27: How to Get Content Written For Your Site

27: How to Get Content Written For Your Site

Creating content for your business can be touch when you are busy doing everything else.

In todays episode, we talk about how to get content written for your site so you don't have to do it yourself.

Resources for this Episode

Darryl:                    Hi I'm Darryl King and my co-host Ed Pelgen where a couple of old internet guys who have been running our online agencies for over 20 years we get together weekly to talk about all things online especially for small and medium business owners or executives who are still referring to their online website as their bloody website each week we aim to tackle a range of online issues and put them in plain language so anyone can understand how to make their website work better for their business we are episode 27 How to get content written for your site good morning Edmund

Edmund:                Good morning Darryl how are you?

Darryl:                    good mate; content you know I love content writing words fantastic, so interlude we have talked a couple of months ago we spent a fair bit of time about content not all content is written we know that we've done sessions on video and that expands that to audio and there's images all sorts of things but contents a big part of it the written word and it's so many people struggle with we know that how do they get it done they might have lots of ideas that I'm feel confident writing that I wanna write it’s too busy the last episode we talked about using experts to help you when you get in trouble but in this instance this is about using other mechanisms to get stuff written for your sites how we're gonna go about it what's the starting points what are we gonna how we're going to help people get the content written on their website or their blog or whatever medium they wanna use

Edmund:                yeah I think we'll just walk through the various options that are available to them I think it's important to note though that there are some pieces of content that I think that you as the business owner need to be committed to creating or writing yourself right especially when it comes to your product or service and especially when it comes to you know things like how your product or service deals with how it solves your customers problems right so I guess the general idea we're talking about here is you know people say that you need to be writing ongoing content and blogging and stuff like that will give them some ideas about how where they can get that created but right out of the gate you you can't avoid doing some writing that's what I would say first up would you agree?

Darryl:                    I think it's really yeah I agree I think it's a really good point um and I don’t remember what episode it was we talked about ways to get ideas down so when you talk about when we write a product recommendation would be if you know in your heart of hearts that you are a cheap writer no matter how much you write it no matter how much knowledge you have about it that it still just doesn't read right because that's just not where you're at then the way I would interpret what you're saying is write it out because you only you will know most of what there is about it and worst case record it to give to a copywriter but if you go write this stuff because you should and I agree with you there are some things that you just need to write write it out to the absolute best of your ability and make sure that that key things about your product or service are in there there is no harm no foul in getting in a copywriter or editor to help polish it

Edmund:                Church

Darryl:                    you know and look in a lot of cases you might write at all but make sure you get someone else to look at it because online copywriting is distinctly different to brochure copy and writing a book and all these other things there are different use cases the way people look at and read it's different so the fact that the content of your content right

Edmund:                Yep

Darryl:                    the topic of your content the data within it needs to be there and you've done it but the flow the way it's written depending on what type of page or post or element might just simply be someone looking at that not every button on is on everything is cool to learn more you know things like that but but when you're getting to that meaty copy don't be afraid to engage someone just purely for the task of editing

Edmund:                absolutely and you know at this point that so we're assuming you've taken care of that you've got that copy on your website you know your pages are there and then you've got this ongoing need for content so how are you gonna how are you gonna create it right well the first thing is you if you are a writer and you've got that creative bent in your body then you could write it yourself right it does take a commitment to time to get it created and publish but that's the first thing most a lot of people like to write so that's the first option you've got write it yourself

Darryl:                    okay and then I would think that within your business so if we stay internalized or close to home

Edmund:                yeah absolutely

Darryl:                    the next thing that probably comes out of that and I know we mentioned this in getting ideas about how to get ideas there to reach out and find amongst your staff people that might be interested so if you ask people properly then maybe one or more staff members there actually would love to have a crack at it and be involved then and don't assume based on the role they fill in your business that they are not capable of doing it because sometimes the gems come from a different perspective someone might be doing a menial task in your warehouse who at night writes romance novel or a technical writer as a blog or who knows what their passion is they had may have wanted to be a writer and never had the confidence to do it you might be opening their world for them in a way that you couldn't imagine don't assume that it has to be a white-collar professional person that in theory knows XYzed the same things will operate that could operate for getting a third party person involved which is you might lay out the topics you might give them a framework of bullet points and they go and write it they may have enough knowledge themselves so I'm just saying ask around everyone ask your team

Edmund:                that's right

Darryl:                    (6:06…?) casual someone might love it it might be an extra three or four hours a week they get that you can give them and they might just drive at it it might be the best thing

Edmund:                that's a great idea that's an absolutely great idea and I think there's another opportunity for companies where they may have you know a bunch of good content and information but maybe it's caught up or tied up in video or audio and in that case

Darryl:                    That’s right yeah they've done, they might have had high quality productions done for ads or whatever

