Article writing is a very good strategy to generate organic traffic, establishing yourself as an authority in the market place, share your expertise and build your thought leadership. It is also important to understand the various tasks that are required to create maximum ROI and how much you should expect to invest for the same.
Here are the various factors that determine how much it’s going to cost for a professional firm to create an article.
- Keyword research: A quick and dirty keyword research is going to take 30-45 minutes. Because this is also strategic this step is worth investing some time. You’ll get up to 5-10 keyword choices to target.
- Topic selection: Your primary goal with the article is to generate SEO juice for as long as possible. So the topic will ideally be an evergreen one. It also has to be a proven one – something that has worked in the past. Using tools like Buzzsumo (paid plans start at $99 per month) make the job slightly easier. You should budget up to an hour for selecting the topic.
- Research: Based on familiarity on the topic, this will require 1-2 hours of focused work.
- Article length: Buffer did a research to find out the ideal length of a blog article that offered the best ROI. They’ve found it to be 1500 words. The topic could be explored in a good amount of depth with this word budget and has the ability to offer decent value for the time invested by the reader. It takes about 2-3 hours for the first draft.
- Visuals: A stock photo or a custom graphic is going to additional Rs.400-800.
- Editing and proofreading: 40 minutes to one hour for this.
- Revisions: One to one and a half hours to make it just like the clients likes it.
- Subject matter experts: If the article is highly technical (say, healthcare, oil rigging, etc.) you might want to hire the services of a subject matter expert. In that case the cost of the article can go up steeply. But the end result is expected to be of high quality and can get you a high ROI. You should allocate 3-4 hours to get an excellent article.
- Content upgrade: Content upgrades are nice little add-ons to the main article. They take the form of a PDF checklist, infographic, summary, cheat sheet, video or audio recording, interview transcripts, templates, worksheet etc. that make applying the main article a lot easier. To access the content upgrade, the reader usually exchanges their email address and becomes a subscriber to the blog. So this offers a way to boost your list-building efforts, too. This can take up to 2 hours more.
- Promotion: What’s the use of an article if no one reads it. That’s why article promotion is at least as equally important as the creation itself. You identify a list of influencers for the topic and ask them to share the article on their blog or their social media network. If the article is valuable enough, many of them will oblige. To reach out up to 10 people via email, the promotion is going to take an hour. Broadcasting the article to all your social media outlets will also be included.
- Submission to article directories: Article directories like ezinearticles.com constantly get ranked high on search engines. Submitting the article in them with a well-written author box could fetch targeted organic traffic to the blog. It takes about 30 minutes to manually submit to each article directory. You can aim to submit to up to three such directories.
So, in total it takes about 13-17 hours to execute each step listed above. You should expect to invest between Rs.9-11,000 for an article. It’s going to net you some outstanding ROI in terms of organic traffic to your website, list growth and your positioning as a trusted expert.
If you’re budget constrained, you should cut down on the number of articles or the frequency instead of going after cheap services. Because article marketing is more of a quality game than a quantity one.
If, for various reasons, you really can’t afford to invest in a quality article writing vendor, you have a couple of options:
- Fiverr: You can get decent articles written for as low as $5. The downside being the good writers have a huge lead time – often needing up to 10-15 days for one article.
- Upwork: Hire someone on this freelancer market place. If you’re able to give a water tight brief, you’ll be able to find some decent talent for the budget you have. Often, people who are just starting out on Fiverr want to build their reputation on the site, so are ready to work for a lesser price. Take advantage of that.