The term “content marketing” has been around for years (really just a combination of inbound marketing and PR-related publication). Yet small businesses still frequently get it wrong.
Here’s the thing. Content marketing is all about creating and sharing high quality content — things people actually want to consume and interact with.
Are You Making This Content Marketing Mistake?
Now here’s the mistake I still see businesses make quite frequently:
They still prioritize quantity over quality.
It happens time and time again. A company — including fairly large ones — will advertise on some freelance board about a content writing gig. They want someone well-versed in Web content writing, blogging, social media, and content marketing. They expect that someone to have years of experience. And they expect flawless writing. In fact, they usually expect several of these writers. And they usually want those things at rock-bottom rates.
Playing Content Marketing Catch-Up
The ads usually mention that they’re trying to build a collection of articles. It’s about quantity. They haven’t been producing much content on their own. Now they hear “content marketing” is all the rage. And they want in. So they focus on a massive surge of content up front, sometimes with little more than a plan to toss it on a company blog.
What’s the problem with this? Usually the client’s expectations far exceed what they’re actually buying. It’s easy to assume you can pay $25 or so per article and get decent material, if your experience only extends as far as bottom-of-the-barrel online marketplaces or content mills. Most experienced top-notch content writers don’t find their gigs in those kinds of places though, and you can’t compare rates there to hiring an experienced pro.
Lessons from the Past
By all means, for $50 or so you could get decent content from a newer writer or one living in a lower cost of living country (assuming they write so fluently in the language you’re looking for that they would pass as a native speaker). Or you might find a decent new writer at those rates. (Side note: I’ve run one of the leading websites for freelance writers for 13 years, and $50 per article is the bare bones minimum I advise new freelance content writers to charge.)
But the obscenely low rates do nothing but send pros running. You end up sacrificing quality — what content marketing is all about — to save money and put it towards quantity. That’s exactly what did in the older, now-failed, content mills and what changed the focus on web content for both search engines and readers in the first place.
You can put in the effort yourself to make that happen. Or you can hire a professional to assist you with your content marketing.
Don’t make the same mistake companies have been making for years by outsourcing your content writing to the cheapest providers you can find. You won’t save a cent if that cheaper content costs you readers, customers, rankings, or reputation — all things a strong content marketing strategy should help you build.
If you want professional help with your content marketing strategy or any type of business content creation, contact me and let’s discuss your project details.