By John Doe December 11 2017

Ultimate Guide: How To Buy Blog Posts (Properly)

With so many businesses and entrepreneurs keen to get content out to their audience, outsourcing this has become a common thing to do. There are various platforms that allow you to hire freelance writers for your projects – essentially allowing you to buy blog posts.

The Content Panel is one such platform, and we’re going to provide a quick overview of buying blog posts with us. We’ll also guide you through the process in general, some of the key things to watch out for, and mistakes to avoid. Hopefully, you’ll find these helpful for your individual content strategy!

Buying our blog posts

At The Content Panel, we combine the traditional specialism of our writers, with market-leading technology. Our briefing platform allows you to very quickly get across exactly what you’re looking for from your next blog post. From our clients’ perspectives, it is literally a five-minute form-filling exercise.

We then use AI to find the best writers for that specific client’s needs. This is something we pride ourselves on. The last thing you want is for your work to be given to a writer who can’t match your tone of voice, or doesn’t know your industry. Our AI scans the work of our writers with a high degree of speed and accuracy. We are then able to see who is best suited to our clients.

Once the writer has written the content, our clients can accept it with the click of a button and it becomes theirs to keep. If any amendments are required, they can request these free of charge, and crucially, through a built-in amendment system. They can highlight text and add any comments directly on the system. We don’t believe in forcing clients to go back and forth over email, or asking them to download documents onto their computer. Our aim is to make the user journey as easy as possible.

Going out to the marketplace

So, if you’re considering buying blog posts, what would the process look like for you? Here are the steps you’d generally need to take.

  1. Building a brief

The most important task for you as the client is to convey exactly what you want. Everything that you think is important for the writer to know – what your business does, your required tone of voice, your target audience – needs to be included, along with the topic.

It can sometimes be difficult to get all of this across in one go, as you may forget certain things. If this is the case, you will then find yourself having to go back to the writer with additional information.

To avoid this happening, consider creating a briefing checklist. Use this as the starting point for every brief you create, to remind you of what you need. Tools like this will help you provide clarity – without this, your writer may find it difficult to understand exactly what you want.

How we do it

At The Content Panel, we have this checklist on hand with our brief creating technology. Our expertise means we know all the information to ask, so the questions are laid out in an easy to use form. Within a few minutes, all of the answers you provide us are fed into our system, allowing us to create the perfect brief.

  1. Sourcing and selecting writers

Now you need to go out to the market and find the writer. Remember it’s not just a case of finding somebody who is good with words, but also somebody who can write in the style you want. Ideally, they will have some relevant experience in your industry as well.

Finding and vetting writers to buy blog posts from tends to happen in a couple of different ways.

You may put your brief onto one of the various platforms out there, and writers will apply. You then need to review each application and create a shortlist of the best ones. This includes reviewing their portfolio and potentially giving them a short test if their portfolio isn’t detailed enough.

Another option is to manually find the writers yourself. For example, you may go onto various freelancing websites and search for someone who you think fits the bill. You will then need to negotiate things like price and deadlines.

Both of these can be quite time-consuming, which many businesses will want to avoid. In some cases, you may go to a lot of effort, but have the writer drop out at the last minute, meaning you need to go through the entire process again. There’s also no guarantee of quality, as writers may oversell themselves.

How we do it

The Content Panel actually allows you to skip this part of the process entirely. You never need to worry about finding a writer as we have a large pool of them on our books. Most importantly, we use our AI system to match writers to the project, by scanning through their previous work and looking at their profiles. This means he or she will be able to fit your tone of voice and have a good knowledge of your industry. The time and effort this saves for a business owner can be priceless.

  1. Wait for the copy

The next stage is a waiting game. You will have set a deadline for your writer to get back to you with the first draft. If you have multiple writers working on multiple projects, the chances are you’ll have multiple deadlines. Ensure you are keeping track of these, perhaps in a spreadsheet or with calendar reminders. Also stress to the writers that the deadline you are giving them must be met. Often if a writer misses the deadline, the client has to go back to the previous step and find another writer.

How we do it

Through our built-in technology, we can automatically track the deadlines given to every single writer. They are notified when the job starts, and sent a reminder 24 hours before the work is due. Although it’s highly unlikely, if a writer were to miss the deadline, our system will automatically assign the project to another writer. Crucially, this individual would still be somebody that our AI has determined is a good fit for the client.  

  1. Read and review

The ideal scenario would be never needing to make any edits, but if this is required, you want the process to be as simple as possible. If you’ve ever tried to request amends over email, you’ll know how difficult and inefficient it can be. With large scale pieces of work, it can be almost impossible sometimes. This is where you should try and make use of any tools which make the amendment request process easier.

Another issue could be that the content is so bad it becomes unusable. If this is the case, you’ll need to find a new writer – but often still need to pay the original writer for the time they have spent.

How we do it

Our built-in annotation system lets clients highlight text and write comments to the writer. There is no need for any extra software, or attaching things to emails. Everything is kept on The Content Panel system, and the number of amendment requests is unlimited. In addition, our AI system ensures a strict deadline is given to the writer to get the amends done by – and as mentioned, this is automatically tracked.

