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How to Outsource, Automate, and Crowdsource Content That Doesn’t Suck

Profile photo of Eyal Katz Submitted by Eyal Katz May 23, 2016

Optimizing for higher ad revenues per each visitor session is crucial if you want to truly maximize your ad revenue. But sometimes that’s just not enough cause where there’s revenue there are also expenses.

At the most basic level, AdSense publishers can be lumped into two categories. The first, are the “nice to have” crowd. For them, AdSense is just a tool to make a few extra bucks to cover hosting costs and some expenses while publishing content (mostly) for content’s sake.

They’re a lot more focused on getting their message out than they are on making money from the ads around it. If you’re one of “those publishers” you can expect us to always say hi in the hallway but will probably criticize your choice of sandwich behind your back.

The second type are the “professional” AdSense publishers. They treat online publishing as a business. One with a growth strategy and clearly defined goals of maximizing profit margins on content creation and curation.

If that sounds anything like you, you can expect us to chat you up in the hallway until you’re eventually forced to make up an excuse to get away from us and awkwardly walk away.

Reaching Publisher Nirvana

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know a lot of our content has to do withAdSense optimization for higher revenues. It’s kind of what we do. So we talk talk about it, a lot.

Reaching the ad optimization “sweet spot” is the first step, but in order to reach the perfect balance of “Publisher Nirvana” there’s another “sweet spot” you should be looking for: production ROI.

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Publishing is a business like any business. You invest time, money, and effort in producing and marketing a product (content, in your case) and you profit from its consumption (through content monetization techniques). That’s a no-brainer. So while you’re working to bring in more money, you should also be making efforts to spend less.

At this point you might be thinking: “Yes, but if I spend less, I will create an inferior product, which will not only reduce consumption and profits as a result, but also damage the brand.”

Sheesh, When you did get so smart? Are you a publisher or a marketer? 🙂 Yes, you’re right. Crappy content is the last thing you want in your publication, and content quality is really the last place you should be cutting corners.

But have no fear! We have plenty of tips to help you reduce average production costs while still offering your audience superior value.

Why you should be outsourcing, automating, and crowdsourcing (OAC) your content creation

Don’t panic, we’re not suggesting to fire your awesome team or worse, switch to lower quality coffee. In fact, if you apply your OAC strategy correctly, your team will be more effective and love you more, if that’s even possible. And you’ll be able to generate more content while investing less. That just makes any coffee taste better.
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Your team’s time is worth money (even if that team is you and your cat). Now it’s time to squeeze the most you can from it without crossing over to the dark side of fatigue and frustration.

Let’s say you have a two person content creation team – Mel & Bob. Now take Mel, for example. Mel is an amazing vlogger, but it takes her forever to write the text around her video posts. She could be using this time to do what she does best – more videos.

Or take Bob, who is a brilliant content editor that wastes time fiddling with creating and customizing illustrations for posts. This is just your money going down the drain. And odds are? They too would rather be doing what they’re great at.

You might be thinking: “I’ll just move tasks around! Bob can view Mel’s video and write the description while she creates illustrations.” This might make your team’s work a little more versatile, but you’re not actually gaining much, if anything at all.

Mel can still bring more value to the business if she vlogs instead of doing work a moderately trained monkey could do. And Bob can edit two or three posts in the time it’ll take him to watch and describe Mel’s video. You get the idea.

So what do we do with these tasks? We OAC them hard and well.

  1. Content creation automating – Man vs Machine

It’s a chicken and egg scenario, when you think about it: Machines are perfect for the boring tasks that we don’t like to do because we designed them with those tasks in mind.

Or, is it that, unlike people, machines lack creativity, no matter how hard Google is trying to change that. They never get tired or sick, never complain, and can be replaced or upgraded much more easily than people.

Some of the processes in your content production routine can be automated, even if you think they cannot. For example, instead of spending time manually compiling a newsletter (some still do!), you can automate the process with marketing automation software like Hubspot, Autopilot, and even the more traditional ESPs (email service providers), such as Mailchimp, are offering some level of automation.

If none of those are right for your needs you can invest in a programmer to write a few lines of code for you. Don’t be overly fearful of content automation. It’s the future, and In the long run, it will save you money. Scouts’ honor!
content-automation-graph

Commanding Your Robot Army

Machines don’t often make mistakes. People on the other hand…well, you know.

This means two things:

1. Test before you automate

2. Keep an eye on the machines

Anyone can offload work to machines, but we want to make it effective in the long run. So first of all – take it slow and test before you pull the trigger and decide on a winning solution..

Try different tools and services to see which saves the most time while costing you the least money. Make sure your shiny new script works on the testing server before unleashing it on production.

