, and are careful not to write content that could compromise that integrity.
They Enjoy Creative Freedom
Depending on your needs, you may or may not have a list of topics or ideas ready for your blogger. Some companies have stringent ideas regarding their content goals, and will provide their bloggers with detailed outlines. Other companies let the blogger run with their own ideas. Ideally, you’ll take a more balanced approach. On the one hand, it’s important to offer some sort of guidance on what you’re looking for—especially if you’re working with new writers. On the other hand, writers enjoy their creative freedom, and if you put them into a box, you might lose out on the full potential of that particular writer.
Low Cost = Low Quality
When you’re running a business, it’s natural to look for ways to trim costs and save money. This is the nature of operations. However, content is something you can’t afford to skimp out on. Low-cost writers (like those found on content mills) will be less committed to your company and most likely produce lower quality content. Bloggers who charge a few dollars per post are likely churning out content quickly, with little research and commitment to the craft.
High-quality writers charge more for their work, but it will take you further. This is because each blog stays with your company for a lifetime, building up SEO juice each passing day. Better quality content is also more likely to be useful to your readers, boosting engagement, retention, and social shares. As the age old adage, “you get what you pay for.” If you’re looking to cut costs, examine other areas of your operations and keep your quality talent paid well.
This is a guest contribution by Charles Dearing.