It’s true that you should not be building links for SEO purposes—you should be contributing content across the web for readers and as a way to improve your visibility and your authority. With that said, creating a content marketing strategy that involves contributing content is a great tactic if done correctly. As more and more companies and blogs begin to create this strategy, the question of “how much” is inevitable. In other words, when hiring writers, how do you know how much they should be producing and how much you should be producing as a company to keep in Google’s good graces?

You need to be able to understand how much it will cost to hire one writer based upon how much work that writer can do. Many companies currently outsource content work, but the future will no doubt bring a movement of companies trying to bring this in-house (if it hasn’t started already). If you’re trying to decide how you can save money by hiring an in-house writer as opposed to outsourcing, you again will have to ask yourself: How much content is acceptable to assume if I hire a full-time writer for guest contributing? It’s tough to know how you should set goals for a full-time writer because SEO writing is still such a new industry, but fortunately there are a few things that can help you succeed.

Possible Content Goals for Your New Writers

It’s important to remember that the quality of articles is incredibly important, so you don’t want to over-shoot when it comes to goals. It’s best to start out fairly simple and slowly increase goals for writers. I have found that there are really two major ways that companies set goals for their guest bloggers: Number of articles or success of articles. The details of both include:

Number of Articles

This typically works best for a company just getting started with managing a writer for guest posting. It’s easy, and it gets the writer used to writing quality and writing for SEO and online visibility purposes.

Try starting your writer or writers with a goal of 10 articles live per month. Then move to 215, to 20 and then maybe move to 25 (although this can be tough!). Keep tabs on how things are going and change the goals based upon the work your writer is doing.  When he/she continues to exceed your goals, the goal should increase. I have found that 25 is a good solid number, but it depends completely upon your industry and any other projects you have your writers doing. It’s all going to have to be about trial and error.

Success of Articles

This works best if you have a lot of time and resources to really devote to monitoring each and every article. This also works better if you have some experience managing a guest posting strategy and if your writer already has contacts and an understanding of how guest blogging works. In other words, things such as number of clicks, social shares, or a change in a keyword ranking would become more important. Overall, this is a more beneficial goal for a company.

You should monitor the reach of your writer’s articles, and then tie in the goals. A few examples of ways to make this happen include:

  • Look at the PageRank of each individual webpage where you place a guest post to get a feel for the popularity. PageRank shouldn’t be your end-all-be-all goal because it is becoming less and less important, but it’s a good bench-marker to use in general.
  • Consider giving Google Analytics access to your writer so he/she can track the success of the posts. It would make sense if someone (potentially the writer) took a look at where our clicks are coming from and then relayed that information back to your writers. For example, a “how to” article might always be best, or an article on a particular site may always be best. You can read Kikolani’s Kissmetrics guest article to learn more about ways you might be able to keep track of all your data. Having goals tied to this information may have something to do with a point system or just an overall analysis by you. In either case, this is an excellent way to improve your content strategy.

Of course the above two points are all about setting goals for your writers. Other considerations for a content strategy, such as training for SEO and creating relationships, are incredibly important, which you can learn more about here.

If you currently manage writers for guest posting purposes, what kinds of goals do you put in place for them? What has worked for you in the past and what has not? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comments below.