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So you’ve probably heard that “content is king.” Neil Patel, Gary Vee, the millennials at the office and on the internet, and everyone in between have been singing the praises of the almighty content for years. And for good reason.

Not only is content marketing one of the best long term strategies for growth, when done well it also has the power to kill multiple marketing birds with the one proverbial stone – from building an audience and distributing a brand’s message, to establishing expertise and converting tire kickers into paying customers or a loyal user base.

But what does that mean for you and your business?

How do companies of all sizes and budgets go from blog post to landing page to tweet to fame and fortune, and billions of dollars in sales and millions of fans and social media evangelists (or whatever the goal may be)?

What type of content should you be writing? How often?

On what platforms should it be distributed?

Should you toss out what you’ve already been doing entirely and start from scratch?

Does your business really need a content strategy, or can you just make it up as you go?

How do you know if your content is even having an impact?

Allow us to break it all down for you.

First Things First: What is a Content Strategy?

Your content strategy is essentially the blueprint you create to help your organization build, articulate, package, and execute the company’s goals, values, unique sales proposition, determine who your target audience is, what you want them to do, what your medium and message should be, and how you will ultimately measure success and ROI for every piece of content that you conceive and send out into the world – for starters.

It may sound like a lot, but you can simplify your content strategy if you’re just getting started or have been tasked with redesigning an existing plan. Start with a basic outline of what you need to say, how you need to say it, how to get your message in front of the people that need to hear it, how to inspire them to take the desired action, and how to figure out when your content is working and when it’s time to move on to something new.

Examples of Good Content Strategy in Action

A content marketing strategy is only as good as the results it ultimately generates for your company or brand (obviously). But how do you know what will work before you invest valuable time and money in all the different options available?

A good content strategy for you is the plan that allows you to make informed choices and decisions, as opposed to just shouting into the void and praying that someone will be listening – and buying it.

But if you feel uncertain about how to get your content off the ground, take heart in the fact that you are not alone. According to Inc.:

“…the latest statistics reveal that only 30% of B2B businesses believe their content marketing strategy is effective. There is an increasing amount of disappointment. It isn’t because content marketing has suddenly become less effective. Instead, the problem lies at the door of a lack of strategy. Companies were told to involve themselves in content marketing but were never told exactly how to best take advantage of it.”

Here is what you need to do to get started:

Create a list of goals and brainstorm ideas for the different types of content that may best help you achieve those goals, such as:

  • A landing page to help sell an e-book or product
  • An influencer campaign on Twitter or Instagram to build an audience among a target demographic
  • A blogging program to target for specific keywords, or to publish evergreen content to build a user base over time, establish thought leadership, or re-purpose old or under-performing content
Know Thyself – Create a Mission Statement

Next, spend some time working on a message that tells the world (and more importantly the people you’re trying to target) who you are, what you stand for, what you have to offer, and why they should care. Think of this as the fertilizer you spread around to help your message blossom among the weeds of the internet, wherever your customers may find you.

Then, Know Thy Customer – Create a User Persona

You may have a vague or even crystal clear idea of who your target audience is, but the trick to designing an effective and laser targeted content strategy is to figure out how to reach them. All of them. All the time. Where they live and breathe. How does one even begin to do that without a crystal ball? Answer: user personas!

Because it’s impossible to guess what everyone wants all the time and to be all things to all people, the easiest way to go about creating targeted campaigns is to basically design your ideal customer or user, and figure out who they are, what they want, what they need, where they hang out, work, spend time on and offline, and most importantly how they want to be contacted and marketed to.

Good user personas are based on real research and demographic information, and can be invaluable to helping you craft and successfully get your content and media in front of the right people.

How Do I Create and Implement a Content Strategy?

Like products and services themselves, the best content plans begin with a targeted set of questions aimed at solving a specific problem. The problem can consist of a number of factors such as:

  • How to increase traffic to your website or blog
  • How to get people to sign up for your newsletter, or
  • Download your e-book, or
  • Pay for a subscription service, or
  • Download your app, or
  • Buy your course, service, or product, or
  • Sign up for your conference, or
  • Insert desired action or transaction of your choice

Great. OK. Any or all of those things would be wonderful! Content is like a magic wand! But really, what do you literally have to do to go from nothing, or not much of something, to out of the ballpark success?

Start with Some Deep Research

When it comes to designing your own content strategy, you want to be creative and do things that will showcase what sets you apart from your competitors, and you want to use examples of successful content strategies to inspire your own, but you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or follow someone else’s path – at least not to get started.

Start with the basics and see what both your competitors and the brands and companies that you admire are doing, what has worked in the past and what is currently working, what didn’t, what you’d like to emulate, and how you can make it your own.

Depending on your target audience and user base, the specifics of your market, and the mysterious ways of technology, social media, and content marketing, your strategy will most likely evolve and change on a regular basis. Make it a point to stay on top of your industry’s trends and best practices.

If You Hit Publish on a Blog or Tweet and No One Reads it, Does it Really Make a Sound?

So you know the old adage about the tree falling in the forest right? Content marketing can often feel like the same thing. You can spend a significant amount of time and marketing resources on crafting a targeted strategy for maximum impact, only to send your content out into the world and watch it land with a thud. That’s OK. A strategy is that – an outline of where you need to go and how to get there, but like any good GPS system you will most likely have to switch course at times and make adjustments along the way.

Which leads us to…

What About All the Data???

Like content itself, you’ve probably heard that data is all the rage. It can also be overwhelming, as most organizations collect more data on their users and customers and their habits than they know what to do with. The key to making the most of your data is to use it to make informed decisions about how your content strategy is performing and what you may need to tweak, but not let it dictate your entire strategy.

What to look for in your analytics data:

  • Where your traffic is coming from (browsers, search engines, mobile vs. desktop, demographic data) as well as what specific piece of content or social media brought them to your website
  • How long your visitors are staying
  • Are they taking action once they get to your site?
  • Traffic patterns and changes in user behavior – is it consistent from week to week or month to month? Are there spikes or sudden drops in traffic?

Keep an eye on what your audience is doing to refine and improve your content strategy as you go. Remember that there are no absolutes, so try to look at the numbers in context and figure out how they affect your short and long term goals.

Tools to Help You Get Your Content Strategy Off the Ground

It’s been said that the medium is the message, and that is certainly true with content marketing. There are many tools available to help you perform research, design or download existing templates for content plans, calendars, and formats. There are also a number of tools that can help you perform keyword research to understand what is working in terms of seo and how your target audience is searching for what you have to offer online.

Here is a list of some of the top content marketing and strategy tools to help you get started:

  • WordPress – Website builder and content management system with personal and enterprise options, as well as self-hosting options at WordPress.org
  • Google Analytics – Detailed stats on website traffic and user demographics and behavior
  • BuzzSumo – Helps brands analyze content performance, perform competitor research, and tools for influencer marketing
  • Hootesuite – A one stop shop for distributing social media content and tracking performance across multiple platforms
  • Feedly – Design a custom newsfeed and connect with a personalized network
  • SEMRush – Detailed keyword research and analytics on SEO performance and competition
Content Strategy Templates and Resources

There are a number of user friendly tools available to help you get started. Work with an existing template, or take a look at what’s available for a little inspiration as you design a custom plan that works best for your needs. Here are a few examples:

MOZ

MOZ provides a free, in-depth step by step guide to help you design a content strategy from scratch, with links to helpful tools and guidelines that walk you through everything from analyzing your competitors to setting up a content plan and workflows.

HubSpot

HubSpot offers a comprehensive workbook and list of resources that can help you decide what type of content to create for your audience and marketing goals, a rundown of content management systems and social media channels to distribute your content, and information on how to set up an editorial and social media calendar.

Content Marketing Institute

The Content Marketing Institute’s toolkit offers a definitive list of resources, inspiration, and examples of how to build and implement your strategy, as well as detailed instructions about the nuts and bolts like writing your mission statement and designing your user personas.

Also known as audience personas, this is a profile that content marketers use to create their ideal customer or user from the demographic information available for real world users. Factors that typically go into creating targeted user personas for your brand include basic demographic information such as:

  • Job title
  • Industry
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Hobbies
  • Political affiliation if relevant
  • Marital status
  • Income level
  • How much time they typically spend online
  • Preferred method of shopping
  • how they prefer to be marketed to and how often, etc.

But beyond helping you understand who makes up your current audience and customer/user base, user personas are an exercise in helping you to create a representative of your ideal audience in order to create targeted and effective content that will rise above the generic noise already on the internet.

Here is an example of a user persona for a sporting goods retailer who is developing a program to offer experiential and guided retreats for moderately active and predominantly urban customers:

  • Ann C., 28 year old software developer in Denver
  • Preferred social media channel: Instagram
  • “Weekend warrior” type, favorite form of exercise is yoga, indoor cycling, and running. Trains for half marathons once or twice a year depending on work schedule
  • Vegan
  • Introvert

So what can a marketer glean from this type of information? For starters, creating visual and video content is probably a better way to get products in front of Ann (and the audience she represents) than focusing exclusively on blogs. As a software developer she probably doesn’t have a lot of time during the week, so shorter day or weekend long experiences will probably be most relevant. As an introvert, Ann will probably be more responsive to small group hikes and camping trips than a 300 hundred strong urban scavenger hunt or paintball tournament.

It isn’t an exact science and personas are ultimately not real people, but they are an important tool in designing relevant content and campaigns, as well as a good way to spark creative ideas and messaging. Analytics data from past and current campaigns and customer data are a good place to start. See who is already interacting with your content and how members of your target audience search for and consume content and services.

Find the Best Resources and Make Them Your Own

There are many tools and references, but there are no hard and fast rules as to what you have to use, especially in the beginning when you’re just getting started and trying to craft your message and building your own user personas. As with your content strategy and the content itself, you will most likely engage in quit a bit of trial and error in order to find the tools that work best for your needs and help you get your message across to your audience. You’ll likely find that something that works brilliantly for someone else may be a miss for you, and vice versa.

How Can Signing Up for Scripted Help with My Content Strategy?

Once you’ve done the research, become one with your brand and your customer, designed a rock solid content strategy that will set the content marketing world on fire and make you the envy of the entire internet, you’ll still need the key ingredient to the secret sauce – writers.

Scripted offers access to skilled writers with experience across every industry and type of content, from blogs and landing page copy to social media, e-books, white papers, product descriptions, and custom redesigns of existing content. Scripted allows you to start with a blog post or set of social media posts as needed, and sample a range of talented writers, or stick with your favorites once you find the right fit. Contact us today to learn more.

The post How to Set Up an Effective Content Marketing Strategy appeared first on The Scripted Blog.

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Anyone who has tried guest blogging already knows that it can be a challenge. It’s not only hard to find good topics to write about, it can also be a headache to get your finished piece published in the right places.

What’s more, it can be extremely disheartening to spend hours researching and writing only to have your post rejected by a blog–or dozens of blogs.

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to find guest blogging opportunities and how to enticingly pitch your post. You’ll even be able to decipher whether or not a site is worth reaching out to.

If you take the time to go through these steps every time, you’ll be able to gain immense value from your guest blogging endeavors. But first…

Is Guest Blogging Effective?

From independent case studies to large-scale research, there are many statistics to back up the effectiveness of guest blogging. However, to really emphasize how good this tactic is, it’s important to break down the goals of guest blogging and what exactly a guest blogger might be trying to achieve.

#1 Build Authority

For many people, the first goal of guest blogging isn’t SEO or traffic, but something a bit more indirect that can affect both of those things. Many guest bloggers are out to build authority. That means they want their name to be seen by a lot of people in their niche so that readers will begin to associate it with quality information.

