Over the last year, we’ve experimented with a combination of Google Adwords and regular blogs to promote Red Robot Media. Despite the obvious benefits of pay-per-click marketing, we’ve found that investing time in our own blog has been far more beneficial in terms of attracting new customers. It seems that many of our clients are also trimming down their Adwords or PPC spend, ploughing the money into blogs instead.
We’re always happy to take on the work, of course – the more web content writing assignments the better, as far as we’re concerned! But here are a few reasons why our clients often prefer to hire article writers rather than increasing their PPC spend.
Hiring an article writer is quick and easy
If you’ve spent money on Adwords, chances are you spent more time and money than you intended to spend at first. Adwords is a complex platform, and to get your ads running efficiently, you’ll either need a lot of knowledge upfront or a helping hand from a professional Adwords manager. As your campaign matures, some experts say you should spend a minimum of 15 minutes each day checking statistics, fiddling with keywords and changing your bids. It can be easy to spend anything up to an hour a day on this, especially in the early days when you’re split testing and trying out keywords.
When you hire a freelance writer like me, you need to give me a few ideas, perhaps some keywords, and a rough idea of the word count for each post. That’s it. Once the project is set up, you can influence the theme of your blog on a daily or weekly basis, or you can leave the whole thing to your article writer.
Regular blog posts are an investment
I’ve already mentioned that Adwords needs to be monitored on a daily basis, but once your campaign is up and running, you may well find that you hit your stride quickly. Of course, you may also find that your Quality Score drops like a stone, sending your costs through the roof and leaving you struggling to bring your daily spend back under control.
A blog is stable. You know what it will cost, and you can control that cost by increasing or decreasing the number of posts you commission each week. Your blog posts are there as long as your website is online, so that marketing spend is a long-lasting tool that will continue to bring new traffic to your site.
A really good blog post can reap rewards for months. The most popular post on our blog generates almost a quarter of all the hits we receive. That figure shows absolutely no sign of dropping. The hour that I invested in writing it has paid off massively. In fact, it’s probably generated more new business than everything we’ve spent on Adwords combined.
Blogs and articles encourage sharing and boost SEO
Social and viral sharing are key to the overall success of your SEO campaign: experts like SEOmoz say the traffic a site gets from Facebook is a factor in its Google pagerank.
It follows that the key to triggering viral sharing is good content that interests people and starts conversations on social media. It’s as simple as that.
Clients who read blogs are ready to buy
Over the last year, we’ve found that clients who contact us through Adwords are likely to be testing the water. Clients who read our blog almost always have a good idea of their project and are ready to go ahead. I suppose this is because a large amount of traffic comes from our Twitter feed, and people are probably already considering using our copywriting services before they contact us for a price. Of course, this is all based on our experience, but we certainly attract a different type of customer via our blog.
Don’t forget that every idle click costs you money, so even the people who don’t ask for a quote could be needlessly draining your Adwords budget.
Your freelance blogger will inspire brand confidence
Of all the benefits of hiring an article writer, this has to be the most important. A blog need not take centre stage on your website, but clients like to know it’s there, and they will check to see that it’s active. Adding regular blog posts gives clients the confidence that your company is contactable, friendly and consistent. That’s a big plus to any customer who has never heard of you before.
Of course, hiring a freelance blogger will also give people a feel for the character of your organisation, and it helps to give your brand authority and presence. If you choose your topics wisely, you can use your blog to reassure new clients about your expertise and reinforce your brand image on a weekly – or daily – basis.