As my portfolio of niche sites has grown, so has the demand to publish more content.
When I started building these niche sites, I was looking for specialized writers from platforms such as Upwork and Problogger.
While this worked well, most of my content needs were topics that were simple queries that needed simple answers. I didn’t need someone with a Ph.D. degree or someone who is highly passionate about the niche.
Most of the time, I needed content that anyone can quickly learn about and convert to an article.
And a content agency is perfect in such situations.
I was in the process of trying out a couple of content agencies when I heard about Content Development Pros from an email by John Dykstra.
Despite their horrendous website design, I decided to give it a shot.
Long story short, it’s been more than 24 months since I first started working with them.
I have completed 20 projects with them so far with a total word count of more than 2 million.
So it’s safe to say that I have enough experience with working with them.
In this review, I will share what’s good about Content Development Pros (which is why I still continue to work with them), things that are not so great, and things that are absolutely horrible (such as their website design).
If you’re wondering whether the content written by CDP is good enough to rank in SERPs, check out my Niche Sites Income Reports. Most of the content on these sites is from Content Development Pros.
Who should use Content Development Pros?
While Content Development Pros offer different types of content such as blog posts, email newsletters, sales pages, product descriptions, etc. I have only used them for my niche site’s blog posts.
So if you’re looking to outsource content writing for simple articles that can be researched and written by anyone (without any prerequisite domain knowledge), then Content Development Pros is a great place.
I have used them for informational content as well as product review content, and they have done a good job so far.
Since CDP is a content agency, you would not be working directly with the writers. But you do get a point of contact (sort of a project manager) who will be responsible for all your projects.
While you can request your Project Manager to assign a certain kind of people to your project (for example, people who are experienced in writing about pets or in writing about food and recipe), there is no way to know whether that’s the case or not.
Since I use Content Development Pros mostly for informational content, I’m OK with it as long as the content quality is good.
They use native English speaking writers and I have not had any case of poorly written content with misspelled words or grammar issues.
Does the Content from CDP Rank and Make Money?
Yes it does!
I have been using Content Development Pros for more than two years now, and some of my sites that are ranking well in SERPs and making money online have been built using content from CDP.
I even did a case study where I built a site from scratch and scaled it to $1,000 per month using content exclusively from CDP.
I continue to use CDP as one of the main sources of content for most of my new sites.
Content Development Pros Pricing
The prices listed on the site are quite high.
A 1000 word 5-star article will cost you $80 (8 cents per word).
Get on the chat and ask for the best price. Currently, I get a rate of $39 per 1000 words for small orders and $30 per 1000 words for large orders (100K+ words).
This is for 5-star elite quality.
For 3-star quality, you can get it cheaper. One of my friends got a rate of $23 for 1000 words and the quality was good.
If you are on a tight budget, I recommend you go with their 3-star quality content. I have compared both 3-star and 5-star content, and the quality was almost the same
The Good Things about CDP
Here are some of the things that I really like about Content Development Pros, which are also the reasons that I keep using them over and over again.
Content Quality is Good
I’m quite happy with the content quality that I have got from CDP so far.
While I cannot be sure that it is written by someone who knows the topic well, the final output looks well researched and well structured.
Having said that, you need to keep an eye on the regular deliverables and make sure there is no dip in quality.
Every once in a while there would be something that needs revision and needs to be sent back for rework.
I believe that’s going to be the case with anyone (whether you use a content agency, a freelance writer, or an in-house writer)
While CDP does offer unlimited revisions, I’ve never had to ask for a revision more than once.
Good at following Guidelines
Working with the content agency means that you never know who’s going to get your next article to write.
It could be someone who has worked on multiple articles for you earlier, or it could be someone who’s working on your project for the first time.
And of course, there is no way to know this as you never get to interact with the writers directly.
Hence it’s really important that you have a detailed guideline document that you want the writer to follow.
Pro tip: Don’t assume anything. Be as detailed as possible while creating the guidelines document.
The good thing with Content Development Pros is that they are good at following guidelines.
I have created three guidelines documents in Google Docs (one for informational content, one for single product reviews, and one for best X for Y kind of product reviews), and I share these with every project that I create.
In most cases, the writers would stick to the guidelines.
But every once in a while, you’ll see that some things have been missed. Just send the team a message and they will redo the article and make sure that it doesn’t repeat in future articles.
Just like the content quality, following guidelines is something that would need constant supervision and feedback.
When I start a new project, I often see that the team not sticking to the guideline completely. So there is more feedback needed in the first few articles, and once the team gets the hang of it, it’s a smooth sail.
A good idea here is to make sure that your point of contact (the project manager that was assigned to you for the project) is in the loop.
Ready to Adapt to Your Workflow
Some content agencies that I have worked with are quite rigid with the way you can send your content requests and the way the article is delivered.
