Bring in the Pros: Outside Talent for Your Blog

Bring in the Pros: Outside Talent for Your Blog

Last week, we looked at different options for finding talented blog writers in-house. But the in-house approach only makes sense if your existing team has the skills and time to take on regular blogging—or if you can score a crack freelance writer and can manage the editorial process internally.

But what are your options if you don’t have the time, skills, or desire to handle blog content management?

Provided you have the budget, working with a content creation agency may be the best solution. While this approach is more expensive than an in-house approach, it can be cheaper than hiring a new full-time employee and gives you the ability to scale up or down as needed. Plus, it will let your internal team focus on their core competencies while an external agency does most of the heavy lifting.

Here are three types of service providers that can hook you up with talented writers—and help you manage the editorial process

Digital Marketing Agencies

There are a wide variety of digital marketing agencies that specialize in digital content. While many of them promote themselves as full-service agencies (they can do it all), they typically have an area of expertise. Their expertise differs both in terms of output (e.g., advertising, design, copywriting, SEO, B2B marketing, social media) and in terms of topic (e.g., IT, health care, finance).

Pros: Digital marketing agencies are staffed with people with deep experience in digital content, and they’ve already vetted writers and editors.

Cons: They tend to only work with larger clients and larger projects. A simple weekly blog may be too small for them to consider. The bigger the agency, the bigger the budget they’ll require.

Upshot: Use digital marketing agencies for large, complex projects that require a full swath of expertise, including project managers, editors, writers, designers, and strategists. If you go this route, be prepared to pay a (well-deserved) premium for working with an organization that can provide all the bells and whistles big brands are looking for.

I've worked with a fair number of them as a freelance content strategist and copywriter, and I can personally vouch for the stellar work done at Buzzbee, Metia, and Yesler.

Content marketing platform providers

Content marketing platform providers, such as Contently (where I moonlight as a Brand Editor), offer a deep pool of talent in combination with an editorial platform.

Pros: These are less expensive than a regular digital marketing agency. You’ll also have a bit more flexibility if content needs ebb and flow. The bigger players have a deep pool of writing talent that you can draw from and can provide assistance with creating strategic content plans.

Cons: Not all organizations need a content marketing platform, particularly if you’re already employing in-house technical solutions. Also, because they tend to have minimum monthly fees, they don’t work well unless you have consistent writing needs. You’ll also need to sign a long-term commitment of six to 12 months.

Upshot: Content marketing platform providers can be a good option if you’re looking for both a technical and a people management solution, and can commit to a longer-term contract. If you just need writing talent and blog management, or have inconsistent content needs, you may not get full value from content marketing platform providers.

Small agencies specialized in writing complex content

Boutique content strategy and copywriting agencies can act as an extension of a marketing team—or take on full content creation responsibilities for startups.

Pros: Smaller agencies are flexible in terms of the scope of work they take on. They can often jumpstart projects and respond to content requests more quickly than larger organizations. They have less overhead than a large digital marketing agency or a content marketing platform.

Cons: Most smaller agencies specialize in just a few areas of content expertise, so you’ll need to find the right agency for your needs. You won’t have access to an editorial platform (though they often work with third-party tools).

Upshot: This is a great option if you have less extensive content needs, if you expect your content needs to go up and down, or if your writing project doesn’t require a full-service team or platform. To take full advantage of the small agency option, agree on a retainer to secure a certain number of hours per month so that you can count on the availability you need.

At Ready4Content, we fall into the third category. We can help you develop a cohesive content strategy, write posts for your blog, and manage the editorial process in collaboration with your team.

We love tackling complex content and breaking it down for your audience. We specialize in:

Give us a shout if you’d like us to help you manage your blog content.

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