Edmund:                yeah absolutely you know they could have sometimes they have training videos done or how to use videos for their tool you know how to install this and all that sort of stuff and a great way of getting written content done is to simply take that content and get it transcribed and there are a number of low-cost services that are very efficient at turning that audio and visual content into text you know what one of them comes to mind is there is an online service called Trent T-R-E-N-T and that uses an automated engine to take your video and turn it into text which is a really powerful solution well there's also rev.com which great a transcription they had like one US dollar a minute of you know audio that they'd taken in convert so there's you know like you said there's lots of options there and that's a smart one because you're repurposing existing stuff

Edmund:                exactly

Darryl:                    which is a little and you could take that further as well obviously you know like any type of material you've got that can be repurposed but what some others other ways to get done

Edmund:                yep so there are some businesses out there, for whom having a flow of regular informative insightful content is is important right whether they've got an audience that that that they need to feed with fresh content well some of those businesses have taken to allowing third party people other writers to publish on their site and in the terminology that we use is called guest posting or accepting you know guest writers on your site and you know a lot

Darryl:                   okay stop so let's let's translate look I understand what that means we've got a guest writer someone else  is gonna write on your behalf but let's go into the shoes of someone that we're talking about

Edmund:                Yeah

Darryl:                    some guy that's got a little small industrial business why is he going to put some third party ideas what ideas how would that work it might be

Edmund:                so so and as I said it's certain types of business it may not be relevant for all of them but for example let's say you had an e-commerce shop I'm gonna use an example like I can actually make a more relevant example let's say you ran a health and wellness ecommerce shop where you sold a range of health and wellness products and you had a blog and you wrote about you know the latest treatments and things like that stuff that is going to appeal to people who buy health wellness products that you sell so one way that you can do this is there are a ton of people who write about these sorts of stuff you know people who who write about diet and exercise and whatnot and those people they may be bloggers themselves right and they're looking for exposure for their businesses now they don't directly compete with you they don't sell health and wellness products right but they're looking for for branding as well and so the benefit for them is that they get published on another site it's good for their SEO it's you know other people get to see them as a published writer and you get some really interesting helpful articles that you can publish on your website that people can read and if they happen to be interested in the topic of that will probably be interested in buying your health and wellness products so that's it that's a that's an example the

Darryl:                    take my example of a small industrial business maybe they manufacture product they could use they all they could invite suppliers people you know like reps and people from this flyer company is to talk about something that they might use and I mean even an example if they use a very unique piece of equipment in your locality like a piece of machinery that is quite unique quite expensive they could get people from that company to talk about the differences in it and how it applies to this particular business

Edmund:                Yeah

Darryl:                    or the problems it solves and even in stuff where you know they're reselling I don't know like you know I mean I'm just picking ideas out of here but if you're a mechanic that is trying to stand out because most mechanics aren't putting a lot of effort into what they're doing you know you could be getting guys from the oil supplies from some of the parts of ours to talk about what's involved and going into more in depth on some of the more technical off that might be but in a practical way for your audience I guess it's got to be relevant for your audience

Edmund:                exactly and that's it and you know I originally listed that because most of those guys would think well why would I let anyone else write on my blog who might be a competitor well you obviously don't let competitor publish something on your blog but it's someone who might be further up or down the value chain in your industry who's got something to say that would be of interest to your customers

Darryl:                    okay so we should probably talk real quickly about that if you're gonna get guest writers or people posting on your site one you need to be in control of topic and content so you're not giving people unfettered access you probably discussing a topic with them or their pitching a topic idea to you because you've got a few people that you'd let do it you have a standard so you have a style this is what our posts need to be like we wanna keep them consistent the roughly this length and then you would read it and check that you're happy that they're not saying things that might cause problems for your audience right so just some basic housekeeping things there's a lot of online resources you could find about you know ways to manage guest posting and all that

Edmund:                yeah

Darryl:                    just think about that as if you were letting someone in your office for a week to work no don’t make sure you wear clothes don't yell

Edmund:                Yeah

Darryl:                    clean the dishes in the sink you know all those sorts of that you just, housekeeping

Edmund:                yeah you don't give them unfettered access to your website obviously in the way that most businesses and brands address this is they'll have a page that says write for us interested in writing for us and they'll set out what they're willing to accept the topics that they want people to write about and the process you know and

Darryl:                    and that's probably that's sorry Ed that’s probably not as relevant say a small business that's not an online business they wouldn't have a right for us page but they can have a guideline and pitch out to people and say and well look here's an example if if I was on the Ireckon.com site and I was talking about the need for people to make sure the legality of their website is handled properly I could reach out to Brendon Loignon and say Brendon I know you're trying to do blogging I know you're trying to do news that is why don't you write a post around this topic to go on our site about considerations for legal stuff and then you know so you can reach out to people like that people you work with every day and get just to break up your content isn't it's about helping get the work done

