How Much Does a High-Quality Blog Really Cost?
Sometimes cheaper is better. Items like store brand fruit snacks, generic baking powder, and tee shirts you plan to wear once are awesome.
Most of the time – you get what you pay for. Cheap blog posts can be purchased for as little as $.01 a word. The problem is, low costs blog posts like this are typically written by a 20-something man in India who is simply regurgitating an already published post. Or worse yet, outright stealing existing content and trying to pass it off as original.
The true cost of a high-quality blog post can be broken down into four primary considerations:
- Pictures & Graphics
As the saying goes, time is money. When it comes to blogging, you have two choices. You spend your own time or pay for someone else’s. Either way – the piper must be paid. To maximize your investment, time should be allocated to the following:
Content Strategy Development
Each blog post should be a standalone piece. It should deliver a clear and valuable message. The post should not depend on any links to internal or external sources. Rather, links within the post should help readers learn more if they want.
However, each blog post should also contribute to your overall marketing goals. This means taking the time to carefully develop a content strategy.
You’ll want your content writer to work with the other members of your marketing team to identify topics based on your sales goals.
SEO Keyword and Title Research
To give your post the best chance of success, your content writer should perform thorough keyword research for each post. This will help her identify a primary keyword and secondary keywords to target. Furthermore, it will help her create a title designed to maximize organic search results.
Interviews & Online Research
Unlike posts which regurgitate content already published, a good content writer will perform extensive research on the topic. This may include looking at research studies, reading review sites, conducting interviews, and doing on-site visits.
Drafting & Editing
A professional content writer never publishes her first draft. (Unless of course she is sharing a writing prompt and promises to share her first draft as an example.) High-quality blog posts go through a minimum of three drafts before they ever make it online.
Monitoring & Optimization
A skilled content writer knows her job isn’t done once the piece is published. The post needs to then be monitored and optimized as needed. For instance, if the post is attracting a lot of traffic, but has a statistically high bounce rate, your content writer might incorporate additional call-to-actions (CTAs) higher on the page.
Sentence & Paragraph Structure
A skilled content writer understands the importance of sentence structure. She uses this understanding to maximize the readability of each blog post. Typically, this means keeping sentences and paragraphs short. It means breaking up the text with visual elements.
A skilled content writer also knows her way around the dos and don’ts of English language. This doesn’t mean she never breaks the rules. It mean, she does so intentionally.
In particular, she may choose to say something like “right now right now” or “y’all” to capture a reader’s attention and showcase your brand voice.
Blog Post Structure
Writing a blog post isn’t like writing a college essay or letter to grandma. It has a structure all its own. Namely, readers should be able to skim your blog post.
This means your content writer should know how to use H2, H3, and H4 headers to guide a reader through the text. She should be skilled at calling attention to highly relevant text with bold and italicized formatting.
She should know how to pull out quotes.
When to use line breaks.
And how to incorporate pictures to hold the reader’s attention and maximize retention.
3. Pictures & Graphics
Visual content rules. A recent ‘Social Media Examiner’ study revealed that 37% of felt visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business, second only to blogging.
But where do you get your visual content? A skilled content writer who specializes in blogging has access to a plethora of resources for accessing pictures and graphics. These should include:
There are a variety of online resources from which you can get images for your blog posts. Some of these resources are free. Some cost money. Typically, free pictures aren’t as high quality or as relevant to the topic at hand as the ones you could purchase.
Original pictures are the ideal way to go. However, you’ll need someone with the time and skill to take the photos. This is why a good content writer specializing in blogging should know her way around a camera.
Some blog posts lend themselves well to infographics. Again, this is an instance when you’ll need someone with the time and skill to create an infographic.
Writing and publishing a blog post no one reads delivers little to no value. (This isn’t your teenage journal after all!) This is why a good blog post is published in conjunction with a strong marketing effort to push that post to your audience.
This means crafting social media messages for the platforms on which your business is participating. It often means creating highly targeted ads directed towards your blog post. And, it includes responding to any fan engagement you may receive.