What should I look for when hiring a professional blogging company?
I would like to understand if the company can offer subscription services and other support towards maintaining a company blog
Megh and Modeo have put you on the right track with their emphasis on "quality" content.
My advice is to also take into consideration what your Company does and try to find someone that shares the same passion as you do for your ideas, products and services. Passion helps motivate individuals to create the best content. It could also be true that in your business a certain skill or shared life experience will be required to represent you well.
I agree with Megh's reluctance to recommend Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services. I believe a lot of what is done in SEO's name only helps the pocketbook of the service provider. If you remember that on the Internet "Content is King" and use WordPress with a good plugin like SEO by Joost de Valk you can't go wrong.
Finally, there are freelancers (and companies) that do offer blog subscription services. Consider someone who's services go beyond your blog. If the Blog is your "website"; I also recommend this site, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Think social media.
If you're hiring a blogging company on mosaicHUB, taking a look at what they've posted in our Resource Center is a great start to evaluating their competencies.
In your interview, you should make sure they understand not only how to write, but the brand strategy surrounding content. This can be determined both by the questions you ask them, but also by the questions that they think to ask you. Blogs must reflect your brand's messaging and personality- ask them how they can make that work and take note if they ask you any questions regarding your overall brand's personality!
1) Quality of Content writers ( experience, portfolio etc)
2) Quality of blogs ( Language, ability to convey the idea succinctly, Logical flow of ideas)
3) The readership/ Followers ( Numbers do not count- the readers should be genuine) If you have shortlisted any such business try to follow their blogs for some time to assess the credibility of people following or reading.
I won't recommend SEO services at all.
Pick your niche. Know your target market.
Know about the different "blogging companies". Take your time. Investigate and learn those companies track record (years in service, achievements, etc), promises given and kept. Price and commitment should also be a big consideration. Check if their claims are in line with how they deliver.
Look for the company's price, brand, integrity, track record and how great they are at customer service and technical support. Prompt delivery of services.
Be ready to get your money's worth. Always read the fine print before you sign any contracts. Always ask questions when you encounter buzz words to avoid wrong assumptions and miscommunication between you and the company.
Ask if your industry/area of expertise is one of the areas they blog. As a professional blogger, I don't answer that question, "I write everything." If they blog everything, I recommend you keep looking. No one can be an expert at everything.
Ask their philosophy on SEO and content marketing. Ideally you want a blogger who uses keywords (SEO) in a way that answers questions your audience or clients are asking. They will be creating content that helps your site get found online. Content marketing is huge with Google -- check out the Hummingbird update for more information.
Work with a blogger that you can talk to and share ideas. You may ask for them to create an editorial calendar so you both understand the topics they will be writing. Also, set clear guidelines about pricing and services.
Hope that helps! All the best to you.
The best way to handle content development is not to hire a company, but hire an individual ghostwriter. Unless you have complex needs, a good ghostwriter can help you better manage thought leadership and your voice.
Not sure where to start? Trying looking for talent in the trade magazines and online sources that you read frequently. They'll understand your business and offer perspectives as needed.
Hi Suresh, in my opinion.. you must look for their quality of the blogs and the content of it.
Personally, I've had very good experiences hiring local part-time writers and writers on Elance. Going the Elance route requires careful vetting and hiring contractors several at a time in order to gauge their competencies (including their ability to do research) before selecting a longer-term content artist.
The quality of the final draft, completion times, ability to research, and being able to write about your topics in a knowledgeable way are the main points to consider. If your topics are planned well and you have a good writer, search results should come naturally without any help from artificial SEO strategies.
In addition to the comments below, I'd also like point out there are a lot of great content producers out there but if they dont have a network of thought leaders in their ecosystem, what good is it to have great content if no one reads it. Find someone who has a lot of followers and is connected to the sort of influencers you are interested in building relationships with.
My provider has over 100 other writers in her ecosystem which has had a huge impact.
I'd also check out how good are they in re-purposing content in different formats. You'll get a lot more bang for you buck if you do.
If you're like me (BUSY) I think you will be very happy with the results of outsourcing these services. I find service providers to a better job of staying on top of my content and making sure its fresh not to mention the network to market such content. I'd also mention one of the worse things you can do in my opinion, is stop a content strategy once started. You're better off never getting into it if you not committed.
3 Things To Look For In A Blogging Co.
1) Quality Writing
2) Be Able To Brand Your Products & Services.
