If you don't know what a good article costs, you'll be ripped off when you outsource.
Outsourcing articles can be a balancing act. Pay too little and you'll get articles you will be ashamed to post. Pay too much and you'll soon have to worry about how to cover your expenses. You can lose money either with substandard articles or prices that drain your resources. You need to know how to establish the right costs for the content you need. Knowing these things will keep you on that tightrope, balancing price with quality.
Here are some steps to ensure that the articles you pay for will be worth your money:
- Establish what you need. You have to decide what content your website needs.
What type of articles will help bring traffic and leads to your site? Do you need news, reviews, blog posts, SEO articles, landing pages or product descriptions?
Each type of article has a corresponding cost. Keep in mind that sales copy is priced at a different level altogether.
- Establish your niche. Every topic has its corresponding price.
The more difficult the topic, the more research it needs.
Personally, I think that any topic is fair game. It's part of a writer's duties to do the required research. However, some niches are just harder than others. The more time it requires the writer to research, the more you should compensate them for their time. Or else they will just try to treat it like a normal assignment and rush right through it. If you pay better, they will strive to exceed your expectations.
- Catch up with Craig, Lance and Odie. As I mentioned in my last post, these guys know who's who when it comes to writing. This is where you will find your writers.
Check out the current rates. Start by looking at the ceiling price and work your way down.
You are looking for the highest price where offers cluster. This grouping establishes the current competitive prices.
This is important, because this is what experienced writers check. They know they can do the job well, and they don't bother looking at rates much lower than this. They can afford to wait for better offers than apply to every job posting.
- Everybody has a tell. Make sure you do your homework when hiring writers.
Ask for their resumes and their samples. Find out what courses they took in college. See what their interests are.
Knowing these will help you set your prices more accurately.
Let's say your topic is health related. This may mean higher rates. However, if you hire nursing graduates to write your articles, this will just be a regular article for them, allowing you to pay them a little less than the competitive rate established earlier.
- Compare notes. Since the Google Panda update, quality content has become more important and therefore more valuable.
Compare notes with this baseline. Competitive outsourcing rates are at $1-$2 per 100 words. This is the base of all quality content.
Factor in your content type, current going rates, niche, your budget and the applicant's experience. This should leave you with an honest assessment of how much you should pay for quality articles.
Outsourcing articles should help your business, not drag it down. Start with competitive rates and then you can later modify your rates if you order in bulk, or if you give them a steady flow of assignments. With these tips, outsourcing quality content at the right prices should be a breeze.