March 11, 2014

Performance Content – Native English Speakers vs. Non-Native

english-speakerEveryone knows that one of the best ways to generate superior search engine rankings is to constantly update your webpage or blog with interesting and relevant information. In fact, whether or not your potential customers decide to buy, call in, or take any other action may come down to what they ready on your website. But, not every marketer has the time or skills to write truly engaging content. Due to this situation a couple of alternatives have arisen, both involving having someone generate content for you. On the one hand you can pay a native English speaker, who has a background in writing, to produce your content for you. On the other hand you can pay a non-native English speaker, or someone who grew up speaking English as one of many languages. Here we will take a look at the pluses and minuses of both strategies.

Native English Speaker

Best Use: Use a native writer when you have a sophisticated audience, or when SEO is extremely important.

Pros:  Native English speakers are more likely to grasp the language and idioms better than a non-native speaker. And because performance marketing is most prevalent among native English speakers, you are more likely to find a writer who understands your goals. Another pro is that an American writer is very likely to operate in a time zone which is very close to yours, if you are both in the United States.

Cons: The biggest con of hiring a native English speaker is the cost. Though some bargains can be had, you will probably be able to hire 3 non-native writers (easily) for the cost of just one native English writer. Another con is that, though they are more expensive, native writers may still have to accept less than minimum wage (or very close) in order to write for you, depending on your pay structure.

Non-Native Speaker

Best Use: Use a non-native writer to produce massive amounts of content that you may have to edit yourself.

Pros: The best reason to hire a non-native speaker is because they are cheap. There are numerous people from countries in Asia and Africa which can produce cheap content for websites and blogs, and many (but certainly not all) of them are relatively good producing English language content. There are even whole teams consisting of dozens of individuals ready to tackle larger jobs. This would serve as the second pro. It would be best to look for an individual or team with verifiable performance marketing and/or SEO experience.

Cons: The cons of hiring a non-native English speaker would come down to writing quality and difficulty of communication. The writing quality of a non-native is generally far inferior to that of a native English writer, as would be expected. Differences in spelling, idiom, and many other differences all play a role. Communication can also be difficult when your waking hours are the sleeping hours of your writers. This is not always a major issue, as many non-native writers actually write at night in order to be awake when their clients are awake. But it could be a problem.

Overall, the question of native vs. non-native writers is the age old question of quality vs. quantity. For those who want the absolute best content, a native writer is almost a must. Though there are some really impressive non-native writers, they are more likely to become in-demand, and raise their pricing accordingly.