Most small businesses owners confess to us that blogging is too costly for them.
Many give up blogging for the same reason – it’s a waste of cash that brings no results.
Yet when we audit their content strategy we find all and the same ways they can bring their blog content costs down.
If you give up blogging because it’s too expensive, you will never realize your site’s traffic and lead generation potential.
In other words, if you do not know how to save money on content, your website does not work.
Instead, you need to be smart about blogging and minimize your content creation and marketing costs.
Below is a list of simple and practical ways to stop spending so much on content for your business blog.
If you have only 10 seconds for this post, here’s the tl;dr version:
What you order and how you order matters most for your content costs. On the other hand, where you order it matters less. Don’t look for cheap content writers to save money on content.
Now let’s go through everything point by point to explain what it means.
Main ways to spend less on content:
1) Have clear instructions and writer briefs
The instructions you send to your content writers need to be detailed and straightforward. You need to offer a clear backbone for each article – not just the main topic. Include sub-sections, indicate what aspects of the topic you need mentioned (pros and cons, top products in niche, trends for the next year, etc.
The time your writers spend revising is the time they could be writing your new content.
Moreover, if you get everything right the first time, your blog content will pick up more organic keywords. You need to make sure the writers go the easy way and include enough stats, research, and research more.
How clear briefs help minimize content costs:
When you produce clear instructions and article structure, you ensure your content is deep, fun to read, and reaches your goals without follow-ups or revisions.
2) Have a content plan
A well-researched and justified content plan is necessary to produce content that actually can get traffic and convert it to customers.
At the center of every blog post article is your customer persona and their needs. A proper content plan answers all of your customers’ questions and educates them about your product.
For that purpose, you need to establish a well-defined customer persona and only order content that fits their interests and needs.
Moreover, each blog post needs to contain researched SEO keywords that have enough search volume and good search volume to difficulty ratio, so that your site harvests enough traffic from Google.
Among other things, your blog post ideas need to re-create some of the content that has worked extremely well on Google and social media for your competition. You can use advanced content research tools for that.
You will get a decent content plan only if you invest enough time into research – and most people get it all wrong the first time. Alternatively you can buy a custom content plan from us – we’ve grown hundreds of blogs with our research.
How having clear content plans helps cut blog content costs:
You only order content that has the potential to work, without relying too much on guessworks and abstract topics.
3) Evaluate content performance regularly
You need to check whether your past content works. By “works” we mean:
- brings in organic traffic
- gets you leads
Your blog articles need to do at least one of the two.
Depending on how advanced you are in your content marketing, you may have other content objectives that define how effective your blog content is.
We’ve put together some content audit template ideas so that you can figure a way to evaluate your content.
No matter which way you go and what exactly you track – do it!
If a certain topic does not convert – stop covering it and move on to other topics.
If a certain blog post type gets more traffic and converts it better than the other (e.g. lists, quizzes, reviews, news, etc.) – then focus on this blog post type until you have enough extra money for experiments.
How evaluating your past content helps save money on future content:
When you know what content brings little or no results, you don’t spend on it. Instead you invest only into the content that works.
4) Promote your content!
99% of small businesses that go online completely neglect content promotion.
They publish article after article and let them just sit, at the same hunting for links to their homepage and service pages.
Every time* you release a blog post into the universe, you need to promote it. Create a standard blog post SEO procedure and do it for every post. Some of the ideas are:
- Share the posts on your social media (several times with different lead-ins and hashtags, tag other popular accounts)
- Reach out to every site and brand you mention in your post and ask for a shoutout in return
- Google the main topic of the post and e-mail some 30-40 top results on Google, asking them for links.
- Submit your post URL to relevant subreddits, forums, groups, and communities.
- a lot more – see our guide to blog post promotion.
If you do that consistently for every post, your site will accumulate incoming links, social media shares, and direct visits. All of that increases you site’s authority and helps you get more traffic for all your blog posts and service pages.
* A lot of writers and agencies go as far as claim that you need to spend only 20% of time writing your content and 80% promoting it. E.g. one of the original posts on the topic by Derek Halpern, a follow-up analysis by Sujan Patel, and this post @ nDash that goes into great detail about research and formatting.
We won’t suggest you follow any specific ratio here, what matters is you have a new blog post promotion routine that you repeat every time. With time, the routine activities should expand, not shrink.
How does promoting content help you spend less on blog copy?
What it does is builds more links and authority for your site, makes your past content more effective, and ultimately makes you earn more so you can invest into blog content more. Moreover, no blog posts are left with unrealized potential.
How to NOT save on content
As you can see, if you lay the research groundwork before ordering content from a copywriter, you will be able to minimize your costs.
However, most businesses go about content cost minimization in another way: they just find cheaper writers.
Most of them resort to buying cheaper “SEO content”. That is a shortcut that makes most lose money.
We wrote about this before – what is sold under “SEO content” is usually just bad content. Those are mostly rewrites or articles compiled by third-world country writers.
Such content has its’ place – you can use it on your satellite sites or send it out as guest posts – but your blog is the face of your business, make sure you’re still buying quality stuff.
Hiring cheaper content writers for your business blog causes all kinds of further problems:
- you need to spend time and money editing
- your articles are boring rewrites with inflated word count
- your blog screams “HELP” instead of showcasing authority.
- no one wants to link to your content.
If anything, you need to try more expensive writers if you want to avoid extra spending on content. It’s the planning and research that helps you save.
If you need help shaping your content strategy, want to vet a copywriting agency or in general would like to get professional blogging help – reach out to us for a content marketing consulting session.