The Real Cost of Content Marketing for SaaS Founders

The Real Cost of Content Marketing for SaaS Founders

When your team is small and your budget is tight, it’s tempting for many SaaS founders to manage their company’s blog and content marketing themselves. We’d argue that nine times out of ten, that’s not a good idea, though.

Why? Because time is a precious commodity for founders. You need to focus on the bigger picture and ensure that every moment of your time is used efficiently. Even if you’re one of the rare founders who can pen a remarkable blog post in just a couple hours, you might be surprised at the time it takes to bring that blog post to life from start to finish.

Content marketing deserves your time, but we believe that your contribution should focus on the aspects where you can make the biggest impact.

The real cost of blogging when you do it yourself

Content marketing is much more than just writing a blog and publishing it. To run an effective content marketing campaign, you need to spend time planning, researching, editing, publishing, and promoting your posts to build traffic and awareness.

This isn’t easy, and it requires a lot of time and effort.

Before you can assign a monetary value to your content marketing efforts, you first need to work out how much time each different task takes. Here are the tasks needed to make the most of content marketing and how long they usually take.

Content planning

Average time: 10–15 hours/quarter

Devising a content strategy and content planning is a must. Having a good plan and structure in place will help you save time in the long run. But it also takes a good few hours to do this.

You’ll want to make sure your content is telling a cohesive story that benefits your business. You’ll need to research topics, brainstorm ideas, sketch out the main points, find and select keywords that you want to target, and come up with a plan to promote each post. You’ll also need to set in place a way to track performance, so you can feed that intel into your next round of planning.

If you plan to publish weekly, you can expect to spend 10-15 hours per quarter on content planning, which works out to around one hour per blog post.

Writing and editing

Average time: 4-5+ hours/blog post

Writing and editing is perhaps the most time-consuming part of the whole process. It’s not unusual for a blog post to take an average of 4-5 hours for a founder to write. It’s true that some founders can jot down a meaningful blog post in just 1-2 hours, but that’s very rare. And on the other end of the spectrum, when you’re obsessing over quality (as you should be), it can take 20+ hours to pull together a blog post that references solid data and provides a truly unique resource.

If you’re planning to post one to two posts a week, you’ll likely spend the equivalent of a full day writing. On top of that, you’ll want to have the blog posts looked over by another team member or by a professional editor before publication. When it comes to content marketing, quality content is key, so editing is essential.

On the plus side, writing and editing are the easiest tasks to outsource. (Find out more about outsourcing to content agencies and writers.)

Publishing

Average time: 30 minutes/blog post

Getting your article ready to publish is quite simple, but it can become time-consuming depending on the length of your article. There are quite a few tasks involved with publishing posts.

You’ll need to ensure that the posts are optimized for SEO, find images, and make any final edits before publishing. If you’re a WordPress wiz, this can be done in around 30 minutes for one post. That might not sound like much, but 30 minutes is a precious chunk of time to a SaaS founder.

Promoting

Average time: 1 hour+/blog post

Once your blog post is live, you’ll also want to promote it via social media to help it gain some traction. Writing posts for three or four different social media platforms and reposting to sites like LinkedIn can take upward of an hour.

If you’re working on getting your blog post off the ground, you’re going to want to put in a lot more effort for promotion. You may wish to run paid campaigns and do other outreach activities to build your reputation and authority for your website.

Do some quick math, and you’ll see that the total time it takes to plan, research, write, publish, and promote your content is going to be 7-10 hours+ per blog post.

The true cost of handling content marketing yourself

To find out the cost of content marketing for your business, assign an hourly rate for your time. Using the estimations above, you can work out an approximate figure of how much it’ll cost you.

However, the most significant cost is the opportunity cost of your time -- the time you’ve sunk into content that you can’t put into other things. As the founder of a business, you likely have countless other tasks to attend to that are more important than writing blog posts, for example.

Yes, content marketing is worthy of a SaaS founder’s time. But this doesn’t mean you should handle the day-to-day tasks of running your blog yourself. Instead, focus your efforts on those content marketing tasks that only you can do.

As a founder, where should you invest your time when it comes to content marketing?

There are certain tasks that will make sense for you to spend time on and others that can be outsourced easily.

Things you can outsource easily:

  • Content strategy and planning
  • Content research
  • Blog and content writing
  • Editing
  • Images and design
  • Blog publishing

Things that you can do better than anyone else:

  • Provide perspective and anecdotes based on your experience
  • Outreach to your network
  • Share materials and resources that are foundational to your thinking

As a founder, you can level up your content marketing by contributing to the things that will add the greatest value. Consider outsourcing activities like strategy, writing, and publishing, and then focus your energy on providing a unique perspective to the writer via notes, interviews and feedback. Then tap into your network to get exposure for your content.

Read more about what it takes to succeed at content marketing.

SaaSpirin can save you time and money

We know that deciding to outsource can be tough. But by outsourcing some of the more time-consuming content marketing tasks, you could be saving yourself 60+ hours per quarter that could be used nurturing the leads generated by your blog—and actually making sales.

An agency like SaaSpirin can do the heavy lifting. We collaborate to build a content strategy and a vision, then work with you to transform your blog into a successful and lucrative asset.

Get in touch and start your content marketing journey with SaaSpirin today.