Which type of written content is most profitable to outsource?

bernard

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Content is very expensive in my market. Often prohibitively so, at least if you want A+ quality. I do need to figure out how to make a profit from outsourcing content, even at rates like 10c a word.

Typical written content includes:
  1. Product reviews
  2. Product buying guides
  3. Category content
  4. Informational content
  5. Linkbait content
  6. Guest posts
Product reviews make money, so they can earn themselves back quickly. On the other hand, if you're capable, wouldn't you want to write such important content yourself?

Product buying guides contribute to product reviews, but are not as critical as product reviews. I've thought about oursourcing this quite often, only that if I'm ready to write a product review, then I can usually whip up a product buying guide quite easily.

Category content, such as for filter&search product pages, is less important and basically a "just good enough" approach is what most do here. The real content is the product filter. I'm thinking this is an obvious area to outsource.

Informational content is the what/when/why content, that you can use to funnel to your product pages, but can also be monetized with Adsense and similar. Usually of lower quality in the serps. Earns itself back slowly. Also fairly easy to write, so could be cheaper to outsource.

Linkbait content has to be really good, has to include unique data or perspectives. Has to be engaging and well written. Possibly the most valuable of all content. A good choice to outsource, but also risky, if it doesn't deliver at high cost.

Guestposts, like linkbait, need to be good and its difficult to train someone to do it, but can be very effective. When I had english language sites, I had really good articles come in once in a while.
 
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I think it depends on the niche.

If it's a super large niche like cooking products, then I would outsource product reviews and buying guides. There's so so many different product categories and subcategories, that it would be impossible for one person to write reviews / guides on all of them. Also, reviews and buying guides don't really require expert knowledge level. For the most part, summarizing a few product listings and forum threads works fine.
 

bernard

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I think it depends on the niche.

If it's a super large niche like cooking products, then I would outsource product reviews and buying guides. There's so so many different product categories and subcategories, that it would be impossible for one person to write reviews / guides on all of them. Also, reviews and buying guides don't really require expert knowledge level. For the most part, summarizing a few product listings and forum threads works fine.
Sure, except if you have a business model that revolved around creating actual great product reviews, such as testing, finding multiple tests, sources, stats, data etc.

In some cases, yes, product reviews can be very simple. For such products which mostly are about aesthetics for example.

Your point is good though. I have a fitness niche site. I do reviews of both expensive stuff, like a treadmill, but also cheap stuff like kettlebells.

I'd like to put in the extra mile for the treadmill review, but not really for a product review of a kettlebell: "Well, it's round and heavy and can be lifted and so can this one".
 
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Sure, except if you have a business model that revolved around creating actual great product reviews, such as testing, finding multiple tests, sources, stats, data etc.

In some cases, yes, product reviews can be very simple. For such products which mostly are about aesthetics for example.

Your point is good though. I have a fitness niche site. I do reviews of both expensive stuff, like a treadmill, but also cheap stuff like kettlebells.

I'd like to put in the extra mile for the treadmill review, but not really for a product review of a kettlebell: "Well, it's round and heavy and can be lifted and so can this one".
You could try outsourcing new content as an MVP or so? Just let the writer create a "good enough" article, without the heavy stats and stuff. And if it ranks, cool. If it doesn't, you can improve it down the road.

I don't think that every single piece of content needs to be great. Most people (myself included) are just looking for a quick answer to save some time. And that's where the value is gonna be at for the reader more often than not.
 

bernard

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You could try outsourcing new content as an MVP or so? Just let the writer create a "good enough" article, without the heavy stats and stuff. And if it ranks, cool. If it doesn't, you can improve it down the road.

I don't think that every single piece of content needs to be great. Most people (myself included) are just looking for a quick answer to save some time. And that's where the value is gonna be at for the reader more often than not.
Good point.

Not all my content is great out of the gate either.
 

secretagentdad

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Why so fixated on article style written content?

Tools, info tables and diagrams make up the vast majority of my sites.

My portfolio generates totally white hat links and massive brand retention on autopilot. I haven’t sent an outreach email or done a damn thing beyond participate in forums in years.

You can pay a dollar a word but what’s the point if there are literally 10k other articles written on your topic every year.

The guys on top will just rewrite what ever you wrote if you actually get traction anyway.
That’s why they have editorial teams on salary.

Why would you pay $ to write product reviews. Send samples and gifts to noisy social people. You can get the genuine thing with just a tiny bit of really cheap leg work.


Maybe I’m just a contrarian but seriously stop writing so much. The amount of filler content on people’s sites these days is insane.

I don’t see the market need for more crap from the thought leadership department ever.

Yes it sorta works. But deploying equivalent resources into actual innovation or dynamic media that solves a need will get you so much further.

I promise you. You can come up with something better to do with your marketing budget then guest posting. Just get out of the mindset that content is articles. There’s already to damn many articles.
 
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bernard

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@secretagentdad Thanks for a thought(!) provoking post. I've been meaning to create various tools, calculators and quizzes for ages.

I guess it comes with the SEO background and mindset that more is better, but increasingly I've found "intent is better" and that I can jump into most "cheap" or "sale" keywords with a FacetWP feed search engine. Google seems to get that at least. I'm ordering my first explainer video as we speak.
 

stackcash

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I'm not sure this is a content cost problem as much as it is a content funnel problem.

All of the content types you mentioned work in conjunction together to create a funnel that drives visitors to your money pages.

While category / info / linkbait / guest post content may not generate revenue directly from the page, they do funnel targeted traffic to the revenue generating pages and earn your nut.

You need to first map these funnels out on paper and strategically map the right keywords in each stage of the funnel to each page in the funnel.

