Where to get blog posts: Create? Invite? DFY? Outsource?

Where to get blog posts: Create? Invite? DFY? Outsource?

where to get blog posts

As online health & wellness entrepreneurs, it’s easy to take on All. The. Things.

  • Website? Check.
  • Copywriting? Check.
  • Graphic design? Check.
  • Social media? Check.
  • Program creation? Check.
  • Client work? Check.
  • Customer service? Check.
  • Accounting? Check.
  • Blogging? Check.

Whaaaat?

When you see All. The. Things. it looks crazy!

And it is!

It can be very overwhelming, to say the least. #beenthere #donethat

There will be a point where you will either:

  • Neglect one (or more) of these,
  • Burn out, or
  • Give up altogether.

 

Don’t neglect your blog – here’s why

 

Your website is your home on the web.

Not social media. (Put up your hand if you know someone who has been randomly put into “Facebook jail?” Or has seen a huge drop in reach when the Instagram algorithm changed?). Plus, did you know that everything you post on social media is owned by that company, not you? #intellectualproperty

And if you really think about it: What’s the point of social media, advertising, and SEO anyway?

TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS, GET PEOPLE TO YOUR WEBSITE, AND ONTO YOUR EMAIL LIST!

That’s literally it… (from a business and marketing perspective, at least). Social media can be a real black hole of time when it comes to building your biz. #babyanimalvideos

You need to interact, be social, be helpful, and share your stuff on those networks to get people to  “know, like, and trust” you, go to your website, and opt into your email list.

Your website is where you collect all of your content and intellectual property.

Your website is where you collect all of your content and intellectual property. #blog #contentmarketing #IP Click To Tweet

All of it.

And your blog is your main content marketing platform.

By regularly publishing valuable content on your blog and promoting it (e.g. on social media), you get people to “know, like, and trust” you, go your website, and opt into your email list.

But, not everyone has a stash of blog posts ready to publish every week!

Not even me! #transparency

So, how do you get blog posts?

Let me count the ways…

 

Where to get blog posts

 

You essentially have four ways of getting a regular supply of quality blog posts. You can:

  • Create them yourself;
  • Invite guests to contribute;
  • Buy “done for you” health articles; and/or,
  • Outsource to a writer.

I’ve listed them in order of cost.

Creating your own blog posts from scratch will cost only your time. So, you need to decide how valuable your time is when it comes to creating your own posts. (More on this below.)

You can save a ton of time and money by asking guests to contribute (but please do it the right way!).

Buying “done for you” blog posts will be inexpensive, but still need a bit of time to customize them.

Hiring a writer is definitely the most expensive, but if you hire a reliable one who really jives with your brand, each post may only need a quick review (with a couple of comments), and then a copy/paste onto your blog for publication.

Let’s go over the pros & cons of each of these (based on my experience doing all of these).

 

Option #1: Create your own blog posts

 

This works exceptionally well if you love researching, writing (or recording), and editing. And you have committed to the time it takes.

#thisisme #idontrepresenteveryone

PRO TIP: You can even outsource the research and/or editing, and stick with just the creation/writing/recording.

This does not have to be a hugely time-consuming chore! You will need regular chunks of time to do this well.

I’ve created a few things that can help you:

First of all, I highly recommend that you re-purpose content you already have (more on that below).

Second, if you want some inspiration on what to write about, here is a very comprehensive list of health and wellness blog topic ideas.

PRO TIP: Use these ideas to help you plan out your blog editorial calendar in advance so you don’t have to worry about what to publish week after week.

Third, once you’ve chosen your topic for your next post, you can research it efficiently before you write it up.

Why re-purpose your content?

I highly recommend re-purposing as a key strategy for your blog! By re-creating a core message in a new format, or with a new story, or in a new way, you are:

  • Consistently iterating your core messages;
  • Establishing yourself as an expert in your niche; and,
  • Becoming more “findable” in search engines.

These three build the all-too-important online “know, like, and trust” factors.

Being consistent with content (i.e. weekly) helps more people get to know you and trust you. The more content you have on a topic, the more likely someone will find you through one of those pieces. By publishing consistently you are building trust (reliability) with those who follow you and want to hear from you.

By talking about your niche topic in different ways over and over again you are showing that this is your area of expertise (and excellence). This builds your “like” factor because different people will resonate with different types of content. Plus, they’ll get to trust that you know WTF you’re talking about anyway.

By consistently publishing blog posts on your niche, you become more “findable” by Google et al., so more people will get to know you. This is because you keep giving the search engines more proof on what you’re all about. It is one (of 200) ways to start inching up the ranks to the first page.

PRO TIP: Start linking your blog posts to each other like I did above. By doing this with descriptive “anchor text” (e.g. don’t link to “click here,” but instead describe what the link is about) you’re also giving those posts more “link juice” with search engines.