Edmund:                yeah and and that those legal issues for websites are very relevant to people who would be interested in buying a website from you for example so it's relevant content

Darryl:                    yeah okay excellent what about using so going further on third parties so we've talked about a third party where it's someone that we know who has a supplier but what about if I've got the topics and the ideas I'll go back to where we sit on a (13:35 grab writer) I don't want to do it

Edmund:                yeah

Darryl:                    how about engaging third pays/parties actually right constantly on an ongoing basis for

Edmund:                yeah well yeah absolutely you could you could certainly do that I mean a lot of businesses operate in spaces where there are a lot of industry experts right and one way that you a tactical way that's very common is that you'll have a question or an issue and you'll reach out for to a bunch of experts in your industry and you'll ask for their insight or their answer to a question and you you can basically then compile a blog post or an article on your website which is an expert roundup so ultimately what you've done is you've just gone through the process of colliding and putting it in an easy-to-read format you haven't had to write all of this stuff right so you've created an expert roundup simply by asking people hey what's your answer to this question

Darryl:                    okay cool well though they're very good too there wasn't quite what I was asking but

Edmund:                okay

Darryl:                    cuz that's a that's a good time but uh I was thinking more about engaging someone do the writing sorry

Edmund:                oh yeah

Darryl:                    but the expert roundups I think are really really cool like you said and and a lot of industries probably aren't done at all you know no you we see them the SEO online marketing just what are the trends for this year so if you think about in your business and go okay what are the you know like no one's talking about the trends in paint or you know what's changing in on a mode and start for you know food habits that we think what are the next food trends next year you see and go and get some of your buddies in the cafe restaurant space that you know and get them all to give their opinion

Edmund:                absolutely well the most immediate example it comes to mind which is an actual example is I worked with a client who was selling retail technologies a retail technology platform and they basically

Darryl:                    whatever that is (15:21 point-of-sale)

Edmund:                point-of-sale on our systems retail technology point-of-sale systems and they basically reached out to a bunch of retail experts and who made commentary about the state of retail and the trends and all that sort of stuff and they loved it because you know retail pundits and experts they wanna get their their opinions out there and so they wanted to contribute and this company got an opportunity to get some really good valuable insight to publish on their website so that was really good outcome for them

Darryl:                    okay I said where I was heading with it was what about you know I'm not good writer I'd I've done all these other things or I occasionally get these people we've talked about to do that but we need to produce content regularly we've committed to it we've come up with some great topics but I'm not gonna write I found no start I wanna write

Edmund:                Yeah

Darryl:                    how do I go about getting someone to write for me?

Edmund:                Yes

Darryl:                    on a contractual basis

Edmund:                yeah so in you know in the past obviously everyone would say well look around for a local writer and but

Darryl:                    what's what the local writer?

Edmund:                yes so and this is the problem someone who likes to write who writes for a living right who would charge you on a per article basis but

Darryl:                    for a copyright

Edmund:                a copy writer but in the last couple of years there's been a massive growth in websites where they aggregate they get you know they provide a place for writers to go and for people like you know business owners to basically list writing jobs and so people could could pitch on them on a per job basis or an ongoing basis and there are a ton of these sites out there but it's incumbent on you as the business owner to to outline the content to say look this is these are the topics this is the length this is what I'm willing to pay you know and outline the parameters of the content that you want written for you and then you can simply upload it to these websites and you know freelance writers can bid on it freelance writers can can can you know pitch and whatnot but it's up to you to say hey this is the content I want and what's great about these sites is that they do a lot of verification and checking upfront and they write the writers and the creators so what's really awesome is that a lot of the sites allow you to go and say I want a five star English language writer whose based in the UK who's got expertise in this area to write for me and that's really powerful

Darryl:                    and some of them actually do plagiarism checks as part of it by the folders well done they said that

Edmund:                yes

Darryl:                    just getting recycled content that these people are trying to make money off doing

Edmund:                yeah

Darryl:                    and look I think to a large element you've got to be mindful that you pay you get what you pay for right

Edmund:                yes

Darryl:                    so if you're going out there and going well I'm gonna get great article content every week for three bucks a week expect that what you think is great and what you get is gonna be completely different right so and I mean you could use so you can use a local copywriter you can find someone you can find a copywriter that's not so local that's out there there are a lot of people that that's what they wanna do every day is just write articles people they're very organized and efficient at it it's not going to be necessarily as expensive as you might think because they need to be efficient they need to be knocking over a couple every hour sorry one in every couple of hours do a bit of research be able to produce them in a few hours get them approved do the final edits and stuff because otherwise they're not going to make money right if they're trying to be competitive they wanna do it they're working an eight-hour day they you know there's only so many they can produce so they will be highly efficient if they're any good and you know and I guess you have to know what you want to if you want a technical white paper written for you this is 500-word blog post you're gonna get different you find different expertise different levels but and you could go straight to freelancer.com or upwork or fiber and you could do the hard graft yourself and try and find someone and build a relationship and pay them on an ad-hoc basis as well couldn't you

