Blog > Content Marketing > How to Find an Effective Blog Management Company

How to Find an Effective Blog Management Company

Published by James ParsonsContent Marketing • Posted April 7, 2016
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There’s no doubt about it; managing a blog is a lot of work. On the surface of it you have the actual blog content production, which can involved hiring and managing writers, or it can include creating content yourself. On top of that, you have site maintenance, keeping plugins up to date, making sure links and posts look right, and so on. Digging deeper, you have advertising and analytics, SEO via tools like Yoast, and iterative testing.

That’s a lot of work for, at the outset, seemingly minimal returns. It’s easy to see why many small businesses try to scrape by without a blog, relying on word of mouth and print advertising to refer people to their online store. When you’re running a businesses yourself, every hour of the day counts for something, and you can’t spend the time necessary to run a blog when you have a thousand other tasks to complete.

That’s why blog managers exist, and that’s the solution for any bootstrapped startup or mid-sized business that doesn’t want to deal with managing a blog internally. It’s a simple matter of numbers. When you consider the man-hours involved in running a blog, and the salaries you pay to yourself and others involved, it simply becomes cheaper to assign those people to other tasks and outsource your blog.

Why Hire a Blog Management Company?

Blog management companies present an obstacle to businesses. If you haven’t done the man-hour math above, it’s daunting to see the prices they charge and still decide it’s right for you. It’s only when you actually perform those calculations that you can tell that it’s actually cheaper. Still, blog management firms come with some additional perks you might not consider in your calculations initially.

  • Blog management companies specialize in one thing and one thing only; running blogs. Even if you’ve been running your blog for a while now, you’re probably not perfect at it. It’s not your passion. It’s not what you’re good at. It’s a skill you’ve trained, but you’re not a master. Blog managers have taken the time to master the skill, because it’s what they love. They know the ins and outs of blogging, SEO, and overall internet marketing.
  • Blog management companies have access to a stable of writers and marketers who are proficient at their individual tasks. When you’re running a blog internally, you might not have pure content producers, so your content is sub-par. You might not have a deep knowledge of SEO, so you might be missing out on easy traffic. You might not have social media managers, so you’re losing your Facebook presence with automated sharing. Blog managers have the connections and the employees necessary to specialize in each part of the process and get as much value out of it as possible.
  • Blog management companies are, at the end of the day, working with you. They don’t lock you out of your blog and try to wrest control of the company from you. They follow your directives. If you want to focus on certain topics, they will happily oblige. If you’re not sure where to begin, they’ll help guide you. You can choose any level of involvement, from hands-on decision making to hands-off outsourcing. They aren’t employees, but blog management companies rely on satisfying you to keep their business going, so they’ll be happy to work with you along the way.
  • Blog management companies bring a level of consistency and quality that is hard to maintain natively. They have excellent writers and excellent promoters, and they have the experience running marketing campaigns you might lack. Even if you’re good at web marketing, you might not specialize in blogs; they do.
  • Blog management companies don’t fall into the common blog manager traps. There are a bunch of types of blog managers – Moz even made a list – and most of them have issues. Blog managers tend to stay in the middle somewhere, out of the pitfalls.
  • Blog management companies have knowledge and experience with the tools of the trade. They have subscriptions to expensive tools you can’t afford, and they know how to use them. These range from custom CMS platforms to deep analytics to automation tools.

What it all boils down to is that blog management companies have the skills, experience, knowledge, and tools to run an effective web presence, and they focus on it without distraction. They can spend more time on it than you can afford, and they can produce better work than you can in your distracted business owner mindset. Unless blogging is your passion – and unless you have the skills to support that passion – they’re going to out-perform you any day of the week.

Now, when you’re looking for a blog management company, you’ll encounter a few different archetypes. They range in skill level, price point, and quality of product, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before you sign a contract.

Types of Blog Management Companies

Going from the cheapest to the most expensive tends to also go from the least to the most effective. Blogging is an arena where you get what you pay for. If your company is charging $5 a month, they’re probably not putting a lot of effort into running your blog.

Kristi Hines

Heck, a top-tier writer alone can pull in $1,000+ per blog post. That’s probably outside of the price range of most companies, but it’s still an option.

  • The Automator. These are the absolute cheapest, bottom of the barrel blog managers, and I hesitate to even call them that. They’re just people looking to make a quick buck by spinning articles, posting basic content, and ignoring analytics. The sad fact is, many businesses can still benefit from this, because they’ve neglected their blogs so much. The automators are the cheapest possible option, but they can come back to bite you later if they use black hat techniques to achieve their goals.
  • The Blogger. These are people who blog for a hobby or for a job, but who aren’t specialists in the associated tools and techniques. They know how to produce content, and they probably know the basics of SEO, but they aren’t marketers; they’re writers. They’ll produce good content, but they won’t necessarily know how to promote it beyond that production.
  • The Blog Manager. These are one step above the bloggers. They know how to make content, but they also know how to promote it. They’re not necessarily the top-tier experts in their field, but they’re getting pretty good. They know PPC ads, they know social media, and they know analytics, even if they’re not amazing at any of them.
  • The Blog Expert. This is where you get the blog managers who really know their stuff. These folks tend to be businesses that have individual departments for content production, analytics, and promotion. They know how to drive traffic to a blog and they know how to measure and report on their results. They won’t just make your blog shine; they’ll make you feel good about it too.
  • The Communications Specialist. These blog management companies go above and beyond the blog itself. They stretch into other forms of marketing. They run ads, they run your social media, they provide website support and live chat, and they might even take over your entire advertising stream. Some will even produce TV and radio ads, print marketing, and mailers for you. As complete advertising and PR solutions, though, they are hilariously expensive.

