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Content Marketing 21 min read

How Companies Can Build a Best-In-Class Content Team with Freelance and In-House Writers

How Companies Can Build a Best-In-Class Content Team with Freelance and In-House Writers
How Companies Can Build a Best-In-Class Content Team with Freelance and In-House Writers
Hi there!

Are you already aware that the Serpstat team is always more than happy to debate different captivating topics in the SEO and Marketing industry?
Let us immerse you in the atmosphere of effective brainstorming on Twitter :)

Thus, as marketing is one of the most challenging niches nowadays, we decided to manage a Twitter chat and discuss content marketing issues and best practices with top experts in the field.

Check out the points from the questionnaire below, join our Twitter Chat, and share your thoughts and personal experience!

Intro

An effective content team is one of the most essential parts of your content marketing success, whether you are a big brand or a small company.

These are the people responsible for developing a fruitful promotion strategy by creating high-quality content and thereby improving your site's SEO rankings.

While some businesses assemble their content teams in-house, others are willing to strengthen the staff by hiring freelance writers who tend to bring fresh content ideas.

Let's overview several practices for content marketing the companies should use to gradually improve their rankings!
Meet Serpstat Twitter Chat participants: 
Heather Lloyd-Martin
SEO writing strategist
at SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting 
Simon Cox
Technical SEO Consultant at Cox and Co Creative
Olena Prokhoda
Social Media and Community Specialist
at Serpstat
Joseph S. Kahn
SEO and Business Growth Hacker
at Hum JAM
Jonas Sickler
SEO Manager at Terakeet
Marco Giordano
Search Engine Optimization Specialist
Web Analyst at Sika

1. What resources do in-house writers need to do their jobs well?

Almost every business owner understands the importance of content in marketing. There is a constant need for content, no matter which field you are working in. It's where the in-house writing comes into action.

A company hires someone who works full-time and is fully engaged in writing content to meet the company's goals.
No matter how experienced the writers are, they need access to a wide range of things. It may be different services with tools for content writers, manuals, and checklists designed particularly for the company's needs, relevant materials which facilitate the working process, and many more. It is in everyone's interest to produce a good result: employer and employee.

What else do in-house writers need to do their job well?
Let's see what our experts think about all this.
Writers need thoughtful feedback on how to improve their writing. Any help companies can give to key writers is a REALISTIC content schedule. It’s stupid to push a content frequency that’s not possible to maintain.
Heather Lloyd-Martin
Heather Lloyd-Martin
SEO writing strategist at SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting
In-house writers should have access to:
• company history;
• facts about the products or services - as approved by the PR and Compliance;
• list of subject-matter experts in the business they can talk to.

Also, if the company has an archive department, they hopefully will have a shed load of images – always useful for content.
Simon Cox
Simon Cox
Technical SEO Consultant at Cox and Co Creative
In-house writers need to be trained about your particular business, your industry, and your customers.

It would be perfect if they also had tools for research, ‍sourcing, writing, optimization, design and video, management systems, distribution, and measurement tools.
Olena Prokhoda
Olena Prokhoda
Social Media and Community Specialist at Serpstat
I believe in-house writers need great access to training and mentors that can assist them. Sometimes YouTube doesn't provide the latest information.
Joseph S. Kahn
Joseph S. Kahn
SEO and Business Growth Hacker at Hum JAM
Undoubtedly, a high-performing in-house team improves brand awareness and drives leads. But when does a need for outsourced content writing arise?

Let's dive deeper into that issue.

2. When does it make sense to outsource some content?

Hiring someone outside your organization to create content for you is a common practice that companies apply nowadays.

While evaluating the need for outsourcing content, it's important to adhere to a particular framework:
assess your needs and budget;
look for real experts and test out cooperating with them;
build-up and structure the working processes;
equip outsources with all the info and services needed;
evaluate the performance and amend it if needed.
An outsourcing partner should be the specialist who perfectly fits your content team, adhering to the tone of voice of your business.
Let's have a look at what our experts think about the need for content outsourcing.
The in-house writers are swamped and falling behind, especially if they have other responsibilities (like client work) taking their available time. Bringing on freelancers gives the team some breathing room – and keeps the content flowing.

