Buying Content By The Word Is Beyond Absurd
O-desk, Elance, College Writers, Content Runner…all pretty much the same thing. A huge pile of non-native English writers who are willing to crap out a few hundred words for a the cost of a Starbucks latte. Literally. The worst part about people watering down the content marketing landscape with this worthless stuff? The fact that companies buy it. And the fact that it does not help your reputation online at all.
I’m amazed at the fact that more and more of these companies keep showing up in MY inbox, of all places. Especially the ones based in India or Nigeria. I find myself wondering what business person worth their salt opened an email that led in with “Greetings on the day! We wish to propose you a business solution for mutual beneficial writing services from team of top English writers” and thought “hey, this sounds like a great deal! These guys don’t have a great grasp on the core tenets of the English language, but I think I’ll pay them to represent my company’s brand!” Unbelievable.
Almost every week we talk to a company that shows surprise at our suggested content marketing plans, because they’ve been buying it for 1/10 (or less) from some of these sites mentioned above and other similar outfits. Here’s how I break it down to these people, giving them 3 simple considerations.
1. YOU AREN’T INFLUENCING SEARCH ENGINES – Sorry folks, but people that run around proclaiming that “content is king” are lying. Only killer content is king, the kind of content the people really engage with and share. The kind of content that takes on a life of it’s own. The stuff you’re paying $10 an article for? Garbage. Nobody is linking to it. Nobody is liking it. Nobody is sharing it. “But, if I write about keywords that are important to my business each week, the search engines will rank my site higher.” Sorry Charlie, that’s another common misconception. More content doesn’t always equal higher rankings. BETTER content does though. Remember that.
2. THIS CONTENT DOESN’T PRODUCE CONVERSIONS – Let’s say that for some reason you are okay with spending a handful of bucks on cheap content writers, because you’ll prop it up with hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of grey-hat SEO and other digital marketing & advertising. A strange choice, but one that I’ve seen made multiple times. The problem here is that you’ll drive all this traffic to your site, but nobody will call your phone, or submit your forms, or sign up for your newsletters. Two paragraphs in and most people realize that somebody put lipstick on this pig (but they still won’t wan to kiss it).
3. EVEN IF YOU DO GET SOME ACTION, YOUR BRAND SUFFERS – In very rare instances, a company will tell us that “they are getting good conversions” from their content. Normally in the way of form submissions. Unfortunately, these folks normally don’t have any real conversion tracking set up, and can’t tell me how these specific leads are performing. Other times they are getting strong leads as a result of pay per click advertising campaigns, but can’t tell the difference due to inadequate tracking. A few months in to a deeper analysis, they see that the “hot leads” from their junk content strategy aren’t going anywhere. Worse more, these people normally have a negative connotation of your brand and will *not* be back to the site anytime soon. All that time and money, only to provide a negative experience. Ouch.
Cheap Content Writers Are Like Cheap Wine
Have you every bought a cheap bottle of wine to save a few bucks? Chances are your friends weren’t impressed. And even if you weren’t worried about impressing them, chances are you woke up with a hell of a hangover the next day. Some things in life just aren’t worth skimping on. Wine is certainly one of them. Personal hygiene products are another. Content writers should certainly be on this list as well.
If you’re ready to ditch the cheap stuff and start working with true professionals who can position your brand for long-term success, drop us a line. If you aren’t sure why you should outsource digital marketing like this, all we need is a few minutes to start the conversation…