How effective your guests posts are at building authority for your name ultimately comes down to the quality of your guest posts. Make sure to offer real value to the reader. Don’t get caught up trying to subtly (or not so subtly) promote your own website. If they like what they read, you’ll be able to enjoy the second benefit with little extra effort.

#2 Increased Traffic

Getting more traffic to your website is another huge benefit of guest blogging. By guest posting in relevant places across the internet with a link back to your site, readers may very well click-through to get more from you.

This is something basicblogtips.com dug into with their own case study where they published multiple guest posts linking back to the site and then tracked changes in traffic.

In the 75 days following their guest posts, the number of website visitors increased by 9% and the number of visitor actions increased by 8%. They also had a 15% drop in bounce rate, attributed to the growing proportion of users who were deliberately coming to the site from the guest posts and looking to get more from the author.

During this time, they also gained a few new feed subscribers.

#3 Improved SEO

The backlinks that are being built as part of the guest blogging process are extremely beneficial for your SEO and will help your site’s rankings in the long-term. Anyone who has spent time trying to build links will tell you how difficult it can be–not just acquiring links but relevant links from trustworthy sites.

Guest blogging is a proven SEO tactic that, when done correctly, benefits everyone involved.

However, as Neil Patel points out, if you’re just after backlinks, focus on pinpointing blogs that have a strong root domain authority (DA). They will offer you the best results as far as SEO goes.

Step #1 Locate Good Opportunities

There are plenty of new and low-quality websites vying for your free content. Posting to such websites will really only benefit the site that’s publishing your post because they have little traffic and/or a poor DA.

These sites are a waste of time and a reminder why you should put a little extra effort into this research phase. When done correctly, your guest posts will form a mutually beneficial partnership.

Here are a few simple steps to locating good opportunities.

What Characterizes A “Good” Blog?

First and foremost, a “good” blog for your guest posts will be laser focused on your industry. The site you post to needs to be relevant to your niche with its content focused and the audience interested in your niche.

The blog should be active on social media, sharing posts and hopefully having the posts re-shared too. The readers should also be engaged with the content. Posts should have comments and active discussions.

How to Find a “Good” Blog? Method #1

The first and most popular method for locating these opportunities is to use keyword searches. Here are some phrases to use, just replace the keyword with a keyword from your niche:

  • keyword “guest post”
  • keyword “guest post by”
  • keyword “submit a guest post”
  • keyword “become a guest blogger”

These should pull up guest posts submitted by other writers or even lead you directly to the submission/contact page for a website.

Method #2

If you have ever analyzed your competitors’ backlinks, it’s very likely some of them come from guest posts they have submitted. Getting guest posts on the same sites can help your blog too. Use toosl like Open Site ExplorerAhrefs, or Buzzsumo to pull up your competitors’ backlinks and see what’s worked for them.

You can also use those tools to check the domain authority of these potential publishers.

Step #2 Prepare to Pitch Ask any boy scout what you need to do before you pitch.

Before you reach out to anyone, you need to go through a few preparation steps to make sure your pitch is one that will get you recognized.

Get To Know The Site

First, familiarize yourself with the site’s pre-existing content. You don’t want to pitch an idea that has been covered in the past. You also don’t want your writing style, perspective, or topic to stick out like a sore thumb.

An example would be a blog that writes about cycling and you pitch them a blog about motorcycles. You may both be interesting in bikes, just not the same kind of bikes. Read carefully.

You should also consider the audience’s skill level regarding the topic at-hand and the general format writers follow (i.e., listicle, top ten, detailed tutorial, etc.). Does this site just do in-depth white papers? Don’t pitch them a Buzzfeed-style listicle.

Learn From Other Guest Posters

It’s always helpful to review the work of previous guest bloggers. Some site owners will be looking for specific points-of-view or first-hand experience and that will be represented in the guest bloggers who have been permitted to post previously.

As an example, a quick look into a list of previous guest bloggers for a business blog may reveal that they are all consultants. There are also some other interesting aspects that can help or hinder you. Read up on them in this study by Moz and it will help you word your pitch more enticingly.

See What Performs Well

This is the final step you should take when preparing your pitch. Your pitch is much more likely to get accepted if it follows the format or style of a previous post on the blog that has performed well. To figure out what posts have done well, use these links:

  • http://topsy.com/s?q=domain.com – See how many times different posts have been tweeted.
  • http://plus.topsy.com/s/domain.com – See how many times different blog posts have been shared on Google+.
  • http://delicious.com/search?p=domain.com&jtf=E&partial_type=B – See how many times different blog posts have been saved to Delicious.
  • http://digg.com/search?q=site:domain.com – See how many times different posts have received votes on Digg.

Use these links, or a tool like Buzzsumo, and you may be able to discern certain patterns in the posts that perform well. For instance, they might all be tutorials featuring lots of visuals or they may mostly be list articles.

Step #3 Pitch Your Idea

Now that you have done the legwork, you can finally reach out to the blog owner and pitch your idea to them.

Of course, if you have the time, it may be smart to wait until the blog either publishes a new guest post or advertises that they are actively seeking a new guest post. These events will help you time your pitch and may make it even more appealing. However, your pitch may very well be accepted anyway.

Read The Guidelines

Many blogs will link to guest posting guidelines that will detail what they want you to submit in your pitch.

Some blogs just want a title and a few sentences describing your idea, others will want a sample paragraph (or two) from the post you plan to write. Other sites will expect a portfolio of some prior work you have completed along with your idea or on its own.

The point is, be sure to read the guidelines. Your pitch may be great, but if it doesn’t give them what they’re asking for, they probably won’t think twice about rejecting it.

Get Personal

Don’t send a form letter to a dozen sites asking for permission to guest post. Instead, personalize every email to help it get noticed.

Especially with high-ranking and popular websites (which are the ones you’ll be targeting), most webmasters get a hundred emails a month asking about guest posting. Yours needs to stand out with a unique pitch.

Be sure to start the email with the name of the person you’re contacting. Generally, this is the name of the blog owner and that’s the name you should address your message to.

Introduce Yourself

The research you did into the previous guest posters should not go to waste. After figuring out the most common guest poster persona/characteristics, be sure to highlight any that represent you. For instance, if previous guest posters were mostly bloggers, introduce yourself that way.

Be sure to link to your professional profile(s) and/or website. You should then layout a few strong reasons why you’re the perfect fit as their next guest blogger. Tell them what you can bring to their readers and highlight the benefits you’re bringing to the blog.

Share Your Ideas

Don’t say you’re going to deliver immense value, show them that you can by pitching some great ideas that align with their website’s pre-existing content and audience. Pitch more than one idea so that they can mull them over and pick from their favorites.

There’s also a bonus to pitching multiple ideas: If they like more than one, they may invite you back for another post in the near future.

Step #4 Write A Great Guest Blog

Once your pitch has been accepted, it’s time to get writing. Be sure to communicate with them about when they expect you to turn in the guest post so you’re not keeping them waiting. Make sure to meet that deadline or (preferably) submit your post a couple days early.

Don’t Make It About You

Never turn your guest post into an advertisement. Focus on the topic at-hand. You can share first-hand experience if it’s pertinent and valuable, but don’t try to make yourself the center of attention.

Instead, quote experts and influencers to backup your claims and substantiate your knowledge. This will help you build more authority.

Include Links

When relevant, you should not only link to external websites but also to internal pages on the blog itself. Use site:domain.com intitle:keyword to locate pre-existing content on the blog that you can link to. This will show the blog owner that you know their content and it will make it a better read for their audience too.

Format It Correctly

Be sure the format of your guest blog matches the format of other posts on the site. For example, be sure to submit it in the same font, font size, and layout as other posts. Even if you’re sending your post in a Word document and the blog owner will be uploading it themselves, make an effort to match their brand.

Check Your Work

Before sending, follow these final tips:

  • Read what you wrote out loud to check for wordy, rambling, or unclear parts.
  • Proofread what you wrote at least twice to check for typos and grammar errors.
  • Consider submitting an alternate title if you’re not 100% certain of your choice.
Thank The Blog Owner

Finally, you’ve come to the last step in the process. This step is very simple: send over your blog post for submission and be sure to thank the site owner for the opportunity.

If you’ve done your work right, this guest post will open the doors to many opportunities in the future.

The post Guest Blogging: How to Get Published On High Quality Sites appeared first on The Scripted Blog.

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If you’re in need of a freelance writer, there is plenty of talent to choose from. However, finding that talent is often easier said than done — unless, of course, you invest in the right platform for your content marketing needs.

Of the writing services available, Upwork is a well-known platform, but how does it stack up to alternatives like Scripted?

An Overview of Upwork

There is no denying the sheer volume of content in which Upwork produces. As stated by the platform, they have over 12 million freelancers and more than 5 million registered clients. First formed in 2015, this platform merged two popular freelance platforms, previously referred to as oDesk and Elance.

Although Upwork is known for its massive pool of freelancers, their competitive pricing system comes at a cost. The rates on Upwork seem attractive. However, many clients have experienced quality-control issues. Based on pricing and the availability of freelancers, Upwork is often compared to services such as Fiverr.

Overall, Upwork makes it easy for clients to find writers. Offering a number of training modules, you will be able to write detailed listings immediately. This will allow you to attract top talent based on what it is you’re searching for. Although Upwork does use “matching technology,” you may still need to sift through numerous candidates before you find the right fit.

All writers do go through a verification process. However, in comparison to say Scripted’s approach, Upwork is not as meticulous. Sure, their talent pool is large but not all of the freelancers on their platform are qualified when it comes to the highest quality content.

Pros
  • Due to the large hiring pool, you will be able to hire help very quickly. However, be mindful of the writer’s standard rate and rating, as this will indicate the quality of work you can expect.
  • You have the option of choosing whether you would like to pay writers per project or per hour. This can help you budget more efficiently.
Cons
  • There have been some issues surrounding reliability, especially in terms of project timelines. Many have also experienced issues with the site’s performance.
  • For what you get, Upwork can be a bit pricey. Some clients have also had issues with freelancers booking hourly pay that was not earned.
  • If you do not invest in the higher pricing system, it can be time-consuming to find the type of help you require. In turn, it is not the most productive platform.
How much does Upwork cost?

After tweaking their payment structure, Upwork now offers a highly transparent pricing system. As a client, you will pay x-amount for the content you need, which is paid to the freelancer. In addition, you will be charged a 2.75% processing fee. For example, if you pay $100 for a whitepaper, you would then pay the platform an additional $2.75.

However, this option is the most basic option. If you plan to invest in Upwork Pro or Upwork Enterprise, the increased level of support and professionalism you receive will come at a higher cost. For example, when opting for Upwork Pro, you will be charged a $500 fee for each handpicked talent search + a 12.75% processing fee on the project amount. You can learn more about their payment structure here.

There is also a service fee that is charged to the freelancer. This sliding fee is as follows:

  • 20% for the first $500 billed with you (the client)
  • 10% when the lifetime billings with you fall between $500.01 and $10,000
  • 5% when the lifetime billings with you exceeds $10,000

The idea behind this new pricing model is that it is intended to initiate higher-value, long-term working relationships. However, many writers who have been working on the platform for years (prior to the merge) have expressed their concerns. It is challenging to reach the $10,000 lifetime total with a single client, which would allow freelancers to benefit from the 5% fee.

As a client, you will notice a wide range of pricing options. However, if you hire someone who charges $5 per hour, do not expect quality work. Be realistic about what it is you need and price your job accordingly.

How does Upwork compare to Scripted?

There are a number of resources online that offer freelance suggestions (that are not Upwork).

Why?

Well, because many clients have had a poor experience after choosing Upwork. However, it is important to note that some companies have developed long-term working relationships with quality writers on this platform, and are indeed happy with the content they produce (more on this below).

For those specifically looking for a quality, reliable writing service, Scripted is often found in the short list of recommended platforms. Although we are similar to Upwork, in that we are a freelance marketplace, we take a different approach.

At Scripted, we are known for:

  • The quality of work our expert writers produce. This is due to our rigorous writer vetting, as only 2% of applicants become Scripted writers. Best of all, each order comes with a satisfaction guarantee. Our clients only pay for what they love — and with a 98% acceptance rate across the platform, there is no denying the high quality of work you’ll receive.
  • Our level of humanity, as companies develop real human relationships with the writers they work with. Whether you are messaging a writer on the platform or are scheduling a phone call, communication remains open. That way, expert writers understand exactly what it is you’re looking for so that you can focus on what really matters — your business. Writers can also pitch ideas based on your industry or suggested topic.
  • Convenience, as Scripted, not only prides itself on being a professional platform but one that is also fast and easy to use. The platform itself makes it easy to order, edit, and export content. There are also analytics options so that you can better track traffic in order to maximize your marketing strategy.

In comparison to Upwork, Scripted’s pricing system offers various membership tiers. This provides opportunities for businesses of all sizes to obtain quality content. Whether you are a small, growing business or a large enterprise, Scripted will help you reach your content marketing goals. Be sure to check out Scripted’s Cruise Control if you’re ready to kick your content marketing strategy into high gear.

Overall, when it comes to content marketing, Scripted is known to deliver.

Here’s what users have to say about each platform

When you are interested in using a new service, it’s beneficial to see what others have to say. Of course, each situation is unique and some have better experiences than others. However, honest reviews can provide you with the type of insight you’ve been searching for.

Upwork Reviews

Starting with sitejabber.com, it is clear that the jury is split. Although Upwork received 501 5-star ratings, they also received 439 1-star ratings. This is likely based on the spectrum of freelancers available, as Upwork offers writers of all skill levels.

Of the poor reviews, there are some concerning comments. Past clients have discussed issues with management, a lack of control (resulting in “fake” freelancers), and poor quality — just to name a few. Overall, clients believe that Upwork is a “hit and miss” platform, which should be used at your own risk.

“A complete waste of time. I should have trusted the poor reviews before signing up. Their platform is totally archaic at best. They boast over 50K jobs available, but the majority are scams or low-brow offers. Hardly worth the time and energy.”

“Not superb though, not user-friendly either. I am satisfied because I found cheap labor but not quite satisfied with their performance. At first, they were excellent but then started to let me down more and more. I ended up doing the job myself which is the complete opposite of why I joined in the first place. “

“You can find some legit gigs on here, but you have to be careful because there are a lot of scams.”

Depending on which site you visit, you will see mixed reviews. The majority of sites showcase an average rating of 2.5 stars. However, Upwork did receive a 4.1-star rating (out of 5 stars) on Indeed. From an employee’s point-of-view, the majority of individuals were pleased with their experience.

Scripted Reviews

Depending on which site you visit, Scripted has received an average of 3.5 to 4-stars. On Featured Customers, Scripted received a 4.5-star rating based on some of the following reviews:

“We published over 300 blog posts last year and we saw the most page views and revenue came from posts that listed top products.”

“We have found that our clients have experienced a huge increase in engagement. The articles written by Scripted’s writers receive a large number of organic social shares with no budget invested by the client other than having the content written.”

“Through Scripted we’ve been able to greatly scale up our content production and output which has helped us create a better buyer journey for our clients. We have so much knowledge and insights within our organization that it was nearly impossible before to prepare multiple articles a week. Scripted’s writers have been amazing in grasping our unique concepts and delivering excellent content that requires no in-house editing from us.”

On Clutch.co, Scripted received a rating of 4.8 stars (out of 5 stars). On this site, 60% of the clients were small businesses, followed by 20% within the mid-market range, and 20% who were enterprises. Here is what some of them had to say:

“Throughout the whole relationship, we’ve felt that we’re dealing with actual people rather than an interface.”

“They set timelines that they meet, which is incredibly helpful for us.”

“Scripted’s work has been published on conference websites and shared more than any other content. Scripted was easy to work with, provided dedicated project writers, and responded quickly to short turnaround times and deadlines.”

Bottom line

If you are in need of short-term work or help with preexisting projects, you can quickly and easily find help on Upwork. Finding the right writers can take some trial and error, which can be frustrating.

In comparison, Scripted may be a little more pricey but the content you’ll receive is well worth the extra investment. If you are serious about your content marketing strategy, then you need content that is well-written and professional.

There is a reason why both clients and writers have such positive experiences in regards to the Scripted platform — and it often starts with the transparent, professional relationships they build with one another. Whether you are a small business or are a large corporation, Scripted will help you get your content marketing strategy right the first time.

Ready to invest in the power of content marketing? If so, start your free trial today!

The post Upwork: Reviews, Prices, Features, and Alternative appeared first on The Scripted Blog.

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A content tune-up takes an existing blog post or web page that isn’t performing up to expectations and gives it a much needed update to improve readability and increase visibility on the search engines.

We performed a content tune-up recently for Scripted customer GetCuros.com and they agreed to let us show you what you can accomplish with some simple tweaks to existing content.

The Problem

On June 21, 2017 GetCuros created a very informative, well-researched, and well-written blog post titled, “Erythritol: A Perspective on The Benefits and The Dangers of This Common Sugar Substitute” but it wasn’t finding the audience it deserved.

We kept the original copy here.

The original author did all the necessary research and presented all the pros and cons of Erythritol in a clear and concise manner. So why no search engine love? Why wasn’t it being shared or naturally gaining links?

The problem rested largely in its on-page SEO (keywords!) and structure.

Something that could be easily fixed with a content tune-up.

The Approach

The first major problem was that the article did not have a clear keyword focus. The keyword “erythritol” was used enough throughout (65 times!), but the major information about erythritol within the article was buried in long paragraphs under ambiguous subheadings.

Step 1: Fix the title and intro paragraph for SEO

The title, though a little long, worked because it clearly explained what the article was about and included our focus keyword “erythritol.”

The first paragraph needed some work. It’s important to clearly state the thesis of the article up front, include your focus keyword, and get to the meat of the article as quickly as possible. In the original text the author started with a hypothetical and did not include the focus keyword.

Original intro:

“Have you ever taken a swig of the new Absolutely Zero variety of Monster Energy® drink? Or perhaps you’ve tried Grandma Koyote’s BBQ Sauce, or Quest Bar protein bars? Maybe you like to dump a packet of Truvia® into your coffee every morning?

If you’ve sampled these or many other sugar-free products on the market, you’ve consumed a sugar-like substance called erythritol.”

Tune-up intro:

“It’s likely that you’ve consumed this sugar substitute without even knowing it. Erythritol is probably already in the food you eat so it pays to understand what exactly it is, how it’s made, and the potential health consequences. This article will give you all the background you need to better understand your diet and make more informed choices. We’ll also discuss several other sugar alternatives to consider as well.”

As you can see we don’t waste any time in the new introduction. We introduce why the piece is written and explain what you will get out of reading it. Quick and easy. Now onto the meat of the article.

Step 2: Fix the subheadings and shorten the paragraphs

What questions did this article answer? Quite a few. Here are the big ones:

  • What is erythritol?
  • What are the health benefits of erythritol?
  • What health problems are caused by erythritol?
  • How does erythritol affect dental health?
  • Does erythritol cause weight gain?
  • Is erythritol safe for children?
  • How does erythritol compare to sugar and other sweeteners?
  • In what foods is erythritol commonly found?
  • How is erythritol made?
  • What are some alternatives to erythritol?

Though these questions were answered in the original text, the subheadings were too conversational and the article was not structured for quick and easy consumption.

We took these questions and turned them into keyword-focused subheadings throughout the article. Turning your most important information into H2 subheadings helps readers and search engines know what information can be found and where to find it.

Original Subheadings:

  • Let’s look at digestion again
  • Its poor flavor means it needs assistance from other sweeteners
  • No nutritional value
  • Weight gain.

New Subheadings:

  • Erythritol Is Easier To Digest Than Other Sweeteners
  • Erythritol Can Contribute To Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Erythritol Has No Nutritional Value
  • Erythritol May Cause Weight Gain
  • How Is Erythritol Made?

The new subheadings are keyword-focused and make scanning for specific answers easy. This makes readers happy, and happy readers lead to more shares and higher rankings.

Let’s take a look at the impact of these changes.

The Results

After a year of virtually no traffic or visibility, our simple content tune-up gave this blog post new life.

The update went live August 8, 2018 and by early September we started to see real change in traffic and organic rankings. The blog now ranks for over 600 keywords and bringing in over 1,600 visitors a month.

Here is a list of search terms the updated post now ranks on page 1 for:

Search Terms Volume Keyword Difficulty Traffic SERP Position
erythritol 192,000 22 3,048 9
erythritol danger 4,000 20 262 3
erythritol dangers 1,600 26 51 4
erythritol benefits 70 17 27 1
does erythritol raise insulin 50 35 19 1
does erythritol cause diarrhea 150 23 15 4
does erythritol spike insulin 100 35 13 3
erythritol health dangers 30 17 11 1
erythritol stevia dangers 100 24 9 5
erythritol benefits 70 17 9 3
erythritol insulin 150 35 8 6
erythritol risks 20 19 7 1
erythrol 150 22 6 8
does erythritol cause cancer 90 14 5 6
can erythritol cause diarrhea 60 24 5 4
does erythritol raise insulin 50 35 4.8 4
does erythritol cause gas 150 24 4.8 4
dangers of erythritol 40 26 4.0 9
erythritol health dangers 30 17 3.5 3
(Data Source: Ahrefs)

Writing for the web has a very specific set of rules. Making some simple changes to your existing content to abide by these rules can be the difference between content success and seeing all your hard work go to waste.

The post Updating Old Content for an SEO Boost: The Magic of Content Tune-ups appeared first on The Scripted Blog.

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In recent years, content marketing has been all the craze — and for good reason.

By offering consumers authentic, transparent content, brands are able to better connect with their audience, without seeming overly salesy.

Considering content marketing generates more than three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, and costs 62 percent less, it’s no surprise that article writing services are a key area of interest. However, not all platforms and writing services are created equal.

To ensure that your unique needs are met, there is a wide range of content marketing platforms available. Be sure to do your research before you commit to the first available option, especially if you are working with a tight budget.

10 Article Writing Services You Need to Know About

If you are currently looking for fresh, well-written content, you have a wide range of options right at your fingertips. The problem is finding the right fit.

This guide outlines the top ten writing services based on value, reviews, quality, and professionalism.

1. Scripted

We are well aware that we placed ourselves at the top of this list — which was intentional. Based on what we offer and our clients’ feedback, it seemed like a no-brainer.

Here at Scripted, we provide a simple interface and access to expert writers, making us an optimal choice when it comes to quality content and convenience. Not to toot our own horn, but many clients come to us because we deliver unmatched humanity. Our clients often develop reliable, long-term relationships with the writers on our platform.

We are a freelance writer marketplace, offering you an opportunity to really drive your content marketing strategies, based on a range of tools and services. Simply put, when you’re in the market to hire article writers, Scripted offers a flexible, cost-effective solution.

Although our services tend to cost slightly more than some of the other commonly used platforms online, our clients get what they pay for. Still affordable enough for growing a small and medium-sized business, yet capable of handling the needs of large corporations, there are options for every budget.