When you need something outside the in-house writers’ core competency. Working with a specialist costs $, but it should drive better results. When a company wants to move on a content initiative fast and hiring outside help is the only way it can happen.
Heather Lloyd-Martin
Heather Lloyd-Martin
SEO writing strategist at SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting
If budget and a deadline to meet that you cannot realistically do with in-house resources. Should add in time for your team/ subject-matter experts, to review the externally sourced material, as well as not likely they will be experts in your field as you are.

Hopefully, they will be far better crafters of content, and working together and providing them with all the source materials will mean a total win.
Simon Cox
Simon Cox
Technical SEO Consultant at Cox and Co Creative
• When content creation takes time from working on strategy.
• When you're going to publish content more frequently, but there aren't full-time tasks anymore.
• When you need more fresh ideas and varied viewpoints.
• When your ROI is low for a long time.
Olena Prokhoda
Olena Prokhoda
Social Media and Community Specialist at Serpstat
We outsource content if we don't know the niche well, and we can find writers that do. We rarely outsource just for SEO purposes, although all our content starts with a detailed SEO Brief!
Joseph S. Kahn
Joseph S. Kahn
SEO and Business Growth Hacker at Hum JAM
Whether you choose to outsource your site's content or work with an in-house team, your goal should remain the same. You need to find experts who will contribute valuable insights and inject progressive ideas.
A second important point that should be taken into consideration after bringing "fresh" content ideas, is checking your content's relevance and usefulness.

When it comes to the implementation of the tool for such needs, it's Serpstat that is worth considering.
Serpstat is an all-in-one platform that includes many tools for SEO and PPC professionals, marketing experts, and agencies. This service can help you improve your site's content, carry out competitor analysis and automate all the processes needed when launching a marketing campaign.

Expand and improve your site's semantics, analyze your competitors, trends, and keywords seasonality, and create an appropriate content plan with Serpstat Tools.
On the screenshots above, you can see how the Text Analysis Tool works.

Learn how to use the Keyword Clustering Tool (which is the process of grouping keywords into themes that are relevant to your website pages) and perform comprehensive text analysis of page content after that.

Simply go to the "Keyword Clustering" section —> click an "Add a new project" button —> name your project —> choose a search engine and country —> choose strength, cluster type, and click "Start".

After that, you can carry out text mining: after receiving clusters, click on the "TA" button in the top right corner of the report. It's that simple :)
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3. Should you rely on your SEO company to create content? Why or why not?

Partnering with a reputable, experienced SEO company can help you position your website in a prominent spot on a search engine results page. Its primary purpose should be to help your business outrank the competition, drive more traffic, and generate more leads.

Such companies improve brands' digital presence without paying for ads. Their strategy is based on three core areas: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
But what about relying on the SEO company when generating appropriate content for your site?
Yes – if that's what your site needs, and they have the content creators that can work with you. Beware of content factories, though.
Simon Cox
Simon Cox
Technical SEO Consultant at Cox and Co Creative
It depends … I’ve seen truly crappy content come out of agencies and SEO companies. Keyword-stuffing, thin content, zero thoughts about search intent. BUT … Other companies understand the importance of content. They hire talented SEO writers who take the time to understand your target market and what “clicks” with your audience.

If you choose to have a freelancer write your content, know that good freelance SEO writers know how to seamlessly work with agencies, so it shouldn’t mean any extra time for you.

It’s always a good idea to ask any company for writing samples. If the writing sounds stilted or spammy, you may want to check out other options. It can be a big buyer beware thing, unfortunately.
Heather Lloyd-Martin
Heather Lloyd-Martin
SEO writing strategist at SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting
It’s rare to find SEO companies that offer high-quality content creation because they need to protect their margins. Great content is expensive.

Ask for samples, and read them. Bad content that ranks well is worse than bad content that nobody sees.
Jonas Sickler
Jonas Sickler
SEO Manager at Terakeet
I think that having it in-house is way better because you probably know your industry. Not all SEO companies have the same knowledge level as you!
Marco Giordano
Marco Giordano
Search Engine Optimization Specialist/Web Analyst at Sika
Serpstat is the best SEO agency software!
Attract new clients, automate tasks, create transparent reporting, and control team works with a multifunctional platform to promote client projects
Have you ever had a bad experience working with SEO companies?
We'll appreciate your comments on our Twitter conversation ;)
Join our #serpstat_chat!
Join #serpstat_chat to discuss the questions of practical SEO, trends, and updates with SEO experts.

