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Quick Questions for Those Who Outsource Content Writing

Discussion in 'General Business' started by TwoCentHeroes, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. #1
    Hi everyone,

    I'm gearing up to start a thread in the B/S/T section where I'll be offering my content writing services. I think I have a pretty unique and genuinely helpful service to contribute to the community, but this isn't a pitch. I'd actually really love to get some feedback from some of the members here who regularly outsource to writers.

    Here's what I think is probably necessary to be taken seriously as a freelance writer:
    • High quality content (of course)
    • A website (mine is currently under development)
    • Samples (how else are you supposed to know if a writer is good?)
    • A Skype name (where one actually replies to messages promptly)
    • A phone number for calls/texting (why does nobody do this?)
    • Fast turnaround times (As in 72 hours or less, I don't think someone should take 3 days to write 1,000 words)
    • Real invoices (to make it easy to pay and for better record keeping)
    • Basically just genuinely caring about the client and treating them right
    Am I missing anything? What else can I do to make my service the best on DP?
    SEMrush
    Also this would be interesting to learn - what do you hate about outsourcing content? What are your pet peeves? What's the worst experience you've ever had? How could a writer correct those problems for you?

    How about the best experiences you've had? Why were they so great?

    I'm actually a little nervous, but once I get enough likes I'll be making a thread. I think I could really help the community here but I feel like maybe I'm forgetting some important points. If you're reading this, your insight or thoughts would be very much appreciated. I'm sure other writers could benefit from your input as well, so please share!
     
    TwoCentHeroes, Apr 12, 2016 IP
    SEMrush
  2. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #2
    I think it would also be worth noting whether you just do entry-level articles or whether you're actually able to do research and write more in-depth articles on topics
     
    sarahk, Apr 12, 2016 IP
  3. dcristo

    dcristo Illustrious Member

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    #3
    I think it helps to be an expert in a particular field, instead of being a writer that is happy to write about anything and everything.

    I might not be the best writer in the world (in fact I failed English in Year 12), but because I am passionate about a subject, it shows through in my writing.
     
    dcristo, Apr 12, 2016 IP
  4. KylieSweet

    KylieSweet Well-Known Member

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    #4
    A good writer can adapt in different environment and can develop new as well as great story which is interesting as well as beneficial to the target users.
     
    KylieSweet, Apr 12, 2016 IP
  5. TwoCentHeroes

    TwoCentHeroes Greenhorn

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    #5
    This is a good point, thank you. I'm big on research and putting together the best possible article period, but I understand that a lot of other writers sort of float around the "surface level" of a topic.

    Dcristo, thanks for your input. I absolutely agree about being able to write better about something you're passionate about - whenever I'm working on a project that involves, say, music for example, it tends to turn out really good. However, when you write for a living, I do think that to some degree you should be able to write about "anything and everything." A big part of being a good writer is being a good researcher - I've managed to put together content about fairly complex topics that I'm certainly not an expert about, yet the content was still very useful to readers. I do think it's possible to strike a balance. Having said that I do support any writer that's upfront about the things they won't write about (e.g., gambling, adult, and so on).

    KylieSweet, I love your description that a writer should be capable of weaving "a great story." I agree with this 100% - it's possible to take a subject that should by all accounts be boring, but make it interesting by telling the reader a story. Adapting to a different environment is more or less what I was talking about in my reply to dcristo. Thank you for your thoughts.
     
    TwoCentHeroes, Apr 12, 2016 IP
  6. MurrayRothbard

    MurrayRothbard Active Member

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    #6
    Price is important. If you can offer a competitive price that is going to drive a lot of customers to you. It's important too that you aggressively pursue the work. I can think of 15-20 market places off the top of my head where content is being purchased on the internet right now. Apply for the gigs on upwork, buy & sell forums etc. Another very important thing is timely turn around. And you don't need to sacrifice quality here by any means, but if you focus and work hard you can get a lot of high quality work done quickly, bringing in more money for yourself as well as improving your reputation and making your customers happy.
     
    MurrayRothbard, Apr 12, 2016 IP
  7. TwoCentHeroes

    TwoCentHeroes Greenhorn

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    #7
    MurrayRothbard, thank you for your input.

    Yes, a reasonable and competitive price is important. If my name was any indication, I'll be offering my services for $0.02/word. I understand that there's plenty of writers who charge $0.01, but in my experience, you do get what you pay for - although there are some real gems out there, I'll admit. Having said that, I believe that the $0.02 price point is very reasonable for the caliber of service that I plan to offer.

    You make an interesting point about not sacrificing quality, yet still getting quite a bit of work done. I'm capable of writing and editing quite a lot in a single day, but I'm very upfront with my clients about what kind of TAT they can expect - if there's going to be a delay because I'm all booked up, I'll be honest about it. I think a lot of writers overbook and, of course, this results in unhappy clients (I'm guessing quite a few people here have played the "where's my content???" game.)

    One more thing you mentioned that caught my eye - 15-20 marketplaces off the top of your head is a pretty big list. Would you mind sharing?

    Here's what I can think of at the moment:
    • All the major internet marketing forums, like Digital Point, Warrior Forum, BHW, WickedFire. Perhaps others but I'm not sure what kind of traffic/active membership they have.
    • Freelancing sites like the big two, Freelancer and Upwork, but maybe others like Guru.
    And...hmm, that's really all I can think of at the moment. If you could expand that list, I'd definitely appreciate it. Thanks for your comment!
     