Memberships range from $124 per month, up to $999 for the “Cruise Control” package — which is still affordable in regards to clients’ resulting ROI. Whether you strive to increase your conversion rate or simply grow your site’s traffic, Scripted can help you reach each milestone with ease.

What clients are saying:

  • “Scripted has been a wonderful resource for original content across many topics. They are effective at pitching new ideas or taking raw thoughts and building them into well-crafted masterpieces of content.”
  • “Scripted gives me the resources I need to be successful. I can count on my projects with Scripted to be on time, on budget and the quality we demand. Their writers really are an extension of my team.”
  • “We liked the Scripted process, which allowed us to put our general ideas out to a group of writers and get thoughts and ideas back. It helps to have more brain power and creative thinking on a topic rather than just a single in-house writer.”

Pros

  • You will gain access to high-quality writers, based on Scripted’s selective screening process. In addition, content comes with a 100 percent quality guarantee. With a 98 percent acceptance rate across the platform, this is based on the platform’s high-quality talent pool.
  • Scripted’s interface is easy to use, making it easy to navigate — yet extensive enough that clients can enjoy a wide range of unique features.
  • If you do not have time to search for writers, the platform’s SmartMatch technology will help you find the perfect writer based on your specifications. You will also be able to receive free pitches to better drive creative and analytical processes, all while saving your most precious resource of all — your time.

Cons

  • As discussed, in comparison to other content writing services, Scripted does come with a slightly higher price tag. However, writers are able to set their own rates, offering a competitive marketplace.

Bottom line: Scripted is ideal for all business — big and small. Offering high-quality content and writers and flexible membership fees, we are committed to your content marketing needs. The platform itself is intuitive and reliable, powering your marketing strategies with ease.

2. ClearVoice

In comparison to some of the other suggestions on this list, ClearVoice.com is a much more extensive marketing platform. Being an assignment-driven system, ClearVoice can help you tackle each campaign with ease. Although they offer content writing services, they also specialize in project management.

Although ClearVoice has been referred to as the “Swiss Army knife” for content marketing, for some, the platform is too extensive for their current needs. If you simply require reliable, quality content, you may not need all of the bells and whistles that come with ClearVoice.

Pricing is built-to-order, so depending on your membership, you could be paying anywhere between $250 to $7000+ a month.

In contrast, if your marketing needs are rapidly growing and you need to better control various campaigns, all while receiving consistent content, ClearVoice can help you tackle your growth strategies. For a more in-depth review of ClearVoice, please read this comparison article.

Here is what ClearVoice’s clients are saying:

  • “I love the service. Long learning curve.”
  • “ClearVoice helps take your blog PM software to new heights.”
  • “Powerful content creation management platform.”

Pros

  • Excellent customer service, providing greater peace-of-mind.
  • Offers a simple and efficient way to better manage your entire team’s content.

Cons

  • Many find that there is an initial learning curve and based on all of the features offered, clients often find that it’s too extensive for their marketing needs and objectives. If you do not plan on generating a large volume of blogs monthly, ClearVoice may not be the best solution.
  • It can be tough to find writers that are well-versed on industry-specific topics.

Bottom line: If you are looking for a more comprehensive contenting marketing solution and have a clear strategy in mind, ClearVoice may be an ideal choice. Whether you require greater control over your work flow or require more collaborative tools, ClearVoice offers a more holistic marketing solution. At its core, this all-in-one platform is somewhat of a niche product.

3. Textbroker

As they say at Textbroker, “get custom content that is fast, affordable and scalable.” Their goal is to bring their writers and clients together, in a quick and efficient manner. With more than 100,000 US-verified writers, their talent pool is immense. This allows the platform to offer greater flexibility in regards to their pricing.

RelatedTextbroker — Reviews, Features, Prices, and Alternative

What makes this platform unique, is that they operate on a 2- to a 5-star rating system. For example, a 2-star author would cost 1.3 cents/word, in comparison to a 5-star author, which would cost clients 7.2 cents/word. They also offer various pricing options in regards to your desired service level. View Textbroker’s pricing model here.

This level of flexibility allows clients to budget accordingly. Although some clients have stated that it took them a bit of time to find their go-to writers, once they did, they were incredibly happy with the service.

In fact, here is what some of Textbroker’s clients had to say on SiteJabber.com:

  • “One of my favorite things about the TB system is you can choose the quality of the writers. 5-stars usually means very little editing (if any). I’ve been able to put together a team of quality writers who understand the different markets I serve and are available to do the work in a timely manner.”
  • “I use TextBroker to quickly get content for our website and in less than a few hours, we typically have the article being worked on. Then a day or less later, it’s done. Love it!”
  • “We have been using Textbroker off and on for a few years. When we find the perfect writers, it’s a love affair, but it’s a matter of finding the right one. The service is great, turn around is awesome.”

Pros

  • Perhaps the most beneficial feature associated with Textbroker is its simplicity and ease-of-use. This allows clients to receive content fast and efficiently.

Cons

  • Some clients have had issues with the platform’s customer service, this is particularly the case in terms of revisions and turnaround times (especially when investing in the lowest pricing tier).
  • The majority of poor reviews are written by those who worked for the platform.

Bottom line: If you are in need of content today, TextBroker offers a simple, fast solution. Depending on your needs, patience may be required to find the right writer in regards to your brand and overall vision.

4. Contently

If your current goal is to build your brand through quality content and effective marketing strategies, Contently can help you meet your growing needs. Acting as more of an end-to-end marketing platform, you will be able to view key insights each step of the way.

Much like ClearVoice, Contently is known for its hybrid, holistic approach. This is why the majority of clients who use this service are larger companies (1000+ employees) who require higher levels of organization across numerous campaigns. There is no denying that Contently is an excellent platform. However, it also comes with a more hefty price tag.

Although their pricing system varies immensely, clients tend to spend anywhere between $50,000 and $200,000 per quarter. When investing in this platform, companies are guaranteed engagement. Since Contently uses a series of specialized algorithms, they will help you determine the best place to publish your content in order to reach your unique goals.

Achieving an overall rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 on G2 Crowd, learn more about what ClearVoice’s clients have to say here.

Pros

  • Being able to consolidate all marketing tasks and campaigns in one place increases efficiency and overall productivity. There is also a wide range of supportive tools that will help you reach your unique goals.
  • Access to talented writers and journalists, who can help you take your brand to new heights. You can also gain access to photographers, illustrators, designers, and videographers.

Cons

  • Very costly, making it a poor choice for growing businesses who do not yet have access to an immense marketing budget.
  • There have been concerns surrounding the editing software and the analytics component of the platform, based on the unique need of highly-established businesses.

Read more about the core advantages, disadvantages, and features of Contently here.

Bottom line: If you are a larger corporation that has a high marketing budget, this service will help you maximize your ROI. Offering clients with an opportunity to revolutionize their brand online, Contently offers proven growth strategies. Just remember, this is not an affordable option for the majority of small and medium-sized businesses.

5. WriterAccess

If you are strictly looking for content that is ready-to-publish on your site or elsewhere, you may find WriterAccess useful. This is particularly the case if you’re looking for budget-friendly options. However, it is worth noting that although WriterAccess is affordable, this may interfere with the overall quality of work you receive.

With no on-staff editors, it is possible that your content will contain errors (although you can pay more for higher quality writers). In that sense, if you’re confident in your ability to make minor edits and are more interested in consistent, affordable content, WriterAccess is a great choice. Read more about the pros and cons of this platform here.

With the ability to set your price and job specifications, you will be able to ensure that your weekly content goals are met. The majority of clients agree that WriterAccess helps them scale their marketing efforts, as they continue to focus on their growing business. However, many agree that the quality of the content they receive isn’t always the greatest.

In fact, WriterAccess received 3.5 stars out of 5 on G2 Crowd. Read more about what clients had to say about their experiences here.

Pros

  • Access to a large pool of writers, ranging from 2-star to 6-star ratings. This rating system provides greater flexibility in terms of your current budget.
  • WriterAccess prides themselves on their excellent customer service — regardless of what membership level you choose.

Cons

  • Although affordable, many clients are not happy with the quality of writing. At the end of the day, high-quality writing will come at a cost, no matter what. If you are not comfortable investing in content that sub-par, this may not be the best platform for you.
  • The platform and interface aren’t as flexible as some would expect.

Bottom line: If you are looking for a platform that provides basic, simplistic writing jobs, you’ll be able to access a lot of writers and enjoy quick turnaround times. However, if you invest in writers that are rated 3-stars or below, you are better offer investing your money elsewhere.

6. NewsCred

Once again, NewCred is a content marketing management platform that does it all. Allowing you to plan your whole strategy, you will then be able to source and publish content. From content creation to content curation, distribution to analytics, NewsCred is ideal for those in need of a flexible, comprehensive marketing platform.

Well-received among active clients, it is important to note that NewsCred does cost more than most content creation services. Although many enterprises opt for custom pricing options, the most basic plan costs around $2,950 per month, up to $10,500 per month for their pro subscription model.

In fact, when compared to other services within the content marketing category, NewsCred ranked in the 94th percentile for cost. However, those who use this platform are happy with the content and support they receive.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of tools and features. This is particularly true regarding your ability to better manage and organize key processes and workflows.
  • Offers a deep, comprehensive analytics solution.

Cons

  • Some clients find their site a touch confusing, reducing overall efficiency. You will require a fair amount of technical knowledge to maximize each feature.
  • Using this platform tends to be fairly expensive in comparison to other platforms.

Bottom line: NewsCred is a high-quality, credible platform. However, it is extremely costly. Unless you have thousands to spend on your marketing efforts each month, it’s best to consider other options.

7. Skyword

Offering a range of content marketing tools and solutions, Skyword will help you produce, optimize, and promote your content. Much like Scripted, Skyword helps companies build meaningful connections with the writers they work with. They have also received a number of awards for their technology.

Skyword’s pricing model is available upon request. However, they tend to work more with medium and large businesses. As stated on G2 Crowd, Skyword ranks in the 55th percentile for cost. Therefore, if you’re a smaller business who is just starting out, this may not be the best option for you.

Pros

  • Skyword is easy to use and is fairly straightforward in terms of its interface, It is also updated often to improve efficiency.
  • Helps companies scale quality content production.

Cons

  • The text editor can be a touch buggy, causing formatting issues. There have also been a number of glitches reported, as well as problems with the available SEO tools.

Bottom line: Skyword works with some fairly large enterprises, who can afford the services they offer. If you are simply in the market for quality content, without the needed for additional services, there are more simplistic, affordable options available.

8. iWriter

Another commonly used marketplace, iWriter has been around for quite some time. Known to be one of the fastest writing services in terms of turnaround times, this has also sparked concerns regarding quality. This is because although their writer pool is massive, this makes quality control much harder to manage.

In terms of pricing, there are four tiers — standard, premium, elite, and elite plus. To give you an example, a standard 1000-word article would cost you $8.25 in comparison to $72 when investing in the “elite plus” packaging. Learn more here.

Pros

  • Of the writing services listed, iWriter offers the cheapest option for their “top tier” — meaning, the highest quality writers on iWriter cost less than other agencies.
  • Known for its speed, if you would like a lot of content quickly (and don’t mind editing), iWriter may be a good option. Overall, the process to order content is very simple, allowing for a speedy turnaround.

Cons

  • You will likely experience a massive difference in quality. Although you can obtain higher quality content when investing in the top tier, if you are going to spend that money, you’re budget may be better spent elsewhere.
  • They are known to for their “spammy” practices. Also, writers cannot hyperlink throughout, which is often a major pain point.

