To buy, or not to buy. That is the question.
If you’re involved in any form of content marketing, you’ve probably already engaged in this debate. Perhaps with yourself. There’s a huge, easily accessible marketplace of individuals and organizations available to create blog posts, white papers and other written content for online business use.
However, many seem to believe this is a cop out. That somehow it’s more desirable to do it all themselves.
To my mind, this isn’t a difficult objection to answer. Choosing to buy content is a business decision about making your online marketing program the strongest it can be. You want to increase awareness of your products or services, drive traffic and generate sales. Those should be the only considerations.
Why It’s Not a Cop Out to Buy Content
- Buying website content is a business matter. This isn’t a creative writing contest and, frankly, no one’s going to know that you aren’t doing your own writing. You want your website to be as good as possible so that it serves your business and marketing goals. That means having the very best content you can muster.
- Outsourced writers are professionals. You’ve got your areas of expertise in business, but it’s likely that writing isn’t one of them. On the other hand, content writers do this for a living. They’re experienced in producing content in a number of voices, and doing the research to write the sorts of blogs or white papers that will get results.
- Purchased content allows for greater frequency. If you are trying to write web content yourself, you probably don’t have all that much time to work on it. Content writers, however, have all the time they need. They can give you more content than you can produce yourself, and this means having a blog that’s constantly updated and lively.
- Buying content leaves more time for your business. Whether you’re writing content yourself or handing it off to an employee, it amounts to the same thing: Someone is spending time writing rather than doing the job they were hired to do. Why take productive time away from a worker in lieu of a side project like writing? Let your accountants be accountants and your writers be writers.
- Paying for writing is no different than buying artwork. You don’t insist on hand-crafting all of the artwork and photographs on your website, do you? Chances are pretty good that you outsourced your graphics and photos because you don’t have those skills. In practical terms, buying written content is exactly the same thing.
- Professional writers bring an outside perspective. When a business writes its own blogs and other content, sometimes it’s too close to the material and can’t write objectively. This is similar to why it’s almost always better to hire an ad agency than to try to do ads in-house. Distance and perspective can make for a better end product.
I’m not saying you can’t write your own web content. If you or an employee are honestly talented at writing and have the free time to do it, that’s fine. However, if this is not the case, there really isn’t any shame in buying content instead. The goal here is to have a great website; the means matter far less than the ends.