Second, automating a process doesn’t mean you can forget all about it. If you own a cleaning robot that sometimes gets lost in the house – you know what I mean. You still need to check on your automation workflows to make sure everything works and looks right. An effective automation process does not mean you don’t need a content team anymore. Instead, it makes editors and curators out of content creators and researchers, and that’s a big time and money saver.

Need a scenario? If you have a WordPress based website, then Curation Traffic is a WordPress theme that automates the process of content curation while allowing you to build your list and authority.

If you have posts that are backed by a lot of data then Automated Insights translates data into words, and they do it well.

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  1. Power to the People – Outsourcing & Crowdsourcing

Please stay calm! You don’t need to start preparing for the robot apocalypse just yet. Despite the recent proliferation of automation software, algorithms, and bots, humans are still necessary. Not just to oversee, maintain, and manage but also to perform tasks that are difficult for computers to accomplish.

Those tasks don’t need to burden your already overworked staff. Instead, some of the tasks you and your team do now, can (and sometimes must) be offloaded into the hands of other people. Here are some examples:

> Finding and customizing illustrations and graphic components
> Source checking
> Research
> Specialized content (that would require the creator to learn and research a lot)
> Authority content (lawyers, doctors and other professionals)

If you give it some thought, you can probably come up with more content generation tasks you can offload to other people that are unique to your online business. So the next step is finding the right people to do it for the right price.

Crowdsourcing – The Price of Free

There’s a saying that claims that you get what you pay for. This is half true. Some things don’t have a price tag attached to them, and getting them requires time and effort.

When it comes to content generation, finding people who will write (or create other types of content) for free isn’t easy. When you do find them, they are often so bad at it you end up investing more in making their creations suitable for consumption than you would creating something else.

crowdsourcing-content-creation

Our first tip is to avoid the free content that’ll end up costing you time and effort. Don’t jump on any opportunity and every text you’re handed.

Remember that value is paramount. So when looking for guest post authors, seek out professionals or experienced writers who can provide something unique like a different angle.

A few examples: reach out to artists you think might want to use your website to launch a new creation. Find experts who’ll be happy to just have their name out there in a publication they do not own.

Now depending on your niche, crowdsourcing content can be very easy or very difficult. You can try using HARO to get blurbs of short to medium length from various authors and then simply bring it all together for a round-up post.

Those can be very popular and your authors will likely help you drive traffic as well. Another option is to go on relevant forums or social media chats and ask for participation. In return you can offer links or simply a mention.

Outsourcing – Bang for Buck

You gotta spend money to make money. But you also need to do it right to keep those margins growing, and that average cost per item dropping.

Unless you’re a one-man-wonder or a beginner in the world of publishing, you’ve had some experience with freelancers (both domestic and foreign) and it’s more than likely that some of it was just plain bad.

But don’t despair! High-quality freelancers are out there. This thread on Builder Society has some good tips on hiring cheap workforce overseas and making the most of it.

In addition to the valuable information offered in this post, we strongly recommend you “adopt” freelancers. What does that mean? In the process of working with freelancers and outsource services, you’ll come across some that are especially good and professional.

Hang on to them as hard as you can and treat them well. Even though you might not be paying them as much as you pay your team, if they’re good at what they do and cost less, you want to keep them around. At the same time, you want to maintain reasonable expectations. You’re not going to get high quality content for cheap and quickly. When in need, please refer to the graph below:

the quality triangle to content outsourcing

 

Now that we have a full(er) understanding of content outsourcing we should probably provide you with at least one recommended service that delivers quality outsourced content.

Writer Access brings in over 14,000 US based writers that do anything from simple marketing copy to creating a full content strategy.

They’re also not too pricy with prices ranging from $0.02 per word for simple SEO copy up to $2 per word for what must be some mind blowing content. However, keep in mind that they will not work on your CMS so you still have to do some work.

 

OAC The Future

Content creation automation, specialization, and work process optimization are all just fancy words that mean that now you can finally book that vacation in the Bahamas you’ve been promising yourself for years. Now that’s real content value!


This post was originally published in https://www.adngin.com/blog/blogging-best-practices/outsource-automate-crowdsource-content-doesnt-suck/ by Eyal Katz

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Profile photo of Eyal Katz
I head marketing operations for Connecteam, e free to use employee app that allows deskless team to mange their operations while on the go.

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16 Responses to “How to Outsource, Automate, and Crowdsource Content That Doesn’t Suck” Leave a reply ›

  • Profile photo of Freedom Blogger Profile

    Hi Eyal,

    Very interesting post, I must admit. I do agree with most of what you are saying here, but there is one part that I strongly disagree with.

