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Content Marketing: Creating content through outsourcing or writing in-house?

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If I were to list 5 must-haves to run a successful business in 2016, be it internet-based or otherwise, garnering a thriving online presence will certainly be on it.

How do you build a solid online presence? Content marketing.

A Forbes article says that 88% of B2B marketers currently use content marketing as part of their marketing strategy.

If you are not already on the content marketing bandwagon, what are you waiting for? Hop on!

Be sure, though, to know that you are in for a lot of strategic thinking and decision making.

Content Creation

The most mind-boggling question when you first step into the content marketing is – should you outsource your content marketing or do it in-house?

Predictably, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, you must do your due diligence and determine what the best answer for your business.

Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself to arrive at the best answer for your business:

1. How fat is your budget?

It is very important that you carefully figure out how much to budget for content marketing early on.

That said, if you don’t have a fat budget for content marketing, outsourcing may not be the best option after all.

So, what do you do when the budget is not fat? You self-learn content marketing by reading blogs, listening to podcasts/webinars – and then hire a freelance writer. Once you see some results and are in a good position to scale up, you can move on to hiring a full-time professional writer, and a full-scale agency further down the line.

The point is – get started no matter what! The best thing about content marketing is – even the tiniest of efforts can bring a reasonable amount of results.

If you do have enough budget, start working with a specialized agency. Build an in-house team only when you have a clear understanding of what works best for Business Storytelling.

2. Do you want to do go niche?

Although most content marketers have great writing skills, it just might not be enough to market your business to a niche audience. If the aim is to do niche content marketing, you need someone who’s an expert in the discipline.

For example, a Tech startup can generate more leads by predicting trends rather than doing regular listicles or how-to posts.

If you have the budget for it, hiring a full-time niche writer is certainly a good idea here. One, they have expertise, and two, when a single person handles all of your content, there is consistency in writing style and presentation.

You can also outsource it to a medium-to-large agency because these agencies usually have many writers who are experts in different fields. Hence, you can trust that your content will be handled by an industry expert.

Freelance writers and small agencies are not a very good bet if you are looking for domain expertise as most of them are generalists and not niche writers.

Although there are a few niche freelancers, it is still not an assuring bet.

3. What is the weight of content marketing in your overall marketing efforts?

First of all, did you work to determine which type of marketing will maximize your profits? If so, then how much weight does content marketing carry?

You should determine how much of an emphasis you must put on content marketing to increase your profits. For example, for some businesses, outdoor hoardings might get them all the customers they need, and the blog is not a lead generation avenue – these guys need not spend much on content marketing.

If you think that content marketing is not your major cashpoint, don’t spend too much on it. Pick the cheapest option for you in terms of time and money.

For example, if you think that in-sourcing content will consume too much of your time and energy and that it’s not worth that – hire a small agency and produce an average amount of content; but if you think you need to do prime-time content marketing – hire a full-time 

4. How keen are you about building a consistent brand?

I’d like to start by bursting a bubble: Not everyone needs to build a solid brand. What if you’re a small company with a small marketing budget where every dollar counts and every mistake is felt deep? Branding – well, not so much!

If you decide that outsourcing is the best way to go about your content marketing game, wait! You haven’t asked the most important question yet: Can the freelancer or the agency, capture the essence of your business in their writing? Because if not, your story will not be good enough to generate profits.

Before outsourcing, you must have a detailed talk with the agency of what your expectations are; what kind of content you want to publish; what writing style represents you; and your business philosophy and more.

You must look to see if the agency is receptive to your requests and ideas. Instead of staying out of the picture completely, you must monitor the work produced by the agency and they have to be comfortable with your nose.

Hire someone who confirms to your requirements and is willing to work towards getting to know your company. Hire someone who’s passionate about what they write – passionate writing is still the best way to reel in more readers.

Generic and out-of-the-place content isn’t going to cut it. The content must represent your business, and everything that you stand for.

If you don’t find an agency like that, taking in an employee and grooming them would be a better choice.

Re-capturing all of the above:

Small budget: go in-house, or hire a generalist freelancer.

Fat budget: hire a specialized agency, and build a team when you understand what works.

Niche marketing: either an in-house expert or an agency which can offer specialized writing services. Freelancers and small agencies not a good bet.

Content marketing a lead generator: either an in-house senior expert who builds a team, or a specialized agency.

Not a lead generator: hire a generalist freelancer, or work with a small agency.

High on keeping a consistent brand image: a specialized agency with personalized and tailored services, or a senior in-house expert.

Not very keen about a consistent brand image: hire a generalist freelancer or a junior marketer.

