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Don’t Let a Freelancer or Agency Run Wild with Your Blog (Or Your Budget)

dontLetAfreelancerOrAgencyRunwildWithYourBlog

I get a major case of the warm and fuzzies when a client hands us the reigns and lets us create all kinds of cool content for their blog. When the sky is the limit, we are able to whip up a wonderful content mix that offers a range of something to cater to every persona that makes up their ideal audience. This allows us to create an entire library of brilliant on-brand content that’s basically begging to be shared and maybe even go viral. But this doesn’t mean this is always a good idea, as there are a few negative outcomes you could anticipate.

Too much of a good thing

Too much content could lead to a diminished ROI. It may not be worth it to pay for fifteen posts per day when you get the same results—or better—from five per week. Sure, you could crush the competitions’ SEO campaign, but you will run out of pertinent keywords well before that. And you risk overwhelming your audience.

Too much of a mediocre thing

Quality over quantity is as true for blogging as almost anything else. And if you have someone running wild with your blog trying to spend every cent of your budget or saturate search results, you can pretty much guarantee not every post is high value or of good quality.

Just enough

If you aren’t keeping some kind of check on your content creators, there is a chance your blog is just squeaking by. While many folks (like us, thankyouverymuch) have high standards, there are those who are just in it for the money and will cut corners to maximize profits. This may mean low quality posts just to populate the blog to meet contract requirements, drawn-out posts to up word counts, or sporadic posting just so it looks like something’s going on.

Who knows what?!

Without anyone checking up on them, some bloggers may get a little too creative in an effort to deliver quality—or in some cases, to deliver anything at all. This can sometimes deliver less-than-desirable results. Incredibly off-brand content, poorly thought-out concepts, and barely comprehensible ideas could end up splashed all over your blog. I've found plenty of cringe-worthy examples I’d be happy to share.

But don’t despair!

These poor results are preventable. Regardless of how reputable the freelancer or agency you’re working with is, we recommend you:

  • build a brand blueprint. It’ll be hard to understand what your blogging goals are, let alone convey them to a freelancer or agency, if you don’t identify them first in a blueprint. Also,  a solid brand foundation helps to set proper budget shenanigagns.
  • get involved in ideation sessions. Rap with writers about topics, concepts, titles, and more before a single word is written. This is the first round of quality control.
  • request an editorial calendar. You or your blogger(s) should schedule out posts in advance and mark up the calendar appropriately with any changes. This way you know what you are getting.
  • create a set budget and a blog plan. With flat-rate blogging packages, what you pay for and what you get are pretty darn defined. If you set a dollar cap—or have a maximum spend—be sure you know how that money should be spent in advance of getting started and when you get the bill.
  • proof posts. Every piece of content put out on behalf of your brand should be proofed, edited, and polished—this includes blog posts. An agency probably has an editor or two, but what about freelancers? While it’s awesome if you or someone from your organization can do it, hiring a freelance editor or virtual assistant could be the answer.
  • check in and check it out. Ask for updates now and again, and if you aren’t reviewing the content before it goes live, peruse a few posts every so often. If you don’t see the kind of content you expect, speak up.
  • take regular looks at analytics and ROI. Know what your blog is doing for you, and see if it’s meeting your goals. If it’s not, work with your content creators to find a different strategy. Or if some things work while others fall flat, request more of a focus on the things that get results.

For more control over your outsourced blog, we recommend that you build a brand blueprint first. Grab a copy of your checklist now.

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Tags:
hiring, freelancers, content, blogging

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