Blogs are surprisingly tricky to pull off.
You can indeed write almost anything, post it on your website, and call it a blog. But there are blogs… And there are Blogs.
If you’re running a business, your blog isn’t just a journal to record your thoughts – it’s an active asset and a crucial part of your inbound marketing strategy. It’s only when you begin looking at the function of a blog that you realize how much work is involved.
So, what should blog content writing achieve?
The content you post on your blog needs to provide valuable information that educates or empowers your target audience and makes them trust you. Beyond this, it should serve as a pathway that guides interested individuals to either provide their contact information, contact you directly, or make a direct sale – while also appearing high on search engine results.
What should a blog writer know?
As I alluded to, blog posts are a fundamental part of any business’s content strategy. There are a few key components every good writer should be aware of so that you have more chance of driving traffic to your site. A skilled content writer can hit every note, maximizing your chances of appearing on search engines. You may have heard of this process before. It’s known as SEO content writing or search engine optimization.
Here are some of the non-negotiables:
A clear, concise meta description
A summary of the content on a web page is provided by an HTML tag called a meta description. This tag is located at the top of the page’s source code, along with the page title and sometimes structured data, forming a ‘snippet.’ The meta description appears under the page title when displayed on a search engine results page (SERP).
Any SEO writer worth a grain of salt will know a meta description must be crafted to inform searchers about the type of content they can expect to find by clicking through to the page. By doing so, they are creating opportunities for you to generate new leads.
An eye-catching title tag
You are literally competing with hundreds, if not thousands, of other websites in your industry. That is why having a title tag that jumps out at the reader is a must-have. Now is not the time for an SEO content writer to waffle on—unless you want your message to be truncated by the search engine (you don’t). Ask your new blog writer to keep the blog post title tag to 65 characters or less and get straight to the point.
High-quality images with image alt text
Poor image quality is a major turn-off and a significant reason people might leave your site quickly. Ensure your blog writer has access to a stock photo library to upload images about your topic.
In short, image alt text, or alternative text, is a brief description of an image included in the image’s HTML tag. This text describes the image’s content and context for assistive technology users. Search engines also specifically look for image alt text, so you may find your blog has no traction on SERPs by omitting it.
If you get a blog post from an SEO copywriter and see the image has no alt-text, fire them….or politely ask for a do-over.
Accurate keywords backed by research
When you type a search into Google or any other search engine, the text you use will likely flag specific keywords, and the search engine results pages will direct you to the most relevant content. Knowing what keywords to use is vital to match your content to what users want to know.
Keyword research is a laborious process that, without some technical knowledge, can send you down a never-ending rabbit hole. However, it is a crucial facet of SEO writing. If you want to get organic traffic to your site, you have to know what locks to pick, which is why keyword research is so important.
Of course, there are many good keyword research tools out there, like Surfer and Frase, but things can still get tricky without a basic understanding of search intent and how search engines work. A talented SEO copywriter should be able to steer you in the right direction.
Blog posts should be easily scannable, so users don’t have to trawl through a massive article when they only want information on a specific thing. Search engines know this, so they promote organic content that allows users to find what they want.
Vague headlines without key phrases are poor examples of SEO copywriting. If you aim to hire a blog writer to complete blogs that appear on the first page of a search, writing content broken up into identifiable sections with headlines and sub-headlines is the way to go.
Useful links for reference
If you have hired an SEO copywriter to write a blog post, ensure they link to your own pages internally and use external links when referencing something important. Internal links are crucial for search engine rankings and guiding potential customers to sales web pages and other areas of interest.
Meanwhile, external links help you build domain authority, as they send a signal to other websites that you understand your topic.
Often bloggers overlook the importance of external and internal links, but in doing so, they lessen the chance of more organic traffic coming your way.
Are blogs still necessary?
If you want to achieve all of the above, it will undoubtedly take a lot of time and effort, which begs the question: are blogs even necessary?
All your work on your blog could surely be directed elsewhere, right? This is an entirely valid point if you don’t want to start a blog, but there are still many compelling reasons why you should put the time into creating one.
Writing blog posts is popular
A reported 77% of users on the internet read blog posts, and perhaps more importantly, 70% would rather find out information about a company from their blog than an ad. Producing content in a way that your customers prefer is a powerful way to stand out from the competition.
Or, to put it another way, if you’re the only company that isn’t providing this blog information, it’s much more unlikely that an individual will choose you over your competitors.
They improve web page search intent
Businesses with a blog can get up to 55% more website visitors than those without, and it can increase your SEO ranking potential by 434%. Given the amount of content, information, and individual pages, achieving the same level of exposure (never mind link building) on search engines without having a blog is challenging.
A great blog post works 24/7, 365
It may take a while to create a blog post, but that one piece of content can work for you as long as you have a website. At any point, after it’s been published – whether through search results or other channels – it could lead to them discovering your business.
