As a business owner and online marketer, one of the most difficult sides to my business is the content department. My biggest problem is being able to get consistent and reliable writers to produce content for me at a fast-enough rate that I can earn some good money out it. That is to say, the quicker they deliver, the quicker I can invoice and get paid.
My margin most of the time is about 25% per article. The problem I just realised I have is that maybe my margin is too big. If I paid my writers better, then there is a good possibility that they would deliver quicker. Now you may ask why would I want to decrease my profits?
The simple answer is: TO KEEP MY CUSTOMERS HAPPY
That being said, late articles and blog posts are the nature of the business that I work in. There are rarely any content companies that deliver both quality and quantity for a reasonable price by the deadline set. This is not specific to just the content business either. SEO outreach can be deadly slow one month and super-fast the next simply because more website owners replied and placed content in say month 1 compared to month 2.
However, content is a different ball game to SEO. Content has different barriers to overcome compared to SEO, and I just happen to be in both lines of work to make my income, so I should know.
- Content can restrict your SEO progress
One major problem with SEO is that it relies so much on content. You cannot just put a link on a page with very short text and expect to fly up the rankings. SEO is all about quality and informative content placement. The cost of content writers, plus the time involved with Outreach can mean that you are not going to be able to pay your writers too well or you lose profit.
Think about it like this. In general, it really does not matter which website your content goes on, the content will still cost the same. However, the customer will always expect quality content regardless of the metrics of the website.
In the end, the customer is paying for the metrics or quality of the website’s SEO rating that you are placing the content on. Therefore, you need to balance out the cost of content across low and high metric websites.
Try explaining this to a customer. The customer is always going to see the same process of outreach = content = link. Explaining to the customer that higher metric sites should be charged at a higher rate can also lead to barriers. Mostly though, higher metric sites are very fussy about the content they allow on their site, therefore, the content is visibly better.
- Content for blogs, news, and general content
Getting people to consistently write blogs and general content can also be a problem for some businesses or freelancers. What tends to happen is contractors will always have a time where they cannot deliver the work by the scheduled deadline. Sometimes the writer will just go missing completely. When this happens, you can end up with clients that are disappointed in your service because you are not managing the content schedule they have.
The frustration can be felt on your side because you just want to deliver to your clients so you can invoice on time. For the client, there is a similar frustration. They also have targets that need to be met and your writers being late holds your client up. The biggest danger here is losing the client and worst case scenario is the client does not pay you for the last batch of work.
How do you get around these problems?
You will always need what I call a bucket of writers. At the same time you are trying to get value out of the writers, which essentially is 2 things:
- Quality content that meets the client’s expectations
- A decent profit as you are the one with the client and managing the content as well as client
Most freelance writers will prioritise quicker paying clients or those that pay the highest. In general, I have found that the quicker you pay, the better the freelancers work. Although, there are many freelance writers out there that are not worried about being paid quickly as they have already built up a decent amount of cash to cover their month to month living expenses; in which case, the writer can prioritise higher paid work.
Figuring out whether your writer prefers quicker payments versus high payment and slow pay is something you will just get a feel for the more you get to know the writer. This is however quite complicated and something I now tend to avoid.
Here is the best way to manage your writers and deliver timely content:
Do not load up your writer’s tons of articles with deadlines set. For instance, I used to load some writers up with 50 articles of 500 words with a 7-day deadline for $5 per article. I have also loaded writers up with 20 articles of 1,000 words with a 7-day deadline. For the most part, the writers delivered on time, but there were always those times where deadlines were missed. Sometimes I would get zero content in a week despite content promises.
To resolve this, I just hired more writers and distributed the workload so each writer has less work. For instance, instead of 50 articles of 500 words to 1 writer, I would split this between 5 writers.
Here’s what I would do:
- I would reduce the deadline to 5 days
- If after 5 days some writers did not deliver I would ask another writer to finish them
Firstly, this meant the original writer loses out on work or can get on with some higher paid work provided. Secondly, the writer only has a few articles to deliver and if the articles are not delivered, then you can reassign them to another writer that is hungry for money.
The beauty of this strategy is that you always have a bank if writers available. If one writer fails to deliver, there is always another writer or another two writers that will be willing to do the work of the writer that failed to deliver.
In the end, you have a happy client and you build your reputation for being a reliable content supply business. You can also continue to grow your business without overloading your writers.