December 12, 2016

How Much You Should Pay For A Blog Post & Why

In today’s marketing climate, original content is king. This adage might sound a little cliche in 2016, but its sentiment still holds true–especially in the world of online marketing. Every business, whether big or small, brick-and-mortar, or online-only, can only benefit from well-researched, compelling, original copy. How do you know if you’re getting the best bang for your buck?

Original content creation can be implemented on every marketing platform, from brochures to social media to blog posts to website copy. Fresh, professionally-written copy has been proven to work wonders in building a buzz around your brand or establishing a presence in your community.

As a professional copywriter, I can attest that my peers and I are often met with some initial resistance from potential clients. “I have a keyboard. I can write. Why should I make room in my budget for a copywriter when I can write my own copy?” Some business owners do go this route but often they circle back after encountering the challenges that arise when attempting to create their own content on top of running a business.

Finding a writer who can partner with you to help build your brand is an asset that helps your business grow exponentially. I’ve compiled a list of how investing in a professional marketing copywriter can deliver great returns in the long run.

You really do get what you pay for. When it comes to developing a partnership with a marketing copywriter, every interaction is actually building a stronger relationship- in turn, think better content and bigger impact! A good copywriter invests in you- just as you’ve invested in us. When you find a copywriter who is willing to give his or her time and energy into getting to know the ins and outs of your business, it becomes a mutually beneficial relationship.

I, personally, devote hours of time to industry research and learning relevant background info on every client I take on so I can speak on behalf of the business with an authority, knowledge, and conviction that reflects the best of the brand. A good copywriter will have a general familiarity of how your company runs. A great copywriter will speak with an insider’s understanding in a compelling way that draws the customer in. This takes time on the copywriter’s part, but gaining this knowledge is an important part of building trust between your business and potential customers.

Copywriters get you noticed. You might (or might not) be a great writer, but let’s say you still want to give your online presence a boost for a conservative cost. You could ask one of your employees to act as your social media/blogger/copywriter-at-large, but this is often a corner-cutting mistake. Unless you’ve managed to pluck an employee from obscurity who happens to have copywriting experience or a marketing degree under his or her belt. If this is the case, promote and hang on to this person! Otherwise, delegating copywriting duties to an inexperienced writer can be a (potentially dangerous) risk.

Google’s algorithm can sniff out grammatical errors and duplicate content, relegating your post to page 5-level search results. A lack of a cohesive strategy, keywords, and phrases can hurt your SEO results, as well. So, even if you have an on-staff, part-time “copywriter,” it can prove to be a waste of money when you fail to produce relevant, original content.

Words are what we do. I might sound like a broken record, but quality content is what will draw your audience in. You know your business inside and out, but so does an invested copywriter. The difference? A copywriter can translate your passion for your business to a consumer without industry-exclusive jargon that might be confusing. Copywriters are educated (either formally or through experience) in talking to the customer in a manner that is educational and compelling without sounding condescending or too sales-y. We know how to speak to specific client bases and industries. When done well, marketing copy evokes a feeling of need in your consumer they otherwise might not have felt. When done poorly, it can make your brand sound unprofessional, schmaltzy, or awkward. A professional copywriter can find a nuanced way to offer solutions to problems a customer didn’t even know they had through storytelling and precisely chosen words. Oh, and it should also be mentioned that a good portion of us are grammar nerds. While this is a quality lost on most, every business can benefit from the professional edge that comes with error-free content.

Consider the alternatives. Craigslist and Upwork are two popular sites for outsourcing content. There are also a number of blog writing services that pop up in Google results. Craigslist.org is an online marketplace where you can offer writing work while Upwork.com is a freelancing website that has recently acquired Elance and Odesk. You’ll usually have luck finding a freelancer on any of these sites willing to write about any kind of subject for a low rate. But…. the bargain price tag comes with strings attached.

When paying less for content, you are usually sacrificing originality, research, marketing expertise, and SEO know-how. You also run the risk of sourcing out plagiarized material by an inexperienced student or someone who speaks English as a second language. While the low price point seems appealing at first, it’s vital to remember that Google’s algorithm hates plagiarized copy and routinely boots it to the bottom of search results. What’s the point of sourcing out copy if no one sees it? And even if it were seen, is it content that you’re proud to put out into the world to represent your company?

Get back to work. No matter the size of your business, chances are that running it takes up a good portion of your time. Outsourcing something like content creation to a copywriter is a great way to free up time for yourself to concentrate on generating revenue elsewhere. Creating copy is a time-consuming process- even for the pros. When you put things into perspective, hiring a copywriter to take this off your plate is a relatively low cost, considering the late nights and weekends you’re likely already working.

Now for the inside scoop:

When it comes to a standard 500-word blog post, expect to pay, at least, $100 for a properly formatted, SEO-friendly, well-researched original piece of content. If you’re paying less, you’ve been warned….

Getting your business noticed is what marketing is all about. While hiring a marketing professional might seem like a large, unnecessary cost up front, I urge you to consider the long-term payoff. Remember the karmic-themed culture of my company? You get back what you put out there. By investing in a copywriter, your business is sure to see results. What business owner doesn’t want an enhanced online presence, improved SEO results, and an uptick in social media followers?