Outsourcing vs. Insourcing Your Blog - Which is Better?

Posted by Rich McElaney

There's a healthy amount of debate on the merits of outsourcing company blog writing versus insourcing it. Insourcing is just another way of stating that you'll either utilize existing internal resources or develop new ones to handle the execution of blog writing.

outsourcing your blog

There's no question that for most companies, there is an internal brain trust that knows its products, services, processes and stories inside out and is most qualified to address the questions coming from prospective customers. A common mistake for many companies is to automatically departmentalize the responsibility for blog writing: "sales is best suited for this", "this is a marketing responsibility" or "customer service should handle this".

Handing off to a single department the keys to what should be one of the most important lifelines to existing customers, prospects, partners and prospective employees is short sighted thinking. In order for insourced blogging to take root and flourish, buy-in has to occur company wide. Participation has to come from all functional areas of the company.

The discussion around participation is where many companies check out on the topic of blogging. Participation doesn't mean everyone is responsible for writing - that definition puts participation out of reach for almost every organization. You can't expect everyone to write but you can expect everyone to participate - by being aware of blogging's impact, by sharing stories with internal writers, by coming up with ideas for topics and by supporting the blog through sharing its content.

The context of sports provides a great example of how participation can work with blogging efforts. Think of your favorite football team. If you're a fan, you're not playing in the game. But you support the team in many ways. You know the roster inside and out. You know the record, the scores and the statistics. You engage in many ways - by attending games, watching games with other fans, buying team merchandise for yourself and friends, consuming team news and sharing it with other fans. The more dedicated you are as a fan, the more engaged you are in everything team related. 

Now, think of your business in this way. The players are the writers (the deeper the roster the better!) Non-writing employees are the fans. The fans should know the roster - who's writing about what and why. They should know the stats - what's the blog content doing for the company - in traffic, leads and sales (wins). They should know the schedule - what's the content calendar look like - this quarter, next quarter or the year. They should consume the content and share it with their network. Deeper engagement leads to deeper support and deeper support leads to better results. 

Back to the initial question of outsourcing versus insourcing your blog, here are the key considerations for insourcing:

  • Can you get the participation and engagement necessary to fully support the effort?
  • Based on your blogging goals - especially frequency - do you have the resources to achieve your goals?
  • Will your resources be able to sustain the pace of writing over the long haul?
  • Are the mechanisms in place to "extract the gold" from the internal brain trust?
And the key considerations for outsourcing:
  • Can you get the participation and engagement necessary to fully support the effort?
  • Have you vetted the full process the outsourced provider will use to create your posts?
  • Have you calculated the time investment necessary to manage the outsourcing process?
  • Does the cost fit your budget?
  • Have you established metrics to evaluate the provider's performance?

The bottom line here is to commit to consistent blogging. Whether you outsource or insource is up to you but when you take a deep look at the resources available to you, there's no reason to stand idle on the sidelines.

____________________________________

Your Thoughts

How is your company handling your blog? Insourcing? Outsourcing? Some of both? Not writing? I'm very interested in your feedback.

For consultants and agencies, are you blogging for your clients or are you teaching them how to do it and building the necessary support? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Tags: blog outsourcing, blog insourcing, content outsourcing