Think about the websites you visit on a regular basis. Chances are they will include a news website, at least one or two social networking sites, and probably a few sites that focus on a hobby or other narrow topic you’re interested in. While these sites might seem totally different, they’re likely to share at least one characteristic – they provide you with something new each time you visit. If a website never updated its content, then you’d stop visiting.
So your business website has the best chance for success when it regularly provides visitors with new content. But creating all that new content yourself can be time consuming, and distract you from other business tasks. You can focus on those other tasks, but still keep your website fresh, by outsourcing your content creation.
Outsourcing content creation serves some important goals. If writing is not your specialty, then it frees you up to do website tasks that you enjoy more and are better suited for your skills. Not only will this make your job more enjoyable, but it can actually end up saving you money. If you calculate how long it takes you to create a new article or post for your website, and take into account the value of your time, it’s quite possible you’ll be able to find several freelancers who could create that same article or post for less money.
You can find new writers through services such as elance.com and odesk.com, or use your favorite search engine to locate freelance services. Furthermore, if you have colleagues who run websites you can ask them for referrals.
If you’re reluctant to outsource too much of your content creation, or if you’re trying a service that you’re not familiar with, you can always start with a short trial period. Different services may have different sized minimum orders, so find one that allows you to start small, in terms of quantity as well as price.
Even if you’re only contracting for a small amount of content, make sure you have some type of written documentation outlining the most important points of your relationship with your writer. The most important element, apart from price and a description of the work to be done, is to make sure that you have appropriate rights to publish that content on your website and elsewhere. If you are paying for custom content to be created specifically for you, then you want to specify that the content is a “work for hire” that you have exclusive and unlimited ownership rights to.
Finally, it’s worth noting that you don’t always have to pay writers to create new content for you. Offer some of your best website visitors the opportunity to create and post items that they think other readers would be interested in (subject to your approval and editing, of course). You might be surprised at how many individuals are simply looking for a forum to talk about the things that interest them.
Outsourcing can be particularly effective if you are trying to expand your website into an area in which you have no prior experience or expertise.
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I'm Burty, a geologist and freelance web designer based in Vancouver, Canada. I like music, gadget and love to sit in front of my computer.