This is the first post from the series about how I build a PBN for my money websites. In the beginning, I wanted to briefly cover the strategy and methods…
Blog Writing Service by The Hoth: HOTH Blogger
Recently, I got a chance to try out a blog writing service by the Hoth called HOTH Blogger. The guys just launched the service and I scored a free trial. To use it, I decided to order one article for my Rat 🐀 Website (see here what the website nicknames stands for)
What The Service Is About
Here is how the Hoth describes it:
HOTH Blogger is the easiest way to get great articles on your blog at your schedule. No more having to come up with ideas, contract writers, go through the editing process just to get your blog up and running.
The Hoth claim that they have created a great blog writing service that produces relevant, well researched, and professionally written content to your blog on a schedule that is based on your needs. They can even post the articles on your website to make it a total hands-off experience.
Sounds compelling and easy!
And it is. When submitting the order, you need to give them just a few inputs:
- Your blog’s URL.
- Any special instructions that may include keywords, topics, etc.
That’s pretty much what’s needed for a start.
Then the article writing process starts. It consists of two stages:
- Choosing the topic
At this stage, the content manager will review your blog and the instructions and proceed with the topic research.
- Writing the article
At this stage obviously, the writer will take the topic and write the article.
On each stage, you can request as many improvements as you want, meaning that you can reject each of it an indefinite number of times (well, at least theoretically).
Sounds again pretty compelling! And I decided to try it.
My Experience With HOTH Blog Writing Service
I provided my niche website URL and wrote some special instructions. I described the website audience and asked for an article that would contain some useful tips for my website visitors.
In a few day, I got an email notification saying that a topic is ready for my approval.
I went to check it… and rejected it.
Why? Well, it did look like a good topic… however, it did not contain any keywords with a sustainable number of monthly searches. While an article with such a topic could have been useful for my customers, it would be nice if it drove a search traffic, too.
While rejecting, I was asked to write the explanation and I wrote all above about the search traffic.
In a couple of hours after the rejection, I got an email from a Hoth content manager. The manager reassured me that they would change the topic and explained how they came up with it. Turns out, the topic was a question found on answerthepublic.com. The tool shows what search phrases people are using – particularly the questions they are asking about a subject.
It was nice to get an explanation as well as a personal email. I felt quite special at this point 🙂
The next day, I got a second topic to review. This time, it had some good volume of month searches so I accepted it.
In about two weeks after approving the topic, I finally got the article written.
Here’s the list of what I got:
- 1 picture;
- about 1000 words chock-full of useful tips for my website visitors (however, they currently offer 700+ words per article) written in good English;
- readability score of the text is 71 in Flesch reading score, which indicates the test is easy to read (why readability is important);
- 3 outbound links, all followed;
- 2 internal links to the existing articles – that means they did take a look at my website while writing the article;
- article title;
- SEO title;
- SEO description, which was 4 characters longer than allowed.
I put up the text on the website as a draft and Yoast SEO plugin showed Ok SEO score. It was because the keyword appeared only in the title but not in the text.
So, I rejected the article and asked to add the keywords to the text. They did – one keyword was added in the very beginning of the text. It took them about one day to do it.
It was kinda a lousy fix, which is so typical when it comes to working with freelancers. Technically, I could have insisted on a better fix but I decided to not waste my time. This is one of my disappointments when it comes to working with freelancers: They do not want to do a good job from a start and you sometimes spend more time explaining how to do stuff properly than actually doing it by yourself.
While reviewing the article, I tried to look up the history of my topic approval and couldn’t find it anywhere. It was not shown either on the website or in the notification emails 🙁 Oh well.
So I approved the second version of the article and got access to a zip file to download it. I could have requested to upload it directly to my site but preferred to do it myself. Kinda regret it now.
The zip file had the featured image and the article in HTML format. That was really great because I could simply copy-paste it in the WordPress text editor without doing any style reformatting.
The links in the article were already set up to be opened in a new window. It was nice and convenient but I would love them to be also nofollow. So, I went through them… and noticed that one of the links led to a competitor of mine. It was also an Amazon affiliate niche website that offered the same products as well as the others. It was not like 100% competitor but still – why would I drive my traffic to them? So, I just removed the link. If I noticed it earlier, before the approval, I would request to find a different link… Oh well.
Follow-up: How’s The Article Doing?
I published the article on September 20, 2016, and it is obviously too early to judge it by the results. I will later update my post with the stats (visits, bounce rate, reading time, etc) to show whether it was truly useful for my readers or not.
Anyway, should you try the HOTH blog writing service?
Is HOTH Blogger Worth It? Conclusion
Here I summarized pros and cons of the service – from my point of view.
- producing relevant and useful articles written in good English with a great readability score (>70) meaning the article is easy to read – your
website visitors will appreciate it;
- a nice structure and style so you don’t need to fix it after;
- links to the sources are included in the text;
- SEO title & description included;
- no limit on the number of versions they can produce.
- a bit weak on SEO side (and on researching competitors);
- no history of approval process available – I may well forget what I asked for or what agreement we reached;
- not cheap.
It’s a nice service that helps you to get more content almost hands-off and trouble-free. Almost. It would be better if they were stronger on SEO side.
As of the price, $70 a post of 700+ words seems probably Ok to me given that they do the research and actually take a look at your blog before starting. If the article SEO was better, it would be worth this money I think.
But it’s up to you to decide. If you need a constant flow of high-quality articles and do not have much time, it may be a good option for you. As of the SEO weaknesses I specified, you can address them in the special instructions. For example, you can specify to get keywords that have at least 10 monthly searches and include them at least three times throughout the article. Something like this.Check out HOTH Blogger HERE