Jaime H is one of the top blog writers on Upwork. She’s earned over $600K through the platform, with a 99% customer success rate. She charges $130 an hour, which means if it takes her four hours to write your blog, those 1,000 words will cost you about $520.
Switching platforms, suecampbellpdx is one of the most expensive Fiver Pro bloggers. Her gig promises a 1,000-word blog for $395. She’s earned 4.9 out of 5 stars from her satisfied customers.
Both are presumably uber-talented writers who deliver high-quality content to their clients. And neither one approaches the fees charged by agencies for comparable work. As a marketer working within a budget, you’re probably wondering why agencies charge so much more than top-rated freelance writers.
What’s Really Involved When You Work With a Freelancer
When you bring on a freelancer to write your posts, you’re essentially getting a single blog asset to share. Before a single word is written, you’ll need to come up with:
- research SEO keywords
- detailed brief
You’ll meet with the writer, explain the nuances of your company’s voice, and provide brand guidelines so that the results mirror your expectations.
Over the next day or so, the freelancer will create, edit and finish the post. Once the blog is finalized, your freelancer is free to go.
The blog is written, but your job is just getting started. With the asset in hand, the burden of sharing and promoting the post falls to you. Begin by searching through thousands of images to find the right picture for the piece. With image in hand, it’s time to upload the post to your company’s blog, making sure that the headers, images, and pull-out quotes are set up correctly.
Once the post is live, it’s time to share across your social media channel. Each network will need a different version of the post, to appeal to the different audiences on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and whichever other social networks you use.
Sending the blog to email subscribers comes next. You’ll spend time writing and perfecting the email, as you craft creative subject lines to entice your recipients to actually open the email and click the link.
With the blog out the door, you probably think the process is over, but after a few days, you still have to check the analytics. How many clicks you got, which social networks brought the most traffic, and of all the people who visited your blog, how many clicked on the call to action link at the end of the post.
When it’s all said and done, you’ve spent a couple hundred dollars on a blog post and invested hours and hours of your time getting the post out there. All the while, the rest of your marketing responsibilities await attention.
The Value of an Agency
Agencies, on the other hand, are in place to implement your marketing program. You’ll still need to be involved, contributing to briefs, adding ideas, and giving approvals, but your role is significantly diminished. In your place are up to six agency employees working on taking your blog from ideation to briefing to production, and ultimately to distribution.
For the agency, your blog doesn’t exist as a single asset; it’s part of a multi-faceted inbound marketing program where we already understand your strategy, voice and goals.
Stage 1: Blog Ideation
The account team kicks off the blog process with an ideation session. These team members are intimately familiar with your business and can apply their digital marketing experience to come up with blog ideas that will stand out to their intended audience in a crowded digital landscape.
The blog topics are sent to you for approval, and once you have green-light the topics, the blog moves on to the next stage in the process.
Stage 2: The Blog Brief
The account team begins to work with a writer, to develop a brief. This brief is critical in the creation of the blog, as it outlines the main ideas to get across. In addition to the main idea, briefs typically include suggested titles, content structure, post length, SEO keywords, additional resources and target personas.
The account team reviews the brief with the client, ensuring that everyone is on the same page for the blog. At this point, you can provide input and help shape the direction of the post. Once everyone is satisfied with the brief, you will sign off on it and the blog moves into the next phase.
Stage 3: Producing the Blog Post
The brief returns to the writer, who turns it into an actual blog post. The account team reviews the blog drafts, provides input on changes that need to be implemented, and receives those changes back from the writer.
At that point, the digital marketing expert and graphic designer enters the picture. The social media writer crafts the copy that will be used to promote the blog, while the designer chooses or creates images to accompany the post.
The post is then sent to you for approval. Any required changes are made, and then the blog is finalized and approved.
Stage 4: Distribution
The text and graphics are then handed over to the website team, who upload the post. The website team ensures that the post was set up correctly, so that when it’s shared on social media the right images and text appear on the social channels.
Once the post is live, the digital marketing expert shares the post on your social media channels, as well as set up and distribute the post via paid social promotions. They will also perform A/B testing for email, and then send out the post to email subscribers.
After a set period of time, the account team will generate reports, looking at key performance indicators (KPIs), and review those reports with you.
Agency vs Freelancer
Unquestionably, you’ll spend less out of pocket by hiring a freelancer to write your blog posts. You’ll also be getting a lot value than you’ll get out of your agency. People turn to agencies like ours because we have a deep understanding of inbound marketing and a proven track record of creating outstanding campaigns that deliver a return on your investment.
If you’re ready to get more value out of your marketing budget, read our blog on how to select an inbound agency