Can Outsourced Content Writing Maintain a High Level of Quality?

Whether because they lack the time, the ability, or some combination of the two, more and more businesses are outsourcing their content writing; when it comes time for a new company blog post or press release, they farm it out to an agency or a freelancer, where the work is done relatively hassle-free.

This method obviously has its advantages, but there can also be compromises—especially when it comes to quality.

It doesn’t have to be that way. You can get high-quality work through outsourced content writing, but to do so, you’ve got to hire the right people—and manage the process wisely.

Why Content Quality Matters

First, a quick word about quality. It can be tempting to approve of any half-decent writing that’s sent your way, but business owners can and should be pickier about what they accept. There are a couple of reasons for this, and the first is branding. The writing on your website or blog reflects your brand, and as such you want it to be authoritative, clean, and helpful; you want to provide value to your customers, without errors or typos. Sloppy writing makes you look like a sloppy company.

In addition, you need quality because Google demands it—and if you want your blog or website to rank well within Google searches, keeping the algorithms happy is a necessity. Google wants its search engine users to have relevant answers to all their quandaries, so to ensure high visibility, you have to be helpful and solutions-oriented.

Hiring Quality Writers

That’s a high threshold for your writer to meet—so how can you ensure that they rise to the challenge?

  • First, make sure you hire the right people. A writing company, as opposed to an individual freelancer, can offer a real business track record, including reviews and testimonials. Always ask for work samples, too. Of course, checking out the company’s own blog helps you see what they are capable of.
  • Always make sure you’re getting your writing done by native American English speakers.
  • Do your part to provide clear directions. Be ready to offer topics, a sense of your voice/desired tone, and any SEO keywords you’d like the writers to employ.
  • Also be prepared to educate the writer about who your audience is, and what you wish to accomplish with your writing. Clear goals are vitally important.
  • Provide constructive feedback whenever you can, which will help your writers better understand your voice.
  • Finally, make sure you know quality work when you see it. This goes beyond just checking for typos and grammatical errors. Also make sure the writing that’s submitted to you is tailored to your audience and advances the goals or agenda you’ve set forward.

At the end of the day, good writing is something you can offer to customers and potential customers—and optimally, it will offer both value and professionalism. Or, to put it more succinctly, it will offer quality­—and yes: That is something you can get through outsourcing, so long as you approach the process shrewdly.

To learn more, reach out to the writers at Grammar Chic, Inc. Be sure to ask us about our own standards of quality. Contact us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Content Marketing, Content Writing, Web Content, Writing

Don’t Let Recruiters Know You’re Desperate

You may feel desperate to find new employment—but that doesn’t mean you should show it, especially not to recruiters and hiring managers. Generally speaking, desperation makes you look sloppy, unprofessional, and simply not as competent and put-together as employers wish.

In a word, you want to project confidence—not jitters. The question is how. Here are a few of the most common ways in which jobseekers reveal their underlying desperation; start by avoiding these at all costs.

Avoiding the Signs of Job Search Desperation

  • Applying for dozens of different jobs at the same company. It’s always important to take a targeted approach; zero in on the one job you’re really excited about and qualified You don’t want to give the impression that you’ll just take anything.
  • Using your resume or cover letter to beg. You may really want the job in question, but it’s best not to get down on your hands and knees to plead for it—figuratively or literally.
  • Bragging about how much your past employer loved you. It’s far better to cite your actual achievements and professional milestones, and to ask the recruiter or hiring manager what they’re looking for in an employee. Your old boss’ opinion just isn’t relevant.
  • Asking for immediate feedback. The single worst way to end a job interview is by asking, “So how did I do?” That’s Desperate with a capital D. Be a professional. Wait for the callback like everyone else.
  • Leaving constant follow-ups. It’s wise to send a thank-you note after an interview, and perhaps to call with a follow-up after a week or so has passed. Leaving daily emails or voicemails, though, is just irritating, and highly unprofessional.
  • Immediately sending a LinkedIn connection request to your interviewer. The only thing more inappropriate is immediately sending a Facebook friend request.
  • Apologizing for something you said or did in an interview. You may think you made a huge blunder or put your foot in your mouth, but honestly, most interviewers forget these things almost immediately. There’s no need to remind them of it.
  • Sending gifts to your interviewer. Yes, this includes things like homemade cookies. There’s no need to send treats; it’s not going to sweeten your prospect any.