Over to you:

  • Anything else that businesses should consider while deciding whether to go in-house or outsource?
  • Can everyone really do content marketing on their own?
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Niraj is the founder of Hiver, an app that turns Gmail into a powerful customer support and collaboration tool.

Blogging

Do You Establish Work at Home Boundaries?

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Some people love attention.

I know a few who do their best to grab my attention. Phone calls, emails, cryptic Facebook Messages.

I ignore everything and every one outside of what I do in the moment since I set up work at home boundaries. I close the door and go into my office. No way I stop working for anything or anyone who starves for my attention. The house could burn down and I would scoot out at the last minute because work time is work time and I do nothing else save work during work time.

If you do not respect your time, people will not respect your time. If you give people your time whenever they want your time, for:

  • favors
  • gossip
  • small talk
  • chats
  • general BS

people will gladly ask for favors, engage in gossip, engage in small talk, chat you up and BS for hours, because you chose not to establish work at home boundaries.

100% of the time, if people appear to be using you or eating up your precious time, it is your fault. People treat you how you choose to treat yourself.

How a Happy and Successful Blogger Sets Up Work at Home Boundaries

Easy; I close the door, walk into the office and get to work. I do not leave the office until I complete my work. My phone? I turn it off. I check email rarely. I only check Messenger 2-3 times daily for 5 minutes at a clip.

I set up definite, clear, work at home boundaries to respect my time. People reflect my time-respecting back to me. Easy peasy.

If someone tries to grab my attention through Messenger, or the land line, or through email, or at the door, I completely ignore attempts made to grab my attention and time. Boundaries folks; you need to be clear and firm on your work at home boundaries to ensure everybody else respects your boundaries.

You Are Walking into a Word Office

Would a friend, family member or casual neighbor barge into your 9-5 job office asking for a favor? Would said folks barge into your 9-5 job office to spread the latest gossip? Nope. Then why allow said folks to barge into your work at home office to do similar things? Nope. Put up boundaries. Door closes. Enter office. You are busy. You are working. Even my 3 year old niece understands when Uncle Ryan goes to work in the home office. Everybody else can easily grasp this concept.

What About Impatient or Desperate Online Folks?

I completely ignore impatient, fear-filled, desperate folks who demand I answer Messenger or email requests in 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or in 24 hours. I respect my time and completely ignore people who do not respect my time.

I built my blogging business almost completely on a passive income model so nothing I do online is time sensitive. I have answered most questions 1,000 to 10,000 times through my courses, eBooks, blog posts and videos. It is up to these awesome but unclear folks to find and use the answers I created, to improve their lives.

I am generous daily, publishing a blog post and/or video. Plus I published about 800 posts on Blogging Tips, and over 2,000 posts on Blogging From Paradise. It is on the impatient folks screaming for my attention to follow my blog posts, guest posts, videos, eBooks and courses because I answered their questions many times.

People treat you exactly how you teach them to treat you. I have posture so I set up work at home boundaries for offline and online folks.

Respect your time and work schedule and other folks will do the same.

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Who Do You Surround Yourself with in Your Blogger Network?

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Some bloggers cannot see the forest for the trees, like the beautiful, lush, thriving national park I visited in New Jersey recently.

The masses tend to be caught up in fear, pain and struggle because they cannot see the big picture.

Birds of a feather flock together.

You have heard that one, right?

I circle the globe and change time zones like most folks breathe. Would I be wise to surround myself with people who tremble at leaving their home town or home neighborhood? Nope. Such people would teach me the world makes for a scary, dangerous place. I would get advice like play it safe, be comfortable, get a job, buy a home and take it easy, from such folks. Such folks also live a bland life because if you rarely or never leave your comfort zone, you cannot:

  • grow
  • thrive
  • face your fears
  • serve humanity
  • be a bright light for people to follow
  • live your deepest, wildest dreams

Obviously, I chose to surround myself with bloggers who happily circled the globe as successful bloggers. I also surrounded myself with happy, successful, home body bloggers too; to learn the basics of building a rocking blog effectively. I learned how to succeed from my blogger friend network, sponging up their knowledge, inspiration and insight.

Meanwhile, if you surround yourself with new, struggling or failing bloggers you will get advice on how to struggle, fail, or flounder through your blogging day.

Do bloggers around you complain about losing $50 on blogging? Lose these zero’s immediately and surround yourself with bloggers who invest thousands of dollars on their blogs. High rollers teach you to succeed. Broke jokes teach you how to fail.

Do bloggers around you see making $25 as being a huge amount of money? You better lose the low-aiming crowd to surround yourself with bloggers who see $1000 and $10,000 and more as making coin.

Do bloggers around you circle the globe as swash buckling travelers? Check out this photo from my trip to Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island was filmed here.

