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How to easily create great content for your small business website

Over the years I’ve often written my own content for my Melbourne based photography business websites Man With A Camera Photography  & pet photography business Pupparazzi, partly because I’m a control freak and partly because I didn’t have the spare cash to invest in it.  

As the business has grown and I’ve had to offload some of the more time consuming jobs, content writing has been one of the areas that I’ve had the most trouble finding suitable people for.   Sure, the fact that I don’t have a huge budget to play with has hindered me, and 

I would love to have an authentic sounding local voice for my Australian readers, but at this moment in time I can’t justify spending any more money on it.  This is one of the reasons I started to source writers on Fiverr and Upwork.

Following a rather disappointing attempt at using Spinrewriter (in reality, I’m not sure why I was expecting quality articles!) where everything that came out of it sounded robotic and dry, and then I would try to rewrite the article again to inject some personality or brevity into the article, I started to employ writers.  Yep, I should have just cut out the middle man and done this in the first place! You live and learn…

Whilst I am on a budget, I know that you usually get what you pay for.  This was definitely the case hiring writers on fiverr – I think some of them were probably using some type of Spinrewriter style software judging by the copy I got back.  Fine if you want to pad out some pages that nobody is really going to read, but for corporate clients and genuine customers that I’m trying to impress, this wasn’t going to cut it.

After trying out several writers on both fiverr and upwork I increased the rate of pay slightly and reduced the required output, with the idea that I would prefer to have 500 words of great content rather than 1000 poorly written words that I would have to trim down.  The 500 words that I recieve now are usually well crafted and are a great basis for me to then add some of my own content and flesh out a little.  Articles usually end up being 1000-1500 words by the time I finish with them but because a more skilled writer has started and structured the article well for me, I find that adding to it as actually very quick and surprisingly easy as I simply expand on the points they have made and add in any important local knowledge that they are unlikely to have.  Sure, it’s more time consuming than having someone do it all for me, but the control freak in me gets what he wants, it’s affordable and the content is usually useful and readable!

I usually make the article title suggestions to the writers but occasionally ask them to surprise me with something that is based on photography and with reading. Again, the articles sometimes need a small tweak before publishing but it’s often given me decent content that I would not thought of publishing otherwise.

Another tactic that I have used is to find some long articles that rank well for photographers in overseas cities and send a couple to the writer as inspiration to get started on.  Again, I receive an article that has been rewritten from two good quality pieces of work and then I just add some local references and add my own thoughts to it.  I’ll have an original article that speaks to local readers with minimal effort and cost.  As a tip, I do run these articles through Copyscape to ensure that they are different enough to appear original.  

I also make a point of giving good writers a small tip after every few orders just to make them feel appreciated and hopefully keen to work with me more.  It’s a small but worthwhile investment and I know that if I needed something urgently, the writer would certainly do their best to speed up the delivery time.

In short:

1 Don’t go cheap, you’ll buy it twice!

2 Get to know your writer’s style and direct them to what you do and don’t like.  

3 Constructive feedback definitely helps hone their style and give you the best outcome.

4 Give a little extra payment when you can – it keeps articles consistent!

As your business starts to grow, you’ll really start to see the value in offloading the time consuming tasks that can easily be done by someone else under your guidance, freeing you up for the activities that help to make your business the success it is.


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