For the past several years, Google has been telling website owners to write quality content for their website in order to rank higher in search results and to satisfy customers. This directive of theirs has spawned an entire industry of freelance writers that produce content just to satisfy Google's directions.
The optimist in me wants to say that Google has spurred the creation of a new generation of writers, but the pessimist in me looks at the type of content that's generally created and sighs in discontent.
In reality, the freelance writing industry is flooded with low paid writers who churn out one blog post after another for very low pay. You can find these types of writers on iwriter.com or fiverr.com. The churning of low cost blog post seems to make sense to fill Google's directives, and the strategy does seem to work.
There is a general problem with those low cost blogs, in that the writing quality is usually pretty low too. Up until September 2013, the writing quality wasn't as important as the quantity of blog posts you had on your website. Simply stated, quantity was more important than quality.
It's been more than a year since Google launched their Hummingbird engine
and I'm starting to see more results from it now.
From what I can tell, it seems like Google's search results are favoring higher quality writing than the lower quality. The strategy of using massive quantity of content still works, but I'm also finding more sites that have only a few really well written pages.
Google wants you to write content that your customers will appreciate, so if you're only going to write a few pages of content for your website, then you better make sure those pages will help attract some new customers to you.
Google still has a long way to go before they serve websites with the highest quality writing in search results. They need time to further evolve their algorithm, but I expect it will happen eventually. It's important to realize that we're in a transition period between detecting low quality writing and high quality.
About 6 years ago, Google was struggling through a different transition of identifying link building schemes, but they eventually figured it out. Businesses that relied on link building schemes were badly affected by Google's changes, and they had to spend a lot of money to restructure their website and remove all those link building schemes they originally paid for. In most cases, the cost to remove the link building schemes was far more expensive than the cost to create them in the first place.
Here's where I'm starting to notice some parallels between link building schemes of yesterday and the low cost content and blog posts that are being created today. I foresee that the massive quantity of poorly written blog posts will eventually backfire and website owners will have to spend even more money to clean up the mess again.
For the record, Google already has a low quality content filter. It's called the Panda Filter. Panda was designed to identify websites with thin content and websites that were difficult to read, like those sites with gibberish generated from software that attempted to rewrite articles.
What I'm predicting is a filter that truly accounts for grammatical errors and knows when something was written by a native language speaker for your country. US English is different than the variations of English spoken in the UK, India, Philippines, and Australia. In fact, there are even regional variations within each country, too.
So you can chase the low cost quantity game, but ultimately you will need the quality.
Producing quality content will always take a little longer and more money. But in the long run, the production cost will amortize over a longterm as it continues to attract new customers to you. Those with low quality content will have to go back and spend double the money to redo their work.
Ultimately, this means you will need to spend more money to have someone write a quality blog post for you.
It's easy to hire someone from iWriter.com and pay them $20 per blog. A quick search through eLance.com and I see many high quality freelance writers charging more than $35 per hour. A quality blog post will probably take 3 hours to research, write, and edit. That's at least $105 for a single blog post.
Paying $105 for a single blog post is still inexpensive considering that I know several professional copy writers that charge $100 per hour for their years of writing and editing experience.
Other than just simply writing a blog post, you may want to think about turning each of those posts into a mini marketing campaign. Let's say you are doing a review on a product as one of your blog posts. Once published online, you then take out a newspaper ad that invites people to read the full online product review on your website. You would then send out a postcard and an email that also invites people to read the online review on your blog. The final campaign follow-up would be all your social media posts with links to the review.
If your blog post took 3 to 4 hours to create, a professional writer would've earned $300-$400 for that work. When you spend that kind of money, you really should consider turning it into a real marketing campaign for yourself.
Lastly, in the world of quality over quantity, you should still be posting at least 2 new blog entries to your website every month. That gives you two real opportunities for marketing per month and at least 26 marketing opportunities for the year.