Friday, October 19th, 2012...10:23 am

3 Approaches to Content Creation

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Content has been a crucial SEO factor for a long time, and with recent Google Panda and Penguin updates it is only becoming more important. Gone are the days when you could simply point 10,000 anchor text rich links at a site and have it rank. Today, you need to create something of value – or at least looking like it has just enough value for Google to treat it favourably.

But how do you approach content creation? Not everybody is a writer, nor does everybody have the time to write. I’ve been there and done that, tried all different approaches, had content developed for a thousand different purposes, heck I even ran/still run a copywriting service of my own. Below are several common approaches and their pros and cons.

1. Hire an inhouse writer to work on your content.
Pros:
- Guaranteed content;
- Controllable working environment;
- As the writer learns about your business and your niche, he/she is likely to develop a deep understanding of what content you need, what are the most important issues for your business, your market and your industry.
Cons:
- Ongoing maintenance costs – whether or not you need content today you still have to pay your writer’s salary, provide a working place for him/her and cover any other costs involved;
- It takes time to find a good copywriter;
- The approach does not scale easily if at some point you need more content.

2. Assign the task to somebody in the existing team.
Pros:
- No extra costs;
- The person will already be familiar with your business specifics.
Cons:
- The person will no longer do what they used to do before getting the copywriting task – this might not be a problem if you only need a copywriter temporarily but if the task is ongoing you are likely to end up looking for someone to replace this person for their original functions;
- Are they really skilled enough for the job?
- Same issues as with hiring an inhouse copywriter apply here as well.

3. Outsourcing
There are various flavours of outsourcing content creation, from hiring third world freelancers on oDesk/other freelancing sites to contracting a professional copywriter with a name and fame, with a lot of other options in between.
Pros:
- You get it done. Eventually. For some price. With varying degree of quality. Maybe you get it done.
Cons, depending on the actual outsourcing route you take:
- Questionable quality;
- Possible lack of topic research;
- It can take substantial time to complete your copywriting order – in the worst cases it may never get completed, too;
- Lack of scalability;
- High volumes of content or high quality copywriter may end up being quite pricey.

Lately we (me and Ralph Tegtmeier a.k.a. Fantomaster) have been working on a solution that would address all the cons of each approach as much as possible while giving website owners, SEOs and all other kinds of online marketers access to all the content they will ever need without eating up their entire budget. The solution is called ContentMango, we made a pre-launch appearance with it at BrightonSEO last month. I am estimating that it is going to be launched closer to the end of this year, for now you can sign up at the launch page to stay tuned for future announcements.

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