3) Be Consistent And Relevant .
-Hundreds of companies offer subscription services for writing. Look into hiring "virtual assistant" or bloggers that need money each month. Reach out.
I prefer to ask for references within the industry I'm looking. I chat with those companies to see if the service they are using meets their standards, has a great ROI and how well their company blog is being written, reviewed and followed. I like to chat to 4 referrals and often look at the company brag list and call them on my own - as an interview survey so they will gladly chat openly and help me to get a great insight into the company I want to hire.
I would offer up the following suggestions for your consideration.
A freelancer versus a company might provide more flexibility at a more efficient cost. During the interview I would recommend focusing on:
Accountability. Ask the freelancers to provide case studies that show the results of their work. Do they have a media marketing plan to illustrate or arise how to integrate and optimize your social media channels?
Writing ability. Look for compelling and concise copy, whether posting to social networks or writing a blog. Is their tone and style one that represents your brand?
Sensitivity. Can the freelancer balance the social nature of the copy with the business's entrepreneurial interest and still maintain credibility and build trust with your readers.
Contact me directly and I will send you a FREE e-paper I have on blogging.
Knowles Consulting Service, LLC
Hi Suresh ~
While I agree with everyone who considers quality writing as well as branding/marketing/SEO strategy to be key, I know from experience that a seasoned content creator can succeed beyond their own verticals. To help you gauge what I mean: my principal niches include health/wellness, aging, personal growth/spirituality and entrepreneurship/small business topics.
Over the past several years I've been blogging for clients in the reverse mortgage, spill containment, signage and conversion rate optimization fields, boosting readership and business, with no prior knowledge in these industries. I've read and studied extensively, and my clients have provided links and support to help me get up to speed initially. My content in some of the more complex areas (e.g. reverse mortgage) has improved over time, as with any learning curve, although the writing itself has been top-tier from day one.
I'm also known for extreme timeliness and accountability, going the extra mile, building relationships across networks, and re-purposing content for new channels. And I imagine that as an independent contractor, I'm providing all of these services at a far lower price point than a blogging company.
Hope this is useful to you!
Two criteria comes to mind aside from the normal business stuff.
1. How do they write for the audience of Google AND the audience of the individual visitor? There are two agendas that need to be dealt with there.
2. Can they write to an outcome? Meaning, if leads are what you are looking for, can they speak to that? If building a brand of expertise, can they speak to that?
My conviction is that content marketing has become quite strategic, and your blog company needs to address this as a business rather than populating web pages with text, which is what you can get on Odesk or Text Broker.
Because of that, strategy, marketing acumen and and understanding of your audience/business objectives are key.
Hope this helps.
Check out www.contentandblog.com. They are excellent.
There are many things you should be looking for:
- How do they gather information about your company?
-Do they understand your business? If not, how do they plan to learn?
- Can they write well? Seems obvious, but a lot of so-called writers couldn't diagram a sentence you put a gun to their head.
-How to they track results?
-Do they understand how to use key words to increase search results?
-Do they know Google's rules for search? That's key because one the aims of a blog should be to increase search rankings.
-Who are their other clients?
-How to they determine success?
That should get your started.
I agree, picking your niche and knowing your target market is key. You want to look for a company who is creative in their writing rather than posts the same content over and over again.
I'd talk to them about their current clients. Do they have someone who is in the same vein as your business? Do they have experience in your niche? How well can they adapt and learn the nuances of your business and what your specific needs are? What type of content do they generate? Is it all business? Or is it a mix of different types of content?
What type of blogging company are you looking for, and/or have ? My name is Kyle Wilson and I run a blog on Facebook. i also am apart of a social media marketing platform called RWJ Marketing. check me out and visit my blog UR VOICE MATTERS. An outlet where you can be yourself and speak how you feel on the issues that affect us today.
Check out RWJ Marketing: www.lifestyle77.com/George1
Happy to report that I was able to identify a few really good blogging companies that have specific expertise in the areas of the business promotion I was interested in.
Thankful for all the feedback from this wonderful business community that was instrumental in making the right choices
You should look for a blogging company which has a command over English. They should write high quality content which is written by keeping users and search engines in mind. They should make your blog post readable. You should also look that will they provide SEO and SMM services. If they provide SEO ask them about their back-linking strategies and how they promote your website in various mediums. You can also ask for reference of their previous work and links of their companies blogs. Do use websites like SEMRush to know how many keywords they are ranking well in major search engines.