On the very rare occasions where the work still isn’t good enough for the client, we will automatically assign the project to another writer. The rewrite is completely free of charge and the number of amendment requests will still be unlimited.

  1. The next project

The final part of the process is to do the same thing again! Content is king and most businesses want to buy blog posts on a regular basis. If you’ve gone out to the market to find your writer, this may be an issue. The good ones will generally be in high demand, so they may not always be able to take on future work from you. And if their work wasn’t good enough, then you probably won’t use them again anyway. Both scenarios will lead you to the laborious step 2 again, where you have to find and vet new writers.

How we do it

All of your feedback on the work we send over is automatically logged into our system. If it’s positive feedback, we will offer your upcoming jobs to the same writer. If not, we will use our AI system to find you another one. As our pool of writers is so large – something we keep a running count of on our website – there is always likely to be someone suited to your needs.

Buying blog posts – Top 3 mistakes

So that’s the process of buying blog posts. But before you start your particular process, it’s important to know what you should avoid. Many people who are new to this tend to get caught out with some common pitfalls – here are the top 3 mistakes.

  1. No strategy

Never rush into the process without a clear content plan. Don’t just think about your next blog and nothing beyond. You need a long-term strategy to blog effectively.

First, think about what your overall goal is. Are you trying to become a thought leader in your industry, or is this a case of aggressively ramping up sales immediately? What’s the demographic of your target audience? If you haven’t done this properly, you won’t get the results you want and will miss industry trend opportunities. Quite simply, if you don’t know what exactly you’re looking to do, how will you find the right topics?

Another advantage of a proper content strategy is that you can map out a blog calendar. This is where you plan how frequently you’ll post and what topics to cover. You must have this, otherwise you’ll miss key date-based opportunities. For example, there are certain occasions during a year that are fixed in advance – Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, Christmas, Easter, St Patrick’s Day, and lots more. By having a calendar, you can plan for these well in advance, and have blogs ready to go. The last thing you want is to rush a piece through at the last minute.

A lack of strategy will also mean you can’t keep track of what’s already been done, and how it performed. This can lead to accidentally duplicating topics, or going back to topics that may not have resonated very well with your audience.

How we do it

At The Content Panel, we remove a lot of the heavy lifting through our blog management service. We suggest topics for our clients, based on all of the information they have given us at the start.  They are given a dedicated campaign manager who proactively reaches out with suggestions – but of course, if the client has specific topics in mind already, we are ready to take them on.

  1. Sacrificing quality for cost

When buying blog posts, it can be tempting to look at the lower end of the market to save money. But more often than not, a low price means low quality. The negative impact this could have on your brand far outweighs any savings you may make. Often the cheapest blog posts are written by non-native speakers, who may be using a translation app to help them. But as we all know, this only gives very literal translations. Anybody who is a native English speaker will pick up on this straight away.

Writers at the lower end of the scale also tend to be unreliable in terms of deadlines. This can have a real impact on your entire content schedule. You may also find yourself having to make lots of changes due to the poor quality of work. Every minute spent on this is another minute not being spent on your business. They say time is money – and the time you are wasting on this is likely to outweigh any potential cost savings.

How we do it

We only hire the best quality blog writers, and every single one is rigorously tested before they are added to our network. This gives both us and our clients the security of knowing work is being done by true professionals with a premium level of talent.

The majority of our writers are either from the UK or the USA, with others from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. These countries all have English as the main business language, so there is no danger of our clients’ work being written in poor English.

If however, our clients don’t like a piece of work and reject it, we give them a new version written by another writer. This is completely free of charge, and our AI system means we know the replacement writer is a good fit for the client.

  1. Inconsistency

It’s not enough to just hire someone who can write well. You need somebody who can match your brand voice.

Perhaps your usual writing style is quirky and informal. Why would you then want your blog to be written by someone who is corporate in their style? This just makes your brand look unprofessional and undecided.

This is bad enough with just one or two pieces of content – but when it gets scaled up on a company website, things get even worse. One of the biggest red flags for a business’s image is if their website looks like random pages thrown together. This happens when writers with different styles have written different pages. The pages wildly lurch from one tone of voice to another, and this lack of connection will leave customers confused.

How we do it

Again, this is where our AI technology comes in handy. We’re able to instantly match our clients’ needs up with our writers. The AI scans their previous work with great speed and accuracy, to see who has the best fit. Importantly, we do this for every individual brief we are given. This means that even if a client has several pieces written by different writers, they will all have a similar feel and tone.

Buying blog posts – what to look for

Now that you know what you should avoid, it’s time to see what specifics you should be looking for when buying blog posts. These are some of the most important things to keep in mind. 

  1. Search Engine Optimization

It’s one thing to buy a blog post, it’s another for it to attract traffic to your website. A piece that is well written from an SEO point of view will rank higher up in the search rankings for your target audience.

For example, you may have written a blog about using and maintaining gym equipment. Therefore you want your blog to appear in front of people who search for fitness-related things.