It'll look something like this:

info / guest post / linkbait content ---> product review / buyer guide / money page content

When you have your funnel mapped out and have a target keyword for each page in the funnel, you can estimate revenue for the entire funnel in one shot.

Once you know your estimated revenue of the funnel, you can then go ahead and make a business decision as to whether or not that specific funnel is worth building out.

For example, if you can reasonably estimate that the funnel can make $10,000 a year, and the content cost to build it is 10% of that.... well, it's then a no-brainer.

Alternatively, if the funnel can only make $2k over 24 months.... then maybe it's not even worth spending the money. You can go after these funnels later when you have more consistent revenue.

And, finally, if you decide you want to build out the content in the funnel but simply don't have the dollars to do so.... take it slow. Start with the money content and work backwards up the funnel to the info content. No one says you have to build it all out at one time.

In short, you gotta know your numbers. If a funnel has the potential to earn 100x content cost, you should be attacking that like a wild beast. You just need to know your revenue potential before you go spending willy-nilly on content.
 

bernard

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Good point.

I track affiliate clicks in Google Analytics, so I figure that the Landing Page view should track conversions even for other pages right? That should give some idea of monetary value.
 

bernard

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I took a look at all my content to see what the cost would have been vs income for all my posts. I put the average pr. word at 7 cents to match the rate for an acceptable writer here.

Using this method and only looking at posts, not pages (such as brand or feed pages), I had a total of 6/37 pages be in the negative, which had at least 1 year history.

Which is not so bad, but then I also need to calculate the time I spend setting up the pages in Elementor or similar. I then say that such a page takes 2 hours in total to set up on average, which is a little high, but factors in maintenance. I put my hourly wage at $70 USD pre-tax.

Using this method a whopping 14/36 where in the negative!

Then I decided to calculate what would happen if instead of setting up the pages myself I outsourced them for $15 / hour and 2 hours each for $30 pr. piece.

Using this method I was back at 7/37 pages again being in the net negative. Great success.

Now what could be deduced from these 7 net negative pages?

2 were informational content, with only marginal direct monetization.
1 was about electronics
1 was a subproduct review page
1 was a cheap outsourced product review page (the WORST performing)
1 was a product review page for an informational search
1 was an informational article without understood intent

Taking out the informational and the mishaps, I was left with:

3 product review pages of a total of 7000 words which bombed

Of those, the cheaply outsourced product review page was sloppy and a listicle.

That leaves 2 product review pages with good research and writing that bombed.

Conclusion:

1. Do not outsource fluffy product review content, such as listicles
2. Do not outsource content without a clearly stated goal and intent
3. Well researched, well written reviews, will rarely turn negative given a 1-2 year timeframe
 
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I took a look at all my content to see what the cost would have been vs income for all my posts. I put the average pr. word at 7 cents to match the rate for an acceptable writer here.

Using this method and only looking at posts, not pages (such as brand or feed pages), I had a total of 6/37 pages be in the negative, which had at least 1 year history.

Which is not so bad, but then I also need to calculate the time I spend setting up the pages in Elementor or similar. I then say that such a page takes 2 hours in total to set up on average, which is a little high, but factors in maintenance. I put my hourly wage at $70 USD pre-tax.

Using this method a whopping 14/36 where in the negative!

Then I decided to calculate what would happen if instead of setting up the pages myself I outsourced them for $15 / hour and 2 hours each for $30 pr. piece.

Using this method I was back at 7/37 pages again being in the net negative. Great success.

Now what could be deduced from these 7 net negative pages?

2 were informational content, with only marginal direct monetization.
1 was about electronics
1 was a subproduct review page
1 was a cheap outsourced product review page (the WORST performing)
1 was a product review page for an informational search
1 was an informational article without understood intent

Taking out the informational and the mishaps, I was left with:

3 product review pages of a total of 7000 words which bombed

Of those, the cheaply outsourced product review page was sloppy and a listicle.

That leaves 2 product review pages with good research and writing that bombed.

Conclusion:

1. Do not outsource fluffy product review content, such as listicles
2. Do not outsource content without a clearly stated goal and intent
3. Well researched, well written reviews, will rarely turn negative given a 1-2 year timeframe
I applaud you for digging deeper into your content, but n=7 is way too small of a sample size to draw any kind of conclusion from.
 

bernard

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I applaud you for digging deeper into your content, but n=7 is way too small of a sample size to draw any kind of conclusion from.
I know, I just wanted to actually fully understand my content value, since I'm about to get 50K words translated and I wanted to fully understand which pages are the most bang for your buck (dollar to word value). For example, several of my product review pages are 7000 words long, and they do pull in the most, but other pages are merely 1000 words and have the highest visitor to income ratio. I think it's very helpful to understand exactly what kind of content is really producing income and it also helps to understand that spending several hundreds, if not thousands, on core content, can still be worth it. Marginal content and keywords, maybe not so much.
 

bernard

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I just had a loooong email correspondence with a writer company and received the first article today and ... it was GREAT!

Along the way of this loooong correspondence, I negotiated a lower rate as well, pushing me into a territory that I consider profitable generally.

I did the research though and spend about 30-45 mins on it, put it into Dynalist and delivered to writer, links included and comments about how to write. I think I will continue this method, as research is a strong competetive advantage for me. I'm quite pleased that my preparation and communication seem to work out.

Now it's going into my content planning sheet, and I'm ordering a bunch more articles. I'm really excited to check back in 3-6 months to test the outcome.

2020 is going to be the big outsource year for me. I feel like it's the next necessary step to go well into 5 figure territory.