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7 Red Flags to Know When You Outsource Content Writing

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Looking for content help? Good idea. Just make sure to watch for these warning signs before outsourcing to writers.


When you’re running a business, you will quickly realize just how important content marketing is and just how little time you have to do it. You may need someone to take over your blog, create your social posts, write your email newsletters, or all of the above. Outsourcing to professional writers means you can get well-written content from the experts without having to give up much of your time.

But, when you start to look for the right third party, be sure you’re hiring the right help. Let’s walk through the top red flags to watch for when you decide to outsource content writing for your business.

1. Unrealistic promises

In the marketing world, it’s easy for online service providers to give you lots of promises. Pay close attention to exaggerations. For example, if a writer or company guarantees you’ll see a specific number of leads or website visitors because of their services, this is a red flag. It’s nearly impossible to predict specific numbers.

Other examples would be if they say you’ll start ranking at the number-one spot on Google’s results page, or they tell you you’ll see results immediately. Of course, we all want these outcomes, but it’s not realistic for a content writer to make these kinds of promises. They can implement best practices and help you see major results over time, but because SEO is constantly evolving, it’s nearly impossible to predict these ultra-specific outcomes, especially immediately.

2. Suspiciously low prices

The saying is true: you get what you pay for. While you, of course, want to find an affordable option that aligns with your budget, be wary of content writers who give you suspiciously low quotes. It comes in handy to get quotes from multiple places, so you have a better sense of what current market prices are. If someone is offering you an extremely low rate, be cautious. This could mean they don’t have the best practices for their writers or that the quality of the content isn’t very good. 

It’s always better to pay a little bit more so you know you’ll get quality rather than risk posting bad content on your digital outlets.

3. They post their own questionable content

Professional content writers should write great content, right? Before you hire someone, check out their website and their own materials. Are there lots of errors? Is the copy well-written?

When you outsource content writing, one major red flag is looking at the writer or company’s own online presence and seeing several mistakes or questionable content. Or, perhaps they don’t even have an online presence. A company’s own marketing approach can say a lot about what kind of services they’ll deliver to you.

4. No good reviews

This one isn’t necessarily a red flag but proceed with caution if you find zero positive reviews, testimonials, or case studies. It’s reasonable for you to expect to see the kind of work they’ve done for other clients, and if they can’t offer you that, it’s not a good sign. Professional writers or agencies should always send you examples of happy clients or point you in the direction of reviews.

5. They don’t align with your tone

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all writers and agencies can produce any kind of content. When you’re looking for the right partner, make sure you pay attention to their tone and writing style, even in email or phone communications. If you’re going for fun and edgy content, for example, don’t hire a company that is more serious and technical.

6. They don’t keep up with best practices

Content marketing and SEO are changing all the time based on what’s happening in the digital world. For example, Google has changed its algorithm over the years, impacting what kinds of content it prioritizes on its results page. If the writer or agency you’re considering doesn’t seem to be keeping up with the latest or can’t tell you how they adapt to changes, you may not want to work with them.

You need someone who is experienced, knowledgeable, and stays up on the latest trends. Otherwise, your content won’t perform the way you want it to.

7. They aren’t ContentBacon

Finally, if your outsourcing partner isn’t ContentBacon, you may want to reconsider. ContentBacon consists of a team of experienced writers, editors, designers, strategists, and marketers who will align and customize services to your specific content needs. We help you revamp your inbound marketing approach with our content subscriptions, making sure your sales cycle is always fed and happy. 

Contact the ContentBacon team today to learn more about our content writing services.

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