The way to do this is by making sure keywords and phrases are mentioned within your article – the search engine will pick these up. In the example above, you might want to mention things like “gym”, “gym equipment, and “how to clean gym equipment”.

It’s crucial that you don’t just stuff these keywords and phrases in though. It needs to sound natural – search engines can tell when the blog has been overloaded with certain terms, and this is viewed as a major red flag.

High-class writers are able to write engaging blogs whilst also being keyword-friendly. If you make one of the mistakes mentioned above and go for a low-cost writer, they are unlikely to have this skill.

How we do it

At The Content Panel, all of our writers are trained in optimizing blogs for search engines, but doing so in a seamless way. We as a platform are strongly opposed to keyword stuffing and every writer is aware of this, so best practice is always followed.

In addition, our writers are trained in Latent Semantic Indexing keywords – otherwise known as LSI keywords. This is because search engines like Google don’t just scan for primary keywords anymore; they also look at related concepts to see what a blog is actually about. If we go back to the example above, keywords like “treadmill” and “dumbbells” will also need to be used – yet still in a natural and engaging way.

The world of SEO has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and professional writers like ours have kept up to date with the developments. 

  1. Constant content

Earlier we mentioned how important a long-term strategy is, and this is something you should always have in your mind when buying blog content. Posting once is not how you build a brand. You need to constantly engage with your audience, and this means blogging frequently. Your brand will then stay front and center of mind, gaining repeat visitors.

The more you can position yourself as a thought leader, the more it increases the profile of your business. Consistent, high-quality blogs will show customers that you are a trusted source of insight.

Regular blogs are also useful from an SEO perspective. Which website do you think will rank higher on Google – one which constantly posts on certain industry trends, or one which hardly ever does?

It’s important that you keep things fresh as well. Nobody wants to read the same blog you did last month with just a few sentences changed. Put yourself in the shoes of the audience – what would grab their attention?

However, as important as fresh content is, business owners can struggle with it, due to the time-consuming nature. Entrepreneurs are busy people – thinking of blog ideas and writing them is not something that can be easily done on a lunch break! That’s before you think about the need to proofread, edit, and format. Even those who have talented writers in-house can see them produce one or two blog posts, but then put this to the side due to other work priorities.

How we do it

We offer our clients a monthly subscription package, which means we can guarantee a constant flow of ideas. Our blog management service will scour the market to see what the hot topics are and what will fit in well with your goals. This removes a huge time burden from you.

They also use each piece as an indicator of what works well with your audience. Feedback is analyzed, which allows us to get an idea of which topics provoke the most interest.

  1. The power of a picture

Keep in mind that, whilst words are obviously the most important aspect of a blog, images are also key. They are proven to help increase engagement. Customers tend to find big walls of text off-putting, and if they see a page that looks like this, they can leave without even starting to read.

This adds another layer to the writing process, as images need to be sourced. You will first need to find a royalty-free one. This means you won’t be in danger of infringing upon anyone’s copyright – a very important legal issue. It also needs to be an image that suits the content, and your brand in general.

Never underestimate how tough this part of the process can be – some people find it more difficult than writing hundreds of words! When buying blog posts, see if you can incorporate this into the offering.

How we do it

We offer a Picture Perfect package which completely takes this stress away from the client. Our designers pick out specific, professional images that go suitably with the text content. These will be royalty-free, and will be done for every single blog we write for you.

  1. Keeping up with the uploads

Many clients commission several pieces of work at once, to ensure they have a bank of blogs to hand. But just as writing blogs can be time-consuming, so is posting them!

It’s not uncommon for blogs which have a relevance to a certain time period to be forgotten about. When they are finally remembered, they may be outdated or not as relevant as they would have been.

This is not down to incompetence or laziness – simply a lack of time. Uploading blogs also requires being a dab hand with website technology, as there are formatting and coding issues to think of.

This is why many people look to outsource this – the final part of the process – as well. It provides them with peace of mind, knowing that content that has been worked hard on will see the light of day at the appropriate time.

How we do it

One of the packages we offer at The Content Panel is called ‘The Works’.  We provide the services of an in-house web designer with knowledge of all major Content Management Systems. They will log into your blog and ensure your posts are formatted correctly. These will then be scheduled to go live automatically at a time that suits you.

Ready to buy blog posts?

As you will have seen, there is a lot to think about, but this is definitely the correct approach to take. The decisions you make before buying blog posts can have a huge impact on their quality, your time, your money, and the overall image of your brand.

The key is to do plenty of research and check that each part of the process will be completed to your satisfaction. Avoid the common mistakes we listed above – in particular, the temptation to sacrifice quality in favor of costs, and rushing into an agreement without thinking about your strategy.

As mentioned at the start of this piece, content is king. It can transform both your profile and profits – if done correctly. Things like SEO, the amendment process, and the ability to post regularly are critical. If you get these right, there is no limit to how well-known your brand could become. Whether you’re a large multinational or a small startup, you will always benefit from quality content.

If you’re interested in finding out more about The Content Panel, and the ability to mix specialist writers with modern technology, feel free to visit www.thecontentpanel.com/blog-writing-service.