Imagine you’re sitting down to write a letter to a friend.
You’ll probably use a unique tone and a personal voice, one that reflects your relationship with that friend and your typical style of speech. Maybe you’ll reference a few shared experiences and inside jokes or fill your friend in on something you’ve discussed before.
When your friend reads the letter, it won’t be exactly like they’re speaking with you in person, but they’ll surely still feel as if they’re communicating with you, their friend.
Now imagine that, instead of writing the letter yourself, you reach out to someone else, someone who doesn’t know you or your friend, and ask them to write the letter for you. Sure, you can spend a few minutes briefing the writer on your friendship and hope that they’ll get it right when they write your letter. But odds are that this person won’t get it quite right – or likely, not right at all.
This is exactly what happens when a company outsources their content writing to a content farm. Their audience is left to read clunky, impersonal and out-of-touch content rather than carefully curated content that reflects the company’s brand and relationship with that audience. To the reader, it’s quite obvious that this content was written by some beanie-wearing guy in a coffee shop in Toledo rather than by an ambassador of the brand they’ve come to know.
What is a Content Farm?
A content farm, otherwise known as a content mill, is a copywriting service that produces mass quantities of content – blog posts, articles, essays – every day. In many ways, a content mill is like a puppy mill. Yes, we realize how over-dramatic that sounds, but bear with us. A puppy mill has been defined as “a dog breeding operation in which the health of the dogs is disregarded in order to maintain a low overhead and maximize profit.” (emphasis added) Now let’s see what happens when we recast that sentence:
“… a content creation operation in which the health of the content is disregarded in order to maintain a low overhead and maximize profit.”
In the content mill, though, it’s the writers who are subjected to low wages and a churn-and-burn work environment. As a team of former journalists, editors and English majors, the Oneupweb content marketing team believes that content mills are corroding the art of the written word by creating a marketplace that rewards quantity over quality. To make any sort of a living, content farm writers clamor for assignments. The rules of supply and demand drive down the price per word.
What’s so bad about all that? The market is flooded with low-quality content. Those new Ray Bans you’re sporting? Yeah, they’re knockoffs. And now you look like a fool compared to the brand that invested in quality.
While content farming is not inherently an evil practice, content farms are notorious for writing for search engines rather than for humans. The problem is, when you write for robots, you end up writing like a robot. Keywords are stuffed into sentences with an inhuman tone and a clunky flow. Content like this is quickly spotted by search engines and readers alike.
Content: Quality Over Quantity
In today’s digital marketing world, content is king. But not just any content – good content. Search engines reward good content more than ever before, social media algorithms punish clickbait, and users recognize and dismiss thin content before you can say “PageRank.”
When your customer reads content from your company, it should feel as if they’re reading a letter from a friend. That’s why, at Oneupweb, we take the time to get to know your brand. We learn who you are – what voice and style of writing you typically use, what topics you usually write about – as well as who your customer is and who you aspire to be as a brand. We document this information in a brand voice guide, which is required reading for everyone at Oneupweb who touches your projects in any capacity.
If a client realizes their brand doesn’t have personality – or they want to reinvent it –our team will take them through a brand workshop. At the workshop, our designers, writers and brand strategists walk the client through several branding exercises. After a day (or two!) of deep soul searching, the brand becomes stronger, clearer and more compelling to its audience. The brand’s new identity(voice and tone, elevator pitch, color palettes, logo treatments, etc.) is made final with the delivery of a new Brand Guide – made thick for brand managers to throw at offenders.
As we continually plan and write your content, we get to know your friendship with your customer better and identify what subjects your friend wants to see in letters from you. We work side-by-side with you to carefully communicate with your customers in a familiar, friendly manner, even in ways you’ve never tried before.
Outsource your content to a content farm, though, and you’ll get content that is
Don’t Take Our Word for It
Don’t believe us? We’ve got proof. We hired a content farm to write us a blog about – well – why companies shouldn’t hire content farms to write their content. We knew that the best way to show you how content farms work was to hire one ourselves.
We started by creating an account, then selected which type of content we wanted to have written and indicated how many words we needed. Next, we filled out a brief to give the writer an idea of what our goal was for the blog.
Next, we selected from two tiers of quality – standard copywriter and professional copywriter.
Here’s what they came up with:
Skip the content farms – try digital marketing solutions instead
Regardless of what industry you are in, it’s important for your company to have a strong online presence to bring in new customers. A big part of this is having quality content for your web pages and blog. With so much demand for this type of copy, many services have popped up in recent years offering web content for very low prices. Often called content farms or content mills, these services promise content quickly and affordably – but what they can’t always promise is quality. When you use a content mill, chances are you won’t get content that truly reflects your brand’s identity. Here’s why you should use a digital marketing service instead.