We conduct them every Thursday at 2 pm ET | 11 am PT on our Twitter channel by hashtag #serpstat_chat.

4. What criteria should you consider when hiring a freelancer?

Your company must take into account the importance of selecting the right freelancer to promote its content. No one wants to work with an unproductive author, as well as no one wants to risk its audiences.
When hiring a new freelancer, you should consider the following factors:
availability of a professional website that shows their work experience;
positive industry experience from the previous workplace;
good testimonials with quotes from happy ex-clients on the site;
knowledge of appropriate software;
personality match (what's more, a freelancer with a high level of emotional intelligence will be a joy to work with);
evaluation of the potential longevity of the partnership.
Ideally, you need someone who knows the subject well and has a proven track record in that field.
Or they are as cheap as chips if you have next to no budget and no time.
Simon Cox
Simon Cox
Technical SEO Consultant at Cox and Co Creative
• Decide on the requirements that you need and the budget you are willing to spend.
• Find the reviews, and check all the requirements.

If there were some problems, ask about them and pay more attention to them when reviewing the sample and during the communication.
Olena Prokhoda
Olena Prokhoda
Social Media and Community Specialist at Serpstat
First, this is an AMAZING resource from Search Engine Land. Smart content writers do WAY more than putting words on a page.

Other things to consider are: Do you find their writing engaging? How does their writing position?

What “level” of freelancer do you need – someone who is newer to the game? Years of experience, so they can help you with other things besides the writing? Do they have industry expertise?

Here’s a big one. Does the writer “get” your brand and your company? That “click” is so important.

As with other things, you get what you pay for. You don’t have to pay top $$ for every piece of content, but good writing costs money. Paying $50 for 1,500 words probably isn’t going to get you the best content. Sales content can be $$$, too.
Heather Lloyd-Martin
Heather Lloyd-Martin
SEO writing strategist at SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting

5 .What are some common things companies do to sabotage their content success?

There are plenty of hurdles on the way to creating effective content. A brand-new idea, the right skills, and the right distribution channels are the keys to successful content promotion.

Many things can go wrong though:
launching an inappropriate media plan;
creating inaccurate marketing personas;
not adhering to best practices in design;
lagging behind in branding, etc.

7 Things Sinking Your Marketing Strategy

Sometimes company managers ask content marketers to develop content that is too sales-oriented.

However, content marketing should first and foremost be focused on providing valuable information for customers.
Olena Prokhoda
Olena Prokhoda
Social Media and Community Specialist at Serpstat
That'd be writing for search engines. Instead, you could write for users and lightly edit for search engines – that can be more effective.
Simon Cox
Simon Cox
Technical SEO Consultant at Cox and Co Creative
• Insisting on stupid SEO writing rules (like keyword density, or a super-specific word count.), or a content frequency that’s not sustainable.
• Having someone who doesn’t know SEO assign article ideas and keywords.
• Not getting outside writing help when a company needs it – so they lose momentum and opportunities.
• Not bringing on an SEO content editor or strategist – so nobody is checking tone and feel, flow, wording, etc.
• Working in silos and every department has its own SEO rules … and the departments don’t have a central strategy.
• Micromanaging the writers and editing every. last. word. Just don’t.
Heather Lloyd-Martin
Heather Lloyd-Martin
SEO writing strategist at SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting
The process of creating great content can be time-consuming. But producing high-quality material for your audience is worth it.

Explore best practices, stay sophisticated, and do not be afraid to experiment.

Key Takeaways

The process of forming the right content team may be frustrating, but it's worth considering at the early stages of brand promotion. 

Provide your in-house team with appropriate working conditions, expand your team with new professionals, explore trustworthy services, review high-quality sites as much as you can and boost your brand rankings! 
Join our private Facebook group Serpstat Insights to get read follow-ups with all the info discussed in Twitter Chat!
Serpstat, SEO, marketing, and everything related to this area are discussed in depth here. 

Learn, succeed, and share your experiences in this group: discuss workflows, network with other Serpstatmates, and contact our dedicated customer support representatives.
Get the latest product updates and industry news here!

Looking forward to interaction — we’re sure you’ll love our little community as much as we do :)
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