Many times when I tell someone that I’m a “ghostblogger” and write blogs for other people’s small businesses, their initial reaction is, “You can do that?”
I actually had a fellow small biz owner tell me that outsourcing her blogging and other content creation felt like cheating…
But guess what?
This is an industry secret, that people may not want you to know, but many of the Internet’s biggest names outsource at least some of their content. Neil Patel does it. Many other big names in my industry do it — whether they post it under their own name or not.
And, my clients, who run 6 and 7-figure online businesses, do it (I’d tell you who some of them are, but then I’d have to kill you — because it’s their decision whether or not to reveal that info, not mine).
In other words, outsourcing some or all of your content production, especially as you grow, is a common industry practice.
But how do you do it well?
There are different kinds of content writers based on the kind of content you want written.
There are people who generalize and will write any kind of content you like, but more often, writers tend to specialize in one or a few kinds of copywriting.
P.S. Copy is anything written in your business. Like, anything — from your tweets to your sales pages.
Specialties I know of include:
And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
The point is, there are as many specialty copywriters as there are kinds of copy, and that’s because it takes different skills to be really good at each. Someone who writes killer long-form blog posts and articles may have trouble writing short, compelling Facebook ads or tweets — and vice versa.
So, depending on what you want to outsource, you may need more than one writer. (If you find someone who can do it all — expect to pay accordingly!)
Which leads me to my next point:
The first thing to remember is that I believe it is a copywriter’s job to sound like you (or, like you dialed up to 11). If they can’t do that job, it doesn’t matter how nice they are, how cheap they are, or how much you like their style — they’re not a good fit.
The last thing you want is to work with a writer who creates a bunch of copy for you in their own voice and then (for whatever reasons) disappears and isn’t available the next time you need something!
When that happens, you end up with a very disjointed voice and brand, because you can’t mimic what they were writing for you on your own.
I’ve seen this happen where someone hires a copywriter to write their website copy — but then their blogs are obviously a completely different style or voice. And this isn’t just what happens with small businesses or small copywriters, either; I have seen extremely well known (and friggin expensive) copywriters who write everything in their own voice; and their clients end up sounding like everyone else who has hired them!
To ensure that never happens to you:
In short, you want to make sure your copywriter is a good fit before you fork over a huge bunch of cash for a big project. But you also need to do your own due diligence as well. Take the time to create a voice style guide, and I promise you, whoever you hire will be thrilled to work with you.
Like most things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to copywriting.
I assume you know that you could go over to Fiverr and pay someone five bucks to write you 1,000 tweets or something—
—but I assume you also know that the quality of what you get for $5 is going to be marginal, at best.
Think of it this way: you can buy a pair of pants at Wal-Mart or at Nordstrom and pay very different prices. But the quality you get will be just as different. (I’ve got a blog post that breaks down different prices for blog writers here.)
Here’s what you need to know about pricing:
Finally, remember that content is an investment in your business just like any other investment. If you cheap out on content creation, it’s just as bad for biz as cheaping out on the source materials you use to create your product, or the equipment you use to run your business.
That said, it’s perfectly fine to start slowly! Identify what tasks will free up the most time for you, and then run some numbers to see if it makes sense for you to outsource those particular tasks. Maybe you love tweeting but hate the hours it takes you to write a blog post — or vice versa.
A potential client came to me recently wanting to outsource some of her blog tasks, and after I gave her my estimate, she said she wanted to run the numbers. She emailed me just a couple of hours later and said, “You know what? If this frees me up to work with even one more 1:1 client each week, it’s worth it. Let’s do it.”
And that’s REALLY what it comes down to: Will outsourcing some of your content creation free you up to work on the things that only you can do in your business, most specifically, those things that make you money?
If so, I believe it’s worth your time to find a writer who can put on your voice and create some content that sounds just like you.
And the first step is defining your voice. I have an affordable DIY workbook to help you do just that — click here for more information. Or you can download the free ebook below to get started: