Google has created an environment where new content can give your the site some serious searchbot recognition. If the body copy is poorly written, however, your bounce rate may increase, in which case Google may agree with your fleeing visitors them and give you a demotion in the rankings. Copying and pasting other people's content is not the answer either, and Google will not be very impressed. Putting just anybody in charge of producing new content is not exactly ideal; what you put in is what you get out. What you need is a writer. A skilled writer.
Rediscovering a Lost Talent Pool
Most people can write, but but few can do it well. Putting someone who has marginal skills at the helm of your web blog is not going to give you the results to need. A talented writer can add content that is fun, compelling and informative. They can influence your audience and create a positive user experience in ways that an average writer simply cannot, regardless of whether or not they understand your business and your industry. So we should call upon the professional writer, the group who can actually make it happen for you, people who were all but forgotten by many businesses after the internet bubble.
What Happened to Bubble Buddy?
We wouldn't even be having this discussion prior to the rise of the internet; print, radio and television advertising once understood the pivotal role good writing played in their success. If you needed visibility and wanted a chance at some good results, you either hired a veteran writer or hired a creative agency with writers. This wisdom was even valued by web companies right up until the bubble popped. Then the money dried up and companies made some hard choices in order to survive, and not all of those decisions made good sense over the long haul. Many cheesed out by dumping their writing talent and giving the job to someone who could wear a number of different hats. The writer's cap, it turned out, was not a great fit. But to be fair, even many print publications dropped the ball by letting much of their staff go and turning it over to interns and lesser talent in an attempt to maintain profit margins. Pennywise and pound foolish for sure.
Now imagine a post bubble crowd that was attempting to quantify the drop in content quality after jettisoning their writers, and then correlating it to a drop in positive user experience, and then further showing correlation to increased bounce rate or drop in sales. The sophistication, the science wasn't there yet. We were still waving away the smoke from the bubble implosion, finding our way through the aftermath of the wild wild west we once rode through with a surreal giddiness. Serious tools to measure these changes are a only few years old, and their usefulness is being further solidified by Google's assertion that content is a primary factor in search worthiness, so let's follow where they are leading us.
Supply and Demand
In the wake of the internet bubble, many writers have been battered by a drop in demand. We saw the same thing with freelance photography; most website owners are too cheap or simply cannot afford to hire quality photographers, so they scuffle over to istockphoto or some other McDonaldland can-i-have-fries-with-that stock photo vendor for $2 a pop, and they end up with some rather questionable image choices to try and prop up their site. This was also driven by the old channels falling by the wayside, as businesses that take control of their website won't have the same freelance connections that an established agency has, and they might find traversing the professional stock photography market an expensive and confusing endeavor. For very small businesses and start ups, cheap stock photo sites may have to do the job, just like a cash-strapped greasy spoon may have few options other than printing out a plain Jane, black and white menu for their take out customers. But for others, where the business has outgrown the model they chose and branding can finally be reconsidered, the time has come for them to move the brand to a place where it can be properly leveraged. Quality photography is important to a good user experience and so is good writing, and if you have the smarts to hire a good writer, you are in for a treat. Rates for writers are often rather reasonable because of the glaring lack of demand. That same lack of demand that gets you quality writing on the cheap also indicates most competitors still do not value writers, so hiring one gives you the opportunity to build content that will make your site a destination point for people in your industry.
Barber Shop Versus Beauty Salon
We would be remiss if we did not consider the skill set of the writer that needs to be hired. A tech writer is not a good candidate to write engaging text for a fashion site, and a fashion writer will rarely be suitable for writing competent, tech industry copy that can be churned out quickly. It might be worthwhile to explore various options for finding the talent you need. Creative agencies often have people in house or have a stable of writers with different skill sets, so this is a logical choice. Or you can strike out on your own and try to find them yourself through other channels. They should be able to supply you with sample writing so that you'll have a gauge on what it is you'd be getting from candidates.
Whether businesses know it or not, their hand has been forced by Google if they expect to blog and be taken seriously. The author of new site content when it has to be produced regularly needs to be just that &emdash; an author, a word which is practically synonymous with writer. I'm not talking about having a book under your belt or having any street cred, but a solid mastery of the craft to draw upon, a cleverness with words. The talent pool is there waiting for you, ready to do your bidding, to create a reason for people to link to your quality content, so what better time than the present to make use of it?