Content development pros are quite flexible in this regard.
I sent them the topics in shared Google sheets documents along with the guidelines document, and have requested the articles to be delivered in a Google doc or Microsoft Word format.
You can also send them the topics in a Word document, on a Trello board, or just plain text as a message in their dashboard or in an email.
I appreciate this because it integrates with my inbuilt workflow system quite easily.
Deliver on Time + Quick with Revisions
Normally, I receive two to three articles per week for a project.
But in case you are in a hurry and you need content faster, just let your project manager know.
While they cannot guarantee to deliver all your articles within a certain time limit (especially if it’s a tight time limit), they’ll do their best to accommodate.
For one of the projects, I asked them to send me five to seven articles per week, and they managed to do it.
But remember that this may come at the cost of some quality or the lack of adhering to the guidelines.
They are also quite quick with the revisions and I get it back usually get mine within two days.
It’s a good idea to set the deliverable frequency expectation in the beginning. I have asked them to send me 1-2 articles per project every week. Their may be some delays every once in a while, but mostly, they stick to the agreed upon delivery schedule.
Discounts for Bulk Orders
If you’re ready to place a bulk order and pay upfront, you can likely get a good deal.
Just ask your project manager to put you in touch with some of some sales personnel (go to their website and get on the chat)
If you have already dealt with specific sales personnel in the past, it would be a good idea to ask for them. If that person is not available on the chat right away, leave a message for them and they’ll get back to you.
While I can’t be sure, I believe there is a commission system attached to the sales, and you’ll find that these sales personnel have a lot of room for negotiation.
So if you’re working with CDP on a long-term basis and ordering multiple projects, it’s a good idea to have a relationship with one of the sales personnel.
Also, always ask them if there is any deal going on. Often during quarter ends and during Holidays (December), they would be willing to offer a better discount.
They will push you to place the order immediately, and you should push for the best price.
The Not So Good Things
While I’ve had a good experience with Content Development Pros so far, there are a couple of things that I don’t like.
Not suitable for technical or specialized content
I tried using CDP for more advanced/technical content, that would need a more in-depth knowledge of the domain, and it wasn’t good.
It was clear from the article that the writer has tried to go through all the top-ranking results for that topic and create something similar (without really understanding the topic).
And this wasn’t just with a couple of articles, it was the case with almost all the articles for that project.
Since then, I have only used CDP for generic content (mostly informational blog posts), and have hired freelance and in-house writers for more advanced content.
Website/Dashboard Design Can be Better
While the front-end design doesn’t really bother me a lot, it would be great if they could redesign and give it a modern look.
As of now, it looks dated and has 2005 feel to it.
When you place an order with Content Development Pros, they create an account for you and you get access to the back end dashboard.
In the dashboard, a project is created for you by their team and you can send a message to the team that would be working on your project from within the dashboard.
While this is just a minor irritant, I wish it was better.
Generic email for communication
This one really bugs me.
Whether I’m communicating with my sales contact or my project manager or my project team, everything is done using a generic sales/support email.
Often it happens that I send an email to my project manager and someone else replies telling me that this would be taken care of.
Why can’t they just have different emails for different people?
Some Minor Issues I have Faced
In the past few years that I have worked with CDP, there have been some minor hiccups that I think I should mention here.
These were one-off cases and were promptly handled by Content Development Pros (which is the reason I continue to work with them)
CDP offers 100% original articles that pass the Copy Scape test. Initially, when I started working with them, I used to check every article using the plagiarism checker in Prowritingaid (I had bought 1000 credits for it).
And for the first few months, I did not find any issues. So, I stopped doing this.
For one of the articles, I somehow decided to run it through Prowritingaid plagiarism checker, and it picked up one paragraph that was copy and pasted as-is from one of the top-ranking websites.
I immediately reached out to the team and blasted them for this. and at the same time, I also did the plagiarism check myself for multiple articles that they had sent earlier.
The team came back with an apology for the miss on their part and mentioned that they were planning to rephrase this and remove the original text but somehow, they missed it. Also, I did not find any other instance of plagiarism in any of the earlier articles that I checked.
While I continue to check these articles for plagiarism at my end, the team has also decided to send me the Copyscape report that mentions that the article is 100% original.
As I mentioned, that this was a one-off case and never happened again.
Pro tip: Ask them to include a plagiarism report with every article. This should take care of any possible misses on their part
Inserted Affiliate Links
Most of the content that I order from CDP is informational content that does not require any affiliate links to be placed.
But I still instructed the team to add links in case they think it makes sense.
In one of the articles, I notice that they were an unusually high number of Amazon links, and when I checked it, I notice that these were all affiliate links for a specific ID.
This again upset me and I immediately reached out to my project manager. They came back with an apology and assured me that this won’t repeat (and it hasn’t).
Hope you found this Content Development Pros review useful.