Content with a strong voice
When visitors read your content, it should always be obvious that it’s coming from your brand. It’s very difficult for content farm writers to capture your brand’s voice from just a short brief. When you work with a digital marketing team, however, you’ll be able to take the time to familiarize them with your company’s identity and how you want to present that online. This results in web content that sounds distinctive, authentic, and compelling.
Another major benefit of working with a digital marketing agency is that your content will be very well optimized to rank on popular search engines like Google. Although content farms do usually allow you to request keyword implementation, there’s only so much these outsourced writers can do with this limited information. A digital marketing agency has all the tools necessary to create an effective SEO strategy for your brand and incorporate that into your web content. A digital marketing agency can also work with you to target specific demographics, so the chances of your content reaching the right consumers are much higher.
Personal customer service
On a content farm, your customer service is limited. There’s no guarantee that writers will actually be able to follow up and answer questions or make edits on the content. Digital marketing teams work with you collaboratively, so you can easily check in on your content strategy, ask questions, and make changes. Team members are available and ready to address any concerns you may have, unlike content farm writers.
It’s time to invest in a fully developed web content strategy for your brand.
If you noticed an errant comma or a sentence that wrapped around itself, you’re not alone. Here’s what our proofing team caught. (Capitalization changes are in blue. Other changes are in red and
Skip the Content Farms ‒ Try Digital Marketing Solutions Instead
Regardless of what industry you are in, it’s important for your company to have a strong online presence to bring in new customers. A big part of achieving this is continually creating having quality website and blog content for your web pages and blog. Because there’s With so much demand for fresh, optimized this type of copy, many services have begun popped up in recent years offering web content for very low prices. Often called content farms, or content mills, these services promise content quickly and affordably ‒ but what they can’t always promise is quality. When you use a content mill, chances are you won’t get content that truly reflects your brand’s identity. Here’s why you should enlist the help of use a digital marketing service agency instead.
Content with a Strong Brand Voice
When visitors read your content,they should always feel that the information is valuable and coming from your business’s experts. It’s very difficult for content–farm writers to capture your brand’s voice from ‒ let alone communicate your products and services ‒ after reading a short brief.
When you work with a digital marketing agency, an entire team will take the time to familiarize themselves with your company’s brand identity and will define the best ways to present that brand online. The web content that an experienced agency writes will sound distinctive, authentic, and compelling. Additionally, it will be equipped with the right links and calls to action.
Another major benefit of working with a digital marketing agency is that your content will be very well optimized to rank in on popular search engines like Google. Although content farms do usually allow you to request keyword implementation, there’s only so much these outsourced writers can do with this limited information, and they are not able to recommend keywords.
From seasonal search trend data to webmaster tools, a good digital marketing agency has all the tools necessary to implement create an effective SEO strategy for your brand and incorporate that into as they plan and write your web content. A digital marketing agency can also work with you to target specific demographics or combine your content strategy with other marketing channels, so the chances of your content will be much more likely to reach ing the right consumers.
Personal Customer Service
On From a content farm, your customer service is limited. There’s no guarantee that writers will actually be able to follow up and answer your follow-up questions or make further edits on to the content. A digital marketing team work with you is collaboratively, so you can easily check in on your content strategy, ask questions, and make changes. Team members are available and ready to address any concerns you may have, unlike content farm writers.
It’s time to invest in a fully developed web content marketing strategy for your brand. High–quality content from a digital marketing agency will set you apart from your competitors and draw in new clients. Contact Oneupweb today to discuss your content needs, and learn more about how we our full-service agency can help your brand grow.
Bottom Line: Grow Your Own Content
In a perfect world, you’d sit down and write content that is carefully customized for your customers – content that answers their questions, addresses topics they’re interested in, and speaks in a voice they know and understand well. Ideally, that content would also rank in search engine results, and you would regularly optimize and rewrite it to better answer your customer’s queries.
Unfortunately, this world isn’t perfect, and you have a to-do list that’s seven miles long and eight meetings in a row today. That’s where we come in.
Don’t outsource your content to a faraway farm of writers who don’t know you or your audience. Grow your own content – hire an in-house writer or work with an agency that knows how to communicate your brand’s value through a data-driven content strategy. Be tactical and purposeful with your content. If you don’t have a content calendar, let’s talk. We’ll show you how the Oneupweb Content Calendar helps our clients dominate search results, and you’ll see for yourself that content is better when it’s homegrown.