Bottom line: iWriter is a great place to get super cheap content. However, “cheap” and “high-quality” do not mix. If you would like content fast and do not mind editing, this is an ideal option. When speed matters (i.e. in outreach), iWriter is an option. However, it most would not recommend this service as their go-go. After all, 

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CMS, short for content management systems, has been used for over 20 years now. It provides content solely to one platform at a time, making it one dimensional in its usage. Traditional CMS seemed to be a great program for the utilization of websites, but it wasn’t scalable. Enter the Headless CMS.

In this article we will discuss the pros and cons of going with a Headless CMS over a traditional content infrastructure like WordPress.

Let’s start by explaining the basics.

What exactly is a CMS?

Basically, it’s a program that helps users manage content. So if you don’t know how to code, CMS solves this issue for you. Because it delivers content through an API, it can seamlessly deliver content to any capable device. WordPress is one of the most familiar CMS programs on the market today.

One great aspect of most headless CMS programs is their ability to expand. Third-party plugins, templates, widgets, and bots are just an example of its expansion capabilities. With today’s technology thriving exponentially, CRM has expanded its capabilities. Well, that’s enough of the appetizer, time to indulge in the main course.

Why is Headless CMS so popular?

The modern way to organize content is through content infrastructure. Meaning creating a hierarchy of implementations for a broader user experience.

The future for Headless CMS is bright. As a matter of fact, it’s very bright. Data analytics has shown us that audiences retrieve content on many devices other than traditional computers. Technology has shifted away from just desktops and laptops, to more mobile options. The crux of this emerging technology has created a trend that delivers amazing value by multi-faceted means.

The power of the cloud enables us to upgrade content management systems (CMS) into multifunctional versions. Headless CMS is that technology. Finding resourceful information about this technology can be an arduous task though. Being new technology, some are left confused about its capability.

By the end of this article, you will have a clear picture of what Headless CMS is all about and be able to decide if it’s the right move for you.

So let’s break down the dynamics of going headless.

The Benefits of going Headless Get it?
  • Mobile-friendly

Studies have shown that people experience content on their mobile phones more than any other device. Businesses have to span beyond their traditional frameworks, toward providing the same digital experience on mobile platforms. Headless CMS gives the site moderator the ability to make a site functional no matter the accessibility.

  • Devices

Devices such as smartwatches, personal assistant devices like Alexa, and smart wristbands now have the ability to provide unique content to an audience. Parking meters can be implemented with data that’ll enable users to pay, record and even extend usage, all through an app. Even outdoor trash cans are implemented with Headless CMS technology. They notify the issuing company to empty the bins when they reach their capacity.

  • Websites

Of course, we can’t forget the traditional means of providing content. Websites will always be the frontrunner for providing valuable content. This platform has the most customization features to express to any audience. The presentation model (i.e websites) still are the core medium for content dispersal.

  • Kiosks

The ability to provide information, a product, or services to an audience has expanded to kiosks. The fact that kiosks can be controlled through the cloud, gives businesses an efficient reach to their target market. Being that your content is an asset to your company, it is imperative that its maximized to its optimum potential. Kiosks are just an example of the capabilities at can be implemented.

  • Home Appliances

If you haven’t seen the capabilities that the new Samsung Family Hub offers, its a must see product. Businesses should be creating a Headless CMS for this product as we speak. From streaming music through Spotify, to watching tv shows, to having the ability to actually speak to your fridge, the possibilities are just on the brink.

  • Smart TVs

Businesses now have the ability to market directly to their audience from the most consumed device in the home. Content can be personalized to appeal directly to their users. With the ability to interact seamlessly with prospects or customers, the possibilities seem endless. This is a true example of what the power of the Headless CRM can do. Having the ability to share your brand across multiple mediums creates loyalty and trust. This is where products such as a smart TV come into play. Haven’t you bought a product where you just trusted the brand itself?

  • Chatbots

This AI the technology has enabled business to delegate its interactions through artificial means. Chatbots can be programmed to converse with end-users to accommodate their specific requests, all without human interaction. This technology means more efficiency for the business regarding customer service, lead generation and a host of other capabilities.

  • Broader Accessibility

It gives businesses the capability to scale their business content across multiple devices. Businesses can have a more personal interaction with their clients outside of the traditional methods.

  • Greater Product Base

Some products or services can be personalized for that specific device. This gives the target audience an opportunity to act immediately to offers provided by the company. This especially works great when a sense of urgency is implemented into the campaign.

  • Communication Abilities

Having the ability to instantly communicate to your audience has immense value. Being able to interact to customers with questions, instructions, or comments can keep your business at the forefront of their awareness.

  • Easy Optimization

Depending on the device, content can be optimized to be more direct. This also requires less work to implement. Separating content storage provides tremendous flexibility to perform a task expeditiously, without having to navigate through layers to accomplish a simple task.

  • Cloud-based

Probably the largest benefit of using a headless CMS, is that it’s cloud-based. This enables businesses to discard the traditional server infrastructure. Maintaining the CMS system can take up a lot of time, this allows business to free up many hours of valuable time to do more pertinent projects. No more configurations, installations, or security patches to attend to, just the important tasks.

As with most technological advances, drawbacks are also part of the equation. Headless CMS is highly innovative and efficient but not perfect. A lot of CMS programs have its drawbacks too. Here are some obstacles one must take into consideration when utilizing the headless CMS technology.

Drawbacks to Headless CMS You get it.
  • Manual Management

Businesses will have to manage their content and application manually. In certain cases, this requires a re-engineering of the user experience. From visual design, to platform implementation, and content organization, these aspects have to be managed by an implementation team on a consistent basis. It’s much different than the traditional content campaign a website entails.

  • More Manpower

Businesses will have to contract a developer or team to manage the content on various devices. This is a ongoing process, so it’s best to have someone specifically obligated for this task. Headless CMS entails separating content, from the presentation of that content. It sounds easy enough, but it’s a little arduous to achieve. One must have an expectation of architectural endurance depending on the number of applications in use.

  • More Consistent Messaging

Your developers must create repetitive content that automatically streamlines your messages. This will save a lot of hours and continuously deliver consistent messages. Your overall message should be displayed from all of its devices. Cohesiveness is viewed as organization, which is admired from the user’s standpoint. If no one is assigned to this important task, this could potentially lead to abandonment on the part of the audience. There has to be consistent content management no matter how the platform is used. If the content is just created for information purposes, then periodic monitoring will be suffice.

  • API Modeling

A headless CMS must be based on an API model first. In other words, your content must be available to all authorized systems by an unbiased platform set of API methods. If your consuming application is an iPhone App built with Swift, a .NET application hosted in Azure, a Node.JS Module running in AWS, or any other combination of technology the only factors that matter is that the tools can leverage standardized web-based communication protocols to retrieve the data.

  • Fixed Mediums

Another drawback that has to be considered, is that with whatever medium used to display content, it will be fixed. Meaning it will only allow for content to be presented in only a few ways. Unlike a website, which has many ways to rearrange, reshape, and resize content for observing. The secondary medium is stagnant in its delivery options. An example!e of this would be a kiosk or a mobile app container. The content is limited to the display layer which marginalizes the content presentations.

  • Addtional Costs

If you don’t have a team of in-house developers at your convenience, then additional costs have to be in consideration when deciding to go headless. Options like CMS programs, the site’s infrastructure, and of course the developers, can take a toll on your business’s operating budget. I personally would suggest creating an expense budget solely for headless CMS implementation.

  • Security Issues

Headless CMS can create some security issues. The reason being, that it’s difficult to determine which users are allowed accessibility. This creates the risk of delivering confidential content to unauthorized users. Since headless CMS products tend to be cloud-based, security and privacy are more subjected to being compromised.

  • Language Barriers

Developers also need to create multi-language content which requires a lot of work. One good thing though, is that many CMS already has multilingual support installed. Plus, with the separation of content and delivery, editors aren’t able to preview the content they want to publish it.

  • 3rd Party Issues

3rd party integration will be more challenging and time-consuming. Data integrated from 3rd parties has to be done either natively or to integrate the content partially via an API connector.

Is a Headless CMS right for you?

Headless CMS is at the forefront when it comes to scaling digital content. Business content is published through an API or web service that has the ability to push content directly to any capable smart device.

The biggest benefit of utilizing headless CMS is that identical content can be integrated into a website, app or anything connected to the internet of things. The headless CMS approach has practical ramifications for the IoT and artificial intelligence. It allows managing content across different formats a lot easier since the content isn’t constricted to a static structure.

Headless CMS is just at the seam of digital integration. Published content is a digital necessity. Whether it’s on a website, mobile application, or any other channels and devices. This type of customer management system will allow you to do that seamlessly. Many people view it as a conduit to efficiency, speed, and agility. Bottom line, deciding to go headless regarding CMS programs, will allow you to focus on the things that really matter, creating rich, interactive digital experiences your customers can enjoy.

The post Headless CMS or Content Infrastructure: Which is Right For You? appeared first on The Scripted Blog.

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Looking for a content writer? You have many options through freelance writer platforms. Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages, and you should have a clear idea of what those are and how they will impact your goals prior to opening a client account.

Here we will take a look at Textbroker.com as a platform, it’s features, user reviews, prices and how Scripted.com stacks up as an alternative.

Order by Format or by Word Count

The process to order an article is considerably different between Textbroker and Scripted. Textbroker allows you to order an article and pay per word with increasing prices based upon star levels.

Textbroker has pricing based on a star system. For self-service options, the pricing is:

  • Two stars for 1.3 cents per word
  • Three stars for 1.8 cents per word
  • Four stars for 2.4 cents per word
  • Five stars for 7.2 cents per word

Scripted offers the following preset content formats and prices:

  • Short blog posts of 350 to 450 words at $45 and up
  • Standard blog posts of 550 to 650 words for $67 and up
  • Long blog posts of 850 to 950 words for $98 and up

Scripted also offers product reviews, video scripts, web pages, Facebook posts, tweets, and custom content requests that the writer pool can bid on.

Using the Textbroker Platform

On its website, Textbroker states the platform has over 100,000 writers. This is a tremendous, deep pool of talent, although it may seem a bit daunting to find a specific writer with the knowledge and experience you are seeking.

Textbroker has self-service and managed service. For self-service, Textbroker offers you the option of placing a direct order to an individual writer, starting a team to build your own pool of talent, or sending an order to the open pool. Any writer may pick up an order from the open pool; however, Textbroker has one feature that it offers its writers in exchange for the bargain rate pay on the lower star levels. A writer may cancel an order at any time without penalty or a decrease in star level. This means that the client may see an order picked up and cancelled several times before receiving a finished piece.

For managed service, Textbroker offers customized content marketing features for entire projects. The service starts at $2,500, and the final price depends on the scope and type of project and other elements, such as amount of research, length of the text, keyword requirements, HTML tagging, and other requirements.

Registration on Textbroker is free for either option. The managed service provides custom-made packages, a dedicated project management team, editor services, guaranteed delivery deadlines, 36 different languages, and translation services.

Several recent reviews on SiteJabber for Textbroker include:

Been using your service for a long time and this is just a absolutely wonderful gem.I’m almost hesitant to tell others about this because I think it’s just such an awesome resource like no other. Will continue to use your service forever.

I was satisfied.they were fast by submitting the projects in a brief delay.only I would love if they could separate the paragraphs with headings.

Scripted may cost more, and Textbroker may fit into a tight budget, but each has significant advantages and differences to meet specific needs.

