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Outsourcing Content Writing to countries like India – A Complete Guide

In today’s digital business landscape, high-quality, optimized content is essential for attracting customers and driving growth. However, producing the volume of content needed to fuel content marketing, social media, and other initiatives can be challenging for resource-strapped teams.

Outsourcing content creation to qualified, affordable freelancers and agencies overseas has become an attractive solution. India and the Philippines in particular have emerged as leading destinations for outsourced writing.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the benefits, risks, and best practices for outsourcing content writing to India and the Philippines. Follow along to determine if offshore writers can help scale your content production and free up internal resources to focus on strategy.

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The Case for Outsourcing Content Writing Offshore

Several key factors make outsourcing content work to countries like India and the Philippines very appealing:

Significant Cost Savings

Thanks to lower costs of living, freelance writers in India and the Philippines can produce high-quality work at a fraction of the rates charged in Western countries. Savvy content marketers can get more bang for their buck.

World-Class English and Writing Skills

India and the Philippines have very high English proficiency rates relative to comparable countries. Many content writers are educated specifically in English literature and linguistics. This results in superb command of grammar and structure.

Depth of Available Talent

With huge populations of educated, multilingual professionals, India and the Philippines offer massive pools of writing talent. You can access specialized writers across nearly any niche or topic.

Familiarity with Western Culture

India and the Philippines have deep cultural ties and contact with English-speaking countries. Writers have an intuitive understanding of creating content that resonates with Western audiences.

Convenient Time Zone Overlap

Given time-zone proximity, it’s feasible to have real-time communication and collaboration with writers based in these countries during a typical North American workday.

Scalability to Produce More Content

Affordable offshore writing allows you to easily scale up content production. Adding more hands makes maintaining high content volume and speed to market achievable.

For these reasons, leading brands from startups to Fortune 500 companies have turned to offshore talent for a content boost. If thoughtfully executed, outsourcing writing can be a “win-win” improving both quality and quantity.

Potential Risks to Weigh with Offshore Writers

Despite the upside, handing content tasks to far-flung freelancers does come with some notable risks to consider:

Varying Quality and Consistency

Not every offshore writer offers the same caliber of work, despite low rates. Without proper vetting, you may get inconsistent output in need of heavy editing.

Communication and Collaboration Challenges

Language and cultural barriers can make articulating needs and giving feedback less fluid when working with offshore creatives.

Limitations with Nuanced Brand Knowledge

Understanding tone and messaging enough to adeptly write branded content can be difficult for outsourced authors unfamiliar with your business.

Lag Time with Feedback and Revisions

Depending on time zones, delayed responses to feedback and questions may slow down projects compared to working with domestic freelancers.

Potential for Plagiarism or Repurposed Content

Some offshore writers attempt to cut corners by lightly rewriting existing content from other sites rather than creating 100% original work.

Loss of Quality Control

When outsourcing writing, you lose a degree of control and oversight compared to internal team members. Without close management, freelance creators may stray from brand tone, message, and best practices that have proven successful for your business.

Compromised Consistency

Even with detailed guidelines and templates, involving multiple outsourced writers makes maintaining a cohesive brand voice challenging. The variety of styles and perspectives that make freelancers so valuable can also undermine consistency if not managed closely.

Missed Optimization Opportunities

Content strategy should evolve dynamically based on continuous performance data. When outsourced writers produce content in a silo, they may miss opportunities to refine messaging and SEO for topics and keywords demonstrating high market demand.

Security and Compliance Risks

Delegating content creation puts proprietary information in the hands of third-party freelancers. Without air-tight security practices and non-disclosure agreements, outsourced writing can pose potential data and compliance risks.

How to Find High-Quality Offshore Writers

Not every budget offshore writer will produce satisfactory work. It takes careful due diligence to identify talent capable of creating polished content that aligns with your brand. Here are some tips:

Seek Specialized Firms, Not Just Individuals

Established offshore content agencies vet writers and have the infrastructure for assigning and quality-checking work. This helps raise the bar versus guessing at individual freelancer proficiency.

Review Portfolios and Writing Samples Closely

Ask to see examples of published work across different content formats relevant to your needs. Look for consistency, professionalism, accuracy, and language command.

Check References and Ratings Thoroughly

Vet writers’ previous client feedback, satisfaction ratings, and testimonials. This helps validate abilities and spot any red flags before committing.

Test Writers with Small Pilot Projects First

Give new offshore writers simple, short assignments to evaluate communication skills and quality before progressing to larger projects and commitments.

Speak with Writers to Assess Soft Skills

Have at least an introductory video call to get a sense of English proficiency and personality fit beyond just written samples.

Casting a wide net and thoroughly vetting candidates’ work will help surface the gems worth investing in for an ongoing relationship.

Best Practices for Managing Offshore Writers

Once you have onboarded qualified offshore writers, clear processes and communication will keep collaboration running smoothly. Follow these best practices:

Leave No Room for Guesswork

Provide highly detailed guidelines and templates covering your brand style, desired structure, formatting needs, target audience, and technical specifications to minimize ambiguity.

