Outsourcing your online content

January 8, 2011Uncategorized

You may know Rand Fishkin as the mind behind the SEO Pyramid – if not, then see below.

The basic principle behind the SEO Pyramid is that it outlines the fundamental process of an SEO strategy, placing emphasis on various aspects of an SEO campaign at various stages. The idea is that you should start with a strong base of accessible, quality content and once that is achieved, only then do you look into keywording, linking and social media.

This is all very well and good for a company with an SEO team behind them. However, it proves a little more difficult for those without the luxury of an in-house staff of copywriters. Rand Fishkin is not deterred by this and in his latest video, he goes on to describe the methods he recommends to achieve growth, while outsourcing content creation.

As you can see from the very bottom of the pyramid, content is extremely important for both SEO and online users and ultimately a company will want to ‘grow’ their pyramid by expanding its base – the accessible content. By accelerating the growth of your content you accelerate the growth of your company.

Which, is where outsourcing comes in: See the original video here

And here we have a four step approach.

1) Planning

You must thoroughly outline what you want to accomplish and have a clear idea of your final goal. This will determine how you make your next step. Do you simply want to create more online user engagement? Do you want to drive sales? Are you simply looking to increase hits? Or do you just want to raise brand awareness across other sites?

Do not move to step two unless you have step one THROUGHLY – as this will influence the resources / types of writers you will need to seek.

2) Finding your content producers

Do you go off-shore? Do you look in-house? Do you go with a web contractor? Or look for bloggers? Do you use writing communities or look for freelancers pitching on gumtree?

There are pros and cons to all options. The pros for using off-shore contactors and bloggers is obviously cost – especially with bloggers who you could potentially get to provide content for free in return for links back to their blog. However, by using novice writers or off-shore companies that you may not have much close contact with, you risk losing quality content. As with in-house recourses, you risk over-stretching a team and therefore the final result. In our opinion web contractors are the best option as they are professionals in what they do – and you can guarantee better quality.

3) Voice document

This is the most interesting of Rand Fishkin’s steps. This outlines the things that you do and don’t want to be included in marketing copy. How your core values relate to the tone and voice within the copy. How you would and wouldn’t want to describe the company. This is essentially a personality of your company and a match between what you want to get out of a writer and the company itself. Create a specs doc outlining this and get a couple of paragraphs back from your writer before you proceed to see that their style matches your voice doc.

4) Scaling and tracking

Once you get that one good writer you can scale the process and hopefully get a team of writers. You will need to spot check quality and see that they are producing enough quality content to suit your needs. Once you have this process working quite well it’s quite simple to scale it up (as long as you are using good processes of evaluation).

Measure using the actions made through social stats, click-throughs gained, time spent on page and encourage your writers to increase these stats by being very open about how you measure success… this will motivate and influence your writers.

And remember, when scaling, always be careful that quality does suffer.

“One great article is worth ten crummy articles, worth 100 crummy articles. Because one article that can earn links to your site and drive actions VS content-farm junk that’s going to get maybe 1 in 10 clicks staying longer than 30 seconds, is just not going to produce value longer”– Rand Fishkin


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