The pay level on Textbroker can affect the time it takes you to find a high quality author. Many writers use Textbroker to practice the technology, hone their skills, and then move on. You may encounter writers on the Textbroker platform who churn or spin, while this is less likely on Scripted.

Plus, with a talent pool of over 100,000 writers on Textbroker, you may spend considerable time seeking out just the right author for your specific requirements. By contrast, Scripted offers its SmartMatch technology to help you find a writer with specific qualifications. You also have the option to browse through writer profiles instead.

Using the Scripted Platform

Scripted website has a marketplace of over 7,000 writers. While a much smaller pool of writers than Textbroker, the talent is highly vetted. To access this marketplace you must sign up for one of the following membership packages:

1. The Ernest Hemingway: $124/month. Offers blog posts starting at $45, free onboarding, free blog ideas, one revision request, five days for review, and up to three users.

2. The Jane Austen: $249/month. Adds the following additional benefits to Hemingway: two revision requests, seven days of review, 10 users, content tune-ups, custom projects, and a multi-project dashboard.

3. The Cruise Control: $999/month. Provides you with a content marketing strategy, content creation and ideation, account management, analytics, and a discount from standard prices.

Several reviews on G2Crowd for Scripted include:

Content makes the world go around, and while there are many mills, Scripted.com does offer higher quality posts. It’s easy to use and you can definitely find talented writers who can provide the content needed.

The quality of writing has been great and the admin dashboard is informative and extremely easy to use.

Grammar and Proofreading

Along with the writers, the quality of writing can be very different between the two platforms. Again, you will find high-quality writing on Textbroker, but you will spend much more time seeking it out.

The trend in freelance writing platforms has been towards higher quality, relevant content. Practices such as keyword stuffing have become obsolete, especially after Google released Panda and Penguin. Google algorithms recognize these practices and punish websites that use poor content by giving them poorer SEO.

Scripted has some stringent standards for becoming a Scripted writer. By contrast, Textbroker is open about the level of writing for the lower star ratings. If you can invest your own time in editing and proofreading, Textbroker offers great prices.

In addition, you may find considerable differences between writers on the two platforms regarding writing and grammar knowledge. Again, Textbroker is upfront about this issue at the lower, more cost effective star levels.

On Textbroker, you may find writers who don’t know the difference between active and passive voice, spelling errors (there versus their), and other issues. This can lead to multiple revision requests to get the grammar corrected, or you will need to correct it yourself.

Scripted places an emphasis on producing a polished article the first time. They rate their writers on reliability, and the editors scrutinize grammar, punctuation, and whether the article meets the client instructions. Scripted also has a function that allows editors to give a writer a good rating. You will see this on the writer profile.

AP and Other Writing Styles

If you want any style of writing other than AP (Associated Press), then Textbroker is not the place for your projects. Textbroker requires AP style from its writers and bases its reviews on whether the writer meets those standards.

Thus, if you need a project with citations written in MLA or APA style, you might find a writer on Textbroker willing to risk a poor rating.

This feature can limit the type of project you order from a Textbroker writer. I have had clients that asked for white papers with references to primary data. They wanted the format in a very particular style to meet the formatting of other publications they have offered over the internet or in hard copy to their own clients.

Scripted offers more flexibility with style of writing. You can request whatever style you wish, whether it is a formalized, recognized format or something you made up. Your writer won’t worry about being dinged for writing in a way that makes the client happy.

In addition to a commitment to AP style, Textbroker has a strict rule about Copyscape that may impact your project. Copyscape and other plagiarism checks are excellent tools for clients and writers alike. The Textbroker Copyscape feature is automatic, and it will return a project to a writer if the article fails the Copyscape check. The writer and customer have no way to make exceptions, and this can cause problems.

For instance, I picked up a regular client on Textbroker who writes about the stock market, in particular initial public offerings. Each project required me to list the underwriters and selling group members. In the financial industry, the standard is to list those members in alphabetical order. This inevitably triggered Copyscape to fail the piece without giving the client the option to accept it. The Textbroker system has no way to overcome this feature.

This may not be an issue for the type of projects you have. However, it is a feature that you should be aware of, and if you need flexibility with certain words or industry standards, Scripted may be a better choice.

Reliability and Deadlines

Textbroker has a feature that writers like in exchange for the pay at the lower star levels. They are allowed to check out a job, and if they cannot or do not want to submit the work by the deadline, they can release it back into the pool without damage to their rating.

You benefit from a lower cost, but you may never know for certain that a project will be completed within a set deadline. Your job may be checked out and released by multiple writers, which can add considerable time delays. I have seen some client instructions that say in bold letters: “if you can’t write this by the deadline, don’t pick up this job!”

You will not find this at Scripted. Scripted places a high priority on reliability. In fact, the writer’s reliability score is front and center on the writer profile.

The Forums

Many writing platforms have writer forums. Textbroker has both writer and client forums. Currently, Scripted does not offer forums.

Why would this even matter?

While the forums have certain rules, such as no bad language or rudeness, they do allow writers to vent about “difficult” clients. Writers are not supposed to name those clients, but it is possible to determine who a writer is complaining about based upon their descriptions.

If you receive an unfortunate, unjustified label among the writer pool, you may find yourself waiting longer time periods for a writer to pick up your job. The admin team at Textbroker monitors the forums, but venting about clients does get through, and some venting is unjustified. You simple will not have to worry about this element with Scripted.

On the other hand, writers may rave about your projects. When that happens, you will find more writers competing for your orders, and this gives you the chance to become familiar with a wider pool of talent.

The advantages to a forum include:

  • The ability to express and hear differing views on diverse topics
  • Providing a high quality discussion environment that allows you to research topics pertaining to content generation
  • Develop relationships with other customers across a variety of ages, backgrounds, industries, and experience
  • Find advice and tips for successful content marketing
  • Ask questions and receive answers from a broad array of other users

The disadvantages to a forum include:

  • The chance for misunderstanding due to responses that lack body language or voice inflection
  • The risk of arguments, rudeness, or flaming

As a customer, you might want to see Scripted add a client forum. It can be a great resource to hear about the writers, the platform, and ideas for projects.

Which Will Work for You?

Textbroker and Scripted are both successful blogging and freelance writing platforms. The differences are significant. You may do quite well as a client on Textbroker if you have time to wait and a smaller budget. Scripted offers higher reliability, greater relevance in content, and robust editing. Both sites are successful and fulfill the individual needs of their clients.

The post Textbroker: Reviews, Features, Prices, and Alternative appeared first on The Scripted Blog.

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It is no secret that the world’s biggest brands recognize that content is the future, and for good reason. Highly cost-effective in regards to your ROI, content marketing drives conversions.

When you compare traditional marketing strategies, content marketing costs as much as 62 percent less, yet generates approximately three times the number of leads. What’s even more interesting, is that on average, companies that use content marketing experience conversion rates that are six times higher than those who do not.

If you are currently seeking quality marketing content, it’s important to do your research in regards to the best platforms available. ClearVoice is one of your options, offering a unique platform for web publishers and marketers. Here we will look at ClearVoice reviews, prices, features, and compare it to Scripted.com as an alternative.

What Does ClearVoice.com Offer?

After launching in 2014, ClearVoice has received significant traction. Their overall vision is to support and further creative collaboration.

Put simply, ClearVoice is a software company that supports marketers by providing a way to better organize their content initiatives. Whether that means managing marketing copy or addressing your email, ClearVoice will help you combine all of your marketing needs through their collaborative software.

As Joe Griffin, the co-founder and CEO at ClearVoice said, at its core, their software is, “really a campaign and assignments-driven system.” Although it is designed for content, the software is also a project management tool, making marketers more aware of their current to-do task list.

Some of the main features associated with ClearVoice.com include:

  • Freelancer matching
  • Automated content workflow
  • Dynamic editorial calendar
  • In-app messaging and collaborative editing
  • Integrated publishing
It has been described as the “Swiss Army knife” for content marketing, helping marketers manage their content at all stages. From planning to recruiting, creating to distributing, ClearVoice is often viewed as an all-in-one solution.
If you are someone who is looking to streamline your content marketing workflow, as you better manage your team and clients, then ClearVoice.com is certainly beneficial.
How Does It Stack Up to Scripted.com?

When it comes to ClearVoice competitors, suggested alternatives will depend on what you plan to achieve. For example, ClearVoice offers what’s known as Content Studio. Comparable to BuzzSumo.com, ClearVoice is growing at a much slower pace. However, ClearVoice is more of a niche product, offering much more than what BuzzSumo has to offer in regards to a more holistic marketing solution.

In terms of content creation, ClearVoice is ideal for all businesses, whether they are small or large. However, the majority of clients that work with ClearVoice are those who have 1000+ employees. This is due to the software’s potential, as its full capabilities are appealing to large enterprises. Since these enterprises have a more extensive team to manage, in comparison to smaller businesses, ClearVoice is an attractive option.

In comparison, Scripted is an online freelance writer marketplace that really focuses on the connecting companies with expert writers. With thousands of carefully selected writers available, it is easy to find an expert that can address various niches markets, across a wide range of industries.

Scripted pros:

  • The ability to create and publish high-quality content with ease. Not only do writers go through a selective screening process, but all content comes with a 100% quality guarantee. The writers that are accepted must complete multiple customized writing tests, resulting in 98 percent of all work being accepted by clients.
  • A simple interface that makes assignment ordering a breeze. The platform is clear and intuitive, making ordering content a stress-free experience.
  • Access to free blog pitches from writers, helping you expand your ideas. Fast and easy to use, the convenience of this platform is attractive to companies of all sizes.
Scripted cons:
  • In comparison to some services online, Scripted can come with a higher price tag. However, clients get what they pay for. Also, since the platform allows freelancers to enter their own rates, pricing is becoming more competitive.
  • Companies have to pay for articles in addition to their membership and not all membership plans allow for customization.
How Much Does ClearVoice.com Cost?

How much ClearVoice.com costs will depend on what you require in terms of your weekly/monthly goals. The cost starts at $99 to gain access to the marketplace. This price point is intended for single user systems, which includes the majority of small business.

For larger business, they require a more “pro” edition, which will cost anywhere between $250 to $7000+ a month. As stated on their website, pricing is built-to-order. This is unique in comparison to Scripted’s pricing system, which offers memberships as low as $124 a month, in addition to blog posts starting at $45.

The $999/month package is known as Cruise Control, offering an opportunity to sit back as you achieve your content-related goals. In comparison, ClearVoice offers a “managed plan” which is $1449 per month.

Overall, as stated on G2 Crowd, ClearVoice ranks in the 60th percentile for cost in the content marketing category. It is also worth mentioning that ClearVoice requires an annual commitment.

Here’s What Others Have to Say About ClearVoice.com and Scripted.com

ClearVoice has received plenty of positive feedback, including a 4.4 star (out of 5) rating on G2 Crowd, as well as a 4.9-star rating (out of 5) on Glassdoor.

Based on the 21 reviews published on G2 Crowd, here’s what various users had to say:

  • “I love the service. Long learning curve.”
  • “ClearVoice helps take your blog PM software to new heights”
  • “Great applications for high volume blogs”

Of these reviews, some of the main pros were:

  • Outstanding customer service
  • An easy way to manage yours and your team’s content, allowing you to centralize all of your content creation
  • The offering of a specific agency model
  • Great way to increase capacity

In contrast, some of the things that users dislike include:

  • The initial learning curve
  • Can be challenging to find writers for a specific topic based on industry
  • Trial and error to find writers that are well-versed on key topics
  • The tool is slightly cost prohibitive if you are not generating a large volume of monthly blogs

On GetApp, ClearVoice received a 4.64 (out of 5-star) rating, with 88% of reviewers saying that they would recommend this software. The majority of users left positive feedback, especially in regards to easy, effective content creation and management. The most common “con” was that there are occasional glitches, and some users believe that the submenus should be shorters, as many options are not necessary.

