Do you want to overshine the masses of content out there? Do you want to be the absolute best content creator? Or are you considering hiring a freelancer to produce the content for you – but you just don’t know how? Lucky! In this post, you will learn easy and doable tricks to make your content pop and get tips on how to work with freelancers from the incredibly talented Kristi Hines.
Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, who works with small businesses and a few larger ones, such as American Express. She has been doing freelance writing for about four years – before that she was working with an internet marketing agency.
Here are the major takeaways from the Kristi Hines interview:
- Find the best pieces of content out there and make something that’s even better – either by including infographics, videos, better text, or whatever.
- You get what you pay for. If the freelancer is really cheap, you will not get high-quality content back. It is worth going for more expensive, more experienced freelancers.
- You can’t use the same freelancer for everything. Find someone with the right niche expertise on the exact topic you want to write about.
Get the hang of how freelancers think in order for you to collaborate successfully with them and learn how to make your content stand out from the endless other pieces of content out there – in short: Learn how to be the best.
Want to improve your content creation skills?
There is quite a lot of work behind creating catching, informative and great content. You now have the opportunity to download this checklist that will help you all the way from competitor analysis to creating and final touches. Ready, set, create content!
What is content marketing?
It is quite simple; content marketing is creating content. According to Kristi, a lot of people think that content marketing is just having a blog – but it is so much more! Content marketing can be just about anything: creating, publishing, promoting.
All of these things are a part of doing content marketing. Content marketing is great to master as content can help sell your product or service but in a more subtle way than advertising. It should be informative but still lead your reader into your shopping page.
The magic of the sales funnel
Now, the sales funnel works in a ton of different ways, but most companies use blog posts that are super informative, and while the reader is on the blog post reading it, there might be links to useful products or relevant services on your site, and they’ll land on a sales page. That is the simple explanation. Listen to Kristi talk about the more complex sales funnels.
The (nearly) impossible definition of great content
To create a fantastic piece of content, many ask themselves: ‘What can I write that no one has ever done before?’ But that approach can be difficult or nearly impossible. Kristi writes a lot about marketing, and nearly every aspect of marketing has been covered a thousand times before. So, as she puts it, it is not about finding a unique topic but a unique angle to create the best post, one that will be better than the other great posts. It is about making it the most recent or the most comprehensive.
Step 1: Find the greatest posts
You can use tools like Buzzsumo, which will show you the most socially shared posts if that is what you are going for. Then, you can use Impactana if you want to create content that will get a lot of backlinks that will be great for SEO.
Try Google Search to see what content ranks for a particular keyword. Then, you should gather the best posts together, read them, and find out how old they are. What can be updated, what needs to be elaborated on, and are there any issues that could be fixed or covered more comprehensively?
Step 2: Make your post even better
Once you have found what you feel are the best posts on a topic you want to write about, thoroughly analyze them. In some cases, you will look at 10 pieces of content, and all of them will be all text, so you may think you have to add images.
Maybe everybody else is doing images and texts, so you can take it to the next level by including an introductory video with your face on it, introducing what you are about to say. You can also find a graphic designer and have him/her put an infographic together to simplify the message.
What are the biggest trends within content marketing?
Kristi told me that mobile optimization has been a big thing recently. That means it is important to optimize the content in a way that is going to load instantly for the mobile users. It is good, but there are downsides for ecommerce sites – listen to why and what you should think about when mobile optimizing.
Get help from experts: use freelancers
As Kristi has been a freelancer for quite a while, she has some valuable knowledge from the other side of the table when considering freelancers. Kristi gets hired through agencies, who manage everything for the ecommerce sites. That way, the ecommerce site isn’t working directly with the freelancer. Multiple sites help you connect with freelancers – they work just like a market place.
There are low-quality sites, but you always get what you pay for. Higher-quality sites such as Clear Voice connect quality brands with high-quality freelancers. On there, you can see the freelancers content, the latest products, and how the content is performing; you will pay more, but the quality will be better.
You should look at their work and portfolio and make sure they have done the right topic, which is relevant for what you are asking for. There are also some other things to look out for. Find out what here:
Finding your freelancer soulmate
Let’s go back to basics: Google it! Go out to big sites, like Mashable, and do a quote search. Find sites that want the kind of content you want; investigate the marketplaces, like Clear Voice, to search out individuals. Followerwonk by Moz is a tool that lets you search Twitter bios, so search for a freelance writer, or an interest, maybe gardening. There are plenty of ways to find people.
The biggest turn off when working as a freelancer for a company
The collaboration between a freelancer and a business is just like a relationship – and the absolute worst thing is poor communication. As Kristi puts it, it is hard to communicate with people if they don’t communicate back with you. The freelancer must feel prioritized. Set dates and agreements for contact, and most importantly, make sure you answer their questions whenever they ask you something!
Payday: How big should the paycheck be?
Your teamwork has been going great; the content is finished, and it is time to pay them, but how much? Freelancers charge anywhere from 25 cents to a dollar per word. Listen to Kristi explain how you should set the price.
Three tips to produce engaging content
You don’t know which social media channels the reader prefers, but overall, it has to be quick, easy, and convenient to share, and you should do more than just add a social share button, as they often get ignored.
- Have great images. You can also add a piece of code on your pictures so that whenever someone hovers over them, a Pin-It button comes up. That means the reader is reminded that they have the option to pin it on their Pinterest page.
- Use click-to-tweet. This is code that makes it easy for a reader to tweet an exact quote or sentence from your post.
- Facebook just introduced an option to highlight text in a post and share it directly on people’s Facebook pages.
Comments are only a problem for the administrator on the site, who must avoid spam messages. There are a lot of shared opinions of comment fields. Hear what Kristi thinks about them, and what you can do to get people to comment on your post.
Kristi rounded off the interview by talking about the future of content marketing. She thinks, that in the future, people will start mixing different media – so images, videos, and sound clips will all merge. It is about exploring all the different content available.
What new tendencies have you noticed? What is your method of creating content? Comment in the box below and share your thoughts.