How to Leverage Expert Content Writers

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If brands want to establish trust and authority in their field and rank on Google, they need high-quality content crafted by experts. But there’s more to the story.

As search engine competition heats up, brands are increasingly relying on expert contributors to boost their rankings. There’s nothing Google loves more than high-quality content written by domain experts and industry authorities. And when you give Google what it loves, it rewards you with trust, authority and a steady stream of new leads.

But this increased demand for expert content means those same experts cost more and more. Someone with a law degree or Ph.D. next to their name probably won’t write your content for a few cents per word. If you want to establish trust and authority in Google’s ranks, it’s going to cost you a premium, right?

Right! Well, it depends, actually.

Why Brands Leverage Experts for Content

Readers can tell when an article was authored by someone with experience and a deep interest in the subject. The originality shines and the ideas are crystal clear. The content stands apart from the competition and instills confidence. But wowing readers is only half the battle.

Content also has to wow Google.

In its quest to provide the most relevant and highest quality content available, Google continuously refines its algorithms. And make no mistake: These are highly sophisticated algorithms capable of discerning great from not-so-great. Thankfully, the search giant isn’t without its benevolent streak, telling content producers exactly what it’s looking for through its E-A-T guidelines.

We’ve covered in detail what Google’s E-A-T guidelines mean for brands and how they impact content production and search engine performance. The long and short of it is this: Google wants to see high-quality, authoritative content written by trusted experts with deep insights.

For this reason, marketers are turning to expert writers to produce reviews, buying guides and thought leadership pieces. After all, in a world full of fake news and questionable recommendations, when you can establish trust and authority in your domain, you’re much more likely to make the conversion.

Defining an Expert Writer

Despite Google’s biases toward content written by experts, there’s an important distinction to make on what constitutes expertise. The guidelines aren’t implying that your content writers should hold doctorates in your field. The search giant recognizes that people develop expertise through all kinds of life experiences — formal or otherwise.

Take this paragraph, for example, pulled from Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines:

“Some topics require less formal expertise. Many people write extremely detailed, helpful reviews of products or restaurants. Many people share tips and life experiences on forums, blogs, etc. These ordinary people may be considered experts in topics where they have life experience. If it seems as if the person creating the content has the type and amount of life experience to make him or her an ‘expert’ on the topic, we will value this ‘everyday expertise’ and not penalize the person/webpage/website for not having ‘formal’ education or training in the field.”

In other words, how Google classifies expertise depends on the niche. Informal experience is perfectly valid, even for more advanced topics such as finance or health. It gives the example of a forum where caregivers share tips with each other regarding caring for chronically ill family members. These folks are living the experience, and that makes them qualified to share it.

“When I look for an expert, I am definitely interested in credentials. However, this doesn’t have to be a formal designation. All I really want is someone who has demonstrated his or her expertise. If they run a blog about a particular topic, this helps a lot,” says James Pollard, founder of The Advisor Coach, a marketing consultancy firm that works with financial advisors.

Google’s requirements do tighten on topics surrounding “your money, your life.” Referred to as YMYL, these could potentially impact a person’s finances, health or overall well-being, so the search engine gets a little more discerning about credentials. That said, the overall message remains the same: The expertise of the writing must match the level of the subject.

The Types of Expert Writers

There are a few key ways to identify experts, according to Google. The traditional credentialed experts are the people with initials behind their names. They’re the doctors writing about cancer, the nurses writing about patient triage and the CPAs writing about taxes.

Next are experts with resume experience. These are writers with real-world experience in the field they write about. A retail salesman who authors buying guides, a software developer who writes about start-ups or a bookkeeper creating personal finance content are good examples.

“When hiring experts, I look for certifications and experience. It is also beneficial if they have an established online presence so we can link to their work on other credible websites,” says Darin Evangelista, a freelance content marketing consultant and content strategist at ChatterSource.

Finally, authors with publishing authority are people with bylines in major publications. For example, a journalist who’s written extensively about mental health is certainly qualified to write about the subject.

“One way that we’re doing this is by hiring authors who have a great reputation in their industry. We do research on writers to see where they’ve been published in the past. We also check their writing quality and their level of expertise,” says Jacob Landis-Eigsti, owner at the marketing consulting company Jacob LE.

