There are few things more important to the success of an online presence than an engaging blog. Your blog is one of the key touchpoints you have to connect with existing customers, as well as one of the most robust marketing channels available to develop new customers.
That said, running a blog and creating content for it is a full-time job. It's also a specialist job that's often best left to a dedicated professional. If you're short on time or experience, you should consider buying articles instead of writing them yourself.
For many businesses, buying blog content offers an excellent return on investment. To be sure, it takes time upfront to find a writer or article service that can consistently turn out high-quality work. But the payoff is that you get to put your website content development on auto-pilot. As a result, you can spend your time in other areas of your business and move forward faster.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to buy content for your blog and explain how to measure your blog’s return on investment.
Why buy articles for your blog?
Given how important blogging is to your website’s visitor traffic and customer conversions, many business owners are loath to give up control. But there are three strong reasons why you should consider buying blog posts instead of writing them yourself.
1. Buy Yourself Time
Writing high-quality content takes time - even a short 500-word post could take several hours, depending on how much keyword research you need to do and whether you have a clear framework for the article in mind.
Most business owners don’t have hours to spare. That’s time that could be spent pursuing leads, developing new products and services, or focusing on ways to grow your company’s footprint. Hiring a writing service to develop content for you frees you up to do the things that no one else can do for your business. In the end, your business is much better off for it.
2. Scale Your Business
Even if you do enjoy writing, your time is limited. If a competitor is publishing ten high-quality articles a month, it will be hard to keep up with them. Especially if you don’t have in-house resources.
Buying articles lets you scale up your website’s content more quickly. This allows you to dominate search traffic for sub-niches and become a thought leader in your industry.
3. Leverage Professional Writers
The distance between good content and great content might seem small, but it can make a huge difference.
Quality writing can not only boost your website’s traffic. It can also elevate your brand by forging stronger connections with your audience. This will lead to more sales, conversions, and subscribers.
How do you calculate ROI for a blog?
Blog revenue - Blog costs = Blog profit.
(Blog profit / Blog costs) x 100 = Blog ROI.
That's the basic formula, but there's a lot that goes into calculating each of the components. Knowing how much your blog has earned, for instance, might not be as simple as glancing at a dashboard. Your blog might generate indirect revenue via product sales that are difficult to track.
Most blogs have several costs and revenue streams to consider. Let's take a look at how to identify and total them.
Calculating Your Blog’s Return
The formula for calculating blog return varies wildly depending on your business model. If your revenue exclusively comes from your blog and from a single source, such as affiliate links placed in your blog content, you only need to look at one figure (total affiliate revenue) to know your blog return.
If, however, you have multiple sources of revenue (sales of your own product, advertisements, etc.) and revenue/customers can come from places other than your blog, you have to consider multiple figures.
In simple terms, the process would go something like this:
- Determine your blog's revenue streams
- Work out where/how you can see these figures
- Ensure your revenue data displays only income coming from blog articles
- Total it to find your blog's return
A simple example:
Company A only generates revenue from the Amazon and eBay affiliate programs. It only places affiliate links in its blog. For Company A, Amazon affiliate commissions +eBay affiliate commissions = total blog return.
A more complex example:
Company B generates revenue from sales of its software. It uses social media marketing to promote its software. It also receives traffic to its blog. For Company B, only sales that came from blog activity = total blog return.
There are multiple ways Company B could calculate sales that came from blog activity. It could use Google Analytics or alternative software to see how many users first landed on the blog and then purchased software and use those figures to determine blog return.
However, it could also get more granular and use cookie tracking tools to see how many users visited the blog but maybe didn't purchase until a week or more later. This method considers the fact that some sales may indirectly come from the blog. For instance, a user might only purchase because of trust built with them through the blog content they viewed a week ago.
PPC Vs Blog Content
Another metric you can use to check the success of your blog is “Traffic Value”. This is provided by the popular SEO Tool Ahrefs. Traffic value refers to how much you would have to pay in Google Ads to obtain the same amount of traffic.
If we look at Zapier´s blog, we can see their top 5 articles have a combined traffic value of over $1 Million.
Without these blog posts, Zapier would have to pay $1 Million in Google ads every month to get the same amount of traffic.