Time to ditch the comfort zone crowd to hang with adventurous types.

Don’t get me wrong; I celebrate every cent I make online. But if you think I’m placing a sponsored post for less than $1000, you are insane. Like a famous super model who said she didn’t get out of bed for anything less than $10,000 a day, you need to develop a prosperity consciousness that demands big money and ignores appearance of poverty, lack, limitation and fear.

Who Do You Hang With?

Who do you count as blogging buddies? Happy, highly successful, prospering bloggers? You better, to increase your success.

For example, observe my blogging paperback on profiting. The aftermarket price is $45 USD. If most or all bloggers in your network would feel uncomfortable receiving $45 in royalties for a paperback, you better lose that network and surround yourself with bloggers who believe in abundance. I know John Chow feels comfortable receiving $45 for anything he offers online. Who cares? It is just money. It is only money.

Surround yourself only with bloggers who:

  • have posture
  • have authority
  • charge top dollar
  • profit freely
  • prosper freely
  • exude confidence
  • have a highly developed prosperity consciousness

You learn from the best, gain inspiration from the best and become the best by surrounding yourself with the best bloggers on earth.

But you need to be honest in who you choose to hang with in your blogging circles. Be clear. Be truthful with yourself. Maybe you feel comfortable trading comments with struggling bloggers you befriended 10 years ago but nothing spectacular happens for you if you surround yourself with struggling bloggers, being firmly fixed in your comfort zone.

Release all bloggers who are not happy and prospering.

Fill your blogger friend network with empowered, inspired, happy, successful, prospering bloggers.

Nothing personal.

Just your blogging success at stake.

 

 

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Blogging

Are You Chasing the Flavor of the Month?

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My first fundamental of successful blogging focuses you on being present.

All of our power resides in the moment.

None of our power resides in the future or past because neither exists.

Time is illusion.

Only Now is real.

Look at that brilliant featured image. I snapped it from the front porch during our trip to Fiji. Sweet things happen when you are in the moment, focusing all power on the present.

This marks my 796th blog post on Blogging Tips. I feel grateful to Zac for the opportunity to serve you. Plus I feel grateful for all success that flowed to me through these guest posts.

How in the heck did I write and publish nearly 800 guest posts on one blog?

I am in the moment, mostly. I am present. Plus I never, never, ever chase the flavor of the month.

Bruce Lee and Blogging

Alonzo Pichardo and I often chatted about being patient, persistent and present during the Online Success Chats Podcast.

Being patient, persistent and present helps you tap into immense powers, including the power of being creative *and* prolific. See my 800 blog posts on Blogging Tips as evidence of such power. Toss in my 2,008 articles (between posts and pages) on Blogging From Paradise and you understand: focusing on one core task, or core purpose, in the present, leads to amazing things.

Bruce Lee spoke of fearing not the man who practiced 10,000 kicks once, but he did fear the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times. He embodied this mindset in his genius, Renaissance Man type ways.

Lee’s wisdom and physical prowess are both timeless because he understood and lived this great truth: do 1 thing so frequently, with a focused energy, being in the moment, that you do it incredibly well. He understood the truth of how I live my life: where your attention and energy goes, grows.

The Flavor of the Month

Most bloggers struggle because they practice 10,000 kicks once, chasing hot niches, running after trends, and choosing to blog today, and podcast tomorrow, because everybody runs a podcast these days. Wait a second; live video reigns supreme? Time to become a live video expert. Meanwhile, as you jump from niche to niche, and from blogging to podcasting to live videos, I just wrote and published 800 posts on Blogging Tips alone. Plus I wrote and published 1,000 more guest posts on other blogs.

While most bloggers chase hot trends, profitable niches and the latest game changing opportunity, guys like Alonzo and I thrive by doing one thing alone so we do it incredibly well.

Success is yours, but success is not an overnight or week-long endeavor.

Stop chasing hot niches. Visualize your dreams in detail. Focus on your blogging wins. Invest in coaching and courses from top bloggers. Surround yourself with positive vibes and positive people.

Write, publish and connect with top bloggers by helping top bloggers.

Success Finds Specialists

I took a nap this afternoon. A calm, peaceful breeze kisses my face right now as I write and enjoy the day.

Imagine if you could work from home every day? Visualize that fun and freedom.

Sweet, right?

Specialists are the only folks who work from home full time. People who do 1 thing persistently, practicing this skill, so they become super skilled in a single, specialized niche.

I gave all of my professional energy to being a blogger for the past 10 years. I became really skilled at blogging because I never chased the flavor of the month.

Avoid program hopping, niche hopping and all forms of flavor-chasing.

Do one thing. Do it well.

Succeed.

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