How To Effectively Outsource Content Creation

There have been a lot of posts on outsourcing content creation on various blogs. I had assumed that because of this nobody had an interest in my specific tactics in getting this completed.  I ended up being wrong and actually had a reader specifically ask how I did it and what tips I could give to replicate my success.  So here we go.

Content in my opinion is one of if not the top items you can outsource effectively.  Unless i’m an expert in the topic I really have no interest in sitting down and typing out 500, 1000 or even 2000+ words for a website.  In addition – you need to know that i’m a cheap ass.  I don’t like to spend money when there is a cheap or even free option.  I have yet to find the “free” option for outsourcing content but below is how I go about getting decent content at what I believe is a reasonable rate.

Outsourcing Your Website Content

It doesn’t matter if you need someone to write your entire website for you or just a few blog posts.  There are several ways to get this done.  I’m a big fan of two services.  The first one (and a bit more expensive) is simply using and the second service which is cheaper but a bit more risky is

Agency / Independent Contractors

If the quality is the absolute top priority and money isn’t limited then this is hands down the best option.  There are agencies that have writers on staff that are more than likely familiar with your niche.  This won’t come cheap but agencies establish best practices so that you’ll get well written, well researched and well edited deliverables.  Similar to the agency approach, working with reputable independent contractors can net the same result.  Depending on your niche or the experience your looking for in a writer, hiring an independent contractor can even be a bit cheaper.

Hiring an agency or independed contractor is the premium option for establishing your sites content needs.  Fully expect to spend anywhere to $50-$200+/hr depending on your space, content needs and turnaround expectations.

Text Broker offers U.S. writers who charge per word with no minimum order.  It doesn’t matter if you need 100 words or 10,000 words.  Text Broker also goes the extra mile to run all submitted content through copyscape to guarantee that the content you receive has not been plagiarized.  One of the largest benefits of Text Broker is that once someone accepts your article topic they deliver you the finished content within 24 hours.  Can’t beet that for service.  Once the content is delivered to you, you have the option of asking for revisions or to accept it as a final project and at that point the project is completed and you will be charged appropriately.

So the ultimate question is – how much does cost?  As I mentioned earlier, they charge per word and the price per word varies by the skill level that you require.  A level 2 writer is cheapest at .13 a word where as a level 5 writer is .72 cents a word.  Below is a pricing chart directly from their website.  I had them estimate the cost of a 500-550 word article at the “average” skill set level.


A single article around 500 words at an “average’ quality level for +- $10.00 isn’t bad but you can see how this really adds up when you start ordering 20-30+ articles.  As I mentioned, I’m a cheap-ass so lately i’ve been using the alternative method which is hiring directly off of (formally –

Upwork is a great freelancing service where you can post jobs for thousands of individuals to bid on.  You simply post a job describing what you want completed and the budget you have in mind.  At that point free lance contractors will submit their bid for your job.  The price might be higher and it might be lower.  You can at this point interview your applicants or simply hire them on the spot.  My strategy for this has changed a lot over the years.


When I first joined Upwork I was using it exclusively for web design and graphic designers.  It wasn’t until I was fed up with paying $10 an article on that I started testing the waters for content writers.  In the beginning I was creating jobs for a single article for about $5-$10.  I’ve had a lot of success with this but it was still a bit expensive.  I was also manually reviewing all applicants and discussing the writing project in mini interviews. Things soon enough changed.

Jon Haver’s strategy for outsourcing content (read his at involves hiring multiple contractors on the cheap and firing them immediately if they aren’t able to deliver or if the content is sub par.  This is definitively a low risk high reward but has very few guarantees.  By combining both of our strategies together I have a technique that has been effective for me and that i’m happy to share with you.

  1. Make excellent grammar and native English speaking a priority in your job description.
  2. Explain that you’ll hire the contractor for a couple articles (or however many you want) but that if you like their style you’ll give them work on a weekly basis.
  3. I offer anywhere from $10-$20 an article depending on the content I need written.  If the content is super easy to write and doesn’t require much / any research then i’ll offer $10 an article and be flexible on point number 4.  If the content is a little more in depth and requires knowledge or research i’ll increase my per article price to reflect this.
  4. Target contractors from U.S. speaking locations.  I typically limit this to the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
  5. Once you have job applicants – hire the best rated contractor with the most hours marked on their profile.

Using the above strategy I have been able to get several U.S. writers who are willing to write 500-600 word articles for about $10-$20 a piece.  This particular strategy doesn’t net the strongest content but if your looking to establish a content strategy on a thin budget then this might be a good way to start.

The downside of this strategy

You would think that using in the way I explained above is a no-brainer right? Well you need to know that it has it’s downfalls too.  Many times I receive content that simply sucks.  It’s obvious that the writer does not speak English as their first language and is simply using a thesaurus to complete the content.  Other times I receive messages simply saying that they haven’t and won’t / can’t complete the project.