So, you know why you want to hire a blog management company, and you know what tiers of service exist. So how do you find and pick one?

Contracting a Blogging Firm

The first thing you need to do is determine the level of service you need. If you want a total communications specialist, make sure you have the budget for it, and go in with realistic expectations. Some of these companies refuse to even do business with clients that have small budgets; they have top-shelf service and charge top-shelf prices. Some will be willing to cut you an introductory deal and hope to impress you; don’t get caught. If you can’t afford the full price, don’t take the introductory offer.

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On the other end of the spectrum, if you have a low budget but also low requirements, consider just picking up a freelance writer. Places like oDesk and Freelancer allow you to hire writers directly, and you may be able to establish a relationship with one that is passionate about your brand. In doing so, you can begin to train them to do the other tasks you need, above and beyond writing.

Be aware, though, that not all writers are willing or able to be blog managers. Just because they can write doesn’t mean they’ll take to using the tools of the trade very well. Likewise, just because they know their way around WordPress doesn’t mean they have the people management skills necessary to become a manager for your marketing team. Some might even have the skills but hate the work and want to avoid it if they can.


The second step is to make up your list of potential companies you want to contact. Make a spreadsheet and include their name, their contact information, any communications you have had with them in the past, and the nitty gritty details about availability, pricing, and what services they provide. This list will serve as your baseline for further investigation.

When you start to investigate these companies, you’re going to want to look for third party evidence of their success. We’re talking about reviews, testimonials, and search results here. If there are a lot of negative reviews, or if anyone talks about how their blog went under or lost traffic due to the management company, you might want to steer clear.

This part is going to be particularly hard, and you’re going to have to put your bullshit detector to the test. Remember, these are marketing companies; they know how to manage a reputation online. It’s possible they’re pulling something shady to hide their negative reviews or drown them out. Keep that in mind while you review them.

One major warning sign is the inability to provide references. A good company will have satisfied clients you can contact to verify their quality. A poor company will talk about confidentiality as a smokescreen to keep you from finding out how bad they are at their professed job.

Once you have the list narrowed down, you can start to directly contact them and interview them. Start with your first choice and work your way down. Ask whatever you need until you’re satisfied with the information you’ve been given, then step back to make a decision. A good company isn’t going to demand that you make a deal immediately or lose a deal pricing; they know sales is a multi-step process. Remember, the way these companies treat you is the way they’ll treat your customers when they’re running your marketing.

When you’ve decided on a company, carefully look over the contract you have to sign. Ideally, you’ll be able to hire them for a sample time, which should be long enough to provide results. 90 days is generally sufficient here. It’s enough time that a blogging company can get some action in and show you how they work, without locking you into a year or more.

Once you’ve contracted the company, set things up so they can access your blog and marketing as much as necessary. They probably have a process in place, so work with them. They’ll probably need some access to your blog, either as a publisher or as an editor; full admin control should be retained by yourself at least. The same goes for social media management and ads accounts; most of the time, these companies will be satisfied with publisher or editor roles rather than top-level admins.

Create WordPress User

You will also have to provide information about who you are and what your goals are. A good company will have an interview packet they can have you fill out, and they will work with you using a dedicated account representative. This person is your contact with the company, and they are the person who knows your guidelines and style. Depending on how much of the process you’re outsourcing, you may have more or less work here than you might expect; be prepared to give over plenty of information about your brand, your marketing, your goals and your image.

Once the trail of the contract is up, determine if you are satisfied with the way things are moving. 90 days isn’t enough time to see major, significant growth in most cases, but it’s enough for you to see how the experience of working with the company will be, and it’s enough to help you decide if their services are valuable. Make that decision, and don’t be afraid to cancel and start over if you’re truly not satisfied.


  1. John Frank


    Thanks for this! How much do you recommend I spend to have a company post one blog post per month for us? I was quoted $300/mo for a single post but that seems high?

    • James Parsons


      Hi John! That sounds about right, if it is all-inclusive. Writing a blog post that is 1500-2000 words may cost $100-150, but then you have to consider the time spent optimizing your posts, adding relevant internal links, optimizing, finding/creating images that are not copyright protected, and publishing them for you. All of that can take about as much time as writing the post, so $300 per post sounds pretty fair, as long as the quality of their work is high and they are striving towards that word count. Which company are you speaking with, out of curiosity?

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