Set Crystal Clear Expectations

Define due dates, outline requirements, required sources and facts to include, and expected topics or angles for each piece of content during the assignment.

Maintain Organized Project Management

Use shared spreadsheets or software to track assignments and status. This reduces confusion and ensures writers know what is on their plate.

Schedule Regular Check-ins

Despite time zone challenges, set up daily or weekly calls or chat sessions to discuss progress, provide feedback, and answer questions in real-time.

Give Clear, Actionable, diplomatic Feedback

Point out areas for improvement while also highlighting what the writer did well. Suggest specific changes versus general critique.

Coach Writers to Improve Over Time

If deficiencies emerge, patiently walk writers through needed adjustments to polish skills. Point them to samples of high performing content as guides.

Update Guidelines as Strategy Evolves

Continuously provide new style guides, templates, and insights as you refine content practices so writing stays aligned with strategy.

Selecting Freelance Writers

The key to mitigating the risks of outsourcing content is finding and choosing qualified, specialized writers. Follow these tips to identify and evaluate candidates:

Define Needed Skills and Expertise

Do you need writers well-versed in long-form tutorials, short-form social media posts, or both? Technical expertise, creative flair, SEO optimization ability, and grammatical prowess can all vary. Outline must-have skills so you source suitable candidates.

Ask for Samples of Published Work

Reviewing a writer’s published articles, blog posts, and other samples reveals their abilities. Look for a strong command of grammar and syntax, consistent tone, skillful integration of research, and evidence of optimizing for readability.

Check References and Reviews

Ask freelance writers to provide client references and testimonials. Search independent contractor marketplaces for client feedback ratings and reviews. This helps validate abilities and identify any red flags.

Interview Your Top Candidates

An introductory video call allows you to assess communication skills and get a feel for compatibility with your brand voice. Prepare specific questions to probe their relevant experience and vision for your content.

Start Small to Test Performance

Before committing to an ongoing relationship, engage new freelance writers with small pilot assignments to evaluate work quality. Testing output and responsiveness helps ensure writers meet standards.

Best Practices for Delegating and Collaborating

Once you have assembled your outsourced writing team, setup, transparency, and communication are critical for productivity. Follow these best practices for seamless delegation and collaboration:

Create Detailed Guidelines and Templates

Provide each writer with a guidebook covering your brand voice, topic strategy, formatting, key messages, target audience, preferred sources, and technical specifications. Include templates for common content types like blog posts, product descriptions, and newsletters.

Set a Clear Editorial Calendar

Using a shared content calendar allows you to plan projects and deadlines upfront. Calendars clarify expectations, avoid duplicated effort, and give writers adequate time to produce high-quality drafts. Integrate calendars with project management software.

Request Outlines for Feedback

Ask writers to submit a proposed headline and outline for feedback before drafting full articles. This allows you to adjust direction and elements like keywords early so finished pieces align with strategy.

Maintain Ongoing Communication

Set regular check-ins via email, instant message, or video call depending on the scope and duration of projects. Timely communication ensures writers have the information needed and surfaces any questions or concerns promptly.

Provide Timely, Actionable Feedback

When reviewing drafts, deliver feedback that balances clear direction, constructive criticism, and positive reinforcement. Be specific about what is working well and what needs improvement compared to guidelines.

Coach Writers on Successful Formulas

Identify examples of top-performing content and break down why they resonate in feedback to writers. Guide them to replicate proven formulas for headlines, formatting, cadence, calls-to-action, etc.

Adapt Guidelines as Strategy Evolves

Continually update writer guidelines and templates with new insights from performance data, testing, and optimization efforts. Remember writers’ perspectives are limited, so set them up for success.

Getting the Most from Outsourced Writers

Managing outsourced writers does require time investment and oversight. But when executed well, delegating content production can actually save internal resources while driving results. Here are some final tips:

  • Take an active role – While outsourcing avoids doing everything in-house, you still need to be actively involved through planning, feedback, and coaching.
  • Focus efforts strategically – Outsource day-to-day content upkeep, while having internal team members focus on high-visibility content.
  • Balance freedom and guidelines – Allow writers creative license while directing them with templates and close oversight to preserve quality and consistency.
  • Build relationships and expertise – Develop a stable of go-to freelancers who learn your brand and content needs for smoother collaboration.
  • Continuously optimize content – Use performance data and testing to adjust guidelines and strategy so future outsourced content better resonates.

Related Posts

In today’s content-driven digital landscape, pruning away inefficient processes is key to executing a high-volume content strategy. Outsourcing writing enables greater output and flexibility, freeing up internal resources to focus on big-picture strategy and optimization. By following the guidelines in this post, you can delegate daily content creation successfully while still maintaining quality and consistency.

So consider investing some time in finding and onboarding specialized freelance writers. You may just find that outsourcing content provides the boost your marketing machine needs to reach the next level.

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