By Tal Florentin, September 9, 2017
Content strategy, Growth Hacking, Marketing
Blogs are all around us
Have you noticed how practically every company website incorporates a company blog nowadays? Adding a blog is a cheap and effective way to touch base with your customers while keeping them both informed about and engaged in your brand’s activities. This means more customer interaction, increased website traffic and, eventually, more sales.
Sounds easy enough, so long as your blog is easily accessed, carefully curated and wisely promoted. Each of these important facets will cost money, but how much money exactly? Let’s break the costs down to get a ballpark figure.
Easy access: publishing a blog on your site
If you already have a blog incorporated into your site, then congratulations — you’ve tackled the first hurdle. If not, then this may be the first dip into your company wallet. A blog is an area of the website that needs to be updated on a regular basis, around once a week. It is important to have your blog appear on own company’s website rather than sending people to another platform.
If your website is hosted on a service such as WordPress, and you or your team can tinkle with your website in-house, then adding a blog should be straightforward and cost nothing. If not, you will want to get someone to move your entire site to WordPress and integrate a blog into it, or do it yourself if you’ve got the knowledge.
If outsourcing, figure a one time cost of around $400 for the help of a WordPress migration expert.
Blog posts: writing them the right way
The focus of your blog should be your existing customers and potential ones. For their sake, you will likely want to keep blog posts short and simple: most people are likely to scan your blog post to look for interesting keywords which will make them want to read the whole paragraph. Too much text and your readers may lose interest and move on.
Think of what your customers are interested in when deciding what to write. The best way to ascertain what your customers want to know about you is to perform a keyword search using a tool such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner. You can use it to identify the relevant keywords for your industry, and base your blog posts around them.
You may want to write the blog post yourself or in-house, or you may want to consider outsourcing it to a writer who knows how to integrate SEO optimization into it. Incorporating SEO helps drive traffic to your website, and an SEO expert will know which keywords to add using tools such as SEMrush or Google’s Keyword Planner, as well as where to place them. They will also deal with optimizing images, links and metadata — all things that search engines look for when deciding how prominently to display your blog post in search results.
Prices are all over the place for blog articles but want to make sure that your writer is fluent in the target language of your audience. After all, you don’t want to have to spend extra time or money proofreading the material or converting from metric into imperial. You’ll also want to make sure that the content is entirely original and not ripped off from somewhere else on the internet. it’s a good idea to run it through a plagiarism checker such as those offered byor to make sure.
The cost of a blog post
Figure around $100 for a regular blog post, although different online content providers charge different rates.
- Content Writers charge around $115 for a standard blog post of between 300 and 500 words
- Scripted offer a range from $39 for short items of 350-450 and up to $85 for a longer format of 850-950 words.
- The Content Factory will charge between $80 and $950 per item, depending on the length and the number of items ordered. This price will also include posting the content directly into your blog as well as promoting it.
Typically, any service incorporating SEO optimization will run between $500-$950.
Freelance writers can also be hired through websites such as Upwork.com and Freelancer.com, to name a couple. Prices vary tremendously but so does quality, as the more experienced a writer is, the more they tend to charge. A good index of freelancer pay rates appears in this infographic over at ClearVoice.com.
Nevertheless, talent from different countries have different pay rates that are dependent more on location than experience, so a highly experienced writer in India or the Philippines might end up being better value for money than a beginner writer from North America. Establishing freelance pay rates is a fine art, as this Quora thread explains, with many different factors taken into account. Unless your blog post is on an extremely niche topic, though, you should be able to shop around for a competitive rate.
3. Social media: sharing is caring
Getting someone to share your blog post on Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media platforms is easier said than done. The most obvious first step is to make it easy for them to do so by including share icons at the end of your blog post. Next, you should publish your blog post on your company’s own media channels, preferably with a nice enticing image attached. If you have an email list, a link to your blog post belongs there, too.
You must also be able to provide your readers with an incentive to share your blog post. Asking them nicely is a good start. Writing irresistible content is another. Nevertheless, there may come a time where you may want to enter the world of paid social media and in order to have your content pushed to people’s feeds.
Facebook’s Sponsored Stories, Twitter’s Promoted Tweets and LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates are the backbone of the world of social media marketing. You may want to have a dedicated social media marketer either outsourced or in-house. An agency working part-time for a small business will charge between $500 and $1000 a month. If you have time to spend, you can learn the basics on your own and use a social media scheduler such as Buffer for your business. Your budget then goes down to around $100 a month.
The ads themselves will take out the biggest chunk of the budget. Factor in between $500 and $1000 a month for paid social media ads. You can decide which segment of Facebook or LinkedIn users these ads appear to, so even though paid social media may sound expensive, it may just prove indispensable.
Blogging for your company is an investment that pays off. It’s definitely possible to do everything yourself and rely on organic sharing to get your content read, but a quicker and more popular way is to outsource the job to professional copywriters and social media marketers who can produce your content and share it via paid social media. It may sound cliché, but everyone else is doing it.