    TwoCentHeroes, Apr 12, 2016 IP
  8. MurrayRothbard

    MurrayRothbard Active Member

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    #8
    maybe 15-20 was over stating it, anyway :

    reddit has some stuff, not a ton.

    http://www.casinoaffiliateprograms.com/bb/casino-and-gambling-articles.html

    https://www.namepros.com/forums/content-creation-and-copywriting-deprecated.147/

    http://www.affiliateguarddog.com/community/forums/looking-to-hire.123/

    http://www.casinomeister.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=87

    http://www.pokeraffiliatelistings.com/forums/content-services/

    and there are more affiliate sites as well.
    kijiji.ca
    craigslist

    kijiji and craigslist you can post an ad in like 500 different markets so there is a lot of advertising you can do there.
     
    MurrayRothbard, Apr 12, 2016 IP
  9. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #9
    Quite right about not being sucked in by the bargain basement writers - companies like plana.co.nz charge huge amounts and their customers pay happily. One client even flew a team to another country for 3 months and that must have cost a bomb but they saw value in well written material.
     
    sarahk, Apr 12, 2016 IP
  10. TwoCentHeroes

    TwoCentHeroes Greenhorn

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    #10
    Even so, you gave me some great ideas! Thank you. I hadn't considered any of those affiliate sites. Craigslist and other classified sites are also a good idea - CL would probably yield the best results, but when you're looking to increase your spread as much as possible, the other ones are probably worth looking into as well.

    Thank you for your thoughts. That's a really interesting story. There's definitely big time value in well written content, and those who can afford it will pay - because their ROI will reflect their investment. It depends on who you ask and some folks probably consider $0.02 to be in the "bargain basement" range - but I think it strikes the right balance both for webmasters on a budget and business owners who need bulk content that's still high quality. Once you start creeping into the $0.03-$0.05 and beyond range, it becomes cost prohibitive for a lot of people. My goal is to provide the best content two cents can buy.

    Also by choosing this name I've painted myself into a bit of a corner, haven't I? Haha. I suppose I could do something clever like "I'll give you my two cents but it'll cost more than that" but I think I'll be sticking with the $0.02 range for now.

    Really appreciate everyone who's contributed to this thread so far. I'd love to hear some more thoughts or stories.
     
    TwoCentHeroes, Apr 13, 2016 IP
  11. TwoCentHeroes

    TwoCentHeroes Greenhorn

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    #11
    Just wanted to post a quick update for everyone that's been following and contributing to this thread.

    I'm very proud to announce that the Two Cent Heroes service thread is finally live: https://forums.digitalpoint.com/thr...r-0-02-word-yes-only-two-cent-heroes.2778406/

    Feel free to critique it - and if anyone wants to share additional thoughts about the questions I posed in the beginning of this thread, please feel free to do so. I want to do my best to keep learning and improving.
     
    TwoCentHeroes, Apr 15, 2016 IP
  12. Jeffr2014

    Jeffr2014 Active Member

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    #12
    TwoCentHeroes, I've got your PM, but I currently have 2 writers working for me, will ping you if they are overloaded or if one of them quits.
    Couple of recommendations:
    1. Somebody made a good point above re highlighting your areas of expertise. This could be your college major or hobby, etc.
    2. You should be equally comfortable writing using "informative" (like your Rottweiler example) and "personal" styles - many bloggers want to "connect" with readers and looking for humorous personal pieces.
    3. Finally, you may consider introducing different price point for re-writing vs. writing: I know that my writers charge me different rates for original article (when they have to do research and find sources) vs. re-write (when I provide the source article). I typically pay $15/1000 words rewrites and $20/1000 words of original text.

    Good luck!
     
    Jeffr2014, Apr 16, 2016 IP
  13. TwoCentHeroes

    TwoCentHeroes Greenhorn

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    #13
    Jeff, great suggestions! Thank you so much. The next time I bump my thread (and thus get the opportunity to edit it), I'm going to be taking some of your suggestions into consideration.

    I definitely appreciate you keeping me in mind for future assignments.

    May I ask what kind of work you do? Not trying to pry - just curious and I always like learning more. I've been around the block a bit too, so perhaps I could even offer some of my own insights. Either way, it was great to hear from you.
     
    TwoCentHeroes, Apr 21, 2016 IP
  14. Smyrl

    Smyrl Tomato Republic Staff

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    #14
    One thing in your first post jumped out at me. That is
    • A phone number for calls/texting (why does nobody do this?).
    My conjecture why nobody does this is to avoid having sleep interrupted in middle of night. That aspect would be no problem if you are working out of an office and reside elsewhere but if working from your home and a demanding client resides outside your country, client's time of day and your time of day could be quite different.
     
    Smyrl, Apr 21, 2016 IP
  15. TwoCentHeroes

    TwoCentHeroes Greenhorn

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    #15
    Smyrl, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    I give out my personal number to all of my clients and thus far it's never been an issue. However, I can see why it would be a concern for some - in this case, it's relatively simple and very cheap to set up a VOIP number. Some services can include SMS messages, and almost all will allow you to forward calls to another number at will (so if desired you could have calls go to your cell during the day, and turn off forwarding at night.)

    Since I don't do this I'm not sure about pricing, but I'd be shocked if something like this cost more than $15-20 per month. It would give a freelancer total control over when clients can contact them while still enjoying the benefits and professionalism of providing a phone number.
     
    TwoCentHeroes, Apr 21, 2016 IP
  16. WebmasterPhil

    WebmasterPhil Member

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    #16
    I think you should acknowledge which categories you are best at writing for - business, computer, fitness, etc.

    That way, clients won't have to guess what your specialties are.
     
    WebmasterPhil, Apr 26, 2016 IP
  17. TwoCentHeroes

    TwoCentHeroes Greenhorn

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    #17
    Great point WebmasterPhil, and you aren't the first person to mention this. The next time I can bump/edit my thread I'm going to include some of my favorite niches.
     
    TwoCentHeroes, Apr 26, 2016 IP