Quality content matters.
Search engines and internet users have become increasingly bombarded with content. Websitemagazine.com shares that over 70% of businesses realize that publishing is an increasingly important role in marketing efforts and are investing heavily in content. That means the competition is fierce.
Hiring blog content writers who can put the magic touch on your blog posts is one way to position yourself for a higher spot in the search results and more conversion of the traffic you generate. But make sure you’re putting these tips from the experts into action to ensure you choose the best possible writers for your blog.
Do Choose Writers With a Heart for Your Audience
If your target audience likes and trusts you, they engage and buy. Gone are the days when simply placing advertisements everywhere converts to an expected return on investment in the form of direct sales.
Buyers are more sophisticated now than ever and want to receive value up front. It’s like dating: you have to be willing to take them out a few times to gain their interest and help them understand what you stand for and offer. Only then will they be willing to take a closer look at what you’re selling.
Consumers must trust you have their interest in mind. When hiring blog writers, be sure they have a heart for your audience so they can create content and blog posts with this in mind.
Don’t Just Hire and Forget About Them
Be involved with your writers after the hiring process. You have to set the bar high and remain engaged. You can’t just place a job posting, hire a blog writer and expect a superstar overnight.
Instead, use your analytics to understand where writers are doing a good job and what can be done better. Present this to writers in the form of constructive criticism and praise. Freelance writers often feel like they work in a vacuum, and you can foster a positive long-term relationship with freelance blog professionals when you’re willing to make them feel like part of the team.
Ask for Samples Before You Hire
CEO of Don’t Pay Full Andrei Vasilescu says when you forgot some basic writer hiring tips, you can end up paying a lot more for the work in the long run or paying for “nothing” when the content you receive back is useless to you. One of the common mistakes Vasilescu points out is failing to ask for writing samples when you hire freelance pros.
“Often, marketers hire blog writers after being impressed by their high credentials without even checking their writing skills,” says Vasilescu. He points out that credentials can be faked given the online nature of this particular gig economy niche, and no effective way of checking these claims exists. But if you ask for writing samples, you can see whether the person has the writing chops — and the knowledge — to complete your job.
Don’t Just Hire the Cheapest Writer
Vasilescu also cautions against making decisions based solely on the bottom line. Yes, of course you need to meet your marketing budgets, but the low-ball writer quote isn’t actually always the least expensive way to go in the long run.
“This is the most common mistake marketers make when hiring freelance professionals online,” says Vasilescu. “You’ll get exactly what you’re paying for. You must not expect even a moderate level writing from the lowest bidder, let alone a good piece. An experienced blog writer will create grammatically perfect, valuable and engaging blog content after doing the required research work — none of which you can expect from the cheapest writer.”
Many times when companies choose the lowest bid, they end up putting so much in-house work into the results to make them useful that the overall cost of the content is much higher than it would have been if a higher quality (and slightly more expensive) freelancer had been selected in the first place.
Do Talk About Production Expectations Before Moving Forward
Kris Hughes, Senior Content Marketing Manager at ProjectManager.com, points to production expectations as something to settle well before you finalize the hiring process for a freelance writer.
“When hiring freelance writers, it’s vital to know what your expectations are for their level of production/output,” says Hughes, “But it’s equally as vital to make sure that their time availability/bandwidth matches up with that level of expectation.”
You may feel like a freelance writer is an ideal fit for your brand and not want to push them into work they may not have the bandwidth to do. But, if they can’t fulfill your needs, they may not be the right person for the job (or the only person you need to hire). As Hughes says, “It’s much better to uncover a fit or lack thereof in the interview process than to find out the hard way once the writer has been hired and they can’t meet your expectations because the structure of their daily life just doesn’t mesh with what you need.”
Don’t Forgot to Set Firm Deadlines
VitalDollar.com founder Marc Andre points out that providing flexibility in certain areas of freelance work can seem like a kindness, but it can actually backfire on you and the writer.
“In the past, I’ve hired some freelancers without firm deadlines because I wanted to give them as much flexibility as possible,” says Andre. “When I’ve tried this, it hasn’t worked very well. Several of the freelancers have been unreliable, and it’s mostly my fault for not setting firm expectations from the start.”
Certainly, you want to be realistic about deadlines. Asking for work on too tight a timeline can reduce quality or put stress on your freelancer, which leads to burnout and the loss of your favorite writers. And working with your freelancer to set a firm deadline that works for you both is a great idea. But at the end of the day, make sure everyone knows where that line stands.
Do Provide Specific Details and Instructions
Deadlines aren’t the only details your freelancer needs from you to succeed.
Andre says, “When you’re working with writers, especially freelancers, the more specifics you provide them with, the more likely you are to get a great article. Freelancers probably aren’t going to be extremely familiar with your blog, so it helps if you can give them as much direction as possible. Things like the exact topics that you want them to cover, the tone of the article, styling and formatting, etc. If you don’t provide them with enough direction, you may get an article that is not a good fit with your site.”
Do Work With Business Partners to Help With This Process
If hiring blog writers is starting to sound like a lot of work, don’t worry. You don’t have to put yourself at the mercy of the job boards to find high-quality writers that are a good fit for your brand. No matter what type of content you need written, the Crowd Content team and platform has services to meet your needs and help you find the best writers for each project.