Well, its been quite the week! I haven't posted on here in the past week and a half because I have been staying busy with lots of projects. But of more significance here is that I moved NichePursuits.com to a new VPS server. I have moved a dozen or so sites in my time, so I thought it would all go well. But alas, I missed a step somewhere and you may have noticed the site was down for a good part of yesterday. What a nightmare! Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everything stays good now that its moved over. There is still an issue with the thumbnails not working properly, but I'll get it figured out.
I actually was going to write a detailed post about how to move a website from one host to another, but clearly with all my mistakes, I'm no expert, so I scratched that idea! Instead I am going to write about something that I have tons of experience in: outsourcing content creation for niche websites.
Where to Find Article Writers
I have used a number of sources for hiring writers including: Textbroker.com, Elance.com, Freelancer.com, Odesk.com, and perhaps other places as well. For a number of reasons that I will discuss, I have been happiest with Textbroker.com.
Textbroker has thousands of approved authors that are just waiting to write articles for you. Each author goes through a grading process to determine what quality level their writing is. Textbroker manually looks at original articles provided by the authors and assigns them a quality level of 2, 3, 4, or 5. So, all you have to do is submit a job, pick what quality level you want, and that's essentially it. Any authors that meet your quality level or higher can pick up your article assignment and write it.
This is SO much easier than trying to hiring an individual article writer like you have to do on Elance, Freelancer, or Odesk. So, I can literally submit a request to have 50 articles done on various topics and they will all be completed in a few days. If I had to hire a dedicated author this would take weeks to get completed. So, if you have a large amount of work that needs to be done, Textbroker is the way to go.
I personally require a level 3 or 4 (3 most of the time) for my articles. Level 5 is extremely professional and extremely expensive. Its interesting to note that professional companies hire writers from textbroker probably more than most of us realize. It recently came to light that Sears actually is ordering TONS of level 5 articles through Textbroker.com for use on Sears.com and other places. So, textbroker is an extremely trustworthy organization.
There could be upside to hiring an individual author on one of the other outsourcing type websites if you want a consistent author for a larger site that you have. But you can also give a job to a specific author on Textbroker.com if you find someone that you like. The only potential downside is that Textbroker.com is slightly more expensive. But for ease of use and the quick turnaround, I think its well worth it. The articles are great quality AND they have a built in copyscape checker so that you know all of your articles are original content.
Built in Settings at TextBroker.com
One of the issues that you have to pay attention to when writing articles that you hope will rank well in the search engines is keyword density. This could be a entire blog post on its own. But essentially you want to make sure you use the keyword in the first and last paragraph and a couple of times in the middle. I would never use a keyword more than 1% of the time. So, a 500 word article should never use the keyword more than 5 times – this just gets unnatural.
What I found with some authors outside of Textbroker.com is they actually thought using the keyword 10 to 20 times was a GOOD thing! Wrong! I had to spend TONS of time editing out all the keyword usage. However, Textbroker.com has a built in setting for number of times a keyword should be used. You can specify how many times you want the keyword used – say 3 to 5 times for example. If the author tries to submit the articles and they have used the keyword less than 3 times or more than 5 times, the article will be rejected. The author will be required to edit the articles until they meet the specifications. This is all done automatically by textbroker so that you don't have to waste your time editing an article.
Textbroker also has article length settings. So, if you specify the article length needed is 400 to 500 words; then the article will not be sent to you unless the author has met that criteria. These 2 automatic settings have saved me hours of editing time. This is really the reason I am willing to pay a little bit more for the articles.
How to Write Job Requirements
Once you have given the author a subject to write on, and the specific keywords to use, there is still more instruction that needs to be given. I prepared a generic description that I then edit to match each article assignment. Here is an example job requirement that I use. Lets say my chosen keyword is “cheap laptops”:
Please write a professional article on the subject assigned. These articles will be used on a top laptop review website, so please keep this audience in mind when writing the article.
In particular, please pay attention to the exact keywords that must be used 4 to 6 times in the article. Please use the exact keyword once in the first paragraph, once in the last paragraph, and a few other times throughout the article as is natural.
**Very Important** Please be as specific as possible. When reviewing the laptops, please use specific brands and models, prices, memory capacity, life span, and other detailed statistics. In other words, don't just do a general review of the laptops – be specific.
Also include both pros and cons of the laptops that you are reviewing. Do an honest review.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Anyway, I certainly don't always use this generic description, but this gives you a good idea of what I request. Feel free to use something similar as you hire authors on textbroker. I have definitely found that the more specific your are in what you are looking for, the better the articles are that you get.
Overall, I hope this quick review of where I outsource my content creation has been useful. Let me know your thoughts below!