Edmund:                yeah absolutely and I think it's important to also mention that people's perception of what's expensive is gonna vary by industry and by the complexity of what they're after you know if they're after just regular sort of industry fluff pieces and news stories they're relatively easy to produce right but you're right if you had an engineering business and you wanted a more technical piece or white paper that is and it takes research and an investment and a knowledge of an industry well then you you'll expect to pay more but by the same token you wouldn't have to do it yourself and your time I'm sure is as valuable as theirs is or more

Darryl:                    well and I think this is the thing that people need to put in perspective now people will happily spend hundreds of dollars in lost waste money on pay-per-click advertising because they're not managing it properly but then if they would have spent $100 a week on copywriting or $200 a week they would might argue with it and yet the long-term value could be if they're doing it properly if they're gonna content strategy the producing content that works spending a couple hundred dollars a week eight hundred dollars a month could be a much better investment and I'm not saying that's how much it's gonna cost I'm not pricing our copy at this point I don't know market rates and you can obviously get stuff for nickels and dimes and you can get it for a lot more but you could be blowing money and opportunity and lots of other ways spending money you know and a lot of businesses will spend more than that on basic tea and coffee and things like that that's not generating anything but obviously gotta have it keeping staff happy but this is about marketing activity this is about providing useful resources so you do need to invest some time or money

Edmund:                yeah absolutely I'd

Darryl:                    what other things do we need to think about getting content written for your site?

Edmund:                well I think it's oh well I think this is interesting as an aside to mention that you know for some industries the future is actually around AI or artificial intelligence I know of a platform out there right now so for example in the in the sports reporting sports results reporting space you know there are a lot of sporting games and results that happen every day and I know that a lot of American organizations use automated systems one platform that comes to mind is called Wordsmith which takes the data the information of the sporting results and using some really smart algorithms is actually able to create news content you know sporting results that reads like it was written like a human which is really interesting so I mean those those industries are few and far between and obviously investment is big but it's it's fascinating to see where the future is going from a content creation perspective but for most of us we do have to put in the hard yards and spend you know

Darryl:                    alright I mean there was that thing last year the Halloween that Charlie AI or whatever it was which is named after Mary Shelley that wrote Frankenstein but where they've got AI horror stories being created basically that passed a whole lot of information into this engine and now it just produces this Historics right and though it was tweeting out you know like sentences and stuff which was yeah but there are stories that talk about news that is automatically generated from information and then just processed and edited there's a lot of stuff like this when you talk about AI people think of robots and like terminator but artificial intelligence is just you know computer programs that are doing tasks and they are learning to do things by combining words and sentences and put stuff together with enough input so

Edmund:                yeah

Darryl:                    what I guess talking about getting content written I talked about a little earlier but really at the end of the day you have to ran it all out and polish it out by having it edited put together properly you can't just assume it's going to be great I've seen this with transcriptions a lot we're getting with the transcriptions here some weeks we don't get to go through the properly we still placed them up mostly but you know they're not always perfect so you do have to go through that editing process you need to make sure that you still apply quality layers to what you're doing

Edmund:                exactly I think that's really important regardless of where you go to get your content creating or how it created or how you get it created you still need to apply the brain filter across it yourself and make sure that it's the right quality and it's appealing to your audience

Darryl:                    brilliant alright we wrapped that one we’ve

Edmund:                yeah I think that’s it (23:33)

Darryl:

Edmund:                yeah I reckon in the resources we'll leave some links to some of these online sites where people you know investigate more and maybe a tool like Trent as well that's a great little resource as well if you wanna get Transcript

Darryl:                   well and look at speaking of that little tools like Grammerly if you're doing the writing yourself go on investing Grammerly its online little tool that works with word and websites and WordPress and things it'll do all your spelling and grammar checking for you and prompt you it's a really really powerful way and it'll actually measure your performance if you write them and Grammarly and then take them from there and export them it'll record how you guys so we'll put some links to things like that which really can help people be better at their writing (24:17)

Edmund:                excellent well that's it for the day what do you reckon Darryl

Darryl:                    I reckon

Edmund:                great thanks again for listening we really appreciate having you along for the ride if you'd like to see these show notes get access to the resources we talked about today and get notified about new episodes just visit bloodywebsite.com or subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or Stitcher also if you enjoyed this podcast please leave a review on iTunes it really helps other people find the podcast we hope to see you next week we'll continue this chat about my bloody website it's goodbye from me

Darryl:                    and it's goodbye from him