    Content created by Robots and Software is NOT the Future, my friend.

    I am very interested to see some real statistics about this, if you have some.

    As much as you would like to say that robots and technology is evolving – this content will always lack the most important part – and that is CHARACTER.

    P E R S O N A L I T Y

    Period.

    Who likes reading boring content online?

    * crickets all around the net …. …

    Even curated content by robots suck!

    I just checked out that Curation Traffic Plugin and it does not look good at all – unless you want to publish low quality content on your blog.

    I would not recommend people to try this.

    Outsourcing your content to robots and software will only hurt you in the long run. Trust me, I have tried this before (and not too long ago).

    Automated generated content worked well a few years ago. It is a BIG NO Today, my friend.

    People might still be into this type of content outsourcing, but WHO is actually building a 6-7 Figure a month with such content strategy?

    I would love to see someone tell me their names!

    How many people are building 6-7 figure a month incomes with content marketing WITHOUT using ANY software and robot generated content?

    Thousands!

    We have to be very careful when it comes to outsourcing content brother. That is the bottom line here.

    It is not hard for the average Joe to come up with good content and write on a daily basis.

    I do that myself.

    And look, I’m not even from the US. I moved here at age 15. I did not finish high school. I hated education. I hated writing. I was a miserable construction worker prior to getting into blogging.

    Today, I run a few blogs, and I am currently building a great internet marketing blog. I help a lot of people every day, every week, every month.

    I can write on demand. I can create awesome, interesting, and fresh content – with no problem.

    I am no different from anyone here. I am no different from you, reading this. I simply made a SETTLED Decision to become a good writer and invest in my own education.

    I have a lot of knowledge on many topics – and I am not any smarter than you, my friend, reading this.

    I took the time to invest in my education, and besides that, I also took a lot of consistent action to see what works and what does not (in the long run).

    And, content generated by robots and software is one of those things that just will never work, no matter how “genius” the developing team behind it is.

    Trust me, this type of content sucks big time.

    I have to be blunt here – because I don’t a lot of people to get burn because they think they have found the holy grail for content automation.

    You want to be able to push out a lot of great content to promote your business and grow your audience?

    Learn more, invest more in your education, read more, take more action, test more, and get writing!

    If you don’t really like writing, of course, it will suck at the beginning. Trust me, I have been there.

    When I started with Blogging and Internet Marketing, I was still learning English. For Christ’s sake! … just saying man!

    If you think I am smarter and more skillful than most people, that is such a naive way of thinking.

    I can really write on demand on many topics. And put my own touch to each piece of content. You can feel my character, personality, and way of thinking, through my written words.

    A robot will never EVER be able to Match such creative way of writing.

    It is the truth, Eyal.

    I like to rant, and I like to speak my mind out. As you can you already tell. LOL 😀

    I had to point this out, because I see you are actually recommending people to use robots and software for content creation.

    You are better off paying top dollar for a skilled writer than outsourcing to robots.

    Anyway, very interesting topic and you do got some great tips for outsourcing and crowdsourcing.

    Keep up the great work! 😉

    Have a wonderful rest of the week!

    Cheers! 😀
    Freedom Blogger recently posted…Learn How to Become a Social Media Rockstar by Implementing 5 Powerful Tips!My Profile

    • Profile photo of Eyal Katz Profile

      Appreciate your reply here.

      With regards to the man vs. machine content creation debate: like I say in my post, it’s very niche specific. Sure, for some niches and certain types of content machines will never replace man. But for other niches content is already being automated and I bet you’re not even aware that it’s a bot and not a person doing it.

      Remember when we didn’t think voice activation would work reliably? That’s already here and I think that more and more content will be created automatically in the not so distant future.
      Eyal Katz recently posted…The Top 10 Mobile RTB Marketplaces for PublishersMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Metz Profile

    “You’ll be able to generate more content while investing less.” That’s the best thing that a great idea could offer to make you and your teams’ time more worthy. We could kill our time without doing wise actions. The sweet spot “production ROI” is another thing we should put consideration to get that “Publisher Nirvana”.

    Man vs Machine test is an idea I would like to suggest here. Identify what’s more effective using the test. But be careful on all your actions. Decide and study the test well.

    When it comes to outsourcing, you can’t find a great one in just a snap. It involves time and effort to pick one that deserves the position.

    All in all, I honestly agree with the suggestions that you put forward. When it comes to internet marketing or online business, take the best and the most wise action that will make your time, money and effort WORTHY.