Calculating Your Blog Investment
ROI also takes into account how much you’re spending on your blog. While you might not be paying anything to write your posts now, there’s no such thing as free articles for blogs.
Start by figuring out how many hours go into your blog. If you know the average number of articles you write each month and the average time each article takes to write, you can multiply those together to get a rough estimate.
Next, you need to figure out how much those hours are worth. Multiply the time you put into your blog by your salary (or the salary of whoever is writing your blog right now) to get your cost. You should also add the cost of any hosting or app fees associated with your blog.
Your Blog’s ROI
Now you can calculate your blog’s ROI. Subtract your investment from your revenue, then divide by your investment. If you get a positive number, you’re making money from your blog.
The important thing to keep in mind is that you should recalculate this number before and after turning to a writing agency. If your ROI goes up, it means that the extra money you’re putting into your blog by paying for content is generating more revenue for your business in terms of products and services sold.
Keep in mind that seeing an improvement in your ROI can take time. Very few businesses are able to build an online following overnight, and it can take months of developing strong content in partnership with a writing agency to see a bump in your site traffic. Be patient—the investment you make in your blog today will pay dividends for your business in the long run.
What kind of content do you need for your blog?
One of the many benefits of having a blog is its versatility. You can create content to match your long-term or short-term business goals.
These might be:
- “How To” articles that help your audience solve a problem
- “Ultimate Guides” that provide insights on products & services
- Story-based content that builds affinity for your brand
- Discussion pieces featuring original research for your industry
- Lists/Cheat Sheets that readers share
Studies have shown that long-form content performs better in Google’s search. However, sometimes shorter blog posts are ideal for picking up social shares and backlinks.
You should also consider whether you need services beyond just writing. Some article services will source images and upload the blog to your content management system. Others even offer social media promotion to help you announce your new blog posts to the world.
Again, think about what’s important to your business and what will offer the greatest ROI.
How much should you pay for blog articles?
Cost is a huge factor when it comes to paying for blog posts. The truth is, there’s no standard number for what a blog post costs. The range of cost estimates you’ll see can be as wide as a few cents per word to several dollars per word.
While you don’t want to overpay, you should be prepared for the fact that high-quality content comes at a premium price. Longer articles cost more than shorter articles. Articles on highly technical topics will cost more than articles that any writer could write. If you want a writer to publish content on your website, that will cost extra as well.
How you pay is also important. Some writers charge per hour, some charge per word, and some charge per article.
While a fixed rate per article can be helpful for controlling costs, this approach also disincentivizes writers to spend the time necessary to deeply research your articles and to write creatively. On the other hand, an hourly rate can leave you with surprise bills if an article takes longer than expected. If you use opt for an hourly or per word rate, it’s a good idea to negotiate a cap on how much you’ll pay for each post.
Keep in mind that if you buy articles in bulk, you might be able to get a discount. Of course, you should always test out a writing service to make sure it suits your needs before ordering dozens of blog posts. But once you’re happy with the process, bulk orders can cut your costs while streamlining the delivery of new content to your website.
Where can you buy blog articles online?
There are dozens of places you can go to buy web articles online.
Platforms like Upwork and Freelancer.com connect you with thousands of freelance writers, who have expertise in everything from eCommerce to rocket science. You can set your price range and accept bids, or seek out individual writers who focus on your topic area.
There are also content mills like Verblio, Scripted, and Text Writer. These companies can meet any budget and offer a wide range of services, including SEO and social media. Just be sure to carefully vet the writing, since you don’t get to choose a specific writer or team to work on your project.
You can also turn to a writing agency like Eleven. We specialize in producing high-quality online content crafted by writers with deep knowledge of their fields. Writing agencies offer a more tailored experience than writing mills and give you access to a dedicated, seasoned team of content creators.
Buying articles for your blog is one of the best ways to bring more traffic to your website, free up time to focus on other aspects of your business, and boost your ROI. While the process of outsourcing your content creation can seem daunting at first, there are plenty of platforms for buying content online to meet any topic area and any budget.
Remember to always keep one eye on your blog’s ROI so you can measure the success of your investment and continue charting a path forward for your online presence.
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