Some things you buy will have a predictable price. Blogging is not one of them. Your blogging cost can vary from $10.00 a post to $1,000.00 a post.
Price fluctuations like that can be very frustrating. If you stop somewhere to grab a package of batteries, you won’t see some for 50 cents and some for $500.00. If you saw a pack of four AAAs for 50 cents, you would probably pass them up, figuring that there was a good reason that they were so much cheaper than the normal battery price. At $500.00, you’d certainly be expecting something revolutionary about those high-end batteries, and it would require a lot of persuasion to get you to make that choice.
But blogging comes at all prices. What makes the difference, and how can you decide which price point is right for you?
The biggest factor to consider is simply quality.
Does good content actually perform better than poor quality content? Dave Davies wrote a meaty post on this subject recently, in which he concluded that yes, the quality of your content matters a lot. That’s been our experience as well.
Just having words on the page doesn’t do the trick. We find that a well-written, error free post that makes a single clear point will do better than lightweight, rambling, or less stylishly written posts. Posts that are very complex, making multiple points and including lots of details that don’t support the main point, don’t do as well, in our experience, as those with a single straightforward thesis. Vocabulary choices matter, though we don’t find that reading level is an issue for search as much as it is for welcoming your human visitors.
Optimum blogging strategy also requires keyword research, attention to analytics, and an overall strategy. These things involve time and skill, and therefore will increase blogging costs.
We’ve heard of people paying $10 for a blog post, but you can’t expect to get good quality work for that price. It’s simple economics. There is a high demand for high quality web content. The pool of writers who can produce high quality, SEO optimized blog posts is not large enough to create feverish competition. In our experience, the pool of skillful SEO writers who consistently meet deadlines is fairly small. So there’s no motivation for a good SEO blogger to accept a small wage. You should expect to pay more than the minimum possible if you want quality.
At Haden Interactive, we employ full time professional writers with relevant college degrees.
The cost of living in the United States is higher than in many other countries. This means that you can often find really good developers at lower prices if you’re willing to offshore. Bloggers? Not so much. Few people can write really well in a language which is not their native language. Native speakers of English typically live in English-speaking countries, with that higher cost of living built into the prices they charge.
Haden Interactive is based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where the cost of living is relatively low compared with the rest of the United States. We know that our clients in Sydney, D.C., and Los Angeles can get a better deal with us than with local writers. But we’re not a discount option. We don’t need to be.
Freelance or agency?
A freelance writer may charge you less for blogging than an agency does. They have less overhead, so it makes sense. I’ve worked as a freelance, and I’ve employed freelance bloggers. Sometimes you can have a great relationship with an individual. But these are the reasons, from my experience, that most website owners are better off with an agency like Haden Interactive than with a freelance:
- Agencies have more than one person to call on. When you work with Haden Interactive, you have one blogger writing for you. This gives you consistent voice and the opportunity to build that relationship. But if your regular blogger is ill or on vacation, another writer will step in. If your blogger needs inspiration or consultation, there’s another team member to help. And every blog post is proofread by two people, in addition to any compliance or approval on your side.
- Agencies have more skills. There are some awesome freelance bloggers out there. But an agency may also have access to graphic designers, writers with different backgrounds, business strategy specialists, analysts, and other people with additional skills. Having those additional resources can make a difference.
- Agencies stick around. People who choose to freelance aren’t necessarily committed to that lifestyle for the long term. Many are freelancing until they get a permanent job, until their kids are older, until they get out of school… this could be a long list. Others are freelancing on the side for fun, and will give it up when they get busy. And of course there are people who choose to freelance because it gives them the freedom to come and go on their own schedule and work just as much as they want to. Pretty much everyone who employs freelance writers has seen at least one of those writers disappear.
We’re talking about content agencies here. A web design firm may be willing to write web content for you, but few employ actual professional writers on their staffs. They may hire content firms like Haden Interactive, or outsource to freelance writers.
What are you getting?
Blogging services are not all the same. Leaving aside the quality, there are plenty of differences among blogging services. Some will offer four blog posts per month, for example, while we at Haden Interactive write three posts a week. Recent research from Hubspot found that websites with 11+ posts a month did three times as well as those that had four or fewer. In fact, those with four posts a month did scarcely better than those that didn’t blog at all.
Some bloggers produce a “spun” post — that is, something made from other posts already online, without crediting the source — or posts with fewer than 300 words. Haden Interactive blog posts are always original. If we reference other stories online, we cite them and link to them correctly. Our posts typically range from 300 to 700 words, but they are always the right length for the topic.
Some blogging services, including Haden Interactive, will implement your posts at your website, add images, schedule them out for the future, make changes as requested, answer questions about their performance, and other additional services. Others will send you a blog post in a Word document. Both arrangements are fine — it’s a matter of personal preference and how much time you have — but one will obviously require more time and therefore cost more than the other.
Blogging done well is the single most effective tactic for SEO. At Haden Interactive, we provide the quality and dedication of a good in-house writer at a fraction of the cost. Contact us to discuss your needs. We’ll be happy to provide you with examples of our work.