 

Option #2 – Invite guests to post

 

This is super-popular!

And often done wrong… 🙁

Inviting people to guest post is a super-popular way to get blog content! And it's often done wrong... 🙁 #blog #guestpost #healthblog Click To Tweet

If you want guests to contribute to your blog, especially if it’s unique content (i.e. not already on their blog, for example), you need to make it worthwhile for them.

I’ve happily contributed guest posts on many blogs (for free); but, not all of them have been beneficial. Some of that effort was a total waste of my time. #guestpostersremorse

Don’t get me wrong – if you have a hobby blog, and want to volunteer to create content for other blogs by all means, go for it! I’m talking about online business owners who strategically use their blogs as content marketing machines to build their business in the limited time they have without burning out or giving up. Please don’t waste their (our) time.

PRO TIP: If you’ve been asked to guest post, run through this little checklist to make sure it’ll be an investment in your biz, and not just picking up someone else’s slack.

If you've been asked to guest post, run through this little checklist to make sure it'll be an investment in your biz, and not just picking up someone else's slack. #blog #guest #blogger Click To Tweet

Here’s how to invite guest posts the right way

  1. The fairest way is to exchange guest posts. This way you write for them and they write for you. And this works best if you’re new to each other or have about equal numbers of readers. This also gives you both the opportunity to “backlink” to each other, which is nice from an SEO perspective. This is not the majority of how guest posts are done, so read on…
  2. Make sure that you agree in advance if you want the content to be unique, or if it can be syndicated from another site (say, they’ve already published it on their blog).
  3. Make sure that your blog is going to reach the people whom the guest wants to reach. That your target audiences are similar and are looking for both of your products/services. And, if you have more readers than they do, it’s easier to ask someone to do this for free for exposure to your (larger) audience. Please don’t ask for guest posts from time-strapped hustling entrepreneurs for your 14 readers. #truthbomb
  4. When it comes to the post itself, agree to a topic/title, and maybe some basic stuff like approximate word count, etc. But remember – these are their words not yours – you should not be editing their work substantially or without permission. If their name is on it, use their words!
  5. Make sure you agree in advance to a deadline that leaves time for publishing (and extra time in case things don’t work out – you’re not paying them, so it may not be a priority for them).
  6. Make sure you give the writer credit, and at least one obvious link back to their site. Some guest posters have remorse about spending so much time creating an awesome and unique piece of content, only to have their link hidden beyond the bottom of the post, after all of the “related posts” and advertisements. Others have had their links placed on another page entirely! This is just bad! 🙁
  7. Never expect someone to “ghostwrite” for your blog for free. That’s even worse than not giving them credit and an obvious backlink – that’s giving them nothing. #badkarma
  8. Publish on your agreed date, and promote their post at least as much, if not more, than you promote your own posts. Tag them in your social media posts and thank them publicly.

If you do things this way, and things work out, you will have a happy guest poster, who may very well agree to contribute to your blog again.

 

Option #3 – Purchase and customize “done for you” blog posts

 

“Done for you” (DFY) pre-written blog posts (or programs, webinars, cookbooks, etc.) are an inexpensive way to get high-quality content without paying for your own custom ghostwritten pieces (or creating things from scratch yourself). They’re “whitelabelled” products that you can use as your own and brand as your own.

DFY health articles are a GREAT way to get content for those times you just can’t do it yourself.

DFY health articles are a GREAT way to get content for those times you just can't do it yourself. #DFY #doneforyou #blog Click To Tweet

Some of the pros of DFY products are:

  • They save you time – They’re already “done” (well, 80% done – see below);
  • They save you money – You don’t need to hire a writer/creator; and,
  • They save you frustration –  You’re not paralyzed or starting from scratch or stalling on building your business.

On the other hand,

  • They’re not exclusive to you – I cap my health article sales at 50, then they’re discontinued;
  • They still need to be customized – Hence my “80%” comment above; and,
  • They won’t help you rank in search engines.

Each vendor will have different terms, but I’ve never seen one that doesn’t allow you to customize and brand those products, and claim authorship (i.g. use them as though you created them).

Did you notice that I said they’re “80%” done because you need to”customize?”

I honestly recommend that you consider any DFY products to be 80% done (not 100%). Of course, you can copy/paste, hit publish, and be done with it. But that won’t help you grow your biz! That’s content, not content marketing.

content marketing

Consider any done-for-you content to be 80% done (not 100%). Of course, you can copy/paste, hit publish, and be done with it. But that won't help you grow your biz! That's content, not content marketing. #blog #contentmarketing Click To Tweet

It really works to your advantage if you customize DFY products by:

  • First and foremost – make sure the topic is right for your niche;
  • Add your voice, style, and quirks. Edit it as though your business and audience depends on it!
  • Add a personal story, a recipe, a video, images, tips, downloads, etc.;
  • Make sure everything in it aligns with your brand and core messages;
  • Always include your own calls to action (CTAs) like email subscriber opt-in forms, social sharing buttons, and links to other related posts on your blog;
  • And, pleeeeease change the title. 😉

 

Option #4 – Outsource to a writer

 

Hiring a writer, be they a “ghost” or a by-lined author on your blog, is a huge investment. But, if things work out, then it’s a huge responsibility off your shoulders, and a huge leap in terms of developing your custom, unique, expertise over time.