Compare that to an ad campaign. As soon as the campaign is over, so is any chance that the business can be found through that channel.
These are just a few of the reasons why blogs are still useful. They also serve as a channel to share news, help you understand your target audience better, are perfect for content recycling, and produce long-term results.
Blogs drive direct traffic
In the end, most business owners conclude that having a blog is an asset for their website and their company.
The issue then is simply practical… How do you find the time to create a robust, informative, and targeted blog?
Is hiring a blog copywriter worth it?
Even with all the best intentions in the world, sometimes it’s impossible to create a blog on your own, and many business owners turn to freelance copywriters for support.
There’s no question that this is the best way to build your blog without investing all your time and energy into it is by hiring a copywriter.
And yet you also have to ensure you get your money’s worth. Your blog is indeed a long-term investment, but if you find the right person who understands your vision, you can benefit from their work for years to come.
How much do copywriters charge for a blog post?
The going rate for copywriters varies a lot from person to person. How they also charge changes.
Copywriters may charge by the hour, word, or project in question. The amount they charge can end up being as low as $5 for a standard blog post, right up to $400 per post.
Why such a vast range?
As you may expect, there are several reasons. Inexperienced writers often charge meager rates to build up their portfolios, whereas those with a lot of experience or notable successes can charge higher rates.
Low cost = poor blog content
It goes without saying that the lowest-priced copywriters often produce substandard quality—unless you get fortunate. The highest-priced, although excellent, are more suited to large companies with substantial departmental budgets rather than small businesses.
For the right mix of quality and value, you’d probably be looking somewhere between $150-300 for a 1,000-word post. Remember that this is a ballpark figure, with plenty of exceptions and depending factors.
Can copywriters guarantee SEO success?
Many factors influence SEO success, and optimized content is just one of them. You can expect any good copywriter to produce blog posts that are appropriately organized, easy to read, and include keywords or other SEO meta content.
But no matter how good the post is, if your website is slow, you haven’t submitted a site map, or your general architecture isn’t good, the post won’t perform.
So, no, copywriters can’t guarantee SEO success – but they should be able to provide optimized content that serves your overall SEO strategy and helps you reach the top of Google.
What to know before hiring a copywriter for your blog
It’s possible to tell if your blog will succeed or fail before you employ the copywriter in the first place. A good copywriter will execute your strategy flawlessly – but they won’t create one for you. It’s like asking a builder to begin working without an architect or blueprints.
As we mentioned above, you need to have your site’s technical aspects in place (or a plan to fix any issues) before you can expect any SEO results. But beyond this, you need a good idea of the strategy you want to follow.
A good content marketing strategy based on user intent
There’s no shortage of content marketing strategies out there. You could establish your strategy around topic clusters, with lengthy SEO pillar posts that guide readers to their specific needs. Or you could follow the ski-slope strategy, which outlines a play-by-play approach for building a high-functioning blog.
Whatever specific process you take, it’s essential to consider how your content will address different pain points at different stages in the customer journey. You need to ensure the content is the correct length, has clear pathways to conversion, and is based on good keyword research with adequate intent.
Simply put, if you don’t take these strategic steps first, you’re unlikely to get the most out of your copywriter—and your money.
What are some other blog writing no-nos?
Aside from the obvious grammar missteps and an inability to encapsulate your unique brand voice, there are a few ways to determine whether the blog writer you hired has produced high-quality content.
If the writing seems unnatural but full of your target keywords, you can rest assured that a search engine like Google will flag it as ‘keyword stuffing’, and you will not see any benefit on SERP rankings. Search engine algorithms are pretty advanced these days, and using the same keywords repeatedly doesn’t fly!
AI written Articles
The advancement of artificial intelligence is both incredible and rapid. Programs such as ChatGPT make it incredibly easy to create content in mere seconds. However, if you think you can just ask a couple of questions, copy/paste an answer onto your website, and start ranking on search engines, think again. At least for now, qualified, talented copywriters are the best bet when creating your next blog post.
Where can I hire a great SEO copywriter?
There are many places to hire copywriters. Often it happens through referrals or online platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. These can be hit or miss. Finding the right mix of quality and price is tricky, and you can quickly decide it isn’t worth it.
Quickly Hire: A winning formula for your content strategy
As a freelance marketplace, Quickly Hire takes a different approach. For a fixed monthly fee and with a quick onboarding process, you get access to one of our copywriters for a set number of hours a month. You can ask the copywriter to do whatever you want within those hours.
You can use this time to write blog posts—but a copywriter can do more than that! You may need ebooks, email marketing funnels, landing pages, or more to complement your blog. The flexible nature of the agreement means you have complete control over the success of any written content you need.
You only need to guide the writer as you would manage any blended remote team.
If you’ve any questions about hiring a blog copywriter or want to learn more about our services, contact us today!