Anyone who’s ever tried to write a blog knows how much time it takes. The most recent research from Orbit Media shows the average time per blog post is over four hours. Not only that, the best performing bloggers are those who spend over 6 hours per post! If you’re a busy business owner, of course you’re not going to do that. So what can you do instead?
One option that’s often suggested is to get your VA to write your blog. Let’s look at whether that’s a good idea.
Pros of getting your VA to write your blog
1. You keep the company flavour
All too often, when businesses outsource their blog completely, the flavour of the business is lost. Your opinions, your stories, your turn of phrase – these are the things which make your blog special. They’re also what makes it relevant and interesting for your best customers. Instead, your outsourced provider researches your chosen topic online and writes something fairly general using that information. It’s ‘me-too’ content.
When you work with your VA, you’re working with someone who knows your business, your customers and the stories they share. You can dictate that story, or share the outline of what you want included, very easily. You don’t need to explain much, because they know you already.
2. Your VA will be happy to handle the admin parts of running the blog
If you outsource to a copywriter, you may have to find your own images, then upload everything and publish. So the time saving isn’t as much as you might expect.
On the other hand, this kind of admin is something any competent VA can handle easily. They may need a little training to begin with, but that’s all.
3. Your VA can assist with promoting the blog
If your VA is already looking after other day-to-day marketing like social media or your email newsletter, it’s easy for them to create content based on your latest blog posts.
Once again, they’ll need the right software and potentially some training to get started. But many VAs love this more creative work as a change from basic admin tasks. If you encourage them, give clear guidelines and provide positive feedback, this can be a real win-win!
4. Your VA knows what you like and want
You’re dealing with one person, who knows you. It’s far easier than having one supplier writing copy, someone else looking after the website upload, then yet another person setting up your email and social media. There’s less communication overhead for you. Plus, you know things will be consistent across all those channels.
Cons of asking your VA to write your blog
Good VAs are fantastic people and can be very versatile. However, it’s very rare to find a VA who has the complete skillset required for successful blogging. If you do, you’ll probably be paying them a fortune! Here are some things to consider
1. If you’re working with an overseas VA, beware their English
Even the most fluent won’t always sound like a native speaker. Most are likely to make some mistakes and phrase things awkwardly. In fact, many if not most native speakers also have problems with grammar, spelling and punctuation.
While I was writing this post, I searched for similar articles online. The following sentences from those posts fail my quality test!
Forgetting to reply to potential customers because you’re email inbox is overwhelming with stuff?
This is an added SEO benefit that most blogger don’t bother with.
These simple errors are not something you’ll experience with a copywriter, but if you use you VA to write your blog, you may still have to spend time on proofreading and editing!
2. Do they understand search engine optimisation?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a vital part of any successful blog. It doesn’t matter how sparkling your ideas are if they’re hidden on the 172nd page of Google search results and no one ever sees them!
SEO is also complex. There are tools like Yoast SEO and Rank Math which assist with basic SEO assessment, but these are tools only.
One risk with these tools is over-optimisation. There’s a temptation to get every bullet green in Yoast, or to score 80% to 100% in Rank Math. But that isn’t necessary and can in fact harm your post by making it less user-friendly.
Yoast at least warn you about this.
Even more importantly, these tools may help you optimise for a chosen keyword, but they don’t help you choose your keyword in the first place! For example, imagine you’re blogging about family law and grandparents’ rights. You could optimise for ‘grandparents in family law’ or ‘legal rights of grandparents’ or ‘grandparents’ rights’. How do you decide which one to use? Most VAs I’ve met would have no idea where to start!
What about optimising images? If you take photos on your phone, they’re great original content for your blogs – but each photo is probably 2MB or more in size! If you simply upload them to your site like that, everything will slow down and visitors will quit. Does your VA understand the process of cropping, resizing, compressing and renaming? Will they add alt text on upload?
You can teach your VA to do all this – if you know it all in the first place. If you don’t, getting your VA to write your blog will save you time without improving your results.
3. Is your VA going to help your blog grow?
As I said already, I researched other posts on this topic. I found one or two which recommended getting your VA to develop a content strategy, or list of topics that you could blog about. I’m not convinced.
You know your business. You know your customers. You have a wealth of information about what they are interested in. Why ask someone else to go and research in general, online, and prioritise that?
Our blogging model is built around the belief that you have knowledge and stories you can share. You may need help unearthing those stories, but that’s what our interview process is about. So often, we interview a client on one topic, and a couple of others emerge during the conversation. They may be specific stories which illustrate a key point. That’s the kind of authentic, original storytelling which makes a blog stand out. But I’ve never met a VA who’s good at recognising those stories and coaxing them out into the open.
What’s the best option for you and your blog?
Like so many questions, the answer isn’t always clear. It depends what resources you have available.
If you’re serious about having a blog, but very short of time and funds, your VA can help. Just be aware that you can’t hand it over completely. It’s unlikely that your VA can handle all aspects of writing, optimisation and promotion as an expert – if they could, they wouldn’t be a VA! So be clear what they’re good at and play to their strengths.
If you have a little more to invest, consider an alternative option like our voice-to-blog service. You’ll get your original content, ideas and stories, fully optimised by SEO experts, plus all the images and gory technical details taken care of. That’s because we have a team with expertise in different skills so we can deliver high quality all round.
Whichever option you choose, I have one final recommendation: Quality over quantity.
Blogging is like exercise. A little, consistent exercise, with good form, will deliver far better for you than wild and crazy spurts interspersed by gaps of nothing.