Should I Hire a Blog Writer? - 5 Simple Questions to Ask
"Should I hire a blog writer or write my own content?"
It's a dilemma that many modern entrepreneurs face, and it's not always easy to answer. The truth is, it depends on many factors.
On the one hand, a professional blog writer will likely save you lots of time, energy, and stress. On the other hand, maybe you’re a startup that doesn’t have the money to invest in professional writing services yet.
1. Do you like writing?
It may seem like a simple question, but do you actually enjoy writing? To be successful in content marketing, you need to be in it for the long haul. This will be hard to achieve if you dread writing or get easily bored.
If content writing isn't your thing, you're not alone. According to a 2020 Content Marketing Institute report, 88% of companies surveyed said they outsource content creation.
Just as with anything in life, if you're passionate about writing, it won't seem like a chore. If you're genuinely interested in the subjects you blog about, your enthusiasm and expertise will shine through in your words.
With that being said, not everybody likes blogging; and that's okay. You can hire a blog writer, so you can focus on other aspects of your business you find more enjoyable.
2. How much time do you have?
- Topic research
- Keyword research
- Sourcing and optimizing images
If you're a busy entrepreneur, you might not have enough hours in the day! Trying to juggle blog-writing with running a business, full-time employment or a hectic family life can be overwhelming.
According to a study conducted by ConvertKit, the number one struggle of bloggers is actually finding the time to run their blog!
Many people underestimate the amount of time they will need to invest in creating content in order to be successful. You may love writing, but still not have enough time to devote to a successful content marketing strategy.
However, if you have lots of free time to commit to content creation, you don’t necessarily need to hire a blog writer. Creating ‘batch content’ and sticking to a schedule can help you reach your blogging goals.
3. Do you understand SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is highly important when it comes to content marketing.
Because without SEO no one will be able to find your site because no one will know it exists!
Here are some important aspects of SEO to keep in mind:
Think of a blog post headline as a sales pitch. Titles need to be enticing enough to make people curious enough to click on your posts. Headlines should include strategic keywords to increase the chances of your post appearing in search engine results. I usually use a tool called 'Sharethrough Headline Analyser' when trying to come up with an appealing title.
Keyword research and implementation:
Keywords are vital when it comes to SEO. Keyword research involves finding the search terms people use when searching for the topic, niche, product, or service that your blog post will cover. Once you've found a good keyword or key phrase, they need to be strategically placed in your headline and throughout your article. I recommend a tool called 'Keywords Everywhere' or 'Ubersuggest' for keyword research.
A slug is the last part of a URL address. It's good SEO practice to add the title of your post to the end of URLs, and if it happens to include a keyword: even better. This ensures that URLs are as tidy and search engine friendly as possible.
Meta descriptions give you a chance to describe what your post is about. It appears under the title of your post in search engine listings. It's a good idea to include your keyword here too.
You should provide plenty of internal links in your blog posts. This helps users navigate your site easily, and also helps to increase the amount of time people spend on your site.
If you reference a quote, study, or point made by another writer, you should always include an external link to the original source. This helps to build your credibility as a writer, and also provides value to your readers. You should also externally link to websites that have tools or resources that you recommend in your posts.
It's important to make sure image file sizes are as small as possible without compromising too much on quality. If image files are too big, your pages will take too long to load. Important images should include ALT text for the benefit of visually impaired users. I recommend a tool called 'Optimizilla' and a plugin called 'Smush' for optimizing images.
SEO isn’t complicated once you understand how it works, but it is time-consuming. A good content writer will write blog posts with SEO in mind so that your website has the best chance of being found on search engines. I highly recommend the plugin 'Yoast SEO' for WordPress sites.
You don’t need to be a professor in English literature to write a good blog post, but you do need to present good grammar.
Would you trust the author of the second sentence?
Even though I have a certificate in English grammar, I still use a free tool called 'Grammarly' to make sure my spelling and punctuation are correct.
It’s a scary statistic, but according to Semrush, the average amount of time people spend reading an article is 37 seconds! That doesn’t give you long to grab their attention and keep them hooked.
For this reason, you need to make sure that your opening paragraph is as intriguing as possible. You need to make it clear immediately that your blog post is going to deliver valuable information or entertainment.
There are many ways that you can do this, but here's a few examples:
- Question hooks:
Asking a question that readers need the answer to will instantly make your writing seem relevant and useful. On the other hand, asking interesting questions will build intrigue and encourage people to keep reading.
- Statistic hooks:
Starting your blog with an impressive statistic or fact can instantly give your writing credibility, and establish you as an expert. Just be sure to link back to the original source, and cite where you got the information.
- Anecdotal or analogical hooks:
Using analogies or anecdotes can be a great way of introducing a point and presenting information in a way that’s easy to relate to. It can also be a way of personalizing your writing and adding creativity.
When it comes to writing, flow is somewhat of an art. It’s not always something you can put your finger on, but if your flow is off, your article won’t read well. Thankfully, there are some tips and guidelines to help.
I’m a strong believer that a blog should be written in a conversational tone that allows your personality to shine through. A good tip is to read your blog post out loud to check how well it flows. In this way, you’ll be able to hear if your writing sounds natural or forced. It'll also help you notice if it is repetitive or too wordy.
Blog posts should contain a lot of white space. Unlike essays, blog paragraphs should be short. These days, attention spans have been ruined by ‘swipe’ culture, and long blocks of text seem overwhelming and hard on the eyes. Keep your paragraphs short and sweet.
Grammar, flow, and hooks are just a few of the aspects you need to consider when polishing your writing skills. Everyone can learn these skills with enough time and practice.
Maybe you've decided that you don't like writing. You don't have the time. and would rather pull your hair out than have to learn about SEO strategy. There's just one little itty-bitty problem holding you back; money.
With that in mind, it's no surprise that 92% of marketers consider blogs to be a good financial investment. A study by Ledgeview Partners found that 70% of consumers prefer blog posts to ads. Not only is original content more interesting than traditional advertising, but it can also generate 3 times as many leads!