OUTSOURCING YOUR CONTENT
The problem is one as old as the Internet itself: a lack of original content. In this world of RSS and staffers with already heavy workloads thanks to shrinking budgets, for a Digital Content Manager it can be frustrating to watch your sites wither from a lack of compelling content. Sure, the corporate mega-machine may send you syndicated content daily, you may have the latest feeds from the hippest blogs all in place but the fact remains, what truly brings the listeners back to your site, is an on-going stream of original, local content. It's really no different than what Program Directors preach daily to their Jocks: "local, local, local".
So, we all know this but the lack of resources still remains. Many radio webmasters were given their positions because they were seen to be especially geek-savvy. You may know your way around code, SEO, graphic design and you may be the office go-to guy/gal when it comes to all things I.T….but you may also be a really terrible writer. Fear not. Outsourcing may solve your problem.
This may, at first, appear to be an odd idea. After all, isn’t the reason we’re suffering from a lack of content due to the fact that we have no additional money to spend? If we had the extra cash, wouldn’t we just hire someone to write this stuff for us? Of course. But, the truth is, if you hired someone to write content all day (9am to 5pm) for your radio station’s website, you may actually have an over-abundance of content. Seriously. Think about it. It’s sort of like the old Stephen Wright joke: “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?“ In other words, while it doesn’t make sense to hire a salaried employee to take on this work, it may make sense to hire a professional when the situation calls for it.
Freelance writers are available online and can handle these projects for you. In fact, many writing pros (who typically work from home, doing just the sort of work we’re talking about here) won’t blink an eye when you request 20, 500 word articles at $1 a pop. For a cool $20, you’ve just populated an entire section of your website. As a bonus, many of these writers are also very well versed in SEO, so you can be assured that your new content will catch the spiders’ eye as it weaves through your site.
If you do this frequently, you will eventually begin to develop a relationship with your new writer friends. As they become more accustomed to your website, its style and your station’s overall image, you’ll have certain “go-to” freelancers that you can call upon for specific projects. Most of these writers are accustomed to working on very tight deadlines, so if you’re able to give them a reasonable window, they’ll happily return the favor with high quality work. Just be sure to pay on time (via PayPal as soon as you have approved the work but before publication is typically the standard) and be friendly on the forums and you’ll likely develop a great reputation and attract some of the best freelancers on the net.
So, where do you find these mythical savants? Below are two websites where you can begin your search. We recommend spending some time on the sites, reading the posts to get a feel for the jargon of the writing world before you post and introduce yourself. Then, post your job and start collecting bids. More and more radio DCM’s are taking the plunge into the world of outsourcing their content writing. We think that as you see your Time Spent On Site increase, you’ll be glad you did as well. And as for the extra $20 you’ll need. If your Sales staff can’t sell a $20 sponsor to recoup the expense….well, you know the rest of that rant.
FREELANCE JOB OPENINGS:
While this site specializes in a little of everything (graphic designers go here for work too, for example), when you post in the Writers section, their feed will distribute your ad to a number of Freelance Writing websites. Free to post.
FREELANCE WRITING GIGS:
A nice job-post site dedicated to freelance writers, this is one of the most frequently sites among scribes looking for gigs. A heads up that the submission link to place an ad is a little tricky to find. Click on “Place A Job Ad” on the horizontal top menu, Deborah’s e-mail address is not linked in the copy, so you’ll need to copy and paste her address. Free to post.
Why no Craigslist or E-Lance? Many freelance writers have come to avoid these sites like the plague due to non-payment from job posters and thanks to a number of phishing scams. While both sites remain decent places to search for other things (i.e. that vintage lamp you’re looking for), it’s best to avoid them in your search for freelance writing talent.
Tomorrow: Outsourcing…Your Coding!