Types of expert writers

The Cost of Expertise

As with health care, specialists command a higher rate than generalists. You wouldn’t expect to pay a surgeon the same rate you pay your family physician. Content writing is no different: Authority costs more.

But just how much more depends on the industry, the content and the kind of expertise needed. While expert content prices vary wildly, you can expect to pay at least double what you’d pay a generalist. Landis-Eigsti says the price multiplier on experts is even higher. “As a small business, it’s tempting to spend $30-50 on an inexpensive writer, but we’ve had better luck by finding someone who is an expert and paying 5-10 times as much.”

But that extra up-front expense does offer some benefits, says Landis-Eigsti. “When you hire an expert writer, you’ll get a better finished article. It’s more likely to rank with Google and we don’t spend our valuable resources on revisions and rewrites.”

But there’s another distinction to make, and that’s between an expert and an expert writer. An expert has authority attached to their name in the form of a degree or job title, but they may not be a great writer. They’re almost certainly not well-versed in SEO practices. It’s likely that content produced by a pure expert will require some heavy editing before it’s ready to be published.

Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need a doctor to write your content. In addition to knowing how to write for online audiences and create content that aligns with SEO strategies, an expert writer can establish authority in other ways. These include:

  • Implementing quotes from credentialed experts
  • Including current, authoritative research and links to back up facts and stats
  • Having a credentialed pro review the content before it’s published and listing them as the reviewer in the byline area

A Team Approach to Content Writing

When it comes to producing great content that aligns with your brand’s goals, messaging and style, you need quality writers. But that doesn’t mean all your content requires a writer with domain expertise. There are several types of content often produced by nonexperts with great results, including:

  • Product descriptions
  • Basic blog posts on general topics
  • City and local pages
  • Meta tags and descriptions

With this kind of content, the quality rests on different metrics. You need great marketing writers who know how to write with relevant keywords and a larger SEO strategy in mind. You typically wouldn’t include bylines for these pages. Instead, your brand, about us page and the overall site serve as the authority in these areas.

Building a well-rounded writing team can provide your brand with the benefits of specialized niche writers while leveraging more cost-effective generalists for other kinds of writing. This is one of the biggest benefits of the Crowd Content platform: You gain access to a wide variety of professionals that include domain specialists and general marketing writers alike.

Evangelista agrees, saying, “I like to utilize a mix of expert writers and more general writers, depending on the subject matter.”

Hiring experts

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an expert content writer?

An expert writer is one who’s skilled in writing web content on a domain- or industry-specific topics. They’re capable of producing high-quality content within their niche that’s engaging and thoughtful while still being set up to rank well in search engines.

Is content written by an industry expert guaranteed to rank well?

Not necessarily, though it depends on the expert. It’s important to keep in mind that someone with expert knowledge in a particular field may not know the ins and outs of producing search-optimized content. This is why it’s important to find an expert content writer, not just simply an expert.

Why should I hire an expert writer?

Hiring an expert writer ensures your content establishes trust through expertise. This is especially important in specialized industries, such as finance or technology, where your readers are likely to be much more knowledgeable about the given topics.

How much does it cost to hire an expert content writer?

Rates vary wildly depending on the writer and their niche, but most expert writers charge anywhere from 10 cents to a dollar or more per word.

Where can I hire expert writers?

You can find expert writers right here on Crowd Content! We have thousands of qualified writers with a range of industry experience. You can create casting calls to find writers with specific domain knowledge or let our project managers build a team for you.

Another good way to find expert writers is by simply scouring the web. Industry-specific forums and groups are good for locating freelancers, as is searching on social media sites such as LinkedIn.

Benefits of hiring expert writers

Leveraging Crowd Content’s Expert Writers

Looking for an expert writer to help with your content marketing strategy? We can help. At Crowd Content, we source thousands of expert writers with a range of industry experience to help our clients produce top-tier content at affordable prices. We even depend on our writers to help produce our content, so you can rest assured they know their stuff.

Using our platform, you can search through our writers to find the perfect fit or open a casting call and build your own expert writing team. No time for building and managing a team? No problem. Our customer service experts and content managers can do it for you.

Go ahead and get started today.


Article by

Eric has been working in marketing and product management for over a decade with companies in the software, eCommerce and content creation spaces. He’s particularly drawn to both content marketing and SEO and is excited that the two areas are increasingly converging. While he’s pretty serious about marketing, he does love to drop a great dad joke on occasion.

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