Content outsourcing is now one of the staple industries online. It’s particularly useful for website owners, because it ensures a large range of sources for materials across their industries and areas of specialization. Whether you’re selling washing machines or debating existentialism, a good outsource for content is worth having.
Getting it right when you’re getting it wrong- Outsourcing problems and solutions
If you’re trying to maintain a flow of new materials, and you want to maintain standards, there are also some possible major issues:
- Communications skills: Some people really don’t get it when you ask for content, information or style. A single piece of content can cause an epic of emails trying to explain the obvious. Forget it. Find someone who speaks your site’s language.
- Outsources which want to put in multiple links: Backlinks are OK and controllable, but putting in large numbers of links, all of which take people offsite, isn’t exactly helping. State your link policy upfront, and stick to it.
- Content recyclers: Few professionals are stupid enough to recycle their own or other people’s material, but some “agencies”, (usually in Europe through UK based sites), have stock pieces that do. This is a recipe for trouble, and the solution is to use the word “Copyscape” very visibly.
- Plagiarists: Not as common as they used to be, they still exist, and so do their bizarre “articles”. Another description would be “walking lawsuits”. Just mentioning Copyscape works on these idiots where reason usually doesn’t.
Important note: There may be a hostile reaction from the original sources of content, with good reason. Don’t argue, (it’s not worth it) just take down the offending pieces, apologize, ditch the plagiarists and get better outsourcers.
Getting it right
You can get good content, simply by being a bit fussy, and above all by checking what you’re getting.
- Deal with professionals only: The best agencies and freelancers will give you “custom” service, and have their own built in quality controls. They can also prove their credentials as content providers. You won’t have to slave over typos or spend time worrying about content issues, and you’ll have a true B2B relationship.
- Matching styles to websites: Some outsources are natural fits, but many aren’t. Test pieces should tell you whether an outsource will work well on your site. Start with a “probation” piece for the outsource, so you stay in control. (With contracts, you can specify “on acceptance”, so you’ve got that angle covered.)
- Technical content: Many sites, particularly business sites, need industry-specific information. That raises the bar significantly for content issues. Specify exactly what you want, (which simplifies things considerably for the outsource), or use examples, even your own technical materials, and turn them into consumer content.
Outsourcing can be very simple and very productive. You can get the best people on Earth with a few clicks, and set up your content for years to come and get on with your business. It’s worth it. Good content is what makes or breaks a site.