How does Scripted.com compare?

In comparison, Scripted received a 4.8-star rating (out of 5 stars) on Clutch.co — and on Softonic, Scripted received a score of 83 out of 100 in the “marketplaces” category.

Based on the services offered by Scripted, it is apparent that content marketing drives this platform, followed by digital strategy and SEO services. It’s also important to note that Scripted’s client focus is approximately 60 percent small business, followed by a fairly even split between midmarket and enterprise businesses.

Users often agree that they love the fact that they are working with real people rather than an interface. Scripted makes it easy for clients to build profitable relationships with high-quality writers. For the most part, clients have 1-500 employees. This level of humanity and relationship development is what makes Scripted a unique marketplace.

Some of the reviews related to Scripted’s platform include:

  • “We’re seeing lots of customer demand for fresh, high-caliber writing to power content marketing programs. Scripted has been the perfect partner, with subject matter experts to meet the unique needs of every customer vertical.” — Shik Sundar, Director of Business Development, Percolate
  • “We have found that our clients have experienced a huge increase in engagement. The articles written by Scripted’s writers receive a large number of organic social shares with no budget invested by the client other than having the content written.” — Mark Hayes, Founder, Tiger Tiger Manchester
  • “Scripted has been a very effective content management resource for us at Scale. Whenever we need quick turnaround and thought-provoking, quality content, it’s great to know we have Scripted at our fingertips. The interface is very user-friendly!” — Adrianne Salmon, Content Development Director, Scale
Is ClearVoice.com Right for You?

At the end of the day, ClearVoice.com is intended for those who are serious about content marketing. As stated by Joe Griffin, their ideal customer will be someone who has a goal of at least three original pieces of content weekly. This platform is intended for those who have clear marketing strategies in mind, requiring collaborative tools and a consistent flow of content.

If you are serious about your marketing strategy, require greater organization across your team, and have a fairly substantial budget, then ClearVoice.com could certainly be an ideal choice for you and your objectives. Just remember, there will be a slight learning curve to begin. However, if you plan on consistently creating, publishing, and measuring the impact of new content, then it will be worth the time and money you invest.

Bottom line: If you are looking for an all-in-one marketing solution, which offers all the elements need to make your marketing campaigns a success, then ClearVoice.com can assist you.

This software is best for marketers who need content on a consistent basis, all while managing various campaigns. More specifically, ClearVoice.com tends to appeal to B2B and B2C brands that fall in the middle market and enterprise market, as well as marketing agencies.

How Scripted Can Meet Your Growing Content Needs

In comparison, if you are are not looking to manage tasks or team members, Scripted provides highly convenient and effective content. With fast turn-around times, you can get started immediately, as you scroll through the thousands of available writers.

If you want to skip this step, SmartMatch will hand-select an appropriate writer based on your industry and associated guidelines. This proprietary matching technology ensures that only the most qualified writers have an opportunity to write content based on your unique specifications.

Regardless of your budget, both Scripted and ClearVoice.com offer flexible pricing. However, for those on a tight budget and only require fresh weekly content, Scripted is recommended. In addition to Scripted, you can use Basecamp to better manage your small team.

Once you grow and require more tools and solution, then ClearVoice.com may be of particular interest to you and your company’s evolving needs. However, if you simply require quality content and do not need a team management solution, then Scripted can meet the needs of large enterprises as well. Working with companies such as Linkedin and L’Oreal (10,000+ employees), whether you are a startup or an established corporation, Scripted can address your content needs.

For those who would like to keep their team small, working with Scripted.com to outsource content allows companies to focus on the bigger picture in terms of their business objectives. As stated by Bernard Huang from 42 Floors, “Outsourcing content can keep the core team small and nimble, and keep our company culture closer as opposed to hiring full-time content creators. We also don’t really have to deal with the overhead of managing writers.”

If you’re still unsure, you can start a free trial with Scripted so that you can quickly familiarize yourself with the overall ordering and publishing process.

In summary: If your marketing needs are growing at a rapid pace and you require greater control across your campaigns, ClearVoice.com is definitely worth checking out. In contrast, if you require fast, high-quality content based on your industry’s specific needs, then Scripted.com can certainly help you reach your goals. Regardless of the platform you choose, content marketing is the future — invest today.

The post ClearVoice: Reviews, Features, Prices, and Alternatives appeared first on The Scripted Blog.

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Looking for a content writer? You have many options through freelance writer platforms. Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages, and you should have a clear idea of what those are and how they will impact your goals prior to opening a client account.

Here we will take a look at Textbroker.com as a platform, it’s features, user reviews, prices and how Scripted.com stacks up as an alternative.

Order by Format or by Word Count

The process to order an article is considerably different between Textbroker and Scripted. Textbroker allows you to order an article and pay per word with increasing prices based upon star levels.

Textbroker has pricing based on a star system. For self-service options, the pricing is:

  • Two stars for 1.3 cents per word
  • Three stars for 1.8 cents per word
  • Four stars for 2.4 cents per word
  • Five stars for 7.2 cents per word

Scripted offers the following preset content formats and prices:

  • Short blog posts of 350 to 450 words at $45 and up
  • Standard blog posts of 550 to 650 words for $67 and up
  • Long blog posts of 850 to 950 words for $98 and up

Scripted also offers product reviews, video scripts, web pages, Facebook posts, tweets, and custom content requests that the writer pool can bid on.

Using the Textbroker Platform

On its website, Textbroker states the platform has over 100,000 writers. This is a tremendous, deep pool of talent, although it may seem a bit daunting to find a specific writer with the knowledge and experience you are seeking.

Textbroker has self-service and managed service. For self-service, Textbroker offers you the option of placing a direct order to an individual writer, starting a team to build your own pool of talent, or sending an order to the open pool. Any writer may pick up an order from the open pool; however, Textbroker has one feature that it offers its writers in exchange for the bargain rate pay on the lower star levels. A writer may cancel an order at any time without penalty or a decrease in star level. This means that the client may see an order picked up and cancelled several times before receiving a finished piece.

For managed service, Textbroker offers customized content marketing features for entire projects. The service starts at $2,500, and the final price depends on the scope and type of project and other elements, such as amount of research, length of the text, keyword requirements, HTML tagging, and other requirements.

Registration on Textbroker is free for either option. The managed service provides custom-made packages, a dedicated project management team, editor services, guaranteed delivery deadlines, 36 different languages, and translation services.

Several recent reviews on SiteJabber for Textbroker include:

Been using your service for a long time and this is just a absolutely wonderful gem.I’m almost hesitant to tell others about this because I think it’s just such an awesome resource like no other. Will continue to use your service forever.

I was satisfied.they were fast by submitting the projects in a brief delay.only I would love if they could separate the paragraphs with headings.

Scripted may cost more, and Textbroker may fit into a tight budget, but each has significant advantages and differences to meet specific needs.

The pay level on Textbroker can affect the time it takes you to find a high quality author. Many writers use Textbroker to practice the technology, hone their skills, and then move on. You may encounter writers on the Textbroker platform who churn or spin, while this is less likely on Scripted.

Plus, with a talent pool of over 100,000 writers on Textbroker, you may spend considerable time seeking out just the right author for your specific requirements. By contrast, Scripted offers its SmartMatch technology to help you find a writer with specific qualifications. You also have the option to browse through writer profiles instead.

Using the Scripted Platform

Scripted website has a marketplace of over 7,000 writers. While a much smaller pool of writers than Textbroker, the talent is highly vetted. To access this marketplace you must sign up for one of the following membership packages:

1. The Ernest Hemingway: $124/month. Offers blog posts starting at $45, free onboarding, free blog ideas, one revision request, five days for review, and up to three users.

2. The Jane Austen: $249/month. Adds the following additional benefits to Hemingway: two revision requests, seven days of review, 10 users, content tune-ups, custom projects, and a multi-project dashboard.

3. The Cruise Control: $999/month. Provides you with a content marketing strategy, content creation and ideation, account management, analytics, and a discount from standard prices.

Several reviews on G2Crowd for Scripted include:

Content makes the world go around, and while there are many mills, Scripted.com does offer higher quality posts. It’s easy to use and you can definitely find talented writers who can provide the content needed.

The quality of writing has been great and the admin dashboard is informative and extremely easy to use.

Grammar and Proofreading

Along with the writers, the quality of writing can be very different between the two platforms. Again, you will find high-quality writing on Textbroker, but you will spend much more time seeking it out.

The trend in freelance writing platforms has been towards higher quality, relevant content. Practices such as keyword stuffing have become obsolete, especially after Google released Panda and Penguin. Google algorithms recognize these practices and punish websites that use poor content by giving them poorer SEO.

Scripted has some stringent standards for becoming a Scripted writer. By contrast, Textbroker is open about the level of writing for the lower star ratings. If you can invest your own time in editing and proofreading, Textbroker offers great prices.

In addition, you may find considerable differences between writers on the two platforms regarding writing and grammar knowledge. Again, Textbroker is upfront about this issue at the lower, more cost effective star levels.

On Textbroker, you may find writers who don’t know the difference between active and passive voice, spelling errors (there versus their), and other issues. This can lead to multiple revision requests to get the grammar corrected, or you will need to correct it yourself.

Scripted places an emphasis on producing a polished article the first time. They rate their writers on reliability, and the editors scrutinize grammar, punctuation, and whether the article meets the client instructions. Scripted also has a function that allows editors to give a writer a good rating. You will see this on the writer profile.

AP and Other Writing Styles

If you want any style of writing other than AP (Associated Press), then Textbroker is not the place for your projects. Textbroker requires AP style from its writers and bases its reviews on whether the writer meets those standards.

Thus, if you need a project with citations written in MLA or APA style, you might find a writer on Textbroker willing to risk a poor rating.

This feature can limit the type of project you order from a Textbroker writer. I have had clients that asked for white papers with references to primary data. They wanted the format in a very particular style to meet the formatting of other publications they have offered over the internet or in hard copy to their own clients.

Scripted offers more flexibility with style of writing. You can request whatever style you wish, whether it is a formalized, recognized format or something you made up. Your writer won’t worry about being dinged for writing in a way that makes the client happy.

In addition to a commitment to AP style, Textbroker has a strict rule about Copyscape that may impact your project. Copyscape and other plagiarism checks are excellent tools for clients and writers alike. The Textbroker Copyscape feature is automatic, and it will return a project to a writer if the article fails the Copyscape check. The writer and customer have no way to make exceptions, and this can cause problems.

For instance, I picked up a regular client on Textbroker who writes about the stock market, in particular initial public offerings. Each project required me to list the underwriters and selling group members. In the financial industry, the standard is to list those members in alphabetical order. This inevitably triggered Copyscape to fail the piece without giving the client the option to accept it. The Textbroker system has no way to overcome this feature.

This may not be an issue for the type of projects you have. However, it is a feature that you should be aware of, and if you need flexibility with certain words or industry standards, Scripted may be a better choice.

Reliability and Deadlines

Textbroker has a feature that writers like in exchange for the pay at the lower star levels. They are allowed to check out a job, and if they cannot or do not want to submit the work by the deadline, they can release it back into the pool without damage to their rating.

You benefit from a lower cost, but you may never know for certain that a project will be completed within a set deadline. Your job may be checked out and released by multiple writers, which can add considerable time delays. I have seen some client instructions that say in bold letters: “if you can’t write this by the deadline, don’t pick up this job!”