    Thank you for the shared information. Great peice, keep it up!
    Metz recently posted…4 Reasons why Kingged.com is a Boon for BloggersMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

    Hey Eyal,
    That is an amazing post! OAC is indeed the future and it becomes necessary for businesses that aren’t taking these into consideration to making investments thereby.

    Automation, outsourcing and crowdsourcing are concepts that connotes ‘time saving’. Hence, brands should leverage on their advantages to garner easy growth!

  • Profile photo of Sarah John Profile

    Hi Eyal,
    Indeed, Content creation with outsourcing, automation and crowdsourcing should be given a priority by content marketers.

    However, each of these must not be undertaken without research and with the intent of providing real value.

    Good research as to the right automation, the best freelancers, and the ideal crowdsourcing team should be prioritized by marketers.

    Your post is quite expressive, hence the reader will readily find practical tips on it!

  • Profile photo of Celine Profile

    Hey Eyal,
    You have taken time to explain how automation, outsourcing and crowdsourcing can be utilized by the content marketer!

    For many marketers, this post should remind them of the things that are needful in providing contents that doesn’t suck 😉

    I agree with you if these are done well then the content marketer would be able to save cost and time, as well as provide quality content.

  • Profile photo of Paul Profile

    Hey Eyal,
    After going through this post, I will conclude that outsourcing, automation and crowdsourcing of content is required to save cost, time, and resources.

    In addition, with good research and with the best practices, quality content would be created to meet the “whys” of automation, outsourcing and crowdsourcing!

  • Profile photo of Amit Sharan Profile

    Surely, outsourced content doesn’t has to suck, so are automated and crowdsourced content.

    There are still quality content than that which is produced by the in-house team of some firms.

    There are professional services out there and if one should stick with them then it becomes easier to constantly generate the needed content.

    No man is an island and marketers must ensure that they utilize other professional services to cut costs, save time and deliver quality.

  • Profile photo of Carl Profile

    Hello Eyal,
    For me, if I have to do outsourcing, automation or crowdsourcing to improve content marketing campaign then I will never hesitate. The benefits are glaring!

    There are others and tools out there that can help me save time and cost.

    More so, using the best services out there can help improve value for all the overall marketing strategy.

  • Profile photo of Winford Moore Profile

    With modern marketing carried out online, it becomes necessary for stakeholders to develop content in a way that doesn’t suck.

    Automation of content, outsourcing to others and engaging in crowdsourcing is sure important to save cost and improve originality.

    However, it is important that the marketer steadily studies the tools and resources that best suit his or her content purpose.

  • Profile photo of steven Profile

    Hey Eyal,
    Without increased business it would be difficult to utilize the “extra” hands needed to save time, cost and improve quality.

    A thorough research is needed to identify the best automation and outsourcing services that will provide an appealing content!

  • Profile photo of James Ling Profile

    Hey Eyal,

    The reality of the present day online business is that we cannot do everything by ourselves. We need others to help us succeed. Content marketers, of all people, must realize this and come to terms with it.

    Outsourcing, automation and crowd sourcing are pretty interesting concepts that should be adopted by online marketers.

    Your explanations of thee concepts are clear and fascinating!

  • Profile photo of Omar Saady Profile

    Totally agreed with all your insights,

    Outsourcing is a must in order to make our online life much more breeze, for me the outsourcing or crowdsourcing site I always choose to use is Odesk.

    Odesk allows you to create teams, review work diaries, see exact hours of your team members, and generate data about your project in real time. You can even receive screenshots throughout the day to see how your team is working and review their progress.

    All my best wishes,
    Omar
    Omar Saady recently posted…How TO MAKE $1,000+ PER MONTH With CLICKBANK AND TWITTERMy Profile

  • Profile photo of John A Karnish Profile

    Hi Eyal,

    Some interesting tips to consider. I tend to agree with the commenter above… You do have to start pulling a profit before you start doing things like outsourcing task. So I think some of these suggestions might not work for newbies.

    However, some of the suggestions like looking for guest bloggers and crowdsourcing might work well for them to get some extra content on a newer blog.

    I guess when you start making some money the best thing to do is to take an inventory and decide which tasks you do proficiently and wish tasks take you the most time and effort. It is the tasks that take the time and effort we want to consider outsourcing.

    Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

    Your friend,

    John

  • Profile photo of Black Profile

    Hey Eyal,

    Your take on OAC is revealing. In the very least, one is reminded of the importance of using automation and outsourcing. Time is of essence when it comes to productivity.

    Using extra hands to outsource readily becomes easier.
    I want to reemphasize that the ideas you have revealed in this post are cool and handy!

    At least, following their essence would make for improved productivity so you can save time and cost!

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