Any one of these little gaffes can make you come across as desperate—and that’s never what you want to convey. Make sure you control your emotions, and let your resume speak for itself. To make sure yours is up to snuff, reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc.’s resume writing team today. Contact us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Job Search, Resume Writing, Resumes

Infographics: Your Content Marketing Secret Weapon?

A strong visual content strategy can take your online presence to the next level, and help you cut through a lot of the social media noise. And one type of visual content that’s especially useful is the infographic.

People like infographics because they provide data in a way that’s quick, engaging, and easy to understand; a good infographic can be educational and paradigm-shifting without being too demanding of the reader’s mental capacity. On social media, this last point is critically important!

To get the most out of your infographics, it’s important to develop and promote them properly. Here are a few guidelines for doing just that.

Best Practices for Creating and Sharing Infographics

Pick a Topic People Care About

This is foundational. Your infographic should provide information that will actually be useful, or at the very least interesting, to your audience. Don’t just pick any old topic; pick something that’s relevant to your brand, has practical implications for your audience, and speaks to either the pain points you address or the solutions you provide. Bonus points if it’s something that challenges preconceived ideas—i.e. data with a surprising conclusion.

Write a Compelling Headline

As always, headlines are everything. There are a lot of things you can do to get eyeballs for your infographic: reference the surprising conclusions; note the expert source of your data; promise something unexpected, or simply point to the practical value that your information provides.

Write a Strong Introduction

Both for the purposes of SEO and simply for providing some context, a brief introduction is recommended. Three or four sentences is usually fine; include an SEO keyword or two if applicable, as well as related links and a call to action.

Provide Trustworthy Data

Your infographic needs credibility, so if you’re drawing from a third-party data source, make sure to include a proper citation. If it’s your own internal research, just say as much in your introduction. Proper proofreading and fact-checking are essential, too!

Get Social

Always promote your infographics on social media—using hashtags as appropriate. If you can, enable social sharing buttons on your infographic, too. Remember that this is a content type that lends itself to sharing, but it’s always smart to make it easy and convenient for your readers to pass it along.

Optimize the File Name

Google’s algorithms will crawl the file name of your infographic, so by all means make it something that conveys your specific topic. A generic file name, like untitled.jpg or infogaraphic.png, is a wasted opportunity. Optimize your alt-text, too, using a relevant keyword or two when you can.

Write an Accompanying Blog Post

To boost your SEO and back-linking potential, write a keyword-rich blog post to contextualize and explain your infographic. Make sure to share and promote the blog post, too!

Need Help Writing or Promoting Your Infographic?

Whether you’re looking for someone to script your infographic or to work it into a robust social media marketing campaign, Grammar Chic, Inc. can help. Reach out to us today at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Writing, Content Marketing, Social Media

Don’t Let Your Job Search Get Sloppy

When you’re seeking new employment, it’s always important to make strong first impressions. This includes your resume—your first and best chance to impress a recruiter or hiring manager. It also includes your conduct during the interview process. If you allow yourself to appear sloppy or haphazard, it could undercut whatever goodwill your resume has engendered.

So what are some of the common mistakes that cause a job search to appear shoddy or unfocused? Here are a few for you to watch out for.

Showing up for an interview without knowing much about the company.

Make it clear that you’re invested in the process, and interested in finding the best possible fit. One way to do that? Spend some time researching the company in advance. Before an interview, read their website, recent press releases, and company blog posts to get a feel for what the business really does and what its culture is like.