First, you need to find a writer who’s a good fit, for the right price. This can be tricky if you don’t know someone or can’t get a personal referral.

How much do writers cost? It depends on what you want.

  • What kind of research do you want? (Better = premium.)
  • How long are the posts? (Longer = premium.)
  • How long is the commitment for? (One-off = premium.)
  • Are they a “ghost” or will their name be on the posts? (Ghost = premium.)
  • How quickly do you want the work done? (Rush = premium.)
  • Will there be other responsibilities like maintaining an editorial calendar, extra edits, creating images, uploading the posts to your blog, meeting with you, promoting the posts? (All of those = premium.)

How to hire a writer for your blog

You may need to:

  • Create editorial guidelines for your blog;
  • Post a job ad;
  • Review a bunch of portfolios;
  • Narrow it down to a few people and interview them;
  • Maybe pay for one “test” post from the top two or three to see how that goes;
  • Review the posts & provide comments in a timely fashion;
  • Get the final version on time to publish on your site (along with the image, clicks to tweet, etc.).

How to work with a writer for your blog

First, go over your editorial guidelines and see if the writer has any questions or concerns.

Next, agree to the full scope of work. Who will be creating/updating the editorial calendar? What will be the schedule? Who will be promoting the posts once published? Will you be meeting with them monthly? Quarterly? For how long?

PRO TIP: Any time a writer puts in over and above the actual research/writing/editing is a price that is over and above their fee. Negotiate this at the beginning!

Also agree on a smooth process whereby you can review and comment on the original document (e.g. Google docs works well for this). When do you have to get comments back to the writer? How many edits do you get? Usually one; sometimes two – that’s it.

HOT TIP: “Ghosts” are not obliged to promote posts without their byline on it. It’s reasonable to ask a listed author to promote the posts to their followers, although, their followers may not be your target market anyway.

Then, agree to a plan, a price, and a payment schedule so you can get booked into their calendar.

PRO TIP: You will likely need to pay the writer in advance of the work being done or delivered. This is especially true when the total will be less than $1,000.

When your writer asks questions, reply as soon as possible. When they are “on a roll” and “in flow” working on your stuff, and if you’re available, reply ASAP. After they submit work to you, provide comments in a timely manner. And, if for some reason you aren’t paying in advance, pay immediately upon receipt of the invoice!

PRO TIP: If their name is on the piece, and they’re not a “ghost,” then the fee may be slightly discounted from a ghostwriting fee, but you also have less (a.k.a. NO) authority to edit their words.

If you actually want your writer to turn your blog content into real content marketing, then keep them up-to-date with your products, services, current & future promotions, etc. Or, take it upon yourself to customize their (ghostwritten) posts to do this.

PRO TIP: Don’t be surprised that writers, especially new ones, raise their rates at least once (or twice) per year.

 

Conclusion

 

There are lots of options you have when it comes to ensuring consistent content for your blog.

You can create everything yourself (albeit, much can be re-purposed). You can invite guests to post (the right way). You can use “done for you” pre-written content (but please customize it). Or you can hire a writer/ghostwriter.

It’s up to you!

The main thing is to ensure you’re consistently publishing excellent content on your blog/vlog/podcast to build your “know, like, and trust” factor, and get people to visit your website and sign up for your email list!

 

Signing off and toasting: To getting blog posts so you can use them for consistent content marketing.

 

Over to you

 

How much do you create yourself? Will you invite guests (the right way)? Do you purchase and customize DFY posts? Want to hire a writer?

I’d love to know (in the comments below)!

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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N., a content and credibility specialist on a mission to help wellness practitioners get the right information to pass on to their  audience to build their businesses and improve public health on an epic scale. When it comes to health, my passion is focusing on what's right, not who's right. I help wellness practitioners build credibility by understanding and creating quality content based on the best scientific research. I also compile health research, create customized and "done for you" blog posts, and help strategize blog content. To work with me, click here.

How can you make your blog support your business goals? Strategize! Click here to download a copy of Leesa’s personal Content Strategy Editorial Calendar (no opt-in required)

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Comments

  1. Excellent article (as usual) Leesa! So much of what you say here resonated with me because I have had a fair share of icky guest posting experiences where I felt “used” and misled. However, in hindsight I should have also done my homework and dug a little deeper to make sure that the website I submitted to was attracting traffic – the right kind of visitors – and that the owner was promoting content.

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