You will not find this at Scripted. Scripted places a high priority on reliability. In fact, the writer’s reliability score is front and center on the writer profile.

The Forums

Many writing platforms have writer forums. Textbroker has both writer and client forums. Currently, Scripted does not offer forums.

Why would this even matter?

While the forums have certain rules, such as no bad language or rudeness, they do allow writers to vent about “difficult” clients. Writers are not supposed to name those clients, but it is possible to determine who a writer is complaining about based upon their descriptions.

If you receive an unfortunate, unjustified label among the writer pool, you may find yourself waiting longer time periods for a writer to pick up your job. The admin team at Textbroker monitors the forums, but venting about clients does get through, and some venting is unjustified. You simple will not have to worry about this element with Scripted.

On the other hand, writers may rave about your projects. When that happens, you will find more writers competing for your orders, and this gives you the chance to become familiar with a wider pool of talent.

The advantages to a forum include:

  • The ability to express and hear differing views on diverse topics
  • Providing a high quality discussion environment that allows you to research topics pertaining to content generation
  • Develop relationships with other customers across a variety of ages, backgrounds, industries, and experience
  • Find advice and tips for successful content marketing
  • Ask questions and receive answers from a broad array of other users

The disadvantages to a forum include:

  • The chance for misunderstanding due to responses that lack body language or voice inflection
  • The risk of arguments, rudeness, or flaming

As a customer, you might want to see Scripted add a client forum. It can be a great resource to hear about the writers, the platform, and ideas for projects.

Which Will Work for You?

Textbroker and Scripted are both successful blogging and freelance writing platforms. The differences are significant. You may do quite well as a client on Textbroker if you have time to wait and a smaller budget. Scripted offers higher reliability, greater relevance in content, and robust editing. Both sites are successful and fulfill the individual needs of their clients.

The post Textbroker.com: Reviews, Features, Prices, and Alternative appeared first on The Scripted Blog.

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It is no secret that the world’s biggest brands recognize that content is the future, and for good reason. Highly cost-effective in regards to your ROI, content marketing drives conversions.

When you compare traditional marketing strategies, content marketing costs as much as 62 percent less, yet generates approximately three times the number of leads. What’s even more interesting, is that on average, companies that use content marketing experience conversion rates that are six times higher than those who do not.

If you are currently seeking quality marketing content, it’s important to do your research in regards to the best platforms available. ClearVoice is one of your options, offering a unique platform for web publishers and marketers. Here we will look at ClearVoice reviews, prices, features, and compare it to Scripted.com as an alternative.

What Does ClearVoice.com Offer?

After launching in 2014, ClearVoice has received significant traction. Their overall vision is to support and further creative collaboration.

Put simply, ClearVoice is a software company that supports marketers by providing a way to better organize their content initiatives. Whether that means managing marketing copy or addressing your email, ClearVoice will help you combine all of your marketing needs through their collaborative software.

As Joe Griffin, the co-founder and CEO at ClearVoice said, at its core, their software is, “really a campaign and assignments-driven system.” Although it is designed for content, the software is also a project management tool, making marketers more aware of their current to-do task list.

Some of the main features associated with ClearVoice.com include:

  • Freelancer matching
  • Automated content workflow
  • Dynamic editorial calendar
  • In-app messaging and collaborative editing
  • Integrated publishing
It has been described as the “Swiss Army knife” for content marketing, helping marketers manage their content at all stages. From planning to recruiting, creating to distributing, ClearVoice is often viewed as an all-in-one solution.
If you are someone who is looking to streamline your content marketing workflow, as you better manage your team and clients, then ClearVoice.com is certainly beneficial.
How Does It Stack Up to Scripted.com?

When it comes to ClearVoice competitors, suggested alternatives will depend on what you plan to achieve. For example, ClearVoice offers what’s known as Content Studio. Comparable to BuzzSumo.com, ClearVoice is growing at a much slower pace. However, ClearVoice is more of a niche product, offering much more than what BuzzSumo has to offer in regards to a more holistic marketing solution.

In terms of content creation, ClearVoice is ideal for all businesses, whether they are small or large. However, the majority of clients that work with ClearVoice are those who have 1000+ employees. This is due to the software’s potential, as its full capabilities are appealing to large enterprises. Since these enterprises have a more extensive team to manage, in comparison to smaller businesses, ClearVoice is an attractive option.

In comparison, Scripted is an online freelance writer marketplace that really focuses on the connecting companies with expert writers. With thousands of carefully selected writers available, it is easy to find an expert that can address various niches markets, across a wide range of industries.

Scripted pros:

  • The ability to create and publish high-quality content with ease. Not only do writers go through a selective screening process, but all content comes with a 100% quality guarantee. The writers that are accepted must complete multiple customized writing tests, resulting in 98 percent of all work being accepted by clients.
  • A simple interface that makes assignment ordering a breeze. The platform is clear and intuitive, making ordering content a stress-free experience.
  • Access to free blog pitches from writers, helping you expand your ideas. Fast and easy to use, the convenience of this platform is attractive to companies of all sizes.
Scripted cons:
  • In comparison to some services online, Scripted can come with a higher price tag. However, clients get what they pay for. Also, since the platform allows freelancers to enter their own rates, pricing is becoming more competitive.
  • Companies have to pay for articles in addition to their membership and not all membership plans allow for customization.
How Much Does ClearVoice.com Cost?

How much ClearVoice.com costs will depend on what you require in terms of your weekly/monthly goals. The cost starts at $99 to gain access to the marketplace. This price point is intended for single user systems, which includes the majority of small business.

For larger business, they require a more “pro” edition, which will cost anywhere between $250 to $7000+ a month. As stated on their website, pricing is built-to-order. This is unique in comparison to Scripted’s pricing system, which offers memberships as low as $124 a month, in addition to blog posts starting at $45.

The $999/month package is known as Cruise Control, offering an opportunity to sit back as you achieve your content-related goals. In comparison, ClearVoice offers a “managed plan” which is $1449 per month.

Overall, as stated on G2 Crowd, ClearVoice ranks in the 60th percentile for cost in the content marketing category. It is also worth mentioning that ClearVoice requires an annual commitment.

Here’s What Others Have to Say About ClearVoice.com and Scripted.com

ClearVoice has received plenty of positive feedback, including a 4.4 star (out of 5) rating on G2 Crowd, as well as a 4.9-star rating (out of 5) on Glassdoor.

Based on the 21 reviews published on G2 Crowd, here’s what various users had to say:

  • “I love the service. Long learning curve.”
  • “ClearVoice helps take your blog PM software to new heights”
  • “Great applications for high volume blogs”

Of these reviews, some of the main pros were:

  • Outstanding customer service
  • An easy way to manage yours and your team’s content, allowing you to centralize all of your content creation
  • The offering of a specific agency model
  • Great way to increase capacity

In contrast, some of the things that users dislike include:

  • The initial learning curve
  • Can be challenging to find writers for a specific topic based on industry
  • Trial and error to find writers that are well-versed on key topics
  • The tool is slightly cost prohibitive if you are not generating a large volume of monthly blogs

On GetApp, ClearVoice received a 4.64 (out of 5-star) rating, with 88% of reviewers saying that they would recommend this software. The majority of users left positive feedback, especially in regards to easy, effective content creation and management. The most common “con” was that there are occasional glitches, and some users believe that the submenus should be shorters, as many options are not necessary.

How does Scripted.com compare?

In comparison, Scripted received a 4.8-star rating (out of 5 stars) on Clutch.co — and on Softonic, Scripted received a score of 83 out of 100 in the “marketplaces” category.

Based on the services offered by Scripted, it is apparent that content marketing drives this platform, followed by digital strategy and SEO services. It’s also important to note that Scripted’s client focus is approximately 60 percent small business, followed by a fairly even split between midmarket and enterprise businesses.

Users often agree that they love the fact that they are working with real people rather than an interface. Scripted makes it easy for clients to build profitable relationships with high-quality writers. For the most part, clients have 1-500 employees. This level of humanity and relationship development is what makes Scripted a unique marketplace.

Some of the reviews related to Scripted’s platform include:

  • “We’re seeing lots of customer demand for fresh, high-caliber writing to power content marketing programs. Scripted has been the perfect partner, with subject matter experts to meet the unique needs of every customer vertical.” — Shik Sundar, Director of Business Development, Percolate
  • “We have found that our clients have experienced a huge increase in engagement. The articles written by Scripted’s writers receive a large number of organic social shares with no budget invested by the client other than having the content written.” — Mark Hayes, Founder, Tiger Tiger Manchester
  • “Scripted has been a very effective content management resource for us at Scale. Whenever we need quick turnaround and thought-provoking, quality content, it’s great to know we have Scripted at our fingertips. The interface is very user-friendly!” — Adrianne Salmon, Content Development Director, Scale
Is ClearVoice.com Right for You?

At the end of the day, ClearVoice.com is intended for those who are serious about content marketing. As stated by Joe Griffin, their ideal customer will be someone who has a goal of at least three original pieces of content weekly. This platform is intended for those who have clear marketing strategies in mind, requiring collaborative tools and a consistent flow of content.

If you are serious about your marketing strategy, require greater organization across your team, and have a fairly substantial budget, then ClearVoice.com could certainly be an ideal choice for you and your objectives. Just remember, there will be a slight learning curve to begin. However, if you plan on consistently creating, publishing, and measuring the impact of new content, then it will be worth the time and money you invest.

Bottom line: If you are looking for an all-in-one marketing solution, which offers all the elements need to make your marketing campaigns a success, then ClearVoice.com can assist you.

This software is best for marketers who need content on a consistent basis, all while managing various campaigns. More specifically, ClearVoice.com tends to appeal to B2B and B2C brands that fall in the middle market and enterprise market, as well as marketing agencies.

How Scripted Can Meet Your Growing Content Needs

In comparison, if you are are not looking to manage tasks or team members, Scripted provides highly convenient and effective content. With fast turn-around times, you can get started immediately, as you scroll through the thousands of available writers.

If you want to skip this step, SmartMatch will hand-select an appropriate writer based on your industry and associated guidelines. This proprietary matching technology ensures that only the most qualified writers have an opportunity to write content based on your unique specifications.

Regardless of your budget, both Scripted and ClearVoice.com offer flexible pricing. However, for those on a tight budget and only require fresh weekly content, Scripted is recommended. In addition to Scripted, you can use Basecamp to better manage your small team.

Once you grow and require more tools and solution, then ClearVoice.com may be of particular interest to you and your company’s evolving needs. However, if you simply require quality content and do not need a team management solution, then Scripted can meet the needs of large enterprises as well. Working with companies such as Linkedin and L’Oreal (10,000+ employees), whether you are a startup or an established corporation, Scripted can address your content needs.

For those who would like to keep their team small, working with Scripted.com to outsource content allows companies to focus on the bigger picture in terms of their business objectives. As stated by Bernard Huang from 42 Floors, “Outsourcing content can keep the core team small and nimble, and keep our company culture closer as opposed to hiring full-time content creators. We also don’t really have to deal with the overhead of managing writers.”

If you’re still unsure, you can start a free trial with Scripted so that you can quickly familiarize yourself with the overall ordering and publishing process.

In summary: If your marketing needs are growing at a rapid pace and you require greater control across your campaigns, ClearVoice.com is definitely worth checking out. In contrast, if you require fast, high-quality content based on your industry’s specific needs, then Scripted.com can certainly help you reach your goals. Regardless of the platform you choose, content marketing is the future — invest today.

The post ClearVoice.com: Reviews, Features, Prices, and Alternatives appeared first on The Scripted Blog.

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