Showing up for an interview without knowing which position you’re seeking.

Many companies will be hiring for multiple positions at once. Make sure you know the title and job description of the position you’re applying for. Pay attention to the language used in the job posting—skills needed, etc.—and try to employ some of that verbiage in your interview.

Failing to prepare thoughtful questions for the interviewer.

Questions about the culture, goals, and vision of the company show that you’re invested, and that you care about more than just earning a paycheck.

Dressing way too casually for the interview.

You can generally get a good sense of how to dress from the company’s website or employee LinkedIn profiles; when in doubt, ask your recruiter, or just err on the side of formality.

Showing up to the interview empty-handed.

What should you bring to a job interview? A few extra copies of your resume. A pen. And, a notepad where you can jot down any notes.

Going to the interview, then not following up.

Thank you notes are critical.

Broaching deal-breaking issues at the last possible minute.

Do you need to give a full 30-days’ notice to your current employer? Or to be able to work from home on certain days of the week? If you have any big issues like this, you need to address them early in the process—not once a job offer is made!

Settling for a substandard resume.

Of course, you won’t even get in for an interview if your resume doesn’t shine—and that’s where the Grammar Chic team comes in. Our resume writers can help you portray yourself as an impeccably valuable candidate. Get a resume consultation today by contacting us directly: 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

Leave a comment

Filed under Resume Writing, Resumes

‘Tis the Season for PPC Advertising

Increasingly, marketers and brands must merge their organic content effort with paid advertising offers. Whether you’re looking to get Facebook views or dominate the search engine results page, combining a natural content effort with PPC ads is imperative; picking one over the other simply won’t get you optimal results.

PPC ads can be especially important during the holiday shopping season. With more consumers doing their shopping online than ever before, your brand has a lot of big opportunities to be discovered by those who are making their Christmas lists or seeking the perfect gift for a loved one. Paid ads allow your brand to be visible to these shoppers at every stage of their consumer journey.

To capitalize on these opportunities, we recommend these seasonal strategies.

Start with Last Year’s Data

If you didn’t do any holiday ads last year, you can skip this section. But if you did, know that your previous data can be a helpful road map for where you might go this year. Were there certain types of ads, certain keywords, or certain calls to action that gave you big results? That doesn’t guarantee they’ll work again this year, but it’s certainly a reasonable indicator.

Use Seasonal Keywords

Research confirms that seasonal keyword phrases can make a big difference in the success of your ads. Specifically, words that help your ads get seen by shoppers—terms like “perfect gift,” “gift for children,” “stocking stuffer,” etc.—can work well when they are inserted into your copy. You might experiment with some really finely-honed phrases, like “affordable kids gifts” or “creative gift for boys.”

Rewrite Your Ad Copy

It can be a pain to rewrite all your existing ad copy, but it might also prove really effective—especially if you can generate new copy that speaks directly to holiday shoppers. Try using your copy to urge end-of-the-year decisions, or to simply encourage consumers to join you in your festive spirit!

Create Holiday-Specific Landing Pages

An effective PPC ad always links to a landing page—not just your generic home page—and that’s especially important if you’re advertising special holiday deals or discounts. Ensure that the ad copy takes the reader directly to a page that specifically addresses that deal. Make it easy for shoppers to find what they’re looking for.

The holiday season offers many marketing opportunities, and PPC shouldn’t be overlooked. To learn more, reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Writing, Content Marketing, Web Content

5 Tips for Email Marketing Success This Holiday Season

During the holiday season, many companies kick their email marketing efforts into overdrive, seeking to capitalize on the frenzy of end-of-the-year shopping.

This is certainly a season in which email marketing can get results—but it’s not the volume of emails you send that matters. What matters is your strategy. In this post, we’ll offer five best practices for sending holiday season emails that truly move the sales needle.

