by deborah


by deborah


Who should write for your company blog?

Consistent articles published to a relevant section of your website give you credibility as a company and authority. They increase your visibility, and help ensure you’re taken seriously by prospects.

They’re also time-consuming. In fact, when I first became Head of Marketing at a Financial Services business, they were the most time-consuming part of my job. Finding a writer who fit my budget and worked hard to understand what we did honestly saved my life.

To publish regular content, you’ve got a few options:

  • Write the articles yourself
  • Allocate them to someone in your team
  • Hire a writer internally
  • Hire a contractor or micro-agency
  • Hire an agency

So which should you do?

Writing articles yourself

This might feel like the least expensive, but often isn’t. Like with many outsourcing decisions, I like to consider how much time my personal time is worth, and then see if I can find someone who charges less than that. For example, let’s say my hourly rate is £60, and it takes me four hours to write an article, that makes the cost of an article I write myself £240. So if I can find a writer who charges £200 per article, I’ve saved myself £40.

There are also expertise costs. Writing articles myself means I have to learn how to write the articles in a way that best attracts my audience, if I can find a writer who already understands industry best practices, can learn my sector, and knows how to write a genuinely engaging piece, I’m saving myself the potential revenue I’d lose while I learnt all that on my own.

However, as my mum always told me, if you don’t understand how to do something, hiring someone to take it over will always end with problems. So doing some research into content marketing before offloading to someone else is always best.

Allocate them to someone in your team

If the person you’re allocating them to is a writer, this is a great idea. If they’re not, you run the risk of creating discontent. If you do allocate content marketing to someone in your team, be sure to recognize how much time articles really take. Getting into the right headspace, thinking about the article, giving it space to breathe before editing, and research should all be considered when deciding if someone has the time and space to do a good job at content marketing.

One thing I’ve seen a lot of businesses do is hiring a single marketing person to run, strategize and execute the entire marketing department alone. This is usually done due to budget constraints, but can lead to a very stressed-out team member.

If this is the case at your business, understand that content marketing is a beast of its own, and giving your overrun marketing person some regular content will honestly be a lifesaver for them.

Hire a writer internally

If hiring a writer internally is within your budget, it’s a great option. They’re able to learn how your business works, grow with your team, and they can help write other content like the content you post to social media, personal branding content for your execs, or invites to events.

When looking for a writer to onboard internally, focus more on their writing skills and attitude, as opposed to their experience in your sector. They’re going to be with you for a while, so there’ll be lots to learn anyway, and it makes sense to invest that extra time in helping them get familiar with your industry.

Hire a contractor or micro-agency

Micro-agencies are small, mini agencies made up of under 5 people. Since they function similarly to contractors, we’ll group them together for this one. Contractors come in many shapes and sizes. The benefit of hiring one is that you can usually find someone who specializes in your field. While any writer needs a month or two to really get to grips with the kind of content you need, the right contractor or micro-agency can reduce this time down a lot.

When looking for a contractor or micro-agency, unlike an internal writer, I would definitely look for someone who has industry experience, as well as a reasonable amount of samples in your sector.

Also, ask your contractor if they have any understanding of SEO best practices, or if they have any experience in putting together a content strategy, as you may be able to save your team some time and stress by having a contractor who can do more than execute a content marketing plan.

Hire an agency

Depending on the agency, this is usually the most expensive of the options. It can also be the least demanding on your time, as many agencies offer content strategies as part of their packages. Some even offer website upload, pre-written metadata, and social media posting along with their content packages. If your chosen agency doesn’t usually provide these, ask anyway, as they may include them for free if prompted.

When looking for an agency, make sure to get a reasonable understanding of who will actually be writing your pieces, and if they have any experience in your sector.

Putting together a brief

If you’re planning to send briefs, here’s what you should include in a brief:

  • The SEO keywords you want to target
  • The person your article is targeting
  • The point of the article and it’s position in the marketing funnel
  • The suggested headline (request additional headlines to choose from if appropriate)
  • A brief description and outline
  • Articles you like that are relevant to this article

How much should you pay?

If you’re hiring a contractor or agency, I’ve seen everything between £200 a month and £18,000 a month for 4 – 8 articles a month on an ongoing basis. Agencies often caution against paying by wordcount, and while it’s true wordcount has its faults, it can give smaller marketing teams some flexibility and a bit of space to experiment.

Another way to pay is by retainer. If you’re working with freelancers, a retainer can be a good way to give them some security, making them more loyal to your business. Some agencies charge by page. This is similar to wordcount at its core.

The most common way of charging is by project, or piece, and it’s most common for a reason. By project is a great way to ensure you’re paying as much as you expected. You know the costs upfront, and the writer gets a good understanding of what they’re getting each month or quarter. Make sure you outline what the project entails, how much detail is expected for each section and how many revisions will be provided if you’re not happy with the end product.

Revisions are normal, so please don’t be shy when sending them, your freelancer or agency is likely used to them.

So, what’s the answer?

Sorry to have lead you this far and be leaving you in the lurch, but the answer is essentially whatever works for you. If you’ve got a big budget, agencies can be a great option. If you’re willing to spending the time nurturing a team member, hiring internally is a great choice. If you fall somewhere in the middle, a micro-agency or freelancer could be a good option.

If you’ve decided on micro-agency, drop us a line.