The most common issue I run into using Upwork and the strategy I used above is that the writers are really anxious to start working with you despite the low pay but eventually find better paying gigs and want to be paid more.  For instance I had a contractor who provided me some great content at an incredible deal ($5.00 per 200 words).  This rate was a result of taking the resk of hiring him  before he established himself on the platform.  Once he got established with positive rankings he was able to charge more.  About a month after I originally hired him I received a note saying that he needed to either be paid more or move on to higher paying clients. Fair enough but it’s not uncommon to deal with this fairly often since you’re seeking such a deal.


Do you have any tips or tricks that you can share? I’ve heard of people having great success posting on Craigslist and even tapping into local college kids for content as well.  This isn’t something I’ve done before but shows that a lot of quality content can be had at a stellar price!

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Nick LeRoy

I'm a husband, father to three, obsessed Vikings fan and SEO Manager at Ovative/group.. Learn more about me here and consider signing up for the weekly #SEOForLunch newsletter to stay up to date with SEO best practices and industry news.

14 thoughts on “How To Effectively Outsource Content Creation

  1. Nice write up! I have heard of Text Broker but never used them before. I like the copyscape check. That’s a nice feature. I’ve had particularly good luck with Elance. Right now I’ve getting wonderful articles (800 to 1000 words) for less than $10 each.

    Unfortunately the oDesk route has been pretty unsuccessful for me in terms of article writing. I tried using the Jon Haver approach too, and all I ended up with were people who did not fulfill the order or sent me a whole lot of crap I couldn’t use. I concluded that it was way more worth paying $7 to $10 per article for material I barely had to give a second look over versus getting material that I needed to spend a lot of time to heavily re-write.

    1. What do you do differently on elance than oDesk? I don’t use freelance personally so really curious since I assumed they were both very similar.

      I also agree that it’s worth a few more $$$ to up the quality. Jon has mentioned that he gets his share of garbage too but he obviously gets enough “gold” to warrant his continuing to do such.

      1. Honestly, I don’t really do anything differently on either site. The difference is that usually I get US applicants on Elance whereas on oDesk it’s usually foreign speakers. I know you can filter the search results, but it almost always works out better somehow for me on Elance. I’m sure with enough jobs it could go either way.

  2. Hi Nick,
    Thanks for this, it’s really timely for me. No Fiverr? Seems like that is in your price range (of course there’s no flexibility). I’m trying to find a way to squeeze a bit more out of writing gigs. I’ve been a bit disappointed in asking someone to cover a specific topic and I get very little of value. I’m not asking a few writers that look promising to provide a summary/review of another article, with no quotes. the purpose is for a site that curates other articles in my niche. We’ll see what I get. I’m also pursuing alternatives, the same as you, for some bigger assignments.

    1. Nick – I’ve used Fiverr in the past and i’ve had OK results. The big issue I have is you don’t really have anyway to measure their quality unless the gig has been open for some time. Odds are if the gig has been open (and they are good) the wait is probably too long for me anyways.

      Good luck on your content search. Definitely share with us any good tips you pick up. 🙂

  3. Hmmm, I’ve purchased a few domains lately in a couple different niches that I want to build out and was kinda sweating how I’d get the content out as I just picked up a regular job. Well, this certainly seems doable. The domains are of different quality levels so I’ll probably choose different tactics to get the articles that I need.

    Thanks Nick. This really is encouraging.

    1. Nice! So glad I could encourage you with your new projects. It gets addicting doesn’t it?

  4. Hi guys! the hardest part is to find those that are good and that you can relay on. I’ve gone over 100 writers with a lot trial and errors and finally found a reliable team I can count on. I even started a article writing service, if anyone needs articles done send me a message. vicioso.miki at

    Hope that the twins are good Nick!

  5. Like always, when I am done reading your post – I just want to jump right into something! Thanks fro the great tips dude. I also use to use fiverr but waiting for a good gig also got to time consuming.

    Enjoy the twins, My first is coming the end of next month, might have to start reading baby blogs from now on :b

    1. Great to hear Victor. Nothing better then reading something and getting pumped up to work on your projects.

      Congrats on the your little one. I sure hope you get more sleep then I have been this past month!

  6. Unless you’re paying high dollar amounts, you’re always bound to lose some writers. How busy are you keeping them? I noticed that if I keep my writers pretty busy they tend to stick around.

    At one point in time I hired 10 writers, thinking that by having more writers I’d be able to have many reliable backups. However, I’m now finding more success by hiring just a couple of writers and giving them lots of work.

    1. Josh you brig up a great point. Personally I have my writers wrote 3-4 articles a week. It’s not keeping them super busy but it’s very stable per week work.

      I too focus on 1-3 writers at a time. I rather keep a few busy then sporadically offering gigs to a dozen writers.

      Thanks for sharif yiur tip!

      1. Sorry – was typin from my iphone. Please excuse the spelling issues.

  7. Hey Nick,

    I’m trying out iWriter for outsourcing content creation now. Their rates are quite nice ($5/700 word article) and their setup is really nice also. You post a job on their site, and writers come and write your specific article and goes to you for approval. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to pay for it.

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