Make Things Easy for Your Customers

First and foremost, make sure that your marketing emails make the sales process easier—not harder. If your email simply functions as another cumbersome step on the consumer’s journey, it’s only going to aggravate, not entice.

Your emails should provide a clear incentive to buy one of your products or services. This means including a high-quality, appealing image, if at all possible. It means listing benefits the consumer can expect—speaking directly to their pain points and your value proposition. (Always ask: what’s in it for them?)  Include links to your products and services, rendering it as easy as possible for your readers to click through and complete their purchase.

Don’t Forget Content!

Your emails should always be selling your products, your services, and your brand—yet it is also important to educate and inform. Build trust, and show your authority.

There are different ways to do this, of course. You can send out holiday shopping guides, include videos for product demos, or repurpose blog content that you think will offer value to your readers. The important thing is to make your emails more than just sales pitches. Give away some free value even to those who don’t purchase from you right away.

Send Coupons

During the holiday season, promos, sales, and discounts are everywhere—and if you want to remain competitive, it’s important that you sweeten the deal for your customers, however you can. Coupon codes are great for ensuring your emails are read, not flat-out discarded.

Target Your Emails

It’s always important to match your emails to your audience. Segmenting your contact list and sending emails to different groups—those who have bought products before, hot leads, different demographic groups—allows you to be precise in your messaging and specific in your value proposition.

Consider Your Timing

We said before that you don’t necessarily want to barrage your audience with one email after another. As such, it’s important to get your timing right, as you’ll have limited opportunities to engage your readers. Waiting too late into the season risks that your recipients are burned out on the holidays, while emailing too early might mean your emails get discarded by buyers not yet ready to consider the shopping season.

You’ve got to thread the needle—and Grammar Chic, Inc. can help. We’re seasoned marketing professionals with ample experience writing emails as well as developing effective email strategy. We’d love to help you get your holiday email campaign on track. Contact us today at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content Marketing

Don’t Let Lack of Education Tank Your Resume

College isn’t for everyone; there are many who don’t pursue higher education, and for any number of reasons. Perhaps it isn’t financially feasible, or perhaps it makes more sense for the individual to jump straight into the workforce. There is nothing wrong with any of this, of course, but it can complicate your resume writing process.

Specifically, it can land you with some tough decisions to make about how you address your lack of education. It is customary for resumes to include information about college degrees—but what do you do if you don’t have one?

We’ll tell you one thing you shouldn’t do, and that’s lie about it. If you pretend to have a degree that you don’t actually have, your employer is very likely to find out about it—and you’ll likely be terminated as a result.

Thankfully, there are some honest and effective alternatives here.

List Completed Coursework

If you started a degree program and simply didn’t receive enough credits to graduate, you can make note of it on your resume—showing the employer that you do have some education beyond high school.

List the school where you took classes, and say something like, “Coursework toward Bachelor’s degree in _____.” You might even include the number of credits you have, especially if you’re quite close to completing the degree requirements.

Think Beyond College Degrees

Not all advanced training comes with a college degree, of course. You may have taken some seminars or classes, and even received some certifications or technical distinctions, that have nothing to do with a Bachelor’s degree.

Often, these technical skillsets offer a lot of workplace value, and are highly prized by employers—so by all means list them, assuming they have anything at all to do with the job you’re applying for.

Other Options for Addressing Education

Two more options exist. One is to seek out ways to get some extra training, even if that’s enrolling in a single online college class. That way, you can not only broaden your skill set, but also state on your resume that your degree is in progress—without needing to lie.

The final option is to just not mention education at all. While this can be seen as a liability, you can make up for it by really emphasizing the skills and achievements you’ve amassed on the job. With a good approach to resume writing and personal branding, lack of education does not have to be a detriment.

However, you want to approach the issue, we’d like to help. Contact our resume writing experts today. Call Grammar Chic, Inc. at 803-831-7444 or visit us on the Web at www.grammarchic.net.

Leave a comment

Filed under Job Search, Resume Writing, Resumes